Our friend Pauline, having read yesterday’s post about Wimbledon tennis wondered whether I could repeat the performance with today’s men’s World Cricket Cup final between England and New Zealand. The title is a quotation from one of the commentators of a game which served up the most amazing finish.
I will try to explain the support in general, using this specific match as a vehicle. In the two images above we see the browner stretch of 22 yards between two sets of wickets which the batsmen must protect from the bowlers. In the second picture the batsman has hit the ball into the field. It is the task of fielders to catch or to stop the ball, while the batsmen run between the wickets to score runs. The two men in red shirts are the umpires whose task is to adjudicate on the play and interpret the rules. English players are in blue, while the New Zealanders are wearing black. Most people will understand that the cricket ball is red. In this version of the game it is white.
Around the perimeter is the boundary, which the ball in this image is about to reach, thereby scoring four runs. When the ball is hit over the ropes without bouncing the reward is six runs.
Behind the stumps stands the wicket keeper whose task is to stop the ball after it has passed the stumps. He may also catch the batsman out, or, if he is out of his ground – having crossed the white line in front of him – to stump him by breaking the wicket with the ball.
In this sequence the bowler has sent the ball past both batsman and wicket and the keeper has demonstrated great agility in catching it.
For a bowler the most satisfying dismissal of a batsman is to hit the stumps, or bowl him.
Another method is for the ball to strike the batsman’s pads on its way to certainly hitting the stumps. There are complicated rules about this.
Here are some batsmen in action. With balls often coming at them at 90 m.p.h. they all now wear protective masks,
and often need to take evasive action,
sometimes losing their footing.
Here we have some bowlers in action, their expressions betraying their feelings. The last image in this set demonstrates that some part of the bowler’s front foot must be behind the white line when he delivers the ball.
Fielding has become more important in recent years. Running, diving, catching, throwing to the wicket keeper, are all parts of the art. The last four images show a fielder taking a catch on the boundary. Because his feet touched the ropes the catch was disallowed and the shot counted for six runs.
One unpopular method of being dismissed is the run out. When running between the wickets a batsman must cross the white line. Here, a desperate dash was employed.
Here the batsman failed to ground his bat and was given out;
and this was the run out that, with the last of the extra six balls bowled to decide the otherwise tied match, decided the game, much in the manner of football’s penalty shoot out.
The spectators representing all corners of the globe were transfixed.
This evening Jackie produced a dinner of her own ratatouille, piri-piri chicken, and Lyonnaise potatoes, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Doom Bar.