30 April 2010

World T20: My own irrational predictions

A meek attempt by a clueless person to rate the teams in a competition in which half of the results are based on luck.

On a scale from 0 - 3

Afghanistan: 1
Sorry guys, I'm not convinced yet that you are ripe to slay the big beasts. But it would be super duper cool to see Afgh deconstruct India tehehe. I am pressing my thumbs for them. Of course I hope that they can come up with the odd surprise victory, but I can't see them leave their group.

Australia: 3
The selection muddle of the mess against Zim was sure just an accident. They should go with the line-up Ian suggests. They are one of the Behemoth teams if they select correctly, the fat batting will hopefully make up for the lack of spin. Also, they must win the tournament.

Bangladesh: 1
Breaks my heart but unfortunately I think they are in the minnows category. Starting against Pak and Aus will be their doom, unless Pak decide to "pak things up" again.

England: 3
Big. Fat. Massive. They beat South Africa in the warm ups and immediately this sour feeling from their latest adventure in SA rises again. Grrrrrrrr. The Poms are on their way to the top and even though I want to $'%&@€?$ half of the team I wouldn't mind the other half to be successful. After all, there's no Strauss. This is how schizo they make you in the head. Plus: They have 2.5 spinners. Yardy, Swann and Colly.

India: 2
Blank page to me as I haven't followed the IPL and they didn't play any warm-ups. But Sehwag and Sachin aren't playing. On the other hand they have Dhoni. Thus, 2 points.

Ireland: arghhh. 0.5
The warm-ups were disastrous. Ireland will get belted. It breaks my heart. They are so nice :(
I see them as the team with the least of the chances in this tournament pitifully. Their life depends on winning against the Windies. Can't see that happening.

New Zealand: 2
The comeback kids were doing well so far, Styris is in form, Seventoes shows his brilliance, the team also looked good in the warm-ups, albeit not playing the big animals, but Dan is a bit off track currently (?), anyway they have all my best wishes, go black sheepies!

Pakistan: 2
I am not tipping them as utter favourites anymore. The selection  so far might have been similarly experimental to the Aus one but the team is not fully set to win yet. A defeat of Bangladesh should equip them with the necessary momentum though, and Funky is on top of his game. They will unfold.

South Africa: 2.5
Got beaten by England but it was close. On paper they look pretty fat and imho they also have some selection options. Their S-weaknesses (spin and Smith) might turn out serious but they should just go for the "death by sitting down on the enemy" method. Am I too hopeful? :/

Sri Lanka: 2
Another blank page. Hyped by everyone (and I can't stand hype) but I just can't get a gut feeling of them. Beaten by South Africa in the warm-ups.

West Indies: 1.5
Potential: yup, execution: meh. I do not think the home bonus will work a great deal for them. But they have Sulie and a few hitters, and should be able to leave their group by a win over Ireland.

Zimbabwe: 2
I am tempted to give them 2.5. Wow! Strongest of the "minnows", and most underrated team of the tournament so far. They have the guts, the skills and the required player types to steamroll the opponent, they won both warm-ups against the favourites Aus and Pak! SL and NZ will be tough opponents but I can see Zim stampede straight to the second stage.


Tips for the final or the semis? No bloody clue, this is T20. I think any of the teams that got 2 or more points. Yes this would include Zim.

 This post is subject to alteration should I change my mind on something :P

Cheers,
Wes

29 April 2010

World T20: Racing Through The Warm-Ups!

Trinidad&Tobago v Ireland, 2 matches, at Port of Spain
The first match was won by T&T by 9 wickets with 77 balls to spare, whoa.
The second one was won by the Irish, by 9 wickets as well, with 29 balls left.
Whatever this means.

Pakistan v Windward Islands at Gros Islet
Pakistan won by 68 runs but managed to get all out during their innings.
Highscore: Hafeez (57)
Windward Islands must have played utterly defensively, they only made 92 runs and gave Pak just 4 of their wickets.

Australia v Zimbabwe at Gros Islet
Feast upon my horror here:
My stomach is turning: * Aus v Zim *

Barbados v Bangladesh at Bridgetown
Ban won by 36 runs, both sides lost only a few wickets.
Highscore: Imrul Kayes (57), Rubel took a wicket :D

Ireland v New Zealand at Providence
New Zealand won by 40 runs, Ireland did not manage to survive 20 overs (one absent hurt and one did not bat).
Jesse Ryder is back, top-scored with 64, Guptill on the second rank gathered 50, this is how I like it.
Cpt. Porterfield top-scored for Ireland (34)
Wickets: McNullum (brother of McBullum) took 3; Millsy, Tum, Styris, Butler and Oram 1 each.
Vettori was the most expensive bowler (11.00).
This is all good so far.

