31 March 2010

••• Bye Bye New Sheepland...

Every time a NZ tour ends it leaves you down and depressed. The sacral tranquillity, only interrupted by crazy bird noises or filthy laughs from the background of the comment box, the lush green everywhere, the relaxed audience with their funny banners and displays, and the entirely turd-free hosting team provide for such an inviting and relaxing atmosphere, that the end of a tour always feels like having to depart from paradise.

Australia will leave with good memories, they have not only won both tests and retained the two big trophies, but in the course of the tour some of their key players have soared to new heights as well: Clarke arose strengthened after solving his private issues, Kato justified his cultic worship, North has left a disastrous season behind, and Mitch has mutated into an ember-eyed demon in cricket pants.

Nevertheless it was New Zealand who ended Australia's unbeaten summer by inflicting two defeats on them; the nailbiting finish of the second T20 is still fresh in my mind, and they also beat Oz in the last ODI of the Chappell-Helmet Trophy. Alas, they couldn't win an a series.

That's a pretty sad outcome, even more so as New Zealand's final results punish those who sparkled. To be honest I haven't watched the last match day yet but the scorecard is telling. Southee, unfairly the last wicket, fell on 45, while Chris Martin stood unbeaten. Only Guptill and McCullum reached the 50s. The rest succumbed cheaply to the Yellow Forces, in particular to the above mentioned Mitch Demon, who has apparently started to practise the black art of feasting upon negative vibes. It might also have aided his cause that he bowls scalpels instead of cricket balls. If he maintains this form until the Ashes England will die in a blender.
Har har.

However, I've enjoyed most of Australia's stay in NZ, there was certainly more to see than during the Australian summer. I'd like to conclude this post with a handful of screens from the "sickened tist":




The helmetitis continues!
This time it's Michael Clarke who takes a blow on the noggin.
During that moment he did not only hear the bells ringing in
his head, but also got madly yelled at from all directions for
caught behind.











Can you see the embers glowing? ^^
Mitch did clearly not feel much love for Mat Sinclair, after
only just missing his off stump with the last ball of day 1.











Meh.









LRPL dominated the Aussie bowlers
during that innings, but got let down
by his comrades. What a sad fate.









Run-Out-Ricky in his element.












Just hatched from the incubator: Watto's army
of remote-controlled supporter kids.
The chip inside their heads can be activated to
make them hold up displays with silly slogans.











Cheers,
Wes

30 March 2010

••• Harry and Haury

Day 4 in Hamilton

They couldn't have confessed it any more openly.


136.3
Hauritz replaces Johnson, who, btw., goes out for a golden duck. Ritz has to bat with Haddin, and he doesn't find it too inspiring.

141.1
Haddin walks. Harris comes in. Ritz and Ryan take a deep look into each other's eyes. And then it starts:

142.6
Vettori to Hauritz, FOUR,
tossed up, Hauritz slog sweeps against the turn just over midwicket and away for four. Ambitious shot.

143.2
Patel to Hauritz, FOUR,
tossed up outside off, Hauritz advances and drop kicks him high and wide of long on, one bounce four. Super shot

144.1
Vettori to Harris, FOUR,
quicker ball, half volley, Harris plays a glorious drive wide of mid off for four. Outstanding shot

144.5
Vettori to Hauritz, SIX,
tossed high, Hauritz advanced didn't quite get there but swung through the line and launched it high over the sightscreen. Superbly struck by Hauritz.

145.4
Patel to Harris, FOUR,
looped high outside off, Harris drives magnificently against the turn wide of mid off for four

147.6
Patel to Hauritz, SIX,
tossed up outside off, Hauritz descends to one knee and slog sweeps this flat and hard, high enough over long on to clear the fence

149.4
Patel to Hauritz, FOUR,
tossed up outside off, Hauritz goes to one knee and slaps this straight down the ground for four. Incredible shot

149.6
Patel to Harris, FOUR,
fractionally short, Harris gives himself room to cut, gets a thick edge past slip and it runs past slip and away for four

152.4
Vettori to Hauritz, FOUR,
looping ball, well down leg, Hauritz sweeps fine and beats the diving Southee for four (Note: Ritz you sack!)

152.5
Vettori to Hauritz, FOUR,
thrown even higher and wider down leg and Hauritz sweeps it behind the keeper for four more!


Scores at lunch:

NM Hauritz 41* RJ Harris 18*

The hirsute hobgoblin has to intervene promptly by the means of a declaration fit. He can't allow Hauritz to gather a ton and Harris to get his maiden 50, while his own wagonwheel of this test consists of two single strokes (haha @the two Kiwi fans with the flipchart)

So, are we surprised by this outing? Yes. Should we have known it before? Heck, yes!
Harris is a Queenslander, he tickles Haury's nostalgic nerve. And his past as a Redback just adds this little exotic thrill that sets the Ritz on fire. And Harris himself? He has an ordinary Hauritz crush. A mainstream occurrence that leaves none of us unaffected these days.

