In the Cricket World Cup at University Oval in Dunedin
Scotland 210 all out in 50 overs
Afghanistan 211/9 in 49.3 overs
Afghanistan won by 1 wicket with 3 balls to spare
This is why you have World Cups.
Two minnows of the game, players you’ve never heard of and may never again, with limited skills and neither expected to advance in the tournament, brought new eyes to the compelling drama of sport.
The plot bounced and swung, everything hanging maybe on this very next ball. Afghanistan’s run-rate slipped behind until Shenwari blasted 3 sixes off one over: and was out next ball slog-sweeping for a fourth.
The character development: in comes the Number 11 batsmen Shapoor Zadran with 19 runs needed and the Scots hovering around him, border raiders ready to swoop, smelling the winning wicket.
The rhetorical flourishes: Zadran’s run with arms spread wide as he realises he has steered the third ball of the last over to the boundary for their first ever win at a World Cup.
The themes of glory and despair, fate, luck, stamina through adversity. The driven need to risk loss in the pursuit of gain, how to win and lose gracefully, the need to put both those imposters behind you as you walk into the next chapter.
Beautiful.Embed from Getty Images