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Thread: Devil Duckys World Cup Essentials

  1. #106
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Originally posted by luckyeddie

    Ronnie Irani (England)

    The England test discard has always strived for consistency - well, today he achieved it. No wickets, no runs either. In fairness, the ball he got from Ashish Nehra was good enough to get anyone out - even a batsman.
    Pure genius!
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  2. #107
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    <quack>

    27 February, Australia v Namibia, Potchefstroom

    Bryan Gavin Murgatroyd (Namibia)

    You just don't get it, do you Bryan? As we agreed the other day, I spy with my little eye something beginning with 'B' - Bryan, walking back to the pavilion again after getting out leg-before for another duck. What do you think your name is - Nicky? 3 balls (mind you, they were 3 balls from Glenn McGrath)
    DD rating - 3 lilypads

    Bjorn Leo Kotze (Namibia)

    In fairness, there was nothing Bjorn Kotze, the unfortunate batsman could do. 3 balls faced, Glenn McGrath pitches middle, hits the top of off. It could have even done for Ronnie Irani or Inzamam ul-Haq, this ball. Probably both. Simultaneously. However, that's just not good enough for this World Cup - or this column.
    If they had had television in 1789 - to be more precise in the days preceding 'The Mutiny on HMS Bounty', the following scenario could quite well have happened. It is a Group 'A' match of the 1789 World Cup, and Pitcairn Island (or some other group descended from criminals) are playing Namibia. The crew of HMS Bounty are watching the game intently, in between throwing breadfruit at each other. Suddenly, there is a load roar of excitement.
    <Fletcher Christian> What's happened?
    <Captain William Bligh> Another wicket. Our proud boys have got them on the run.
    <Fletcher> Who got it?
    <Bligh> 'Chopper' McGrath
    <Fletcher> Zounds. Who was the unfortunate?
    <Bliggh> The former Buccaneer turned Parson
    <Fletcher> Who be he?
    <Bligh> Bjorn again, Christian
    DD rating - 4 lilypads

    Rudy van Vuuren (Namibia)

    Just one ball to face, then you can dream about the possibility of entering the World Cup record books twice in an hour and a half, Rudy. As he comes out to face, the umpire calls 'drinks'. They ask Rudy what he wants - he replies 'Better make it a short'. Following a solid bowling performance, he just has to get through the last ball of Andy Bichels over to have a 50-50 chance of becoming Glenn McGraths eighth victim. Rudy's not a glory-hunter, though. Not for him breadcrumbs and immortality, so he thinks carefully then decides to nick one through to Adam Gilchrist. Unfortunately, as well as not being able to bowl and not being able to bat, Rudy can't count either. Churchy has already picked up five catches. 5 + 1 = 6 and a new World Cup record.
    DD rating - 6.5 lilypads



    Breadcrumb moment - Rudy van Vuuren (Namibia)