I'm retracting my question why Johnson bats before the Ritz. It all makes sense now.
But! Punter needs to get his declaritis invidiosa under control. This wonderfully kitschy tale of the Ha-has deserves a happy end!


Sobbing,
Wes

29 March 2010

••• I am snailing, I am snailing... ♪♫




Day 3 in Hamilton

333-4

On the one hand it is good to see that Oz are turning Cardiff, and my poor cricket knowledge allows me to make the odd correct prediction. On the other hand NZ would have deserved a consolation win here.

Simon Krabbish krabbed himself in --more fodder for the kultists--, Watto didn't depart too early, and except for Puller, who no side in the world deems an actual threat anymore, none of the Aussie batters disgraced himself to a larger extent.

Timmy took revenge on Watto for that ugly assault earlier, and killed Punter (6) right thereafter in collaboration with The Man's tactical genius and BJ Watlingseed's razor-sharp reflexes. Lunch must have been yummy, Shimon Kaddidsh and The Muss walked back for seconds, both nicking Brent Arnel to McCullum. Huss is not in perfect test shape yet but there are still a couple of matches to go for him and get prepared. What followed then were Clarke's and West's successful efforts to end the day on equal scores.

Vettori and Patel, the work horses in the bowling sector, remained wicketless, which will not take the worries off The Ritz, but of course we all know that he pulls the occasional surprise fiver out of his sleeve. Chris Martin is getting meh-er and meh-er. Sinclair bowled three overs for a single run, unfortunately I didn't see it, but it looks funny on the scorecard. I am seriously wondering why Vettori didn't give Seventoes a go, he was successful against Pakistan, when he provided three breakthrough wickets in quick succession (if my old brain isn't fooling me here), and I guess he could have brought a little bit of variation into the NZ attack. No?

Oz basically have the match in the bag here unless NZ take the remaining wickets within the the first overs tomorrow and then bat for their lives. If that happens I'll eat my hat.

~~~

Note: I would hereby like to apologise for all these awful puns in my posts, it's compulsive and I need to expel them in order not to burst.

~~~


Cheers,
Wes

28 March 2010

••• Mixed pickles: gherkin day in Hamilton

Blablabla.

And now let's get to the facts:

19-1
New Zealand's starting position. Needless to say that "1" stands for McIntosh.

11
Total of runs accumulated by the new man Sinclair. Let's get over with it. Because now it's Taylor and Watling at the crease.

46
Watling steps up, sort of. Great partner for blazing Taylor. He had been playing very carefully (13 of 56 balls) but when Taylor steamed in he naturally increased the pace to 46 from 102. His wicket meant the premature death of a valuable partnership.

138 (104)
Taylor's innings included the fastest test century ever scored by a New Zealandish batsman. I could write a novel about him, he is the sort of modern boom boom cricketer that sets the heart of his fans on fire, but requires several shockers in the field to get to a big score. That's also why I can't actually see him reach a double or triple in the near future. Another side effect of his batting style is that his presence at the crease tempts his partners, even the experienced ones, into throwing their brains at the fielders, which is known as the Afridi-Akmal-effect (AAE). That same factor will also turn him into a powerful and energetic leader one day, if he finds a way to prevent that simultaneous loss of good manners.

3
Guptill, Vettori, McCullum: the Ministry of Silly Walks. Victims of the AAE.

22*
A small but nice Timmy Time! Tim is battling his way through this match and he would have loved to put some more runs on the board, had he not run out of partners. Unfair ending of a charming little tail wag. And didn't you love his wide gigglegrin after he had knocked that six off Johnson? :D

28
Number of test ducks scored by Chris Martin. Now having a closer look at his facial expression behind the grill I don't find his failure funny anymore. A man of his experience should be able to negotiate at least a handful of balls. But he seemed not to take his task seriously, in fact I think he has adopted his failure as a personal trademark and cultivates it in a clown-like manner in order to feed the mob. Needs to get smacked on the cheeks.

3 - 3 - 4
Bolly - Harris - Johnson.
Like brothers they share the spoils. A fantastic trio has arisen out of an injury-induced emergency situation. I think the bowling is stronger than in the last Ashes, and with Hilfy back the Oz selectors will face a real luxury problem. And should one of these three get injured there's still Klint who provides a neat and clean back up option.

25
Ahem. I would love to say now that we all fell victim to a mass hallucination but I'm afraid 25 really happened. What's even worse is that Ritz shares the throne with Andrew McDonald. Oh my. Got let down, though, by Mitch, who hasn't grasped yet where cool ends and sloppy begins. Ritz actually bowled well but had two shitty overs, one against Vettori and this abysmal one against Taylor.