South Africa v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown
Saffas won by 5 wickets with 3 balls to spare. Yippiehhhhhhhhhhhh
SL = FAIL, only Jayasuriya (33) and Kapugedera (61) scored well.
The wickets were evenly spread among all of the SA bowlers, Copper Roof was a bit expensive though (12.00)
Saffa innings: Herr Schmidt failed, the others shared the runs evenly among them again. Must have taken the term 'team work' a bit too literally? The SL bowlers got infected by that spirit, except for Matthews each of them took exactly 1 wicket. WTH is going on.

Afghanistan v Ireland at Providence
Afgh won by 5 wickets with 3 balls left.
Irish top-scorer: Mooney (42)
Dawlat Ahmadzai shone with 4 wickets for Afghanistan.

Bangladesh v England at Bridgetown
England won by 7 wickets with 17 balls left.
Batting: Mahmudullah (38), Bopara (62), Colly (32*)
Ban lost just 7 wickets but 126 was all they could accumulate. No problem for England.
Wickets: Yardy (3) Anderson (2) Colly (1)
England lost just 3 wickets (Shakib, Syed Rasel, run out)

West Indies v New Zealand at Providence
New Zealand won by 7 runs, Windies all out at 19.4
NZ Batting complete fail, except for LRPL (50) and Oram (46)
This is the second positive mention of the allrounder in this post. He also took a wicket.
But the man with the ball is Scotty 'he who is his own grandmother' Styris with 4 scalps.
Bond and Vettori 2 each, The Man was again the most expensive bowler (11.50)
Chanderpaul (53, death by Bond) top-scored for the Windies , wickets were evenly spread, also Sulie took 2 (McBullum and Vettori).

Windward Islands v Australia at Gros Islet
Kindergarten.
Hauritz, Christian and T-Paine got sentenced to play for WI. Not that it helped.
Aus won by 101 runs.
Ritz was the most expensive bowler of all the WI guys (11.33), couldn't take any wickets either.
Christian (20) shared the top scorer's crown with one of the WI batters, he also took the scalp of Dussey.
The actual Aussies bowled at max 5.25, will not have been a hard job though. Legsmith and skipper Clarke took 2 each!
Taito was the only quick with 2 scalps; Nannes, Watto, Mitch and Dussey got 1 each. Remarkably WI survived the full 20 overs.

England v South Africa at Bridgetown
England won by 5 wickets.
Both teams lost only 5 wickets but England reached the target with 3 balls left.
Yardy is the man again for England with 2 wickets.
Saffa batting is meh, only the lower order scored (JPDum, Albie)
England = Eoin (63), eventually taken out by Rabid Rusty. Kleinveldt took 2.
Pietersen: duck.

Pakistan v Zimbabwe at Gros Islet 
Zimbabwe won by 12 runs!!!!
That Chigumbura again! He had already batted the Aussies to death, now he top-scores again (49*) and takes 3 wickets!!!! Utseya, who had killed twice against Oz, takes 4! Mpofu grabbed 2, IIRC he had also succeeded against Aus.
Pak: Kakmal (37), Funky Fawad (32). Ukmal only 7. Nom Nom 4 wickets, Sami 1.
Razzaq failed with both bat and ball, and I can't believe that this Latif guy is still jumping about in the national side.


I would like to apologise if there are errors in this summary, the blogging pace is murderous at the moment and will get worse ^^

Click here for the list of the scorecards.

Cheers, Wes

► Afridi, Pollard, Blizzard: Redbacks News, Olds, Videos

Aiden Blizzard joins the Redbacks!
Is gud?
Is gud

If you have followed the weather reports of southern and western parts of Australia lately you will realise that he is going to add a whole new dimension to the chaos of destructive hailstorms, sudden floods and extreme droughts. The snow storm will freeze-dry the ears of the opponent's bowlers, the icy force of nature will turn the Saussie snoozefest into a bright white party! I hope. The last time it snowed in Adelaide was, if I remember correctly, about 100 years ago or so. Anyway especially with a view to the Champions League he is a great addition, we must not forget that the Redbacks will be without the services of Shahid Afridi and...
... without KiPo.
KiPo come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

How could they ever let him go *sneef*

Speaking of Kieron Pollard, look at this awesome promo video they had made for the Big Bash 2009-10, it is so different from the IPL spots. Amateurish, heartwarming, sort of improvised and it has two furry friends in it.

... and Cossy.
Cossy come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

How could they ever let him go *sneef*

Anyway here's the video:
Heheh that was nice wasn't it!

The other addition from Victoria listens to the name Rob Cassell. Never heard of him, but if his bowling is only half as cool as his (almost) namesake Vincent he should strengthen the 'actually quite good' SA attack further. I would also like to point out that SA have so far made good experiences picking up the Victorian leftovers, so I am hopeful and pretty happy about the current acquisitions.

Lastly I still have a video for all the mad Shahid Afridi fans among you, it is a little retrospective of Shahid's Big Bash campaign with the Redbacks, including some interviews, check it out!
All images and videos are (C) South Australian Cricket Association.

I hope you've enjoyed this little journey through the recent past of the Redbacks, let's see what Kieron and Shahid can do for their countries in the World T20!

