Eleven things Reverse Sweep likes about the Twenty20 World Cup
1 Australia going out in the first group stage – good and rapid catharsis for England’s defeat by Holland
2 Chris Gayle – what else is there to say? A monster with a cricket bat in his hand
3 The insouciance of Yuvraj Singh – you can’t just wander in and hit a six first ball can you? Oh, you can
4 Kyle McCallan’s action – it’s nicely rounded with a bit of drift, and as smooth as a pint of Guinness (if you like that sort of thing; prefer a nice cool Staropramen meself)
5 An England wicketkeeper getting a genuine stumping – stand up, or, well, crouch down James Foster
6 Ryan Sidebottom’s attitude against India, neatly and accurately summarised by a correspondent on the Guardian’s over-by-over site as being that of a man who “has decreed ‘I have come here to eat bread n spread and despise humanity’ and I am all out of bread and spread’”
7 Gordon Drummond’s fielding – brilliantly turning a catch off Jacob Oram at short backward square into a drop and then kicking the falling ball off his thigh to the Vauxhall End boundary 40 yards away
8 Stuart Broad for the semaphore flag gestures in his run-up that suggest he is guiding low flying planes over the Oval and Lord’s towards Terminal 5 rather than about to deliver a cricket ball. And upsetting the ICC in the process
9 Alan Wilkins; never heard of the chap before but apparently a former Glamorgan and Gloucestershire player who puts some of ESPN Star Sport’s generally abysmal commentating ‘talent’ to shame.
10 Anil Kumble – the only other ESPN Star Sports commentator with a smidgen of insight.
11 South Africa’s fielding – like a pack of hyenas chancing on a recently deceased warthog.
Twelfth man: People – lots and lots of them, packed into grounds, enjoying cricket and waving babies in the air in celebration
Eleven things he doesn’t
1 Australia going out in the first group stage – after the laughing’s over, who’s left to hate?
2 Roelof van der Merwe – scary as buggery unpronounceable South African orthodox left-arm spinner who fires in darts at unsuspecting batsman: looks as though he wishes they were real darts.
3 The ESPN Star Sports commentary team; especially Jeremy Coney and Harsha Bogle, who took up half an Ireland match discussing headline puns that could be attributed to the electrician batting at No 3. Don’t call us….
4 Sky TV – who decree that we must see a short advert for Southall Travel before a replay of any wicket
5 Stumps – inserted so loosely that even the slightest brush of a bail from a Muralitharan off break uproots more wood than the 1987 hurricane.
6 Paul Collingwood’s field placing – especially against Holland, when no one inside the circle saving a single was actually close enough to save a single.
7 Holland’s supporters – you can’t knock ‘em; all that orange does look good under lights
8 Lasith Malinga – and his single-handed crusade to bring back fast underarm bowling
9 Pasties – tasty, but £4 a time at the Oval? You’ve got to be choking.
10 Headlines – about how well England’s women are doing while the men can’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo
11 South Africa – winning all the time
Twelfth man: National anthems – sound like they’ve been recorded on a Bontempi organ