Monday, April 16, 2007



April 16th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 35

A setup for the marquee match-up between India and Pakistan ended up being the venue for the Battle of Minnows. For the Administrators who were looking for a sell-out crowd and in fact added a stand to accommodate an extra ten thousand spectators allowing them free of charge after one and half hours play must have been a real anti-climax. But it did not bother either Bangladesh or Ireland fans as they thought their teams deserved to be there for their sterling performances in the tournament so far.

An opening partnership of 92 between Jeremy Bray and William Porterfield which was a run more than their complete innings total against the mighty Australians laid a solid foundation for the later batsmen to capitalize after Irish captain Trent Johnston called the toss of the coin correctly and decided to bat. It was somewhat a surprising move as many experts present in the stadium were expecting the toss winners to bowl first with the likes of Boyd Rankin and Mashrafe Mortaza being in their teams. But Trent Johnston may have read the pitch differently and better than anybody else as his decision to bat first did not backfire and in fact helped his bowlers as the pitch became slower and slower when Bangladeshis batted.

Both the Irish openers took their time to settle and made sure that no wicket fell during the first half of their innings. Although Ireland bungled a little during the middle of the innings when boundaries were hard to come by they managed to muster 243 for 7, a total which would have needed some hard work from any team on that wicket. Ireland’s total would have been even bigger had they not resorted to accumulating the runs during the first 38 overs of the game mostly through quick and some times impossible singles and twos.

Four of the seven wickets that fell during Ireland’s innings were unnecessary run-outs which resulted when they tried stealing runs or going for a non-existent single. There were just 10 fours and 3 sixes in whole of Irish innings. Only five boundaries were hit during the first 38 overs and it was only after the burly hitter Kevin O’Brien came into the crease boundaries started to come. Kevin O’Brien made a quick 48 of just 44 balls with the help of 2 fours and 2 sixes. William Porterfield made 85 of 136 balls displaying Kalllisesque type of batting and anchored one end of Irish innings to win the Man of the Match award. Bray’s 31 at the start of the innings and Johnston’s 30 at the end swelled the total to a defendable 243/7.

Though the pitch played slow when Bangladesh started their chase with an occasional bounce to the tallest bowler of the tournament Boyd Rankin, it was more of their cavalier approach towards chasing the target that led to their defeat more than anything else. True, Ireland bowled well and their fielders did a much better job on the field than their counterparts, but except for Shahriar Nafees, who was beaten by the extra bounce of a Boyd Rankin’s delivery and an unfortunate run-out dismissal of Saqibul Hassan while backing up, all the other wickets were not really wicket-taking deliveries.

Ashraful played a short and sweet knock of 35, but his choice of the shot when Bangladesh needed them to be present at the wicket must have not only annoyed his captain watching him from the other end but also his coach Dave Whatmore who was watching him from the dressing room. Tamim Iqbal settled threw his wicket away when both he and Ashraful were going great guns. Trent Johnston showed what smart bowler he is when he spotted Tamim’s pre-meditated move and chased him with a yorker and cleaned up his stumps. Indeed, his customary after wicket celebration did follow the dismissal to get rapturous applause from the Barbados crowd, who have given a new name to his famous jig - "Funky Chicken Dance”. That started a slide which could only end with Bangladeshi captain Habibul Bashar losing his wicket to his counterpart as the last batsman and resulting in a 74 run win for Ireland.

It is a great win for the Ireland and they certainly deserved to be in Super 8s. They batted within their limitations through out the tournament and only once when they batted against Australia they looked like minnows. Their bowling and fielding was excellent and economical and they proved it again today when all of their bowlers who bowled ended up taking at least one wicket. And except for a dropped catch they did not make any major mistakes compared to four dropped catches and plentiful of misfields and bad throws by Bangladeshi team on the field.

Ireland now will be heading to St. George’s, Grenada where they will be playing their last game against Sri Lanka. Whatever may be the outcome, they have already made an indelible mark on this 2007 edition of World Cup whereas Bangladesh would like to put this defeat behind them when they meet West Indies at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown. Meanwhile Whatmore and Habibul Bashar must be teaching the Bangladeshi young guns it is the consistency that is the hallmark of good batsman not the occasional flamboyance.

Abundant talent can leave them with just handful of victories but will never make them a successful team in the long run. Unless their natural flair for stroke making is backed up by mental toughness to adapt themselves to the demands of the situation Bangladesh will be suffering the kind of defeats against Ireland more often than their fantastic wins against India and South Africa.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ is related to the four run-out dismissals of Ireland’s innings. Here it is:

Eight times before the Ireland vs. Bangladesh match, at least four run-outs have taken place in a single innings in the World Cup history. But the record for most number of run-out dismissals in an innings of a World Cup match is five. Provide the details and identify the remarkable coincidence that has taken place on both those occassions.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on website within a week of the World Cup Final.


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