2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 17, Australia v PakistanContinue reading
2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 6, England v PakistanContinue reading
At the time of writing, Australia have made a solid start to chasing 400-and-plenty to win against Pakistan after losing ten wickets for 60 runs in their first innings.
We can’t at this point say what we expect the situation to be at the close of play, but it seems highly likely it will be a time for wide-eyed optimism. The very best form of wide-eyed optimism is when teams are chasing very big fourth innings targets and play ends for the day and everyone takes stock and loses all perspective.
At these times, the team that is highly likely to lose, pats itself on the back and says ‘maybe, maybe, maybe’ and they all say it to each other enough times that they get a little ahead of themselves.
The phrase ‘records are made to be broken’ is 50 per cent this and 50 per cent the professional obligation to try for a win (or at least a draw) no matter what the circumstances.
Records aren’t made to be broken. Records are made in the absence of a statistically superior event from the past.
Anyway, we’re very excited to see whether an Australia player says ‘records are made to be broken’. That’s the main thing that hangs in the balance in the final session – the possible saying of that phrase.
This is a somewhat ironic headline because as a rule we don’t remember things. Our brain long ago adopted the after-midnight-at-a-popular-nightclub policy towards nuggets of information – one in, one out.
So consider this a note to our future self that you’re all invited to read in the present. It’s not exactly the highlights of the 2018 international summer. It’s more a bunch of striking moments that may or may not create a sort of join-the-dots effect where linking them together maybe allows you to draw a vague outline of the season as a whole.
Pakistan arrived, Pakistan bowled England out easily – and lo, the theme of the summer was set.
England turned up fairly late for a one-day international against Scotland, lost it and then basically said that they didn’t care because they were only treating it as glorified practice anyway. Trevor Bayliss was so moved by what he saw that he flattened out the pocket of his hoodie.
If you’re tired of Australians being on the receiving end of world record totals, you’re tired of life. England made a still barely-believable 481-6 in a 50-over match and it was bloody hilarious.
“Oh my God, they have got to get this guy into the Test team,” said everybody (before later concluding the exact opposite once India had done precisely that).
MS Dhoni seemed poised to explode at any minute… but he never did. It was marvellous. He basically trolled the entire cricket world via some batting.
It was actually nowhere near as good a ball as everyone made out, but Kohli’s reaction to it was unparalleled.
Kohli seemed hell-bent on being dead centre of every single thing that happened when England and India finally got round to playing a Test match. After running out his opposite number, he mimed a mic drop to take the piss out of Root’s ‘bat drop’ at the end of the one-day series and then told him to fuck off.
It was bloody brilliant.
And Jennings quite miraculously failed to make any sort of contact with the ball whatsoever. This moment summed up the wonderful series-long Anderson v Kohli duel and also Keaton Jennings’ summer.
This also summed up Keaton Jennings’ summer. Poor Keaton Jennings.
Has anyone ever been more serious about anything ever than Sam Curran about everything always? He had a very successful summer and looked determined to ensure that would be the case throughout.
Rashid hitch-hiked his way through the Test series without anyone particularly noticing he was there, but then trotted in and dismissed two centurions just as everyone started to think they were maybe going to deliver a record run-chase in the final Test innings of the summer. The delivery that dismissed Rahul was everything the Kohli one pretended to be and wasn’t.