Ireland v Pakistan, World Cup, Kingston

It’s St Patrick’s day – as if Ireland needed any further inspiration. They were excellent against Zimbabwe but Pakistan are a whole different mercurial, unpredictable, brilliant animal. But as their captain said after their tie against Zimbo, they really have nothing to lose; they are the banana skin.

Watch it, follow it, leave comments and whatever.

Ireland win a tie

Now that is a one-dayer, with a finish and conclusion that only cricket can produce. What other sport would produce a tie and witness one of the teams doing a victory lap?

Zimbabwe had the match by the throat and somehow lost it. Well, they didn’t officially lose it – but Ireland most certainly took more from the match than they did. Here is what I mumbled on about during comms in the final three overs.

49.6 White to Matsikenyeri, OUT, drives, misses and it’s a tie! What a match; what an incredible last 10 overs. Only the third tie in World Cup history – all three have involved an African nation – and Ireland jump in delight
EC Rainsford run out 1 (10m 1b 0×4 0×6) SR: 100.00
Last ball
49.5 White to Matsikenyeri, 2 runs, well what a mad ball. Short, wide, cut just behind backward point who made a brilliant attempt to catch it. They go for a single, in comes the throw – but the batsman appears to run in front of his stumps…and he’s home safe! My word this is madness
49.4 White to Rainsford, 1 run, driven past cover – and he gets the single! This gets Matsikenyeri back on strike – not a good ball from White. Not a good over.
This is epic. 4 from 3
But Matsikenyeri is now off strike
49.3 White to Matsikenyeri, 1 run, full toss, spooned to midwicket – but no! Dropped? The man came in and appeared to just stop in his tracks, the ball dropping short!
49.2 White to Matsikenyeri, 2 runs, too short, square cut powerfully into the deep
49.1 White to Matsikenyeri, 2 runs, full toss, hammered through cover and long off has a chase to his left…and does well, saving four
Rainsford the No.11 for Zimbabwe, at the non-striker’s end. White’s back into the attack

It’s all down to Matsikenyeri. By not taking the run, he’s back on strike – and only he can win this for Zimbabwe.
48.6 KJ O’Brien to Mpofu, OUT, GONE! Smacked to mid-on, they run a single – but Matsikenyeri stays at the non-striker’s end and mid-on’s throw hits the stumps
CB Mpofu run out 0 (3m 5b 0×4 0×6) SR: 0.00
Ireland are buzzing now. 9 from 7
48.5 KJ O’Brien to Mpofu, no run, hammered down the ground – no! Brilliant stop from the bowler’s right foot
9 from 8
48.4 KJ O’Brien to Mpofu, no run, inside edge! My word that was close
48.3 KJ O’Brien to Mpofu, no run, driven back to the bowler – the batsman wants a run! How? Scampers back into his crease
Ooh this is close now. 9 from 10
48.2 KJ O’Brien to Mpofu, no run, well bowled! Slower, and Mpofu just dabbed it gently to mid-on
9 from 11
48.1 KJ O’Brien to Utseya, OUT, GONE! A full toss, slapped straight to cover! A dreadful shot; Ireland are absolutely ecstatic, never mind the fans in the stands
P Utseya c Morgan b KJ O’Brien 1 (3m 3b 0×4 0×6) SR: 33.33
Here’s Kevin O’Brien for the penultimate over of the match

47.6 Botha to Matsikenyeri, no run, another slower ball but not on target this time; defended.
47.5 Botha to Utseya, 1 run, inside edge, a desperate scrambling single
10 from 14 and the Ireland fans are singing in the stands. All 10 of them
47.4 Botha to Utseya, no run, full, straight, hit back to Botha
That was absolutely dead. Is there a twist in this game? Zimbabwe are doing their utmost to make a pig’s ear of it. 10 from 15. Two quick fours will do it for Zimbabwe, but they seem to be frozen in time
47.3 Botha to Brent, OUT, gone! Excellent slower ball, bang on middle stump, completely foxing the batsman
GB Brent lbw b Botha 3 (15m 12b 0×4 0×6) SR: 25.00
47.2 Botha to Brent, no run, slower ball worked into the packed off side
47.1 Botha to Brent, no run, good line, good length and it’s blocked out to cover
10 from 18. Can Zimbabwe mess it up?

