World Cup 2011

December 22, 2021

Kamran Akmal is winning

You may not believe this, but between innings I managed to fly to Sri Lanka, convince that security at the ground that I only speak English, walk out on the ground, get several key reporters to give me a press pass and interview Kamran Akmal as he came off.

Kamran, it’s Jrod from cricket with balls, can we have a quick chat?

We need him and we need his wisdom and his bitchin’-ness.

Cool, how do you feel about missing those three chances?

If you think about it, dude, it’s like I’m 0 for 3 with catches, with never an excuse, but like in cricket, the scoreboard doesn’t lie, never has. So what we all have is a catchof the heart. To sully or contaminate or radically disrespect this fielding with a shameful catch is something that I will leave to the amateurs and the Bible grippers.

Good point. What do you say to those who think you should be dropped?

I am on a drug, it’s called Kamran Akmal!

Some people are going to accuse you of match fixing out there.

I’m so tired of pretending like my life isn’t perfect and bitchin’ and just winning every second and I’m not perfect and bitchin’ and just deliverying the goods at every frickin’ turn, because, look what I’m dealing with’ man. I’m dealing with fools and trolls, dealing with soft targets and it’s just, you know it’s just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee because I don’t have time for these clowns.

OK, but some people are going to accuse you of performing badly for cash?

I have one speed, one gear. I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying’s for fools, dying’s for amateurs.

Nice Imran Khan reference, but are you saying you took money?

I don’t buy it. I don’t agree with it, I don’t trust it, I don’t care about it, I don’t ever want to hear those words put together again. What it was isn’t what you thought it is because it is what it is, because you claim so, because you confirm it, because you insist that it is what it is and therefore it ain’t what it ain’t. It ain’t what it ain’t, which is gold and winning and magic, because that’s how I roll. It is what it is, and your stupid, boring contaminated world because you allowed it.

Are you shit or a cheat?

I’m burning my own face but I can’t feel the fucken heat because I don’t feel fucken pain because pain is a fucken myth.

Thanks for nothing you shitty keeping fucktard.

What’s not to love? It’s MY life. Winning!

Pinch the ICC, because this aint real

The ICC host their most important tournament.

Along with the local authorities, they do everything they can to make sure the players and officials are safe and secure.

Then a guy walks in who speaks English and the let him out on the ground and give him a press pass.

The guy, Syed, just walks into a ground, says Pakpassion and it’s all ok.

You can read his account of it here (EDIT: Quite smartly this guy has taken this link down, proudly announcing you’ve tricked the ICC the day before the game is not the smartest move) he relives it in minute detail, even about his trip to Kandy to see Buddha’s tooth and how they wouldn’t let him in with shorts on (same thing happened to me).

Syed has some courage, and I love the story, but what does this say about the security at these grounds when this guy is out in the middle, taking photos of the players and the pitch,without a press pass, and then is given one because well, other journalists who had just met him have asked for it to be pushed through.

He could be a date rapist, or a Christian rapper, the ICC don’t know, all he used for ID was the name of a well known website.

So if you’re at to the World Cup, and you’re thinking of using my site’s name to get into the ground illegally, go for it.

The ICC now condone this.

All I went is pictures of you sniffing Ramiz Raja’s hair on the ground.

Ofcourse, if you get arrested, shot or beaten by Peter Borren, the comments about you going into the ground an saying cricket with balls was meant purely as a satirical joke on the afore mentioned incident.

Tramp Fight

The two faced off, angry at the slights that they each had suffered

In the heat, they circled one another warily

Frequently, one would try to strike a telling blow upon the other

Frequently, they missed

Often, they were wildly off target

For a brief time, it was interesting

Then the tragedy of it all dawned

And everyone drifted away

The battle continued into the evening

But in the end, no-one cared who won

Because no-one was watching any more

Canada v Kenya

As sad – and less funny – as watching a tramp fight

Did South Africa choke?

Anytime South Africa lose in a world cup, the choking tag is used. Not to say they haven’t earned it, but it does get a bit much. And since I say it more than most, I know it’s a bit much.

So instead of deciding on whether South Africa choked or not, let’s pretend this was a match between Sri Lankan and England. Sri Lanka and South Africa have similar teams, both have essentially five front line bowlers, amazing top orders and their weakness seems to be the middle order.

If Sri Lanka had restricted England to 171, and then at the 30 over mark required 54 runs in 20 overs with seven wickets in hand, and lost, would you’d think Sri Lanka had choked?

Or that their middle order had simply not worked.

To me, there is a difference between a fragile middle order and a team who loses 7/41.

Sri Lanka’s chase was going along comfortable, they were above the run rate, had wickets in hand and their number five was finding it hard to score, but importantly still scoring at a rate that would ensure his team a victory.

Then they had a collapse, including a run out, and suddenly they had given England a sniff. This collapse was 4/3, and it hurt bad. It was panicky and ugly, but they fought back.

The game wasn’t over, and they edged their way up to the score with handy batting, yet again at a run rate that was enough to easily win them the match. This was a hard pitch to score on. When this 8th wicket partnership was together, four of their first five overs was from the fifth and sixth bowlers, who’d already bowled more than the 10 overs needed between them, and were now just taking overs away from the front line bowlers. The 8th wicket partnership had scored 33 runs in 9.2 overs, more than fast enough to get them to their total without needing risks.

Then they took the powerplay, and it was a mistake not to use it before the 30th over, a mistake that most teams would have made.

When the partnership was broken, all the tail needed to do was eek out another 12 runs from four overs with two wickets in hand. They’d built themselves into the second situation where they should have won the game. It wasn’t as rock tight as the first one, but with one half of the partnership well set, two wickets in hand, and a very gentle run rate to contend with, they should have won the game from there as well.

They didn’t.

Now, if this were Sri Lanka, and you saw the panicky dismissals and two sudden collapses from a team who were chasing 171 to win, I don’t think you’d be wrong to say that Sri Lanka had choked under the pressure.

Not everyone would say it. Some would point to the batting powerplay, Broad’s bowling at the death and middle order as reasons as well, but without the pressure of the chase getting to the batting team, there is no way they would have lost this game. England did not bowl unplayable balls, they did not even use their main bowlers enough, their fifth and sixth bowlers took 1/76 in 16 overs while the three pacemen couldn’t bowl out and took 7/58 from 20.4.

Any team losing from this position did so because of pressure. England played as well, you can’t lose from that position without your opposition playing well.

Now think about South Africa again, and the choke meter (it’s like the crowd cheering meter, it doesn’t really exist) goes off the chart.

Millions use the word choke, far more than is really needed for a group game that has little meaning for the standings of the tournament.

That doesn’t mean they didn’t choke.

For South Africa to win the world cup from here would be one of the best performances in any world cup ever. They have to beat the tag, their own insecurities and their middle order whilst taking on the opposition.

They might not choke again in this tournament, they also probably can’t win it now.

The chuck fleetwood-smiths: World cup week two

Naked chests, famous Pakistani restaurants, fights about stats, betting and more Russian cricket are what you have in this here video.