Cheers,
Wes

28 April 2010

My stomach is turning: * Aus v Zim *

Due to the football (Bayern v Lyon, pig-out ^^) I completely forgot about the Oz warm up match against Zimbabwe, and now checking the score one has to realise that the warm up obviously turned into a downright funeral pyre for Australia!!

Holy excretion!
Zimbabwe amassed a total of 173, how the heck did they do that? Let's have a look:

Lee bowled four brilliant overs at 3.25 and scalped 1.
Mitch took 4 at 5.75... oh man
Nannes the hooved beast cruised along at 6.66

So... what happened?

Ritz leaked 12 each in the two overs he bowled. Yeah ouch. But not the ouchest.

Dan Christian, who has struggled since his inclusion in the national side, gave away 14.5 per over. 

But Watson took the biscuit:
two overs, 34 runs, 5 (!!) no balls. Watto, seriously, no matter how important that wicket was, put it up your backside.

Fittingly he went out on 2, Whacking Warner top-scored with 72 (146.93), the skipper ranks second with 49 but a miserable strike rate of about 116.66 I guess this was the knell for Oz. 
Compare this to the Zim top scorer Elton Chigumbura: 76 at 217.14, the guy must have gone berserk. His innings might also include Watto's freebies.

Haddin, Legsmith and Christian all run out, I reckon because of the panic, while Dussey and Watto both fell prey to Utseya the offie.

Eventually Oz lost the crazy chase by 1 piddling run.

Himmelarschundzwirn!!!!!!

No I won't translate this now

This is a really good start into the tournament and it uncovers some weaknesses Clarke has to tinker on now. Wow I am floored.

Wes o.O

25 April 2010

Slogfest Ante Portas: The Preview Collection ---Regular Updates---

World T20 Preview madness!!!

The blogosphere is full of Cassandras, Delphic oracles and biblical prophets, each of them giving his or her own take on the possible course of the tournament. Depending on the individual temperament people can get quite emotional over the whole event and I have to admit that it has gripped me, too, already.

Here are some previews you shouldn't miss:

(My own preview can be found here, teams are rated from 0-3)

~~~

Australia:
Sid has about 80% trust in her team and she presents valid arguments for this estimation.
So valid that as an Aussie supporter you want to stick your thumbs into you ears and sing LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALA.

Ian dissects strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats separately.  His article feels like someone is sitting on the lid of a boiling pot that is ready for a proper explosion this year!

As a contrast to the aforementioned previews, Greyblazer analyses the technical aspects of the Australian key players and looks at their suitability to the Caribbean wickets. Aussie fans should check it out!

Rahul (Snicked) thinks Australia's weaknesses lie in their inexperience and, well, the spin department.

Bangladesh:
Purna has compiled a lot of hopelessness and... hopelessness into her preview at Holding Willeys.

Greyblazer adds some more doom and gloom to the Deshi prospects; the tendency to slog it plus the unsuitable wicket in the match against Oz are their major concerns.
Hail to the Mush, though.

A more lighthearted and sanguine review is penned by Maz, he thinks about their match against Pakistan in particular.

New Zealand:
Compact overview by Suhas, who is afraid that the fragility of the NZ players might again spoil their chances.

Babar sees the Kiwis' potential in all departments of the game, but fears they are prone to collapsing and thus will still only make it to the semis.

Rahul thinks that NZ is packed with good players but they all need to click at the right time. He finds that it will be difficult for the sheepies to reach the semi finals.

Greyblazer! Finally! An ode to Scotty Styris ^^ Don't miss this one.

Pakistan:
Wasim has unleashed an epic article about the defending World Champions and their strategy of dividing their innings into three segments.

Greyblazer's Pakistan preview is out!!! He lauds Funky Fawad :D

Babar has not the slightest doubt that Pakistan can lift the trophy.

Rahul has no doubts at all that Pakistan will march straight into the semis.

England
Rahul opens the the Box of the Pomdora and tells us not to underestimate the team from the Silly Island. I can only nod wisely here.

The big, detailed England preview by Greyblazer starts with a laughing Colly... we shall see ^^

Sri Lanka
Babar presents a thousand different reasons why the Lankans will slay their opponents.

Rahul is afraid that both their veterans and newbies have lost a bit of their charm recently.

Greyblazer is convinced that SL have the most suitable attack for the Caribbean wickets, but their top order needs to fire.

Zimbabwe
Greyblazer delivers a valuable, utterly insightful introduction to the current T20 team.

India
The first proper India preview in the list got sent in by Rahul. His team cannot resolve all doubts but he thinks they can lift the cup.

Greyblazer talks about Dhoni India! Tehehehe. His judgement: the attack may not suffice.

Windies
Maz thinks they have the home advantage on their side, but rely too much on their star performers.

Rahul warns us to be prepared for just anything!

Greyblazer hopes the home team will make it to the semis.

South Africa
HR can hardly hold his horses as he bursts in praise over the allrounding and bowling capacities of the South African side, and even sees them march straight to the final!

Rahul adds another enthusiastic preview to the list, but he doesn't like the Fire Engine^^.

Afghanistan
Half-tracker is the first one (of who I have knowledge) to have a glimpse at one of the heaps interesting smaller teams!

Greyblazer does unfortunately not see many chances for the Afghans in their difficult group.

Ireland
Positive and hopeful detailed preview by Half-tracker, makes you look forward to seeing the little green men ^^
~~~

