Over and out

The final live was every bit as loony as it must have appeared on telly, but it was still a cracking day out. Indeed, given we were staring at rain covers for the first couple of hours, any action was good action. Gilchrist’s innings was worth the entry fee alone. I also loved the partnership between Jayasuriya and Sangakkara. But no team, however plucky, could have maintained 8 an over against those bowlers in that light.

The ICC has yet again proved itself to be an ass, but it may have dodged a bullet on Saturday. It was lucky that Ponting won the toss and batted first. Had Sri Lanka posted, say, 230 runs for the Aussies to chase in the half-light, it would have been a tall order, even for them. If it had been the Lankans dragging their heels between deliveries to waste time and Malinga bowling 85 mph in the gloomy drizzle, it could have kicked off some ugly scenes in the crowd. Would Australia have accepted being dealt such a poor hand as graciously as Sri Lanka?

OK, so I’m stirring. The right team won and it would have been a travesty if Ponting’s men had been robbed by weather conditions. As my cabbie said the night before, “if you’re the best team, you’re the best team, and you deserve to win”. I’ll admit too that the Aussie supporters were excellent in our stand. Save, of course, for the shouts of ‘no-ball’ whenever Murali bowled – can you not just let it go?!

There is the temptation to dismiss the Aussie players as charmless automatons who grind out results, but that is a disservice. They have flair, instinct, guile and panache by the bucket load. The players’ celebrations at Gilchrist’s hundred and the ultimate victory (both times) were genuinely endearing. There is no arrogance, just well-earned confidence. It matters more to these Australians and so they deserve the glory. Thank goodness they can’t play forever.

Ian Valetine is a freelance journalist blogging who has blogged the World Cup for The Corridor

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