The cricket World Cups - both the 50-over and Twenty20 kinds - have this ridiculous fetish for creating nationalistic fervour wherein first the national flags are paraded with Conquest of Paradise playing full blast, and then the national anthems are belted out. Sometimes, as it happened with South Africa, the anthems are rendered poorly, and cut midway. It was good to see then that Ireland sent out not their national flag, but the Cricket Ireland one.
Was it planned? After Bangladesh got off to a flying start, John Mooney brought some sanity by taking the pace off the ball. The turning point came when he bowled down the leg side, close enough to Imrul Kayes to invite a flick, but wide enough to miss his bat. And Niall O'Brien was sensational behind the stumps. It needed just a brief moment of overbalancing from Kayes, and the bails were off.
In the ninth over of the Bangladesh innings, Junaid Siddique tried to steal a single to mid-off, and Ed Joyce ran in sharply and hit the stumps with an underarm flick. His immediate reaction was to shake his head; it seemed the batsman was in. Nevertheless the third umpire was called up. The first replay seemed to suggest Joyce's instinct was correct. The fielders went back to their marks. The TV umpire, though, slowed it down real nice, and the later replays found the bat just short. At that moment, the crowd was cheering, the fielders were at the boundary. Suddenly they ran in, suddenly the crowd was stunned.
It was like Christmas had arrived already. Boyd Rankin, looking the least effective of the Irish bowlers, bowled short and wide often. This one time, though, Shakib Al Hasan thought of a return gift, and cut it straight to point. William Porterfield, the other captain on the field, showed more generosity, dropping a sitter by Irish standards. Then again, when it comes to generosity, the hosts should have the final say in the subcontinent. In the next over, Shakib went hard at a short ball again, offering Andre Botha a return catch.
The PA man at the Shere Bangla Stadium must think that Coldplay are an Irish band, for every time Ireland took a wicket, all you could hear was the same Coldplay song repeated over and over again. When Tamim Iqbal fell to a forgettable shot after a threatening 44, Viva La Vida became the poignant moment of the day. "… And that was when I ruled the world."
Well now that the UDRS is upon us to save the world from bad decisions, how about some common sense? In the 47th over of Bangladesh's innings, umpire Rod Tucker ruled Abdur Razzak out lbw, but the batsman successfully challenged the decision. The confusion starts here, though. The ball had gone for what would have been four leg-byes fine of a square third man, who would have had little chance of fielding it had the on-field umpire not given the batsman out. However, those leg-byes didn't count, but the ball did. And the rule clearly states so too. However, it is a departure from the tennis model, which the UDRS advocates often bring up. In similar situations in tennis, the point is replayed. Those four runs could still go on to become crucial if this is a tight chase.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo