Imran Is The Tide

The waves rushed onto the beach,
The tide came, then ebbed away,
It rattled the stones on its recess,
And ‘Imran Khan’ it seemed to say.

‘Imran Khan’ as the water seeped,
Into every grain of England’s play,
‘Imran Khan’ the name, the face,
Of every session, every day.

Gower’s resistance graceful,
Botham’s was more in his way,
As Headingley was Imran Khan’s
To Headingley’s dismay.

Then England won a classic match,
That trickled to a final day,
And all who witnessed Imran Khan,
Had seen a modern master play.

The waves rushed onto the beach,
The tide came, then ebbed away,
It rattled the stones on its recess,
And ‘Imran Khan’ it seemed to say.

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Posted in 1980s, 1982, Cricket, England, Pakistan, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mohsin Is Etched

A score at Lord’s can make a career,
Your name etched forever in gold,
Mohsin was the honours board’s latest recruit,
His story the latest it told.

For Mohsin it was who took Pakistan up,
With a mixture of stroke play and power,
And Mohsin it was who resisted the English,
To the chagrin of new captain Gower.

Two hundred he made, two hundred exact,
Having been just one shy for an age,
His innings enough to give his side a lead,
On that venerable English old stage.

So England were rattled, then shocked by spin,
No novel experience that,
In both of their innings they dragged themselves through,
And at least Pakistan had to bat.

But bat they did, and win with ease,
When Miandad cracked Hemmings for four,
A win at a canter, a ten wicket win,
Against an England they’d beat once before.

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What They See

Its been a long break, I know, but I’ve been using my other blog, and focussing on contemporary county cricket amongst other things. Thought it was time to do some more here, though I’m making no promise of the rate.

They come to see Botham,
They come to see Imran,
They come in their thousands each day.

They see Botham bowling,
They see Imran hooking,
They see more of Chris Tavaré

They see Pakistan strong,
England struggle along,
Then see wickets arrive in their bunches,

They see innings collapse,
Irresponsible bats,
And the visitors rocked by those punches.

They see Gower sublime,
The blonde master of time,
They see Randall unique with the bat,

They see Willis steam in,
England cruise to a win,
But at Birmingham one expects that.

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Frome and Yeovil

You feel it coming, see it coming,
Know the little shuffle.

By then the ball is in the air,
You know that you’re in trouble.

For Botham’s not a patient man,
His arsenal is mixed,

It might go flying past your ear,
Or run down past the slips,

Brutal force and chanceless prods,
A clear annihilation,

If not the greatest in the world,
The greatest in the nation,

Two hundred runs from Botham’s bat,
Were flayed around the Oval,

His fan club now includes the world
As well as Frome and Yeovil.

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Familiar Skies

Beneath familiar ashen skies,
That gathered there to no surprise,
To any halfway pre-trained eyes,
Old Trafford played its part.

It may have been in days of rain,
As these two rivals drew again,
This summer, entertainment reigned,
And runs amassed despite.

With Botham at his burning best,
Shining bright throughout the test,
And fine support came from the rest,
Geoff Miller’s 98.

Yet India were not unskilled,
Their middle order had their fill,
The best came from Sandeep Patil,
Who made 129.

But in the end the weather won,
Its Manchester, it would have done,
Spectators saw 800 runs,
And now familiar skies.

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Not India’s Day

I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’ve been somewhat preoccupied by the Nidahas Trophy recently, which came to a conclusion yesterday. This is the first deviation from test matches on here. It may be the last, it may not

You’ll never see a game as tight,
As Colombo on Sunday night,
Where underneath the fading light,
The Nidihas Trophy came alight.

It blazed as Sabbir Rahman played,
And India were cruelly flayed,
And simmered – Mahmudullah stayed,
For all the twenty runs he made,

So Bangladesh could set a score,
Unlike the meetings gone before,
They had a chance, if nothing more,
At India, the Tigers roared!

But Sharma flew out of the blocks,
A thrilling shot-a-minute knock,
The Bangladeshi bowling rocked,
But hardly, one would say, a shock.

Rahul and Pandey got a few,
They’re India, its what they do,
A run machine in vibrant blue,
But Bangladesh were pressing too,

Over 18 – in case you forgot,
Mustafizur to Shankar, ball one dot,
The Indian could simply not,
Mustafizur to Shankar, ball two dot,
Put bat on ball with any shot,
Mustafizur to Shankar, ball three dot,
Each one fizzed passed him in the slot,
Mustafizur to Shankar, ball four dot.
The next one came a little high,
Mustafizur to Shankar, one leg bye.
Pandey swings at the last one,
Picks out Sabbir, who’s at long on.

Dinesh kept India in the mix,
With alternating biffs and flicks,
Until they had one ball – for six,
Not India’s day, Dinesh Karthik’s.

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Bring Me Pringle

Bring me Pringle,
With the ball,
Bring me Botham,
Bring him all,
Here at Lord’s where we play,
There should be some extra bounce,
So you might get them out,
And not have to bat tomorrow,
That would help them, winning games,
Though tame collapses, would do the same,
Kapil Dev had some fun,
In spite of the follow-on,
Bring me Cook, bring me Gower, bring me Allan Lamb!
Bring me Bob, bring me Randall, bring me Lamb!

John Woodcock of the Times described England’s 10th wicket pair of Allott and Willis as being ‘not Morecambe and Wise’.

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