Australia v Ireland, Super Eights, Barbados

Very late on this one- Ponting showing no sense of adventure, sent Ireland in and as I write they are 84 for 9. All in all a brave effort by the Irish so far, and some of Australia’s fielding will cause Ponting some concern. But the luck of the Irish isn’t in Barbados today.

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The trip of a lifetime

Hi. I’m Ian Valentine. Tomorrow I leave for the West Indies with 11 others to sail round the Caribbean. We’ll be six Aussies, five Poms and a token Kiwi. I’m a Brit, 30 years old, a journalist, and one of those village cricketers whose talk is better than his walk.

To read the media, there would be no point in us going at all. The tournament is in tatters, they say. Too long, too expensive, too badly organised. The hosts haven’t turned up; the minnows have dragged the standard down; and the Super Eights have been a distraction before the semis. Worst World Cup…..ever.

But it is not over. Indeed, the best may be yet to come. Over the next fortnight, I’ll report back with as much reaction, gossip and observation as possible from the area. It can’t be as bad as folk are saying! There should be some good photos too. It won’t just be me harping on, as there will be plenty of international input from the other members of the boat party, who are also cricket nuts. Sadly, most of them are frankly delighted with the way their team is playing.

I must warn you now that I tend to get predictions wrong. For example, I backed Ed Joyce and Chris Gayle as top run getters in the tournament. However, I am still genuinely convinced that England will turn things around and lift the Cup. We always beat South Africa when it matters (Strauss ton); Fred will beat the Windies with bat and ball; Vaughan will score his maiden ODI hundred against the Aussies in the semis; and then KP will boss the final. You heard it here first! Bye for now.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Super Eights, Grenada

This could be the match of the tournament so far, at least in terms of form, although Australia vs South Africa was right up there as well. That old war-horse Chaminda Vaas has a couple of wickets already and in the 6th over, New Zealand are 4 for 2.

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Oh dear. They’re now four down…

Travelling in style with the ICC

What does the hard-working ICC official travel in from game to game? A brand spanking new BMW of course. Here’s one of nineteen, imported specially for the World Cup (spotted on Flickr).

I suppose they’ve struck a sponsorship deal with them or something. Not a bad way to travel around the islands if you’re into luxurious German vehicles, dripping with leder. Incidentally the photographer has a few other photos worth looking at. It’s always much more interesting seeing photos from the fans themselves, inside the grounds. It gives a more human perspective to what’s actually going on, and they’re not bound by the laws of commercial interest, worrying what their photo editors will want etc.

Brit Blog Awards 2007

Apparently I’ve been nominated in the Sport category of the not-too-famous Brit Blog Awards 2007. Thanks to whoever voted or nominated me. According to Chris from the PR firm representing Ask and Metro, “the BOBB’s were launched earlier in the year and are designed to discover the most talented wrtiers in the blogosphere”. I shouldn’t laugh, but that typo did make me chuckle…

Alastair Cook is one of the judges…so I hope he wasn’t put off by anything I’ve said here, nor by the comments from you angry fans. Behave yourselves.

The big question remains as yet unanswered: what do I win if I win?

Cartoon of Brian Lara

A cartoon of Brian Lara following the West Indies’ dismal display against South Africa

Thanks Ryan

England v Bangladesh, Super Eights, Barbados

Do Bangladesh deserve the label minnows, or the tag of a “banana skin” any longer? India were first to trip up, then South Africa blindly faffed their way to defeat. And England, in such unconvincing form, are the next side to try and tame the Tigers.

Scorecard here. Chat away like the rantings fans that you are.

South Africa smash and grab

Three days ago they were pedestrian, and that’s a compliment. Today South Africa were devastating, inflicting a forth successive loss and certain elimination to hosts West Indies (there’s actually still a mathematical chance). The sudden turnaround is sure to renew the hopes of the Proteas while West Indies’ imminent exit will surely empty a couple more seats for the remaining games. I’m suspicious that many weren’t watching anyway.

AB de Villiers smashed his maiden one-day century leaving the field with cramps, dehydration, heat exhaustion and some fond memories. Boucher bashed the third fastest fifty (at least this one came against respectable..er opposition) in World Cup history and Gibbs recovered from his calf strain to bash another fifty of his own. Even Kallis looked like a one-day player.

Thoughts? I’m not going to bed anytime soon. It’s still daylight here.

Scorecard here and Bulletin here.

A bit about Michael

G’day,

I’m very glad to bring to the table my perspective and thoughts on world cricket. In short, I am an Australian living abroad in the USA, approaching 30, attached to a Yankee wife who knows more about cricket than an American should be allowed and have two ‘half-n-half’ children who at times confuse baseball and cricket but wield the willow nonetheless.

I’m a passionate, energetic, one-foot-forward instead of back kind of bloke. Until recently I played cricket for a team which was a 5 hour drive away. If I cannot convince you of my cricket madness through that stat alone nothing will.

Cheers and thanks for having me.

Ireland vs New Zealand

Late again. Well, you get what you pay for around here. In the 18th over, New Zealand are 87 for 3 and while not in trouble exactly are not finding the Irish minnows so easy to deal with. Comment away- I’m off to bed soon so if there’s an upset I want to hear about it here first!

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