Saturday, November 11, 2006
PM triumphs despite silly hat
The Prime Minister's XI "proudly supported by Canberra Investment Corporation and the Guinness Peat Group" convincingly defeated an England XI in the traditional (so traditional that the players wear white and use a red ball) one day fixture in Canberra. The margin of victory (or defeat, depending on your allegiance) was such as to generate much vaunting and puffing up among the Australian , and much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the English media.
The PM himself clearly relished the occasion as this photo of him with, in a rare public appearance, the Queen's representative here, shows. Matt Price's accompanying comments are great , though he's drawing a long bow to compare Phil Jaques with Malcolm Turnbull (has Turnbull ever dropped as many catches as Jaques did in last week's SA - NSW match?).
On the English side, .Alan Lee of The Times describes England's performance as "woeful", and Derek Pringle in the Telegraph
describes it as "execrable", and even when he tries to encourage players the best he can do is to damn with faint praise:
In his first competitive cricket for a year, Ashley Giles was not disgraced after taking one for 53 off eight overs, five more than his spin rival, Monty Panesar. Giles' new action, with its slow, deliberate walk to the wicket, seems to hold little mystery, however, with Phil Jaques and Travis Birt hitting him where they pleased.
That said the game was played between one team whose members had some recent competitive match practice under their belts and another which, according to The Australian, have been enjoying a celebrity lifestyle since they arrived. Apparently they didn't even have to queue for U2 concert tickets: what would Alec Bedser say about this?
The two star performers for the PM 's team - Jaques and Tait - are both liabilities in the field: in last week's SA v NSW match I saw Jaques put down three in the slips while Tait (who admittedly bowled well) missed a ballooning sitter at deep backward square leg at a crucial stage. He also can't throw from the boundary to the wicketkeeper. To put it another way, Australia has two potential Panesars. Barmy Army take note.