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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

South Africa win T3 as tempers flare

South Africa 349 (A Prince 78*,AB de Villiers 73, Smith 70, S Benn 6/81) & 3/49 def West Indies 231 (D Bravo 61, J Botha 4/56) & 161 (S Chanderpaul 71*) by 7 wickets. T#3/3 at Bridgetown, Barbados. South Africa won series 2-0.

In the end South Africa won comfortably a Test which was increasingly acrimoniously contested.

The pitch which, unlike that in the drawn preceding T#2, gave some help to the bowlers. West Indies, who were forced to include an inexperienced quick bowler Brandon Bess for his debut, relied too much on their veterans.

Only Dwayne Bravo and Shiv Chanderpaul with the bat and Sulieman Benn with the ball kept West Indies from an even bigger trouncing. As for all the badmouthing, spitting etc I'll only say that even watching the last day's highlights on TV left a bitter taste in my mouth.


Proteas win as tempers flare - Cricket - Fox Sports

Monday, June 28, 2010

England scrape home in ODI#3 after Australia fight back

England 9/214 (49.1 ov, A Strauss 87) def Australia 212 (46 ov, S Watson 61, G Swann 4/37) by 1 wicket (with 5 balls remaining) ODI#3/5 at Old Trafford Manchester. England lead series 3-0.

Australia started well: Shane Watson and Tim Paine put on 75 before the first wicket fell. Ricky Ponting was stumped off Graham Swann (an unusual mode dismissal for Ricky) , then it was downhill most of the way.

212 was never going to be enough on a good wicket and so it turned out....just. England were motoring along nicely at 3/185 when Steven Smith had Eoin Morgan caught at mid wicket. Then at 189 Ryan Harris had the innings backbone Andrew Strauss caught behind for 87/121 b (8x4). A run later Smith removed Luke Wright for 0: 6/190. Then Doug Bollinger and eleventh hour inclusion Shaun Tait returned, took three more wickets between them (Bollinger two beaut yorkers) leaving England to get 10 from 2 overs and Australia in the box seat.

There was a problem, though: Bollinger (10-3-20-3) and Tait (10-1-28-3) had been bowled out. So Harris bowled over 49 and conceded 7 runs while James Hopes who Ponting perhaps unwisely preferred to Smith (yes I know it's easy to be wise after the event), bowled not his first poor ball of the innings which Tim Bresnan edged (guided?) for four and a victory.

Oh, and a 3-0 series lead to England with two to play.


Fox Sports report with link to video.

Friday, June 25, 2010

England win comfortably...too comfortably for Australian tastes

England 6/243 (45.2 ov, E Morgan 52, A Strauss 51) def Australia 7/239 (50 ov,C White 86*, S Watson 57,S Broad 4/44) by 4 wickets: ODI #2/5 at Cardiff. England lead 2-0.

Once Tim Paine, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were dismissed for 77 after 17 overs it was uphill all the way for Australia. Well as Cameron White 86*/98b (2x6, 7x4) and Shane Watson 57/59b (8x4) batted 239 wasn't likely to cause England much grief against a middling Australian attack.

None of the bowlers could stop, and only Doug Bollinger did much to slow, England's progression to victory. Eion Morgan once again looked just right for this format: perhaps the England equivalent of White, though with more support fom his teammates.

All this doesn't augur well for the Aussies, though one must hope that, despite a touch of fallibility outside the off stump and against the quick ball creeping into his batting of late, Ponting's next big score isn't too far away. (He did take a great catch - see video link).


Fox Sports report & link to video

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

England etc flair trumps Aust competence

England 6/268 (46 ov, E Morgan 103*) def Australia 7/267 (50 ov, M Clarke 87*) by 4 wickets: ODI#1 at Rose Bowl Southampton.

I watched the beginning and the end of the match on TV. When I retired Australia looked to be building a handy score. When I rose early in the morning Channel 9 had stopped its telecast, though Fox Sports hadn't, so I was able to see the England team with former Ireland international Eoin Morgan (103*) surge to a comfortable victory and a 1-0 series lead .


Update 25 June

Fox Sports video

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rusty Australia struggle to beat Ireland

Australia 231 for 9 (T Paine 81) beat Ireland 192 (J Hopes 5-14) by 39 runs, one off ODI at Dublin

It should have been a comfortable reintroduction to cricket for the Australians after a few months off, but it didn't quite work out that way, despite the homely atmosphere (when did Ricky Ponting last shave before stepping onto the field?) , the absence of a third umpire, and a beer snake as long as I can recall seeing. There was TV coverage here (Foxtel relayed the Setanta live coverage and showed generous highlights at a civilised hour) so I feel able to offer some comments

While the final margin looked comfortable enough, by ODI standards Ireland didn't just roll over gracefully. Had they not lost 6/19 when they still seemed to have a slight chance the game might have lasted a bit longer but at least there was a last wicket stand with some beer match biffing to give the spectators and the Ireland team some further consolation.

Ireland rely on a few key players: their bowling is quite good, their fielding variable and their batting...OK, check the scorecard.

For Australia Tim Paine's sometimes fluent sometimes laboured 81/122 (5x4, 2x6) underpinned a reasonable if below par total. But it was of course James Hopes' 5/14 from 9 overs which settled the issue (and probably a few Australian stomachs).

The ODI series v England begins in a few days... on the evidence of this match perhaps too soon for Australia's liking. There is work to be done.

Monday, June 14, 2010

South Africa crush West Indies in T#1

South Africa 352 and 4/206 def West Indies 102 and 293 by 163 runs: T1 (of 3) at Port of Spain


From what I saw on TV (a bit of live action and each day's highlights) West Indies rarely looked competitive, let alone like winning. Not a good advertisement for Test cricket, though the South Africans played extremely well.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"It's the death of one-day cricket"

Malcolm Conn in today's Australian doesn't think much of Cricket Australia's proposed changes to the limited overs games

Cricket Australia will attempt to sign the death warrant of the traditional one-day game this week by making its domestic competition another version of the booming Twenty20 game.

Terrified that 50-over cricket will be irrelevant when Australia and New Zealand host the 2015 World Cup, CA is hoping its radical new concept will be taken up internationally in the next two years.

Friday's board meeting will consider a detailed proposal to introduce a 40-over, two-innings competition at state level next season as a first step to taking it global.

"The public has been quite clear to us in its communication through extensive research and the strong message has been that we are at peril if we sit on our hands and don't listen to the public message around reviewing and refreshing the format," a CA spokesman told The Australian last night.

I'm not quite sure how this will all pan out. I don't have a problem with reducing the domestic OneDay matches to 40 overs a side (divided perhaps into 2 x 20 over sessions/segments) though I'd be disappointed to see the International version trimmed similarly.

Most first class matches around the world nowadays are of 4 days' duration (though 3 is the minimum requirement) while Test cricket days is invariably scheduled over 5 days.

It's also ironic that as Cricinfo recently reported

In its quest to maintain India's No.1 Test ranking the BCCI has sent a proposal to Cricket Australia to convert the seven-match ODI series in October to two Tests and three ODIs.

How long ago was it that India was an increasingly reluctant Test playing country? And of course we can be sure that its dismal performance (admittedly fielding a second string team) in the ODI triangular series in Zimbabwe has had nothing to do with BCCI's request to CA.

Although CA didn't solicit my views during its "extensive research" I shall await further and better particulars before confirming my initial scepticism of its proposals.