Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

Tag: Canada

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Worse

When associates play each other, it can either produce Ireland v. Bangladesh style hard-fought matches.

Or it can produce a comedy of errors, where each races to the bottom.

When Kenya faced Canada earlier this week, Gunasekara and Ouma found themselves in such a race. Here’s the text from Cricinfo’s live commentary, when Gunasekara got out to a wide ball:

This is Bizarroworld. Ruvindu might be out stumped. Shambles from Ruvindu. Shambles from Ouma. Shambles all round. Stupidity, says Ian Chappell. It slips down the leg side. Ruvindu misses the flick. And looks back. He can’t see the ball. He thinks it has trickled away to fine leg. Ouma, cunningly, hid the ball in his left glove. Once Ruvindu strayed out of the crease, Ouma looked to flick the bails off. And missed! He then flicked again. This time he hits the stumps. Ruvindu is still not in! Haven’t seen something so bizarre from a batsmen since Inzamam tumbled onto his stumps, attempting to sweep Panesar.

 

Gunasekara v. Ouma

Gunasekara v. Ouma

 

 

Patel bowls to Patel

Imran Tahir talks to the Ump

Imran Tahir by megara_rp via Flickr

This is perhaps an obvious point, but I’d like to belabor it here:

  • The captain of Canada is named Ashish (and they have Rizwan, Nitish, Parth and yes, a Patel)
  • Kenya has a Patel
  • England, of course, has Ravi and Ajmal
  • South Africa has Hashim and Imran
  • West Indies has Ravi, Ramnaresh and Shivnarine

This is diaspora.

Cricket’s growth around the world in the past, such as it has been, was largely due to the Raj. The future may be in the hands of the diaspora.

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The Best of the Rest, and Other Lessons From the Warm-Up Games

Everyone is curious about those other cricket-playing countries once every four years. Look how cute the Bermuda team looks in their bright blues. Is Obuya a common name in Kenya? Has Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe yet? They play cricket in Canada? And so forth.

Here’s a handy guide to the best of the rest, based on what happened at the warm-up games this week:

The Best of the Rest

The Best of the Rest: The World Cup Warm-Up Games

Everything clear now?

You will notice, I left Bangladesh out. I think they are a cut above the rest, but they regularly prove me wrong.

Here are the lessons we gained from the warm-up matches this week. You know, the warm-up matches that everyone assures us mean nothing. Except when they win.

  • Canada beat Netherlands. Afghanistan beat Canada. Kenya beat Afghanistan. Netherlands beat Kenya. Ireland beat Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe beat Ireland. The associates are a most exciting bunch, but only when they play among themselves.
  • Ireland came close to chasing 300 against New Zealand. Canada came close to beating England. Upsets in the World Cup seem inevitable.
  • India Proved they could win a match with the bat as well as the ball.
  • New Zealand’s bowlers enter the World Cup with even less confidence than they had before. Giving up 360 to India is one thing, but 279 to Ireland is criminal. At this point, I wouldn’t mind trading New Zealand and West Indies for a couple of promising associate countries on the international calendar.
  • Australia is in trouble. Plain and simple. They couldn’t take a wicket against South Africa in 46 overs. They couldn’t get past 217 in two attempts. Of course, I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t bet against them. The format of the World Cup allows them to be mediocre for the first four weeks, and surge towards the end. And the Australians can surge.