Goodness, do I love a good One Day International…and we were treated to two of them today.
First, over in Bangladesh, the hosts chased down Sri Lanka’s score in a rain shortened match, winning by five wickets with 17 balls to spare.
Bangladesh’s second, third, and fourth batsmen were out for a grand total of nine, but their fifth, sixth, and seventh batsmen combined for 124. Most teams would drool over that kind of production from the lower half of their order. And I mean that literally.
And good on Bangladesh, it’s only their final in a major one-day tournament ever – and the first one they lost to Sri Lanka after having them at six for five, which is really crazy when you think about – and Bangladesh play a stylish, fun cricket that I think most people enjoy watching. And as I have mentioned time and again: world cricket needs a competitive Bangladesh.
Unfortunately, world cricket also needs superstars, and we are not going to be able to see the latest one to emerge from the sub-continent, Virat Kohli, in the final because Bangladesh’s victory meant India were eliminated.
It also deprives us all of seeing Pakistan play India in one of sport’s greatest rivalries.
However, despite what I said on twitter, Bangladesh versus Pakistan will surely be entertaining. Both teams are very streaky, both positively and negatively, so let’s hope they both get on a positive streak for the match.
The second match we were treated was the West Indies versus Australia at the Arnos Vale Ground, on the southern most tip of Saint Vincent, in the Caribbean…
A lovely ground in a magnificent part of the world – just about the perfect spot to spend the day taking in the cricket. And if you were a resident of the St. Vincent or the string of islands to the south, the Grenadines, it was a bit easier for you to do so, as the Prime Minister declared a public holiday on the islands.
Considering everyone had the day off, the ground was full to see the match end, spectacularly, in a tie.
I was unable to watch the match, unfortunately, because it was not a public holiday here in Minneapolis, so instead I followed the ball by ball on Cricinfo. I love it when matches are in the West Indies, as the ODIs that are not day/night, as well as all the test matches, take place during the work day. First over as I am getting my coffee, last over as I am finishing up for the day. I tune in and out as the day goes by, catching bits here, and pieces there. It is a great way to spend a work day.
And it reminds me so much of the 2007 World Cup, when I was quitting smoking, and falling in love with cricket.
That tournament was of course overwhelmingly forgettable for most fans: empty stadiums, rain, poor cricket, a farcical final match…but I loved spending six weeks following matches every day, dreaming of the Caribbean in rainy Minnesota, and most of all: not smoking.
I am writing a book about this, as I am pretty sure I have mentioned, so I won’t go into too much detail, but truth be told: I would still be smoking if it wasn’t for cricket. More specifically, even, I would still be smoking if it wasn’t for the 2007 World Cup.
As I said at the start of this post: I love a good One Day International. For lots of reasons.
That post felt good to write. I like writing about stadiums, and exotic locales, and ODIs. I need to do more of that. Keep it simple, sometimes.