I should have done this yesterday. I know it’s unprofessional but I was too tired having stayed up for over 24 hours.
I thought this World Cup was supposed not to have any day/night matches. Why then was the final a day/night match. You can read elsewhere all about the fiasco that the game’s showcase became.
I have a few comments to wrap it all up.
First, a few records:
1. This was the longest world cup.
2. This was the most boring world cup.
3. This was the most tragic world cup (Bob Woolmer).
4. This World Cup final had the most stupid turn of events ever witnessed on a cricket field.
5. The darkest playing conditions experienced in all forms of cricket. This even beats the time when Mum called off the backyard cricket during a total solar eclipse in 1978.
On point 4, there were early signs of the umpires choking when Aleem Dar penalised Australia one run for Michael Clarke running on the pitch. Dar’s implementation of the rule was flawless but his assessment of what is running on the pitch was ridiculous.
And now some awards:
1. Biggest chokers: South Africa.
2. Worst Umpire: Asad Rauf
3. Biggest lie: Graeme Smith after the toss in the semi-final: “We are feeling pretty confident.”. Fooled nobody but himself.
4. Worst bet: India
5. Best performers: Ireland making the super eights
6. Best new talent: Lasith Malinga
7. Most gracious captain in defeat: Mahela Jayawardene
And now, some gloating:
1. Poor old McGrath didn’t get a bat in the whole tournament. He did state before the cup that he had an ambition not to face another World Cup delivery. Tait and Bracks also missed out on the thrill of taking strike.
2. Australia has won its second World Cup in a row, undefeated. You could say this one was untroubled. Australia has won 29 consecutive World Cup matches.
3. The “threepeat”, or is that hat trick of victories? During the Michael Jordan years with the Bulls, when they won the title several years in a row, those damn Yanks called it a “repeat” (said ree peat) after one defence. Three years in a row was a “threepeat”. Given the discussion on Malinga and double hat tricks, perhaps this should be called a “double repeat”. Australia has played the last four World Cup finals. They have played five of the last six and have made the final on six out of nine occasions.
4. McGrath now holds the record for most wickets. In his four world cups, he has played 39 matches and taken 71 wickets. Considering that Australia has made the final for all four of McGrath’s Cups, he has had ample chance to set the pace. However, please note that next best is Wasim Akram on 55 and he has played just one game less than McGrath.
5. Australia had three of the top four wicket takers in the 2007 World Cup (McGrath (26), Tait (23) and Hogg (21)). Murali was equal 2nd on 23 wickets. The top six bowlers played in the final. Two of the top three bowlers failed to take a wicket in the final.
6. Gilchrist has played three World Cups and made at least 50 runs in the final of each: 54 (36 balls), 57 (48 balls)and 149 (104 balls). That’s a total of 260 runs from 188 balls (strike rate 138.29).
7. Some statements to put Gilchrist’s innings into perspective. Hayden was dismissed for 38 with the opening stand having amassed 172. When Gilchrist was dismissed, there were 45 balls remaining. If he had kept going and faced another 23 balls, and kept scoring at the same rate, he’d have made 183 – in a 38 over match!
And some random observations:
1. This finalist combination is the first time that a match up has been duplicated in World Cup finals.
2. Rain reserve days are good but how they are used needs a re-think
3. It’s a shame the best umpire in the world, Simon Taufell, has no immediate prospects of standing in a World Cup final simply because he is the wrong nationality. Conversely, Steve Bucknor has stood in the past five World Cup finals. I’m not sure when neutral umpiring became a factor, but it’s a comment on West Indian cricket, considering that they made the first three finals.
4. During the rain delay, I watched the 1992 World Cup final. Steve Bucknor was giving the men out with his right hand back then. Is he the first ambidextrous umpire in World Cup history. Wasim Akram was one hell of a bowler. Inzi was described by Bill Lawry has a “fine athlete” and I have to admit that he did look it!