World Cup 2011 March 29, 2011

Is there a game in Mohali on Wednesday?

I’m in town for a couple of days and fancy a game
97

For those of you unable to stream or download the audio of the World Cup Cricket podcast, below is a transcript of the scripted parts of the show. But it is supposed to be listened to, not read.

This week’s podcast features reviews of the quarter-finals and a look ahead to the semi-finals. And some contrived similes.

You can also subscribe to this podcast via iTunes.

The music in the podcast is by Kevin MacLeod





Hello, cricket fans, I’m Andy Zaltzman, and welcome to issue four of my World Cup Cricket Podcast. I’m 36½ in a couple of weeks. Only five people aged 37 or over have made a Test match debut since the 1950s. So I’m going to have to get in training, and fast.

And I’m English, and we haven’t picked a 37-year-old since 1947. It’s not looking good. My granddad was born in Lithuania. That might be my best shot. I think they’ve got a five-Test series with Uruguay coming up in September. And if there’s one thing that Lithuanian Test team lacks, it’s a grinding left-handed opener who can’t hit it off the square. Call me, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. If the money’s right, and your sponsors don’t clash with mine, count me in.

In this week’s World Cup Cricket Podcast, I will be looking back at the three quarter-finals: Pakistan whipping West Indies like a tub of cream in a pavlova-making competition, India and Australia fighting out a titanic tussle, in which India emerged as the iceberg and Australia as the sinking ship, and New Zealand serving South Africa an unboned sardine sandwich, the Proteas not chewing it properly, with the quadrennially inevitable results. Were those all the quarter-finals? Can’t remember any others. Er, no. Just the three.

I’ll also be looking ahead to the two semis, along with some of my ESPNcricinfo colleagues.

What I will not be doing in this podcast is: asking Douglas Jardine if he’s planning a comeback as England’s one-day skipper; giving Sachin Tendulkar some tips on effective batting; or discussing the political situation in the Ivory Coast with reference to the songs of Mariah Carey with ICC umpire and ace finger pointer Ian Gould. What I will also not be doing, despite having promised that I would be doing it, is playing you the snippets from my Dhaka gig – I had to get this podcast finished before it became instantly irrelevant, and haven’t had time to edit the stand-up. Next time, I promise.

Official World Cup Cricket Podcast Quarter-Final Review

If you’ve recorded the games off the telly to watch later, and don’t want to know the results, please place your head in a barrel of treacle now.

Pakistan v West Indies Some things have got better since the 1980s. For example, clothes, the South African electoral system, MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping, and haircuts (present company excepted). Other things, by contrast, have got worse since the 1980s. For example, the Zimbabwean exchange rate, the number of members of the Bush family who have been President of America, and West Indian cricket.

The Caribbean batting line-up once again proved more collapsible than an award-winning deckchair, all out for 112 apologetic runs. If captain Darren Sammy had been able to call on Marshall, Ambrose, Holding and Roberts, well, for a start, he wouldn’t have been captain, or indeed in the team, and for a second start, they would still have struggled to defend that half-baked apple crumble of a score.

Pakistan have an excellent spin attack. But West Indies played it like a blind grandmother trying to do an appendectomy on an unanaesthetised snake. Thus, a new name worked its way onto the list of great Pakistan opening bowlers – Fazal Mahmood, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar (every now and again), and now the most fearsome of them all: Mohammad Hafeez. Pakistan ended 113 for nought, and frankly, West Indies were lucky to get the nought.

India v Australia What a game this was: more tight and tense than a miser waiting for his medical test results. This had everything - good batting, good bowling, good fielding (some of it even by India; it must have been an important game), and, to cap it all off, another kindergarten-level run-out. Ashwin is proving to be the missing link in the Indian bowling attack, and Yuvraj, who over a prolonged barren spell in ODIs had been accused of batting like a wally, has added the word “Hammond” to that accusation. He played one cover drive in his Chennai hundred against West Indies, which I was lucky enough to witness first-hand, that was so good I’m thinking of having a tattoo of it done. On my wife.

Australia went down fighting, and Ricky Ponting bid his baggy-green farewell as captain to the tournament he has so often illuminated with another memorable century, rolling back the years with a masterful display of footwork and craftsmanship. A hundred runs in his last World Cup match as captain. A hundred runs in his last Ashes series as captain. A nice symmetry.

