Bangladesh v Australia at Mirpur, 3rd ODI

Honestly, I am not sure if I should be saying “at Mirpur” or “at Dhaka”.  It appears that Dhaka is a city outside of Mipur, where the actual stadium is, but Cricinfo waffles on where the match actually, offically…is.

Which brings up the blog post titles: these are not meant to be match reports, or anything remotely similar to match reports.  I just love the fact that there is cricket going on every day of the year (at some level) on every corner of the world, and so each day’s post will bring a new cricket match to think about.  Some days it will be England v India at Lord’s, and some days it will be two Zimbabwean club teams playing 30 over cricket on some shit ground a thousand miles from anything.

Yesterday Malinga did not disappoint, bowling Agarwal for a duck…with the very first ball.  Meanwhile Tendulkar continued his fine run of form with 55 off of 46 to lead Mumbai to a nine wicket win.

Meanwhile, MS Dhoni returned to the pitch for the first time since captaining India to the promised land, as his Chennai side took on Kings XI in the IPL.  However it looks like Kings XI is going to spoil the party, as they require only another 21 off of 18 balls to seal the win.

Speaking of Chennai and Kings XI: what is with the names of these teams?  I am sure it is simply Indian sporting tradition, and I am coming off as an idiot insular American, but goodness me were the teams named by schoolchildren?

For the uninitiated, their full names are Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.  The former is far worse than the latter, but they are both poor names for clubs.  Say what you will about football, but they know (knew?) how to name their squads:  Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan.  Now those are proper names for clubs.  Heck, even Major League Baseball gets it right here and there. The NHL has its moments, too.

I also heard some complaints yesterday on the kits in the IPL.  Some are uglier than others, but some are sublimely beautiful, like Kings XI, for instance.

Until tomorrow.

Paul Valthaty scored the first century in IPL 2011 to lead Kings XI Punjab's chase of 188 in Mohali
Paul Valthaty scored the first century in IPL 2011 to lead Kings XI Punjab's chase of 188 in Mohali © AFP

Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils at Jaipur, Indian Premiere League

Ashok Dinda bowled Amit Paunikar after Rajasthan Royals had got off to a brisk start in their chase of 152 in Jaipur © AFP

I love cricket photography.  I love it so much.  Someday, I will learn why.  Maybe it is the uniforms, maybe it is the green, maybe it is how far the players are from the crowd.

In the real world of cricket, the IPL continues to grind along.  Supposedly, the stadiums are half full and the crowds lackluster – according to some India has been to the cricket mountaintop and is taking a break from the sport they love.

The cricket so far has been, well, okay.  No barnburners to speak of quite yet, but it is still early days.

In about an hour, the Mumbai Indians play.  They are the closest thing in the IPL I have to a favorite squad.  Mostly because I could watch Malinga bowl all day, every day.  Remember before when I said it was great to follow cricket matches via text only descriptions?  Well, scratch that when it comes to Malinga.

The dead rubber between Bangladesh and the Aussies is tomorrow – live on ESPN3…at 3:40 in the morning.  I might be able to catch a couple overs in the morning before work.  We shall see.

Kolkata Knight Riders v Deccan Chargers at Kolkata, Indian Premiere League

I stayed up for about 90 minutes of last night’s match before having to hit the sack.   There were a couple well taken wickets by the Aussies, but I missed Watson’s “brutal” innings in the chase.

Cricket writing uses such violent imagery for such a pastoral sport.

And now I am at the office, following the IPL matches on cricinfo‘s wonderful live match coverage.  This is how I “watch” the majority of my cricket.  It’s funny how the sport lends itself so comfortably to text only viewing.  And the live match commentary provided by the site is full of humor, knowledge, and passion.  Also: I think it might be my dream job.

Two IPL matches today, should be a lovely day of 20 overs cricket.

Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka, 2nd ODI

This match is on ESPN3 tonight at 10:20pm Central.

Now, of course, both squads (and their respective nations) will be suffering a bit of a World Cup hangover, so I am not expecting much excitement.  However Australia is always fun to watch, despite their recent struggles.

And really: cricket for free on the Internet in USA really is, ahem, priceless.   Therefore I will watch and it will be awesome.

Meanwhile, the IPL and County Cricket started up fresh campaigns this weekend.  It is difficult for these tournaments to really strike a chord with me, as I really do not have a dog in the hunt.  I just like to see fun cricket and great players and unforgettable performances.  For that reason, international cricket is a bit more of an interest – however you really need to say that the IPL crowds (and the 20 over format) really make it a tad more interesting than, well, an ODI in Bangladesh.

The above will be a constant theme:  how to stay interested without having a team (or country) to cheer for?  And if I have to choose: then how?