Did you see the Irish cricket team win a draw against Zimbabwe in the Cricket World Cup? Probably not. But weren't they great? It was their debut on the world stage, and batsman Jeremy Bray scored 115 (not out), a terrific achievement, and the team notched up an overall run total of 221. The boys in green then went on to give Zimbabwe an almighty fright, and could have won the game, against all odds.
In the final ball of the game, Zimbabwe needed only one run to win it, but Ireland bowled them out, and the game was tied. I never thought a cricket game would make my heart race. At the ground, the Irish supporters danced a merry jig to celebrate the draw. It's taken me about ten years to understand and appreciate cricket, but now I'm completely sucked in.
Plenty of oxymorons and ironies in the above paragraph. 'Irish cricket' Eh? 'Win a draw?' 'Celebrating a draw?' Believe it. It was genuinely thrilling to see the Irish lads push the Zimbabwe team to the end, and the shared result was definitely the right one. There's been talk this week of scrapping 'draws' for football games but this is ludicrous, and possibly trying to pander to the American style of victory and excitement. Phill's got a few interesting things to say on that matter over on his blog.
Anyway, the Irish cricket boys are playing Pakistan today, who didn't get off to a good start against the West Indies, so who knows, there might be a serious upset on the cards. A bit closer to home, the Irish rugby team are playing Italy in the final day of the Six Nations. Ireland could win the championship (although they threw away the chance of a Grand Slam, shame). So, come on boys. You messed up against the French but did brilliantly against the English (what an emotional game that was!) so you can put the championship to rest today.
Whatever the outcome in sport, and whatever you're doing today, remember, it's a good day to be Irish. In fact, everybody is Irish on St Patrick's Day. If we win in the cricket AND the rugby, prepare to raise a glass or two and drown the shamrock in style.