Those of us who've been watching England for many years are all too familiar with batting collapses, but the one which Ireland induced from Zimbabwe was a classic of its kind, reminiscent, I suppose, of England in Adelaide in January or even of Andrew Flintoff falling out of a Pedalo at four o'clock in the morning.

I watched it live, and there was an inevitability and even a sadness about it. Ireland the confident underdogs, products of a stable, economically burgeoning country, Zimbabwe their supposed superiors but wracked with fear. Fear of defeat, sure, but also the type of fear which comes from trying to function in a society that's been falling apart under the hand of Mugabe since...oh, since well before the likes of the Flower and Strang brothers, Murray Goodwin, Neil Johnson, Heath Streak and Tatendu Taibu graced a side which would once have eased to victory over Ireland like a Sachin Tendulkar on-drive.

There are many worse things in life than defeat (or even tieing a game you should have won easily) on a cricket field.

Living in Zimbabwe is one of them.

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