    Australia are 273-6 after 49 overs. The Namibians, for the most part, have kept things reasonably tight but it's all going a little pear-shaped at the end of the innings. The bowlers, frankly, are losing it. Skipper Deon Bosman-Ruling Kotze (eventually) calls on the reliable Rudolph van Vuuren to deliver the final over. For our part, we turn up the DevilDucky stump-mic (patent pending) and eavesdrop a little. Incidentally, Billy Bowden is the umpire.
    <Deon Kotze> (to himself) Thank goodness I've finished my 10 overs. Now who do I bring on next? Ah, J-B Burger. He's the man for the big occasion (shouts) This end, Cranberry.
    <Jan-Berry> Sorry, skip. I think I've cricked my neck.
    <DK> When? You looked all right a couple of minutes ago.
    <JB> Just now, mate. (whispers to himself) When I saw it was Darren Lehmann at the strikers end.
    <DK> Oh, ok. (to himself) What about BO van Rooi? Yeah, he's gone well. (shouts) Here, Stinky?
    <Burton van Rooi> No, boss. (stabs his hand with a pocket-knife) I've got this cut on my finger....
    <DK> Right! Take a blow. (shouts) Rudy....
    <RVV> OK, Deon. No problem, mate.
    <DK> Six yorkers, mate. Lehmann's only on 22 so it's not as if he's looking for a 50.
    (Ball 1 is short, outside leg stump. Lehmann swings it over midwicket for four.)
    <Billy Bowden> (sings) You put your left leg in, your left leg out...
    <RVV> Sorry, skip - loosener.
    <DK> OK, but tight, Rudy, tight. Lets keep 'em to 280.
    (Ball 2 is shorter still, well outside leg stump. Lehmann flicks it off his hip. The ball doesn't go within 30 yards of a fielder and thuds into the boards at fine leg for another four.)
    <Billy Bowden> ...in, out, in, out...
    <RVV> Catch it!!!!
    <DK> I'm going to strengthen the leg-side field. Whatever you do, don't give him any width outside the off stick.
    <RVV> No problem. Watch this...
    (Ball 3 is short, wide outside the off stump. Lehmann swings through the line and the ball thuds into the boards (again) at backward point - right where the fielder who crossed over to the leg side had been moved from.)
    <Billy Bowden> ...shake it all about...
    <DK> I said "No width"
    <RVV> I thought you said "Give him width". OK, yorker this time.
    <DK> Let's see if we can keep them below 290 (claps hands). On your toes, guys.
    (Ball 4 is the shortest yet. Lehmann heaves it across from a foot outside off stump and scatters the crowd on the bank fifty yards beyond the fence at long on. Fred, however, sees the ball a little too late and is laid out cold)
    <Billy Bowden> ...you do the 'Silly Billy'...
    <RVV> Oops
    <DK> (speechless)
    (Ball 5, another leg-side long hop, promptly smashed over midwicket for four. The ball thuds etc etc etc)
    <Billy Bowden> ...and you swing your arms while standing on one leg trying to draw attention to yourself because I'm the star ...
    <DK> Anyone got a gun? Pitch it up, for Chrissakes!!!
    (Ball 6, the bowler finally gets it into his head that you cannot pitch short to Lehmann. So he tries Plan 'B' - the full toss. The crowd on the bank at long on, having helped Fred back to his feet, scatter again. The unfortunate spectator is clattered once more. The rest of the crowd just cover him with a sheet and steal his wallet.
    <Billy>... that's what it's all about!
    <DK> Rudolph....
    <RVV> Yes, boss?
    <DK> Stick to pulling Santa's sleigh next time, will you?
    Lehmann acknowledges the applause for a run-of-the-mill half-century (by this World Cup's standards)

    Breadcrumb moment - Glenn McGrath (Australia)

    7-4-15-7 and another World Cup record

    AJ Burger c Ponting b McGrath 4
    M Karg c Gilchrist b McGrath 4
    D Keulder c Gilchrist b McGrath 3
    BG Murgatroyd lbw b McGrath 0
    *DB Kotze c Gilchrist b McGrath 10
    LJ Burger c Gilchrist b McGrath 1
    BL Kotze b McGrath 0

    and a few other boring bits like Australian ODI records, largest ever ODI victory, silliest umpire in a World Cup match, most catches by anyone in a World Cup match, 6 catches in a ODI game for the third time by Adam Gilchrist, stuff like that.
    Nigel Clough's Black and White Army, beating Forest away with 10 men

  3. #108
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    <quack>

    27 February, South Africa v Canada, East London

    Gary Kirsten (South Africa)

