Wednesday, September 19, 2007

England beaten by stick cricketers

Well, the final indignity is metered out to English fans everywhere, and, in one small mercy, England are knocked out of the twenty20 World Championship by a rampant India, and the pain can stop.

In a performance reminiscent of stick cricket, Yuvraj Singh played possibly the best innings in limited-over history, by striking a blistering, crashing, tumultuous 58 runs off…. 16 balls. Yes, you read that correctly; 16 balls.

This astonishing feat was aided by six sixes from Stuart Broad’s final over. Apparently, this achievement has been recorded three times in international cricket, not least by Hershelle Gibbs recently, but this was off quality opposition, and under some pressure. Yuvraj ignored all this, and simply battered England.

It is testament to his innings that England, despite putting in an unusually spirited run-chase, never seemed close. Indeed, that they lost by only 18 runs shows you the importance of this lunatic hitting.

It is really an unimaginably amazing achievement. I don’t even think I’ve struck that on a computer game; even when I put it on “easy” and practice it for hours and hours whilst pretending to work.

This man hits a cricket ball cleaner than I can click a mouse.

This one innings rather softened the blow of England’s defeat. I may have something to say about that, but for now I’m happy to revel in the impossibility of what has just happened.

In other good news, Australia lost to an incredible charge Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq, who put on 119 together in a seemingly doomed situation. An Australia loss is just as good as an England victory in my books. Sadly, neither of these things are particularly likely. But we must be grateful for what we can get.

We must also be thankful that Scotland are so bad. This brings me great pleasure.

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