Preview collections:
Rishabh looks at the teams group-wise, all groups are out now! He dares to criticise Scott Styris. Wash your mouth, Rishabh ^^

Boom Boom Korner, the busy cricket collective (Maz, Babar, HR), analyse the single teams in depth, many previews are out already, I would like to point out Pakistan and Sri Lanka especially!

Greyblazer promised that there's more to come. Keep your eyes open for his precise examinations!

It's Only Cricket introduce the squads briefly, use their menu on the left to navigate through the teams.

Achettup (Short Of A Length) summarises his expectations in a comprehensive preview, in which he also names his top four candidates for the throne.

The Reverse Sweep guys daringly tip India and England for the final. Whoohoo!

Eventually also Jrod has something to say about the teams, it's not much but funny.

Rahul has a quick glimpse at the "minnows".
~~~

My personal hope and tip: Australia. The combination of raw power and classical skills, the preparation via IPL as well as the expedient choice of players and their strong competitiveness can carry them far. They will fight with man and mouse, the batting line-up is full of win and the bowling might just be good enough; I also hope they can counter the opponents' spin well. Having sucked last year, they might also get underestimated by some of the more, ahem, confident teams (which shall remain anonymous for now :P). Apart from that: it is high time for them to add that trophy to their collection ^^

My personal wish is a repetition of the ODI World Cup Final and sure I wouldn't mind NZ to win either; if there is one team that deserves the trophy it is the little sheepies. I hope so much they won't get struck down by injuries again. It will be nice to see some familiar faces back in the team. If neither of these two can make it I would like to see the Saffas next. They could really need a little consolation now.

And now let's play a crazy little mind game: wouldn't it be funny if England grabbed the trophy? Stop chucking bricks at my head, they won't! But the idea amuses me a lot. The Jack-Out-Of-The-Box effect would be hilarious.


Rubbing hands in anticipation
Wes

24 April 2010

All hail the mighty Middlesex!

Let sound the trumpets and fanfares!
Let the queen appear on the balcony!
And have her throw lollies!

Middlesex played like second division county cricket gods! With no Owy or ginger leprechaun!

What it took them to thrash the opponent:

  • Awesome batting: check
  • Great bowling: check
  • Attacking captaincy: check
  • Two perfectly timed declarations: check
  • The will to win: check
  • Being the better team: check

"Earth calling Wes, have you heard the news! Middlesex lost!"

" o.O "

"Wes?"

"B....but... What??? WHAT???"

  • Strauss: check
  • Strauss batting crap: check
  • Strauss dropping a crucial catch: check
  • Strauss dropping another crucial catch: check
  • Strauss sucking rear: check

"There you go."

"Grrrrsmmm frrrxzgrrllll gnnmmmmmgrrr grahhhhhh!!!!!"

23 April 2010

Middlesex day 3 preview. Another one.

Looks better this week, doesn't it?

Middlesex won the toss and batted, and quite a while after lunch of day 2 they were in the position to declare. Unbelievable. Included in this 442-8 declaration were amazingly useful contributions with the bat by the top order, but also by the bowlers Berg and Murtagh, who are having a really good time at the moment, as they also proved last week against Glamorgan. Impressive.

Captain Udal just delayed the declaration until the young wicketkeeper-batsman John Simpson had reached his maiden first class century, and Simpson didn't have him wait for too long; he finished his mature and well-constructed innings in style with a boundary.

Now on the start of day 3 Northamptonshire stand at 178-4. A tough job lies ahead of Middlesex, who have only got two days left to get Northamptonshire out 1.5 times and bat again, too. This is the type of situation that makes you wish that first class matches lasted five days. Unfortunately IOB is missing out also with a niggle, but nevertheless he contributed his part via comment. Speaking of which, I'm dearly missing the cannonade of Cossy jokes this week.

If all goes well the bowlers will strike quickly now and MS can rush in to bat. It would be a shame to finish this match on a draw. After all, MS managed only once to get past 400 last season.

On a sidenote, the grapevine reports that Broad took five wickets. Yeah he does that once a year, after all he needs to pretend he's a bowler.


But now we want to see more of this:

The illegitimate son of John Cleese and Michael Palin. Seriously.


Cheers,
Wes

20 April 2010

Pakistan news! Cricket-related (sort of)!

You guys might have noticed that Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat were ruled out of the World T20 due to injuries. The loss hurts especially in the case of Gul, who was deemed one of Pakistan's sharpest swords in the attack.

Naturally, Pakistan managed to turn the announcement of the replacements into a huge muddle. The people involved into the practical side of the game - captain, chief selector, coach - announced that the two Mos, Sami and Irfan, would succeed. Ijaz Butt felt snubbed and immediately declared the announcement invalid. Instead of Irfan spinner Abdur Rehman will join the forces now.

Like many of us I was looking forward to seeing the TV tower running in. For once in my life I have to agree with Shahid Afridi here, who said that Irfan would have extracted remarkable bounce due to his enormous height, and could have posed a nice surprise to the opponent. Alas, Irfan hadn't been on the list of the 30 probables and has to miss out now. Very sad story. I think if Pakistan really can't come up with two good quicks maybe the ideal combination would have been Irfan / Rehman.