South Africa v New Zealand South Africa set out this World Cup to shed their tag as “chokers”. I don’t think I’m out of line in saying that they did not entirely succeed in that mission. Some would say not only did they not shed that tag, they ended up looking like a lost suitcase from a Choke Airways flight that has been passed round every single airport in the world. And to be fair to them, for the first 74 overs of the scheduled 100, they were nervelessly excellent: 74% success; that’s not bad. That would pass most exams. How many of us can claim 74% success in our chosen lines of work? I know I can’t. If I could, I wouldn’t have to supplement my earnings from comedy by writing nonsense about cricket.

And it’s easy to criticise sportsmen for cracking on the big occasion. I therefore feel duty bound to admit that, after the game, as the celebrations marking the end of Bangladesh’s part of the World Cup began at the Shere Bangla, as I was sitting on the press box roof starting to write a blog slamming South Africa for shrinking under pressure, I was genuinely scared by a firework.

As for New Zealand, after a group stage patchier than an old man’s trousers, they batted reasonably, bowled tightly, and put on a Nadia Comaneci of a fielding performance, perfect tens across the board. If South Africa were the ones who cracked, New Zealand were waiting with a hot buttered frying pan to turn them into an omelette. A superb performance by Vettori and his team.

And that completes my review of the three quarter-finals…

Hang on, I have just been handed a bit of paper that contains some information relating to an alleged fourth quarter-final. It claims that Sri Lanka beat England by 10 wickets. No, must be a hoax. There is no way that could have happened. No way. England, who only ever have close finishes and never know when they’re beaten? And Sri Lanka, who didn’t win a Test match between 1877 and 1985? No, I’m not falling for that. I suppose you’re going to tell me Kieron Pollard gets paid millions of dollars for playing cricket next? Pull the other one, big horse. I don’t care if it’s on the internet, there’s loads of stuff on the internet that isn’t true.

So that wraps it up.

SEMI-FINAL PREVIEWS

Sri Lanka v New Zealand There have been rumours in the Indian media in the last few hours that Sri Lanka and New Zealand will play a charity exhibition match in Colombo ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup final. Sri Lanka will start as hot favourites. They’ve got more spinning options than a top-of-the-range washing machine, and their openers keep on both scoring hundreds in the same game. Well, they’ve done it twice this tournament. Which is two more than I’ve ever managed in my entire ODI career.

But if New Zealand can slice through that top four, with their six centuries, five fifties and combined tournament average of 66 ‒ and that is a medium-sized but not gargantuan “if” ‒ and expose the Sri Lankan middle order, they may find some players struggling to remember what the funny-shaped wooden things in their hands is. And I’m not talking about their lucky commemorative mahogany figurines of former England left-armer Alan Mullally. I’m talking about their cricket bats.

Thilan Samaraweera has faced 15 balls of bowling since the Colombo rain cut him off mid-accumulate on 5 March against Australia. Angelo Mathews has faced 36 balls since 26th February, 35 of them in one innings 10 days ago, and Chamara Silva has seen a little round white thing heading in his direction in a competitive situation just seven times in the last 30 days. If you exclude his epic boiled-egg fight with Thisara Perera in the final of Sri Lanka’s Messiest Breakfast Eater competition before Saturday’s quarter-final.

But ‒ and this is a big, round, pert “but”, the kind that American rapper Sir Mixalot cannot lie about liking (he’s a big fan of balanced statistical analysis about cricket) ‒ when New Zealand last played Sri Lanka, Murali, Mendis and Dilshan between them took 7 for 73 in 20 overs. At that rate, if the Triplets Of Tweak had bowled their full 30 overs, they would have taken 10½ for 109.5. Which would have been a record.

Official World Cup Cricket Podcast Prediction: Sri Lanka to win, quite easily. Unless they drop Murali, Mendis, Dilshan and Herath. Or the always-improving Southee fulfills Allan Donald’s prophecy that he will become the best swing bowler in the world, and fulfills it fast.

India v Pakistan On Wednesday here in Mohali, there is the second semi-final, between, er, um, ach, who is it again, er… hardly anyone round here has been talking about it. I think one of the sides begins with an I, and the other with a P… Iceland v Papua New Guinea… no, I’ll check the paper… can’t find anything about it, no, it’s definitely not on pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 - advert on 6 - 8, or 9-24. Here it is, in the “Other Cricket Fixtures” list: India v Pakistan.

