Sunday 16th - May
Scotland v Australia
Spare a though for poor old Scotland. Facing Brazil in the opening game of the footie World Cup and Australia in this one, they never seem to have the easiest of starts to the big competitions. Still the award for Defiance in the Face of Overwhelming Odds must go to English/Scottish (delete as appropriate) all-rounder Gavin Hamilton who cheekily treated Shane Warne to a reverse sweep as he played a defiant knock against the ‘Best team in the world’TM. The rotund one was clearly unhappy about this and clean bowled Hamilton the next ball, however Tail-Ender suspects he might have stumbled on a strategy which could give the Scotsmen the edge they need to pull off a shock win in this tournament - they need to don their kilts. The sight of a Scottish batsman charging up the wicket with skirts flying should be enough to put any bowler off his stride and if the rumours are true about what the Scots boys wear underneath, probably his lunch as well. So I urge you, come on guys give it a go, what have you got to lose?
Tail-Ender’s usual Sunday cricket fixture is called off due to lack of interest, so he spends the day in front of the goggle box watching BBC prove their commitment to the tournament by screening Australia v Scotland and only moving to the game that everyone wants to see ie. West Indies v Pakistan, when technical problems intervene. Further proof of the BBC’s dedication to cricket comes when they constantly switch to horse racing (yawn) on Sunday Grandstand and then interrupt coverage on BBC 1 to bring us a vital repeat of that great sporting classic erm …Are You Being Served?
Wasim Akram takes possibly the bravest decision of the tournament so far when he wins the toss and chooses to bat in conditions where a Rubik’s cube would swing and Pakistan are subsequently reduced to 42-4, but eventually make a good recovery when Wasim himself leads from the front and clubs a belligerent 43 off only 28 balls to beat the West Indies at a canter. West Indies paceman Mervyn Dillon snatches Tail-Ender’s award for luckiest man of the day, certainly bowled and possibly stumped by two consecutive deliveries from Saqlain, Dillon appeared to have more lives than a ginger tom at one stage.
Skipper Brian Lara has taken some stick from West Indies fans puzzled by his request to fly out to watch the European Cup Final which features his good friend Dwight Yorke, but happens to fall the night before a vital World Cup game. Batman’s request was firmly turned down by coach Clive Loyd, but a scandalous joke doing the rounds amongst Windies supporters reports that big bad Brian’s wrist injury is due to non-cricket related nocturnal activities. Whatever can they mean?