2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 23, Bangladesh v West Indies
The moment when Bangladesh passed 150 in their enormous-yet-somehow-also-easy chase of 322 summed things up. Andre Russell banged one in at 91mph, Litton Das saw it coming and pulled it for four and then Russell lay down on his back and looked unutterably miserable.
It wasn’t the four that hurt. It was his knees. It’s always his knees.
It really doesn’t feel like the Windies have paced themselves correctly. They came tearing out of the blocks against Pakistan, but their adrenaline-fuelled bounce-the-shit-out-of-everyone-and-then-hit-a-load-of-sixes approach just doesn’t seem sustainable. Not only is everyone wise to their bowling strategy, it’s also hard to play at a higher intensity than the opposition when two of your eleven men can barely walk.
Chris Gayle is an obelisk in a purple hat these days, while Russell must surely be bowling himself into intensive care. He took two wickets in three overs in that first match and it’s hard to imagine he could have maintained even that light workload throughout the whole tournament.
You know that bit at the end of Aliens when Bishop saves Newt even though he’s literally been torn in half and macaroni and bechamel sauce are spilling from his torso? That’s Russell in this tournament; a man contributing despite a severe shortage of working body parts. We reckon he’s one match away from rupturing his pancreas handing his jumper to the umpire before his spell.
For Bangladesh, it was Shakib Al Hasan again. As it so often is. He is the best cricketer in the world, after all. (Having working body parts is a pretty key part of that, by the way. Andre Russell would agree.)
Shakib took his usual 2-54 and then he made another hundred. 6,000 one-day runs and 250 wickets and still no-one knows who he is. Even the people who’ve heard of him mostly just express amazement that he’s *still* playing. Shakib Al Hasan is 32.