Ball One – Shoaib Akhtar opens the match with a huge no ball – which is not called. Two balls later, he bowls another no ball just as big. Then he bowls McCullum. Box office as usual for the Rawalpindi Excess, but television chose not to show us the delivery from side-on. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking that the no ball was worth checking – and television’s reluctance to do so only fuels suspicion. Now a no ball is called and television shows that it isn’t. Ho Hum.
Ball Two – Jamie How makes 4 from 29 balls – less a matter of Jamie How and more a matter of Jamie Why?
Ball Three – Three Akmal brothers (Umar, Adnan and Kamran) have kept for Pakistan in recent months – how Kamran is the one chosen for the World Cup is hard to fathom. Jimmy Ormond would appreciate the irony.
Ball Four – Kamran Akmal should stand in his wicketkeeping kit while Shahid Afridi and he re-enact this scene.
Ball Five – I am indebted to http://twitter.com/#!/_MadDanEccles_ for pointing out that Shahid Afridi is the modern day Chris Harris – medium pace darts that grip in the pitch and are hard to get away. The comparison breaks down a little, as Afridi has a lot more tricks than Harris, but he is becoming a rich man’s David Hussey. (As it happens, he is bowling now to one of New Zealand’s davidhusseys – Nathan McCullum).
Ball Six – Ross Taylor goes bananas hitting Shoaib Akhtar all round the ground. With batting all the way to 11 (if you count Numbers 3 and 5 as batsmen), surely the assault came unduly late. Until the 44th over, New Zealand had not had a set of five overs in which they had scored at a rate of five an over. Since then, the overs have yielded 8, 14, 8, 15, 28, 30 and 19. I guess it’s hard to be critical after that!
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999