We take cricket so seriously on Daily Maverick that we’ve given our cricket writer Saturday off and decided to all club together to pick our favourites for the final of the Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Sunday. By DAILY MAVERICK STAFF REPORTER.
It doesn’t feel like it, but the Champions Trophy is almost over – it will be laid to rest at Edgbaston in Birmingham – in a watery grave which will give England its best chance of “winning” limited overs silverware.
Here at Daily Maverick, we take sport seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we’ve given our sports writers Saturday off from writing a preview and have instead all pulled together to pick our winners for the final between England and India.
Sensational sub Marelise van der Merwe was first to respond. Despite only subbing the odd bit of sports copy, she’s never one to shy away from a challenge.
“I say this with the disclaimer that I know about as much about cricket as I do about woolly mammoths,” she said. “That is, not very much, but I am betting on India because in my most humble opinion, England has had a few moments to answer for in the last while and India has been strong. Don’t quote me, though – I’m a sporting ignoramus.”
With a vowel deficient surname, the esteemed leader of the pack kept things as short as his name and simply replied: England.
Not hiding her bias, Khadija Patel was on the side of MS Dhoni’s men: India. “No Poms please,” she said, “we’re South African.
Brooks Spector, in his delightful Americanness, obliged by doing his best Nick Knight impersonation.
“I know less about cricket than I do rugby or soccer, but I will way out on a limb and predict the winner to be either India or England. Since it takes days to come to decision, we will all have fallen asleep by then anyway,” said Brooks.
A man of many letters, just like his surname, Styli Charalambous was firmly behind his European brothers.
“You know how you get an Indian summer? Well, in the midst of a proper ‘cucumber sandwich and tweed jacket’ summer, temperatures have struggled, along with Proteas top order, to reach double figures. For the Indians, it will be a case of literally freezing on the big stage, and succumbing to frostbite, whilst the Poms bask in what they term glorious sunshine. Expect the hordes of Indian fans to nullify the homeground advantage, but I expect an English victory that will emulate 1966 World Cup victory celebrations and the media proclamation of Jimmy Anderson and Jonathan Trott as the greatest ODI player to have played the game. Oh yes, I can’t wait for an English victory.”
Last, but not least, Ken Borland was far more comprehensive and boldly went where few sports writers dared to go – a proper, detailed prediction:
“I have consulted The Oracle (he’s a bookie in Mumbai) and this is what will happen,” he said.
“The toss will once again be crucial and England will struggle to a painfully slow start – 40-2 after 13 overs.
“There will be a good 3rd wicket stand of 93, but England will still struggle to 211 in their 50 overs.
“India will make a blazing start in contrast, the openers putting on 129 in 27 overs and, although England will fight back with some wickets, the game will be done & dusted, India to win by four wickets in the 49th over.”
The rest of the team opted to retire not out and not embarrass themselves any further. It’s a case of dashing against dogged and dodgy ball shining, it’s the tale of flamboyant batsmen and brilliant moustaches to balding bores and shaky middle orders. It’s probably one of the most evenly matched up finals there has been in a while and, if the rain stays away for long enough, it should be one heck of a day out in Birmingham – words we guarantee you’ll never hear again. DM
Photo: India’s Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot during their ICC Champions Trophy final match against England at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, central England, June 23, 2013.
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