    A first-time appearance for Gary Kirsten in this column in the 2003 World Cup, but on this form it might not be his last. Batting at three, he has just seen Herschelle Gibbs sell his wicket cheaply (just like the good old days, really, when he <<<<statement removed following intervention by HG's lawyers and the delivery of a brown paper bag containing, er, my lunch>>>> on his mobile telephone). Davis Joseph is the successful bowler on this occasion. Gary, looking for runs against this lacklustre bunch of fur trappers and igloo dwellers, gets the one thing he doesn't bargain for - a good ball. A beaut really. Joseph gets one to nip away off the seam and Ashish Bagai takes the regulation nick. 5 balls faced.
    DD rating - 2 lilypads

    <LuckyEddie> I think you got a bit too personal there, DD
    <DD> Nope. I saw that photo of the Canadians practicing in the snow in Toronto before leaving
    <LE> Yes, but they don't live in the northern wastes
    <DD> Canada IS the northern wastes

    Breadcrumb moment - South Africa - an exercise in fielding

    Makhaya Ntini bowls to Ishwar Maraj who gets a good, solid edge to the ball. The packed slip cordon watch on as Hendrik 'Dippy' Dippenaar flicks the ball neatly down to Allan 'Ducky' Donald at third man who promptly kicks it over the ropes for four.
    Shaun Pollock bowls to Maraj. Another snick. This time, Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis both shout 'mine' then leave it to each other. I'm sorry, this is a fabrication of the truth by this correspondent looking for cheap laughs at the expense of a team he hasn't 'done' before. Kallis actually shouted 'yours' then went for it himself. He was right too. It wasn't his. Certainly wasn't after he'd dropped it.
    Change of bowler, change of batsman, change of luck? No way. This isn't luck - this is the fielding performance of the tournament. Allan Donald, called in to the attack because at least if he bowls 10 overs it reduces the time he has to field for someone else bowls a long-hop to Ian Billcliff. He cracks the ball to Herschelle Gibbs who fails to cling on. Difficult, so what's it doing in here? Oh yes, so I can take the rise out of Donald again.
    Kallis tries his luck to Maraj. Mark Boucher has been berating the slips about being indecisive. I think he's still talking to them when Maraj offers yet another regulation catch. This time, Boucher neatly grabs it off first slip only he forgets to hold on to the ball.
    Kallis to Maraj again. An uppish drive heads towards Gary Kirsten at mid-off, who realises that he has to move quickly in order to snaffle the catch. He also realises that if he does go for it, he might miss it and look a fool. Smart play, Gary. One which he repeats at third man a few overs later just to prove it is no fluke.
    Monde Zondecki to Maraj for a change. Another regulation edge and Boucher drops another clanger. Might as well give the gloves to the Soup Dragon (before your time, guys, but look it up).


    <DD> Ishwar Maraj carried his bat, scoring 53 from 155 balls - a marathon which lasted 214 minutes. Not only that, it was a chanceless innings
    <LuckyEddie> What do you mean chanceless? What about the five dropped catches you have described above?
    <DD> We're talking South African fielders here.
    <LuckyEddie> I see your point
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 27-02-2003 at 03:41 PM.

  4. #109
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    And no mention of the Maraj epic!


  5. #110
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Brilliant, as ever, LE/DD
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  6. #111
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    And no mention of the Maraj epic!
    <quack>
    Honest. I'd written a footnote and forgot to post it. I have now updated the entry. Now if I was the evil duck you thought I was, I would have not added this grovellingly suspicious explanation and just left you looking a prat.

    Damn damn damn damn damn

  7. #112
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    <quack>

    28 February, Zimbabwe v Netherlands, Bulawayo

    Despite the fact that Zimbabwe scored 301 and The Netherlands scored 203-9 and the game was played in the bright sunshine of that hotbed of democracy, Bulawayo, nothing of any great incident really happened. No ducks, no hundreds.

    doo doo doo doo (spooky Twilight Zone music)
    Do not adjust your PC.
    doo doo doo doo etc

    Breadcrumb moment - Augustus (Andy) Blignaut and Dion Ebrahim (Zimbabwe)

    "It was 20 years ago today
    Sgt Pepper taught the Band to Play".
    However, it was 41 years ago this month that Dion had a hit with 'The Wanderer'.
    This gives us the same type of pathetic excuse to jump on the conspiracy bandwagon - just as people did when The Beatles released the 'Sgt Pepper' album and rumours began to circulate that Paul McCartney was dead. This, I have always maintained, was just wishful thinking.