Anyway, as I’m sure you can all well imagine, everyone is being very level-headed and calm about it. It’s just a game of cricket. Sixty-five years of almost exclusively jaunty history doesn’t come into it. For the fans, or the media. For those of you struggling to understand what it’s like in Mohali at the moment, it’s basically like Kent versus Sussex in Tunbridge Wells, but with slightly bulkier political baggage.

And, aside from the political grandstanding, this is, cricketingly speaking, a fascinating match-up. India, the tournament’s leading players of spin, against Pakistan, the No.1-one ranked exponents of it. But, as the age-old saying goes, “You can’t eat your starter and your pudding at the same time” (Jean-Paul Sartre, I think, wasn’t it?), so something will have to give.

Can India bowl and field with the same precision they showed in Ahmedabad? Can Pakistan’s batsmen score fast enough to set or chase a decent total? Can Shahid Afridi bat in the manner that he seems to have persuaded himself that he cannot? He once batted for five hours in a Test match. Admittedly, it was 12 years ago, and he was much more experienced back then. Hang on, there’s a mistake in there. Here’s a tip, Mr Afridi, and I say this as someone who has always loved watching you play, for your sporadic brilliance and less sporadic showmanship: a six counts for the same number of runs if you hit it off your 20th ball or even your 40th ball, as it does if you hit it off your second or fourth. And it counts for six more than if you hit it on your PlayStation back in the pavilion after honking one in the air to midwicket. Hope that clears up any confusion.

I discussed this once in a millennium contest, albeit one that’s already been contested 42 times this millennium in ODIs, although I guess that merely counterbalances the fact that, up until the back end of the last millennium, there had been well more than 42 millenniums in a row when Pakistan and India did not meet at cricket, start this sentence again, Andy… I discussed the contest over dinner here in Mohali with some of my ESPNcricinfo colleagues.

Recorded interview with Osman Samiuddin, Sharda Ugra and Nagraj Gollapudi

Let’s all hope the game at least partially lives up to the hype.

It is often said that politics and sport should not mix. Well, countries are political entities. In international sport it’s impossible for them not to mix. The key thing is that they are mixed carefully. Not whizzed up in an electric blender then flung around in a cocktail shaker and spilt all over the floor. So to speak.

And the official Andy Zaltzman World Cup Cricket Podcast Mohali semi-final prediction: rained out. And India win in a jelly-eating play-off between Ravichandran Ashwin and Abdur Rehman. And if that doesn’t happen, I think India’s batting will prove too strong, and they will win. Either by 53 runs, or by six wickets with 2.5 overs to spare. Roughly.

Some quick pieces of other World Cup news.

-- As a gesture of peace and reconciliation, the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, and the Pakistan president, Asif Ali Zardari, have agreed to swap jobs for the week. Mr Singh will take the reins in Islamabad, whilst Mr Zardari will attempt to steer Singh’s government through the choppy waters of the Wikileaks scandal.

The leaders also announced that, as a consolation prize, whichever nation loses the semi-final will get to keep both of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. There will also be a ceremonial handover of ex-cricketers. India will donate Sunil Gavaskar to Pakistan – he becomes Pakistan’s all-time top Test run-scorer – whilst India will receive Javed Miandad. This also means that it was in fact Gavaskar who faced Chetan Sharma’s last-ball full-toss in Sharjah in 1986. He tucked it neatly into the leg side for a single, and India have now won the Australasia Cup.

And finally, the two countries’ champion 1980s allrounders will be surgically cut in half and re-merged to form Imran Dev and Kapil Khan.

-- Sri Lanka’s quarter-final co-hero Upul Tharanga has revealed the secret of his success. “For 48 hours before each match,” he told the press, “I only eat food shaped like a cricket bat. Fish fingers with the corners nibbled out, mostly. Or oddly shaped parsnips.”

-- New Zealand have announced that they have learned from the group-stage befuddling by Sri Lanka’s spinners. NZ skipper Daniel Vettori said: “With hindsight, we should have tried to put Murali and the rest off their length. We can’t realistically do that with batting, so we’re going to try distracting them with funny faces, chicken impressions, and maybe even a puppet show.”

And that’s all for this week’s World Cup cricket podcast. I’ll tell you who won the semi-finals next time. Although I think if you really want to know the scores before then, you could probably find them on the internet if you look hard enough.

