You might want to think about bowling short at Pakistan

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Short one (via ICC video)

2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 2, Pakistan v West Indies

Whenever he was struggling for rhythm, that great lolloping ganglatron of mental fragility, Steve Harmison, always used to send down these innocuous slightly-leg-side not-quite-bouncers that the batsman would calmly sway inside.

An out-of-form Steve Harmison would have taken ten wickets against Pakistan today.

The Pakistan batsmen pretty much restricted themselves to two shots: the aimless cross-batted swish and the glove down leg-side. Neither was especially fruitful. West Indies bowled them out for 105 and then tore to their target with no real concern for losing wickets.

Pakistan have now lost 11 matches in a row. For every other team, good form and bad form are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but Pakistan instead prefer to travel on a revolving form wheel where ‘brilliance’ is exactly adjacent to ‘incompetence’.

As our sometime colleague Dave Tickner put it in his tournament preview, they are “absolutely where they need and want to be” right now.


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  1. It absolutely pisses me off when people do this thing of “most recent first” business. I am designed to read left to right, and the rightmost should be the latest result. cricinfo has this infuriating habit which cricket365 seems to have adopted. It’s absolutely infuriating.

    1. Pretty much all central Semitic languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Urdu, write from right to left. That accounts for somewhere between 20% and 25% of the world’s population.

      Add to that the Chinese/Korean/Japanese languages – all of which write top to bottom and traditionally set out the columns right to left (although to be fair the modern style tends to be to set the columns left to right)…

      …and really only about half the world’s population is used to languages that do this left to right thing about which you obsess, DC.

      This is a WORLD cup, DC, so open your mind to the myriad of experiences and cultural variations that such a festival of humanity can bring.

      In the matter of Pakistan, though, their last 10 results read LLLLLLLLLL whichever way round you look at it. Oh dear!

      1. Do those cultures which write right to left commonly have a prevalence of left-handers in their line-up? I was led to believe we write right-handed and left to right so as not to smudge what already written by resting our writing hand on it. Or does their writing style not involve the hand directly contacting the page?

      2. I am so the wrong bloke to ask about handwriting, but I cannot see the difference between lefty and righty writing in the potential smudge department, as long as you are doing it properly…which I certainly don’t.

      3. Pedants’ corner: Persian is not a Semitic language, and neither is Urdu. Persian (Farsi) is Indo-European, and the same is technically true of Urdu (“camp language”), historically a dialect of Hindi strongly associated with the military, which gradually acquired large amounts of vocabulary from Persian and Arabic, and became the official language of Pakistan after partition. [In the modern era it is probably no longer fair to consider Urdu a “dialect” of Hindi; rather, they both derive from Sanskrit and developed alongside each other, much like Spanish and Catalan (which descended independently from Latin).]

        Both Farsi and Urdu use (modified) Arabic script, since the countries in which they are mainly spoken are – principally – Islamic cultures. This is rather analogous to the (forced, temporary) adoption of modified Cyrillic alphabets by the various countries subsumed into the Soviet Union – some of which speak Turkic languages completely unrelated to Russian. And as I am sure you are well aware, not all languages which now use (any version of) the Roman alphabet are related to Latin… some of them are not even Indo-European…

  2. Amazingly West Indies are actually looking half decent. I’d be quite happy if Holder and Co do well this tournament, they seem to enjoy their cricket.

    1. I’m sure many would agree with you: West Indies are practically a “second team” for a lot of cricket fans after all. Not sure why you are surprised, though – their limited-overs sides have been pretty decent for a while now. (Even their test side is threatening to get its shit together at long last…)

      1. Their T20 side has been, Dane, but their ODI side has been lousy for quite a while and had to play in the qualifier to get into the tournament… and frankly should have been knocked out by Scotland.

        Fair to say that Gayle and Russell (and to a lesser extent Cottrell) have made a bit of a difference.

      2. The Windies vs Scotland qualifier came down to the rain, and an incorrect umpiring decision.

        Have to say that it’s probably better for the sport as a whole that the Windies came through.

        But also worse for the sport as a whole that they even had to go through qualifying – which was the result of the ICC restricting the number of World Cup berths available.

      3. Of course that’s all true. The nearly-not-qualifying shambles seems a long time ago now, though (?) – maybe I am just remembering their strong performance against England recently. (Probably)

  3. Shoiab Akhtar on Pakistan –

    “When Sarfaraz Ahmed came for the toss, his stomach was sticking out and his face was so fat. He’s the first captain I’ve seen who is so unfit. He’s not able to move across and he’s struggling with wicket-keeping”

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