Tuesday 5 July 2011

Take me out to the ball game

Things are still crazy busy round here. If you've got a spare quarter of an hour though, you could do much worse than to give it over to this blow-by-blow account of an India vs Pakistan match from the 2011 Cricket World Cup by Nate DiMeo and Michael Schur.

Sure, lengthy pieces in which American writers try to unravel the complexities of cricket (really - is it that complex? and that hard to tell the difference between wickets, stumps and bails?) are hardly rare. But this one has a particular charm that doesn't all come down to the fact that one of the writers is high as a kite on Vicodin.

Tendulkar is out!

No he isn't. He escapes again — this after a line drive is dropped by a fielder. Tendulkar is charmed. He's the Derek Jeter of cricket, right down to the fact that he is 37 and hates A-Rod (we assume). We are currently awaiting crowd-shot confirmation that he also dates the Indian Minka Kelly. Eagerly.

The dropped ball has infuriated the emerging man-crush, Afridi. The commentators are tearing into the fielder for dropping a rocket line drive that he was trying to field, 15 yards away, with his bare hands. Dunno. Seems understandable to us. But we feel for Afridi.

How many chances can they give Tendulkar?

That is not rhetorical. We do not know if there is a limit to how many chances they can give Tendulkar.

Another wicket for Pakistan (from Ajmal, not Gul), another confounding "Billie Jean" interlude. Riaz is back in, and they show his stat line, which has like 50 categories, only three of which are recognizable. This stat line graphic is crazy. Without rewinding and actually checking, here's what it looked like, in our minds' eyes:

Wickets: 4
Dot balls: 29
Glimmers: 14
Fleemers: 2.21
PaPkk: 100
Posterior? Y/N/V777
Powdermilk: Zap
Snerkles: Portishead
Cricket? Yes.

The conclusion I come to at times like this - there are few things as satisfying as insider language, and one's smugness over understanding said language is best complemented by someone else's utter bamboozlement.

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