Ireland v Bangladesh, Super Eights, Barbados April 15, 2007

Inspirational Ireland grow into giants



Boyd Rankin towered over Bangladesh © Getty Images

'Sir Garry' O'Brien
This is the sort of venue that has to inspire you, and the sight of the stands named after Bajan legends certainly appeared to bring out the best in Kevin O'Brien. We already knew that he could give the ball a bit of humpty, but there was still more than the odd gasp of awe when he swatted an Abdur Razzak delivery on to the roof of the pavilion named after Garfield Sobers.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Size-wise, it was the most unequal of contests. Aftab Ahmed, all 5ft 2in of him, up against the towering Boyd Rankin, who is a foot-and-half taller. But size isn't everything, and Aftab had his moment with one terrific six over long-on. Sadly for Bangladesh, David didn't stick around long enough to fell Goliath.

Comebacks are made of these
Missing for the last two games with a hamstring problem, Andrè Botha announced his return with a first-ball wicket. Aftab had a nibble, Niall O'Brien showed good hands, and the allrounder with South African roots had another Kodak moment to savour years from now.

Old fox, young chick ... plucked
Tamim Iqbal likes life on the edge, and had already chanced his arm more than once against Trent Johnston. You should be wary of old foxes though, and it was Johnston who celebrated with that patented chicken dance after Tamim made an almighty hash of a yorker.

Happy Hookers and clumsy Ferrets
We're not sure how Habibul Bashar would have reacted to being called a "Happy Hooker" on air by Nasser Hussain, but he certainly seemed determined to live up to the moniker by throwing his bat across the line at every opportunity. One such pull went skyward before dropping down at deep square-leg, where Dave Langford-Smith, whose "Ferret" celebration was in evidence later in the day, made a hash of the chance. Johnston was not amused.

Grab that
Mohammad Rafique's apology for a pull appeared to be flying over Johnston at midwicket, but in keeping with his habit of pulling off stunning catches, he did an about-turn, chased the ball and took it over his shoulder. Not quite as good as the effort that sent back Kamran Akmal in Jamaica, but one for the highlights reel nonetheless.

Rocky fights again
It wasn't quite St Patrick's Day, but the best bunch of fans at this World Cup still had a party in the Barbados sun. As the Bangladesh wickets fell and their tans turned even more brick-red, a trumpet in the Greenidge and Haynes Stand started to play the theme tune from Rocky. Johnston delivered the knockout blow soon after.

Dileep Premachandran is associate editor of Cricinfo

Comments