6
Watto's economy of the 5 overs he's bowled. Worse than Ritz's. The entire first half of the match he seemed to have been switched off a little. I hope that absolute stunner of a boundary save was the opening gong to a great second half. He can't afford a form slump now with bloody Hughes in the neck.

35-0
Australia's starting position for the next day, Watto is already on 22, and I have the feeling he's gonna show his capabilities now.

Predictions? Australia will pull their socks up and if necessary sell their grandmothers to get past 300. There is plenty of time for them to approach the task with the required carefulness. Vettori and Southee will have to think up something special for today.

Cheers,
Wes

27 March 2010

••• South takes Northee

That was one interesting day of test cricket. Unfortunately I missed the clean up of the tail but! There were some good bits before that.

1) Tummy Time! (as the locals say)

Timmy bowled great throughout the entire innings and grabbed four big fat Greek ones. In the absence of Tuffey he has to adopt the role of the senior fast bowler, as Martin looks clueless and Arnel is newish, sort of. The first wicket he took was the scalp of Watto (12); vital because the Wattmeister must be kept from settling in.

When NZ seemed stuck after lunch he removed the Muss (22), again, then returncaught Haddin (12) and eventually killed the last living batsman in North (9). One has to admit that the majority of these wickets came as donations to the charity but there you can see the dimension of the intimmydation he inflicts on the batsmen :D

Hail to the Southee. Once more he steps up when his country needs him.

2) The Man

The Man brought himself on after about 50 mins or so, went wicketless at first and from the comment box one could hear the suggestion that he should have partnered himself with Jeetan Patel for an effective spin surprise. Nevertheless the Ozzies had the pants full, Vettori admitted about 1 run/over at that time. Fantastic cricketer, all the lauds he has received over the past couple of days are absolutely justified.

He and Tim Southee shared the biggest workload of 19 overs each, which also reflects the current misery of NZish fast bowling trust he has in his young quick.

He got Punter (22) with a direct hit onto the stumps, Run-Out-Ricky had been looking scratchy and imho never really found his feet. Katich (88), remarkably the only Australian batsman who actually managed to get past 30, fell prey to the Poisonhands, as well as the complete tail. Happy 100th, Dan.

3) Further notes:

Jeetan Patel played a very tidy innings and prevented Clarke (28) from getting started. Very handy man.

Chris Martin is like a blank page to me. I guess he will keep playing until NZ have someone else.

231 is not exactly the equivalent of "getting rolled", as some experts imply here. For countries like Pakistan or NZ this would be quite an okay score *ducks and covers*. But for Oz it is embarrassing and they will battle to do better in their second innings.

Ritz (12*) ends the innings of course unbeaten. I don't get why he bats after Johnson (0). Mitch can't bat for shit, I find it inexplicable why everybody gets moist when they speak about Mitchell Johnson still being to bat. Sorry. But he still bats better than the allrounder Stuart Broad. Anyway the commentators found that Ritz must be itching to go out and bowl on this pitch. Well let's hope he can pick up some Kiwis tonight. Tomorrow. Depending on where you live.

I will refrain from suggesting that North's hundred was a flash in the pan and Oz should have played Smith right from the start to get him used to playing tests. :P

My respect for Harris keeps growing, I like how he tries to hang around at the end. 

One could spot a "We ♥ Shane Watson" banner in the crowd o_O

Bolly has already slain in the first over, I suppose we are gonna see more of him tonight. This badgekissery has to stop. It makes the watcher feel embarrassed.

Australia will bowl with bumblebees in their butts. It's gonna be an exciting second day.

-Wes

► Yousuf retires from international cricket

Pakistan media had already been suspecting that Mohammad Yousuf was going to announce his retirement from international cricket on Monday, and now Yousuf has confirmed it. The rumour was still laughed off when it had come up earlier after the PCB had handed out the shocking bans to Yousuf and Younis. But I got suspicious again when Yousuf, unlike Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved, Younis and Shahid Afridi, did not take the chance to appeal against the punishment.
The PCB has virtually frozen him out and Pakistan have lost their most valuable test batsman, who still had some more years of good test cricket inside him. He wasn't a pristine angel, but everybody outside Pakistan had taken the friendly and funny guy to their hearts. I am speechless for now, thank you Ijaz Butthead.



25 March 2010

→ I have been assassinated

... unsuccessfully. But it was close. Mighty close.
I had actually assumed that all of these pictures had been burnt or otherwise been destroyed and erased from the face of the earth. But Sid had obviously been keeping one in her poison cabinet, ready to hurl it at my noggin when the time seemed right. Her motivation lies in the obscure, but her attempt has been noted. I suspect she will try again, with increased potential of destruction. So should I suddenly disappear unannounced you will know what has happened.


