What a fizzer. For West Indies and Bangladesh fans, this was all the more disappointing as this was their first warm-up match. At least for West Indies they had the unofficial match against Australia, but for Bangladesh they didn’t even have that. It feels like the world is conspiring against them.
Match 1: South Africa vs West Indies
West Indies looked like they were on a hiding, and that 500 that everyone was talking about was some kind of a possibility. No wickets lost, a run rate of 7.5, a great launching pad, and then the rain came, and came, and came, and came. At least Hashim Amla got a half century in the tiny amount of time they had, and we had enough time for Shannon Gabriel to break down. Or perhaps he just couldn’t be bothered finishing his over after the rain came. It is a bit of a mystery.
Match 2: Bangladesh vs Pakistan
The good news is that both teams managed to avoid losses. After Pakistan lost to Afghanistan in the first warm-up match, there was every chance for them to be humiliated here, but rain saved them. Bangladesh, whose fans are insisting they will win the whole tournament, have at least saved blushes here, after some horrible Pinch Hitters writer (me) claimed they wouldn’t win a match. Well, at least they managed to avoid a loss. Rain helped a bit. Well, a lot. They didn’t even get as far as the toss.
Five Things We Learned
(1) It rains a lot in England
Who would ever host a sporting tournament which requires it to not rain in a country like England? I mean, how stupid are you? At least give us some coverings, please. We have coverings in Australia and it hardly ever rains here, at least not in summer.
(2) Something about West Indian spin bowlers
I saw something about how West Indies’ spin bowlers were the worst in the world in the past 2 years. I could have told you that without some big display on the screen. They are a team renowned for playing 4 fast bowlers with great success for 20 years in a row. In ODIs they’d have a batsman do the spin bowling duties, such as Viv Richards or Carl Hooper, and even then he didn’t always bowl. Let’s go back to that, shall we? Chris Gayle is all the spin you need.
(3) It doesn’t take long for South Africa to dominate
The only team to score more than 300, and they did it winning by almost 100 runs, and then looked on target to get 500 maybe, only for rain to come. I mean, we didn’t even have an hour of play yet they still dominated. And this is a team who, right now, have better bowling than batting. Their bowlers could defend 150, yet they are scoring 300+. Can anyone spell favourite?
(4) Yeah, so West Indies
We shouldn’t really be surprised. They had to qualify just to be here. But somehow we all wanted to believe that they could come back. They haven’t done well in this tournament since they lost the final back in 1983, when they couldn’t chase 183 to win against an Indian side more well-known for their batting. I mean, sure, it was only a warm-up and only 7.5 overs were bowled, but they still looked completely and utterly horrible.
(5) Rain, rain, go away, come again once the tournament’s over
At least we got some good football matches. Did you see the Fremantle vs Brisbane game? There was a kick after the siren, looking all the world to be a goal, only for it to swerve in at the last second and hit the post, but the crowd cheered! Not because they needed the goal to win, but because a poster was good enough! Every post’s a winner! At least football matches aren’t called off when it rains. What is the cricket equivalent? When Australia celebrated a tie in the semi-final of 1999? When Herschelle Gibbs celebrated the catch of Steve Waugh in the Super 6 match, only for it to (in my opinion incorrectly) be claimed to be not out? Or that Ashes test match where Michael Kasprowicz “edged it” behind, and everyone celebrated, even though he obviously hadn’t hit it. I mean, it came off an elbow that wasn’t touching the bat. We celebrated a bad decision that handed England a test match win and ultimately series win, which ended up with a march through the streets of England and is still talked about today, due to bad umpiring. DRS would have fixed both of them. South Africa would have won the 1999 World Cup and England’s famous 2005 Ashes win would have been won by Australia. How different would things be? How different are things now that we have DRS?
Let’s try not to have rain in the last 2 days of warm-ups, okay?