Enjoy the games. Both of them. Please. Thank you. Bye bye.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dinesh on March 31, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    And Iceland scrapes through narrowly, setting up a finals clash with Senegal.

  • Anonymous on March 30, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Awesome article to begin with..The humour kinda tapered off towards the end..maybe because initially I was ROFL after reading "Sri Lanka has more spinning options than a Top-of-the-range washing machine"..Epic one..

    Long live King AZ..

  • TamIl Indian on March 30, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Looks like your prediction may come true - there was rain (unexpected variety) it seems

  • rajesh on March 30, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Andy at his hilarious best...his knowledge and love for cricket and witty writing style are all evident abundantly in this piece...Gems as under "This also means that it was in fact Gavaskar who faced Chetan Sharma’s last-ball full-toss in Sharjah in 1986. He tucked it neatly into the leg side for a single, and India have now won the Australasia Cup" "There have been rumours in the Indian media in the last few hours that Sri Lanka and New Zealand will play a charity exhibition match in Colombo ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup final" "and that is a medium-sized but not gargantuan “if”‒ the Sri Lankan middle order, they may find some players struggling to remember what the funny-shaped wooden things in their hands is" "a six counts for the same number of runs if you hit it off your 20th ball or even your 40th ball, as it does if u hit it off your second or fourth. And it counts for six more than if you hit it on your PlayStation back in the pavilion after honking one in the air to midwkt"

  • kashif on March 30, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    My prediction : if india bat first they will win by 79 runs and if they bowl first they win by 5 wickets with 5.1 overs left.

  • Krupal on March 30, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    Seriously Andy, you're one hell of a satirist!!! Just awesome :) :) Hope you write columns more frequently!!! Your column about the strict rules imposed at eden gardens was one of my all-time favorites!! And ya though your prediction for SA-NZ match didn't work out, the IND-OZ prediction was stunning. The first paragraph in the INDO-PAK subsection will remain the best part of this podcast(article). Keep up your good work!!

  • subash on March 30, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Awesome podcast, funny nd chewy.. love ur prediction if u got right this time, then u will be "Paul the Octopus".

  • Rishi on March 30, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Freaking awesome! Perhaps the best article I have read on Cricinfo.

  • Anshul Godha on March 30, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    You have done it. Again. You just keep getting better. Especially your podcasts. They are just fabulous. I dunno about Osman and Sharda, but I do hope that there are not a lot of tv sets destroyed or heart attacks to people after the wednesday game.

  • Pranur on March 30, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    The best article ever, hands down. Sarcastic comedy at it's best

  • Dinesh on March 31, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    And Iceland scrapes through narrowly, setting up a finals clash with Senegal.

  • Anonymous on March 30, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Awesome article to begin with..The humour kinda tapered off towards the end..maybe because initially I was ROFL after reading "Sri Lanka has more spinning options than a Top-of-the-range washing machine"..Epic one..

    Long live King AZ..

  • TamIl Indian on March 30, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Looks like your prediction may come true - there was rain (unexpected variety) it seems

  • rajesh on March 30, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Andy at his hilarious best...his knowledge and love for cricket and witty writing style are all evident abundantly in this piece...Gems as under "This also means that it was in fact Gavaskar who faced Chetan Sharma’s last-ball full-toss in Sharjah in 1986. He tucked it neatly into the leg side for a single, and India have now won the Australasia Cup" "There have been rumours in the Indian media in the last few hours that Sri Lanka and New Zealand will play a charity exhibition match in Colombo ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup final" "and that is a medium-sized but not gargantuan “if”‒ the Sri Lankan middle order, they may find some players struggling to remember what the funny-shaped wooden things in their hands is" "a six counts for the same number of runs if you hit it off your 20th ball or even your 40th ball, as it does if u hit it off your second or fourth. And it counts for six more than if you hit it on your PlayStation back in the pavilion after honking one in the air to midwkt"

  • kashif on March 30, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    My prediction : if india bat first they will win by 79 runs and if they bowl first they win by 5 wickets with 5.1 overs left.

  • Krupal on March 30, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    Seriously Andy, you're one hell of a satirist!!! Just awesome :) :) Hope you write columns more frequently!!! Your column about the strict rules imposed at eden gardens was one of my all-time favorites!! And ya though your prediction for SA-NZ match didn't work out, the IND-OZ prediction was stunning. The first paragraph in the INDO-PAK subsection will remain the best part of this podcast(article). Keep up your good work!!