Aware,
Wes

24 March 2010

"Yay we've avoided a draw" --- "It's the will of the worms"

Hmmm. Looks like this apparently weird "draw" thing still has to be practised a little. All the hard work undone, all those admirable nail and tooth fights in vain. Everybody was sure that the Deshis had the chance to make Cookie crumble, and some people -coughcoughpurnacoughcough- even dared to dream of not only drawing the match but the entire series.

It is partly the fault of Shakib, who, right after getting stumped on 96, simply couldn't find a way to squeeze the air out of England on this last day; he didn't go for the attack but couldn't contain them either. His team but also he himself must be fuming over this outcome. Coach Siddons will probably reward him with a royal whipping. This is the sort of captaincy that makes you angry and you can't help thinking of Yousuf in Sydney.

But Shakib is young, extremely young for a captain, equipped with truckloads of talent with both bat and ball. The grapevine reports that he took Bangladesh to the highest run total in the test history of the country. He will learn and get the lessons belted into him. But it hurts to watch the process. He won't be the happiest birthday bear of all time today.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Meanwhile shocking news have reached us from the storm front: 

Brendon McCullum would like to attend to the penis worms that live in his shoulder, and needs to put the gloves away for that.


He is The Boucher of NZ, how can he want to take the gloves off? Whenever a keeper pulls off a ripper behind the stumps I use to say he's done a McCullum. Apart from that if he keeps keeping there will be a slot available for another regular batsman; in my humblest of opinions NZ cannot afford to waste a slot for a specialist keeper that can't contribute much to the score. Look at Pakistan with Sarfraz. Thus, from my perspective the result of his pondering should be: NO. Just NO.

23 March 2010

*OMG* Hughesless turns Hughesful

Phillip Hughes made an unbeaten 86 from just 75 deliveries. My feeble brain fails to comprehend his awesomeness, uniqueness, incomparability, unlimited infinity and endless immortality  o_O


He single-handedly saved Australia's butt when all hope was lost; chasing 480 with one wicket in hand, only ten overs to go, the kiwis bowling cluster bombs at him and Katich nailed to his end with a broken leg.

Wuckers? None!

Here comes Phil the white knight on the white horse, totally blitzing the Black Caps bowlers to death and blinding their red glowing demon eyes with his holy bat of glory to save the day, the match and the world. Did you guys see the halo around his little head? Punter could hardly hold his pee as he declared him the next Sehwag.

Hughes' innings will enter the cricket annals as "The Wonder of Wellington" and for generations to come the Wellingtonians will shake in terror as soon as they spot a white object of less than 50 cm height.

Meanwhile in Mirpur:

Crap on a bloody stick, six down with a lead of only 95, and they can even consider themselves lucky that England spilled so many chances.Tomorrow another display of tailender magic will be needed. Shakib is rightly angry about the absence of the UDRS, given how the Bangladesh Cricket Board obviously sets its priorities. As an indirect result Jamie Siddons got fined for not shooting the umpire. What world do we live in? :(

22 March 2010

The cricket, my friend, is blowing in the wind...

New Zealand survived a day that was supposed to be the end of the first test, but after a delayed wet start "the wither didn't git bitter" and at the bad-light-induced stumps the Kiwis were still holding 4 wicket's in hand with cool McCullum and a maturely batting Tuffster keeping up the resistance.

After this day the city should actually be renamed into "Stormy Wellington". Covers were flying across the field, a single brave groundsman clinging to the fabric was dragged along until he threw himself onto it. Plastic bags and Simon Katich's helmet escaped any fielding efforts and raced to the boundary, visitors were rolling on the ground desperately holding on to their flags and rags. The virtual cameras were out of order, a circumstance Punter wasn't aware of when he went for a referral unsuccessful due to the technical problems, which sparked a huge endless discussion with the umpires, who eventually decided to count the review as not failed.

The comment box reported a wind speed of up to 140 kph, which provided for some adventurous and spectacular bowling. Ritz got sent on for 49 overs at 2.42 in this innings, thus bowling almost twice as much as any other bowler, and it was him who pulled the plug that had Dan's face on it, and he would also have got McCullum, had the cameras worked properly. The gale-force winds in combination with the deep footmarks on the pitch bestowed some mindboggling, almost awkward-looking ritzy deliveries upon the watcher, with the ball virtually going in zigzag lines and posing a difficult challenge to the prophetic skills of the batsmen. Ritz and Harris bravely kept making strides against the storm like hamsters in the wheel, and Mitch benefited from the wind in his back and produced some real stunners. Yet he remained wicketless today as he couldn't get his fingers quickly enough on what would have been a dolly of a return catch. I can only recommend everybody to watch the highlights, they're gonna be a treat for any sensationalist weather voyeur.

