13 May 2010
Iceberg sinks Derbyshire / Operation Tasgrove
Iceberg sinks Derbyshire
Middlesex buried Derbyshire [scorecard] under an innings, 35 runs and a mountain of awesomeness. A Berg, to be precise. An Iceberg.
It happens rarely that a player's match figures, his overall performance and general value to the side make me have a bit of weewee in my eyes, but this time I just couldn't hold it back. After the Middlesex top order spectacularly crumbled to dust and the average follower smelled another humiliating defeat just around the corner, Gareth Berg (125) stood up for his team mates once again and with the help from his Saffa country mate Neil Dexter (112, 1 for 3) he laid the foundation for a massive Middlesex victory, in a partnership worth 202 runs at a fantastic runrate of 5.26. Needless to say that he also took 3 wickets. Only last week he contributed 60, 49 and 3 wickets as well. Coming in at 7 he has evolved into an anchor in the middle order with a bunch of potentially great partners around, and as long as the top order keeps failing the reliability of Berg and his respective partners is invaluable. Apart from that he also bowls a large amount of overs with the old ball of course [2010 stats].
Dawid Malan missed out on a big one this time but 37 is still more than the scores of Strauss, Owais Shah and Newman combined. Owy has just returned from the IPL and deserves a bit of time to get adjusted. But Strauss is a bloody obstacle, which the side has to overcome time and time again. They have found a way to manage this now but I think his rest might not have been long enough. Don't get me wrong, a crap Strauss is good for Test cricket, especially for the Australian one. But his bad form is becoming embarrassing and a nuisance to his team.
But let's return to the wickets, on the third day the well-recovered Steven Finn massacred the Derbyshire top order in a brutal opening spell of 3 for 7 within 7 overs (4 maidens). Christ! In the first innings he took 3 as well.
Iain O'Brien and Tim Murtagh took 4 each and shared the wickets of the Derby dangermen amongst themselves. Undeservedly, the return of skipper Shaun Udal went almost unnoticed; in the afternoon of day 3 he and Murtagh dramatically finished the stubborn Derbyshire tail off when the rain was already pelting down behind the pavilion. Perfect finish to a perfect match.
This commanding victory puts Middlesex in the position to eye one of the top spots of the table. Who would have thought. If they keep marching like this they can even afford to drag Strauss along with them for the sake of charity.
Mark Cosgrove is back!
My desperate appeal has been heard, unbelievably not by WA or QLD, but the precious and wonderful Tassie Tigers have opened their door (wide) and let my favourite ex-Redback in! This is so awesome I don't know where to start. Cossy had a good season with the Redbacks and is now also increasingly starting to turn into Glamorgan's glam organ; in the current match against Northamptonshire he has so far contributed a flaming 85 (11x4, 2x6, SR 73.27) to Glamorgan's impressive first innings total of 450, as well as a wicket and two catches [scorecard]. Not bad for an opener who just got dropped from his state side, especially compared to the recent achievements of a certain English Test captain.
I am still mad at Cricket SA for kicking his arse because he does not fit into their new smooth and slick corporate image, but thank god Tasmania know that a good cricketer must get valued independently of his height/mass ratio. I hope Cossy will settle into his new home quickly and show SA what huge mistake they have made. At 25 his talent can still take him far!
My only concern is now that he will have to put up with the anti-Hauritz, the Satan of Australian offspin, the K, the unspeakable one. But Cossy is sure geared up and well-padded for that marginal little challenge. Or does anyone remember the K's actual name?
-and Berg, for that matter-,