Monday, September 24, 2007

there is nothing in sports journalism more delicious than reading cricket news when you know hardly anything about cricket

Actual paragraph, encountered just now:
The architects of the Indian triumph were the two left-armers, Rudra Pratap Singh and Irfan Pathan, both of whom scalped three wickets to scupper the chase. Singh struck in both his opening overs, having Mohammad Hafeez caught at slip and knocking Kamran Akmal's off stump out of the ground, but Imran Nazir played a blinder at the other end to keep his side ahead of the asking rate.
Left-armer! Wicket-scalper! Chase-scupperer! Slip-catcher! Stump-knocker! Blinder-player! Ahead-of-the-asking-rate-keeper!


Kieran said...

It's easy. Repeat after me: Bally Jerry copped a packet, right in the how's your father ...

Listening to cricket on the radio (the BBC) is entertaining for similar reasons, and because cricket is so slow-moving.

Jay Livingston said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. And to prove Kieran right, here's something from the BBC from last March. I think I found it on the Language Log. Never having been caught in the slips for a duck myself, I can only imagine what if feels like.

* * * *

The first opportunity for Irish celebration came when Dave Langford-Smith bowled a peach of a delivery at Mohammad Hafeez in the first over, which the batsman edged behind. When Boyd Rankin then had Younis Khan caught in the slips for a duck, the Test nation had to rebuild from 15-2.

The bowler dug a couple in, and both Akmal and Azhar Mahmood spooned catches to Johnston at mid-wicket.

After Mohammad Sami and Iftikhar had added a gutsy 25 for the ninth wicket, spinner McCallan took the last two wickets as wild slogs were held in the deep. Pakistan had been bowled out for 132 in the 46th over.

The wicket was still providing assistance for the bowlers when Ireland batted. Jeremy Bray, the hero against Zimbabwe, was ajudged lbw to Sami, who also trapped Morgan the same way to make it 15-2.

Then Hafeez's arm ball produced the third wicket, Porterfield playing on to his stumps. But O'Brien took a liking to the off-spinner, cutting and driving for precious boundaries and Pakistan were toiling again. Suddenly, Inzamam's men were given a lift when umpire Brian Jerling, who had already made some strange decisions, elected to give Botha out caught at short leg.

At this stage, the overs were not an issue, but the ever-decreasing light was. Kevin O'Brien and skipper Johnston eked out the singles, before a Johnston square cut for four and some Pakistan wides finally eased the tension. Finally, Johnston freed his arms and slammed Mahmood into the stands at long-on. The party could begin.

Dave said...

Take it from me, it doesn't feel good...though no doubt the slip-catcher felt ecstatic!

Jay Livingston said...

Worse even than being trapped lbw, I'd guess. But it's those wild slogs in the deep that really have me worried.

jimi said...

This was the basis of an episode of one of my favorite TV shows - Sports Night, which unfortunately only ran for two seasons because Aaron Sorkin happened to be writing the second season of it at the same time he was doing the first season of West Wing.

TDEC said...

Cricket has some of the most fascinating jargon. I used to listen to the reports randomly when I was in the UK, just to enjoy the language - but then one day I caught myself actually understanding what they were talking about. That's how I got hooked on snooker, that other British obscurity.
John Parrott saying things like His sister couldn't have kissed it better

Evan Roberts said...

Cricket is not a British obscurity. It's more of a world sport than baseball, and certainly no more jargon-ridden.