Meanwhile in Mirpur: 

Arrrrrr. Who is this "Ian Bell" person that refuses to walk?
What is the Untim doing there on 74?

Jacko thrillered himself through the heat with razor-sharp bowling and maidens aplenty but both he and Shakib got fredded backsidishly by the blind moles that had replaced the umpires at the start of the day. England should have long been all out, and the frustration got to the Deshi bowlers a bit, pitifully also to Mushi's mittens. However, Shakib kept pushing and ended the day with four, while Mahmudullah quickly removed Broad, [repeat after me:] who is the most overrated batsman of all time. Two days are left, if B'desh can battle out a draw here it would be more than well-deserved, but if that happens Cookie should feel pretty much defeated.

20 March 2010

*Happy Bears Day in Batting Land*

Mushi and Junaid
Several years after NZ had started their innings things also began to happen in Mirpur:

Bangladesh took just 8 overs with no loss to catch up with the Kiwis, who had been batting for 27 overs, and the parallel scores looked like this:

Ban: 51-0 (8 ov) 

NZ: 48-4 (27 ov)

Admittedly, the wicket in Mirpur is one for the work horses amongst the bowlers, and McIntosh went out to a no ball (ironically Harris' maiden test wicket). What also has to be considered is that B'desh aren't facing an Australian mammoth score incl. a declaration and the two problem bears Clarke and North in blinding form.

Instead birthday bear Tamim threw a party, and  Junaid's and Mushi's innings in the first test probably gave the Deshis enough confidence to bat as if they had stinging nettles in their pants, and if they manage to get England's batsmen into trouble and post another good score in the second innings they will conclude the series with raised head. Maybe it's just me but there is something in the air surrounding this team, and I hope this time my gut feeling won't fool me.

Best over:

Swann to Junaid: 1
Swann to Tamim: 4, 4, 4, 6, 1

Which takes us to the real issue: Cookie's captaincy somehow has a strange, unexpected, mellowing effect on me. Despite the Untim, Broad, G-Binn and Pietersen being as annoying as ever I find it hard to get into the appropriate rage. Is it the omission of Luke Wright? The inclusion of Steven Finn? Thank god Strauss will be back soon to revert things to normal.

~~~

Yes you are burning to hear my newest theory about Marcus North. Well actually it had been in the back of my mind for some time when people kept harping on his Ashes achievements, but I didn't have enough proof for it. Well there are guys who just don't do it abroad, like Harmison and the Deshis, and then obviously there are guys who don't do it at home, but as soon as they have a plane seat under the butt they take fire, maybe something lives in their basements. North operated the switch on the plane to NZ, I assume English or NZish conditions suit him. But this is just a theory, because if Oz keep batting like this we won't see enough North innings to verify that. But if it applies North will be great in England against Pakistan and then totally fail in the Ashes.  ^^

Another idea just crossed my mind: North's form slumped suddenly without any external indication. He did not only start to bat horribly but also dropped catches. Did anyone notice how this happened during the Pakistan tour. And as soon as he's off to NZ he leaps back onto the scene in a likewise inexplicable manner, pulls an unbeaten century out of his sleeve and takes a stunning catch.

Ts, ts, ts!!! Geddit? Ts ts!!! ^^

Before I can leave you alone with your thoughts on this I need your help:

Which famous album cover is this?!

17 March 2010

••• The Legsmith heads North



Steven Peter Devereux Smith
Born June 2, 2009, Sydney, New South Wales



Shield 2009/10:

8 Matches, 13 innings, 772 runs:

Batting pos. 7 (8), after half of the season promoted to 5 (4/6), which is nicely reflected in his figures:

90; 28*, 17*; 6; 102*, 24; 49, 15; 4, 124; 177, 36; 100

That's an average of  77.20, and even if adjusted for the not outs it's still an impressive 59.39

Also, he is The Legsmith.

~~~

Smith's competitor:

Marcus North


Shield 2009/10:

7 matches, 12 innings (comparable to Smith), 294 runs, avg. 24.50

Batting pos. 3 and 4

Has been trying hard to become the first batsman with negative figures:

107; 34; 31, 20, 29, 4, 23, 15; 20, 3; 8, 0



Tests:

vs. Windies: 5 innings, 166 runs, 0 not outs, avg. 33.20 --- vs. Pakistan: 4 innings, 41 runs, 0 not outs, avg. 10.25

Batting pos. 6 (5)

The chronological innings order looks like this:

79; 16, 2; 68, 1 --- 8; 10, 2; 21  


North is the only one who reads a possible upward trend from these unambiguous figures. How can anybody know that he is clawing his way back up? The conditions in NZ are different, and he should not rely on the Kiwis throwing any matches. Plus, the pressure on his shoulders has not exactly been decreasing in the last weeks. It will take a tremendous effort of him to pull himself out of the swamp by his own hair. And to be honest, he didn't manage it against a weak unmotivated opposition, so why would he be able to do it against NZ?