  • subash on March 30, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Awesome podcast, funny nd chewy.. love ur prediction if u got right this time, then u will be "Paul the Octopus".

  • Rishi on March 30, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Freaking awesome! Perhaps the best article I have read on Cricinfo.

  • Anshul Godha on March 30, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    You have done it. Again. You just keep getting better. Especially your podcasts. They are just fabulous. I dunno about Osman and Sharda, but I do hope that there are not a lot of tv sets destroyed or heart attacks to people after the wednesday game.

  • Pranur on March 30, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    The best article ever, hands down. Sarcastic comedy at it's best

  • Sultan on March 30, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    Andy, you will be better off without training at this time because 36.5 x 2 is possible at you tender age. Try it next time. Nevertheless, we are going to witness not only the best semi-finals between the great nations with its rivalry but we all will witness a step forward to good relations forgetting those 63 years of hostility left by the rulers for political unsettlement. I am hoping that millions will watch this as united as never before, bearing in mind that whoever wins will be the neighbours of the losing team and should be their joy. Both the teams have given us good games to reach thus far and this initself is extraordinary and the moments will be cherished by so many around the cricket world. This game will be a memorable one only if umpires dont screw up. It has been said countless times that umpires should use their descretion and review with the the third umpires if in doubt and this can only be achieved thru fairness. Good luck to both the teams. Andy enjoy your trip.

  • Adil on March 30, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    Aaaaaahhhh......... I wish it was funny..... I really had hard time finishing it, keep trying Andy!

  • Ajay H R on March 29, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    Just loved the article! Hilarious!!

  • Arindam on March 29, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    After swapping of players cant imagine gavaskar doing the monkey dance :P

  • SL on March 29, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    C'mon Andy, you don't write nonsense about cricket. You are the best cricket writer in cricinfo. And I would have graduated last month had I not been reading your articles 23 times every hour, instead of writing my thesis. Writing about cricket gives you a 100% success rate

  • Venkat on March 29, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    "He played one cover drive in his Chennai hundred against West Indies, which I was lucky enough to witness first-hand, that was so good I’m thinking of having a tattoo of it done. On my wife."

    These are killer lines. You are awesome... :) God bless you and ur wife :)

  • nishant nadda on March 29, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    ds is masterpiece andy....apendicectomy of unanaethised snake dat 2 by blind grandmom...haa..gr8

  • Hardly Matters on March 29, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    I wish you were a commentator too Andy...

  • cricketer on March 29, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Excellent article keep writing those!

  • Rajesh on March 29, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    This is probably the funniest article by Andy and I have read few of his articles. Some of the ideas are really original "like a blind grandmother trying to do an appendectomy on an unanaesthetised snake" News bulletin with humour. Keep it up

  • sanjay on March 29, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    Nice read, however, when compared to the masterpiece of Kohli/Gambhir from a few days back, this tries too hard to please without actually getting there.

  • Sa on March 29, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    This article is a laugh riot - first word to the last. Cannot wait to read the semi-final reviews

  • Sudip on March 29, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    Andy, man, you are quite funny for an Englishman!

  • Varun on March 29, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    Andy, Brilliant as usual!! Man, you're funny!!!

  • Yash Ranade on March 29, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    'and New Zealand serving South Africa an unboned sardine sandwich, the Proteas not chewing it properly, with the quadrennially inevitable results.'!!

    There have been several tweets, facebook statuses on the reaffirmation of the 'c' tag by SA.. But Zaltzman surpasses all of them put together! You Rock, Andy!

  • KingKashi on March 29, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Amazing, especially exchange of Gavasker and Miandad, and rights of Shoaib and Sania! Really Funny!!

  • rk on March 29, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    haha hilarious mate.. is that true what thuranga and vettori said? :)

  • Randheer on March 29, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    I'm looking to enter the field of Sport journalism, although football is my primary interest, you really awakened the possibility of expanding into cricket as well. Keep up the good work. This article was a delight

  • Randheer on March 29, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    Hilarious ! Even for an Englishman ! Especially loved the part about tattooing yuvraj's cover drive onto the wifey. Genius

  • Zalfi on March 29, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    Andy ,

    You are hilarious . So Funny.

  • Point on March 29, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    Priceless analysis.

  • dmqi on March 29, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    Yoe are again way off. The result of India-pak game will be much closer. 20-30 runs or 2-3 wickets, 50:50 chance for both.