    However, todays incident was pre-ordained. Unavoidable. It is yet another example of the fact that we are but pawns in the game - part of the bigger picture.
    You see....

    Andy Blignaut was going really well when an impromptu drinks interval ensued.
    Despite the fact that Andy Blignaut hits the ball well, today he hit no SIXES.
    Andy Blignaut's real first name is AUGUSTUS.
    Both Augustus and BLIGNAUT have EIGHT letters.
    Augustus was the name of a Roman emperor (like OCTAVIAN)
    The month of AUGUST is named after Augustus Caesar.
    August is SIX months following February.
    Today is the 28th of February.
    There are SIX balls in ONE over (unless it is being bowled by Waqar Younis, in which case the over goes 'beamer, six, wicket, beamer Shahid can you finish the over please?' but I digress).
    All right, there are normally SIX balls in an over (although in the old days there were EIGHT).
    Octavian was the EIGHTH emperor - well, if he wasn't he SHOULD have been - another reference to the number of balls in ONE over.
    Allowing for the fact that it was 41 years ago that Dion had a hit with the aforementioned 'Wanderer', we must add the extra SIX balls (or ONE over) to the number 41. This gives us our new number of 42.
    The other batsman involved in the incident was DION Ebrahim.
    After the drinks interval, which occurred at the end of over 42, each batsman WANDERED to the wrong end.

    We are now returning control of your PC to you.
    <LuckyEddie> I have never read such rubbish in my life
    <DD> It convinced you when I told you
    <LuckyEddie> Hmmmm, you're right. So it must be true
    <ALL> Doo doo doo doo etc

    <RIK> I thought his real name was Arnoldus...Mauritius as his middle name too. Can't you get a gag out of that?

    <quack>

    Yes, but Arnoldus starts with the SAME letter as Augustus, it has the SAME number of letters, it ALSO ends in the same TWO letters. Subtracting TWO from EIGHT we get SIX.

    Not only that, his MUM told me that his NICKNAME is RIK, which is what I will do to your NECK if you point another one of my mistakes out.

    Not only that, in Derbyshire the EIGHTH month is actually called ARNOLD, after the obscure MAURITIAN emperor ARNOLDUS

    <LE> So many Romans. Why have you included them?
    <DD> They did so much.
    <LE> Really? What have the Romans ever done for us?
    <DD> I'm not going to do it. It's so cliched.
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 28-02-2003 at 05:20 PM.

  8. #113
    Rik
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    I thought his real name was Arnoldus...Mauritius as his middle name too...
    "Age is just a stupid number"

    20...that's a rather big number :(:(:(

  9. #114
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rik
    I thought his real name was Arnoldus...Mauritius as his middle name too...

    <quack>

    Yes, but Arnoldus starts with the SAME letter as Augustus, it has the SAME number of letters, it ALSO ends in the same TWO letters. Subtracting TWO from EIGHT we get SIX.

    Not only that, his MUM told me that his NICKNAME is RIK, which is what I will do to your NECK if you point another one of my mistakes out.

    Not only that, in Derbyshire the EIGHTH month is actually called ARNOLD, after the obscure MAURITIAN emperor ARNOLDUS
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 28-02-2003 at 09:46 AM.

  10. #115
    International 12th Man Bazza's Avatar
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    I'd take Mauritius over Loveland any day! :P
    My house is burned down but I can see the sky.