Yes I know there exists the risk that Smith starts with a complete FAIL once lifted up to test level, and also he has not much experience on grounds outside Oz. But North imploded like a Russian television during the Australian summer, and all matches were played on Oz grounds, just where the next Ashes are gonna take place. Yes I am also aware of the possibility that he might recover over night and rise like Phoenix from the.. umm... ashes :P

But Oz shouldn't wait for that day, for it may not come in time, and then it will be too late to hastily draft someone in. Give a new batter time to adjust and settle in before the Ashes start. Yes North might indeed come back magically, and he is a nice bloke; he did so well in England and saved the last bit of Aussie pride at the Oval. If he gets another nod I reckon the first NZ test will be the make it or break it  moment for him.

Now there's something else to think about. What if North scores 100 and 8 in the first test. Give him another nod? And then, 5 and 35 in the second. What then? Another nod for the Pakistan tests because of the 100? The selectors will be running in circles, and these are four or more innings of which Smith, or any other replacement, is robbed. Basically North must bestow Christmas and Easter in one upon the Australians, all in the first NZ test, I guess a total of at least 150 runs might be enough to save his spot. Good luck Marcus, you will need it.

14 March 2010

A choice without a choice

The artificially inflated fuss about the captaincy of the Pakistan T20 team has reached a new level. The PCB has announced four contenders that are competing for the job:

  1. Butt: no
  2. Misbah: meh, does not emanate great authority, but is an old warhorse with ok stats
  3. Afridi: a disgrace to the spirit of the game, blatant pitch tamperer, ball tamperer, blackmailer, and overrated batsman, whose presence on the wicket tempts his partners into playing retarded shots. Has no clue about the difference between leadership and impertinence. Rewarding such behaviour by granting him the captaincy is like making a German catholic priest leader of the boyscouts: WRONG. It's in the hands of the PCB to decide if the pig inherits the farm. But be aware of the signals it sends out. To the worldwide audience, to the Pakistani players and the cricket youth.
  4. Razzaq: brain + batting style + impressive form + anger 

Issue solved, case closed, stop fussing about.

13 March 2010

The Chappell-Helmet Trophy...

... goes to Australia! The helmet truly emerged as the symbol for the most memorable moments of this series: the Johnson-Styris conflict and umpires from the maw of hell. Oh yes and Bingle almost sounds like helmet as well.

It wasn't quite the mother of all dead rubbers (that was 6:1, and I am still raging mad at them for losing the last battle), but nevertheless the entire match seemed to be pervaded by a strange melancholy; for a long time NZ didn't look like winning, Oz had already won anyway, Ritz got belted with oomph, and Iron Tuffey fell last ball. NZ seriously need to work on relieving their tailenders of the scoring duties.

At one point the Oz bowling looked like this:



Tehehe. However, even though it looked so, NZ did not get all out, and "with a little help from my umps", who only paid back what they owed the Kiwis, the Men In Black could salvage some pride and somehow got Oz out for 190. I still don't really understand how this could happen, my guess would be a similar dead rubber tiredness as in 6:1.


Blablabla. And now it's time again to declare...

Timmy Time! :D

Four big fat Greek wickets: Cam White, The Muss and the Mitchbitch, as well as poor Voges -who is capable of doing a heaps better job than this- with a bit of assistance from Asad Rauf. It is really hard for such a young guy, who feels the hope of the NZ fast bowling department resting on his shoulders, to maintain a reliable consistency throughout all matches, but the way he sparkles leaves me optimistic. I think doing a Ritz and "fixing his allrounder action" incl. dropping down to 11 takes a lot of pressure off him, or maybe that's just me tilting over to the bowling side of things again.

And how can we forget El Bond! The little belly seems not to pose an obstacle to him, Bond runs in and takes out. Amusingly, he sported a priceless sequence of facial expressions after being granted the head of Punter.

And this is now the cue for me to shut up and leave you with the shot of the match:





See you in the tests!

Cheers,
-Wes

11 March 2010

××× Ritzkrieg over Kiwiland ×××

.


Once more New Zealand got crushed by
the brute force of the Ritz Blitz!


