Thursday, March 10, 2011

UG Sports - 14: Cricket world cup round up

Boy oh boy. What a world England's been having. Normally, watching England play is like watching paint dry - dull, boring and cliched. But something has happened to the team this world cup. Maybe it's the fresh, sparkling Indian water they are drinking.

First came their thrilling match against India. The harsh lights of Bangalore, a rabidly partisan home crowd, and a century by Sachin Tendulkar - perfect recipe for a disaster of colossal proportions. And yet, the English fought back in style. The target was seemingly unreachable - 338. But Andrew Strauss played a captain's knock and England made it....just. They tied. A last ball tie. That night, hospitals across India and England were flooded with cardio patients, I bet.
Whew, that was a close game []

Next they played their cross-channel rivals, Ireland. The Irish are newbies to cricket and on an island obsessed with rugby, cricketers usually get second billing, if at all. An easy match practice for England, right? Wrong. England chose the wrong day to take it easy. They amassed 327 runs and took the rest of the day off. Minnows Ireland were floundering at 115-5 when a flamboyantly pink-haired Kevin O'Brien decided to take matters into his own hands. A frighteningly powerful pair of arms, those. Clearly thinking this was just another net practice session, KO clobbered every English bowler all across the park with utter ruthlessness and dangerous ease. He scored his half century in just 20 balls and his century in 50. And just like that, the Irish engineered one of the greatest upsets of cricket. As England were left cursing "Oh Brien", the handful of Irish fans who dared to attend the match went wild. Accolades poured in from the home island, congratulating the team. KO has arrived.

Showed those pesky English a thing or two, didn't we?[]

You'd think a team beaten that badly would be demoralized and deflated like a day-old balloon. Judging by their performance against formidable South Africa, England is an exception. Although South Africa got them out cheaply for just 171 runs, England's bowlers won them yet another thriller. The proteas were in a very commanding position at 123-3, but over the next few overs, their middle order collapsed like the financial markets of 2008. James Anderson and Stuart Broad went on a rampage, a venture in which they were ably supported by slower bowlers like Swann. In the end, South Africa fell short by 6 runs. Hats off to these resilient English.

Yeah that's the way home, buddy. []

That's it for this week. More next week.

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