  11. #116
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    <quack>

    28 February, Sri Lanka v West Indies, Cape Town

    Carl Hooper (West Indies)

    Having just seen his young protege Ramnaresh Sarwan forced to retire hurt following his collision with a bouncer from Dilhara 'Harbhajan' Fernando, Carl Hooper strode manfully to the crease. He tried his hardest to cheer up the prostrate Sarwan ("Hey Ram, I've got a puzzle for you. Change 'Ball' to 'Bell' without making a move" - CLANGGGG!!) who was later taken to hospital for a couple of stitches in his bashed bonce. The West Indian skipper settled down to face his first delivery from Fernando. Everyone expected a bouncer, but the ball is of fuller length. Plumb leg before. Carl was forced to retire hurt too. Retired out with hurt pride.
    DD rating - 6 lilypads

    Ridley Jacobs (West Indies)

    In years gone by, if batsmen wanted to rile the bowlers, they would 'cock the toe' at them. Ridley Jacobs, coming in to the batting lineup in front of Ricardo Powell, faces his third ball. He shows Chaminda Vaas the toe. Now, if Chaminda Vaas has read his cricket history, he would do everything to hit that toe. Obviously he's not interested in cricket history, so he lets Ridley do it for him. The umpire hears the hollow thud of bat on boot and gives Jacobs out caught behind. Against Kenya, the Sri Lankan attack looked fairly sterile. I bet Ridley wishes they'd had a Vaasectomy.
    DD rating - 7 lilypads

    Breadcrumb moment - nearly everyone

    Final ball of Aravinda de Silvas over. Vasbert Drakes has attempted (and failed) on four separate occasions to play the 'paddle' (also known as the 'I can't play anything else either') shot to any ball from any bowler pitched anywhere. Undeterred, he decides to try again. This time, it is so telegraphed that he started the stroke yesterday. Wicket keeper Sangakkara, the Kumar who scored 24, sprints half way to fine leg and awaits the catch - just out of reach. His forlorn dive and triple roll would have done Ruud van Nistelrooy proud. Sanath Jayasuriya picks up the ball and surveys the scene. Drakes sprints down the wicket, shakes hands with Shivnarine Chanderpaul as if to say goodbye then plods forlornly back to his crease, anticipating the 'gimme' run out. Jayasuriya, ball in hand, speeds towards the vacant wicket just a few short yards away. He sees that Drakes is still disappearing over the horizon and for some reason, known only to himself, throws the ball at the stumps. In keeping with the farce, he misses. Vasbert leaps forward and dives for the ground. The only surprise is that he actually hits it. Well, he's struggled to hit everything else.

    Breadcrumb moment - Ramnaresh Sarwan

    Seventh wicket down, Sarwan returns - wearing a cap! The Sri Lankans as one come over to talk to the young man, who is really the West Indians last hope. They are obviously concerned for his welfare. We hurriedly turn on the DevilDucky stump-mic(patent pending) to eavesdrop.
    <Aravinda de Silva> Are you OK?
    <Ramnaresh Sarwan> I'm fine
    <AdS> Sure?
    <RS> Yes, thank you.
    <AdS> Really?
    <RS> Yes, I really am fine.
    <AdS> You're not just saying that?
    <RS> No.
    <AdS> No headache?
    <RS> A bit.
    <AdS> Any stitches?
    <RS> A few.
    <AdS> Double vision?
    <RS> Not really.
    <AdS> Wearing a cap?
    <RS> Yes.
    <AdS> Fancy another crack on the head?
    <Sanath Jayasuriya> Are you OK?
    <RS> I'm fine
    etc
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 28-02-2003 at 05:25 PM.

  12. #117
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Originally posted by luckyeddie
    <Breadcrumb moment - Augustus (Andy) Blignaut and Dion Ebrahim (Netherlands)
    Apart from his name actually being Arnoldus (as Rik's already pointed out), they're Zimbabwean and not Dutch.

    And I'm disappointed that you didn't get a "Meaning of Life" gag in there..
    Last edited by Neil Pickup; 28-02-2003 at 04:27 PM.