  • Ashutosh on March 29, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    SUperb article...very well written.. This lifted my spirits up and took some pressure off me and alleviated the tension before India vs Pak and other things... Was having a bad day till now.. Now this has lightened my mood... Thank you Mr. Zlatzman

  • Paresh on March 29, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Beautiful article Mr Zman. Keep writing! With England's foreign players policy you may get chance in English team for being Lithuanian.:-)

  • Vj on March 29, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    'got more spinning options than a top-of-the-range washing machine' - u certainly got me ROTFL.

  • Fahad on March 29, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    lol.....

  • Gajanan on March 29, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Ohhh Andy man.. you saying India winning this match sent shivers down my spine.. I havn't forgot your prediction on SA/NZ game and what it did for SA.. I wish and I pray this time your prediction does not bring in that 'luck' for India...otherwise nice piece of nonsense as you would say.. ;)

  • Nikhil S on March 29, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    Hi Andy

    It's a treat reading your articles. LOl ! One more addition to your great set. I recommend you publish this into a book (of course with more wisdom inflected thoughts!). He played one cover drive in his Chennai hundred against West Indies, which I was lucky enough to witness first-hand, that was so good I’m thinking of having a tattoo of it done. How do you come up with these?

  • Harsh on March 29, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    It is Andy's headlines which has made the Rain God Angry. "Is there a game in Mohali on Wednesday?" - Now it is all Andy's fault.

  • Kris on March 29, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    I don't usually comment about articles on CricInfo...but I had to make an exception in this case, as this is one of the funniest pieces I've read in a long time. Andy's managed to turn it on just in time for the big game...Just Brilliant...Well done!

  • 3D on March 29, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    Good One!

  • Ayub on March 29, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Wow wow.... Pak india break the boundries....i think if captain younis khan the result in fever of pak Mr afridi can't say any thing...

  • Shaz on March 29, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Hey Andy, that was once again an awesome Podcast!

  • Sudhin on March 29, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    "They’ve got more spinning options than a top-of-the-range washing machine, and their openers keep on both scoring hundreds in the same game" Couldn't control my laughter at this point. Love reading your articles, man Whacky sense of humour.

  • Venky on March 29, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Awesome!!! Couldn't stop laughing..!!! \m/

  • Sunil Srinivasan on March 29, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    You were bang on for the first semi-final. As a Indian fan, I just hope your prediction comes true for the second semi-final as well.

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    "ceremonial handover of ex-cricketers" LOLzzz.....

  • hemant on March 29, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    ROFL!!Man the thing about a six on the ground being six more than the one hit on PS was awesome.eagerly waiting for the sf results;)

  • Mr_from_Virginia on March 29, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    extremely funny!

  • Muru Subbu on March 29, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Oh, man! Andy's first prediction went well with SL winning the semis. May god bless his second prediction as well :-) IND to win comfortably...Cheers.

  • Indifferent Me on March 29, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Shuper Shtuff...:)

  • Madhavan S on March 29, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    LOL Good one Andy !!! ... especially love this one ... "The leaders also announced that, as a consolation prize, whichever nation loses the semi-final will get to keep both of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza." The best ...

  • shoaib on March 29, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    buhaahhaha!!! hilarious!!!

  • Abhi on March 29, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    "whichever nation loses the semi-final will get to keep both of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza"

    Thats super funny.

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Couldn't even finish reading your article and all i can say is, You should not be allowed to write here..

  • Jitendra on March 29, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    Long live Andy and fun and vice versa, let us cherish and enjoy these crazy moments we are blessed with .... thanks Andy, you are a genius

  • EMCEEE on March 29, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    India and Pakistan will struggle from the word go. India will bat first and after every five / ten overs fortunes will fluctuate like a roller coaster. It would be extremely difficult to predict at the end of the first Innings. Pakistan will start with a bang but will slow down suddenly. Suspense will spread like wild fire .Therefore those suffering from any minor/ major disease are recommended to switch off their TV SETS/RADIO and refrain from logging on to their PC. This would save them from serious physical or mental disability.

    However in the end India will win the S/F through some controversial decision.

    Regards - EMCEEE

  • RR on March 29, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    LMFAO "it was in fact Gavaskar who faced Chetan Sharma’s last-ball full-toss in Sharjah in 1986. He tucked it neatly into the leg side for a single, and India have now won the Australasia Cup. ". and how true.

