Cricket for Americans: 22 April 2019: Sri Lanka

Whenever there is a terror attack in a Test playing nation — or some other national tragedy — I either like to write about it or not post anything at all that day, as to write about something else would feel a little gauche. Yesterday, upon waking to the news of the bombing attacks in Sri Lanka, I decided on the latter.

I write a lot in these Cricket for Americans posts about how cricket does make you more in tune to the rest of the world, gets you of your insular American bubble, and makes you more  global citizen. It’s completely true. Since becoming a fan of the game there have been terror attacks in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. And when those attacks happened I felt them more, as the people affected weren’t nameless foreigners on the other side of the world, but people I would see at the cricket ground, in the stands, their eyes full of smile.

And it was the same yesterday morning. I read the news and thought of the stadiums in Galle and Colombo and my heart felt sick with grief — far more so than if I was not a follower of cricket. As trite as that sounds, it’s true. When the news broke of the fire at Norte Dame, the whole world grieved, spontaneously and with gusto. Why? Because most of us, in the western world, have been to Paris, have fallen in love with Paris, have stood in the shadows of that great old church. The tragedy affected us more because it felt closer to us, because we had been there. And while I will probably never travel to Mumbai or Dhaka, the terror attacks there in 2008 and 2016, respectively, hit closer to home, even though they are on the other side of world. And that was because of cricket.

It’s another silver lining of the game, if there can be such a thing on this dark day. It humanizes the whole world. There are 7 billion people on this planet. 1.5 billion of them live in India. Cricket makes them humans. People.


On the pitch, the US beat Namibia by two runs in a real barn burner to move to 1-1 in the WCL 2. They were falling off a cliff and on the verge of going 0-2 which would have put them in a hole they might not have been able to climb out of — until Ali Khan pulled a rabbit out of his hat and saved the day for the US with his first five wicket haul in List A cricket.

Elsewhere, Papua New Guinea beat Hong Kong, and Oman beat Canada, which puts the standings after two matches look like this:

Oman — 4 pts
Namibia — 2 pts
Hong Kong — 2 pts
USA — 2 pts
PNG — 2 pts
Canada — 0 pts

The teams all tied on two points are sorted by the tie decider, net run rate (run rate for divided by net run rate against — run rate is calculated by simply dividing the runs by the overs played. So a team that scored 100 runs in 10 overs, for instance, would have a run rate of 10. If they allowed 100 runs in 20 overs, they would have a net run rate of 2.0.) Update from a reader in comments: “Matt, excuse this quibble about a detail of another fine piece, but I wouldn’t want your American audience misled: net run rate is the run rate for minus (not divided by) the run rate conceded. In your example the NRR would be 5. More explanation here

The US’s next two games are against the team directly below them and the team directly above them. If they can split those two games, I think they will be in a good position, as their final game is against Canada, and as of now I see them winning that match.

No games in the WCL2 today. Action returns tomorrow at 2:30am CT over on the USA Cricket YouTube Channel. See ya there.

Until tomorrow.


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