  13. #118
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Neil Pickup
    Apart from his name actually being Arnoldus (as Rik's already pointed out), they're Zimbabwean and not Dutch.

    And I'm disappointed that you didn't get a "Meaning of Life" gag in there..
    <quack> Isn't it dreadful when someone points out your errors and then you just go and correct them?

    Not only that, but to incorporate their ideas into the gags and leave them looking like total dogbreaths?

    I mean, isn't it?

    A word of explanation is due to all my fans.

    Honest, I've been so busy today what with those damned snow geese invading my pond, Mr Corrigan from Scarborough coming down with his lawyer demanding royalties if I interview him and publish it on CricketWeb and then LuckyEddie suffering his terrible accident.

    <LE> What terrible accident? Devil Ducky, what are you doing with that frying pan? Ouch! Who do you think you are? Harbhajan Fernando?

    <quack> I take the guy in off the street, employ him as a proof reader, save him from the poor house and what thanks do I get? None. Not only that, I'd typed 'Ramnarine' instead of 'Ramnaresh' but you didn't pick that one up, did you Mr Neil Pedant sorry Pickup no I was right the first time.

    <quack> Don't mean it really Neil.
    <LE> Yes he does - passionately.
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 28-02-2003 at 05:17 PM.

  14. #119
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    <quack>

    1 March, Kenya v Bangladesh, Johannesburg

    If the details of the second 'breadcrumb moment' are not quite correct (if the sequence of events is wrong, one of the batsmen is misspelt or the wrong roman emperor is having a quick smoke by the square leg umpire at the time) I DON'T CARE!!!


    Kennedy Otieno Obuya (Kenya)

    Fresh from his magnificent performance against Sri Lanka, the stubborn Kenyan opener has one thing going for him which few of the so-called 'minnows' have - patience. He waited all of four balls before hurling himself into a wild swish outside off stump to a full length ball by Manjural Islam and plunged his team into trouble. Still, it turned out all right in the end - but it might not have. So there.
    DD rating - 2 lilypads


    Breadcrumb moment - Kennedy Otieno Obuya (Kenya)

    Bangladesh are nine wickets down, Manjural Islam is batting.
    <LuckyEddie> Hang on. Do these two go out together? Is there we something we should know here?
    <DD> No, LE. It's just the old 'I lilypad you, you breadcrumb me' move. The oldest trick in the book. Been around for years.
    <LE> Oh, all right then.
    Anyway, back to the 'moment'. Stephen Tikolo has the ball in his hand. He bowls to Manjural Islam who overbalances. Quick as a flash, Otieno has the bails off and is war-dancing around the stumps even before the finger of fate and aeroplanes is raised. KENYA ARE IN THE SUPER SIXES.


    Breadcrumb moment - Neil Mallender (England), Sanwar Hossain and Akram Khan (Bangladesh), Tony (Otieno) Suji (Ondik) and Kennedy Otieno Obuya (Kenya). Also Mr Corrigan from Scarborough, a couple of hot-dog salesmen from Johannesburg and Malaysia Airlines - the worlds finest airline.

