Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Luck of the Irish? No luck involved!

Sporting events have a habit of throwing up surprise results - giant-killings, as it were - and that has proved to be true of the 2011 50 over Cricket World Cup being played at the moment in India & Bangladesh. A remarkable match has just ended with Ireland defeating England by 3 wickets with 5 balls spare.

There were a number of remarkable features to this game, but I mention just two statistics that stand out for me. The winning total was the highest total ever chased to win a match in a World Cup tournament: their 329/7 easily beating the previous record of 313/7 by Sri Lanka in 1992. And the match-winning innings from Kevin O'Brien of 113 from 63 balls included reaching his century in 50 deliveries, again a World Cup record, beating the previous mark set by Matthew Hayden in 66 balls.

This result is all the more remarkable, though, in that Ireland are one of the 'Associate' nations in the ICC - as it were the second division or international cricket. For them to produce - against one of (let's be fair) the better teams in world cricket - a performance like this, and two records that may well stand for quite a time, is astounding and outstanding.

Congratulations to the Ireland Cricket team for this highly entertaining performance. It can only be good for the game of cricket in general (though, as an England supporter, I am frustrated by the result - and by the England fielding and bowling once again. Ah, well...!).