Thursday, 19 October 2006

The glorious uncertainties of cricket

There was a certain amount of gloating in the Australian press when England went down to India earlier in the week. The usual Aussie brashness seemed to making a return after a winter of discontent. This morning's result is going to put a bit of a dent in that.

The West Indies win over the world's number one team came with the help of some of the Caribbean's lesser lights - Jerome Taylor, Ian Bradshaw and Runako Morton sharing the stage. Taylor is only 22 but has already suffered more than his share of injury concerns, but he is really starting to kick on now. Let's just hope he can stay fit and fast. Bradshaw is another player I enjoy watching. Something about his old-before-his-time walk and his steady bowling reminds me of Ewen Chatfield. He is just the kind of player the mercurial Windies need. And speaking of mercurial, then there is Runako Morton. A 31 ball duck against Australia in one match, a brilliant 90 not out against them the next. Morton's redemption is certainly something to bring a smile to the face of even the most puritanical fan.

And what is perhaps the best thing about this result? That it means the match between Australia and England has just taken on a whole lot more significance. Whichever team loses that match will be eliminated from the tournament. In a few days' time expect gloating to cover one nation's back pages and a whole bunch of "it was a meaningless tournament and we are glad of the rest anyway" on the other's.

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