~~~

And now for something almost completely different:

Pakpassion have conducted a rather peculiar interview with Mohammad Asif. I can't really make much sense of it, on the one hand he is basically telling nothing, on the other hand this can be quite telling, too. But let me quote the most interesting bit:

***

When Pakistan's fixtures are arranged, Asif must cringe at the thought of another series in the United Arab Emirates, especially given that Pakistan are going to be playing a lot of cricket in the Middle East later this year and beyond. He was asked whether he thought he would eventually get the chance to play in Dubai or Abu Dhabi again or would he have to remain a spectator for those series.

"Of course it's frustrating as I want to play for my country all of the time. I don't want to miss any matches. The matter is being dealt with by Ijaz Butt saheb and I know he is talking to the relevant people to try and sort out the issue. Hopefully I can start playing cricket in the UAE shortly".

***

Umm. Seriously does anybody of you guys think that his ban will be lifted at any point in the future? I can't see that happening. Two pleas of that sort have been rejected already. What makes him hopeful that the third one might be successful? What signal would be sent out to the public in the Emirates, if the the decision was overruled? I think Pakistan will remain without Asif as long as they have to play home matches in the UAE. And that was the second sad story of the day.


Cheers,
Wes

19 April 2010

...have you noticed?


Middlesex lost.
It wasn't exactly a thrashing, and with a batter in the line-up they would have won easily.

Rory fell off the wall.
Told you so.

Cossy won!
Must have been quite a feeling for him after the last months. The Redbacks now regret having lost the best first and second slip in the world.

Strauss was meh.
He could have walked a little earlier, but him helplessly watching his team mates scuffle off the field was Straussiliation enough for the moment.

Essex signed Chris Martin as a cover for Danish Kaneria.
The fixing is getting more blatant every day.

The Wisden Cricketer has compiled the XI Ball tamperers.
Must-read. Hilarious.

There is nothing, really nothing happening at the moment.
I wish the head of Nathan Hauritz would appear inside the ash cloud and annunciate the Age of the Square Leg.

17 April 2010

Middlesex Misery - day 3 preview

Phewwwwwwwwww...

Strauss top-scored. But who cares. Middlesex allowed Glamorgan to recover and collect 315, then crumbled like a streusel cake and left the hall for 160, with Simpson and Strauss being the only two batsmen to make it past 20. Only just. Glamorgan decided not to put them in again, it would make for a much more exciting show to have them frantically chase 400 on day 4. Or so was the plan. Meanwhile they are 119-6, at a lead of 274. Middlesex will ideally want to have finished them by lunch and then attempt a calm and concentrated chase. But the first digit of the target will most likely be "3". The guarantee for another neat and clean implosion.

Finn! Arrrrrrrrrrrrr! Cossy wanted to make up for the first innings duck and had just settled in when Finn attempted to stone him. One of the rocks hit Cossy's turnip, and after a few minutes he had to retire hurt on 17. The comment box reported that he also couldn't be spotted on the balcony, but if the doc says thumbs up he might still enter the ring again today.

15 April 2010

This weekend on There's Nothing Else Happening TV

County Cricket:

The outcome of one of this weekend's matches was foreseen and written down by the authors of my old English school book:

"This is the story
Of my friend Rory
He fell off the wall
And that's all"


I'm surrey :(
Ha ha.
No seriously, good luck to the youngster. That's a heavy burden on his shoulders. I guess no one envies him that job.

~~~

STRAUSS! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If he lets his bowlers down again this week I will  $%@§  his  %&?$ with an iron $&!@€% !!!!!!


No I don't have any feelings for Middlesex

Holy.....!! Finn just sent Cossy home for a duck. Why is "Noooooooooooooooooooooo" the only word that's coming to my mind these days when I think of the Cos *sneeeef*


I was going to write something about Pakistan but naturally can't think straight now.

13 April 2010

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO



This is nothing short of a disgrace. Unthankful, ruthless, and a kick in the face of the fans. Cossy is a South Australian icon just like the frog cakes, the pie floater and the Mall's Balls. Nobody would ever think of removing those!

He may not have been the next Bradman but his cultworthy appearance posed a welcome counterpart to the Redbacks' lack of success and general paddling about at the bottom end of all possible tables.

I hope that Cossy finds a new loving home; teams who are interested in his adoption please contact the SACA. Cossy is a friendly and well-behaved little cricketer, who loves to meet new people and shows good skills in the slips. New owners should be aware of his slightly increased food costs and the need for regular agility training, but he will reward you with his loyalty, dedication and receptiveness for belly rubs.


Inconsolable,
Wes

11 April 2010

► County Championship Video Highlights

Most of the websites listed here provide a viewing experience much nicer than the ECB player, as well as tons of other footage. Surrey even create their own video highlights.
Use the small comprehensive ECB player for clubs that don't feature any match highlights on their websites (yet).