    <LuckyEddie> Look, just how much is Otieno paying you for this?
    <DD> Nothing. The guy is just a duck's best friend.
    <LE> Who's the other Otieno?
    <DD> Tony Suji
    <LE> Why Ondik?
    <DD> It's his name
    <LE> I'm confused.
    <DD> You will be.
    <LE> Why Mr Corrigan and the airline?
    <DD> Which airline?
    <LE> Malaysian Airlines
    <DD> Malaysian Airlines?
    <LE> You know it says 'Malaysian Airlines'
    <DD> They are paying me - and Malaysian Airlines are paying me per mention.
    It is the final ball of the 30th over. Tony Suji is bowling to Akram Khan. Bangladesh are tottering on 119-5. There is a loud appeal for caught behind. The wicket keeper, Otieno, hurls the ball skywards and charges down the wicket to accept the congratulations of the bowler. Mr Mallender is unmoved - "not out" is the firm reply. Everyone looks around for the ball. Sanwar Hossain is the only person who has a clue where it is - he was the interested spectator at the non-strikers end. He calls Akram Khan through for a single. Everyone wonders what the heck is going on. Neil Mallender is crying with laughter as he signals one of the more unusual byes of the World Cup.
    <LE> What have the hot-dog salesmen got to do with anything?
    <DD> It's a job - someone's got to do it.
    <LE> And?
    <DD> Would you go home if you were a Bangladeshi?
    <LE> No, I would apply for a job with Malaysian Airlines.
    <DD> Easy money, isn't it?
    Last edited by luckyeddie; 01-03-2003 at 02:45 PM.

  15. #120
    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    <quack>

    1 March, India v Pakistan, Centurion

    Sourav Ganguly (India)

    With the removal of Virender Sehwag, a chink of light for Pakistan. Could Waqar push the door open and expose the fragile Indian 'tail' which frequently starts as low as number six but sometimes as high as number three? On the other hand could the Indian skipper slam the door on Waqar's foot? Only time would tell. About a minute by all accounts. Great ball, pitched leg, would in all likelyhood have hit the top of middle - that is, if Ganguly hadn't intervened with his pad. First duck of the tournament for Sourav - first ball too. Captain's innings.
    DD rating - 6.5 lilypads

    Breadcrumb moment - Ashish Nehra (India), Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis (Pakistan)

    This column salutes the excellence of seam bowlers everywhere - but in particular, the three mentioned above.

    Ashish Nehra (India) - 3rd place
    <DD> So instrumental in floodlighting....
    <LE> You mean highlighting
    <DD> I know exactly what I mean. To continue... the frailties of the England batting line-up in Durban, Ashish today set out with one aim in mind - to produce another match-winning performance for India. What he was in danger of producing at one time was a match-winning performance for Pakistan with his splendidly inept 2-74. A case of dual nationality, perhaps?
    <LE> Like Caddick?
    <DD> Not a lot.

    Waqar Younis (Pakistan) - 2nd place
    Waqar is one of the all-time greats. Today, he produced one of his all-time performances with the ball. Although his analysis of 2-71 was marginally better than Nehra's, it qualifies for a higher ranking because he achieved his remarkable figures in 8.4 overs. Splendid effort.

    Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) - 1st place
    <DD> Shoaib this week decided to do a 'Caddick with a difference'
    <LE> What on earth is 'doing a Caddick with a difference?'
    <DD> Talk to the press about how he was going to destroy the opposition
    <LE> That's exactly what Caddick did say.
    <DD> Yes, but Shoaib expects us to take him seriously.
    <LE> Point taken.
    <DD> Anyway, I read that he was throwing down the gauntlet to India.
    <LE> Interesting...
    <DD> Disgraceful, I say.
    <LE> What?
    <DD> Raising the 'throwing' issue again.
    <LE> Anyway, Shoaib promised that he would try to be at his fastest today.
    <DD> He was - fastest to the boundary.
    <LE> Did you know that before today he was top of the Pakistani batting averages in this World Cup?
    <DD> That's the answer, then.
    <LE> What is?
    <DD> Let Saeed Anwar open the bowling
    <LE> Saeed Anwar can't bowl
    <DD> Nor can Shoaib on this performance but he says he can bat, so he must be in the team for some reason.
    <LE> I think he just had an 'off day'
    <DD> Waqar had one of those against Andrew Symonds. Anyway, Shoaib's analysis of 1-72 was his most expensive one-day analysis ever, so I'm going to leave the last but one word to the Pakistani Number 11.
    <Shoaib Akhtar> "I'm not targeting any particular batsman"
    <DD> Nearly made it, then. So what went wrong when you bowled that ball which got Sachin out?

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