The Post You Knew Was Coming...

Friday, April 27, 2007 | 5:50 pm

Haydo sends another one to the boundary
I have been very good, and you know it.

I didn't even scrape the surface of my blog with Australia's recent 5-0 whitewash of the English in the Ashes Series, which was bloody generous after covering their first Ashes defeat in the last 24 years ad- nauseum in 2005.

Even more generous is how I have spared you all the details of the Cricket World Cup over the past 8 weeks in the Carribean, where the pitilessly-ruthless Australians have swept all before them. But this Saturday is the World Cup Final, against crowd favourites and deserved #2, Sri Lanka. This is our fourth consecutive final appearance, and we are going for the first ever 'three-peat'.

If you believe such things, the stats are in our favour:
— Aussies haven't lost a World Cup game this century (which covers two World Cups, 2003 and 2007).

— We have bowled out every opposition side but one this event (a rain reduced game). We hold three of the top 5 bowler rankings this tournament.

— This is also the last hurrah for one of our greatest-ever fast bowlers, Glenn "The Metronome" McGrath. He is the leading wicket-taker this tournament, bowling like he is a 27 year old (but still looking 37).

— We have the most red-hot batsman in the tournament also, by a long shot. Matty Hayden (pictured) is heading towards a World Cup record runs total. He has been monstrous. Our Super-Captain Ricky Ponting secures the third best batsman spot this tournament (and is ranked as the Worlds Best).
Mbr />— We beat the Lankans convincingly in the lead up game, but they held back the two players you are going to read about next.

But before we get too cocky... — Out of those top 5 ranked bowlers, Sri Lanka hold the other 2 places. In Malinga, they have one of the best up and coming speedsters around who we haven't really faced yet. And Murali is the best spinner in the World (nod to retired-Warnie). Although "Murali" suffers at the hands of the Australians more than any other team, he can change a game in an few overs.

— They are no slouches with the bat, having the second highest scorer this tournament.

— They are a young side brimming with 'youthful vigour', coached by an Aussie World Cup winner. Will add to their fearlessness, (and hopefully some nerves).

— We haven't really been tested this World Cup, which may make a difference in a close match. I would like to believb our team is too experienced for that to play a big part though.

— Australia have lost just one game to SL in World Cups, unfortunately that was the 1996 final.

If all goes to plan, we should be lifting the Trophy again this time tomorrow after a game that may be dominated by the bowlers, with one or two stand out batsmen to turn the tide. But as every commentator on earth is fond of saying: "It's a funny old game, cricket, anything can happen."



At 28/4/07 9:28 am, Blogger Shocho said...

You make this sound absolutely thrilling! If only it didn't take days to play a game... :)

At 28/4/07 11:54 am, Blogger Aussie-Askew said...

Well, the World Cup is the "one day" version of the game, 300 balls each, 10 "outs" only, and highest score at the end wins.

Having said that, the tournament itself, where they are trialling a new format has seemed to be endless, and has attracted a LOT of criticism against the governing world body.

And to add to the ignominy, the final is 2 hours behind due to rain.


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