  • Shailendra Rao on March 29, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Andy Zaltsman is becoming rather boring and dull nowadays.. no humour, just a garbled mix of words and supposed wisecracks.. DISLIKE!

  • Abhishek Prakash on March 29, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    Great article with fantastic humour. Good work!

  • Ali Farooqui on March 29, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Is there a game in Mohali? ohh Andy you are bordering on blasphemy now!

  • TRex on March 29, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Can somebody ask Zaltzman why he keeps bringing 1947 up? He did that in one of his interviews on Cricinfo. He needs to be reminded that Gen X and Gen Y of India don't give a damn about Britain any more and there is no point in riling them up. It's not funny. He will lose his big fan base in India.

  • Sajith on March 29, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    I am ready to watch you play in the 2012 T20 World Cup as captain Zaltz! Le Mr.Bhogle accompany you (he definitely can't replace Sachin's spot as he is predicted to play tll 2120 by you) and captain India!

  • Swami on March 29, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Great sense of humor and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • Hmm on March 29, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    hmm... not that funny.

  • Saad on March 29, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    Greatest Discovery in this world cup for me : Mr. Andy Zaltzman

  • Khurram on March 29, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Mr. Zaltzman may I ask your prediction for tommorows semi final between Pakistan and India?

  • Mohamed Khan on March 29, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    There will also be an exchange of K Akmal and R Jadeja as a token of friendship.

  • Shashi on March 29, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    This is the first time I am reading AZ's, I must say am impressed. Specially the way you add humor to the facts... Coming to Semifinals#2 on Wednesday - its India all the way!!! Also, I feel its a strategic move to involve the political bodies into the game to make sure the game gets the highest level of security possible, which it rightly deserves... All Big shot of both the nations decides to be at the safest place on earth during this game :) Best of luck Team India!!!

  • asim ghaffar on March 29, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    g8 post.. lol @ SL playing charity match :D

  • Satyaki Datta on March 29, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    "A hundred runs in his last World Cup match as captain. A hundred runs in his last Ashes series as captain. A nice symmetry." - brilliant wit...made my day.

  • muhammad ghaffar aziz on March 29, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    INSHALLAH PAKISTAN WILL WIN

  • suraish gupta on March 29, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    the team who play well will win

  • Aby on March 29, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Hilarious Andy...as usual... whichever nation loses the semi-final will get to keep both of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza as a consolation Prize.... Superb....

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Incoherent mumbling

  • Cellu on March 29, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    "On Wednesday here in Mohali, there is the second semi-final, between, er, um, ach, who is it again, er… hardly anyone round here has been talking about it."

    For all the hype surrounding THE GREAT MATCH of 30th, the above is indeed brilliant! Hahahaha...

  • Ace on March 29, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Loved it Andy x)Awaiting your next blog after Pak's win in the semi-finals :P

  • rash on March 29, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    hahaha! hilarious andy!

  • Kunal ravi singh on March 29, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Two words.... Absolutely brilliant!!

  • Muggle Boy on March 29, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    Wicked! LMAO.

  • Shanto on March 29, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    realistic and witty

  • balaji on March 29, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    New Zealand serving South Africa an unboned sardine sandwich, the Proteas not chewing it properly, with the quadrennially inevitable results.

    Just loved the way you have put it without using the c word, hilarious, your mastery of the English language never seizes to amaze me.

  • Sathya on March 29, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    I have to admit that this is the most horrible'st cricket article I have ever read. My sincere advise to MR. Andy Zaltzman, pls stop writing cricket articles. Many thanks

  • rupasree on March 29, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Andy- Greetings from Hampshire. Good piece of work- keep it up. What is your take on how the quarter finalists were stacked up against each other based on their group standings? What if the rules were different in which perhaps teams with equal group standing played against each other?

  • Sathish Umapathy on March 29, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    This is hilarious. Well done!!!

  • Foxswoop on March 29, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Andy Andy Andy Oi Oi Oi!!! Sorry I thought you were Australian for a minute.

    What an insightful preview of the semi finals. Now that I know all the facts as presented by easily the most knowledgeable Englishman in India (now that Tim Bresnan has left), I tip Lithuania to win the final.