And with a great sense of inevitability, they did mess it up – due in no small part to Stuart Matsikenyeri receiving very little of the strike after playing a gem of a knock. That was unfortunate, but these things happen and his team-mates couldn’t rise to the occasion.

Well batted Jeremy Bray, too. The most laid back of characters off the pitch, he’s a bulldog with a bat in his hand. The World Cup is alive.

Sri Lanka vs Bermuda; Ireland vs Zimbabwe

Today’s game between Ireland vs Zimbabwe has some potential for an upset; Sri Lanka vs Bermuda looks like it could be one-sided.

Ireland vs Zimbabwe is in Jamaica, so it starts an hour later. Chat on, game on!

World Cup, third warm-ups: live discussion

The penultimate day of warm-ups. Bangladesh and Scotland ought to be a good game. Bermuda v Zimbabwe…less so.

Bangladesh v Scotland
Three Ws Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

Bermuda v Zimbabwe
Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, St Vincent

Canada v Ireland
Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, St Augustine, Trinidad

Kenya v Netherlands
Trelawny Stadium, Jamaica

World Cup. First warm-ups: live discussion

So, the warm-ups are upon us. Today’s are as follows

Bermuda v England
Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, St Vincent

Ireland v South Africa
Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, St Augustine, Trinidad

Scotland v Sri Lanka
Three Ws Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

Kenya v West Indies
Trelawny Stadium, Jamaica

It should be particularly fascinating watching, or hearing about, Scotland battle against Sri Lanka and Kenya’s match against the West Indies. Anyway, this is being posted a couple of days in advance so who knows what might happen between now and Monday afternoon. Waffle away in the comments below.

Do you care about the Associates?

I’ve always been interested in the lower echelons of cricket, and was pleasantly surprised at the standard of cricket – in particular from Kenya, Scotland and Ireland – during the World Cricket League in Nairobi. But I remain realistic of their ability and a little clueless as to how they can develop and close the gap on Full Member nations.

What about you? This blog has never concentrated on any one aspect of the game – ok, so England have received a fair bit of attention – and most of you seem to have a broad interest of the game. Do you care about Ireland, Netherlands or Canada? Will you watch them in the World Cup? Do you follow their progress on other sites and, if so, which ones? Are you even aware Bermuda have a side?

Tell all.

Video of West Indies all out 25 v Ireland, 1969

It’s one of cricket’s most extraordinary results, still talked about in Ireland to this day: West Indies bowled out for 25 by Ireland. (Scorecard). And Youtube guru Cougarcricket, who each week seems to post a whole load of excellent videos, has the wickets for your viewing pleasure. Click here if you can’t see it.

Bahhhhhhhhh bleat bahhhh

Oh the Sky Sports chaps are loving this, absolutely loving it. Hampshire have just beaten Ireland, and they can’t stop inferring that they’re all going to get pissed on Guinness. I don’t doubt they will, but SHUT UP about it.

After [whoever] got the Man-of-the-Match award, they said “Ooh, err, I don’t think there will be many clear heads tomorrow morning; Champagne and Guinness. Not the best mixture.” Well fuck me dead. Aren’t you insightful. No, it’s not a good mixture, and nor is the current crop of Sky Sports presenters.

I have no problem with any of them as people. They’re all thoroughly decent and were/are fine cricketers. I just wish they wouldn’t state the bleeding obvious – something I felt Channel 4 got spot on. They had a duty to provide a balance between teaching the game to newcomers (roadshows) and not patronising the longterm fans (us). Sky are all about glitz, glamour and shoving the blatant down our throats. It’s especially hard so early in the season, because it makes me want to eat my feet and stick a pen up my nose, ala Blackadder on the right.

Channel 4 got it so right. It’s now all so wrong, not to mention a total injustice that a large slice of the population will simply not see any cricket on TV for the next few years.

Eoin Morgan

To be sure
Regular readers, all seven of you, will know how highly I rate Ed Joyce, the Irish and Middlesex batsman. Many think Eoin Morgan, another Oirishman, is as good…if not better. And he’s in action now against Hampshire in the first round of C&G trophy matches.

No sooner had I finished writing that last sentence than Morgan flicked a leg-side delivery straight down fine-leg’s throat. You dickhead, Will. Blogger’s curse.

Oh well, not much more to be said. Other than you pronounce his first name “Owen”, not “Ee-ohh-in” like I did.

The luck(less) of the Irish

Shoved this story up today and couldn’t stop laughing at it. 31 hours! “I could have driven there quicker.”