~~~

Derbyshire CCC

Durham CCC

Essex CCC

Glamorgan CCC

Gloucestershire CCC

Hampshire CCC

Kent CCC

Lancashire CCC

Leicestershire CCC

Middlesex CCC
Links to the single videos, player has a download button

Northamptonshire CCC
ECB player embedded in the sidebar, Northants matches only

Nottinghamshire CCC

Somerset CCC
at Youtube: Somerset CCC and peacocksmedia

Surrey CCC
Custom videos with cool pre-match stuff

Sussex CCC
Small embedded player
Registration needed to access archives in the large player.

Warwickshire CCC
ECB player embedded, Warwickshire matches only

Worcestershire CCC
ECB player embedded, Worcestershire matches only

Yorkshire CCC
Nothing there yet, though.

10 April 2010

Finnish 'em!!!

That's been one great day for the sports I like!


Part I:

Some of you might have picked up some more or less subtle hints about Steven Finn being on my watchlist, today he reminded us all of the reasons:

5-69
9-37


*groan*

This is the guy that New Zealand would ideally like to see at Tim Southee's side.
Poisonous, calm, mature, ladderlegged, montypythonfaced, UNBLOND, and just at the start of a hopefully long, successful test career. But we all know that God spreads his gifts to mankind in sometimes truly inexplicable patterns, and this time he has gifted England, for reasons that lie completely in the obscure.

Yes of course I want to see Finn (heck, why can't this be his first name) in the Ashes! Preferably in the place of Broad. Yeah it won't happen unless Broad gets injured -your turn Purna!-, but maybe someone else will miss out instead. England's part-time skipper Strauss is his Middlesex team mate, and I hope he'll beat the drum for him.


Part II:

Straussy reads my blog! Just when I couldn't live without it anymore he gave me what I was craving so much:

He walked on 1.

No it doesn't play a role that this match seems to be a low-scorer. It won't keep me from renaming him as Andrew Walker.


Part III:

In a reprise of the first AFL match I'd ever seen Essendon won versus Carlton yet again! I was lucky to see the last bit and there it was again, the tension that freezes your body entirely and makes your hair stick off in crazy directions, until the final whistle sounds. The Dons really know how to take it from the living and slumped down towards the end until the lead had shrunk to 13 points, but an absolute stunner of a mark posed the turning point and they strode to a glorious finish. Phewwww! Okay it will probably not interest anyone of you but I needed to vent my joy, especially as my other adopted club, the Crows, are doing crap at the moment :/


There are also some Pakistan news trickling in every now and then but they are all more or less of the
sort, so yeah that's it for today,



Cheers,
Wes

9 April 2010

+ Poms! More Poms!!! +

England Cricket have introduced a plan to increase the ratio of English players in future cricket teams. The aim is not to keep overseas players out of the team by legal means, but to help homegrown players push through.

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, admits that the current system does not provide the conditions necessary to produce the desired number of quality players -especially as it also has to compensate the lack of competitive sports at schools- and sets the goal of producing "50 England-qualified cricketers under the age of 26 by 2013". The interesting details of the strategy can be read here.

I absolutely welcome this new direction and look forward to seeing more English among the English. After all, what's the point of beating the Poms, if they aren't Poms?


What? Poms that aren't Poms?

It's the Barmy Army nearly killing themselves for the good cause.

Read more about the Sport Relief challenge called "The Shirt Of Hurt" here, and have a gloat over the gallery ^^



Cheers,
Wes

8 April 2010

Straussy I miss you



*croons longingly*

  ♪ This Strauss was made for walking... and that's just what he'll do... ♪ ♫

7 April 2010

A match I would have loved to watch

29th Jan - 1st Feb 2006
Karachi

Pakistan v India, 3rd test

Dravid wins the toss and fields, there is a little bit of green on the pitch.


Pakistan 1st innings:

0.4 Salman (0) out, bowled by Pathan caught by Dravid
0.5 Younis (0) out, lbwed by Pathan
0.6 Yousuf (0) out, bowled by Pathan

Irfan Pathan becomes only the second Indian in the history of the game to achieve a hat-trick. And Pakistan are three down after one over. Cringe time.

5.2 Faisal Iqbal walks for 5 after inspecting the perforation of his pad, which has been caused by Zaheer Khan.
9.5 Afridi (10) falls, Khan is the sniper once again. 
10.3 Farhat edges RP Singh to Dhoni, he has managed to collect 22 and to outlive the five others, for 10 shaky overs at least.