 
All I want, all I need
is to see my enemies bleed!
- N. Hauritz -

~~~

Okay, so...
What's with these three sixes?

He is nice like that ^^

10 March 2010

Yousuf contemplates retirement

Pakpassion reports that Yousuf is "distraught, tearful and almost speechless at the decision by the Board. All he wants to know is what he has done wrong. He has had no official correspondence from the Board or even a telephone call to explain where he has erred and has just heard about the punishment in the media."

Furthermore a person close to him says that he considers retiring from cricket completely: "Yousuf is contemplating retirement with immediate effect, but we are trying to talk him out of it. At the moment he is very confused with this situation and hopefully things may improve and become clearer soon".

Read the entire article here.

Maybe I am shit in the head, some of you will testify, but I want him to come back. He doesn't have much time left to play for Pakistan and it feels like executing a 85-year old. I want the ban to be lifted. He was one of the players that actually led to me supporting Pakistan. This is disappointing and depressing.

Yousuf banned from "play for country" o_O

Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan got banned from international Pakistan cricket for the rest of their lives. BAMMM. That's a bullet between the eyes of any Pakistan supporter. I still refuse to believe it. My head is aching. No this is not an overreaction because Yousuf is The Mentor and patron of this blog. This is plain incomprehension.

I understand the punishment of the Pakmals, they were just dumb, especially Umar, who thought he could *blackmail* the board into putting his brother back in the team. In addition to his fine he should get slapped on both of his cheeky cheeks. Punishing Afridi twice is an issue but not inappropriate. About Rana I didn't know, but now I do. Malik furthermore mutinying against Yousuf deserves extensive public whipping.

But what the bloody heck did Yousuf and Younis do wrong? I understand that Younis is the most indecisive player of all times, but who did he offend, what rules did he breach? And what the hell did Yousuf do that deserves an indefinite ban? I remember that Yousuf was one of the alleged conspirators against Younis, which, combined with the match fixing accusations, eventually led to Younis first putting the PCB under pressure, but then finally withdrawing from international cricket. But Kamran was said to be involved in the plotting as well. So if this is the reason for Yousuf's punishment, why does Kamran not get banned for life? Why do Malik and Rana not get banned for life, if they were involved into plots against Yousuf?

And the most retarded thing about it is that the PCB claims they can't elaborate on the reasons of their decisions, while they are acting like "Whooohooo take that, villain of evil!!! That'll teach you and any future villains a lesson!!!" What  fricking lesson are they talking about? What are others supposed to learn from that? You'll get a life-long ban if you do... what?

My opinion is that they just killed all the guys off that ever dared to approach them in a criticising manner. Both Yousuf and Younis were in argument with them on several occasions, both suffered a severe lack of support from the board during their captaincies, and the PCB seized the opportunity to put their heads on the chopping block while it was still warm from the blood of the others. Which leads me to the conclusion that Kamran Abbasi is the man, again. Read his words and think.

One will have to wait and see how this pans out and what actions are taken by the players against these decisions. Until then I am disgusted and appalled by the PCB once again. If any of you guys have more info on this, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment. All enlightenment is welcome.

~~~
edit, Osman Samiuddin summarises the points nicely.

9 March 2010

••• Bingle's bingles ••• [don't click if under 18]

The announcement of the Test line-up is delayed.

Clarke can't be frickin' serious???

At first I assumed Lara Bingle was so upset because a picture of her bingles had leaked (ha ha) onto the net. But Google informs everybody who wants to know it that her breasts had already spread all over the interwebs before. Photoshopped breasts. Goodlooking breasts. Paid breasts.

So what is the fuss about and why does Clarke regard it as rush-home-worthy as a death?

For this shot [attn, uncensored, but doesn't contain any more or less nudity than any other Bingle shot] she didn't get any make-up, Photoshop, or money. In fact she looks as unflashy as any other woman who is taking a shower in what she believes to be private. Now she feels violated for being caught like this in the shower of a married man, says she had trusted him, who was just then betraying his wife with her, sues him and rewards the magazine that published the pic with an exclusive interview on the matter for a six-digit sum, which she is going to to donate to charity.





(This applause is directed at her new manager.)

Yes this is as ridiculous as it sounds and one can understand that Michael Clarke had to fly home to put an end to this with a cane.

Australia again didn't give a tit about it and steamrolled NZ.
Get it, Mr. Bingle?

8 March 2010

ICC World Twenty20 - official TOuRnaMENT song

The ICC has this nice audio website I occasionally check for new stuff. A couple of days ago I saw that they had added the official anthem of the World Twenty20. According to my experience the term "official anthem" is used as an euphemism to circumscribe the brutal ear rape continuously inflicted on the watcher from the moment the TV ad of the tournament is aired for the first time, until the end of the last studio report about the final. If you thought that it couldn't get any more abominable after the Champions League you've got another think coming. I had to turn it off after a few seconds in order to prevent myself from sticking forks into my ears.  

Click at your own risk.





-Wes

6 March 2010

∙°º○. The Birth Of The Venus .○º°∙

You all know the ancient myth about the birth of the Venus, who arose from the sea foam?

It is a blatant lie.

  •  It was the birth of the Ritznus.
  •  The Ritznus is male.
  • The Ritznus is not the god of love (although some might argue), but the god of spin bowling.

