For months I have been living in a endless spire of two particular countries playing each other over and over again with the result ever changing. Today I had to give up a ame of cricket because I can’t move my neck, so the last thing I wanted, was to watch another one sided bashing of young kids.
The team that was losing is very likeable, they have a breath taking opening batsmen, a hard working all rounder as captain and a bunch of kids who all have some talent but didn’t look ready.
Then there was the coach, that embittered bald angry violent scowling hard man who had given three years of his life and probably a easier job somewhere else because he wants to make this a tough side to beat. He becomes the face of the team because he can’t hide his emotions and tells it like it is in interviews.
When the other hangers on cheered his opener’s many runs from front and square on the balcony, the coach was usually nowhere to be seen or way in the background gently clapping while the others celebrated like they had won the Ashes, World Cup, World T20 Asia Cup in one go. He expects these guys to make big scores, and doesn’t get carried away.
On Thursday this team started their third series against England this year, it has been 247 days since they have one an international match, they’ve never beaten England and yet again their opposition treat them like a joke by resting their ket batsmen and bowler.
It should have just been a continuation of defeat.
But there were changes made, the captain was given a break so another all rounder could come in and captain his side while making about his 17th comeback from injury.
He didn’t captain like they couldn’t lose this game, he captained like they had a real chance.
Their batting was plucky and safe, their main man hadn’t fired but they had 236.
A team that has performed this bad in the recent past shouldn’t be able to defend 236, but they kept hanging in, taking wickets, playing as a team, they even had time to give a mate an over for fun.
They had an ally in the opposition. A grizzled batsman who seemed to be batting for his career and not quite thinking. The opposition also lost a man to injury during the game and their big middle order weapon never fired.
That didn’t mean this team of underdogs had it easy, it still went to the wire.
With 8 balls to go they looked like their team performance was in vain, but they kept at it, and they even had a moment of premature-celebration when they took the 9th wicket assuming the injured batsman would not come in.
He did, and that must have put them young team off. Two balls later the opposition only needed 6 runs off 4 balls, and it looked all over.
That was the moment when the big bad old boy of world cricket steals the game and leaves the fans with nothing but embarrassment at ever having hope.
Instead a slower ball was bowled, the only opposition batsman that really scored was caught behind and this nation finally beat their one bogey side.
It was just a one dayer in just another meaningless series, but when they won it was everything.
The players celebrated like they had never won before, the coach transformed from the most miserable man in cricket to its happiest, the support staff were so happy they were almost hurting each other with bear hugs.
This isn’t going to change this team.
The next game against England isn’t going to be magically easier, this young side isn’t about to take world cricket by storm, but when you haven’t won in 247 days, a win is a massive event.
Maybe this will give them confidence, maybe it will be a blip.
But when this side wins a match cricket fan’s smile, and that is a good thing.
Well done, boys. And I think I speak for almost everyone who loves cricket when I say that.
My neck is still very fucken sore, but now it is sore from screaming like a dickhead when you took that wicket.
Now, how about one more win?