Kamran enters the arena. The match calms down, but only in terms of flying wickets. Kamran has a strong drive to the boundary. He is partnered by Abdul Razzaq.

36.6 Razzaq's innings ends on 45 (7x4) as he exposes his pad to RP Singh.

Shoaib Akhtar comes in, determined to contribute.

56.2 The party is over. Kamran (113) has to walk, he has saved the face of his country, Dhoni collects Pathan with a nice dive and puts an end to the fun.

Asif comes in to live a short life.

59.4 Asif says o hai - o bai, the duck is handed over by RP Singh and VVS Laxman at second slip.
60.1 Lone fighter Shoaib (45) walks the way of all mortals, Pathan bags another one as the ball lands in Yuvraj's hands. Dani stands unbeaten on... umm... 0.

Pakistan are all out for 245. So far, so Pak.

~~~

India 1st innings

3.2 Dravid (3) out! Kamran happily accepts a beautiful gift, handmade and wrapped by Mo Asif.
4.3 Sehwag leaves the hall! Shoaib Akhtar denies him the 6th run and Kamran agrees!

Sachin and Laxman are now doing their best to take roots. Sachin goes for a handful of boundaries.

11.6 The end of Laxman (19)! Asif takes a mighty good gulp of his wonder water and gets the lax man with a stunner.
12.4 Sachin's gloriole falls off his head as he gets locked in by a Razzaq delivery after just 23 runs! Clonk goes the leg stump.

Yuvraj and Ganguly are trying to get some calm in, while keeping the scoreboard ticking. But all good things come to an end.

29.3 Ganguly (34) edges Razzaq into the open, Asif in the deep confirms the reception of the parcel.

Dhoni comes to the rescue! He thinks.

34.5 Yuvraj (45) feels a muffled thud on the pad as the air starts to smell of happy Asif. One of these eight 4s must have been bad.
35.1 Dhoni has to catch the bus! There was only just enough time for 13 runs. Razzaq and Kamran sell him the ticket.

The tail is in. But so is the night.

42.4 The first blood of the day is dripping from Kumble's shin. Shoaib finds that Anil's 8th run should be the one back to the dressing room.

Pathan knows the shop's closing, and tries to grab everything in reach.

53.4 Afridi (yes he is playing) tells Pathan (40) in his cordial manner that he is blocking his sight. Yousuf underlines it with a well-measured catch.
54.1 Khan (21) surrenders to the combined charm attack of Asif and Kamran.

India have accumulated 238 runs in their first innings. The scores are almost level, anything goes from here. That's been some steaming hot action so far, but now (!) it is getting interesting!

~~~

Pakistan 2nd innings

Chhrrrzzz....chrrrzzzzz...chrzzzzzz...

24.1 Oh! A wicket! Salman (53) was allowed to complete his 50 at about one boundary per over (10x4). Ganguly find this pace inappropriate and acts.

Younis pops in for a visit.

27.4 Poor Farhat (57) is aching. He can't be without Salman and entrusts his wicket to Pathan, after Sachin's safe hands convince him that he should mourn in private.

Yousuf has started to air his emerging beard out.

Chhrrrzzz....chrrrzzzzz... chrzzzzzz...

Good night everybody. (Pak are at 173-2 after 39 ov. )

Good morning everybody.

Chhrrrzzz....chrrrzzzzz... chrzzzzzz...

 67.6 Kumble sends a ball-shaped probe to Younis' shin and finds out that Younis isn't safe out here with this old pad. Younis nods knowingly, with 77 to his name including 11 boundaries.

Faisal Iqbal leaves his cave and winks into the sunlight.

77.1 Kumble the scientist sends out another probe! Yousuf doesn't like result, especially as he is on 97. But the probe doesn't lie, you won't get a pat if you bat with a bad pad.

Afridi comes in and immediately starts to Rock'n'Roll, but Kumble and Sachin are squeezing the air out of the batters, until Afridi can't hold his horses anymore and fires the cannons.
The 95th over reads: Pathan to Afridi 1,3(Iqbal),4,4,6,0.
He tries the trick in the next over again, this time with Yuvraj. (...), 4,4...OUT:

95.6 Afridi mistimes the pull, hits it up in the air and finds the aforementioned safe hands of Sachin. A predictable Afridi dismissal. But Pakistan have already  reached 402-4!

Razzaq and Iqbal are sharing the attention of the bowlers now. After settling in they give Pathan, Sachin and Kumble some fist to smell. The ball flies for six multiple times before stumps. The new day begins the way the old one ended, the batsmen let it rip whenever possible, the captain bears a declaration in mind and needs some more quick runs now. The bell tolls after 12 overs:

139.4 Iqbal has to go after doing a great job (139) for his team. Khan and Tendulkar collaborate. This innings makes me want to have a closer look at his stats, something I haven't deemed necessary so far.

