I knew things were about to go boss-eyed around 11:30, that's when I received a text from my brother: Rain! A snag, yes, but who knew the final would culminate in such a fiasco. Even if, in a perverse way, it served to cap the debacle that was WC2007. It was bloody funny, too. The great pity is that it turned what should have been Gilchrist's Match into an embarrassing joke.
Nor were the omens auspicious. Sam Newman didn't think we would win the World Cup because it is rigged against us. Tim Lane wrote that it would be better if the Shrees won, but he was probably having an off day given he also compared cricket to the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games. The Demons got belted - again. And I had a chronic guts ache, so last night I wasn't able to do a mozz post. It was this, and not so much the guts ache, which played on my mind all night. Those of you uneducated in the way of the mozz will think I'm mad, those of you savvy in these matters know exactly where I'm coming from.
TEEM OF OFFICIALS
Morgan, Alarm, Bowfingers and Rudy have given us plenty of grief. To be fair, they've also given us a pretty good recent run. Naturally, as soon as you give them the benefit of the doubt they bite you as they joined with Jeff Crowe to make a complete balls up of this morning's light business yesterday night.
The Aussies are the better side, but the match-ups suggested we might struggle if the Shrees got amongst our top order exposing Shameless and Sideshow to Murali. Not sure if Hussey has ever faced him, not sure if he's faced anyone lately, and Roy bombed in 2004. Clarke would have had minimal exposure, too. Thankfully, Gilly saved his best for the final.
Twenty-three wins on the trot was hanging over our head with Damoclean menace; surely we had to lose sometime.
Punter may have been tempted to bowl when he won the toss. Rain, sweaty covers, greeny top. But we know he's never again going to put the other side in.
DO THE DUCKYLOO
Then, just when you thought things were about to arrive at their loonnng-awaited conclusion, God chucked in a 24'', chrome-vanadium, adjustable spanner (with Advanced TorquePlus Fastening!) - it was raining and the match revisited the 2003 final.
Really, though, if we'd lost it would have been a rank injustice, or Sammy Newman was onto something and not just being paranoid.
Going by orthodox wisdom Australia are gawn. Haven't won in ages, injuries galore, bowlers couldn't hit the front of a sightscreen, can't defend, fielding is sloppy, Yarprica on a roll, Engerland full of confidence, Un Zud hooped on cock. It all adds up to a combination of crisis, panic stations, disarray, trouble AND strife.
To listen to the pundits' flack you'd think Australia had lost each match by an innings. Geese. Australia have merely refused to show their hand through a tedious series of slightly strenuous practice matches in which key players have been rested and possibles trialled, thus lulling their too-quick-to-gloat adversaries into a lethal trap. Come in spinners.
Did no one see the smiles on the Aussie faces as the Kiwis went the tonk in the Chadlee? Sure, they would have liked to win, who doesn't. But did they really care? Is the Pope a German. I mean, who can take Craig McMillan seriously when it matters? Those were the cheery - and not even slightly embarrassed - smiles of sportsmen quietly confident their plans were about to bear fruition.
It will be satisfying indeed when Sorth Efrica shit themselves in the semi final; NZ have their usual overexpectations deflated by an outsider; and England fail to get out of the group stage, dudded by too many reverse sweeps.
Never. In. Doubt.