Posts Tagged ouch

Being Kamran Akmal

Pakistan are playing – some would say, losing to – Australia in the third ODI at Adelaide, having already lost the Test series and the first two ODIs to them. If you weren’t aware of that last bit of information, the scoreline might actually not look all that bad – at the time of writing, 239-4 at the start of the 46th over, although with Michaels Clarke and Hussey at the crease you’d reasonably expect a death-overs blitz. So far,  Pakistan have been predictable – decent bowling, atrocious fielding (never has a cricket ball looked more as though each contact with the willow infuses it with a fine coating of some corrosive substance – an acid, perhaps? – that forces the fielders to chase it with extreme reluctance, and juggle it like a hot potato every time a catch or stop is attempted) – displaying, in other words, their usual air of well-intentioned haplessness in the field.

Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has had a particularly nightmarish tour so far, having been dropped and then recalled and, as keeper, generally being the lightning-rod for criticism of Pakistan’s uniformly shite fielding. Today he’s done well, playing a part in two out of the four Australian dismissals so far as well as being alert behind the wicket and maintaining a steady stream of encouraging (if slightly high-pitched) chirping to his team, as a good keeper should. But he’s Kamran Akmal, which means that it couldn’t possibly stay at that. Facing down a short-pitched one from Umar Gul in the 45th over, Akmal moved to intercept – and reeled as the ball ricocheted viciously up to hit him a crushing blow right in the throat. To his credit, he shook it off, but with an expression that said as eloquently as possible: Why me? Why is it always me?

Sorry, Kamran, we’ve no idea. If I could give you a hug, I would, though. It’s getting a bit much now.

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Desperate measures?

Well, that’s one way to stop Rahul Dravid after he’s made a hundred and looks like he will only be dislodged from the crease by the coming of the Apocalypse, or, failing that, when every last available opposition bowler has collapsed from exhaustion and a broken spirit.

I’m obviously not advocating the use of extreme force against Dravid (partially because I LOVE him, and have done since about 1998) but I’m also an ardent supporter of Bangladesh, as heartbreaking an existence as that often is. They deserved the opportunity to rub Sehwag’s dismissive attitude right back in his face, but sadly for them and us, life is never that perfect. Today’s result wasn’t quite the capitulation it looks like from the scorecard, though – both Tendulkar and Dravid had multiple lives because of dropped catches, an affliction Bangladesh have apparently caught from Pakistan, somehow. Gary Kirsten must be placing calls for full-body Hazmat suits for his boys lest the infection pass on to them (not, it must be said, that India aren’t perfectly capable of spilling sitters all on their own and while in perfect health.)

The obvious segue here is to Pakistan and their eventful week, but thinking about that makes me very depressed, so we’re not going to go there. Suffice it to say that Mohammed Yousuf, comically inept fielder as he is, doesn’t deserve this shit, any more than the lovely Younis Khan did before him. Ijaz Butt is a blustering assclown surrounded by many other blustering assclowns, and the lot of them should move to some piece of land in Larkana and spend their days playing Monopoly or firing off Kalashnikovs or whatever the hell else they need to do to keep them from screwing up a talented team even more than it’s already been screwed up (which is to say, potentially past repair.)

Oh, look, I did go there. Huh.

In other news, Australian Graham Manou has always seemed like a perfectly nice guy, famous mostly for his last-minute subbing-in for an injured Brad Haddin just moments before the start of the third ’09 Ashes test at Edgbaston. What we didn’t know, though, is that you really, seriously don’t want to fuck with Graham Manou. He will cut you.

Yikes.

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