How could anybody blame poor Scotty Styris for surrendering to him?


    "If Hauritz like this, I think we deserve to loss."
    -The Mentor, Sermon 29JAN10



    Credits to Sid for pointing the snapshot out to me.

    3 March 2010

    Ross the Boss and Scott the Lot

    The bells were already tolling for Australia when The Bond walked out with bristles in the face. New Zealand carried the momentum of their thrilling T20 win into this ODI, but they had to take the first blow when Dan the Man was forced to hand the lead over to Ross The Boss. Then Ross sent Southee in to open and Timmy got clubbed by Watson for 14; Watto could as well have slapped Ross with shoes. But the MIB just shrugged it off, and kept running in. With Vettori out NZ were short of Poisonhands, but good fielding, Tuffey on fire and a couple of magnificent bowled'ims and catches restricted Oz to way below 300 despite the ritualistic crap umpiring, and by that time Punter probably knew that his men needed to bowl the hell out of the NZ batters and induce one of these nice handy Kiwi implosions, if they wanted to sack this match and maintain their invincibility at the One-Dayers. Highlight of the Australian innings was besides Watson's opening whoopdidoo sure the return of the real Hussey, who contributed one of his pleasently realiable Muss knocks.

    Demise was drawing up at the horizon when the Kiwis came out to bat. With Oram injured in the field they were basically one man short. The real McCullum as well as Peter Ingram made me forget all my rants about the NZish opening, Seventoes... ah well, he took a great catch. Styris the old battle-hardened warhorse stampeded over the Australian bowlers, nicely aided by a yelling Bondster, whose two boundaries should prove to be crucial contributions to the NZish win. But it was the captain who lead his men from the front with a superb fearless 70 and laid the foundation for Styris' triumph. His innings also included the most spectacular catch of the match (sorry Muss :P):




    The Aussie bowlers did their best to stop the rampant Kiwi chase but compared to their own innings they always seemed to lag behind a little. Bolly brought his celebration pirouette to perfection and spiralled himself up into the sky when he finally took McCullum. Each of the bowlers, Clarke aside, chipped in with scalps, but Harris wasn't quite his lethal apish self this time (I blame the ground), which might have been one of the factors that cost Oz the match. The agricultural sector surprisingly turned out to be one of Australia's bigger problems, the plough work in the field looked nervous and several misfields as well as missed run out chances  extended New Zealand's lives and helped the black warriors to keep the scoreboard ticking. Pitifully the innings hit rock bottom when Mitch decided to go Watto and take his "puff the chest out" thing over the top. He was fined 60% of the match fee but I doubt he will have taken any lessons from that. Grow up Mitch. The match ended with a cracker when Styris grabbed Bolly by the collar and kicked him straight across the park for six. What else is there to say, awesome cricket, and big congrats @Ross on the first victory under his reign. Really nice guy. Now NZ have won a battle, but they haven't won the war. Don't miss the next clash on Saturday!


    Okay okay!!! Calm down! Here's the Muss! Alright? ;)


     Because I can't let you go without this. :P


    Cheers,
    -Wes

    2 March 2010

    ♠ King John ♠

    John Howard (Yes. THE John Howard) got nominated for the ICC presidency.

    After I had reawoken from my absence words were tumbling through my head. Doom. Apocalypse. Ragnarök. IPL. The End of Cricket. Do-not-want.

    His political views aside, what are the other things that totally don't qualify him for the job?
    • John Howard
    • No experience in cricket administration, probable puppet
    • Refuses to wear a bag over the head
    But he also:
    • Calls himself an absolute cricket tragic, but according to locals knows bugger all about it
    • (Thus I'm like John Howard)
    • (Which sucks in many ways)

    Now Peter English, who could be called the Satan of Cricket journalism, if that wasn't already Peter Roebuck, fought nail and tooth to convince me that Howard doesn't suck as much as it seems, and presented a long list of merits in Potatohead's favour, such as
    • He saw Bradman, and so on
    • He called Murali a chucker
    • He arranged his visits to England so that he could see the Ashes
    • He's an absolute cricket tragic while knowing bugger all about it
    Grr. I really didn't want to know that. After half an hour of intense pondering and chewing the matter forth and back I came to the conclusion that Howard (my hands will rot off) deserves a go.


    So, what are the goals of Howard's presidency:
    • Preventing chuckers from migrating between cricketting nations
    • Preventing anybody else from migrating
    • Banning all sorts of medium brown, brown and dark brown chocolate from cricket grounds
    • Relieving the Subcontinent from the burden of Test Cricket 
    • Introducing annual Ashes
    • Dropping Mitch
    Seems I can tolerate about half of his agenda, which is shockingly much. John Howard you may have won my mind but you will never win my heart.