  • VS on March 29, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Andy Zee, Man your columns are addictive. Super ... one suggestion why just WC or Cricket ,your take on Politics -swapping of jobs for Priminister ..wiki leaks .. you keeping track of all.. venture out of WC ,politics,Life Style, even Horticultre .. I will read for sure.

  • Jaufer on March 29, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Another Brilliant work. Keep it up.

  • JV16 on March 29, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Andy, Salute you mate, what a genuine sense of humour. Can I have your stand up comedy bit , on this site (if they allow it)

    Keep the humour flowing

    cheers

  • Asad on March 29, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    haha...i love your writing skills...fantastic...

  • blrcric on March 29, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    The leaders also announced that, as a consolation prize, whichever nation loses the semi-final will get to keep both of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. There will also be a ceremonial handover of ex-cricketers. India will donate Sunil Gavaskar to Pakistan – he becomes Pakistan’s all-time top Test run-scorer – whilst India will receive Javed Miandad. This also means that it was in fact Gavaskar who faced Chetan Sharma’s last-ball full-toss in Sharjah in 1986. He tucked it neatly into the leg side for a single, and India have now won the Australasia Cup.And finally, the two countries’ champion 1980s allrounders will be surgically cut in half and re-merged to form Imran Dev and Kapil Khan. - this part was the best part...

  • Kalana on March 29, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    BEAUTIFUL!!! awesome work...nice one Andy!!!

  • Sanyog on March 29, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Hilarious.. and if you ask me it was quite over and above the wall...., on the wall its still ok , the players aren't so bad. I expect delirious, should be the games (but not like the show to of Eddie Murphy with tons of --- and ---)

  • Daison Garvasis on March 29, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    "This had everything - good batting, good bowling, good fielding (some of it even by India; it must have been an important game)"- Haaaa, cant stop laughing man. Real fun reading. I wanna listen to it once I get home though...

  • Sharmil on March 29, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    In this part of the Globe, nothing gets bigger than a cricket match between Pakistan & India

  • ravi on March 29, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Amazing Mr. Zaltzman, Very nice piece of data, love reading your blogs...

  • ahmed on March 29, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Hope its not an anti-climax in mohali - batting first pakistan are all out for 163; shoaib goes for 43 in 4 and is last seen middle stump in hand chasing akmal in to the pavilion for dropping gambir twice in the 7th. india slap around the dew soaked orange to win in the 38th.

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  • ahmed on March 29, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Hope its not an anti-climax in mohali - batting first pakistan are all out for 163; shoaib goes for 43 in 4 and is last seen middle stump in hand chasing akmal in to the pavilion for dropping gambir twice in the 7th. india slap around the dew soaked orange to win in the 38th.

  • ravi on March 29, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Amazing Mr. Zaltzman, Very nice piece of data, love reading your blogs...

  • Sharmil on March 29, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    In this part of the Globe, nothing gets bigger than a cricket match between Pakistan & India

  • Daison Garvasis on March 29, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    "This had everything - good batting, good bowling, good fielding (some of it even by India; it must have been an important game)"- Haaaa, cant stop laughing man. Real fun reading. I wanna listen to it once I get home though...

  • Sanyog on March 29, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Hilarious.. and if you ask me it was quite over and above the wall...., on the wall its still ok , the players aren't so bad. I expect delirious, should be the games (but not like the show to of Eddie Murphy with tons of --- and ---)

  • Kalana on March 29, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    BEAUTIFUL!!! awesome work...nice one Andy!!!

  • blrcric on March 29, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    The leaders also announced that, as a consolation prize, whichever nation loses the semi-final will get to keep both of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. There will also be a ceremonial handover of ex-cricketers. India will donate Sunil Gavaskar to Pakistan – he becomes Pakistan’s all-time top Test run-scorer – whilst India will receive Javed Miandad. This also means that it was in fact Gavaskar who faced Chetan Sharma’s last-ball full-toss in Sharjah in 1986. He tucked it neatly into the leg side for a single, and India have now won the Australasia Cup.And finally, the two countries’ champion 1980s allrounders will be surgically cut in half and re-merged to form Imran Dev and Kapil Khan. - this part was the best part...

  • Asad on March 29, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    haha...i love your writing skills...fantastic...

  • JV16 on March 29, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Andy, Salute you mate, what a genuine sense of humour. Can I have your stand up comedy bit , on this site (if they allow it)

    Keep the humour flowing

    cheers

  • Jaufer on March 29, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Another Brilliant work. Keep it up.