Alex texted to say there was horizontal hail in Dunedin, I think a pig flew past the window (though it may just have been an excited Scott Styris), the Irish beat Pakistan and are set for the Super Eight, (barring Zimbabwe finding unlikely form), and Bangladesh made us feel better about that result last week.
The sporting gods seemed to get confused with granting Irish wishes for St Patrick's Day- failing to get Eddie O'Sullivan's crew over the line in the Six Nations but granting the highly improbable to the cheery mix of the Irish diaspora that is their cricket team. I am reliably informed that the Irish had cricket taken from them by Oliver Cromwell, and are now reclaiming it- mind you that came from someone who appeared to have been drinking all day in response to the great win.
Meanwhile drinking was the order of the day for the English team, and Freddy Flintoff in particular. Those who remember Freddy's starring role in the post Ashes celebration in 2005, will perhaps not be surprised, but an eight hour bender with a game two days away. Now that is commitment. I am sure Braces had the boys in bed with a milo before it was dark. Apart that is from Macca's midnight feast of course.
The Black Caps were solid on Friday, and it was the kind of win to give cautious hearts some hope. The best of it for me was to see them chase down a modest target on an awkward pitch, without real panic. Scotty and Oram brought the bacon home.
I was in a two parallel universes on Friday night with a trip to see the granddaddies of Dunedin music, The Clean, play followed by the game from St Lucia. The two performances followed a pattern; a strong start (three English wickets in the first fifteen over, Fish and Billy Two as the first two songs) a period of consolidation (restricting England's run rate, a couple of songs of Vehicle) a moment of brilliance (two wickets in two balls from Bondy, a searing version of Point That Thing), a bit of a stumble (3 for 2, an ugly version of Anything Could Happen) and then a feeling of quiet satisfaction at a job well done (Soctty and Oram bring it home easily, the fact David, Hamish and Bob can pull off a great gig and not feel the need to play Tally Ho).
It was not great cricket- but hey it was a win at the World Cup against a ranked team. Barring injuries I am sure this is the combination Flem and Braces want to play in the Super Eight. Me, I still worry about chasing a big target with that batting line-up, but let's enjoy a great weekend for the game.