140.1 The good Razzaq has to make way, undeservedly on 90. He forwards Kumble to Yuvraj at long-on.

Kamran looks disappointed as he hasn't even got off the mark, but Younis' lucky number is 599, so he declares right away.  

607 is the goal for India. They have a strong batting line-up and Pakistan gathered 599 at the expense of just 6 lives, the wicket has obviously lost its initial demons. One should think.

~~~

India 2nd innings

0.5 Dravid edges Shoaib to the keeper. He obviously thinks that 2 runs are an appropriate contribution to the aim of 607.
1.3 Sehwag stands and stares in horror as he sees Dravid trotting off. Asif takes his chance. India get 4 runs from Sehwag, nothing more. 

Sachin and Laxman are now planning how to make a double each.The plan seems to work for a while.

12.1 But Asif shows no mercy. 'Vivious' Laxman (21) opens the gate, Asif walks through and takes the middle stump with him on his way.

Ganguly seeks to put out the fire.

16.3 Sachin (26) sits in his Tendulcar and takes a ride to the dressing room! Asif's third removal!

Yuvraj comes in and immediately starts to go hard at Razzaq, it's hailing fours. But Pakistan aren't going to take any prisoners now.

36.1 Razzaq gets his revenge, Ganguly departs via lbw for a meagre 37.

Yuvraj is still alive though. Dhoni enters. But Razzaq has tasted blood.

46.6 Dhoni edges Razzaq to Nearshoe at second slip! Just 18 runs from the keeper.

Razzaq is getting into a frenzy, he refuels his flame thrower quickly and...

48.6 ...takes Pathan on 4, Iqbal at gully collects the remains!

Intimidated India gave up early, stubborn Yuvraj is the only fighter. And he still lives! But his partners are dying like flies.

51.3 Dani gets a wicket! Whoohoo! Spinner takes spinner, Kumble waddles off for 5 after Farhat collects the prize.

Yuvraj keeps living while he sees another comrade sink to the ground.

55.6 Zaheer Khan (10) waves the white flag, as Dani windmills him out of the ground with a direct hit.

58.4 Razzaq fires a last time and fells the resistant Yuvraj (122), the taste of revenge sweet on his lips; Kamran picks up the edge.

Pakistan win by 341 runs. Sensational.  And it won't happen again so soon :(

Younis wasn't too unlucky losing the toss and batting third again. This killer innings broke India's will. India's lack of faith in themselves is a bit shocking though. Maybe the Karachi crowd distracted them a little. Pakistan bowled exceptionally well and showed teeth with the bat.


But here comes the best bit... enjoy Mo Asif going rampant!


5 April 2010

Rebirth all over the place! ^^

Strolling through the blog world you will realise that rebirth is a concept really difficult to explain to people who don't know what it is. Umm. But Easter is a good occasion to talk about it. Not only Christians celebrate recreation on Easter, but also atheists go mad about the re-awakening of nature, the new beginning of the circle of life. Hence the egg is one of the most popular Easter symbols.

But!

A blog can be a symbol of rebirth, too. Only four days after I began my studies of this mysterious yet fascinating language called  HTML my first selfmade template has seen the light of day; a neat green creation that even has a name: "Night Vision". Guess why ^^

Don't tell me it's ugly. I have eyes. Don't tell me it has flaws. I know! But it's sure not finished yet and I'm gonna tweak it here and there. The best thing about it is that it has three different backgrounds, which can all be changed in the colour settings (here you can see my test blog with original template).


IN YOUR FACE, BLOG CODE!



Let me know if you like it!
Cheers,
Wes

2 April 2010

† Happy Crucifixion Day everybody †

Now that there is currently no cricket going on except for the announcement of the T20 squads and the respective more or less detailed analyses in the blogs --check out the in-depth previews of Australia (by Ian) and England (by Greyblazer)-- I thought I would use the time and dig myself into the blog code a little.

Owners of widescreen monitors will --hopefully-- have noticed that the blog doesn't get scattered all over the place anymore and remains nicely centred. But it should still adjust correctly to smaller screens.

Whooo-frickin-hooo! 

Please let me know if it works. I can only encourage everybody who has at least a tiny sense of logic inside him or her to try it out and start tweaking. XML, or whatever "it" is called, is so clear and logical (errm) that I didn't have to look up a single tutorial or anything. It lies all before you waiting to get modified  hehe. There will be a few moments of d'oh, for instance when you realise why "center" doesn't work for wrappers. That was a very very big d'oh. But it's worth the effort. Of course it is recommendable to start a non-public test blog for such experiments. The sidebar has been tweaked also, some gadgets don't adopt the formatting but I'm going to look into that.

Anyway as you can sense I am heaps excited about everything, next up I'm gonna look at the variables and the... umm... bits that refer to them. Separating the dotted lines from the borders would be something for instance [edit, lol diddit].

Ahhh the little joys of an autodidact ^^


Last but not least:

Graeme Swann got asked to share his most valuable piece of advice for aspiring spin bowlers. He hopes it helps.


Happy Eggtime!

Cheers,
Wes