30 June 2010

Total Gloucsification

Gloucestershire v Middlesex


Highlights included after each match day.

Day 1

Gloucestershire elect to field as there is a hint of green on the pitch. Berg still out with a slight back injury, which gives Josh Davey another chance to shine, Tom Smith in for Shaun Udal's split webbing, Toby Roland-Jones replaces Iain O'Brien. Hand not informed as to why Danny Evans isn't playing then. Turns out both Robbie Williams and Danny Evans are currently on the road with Middlesex Second XI.


Promising signs at the top of the order: Sam Robson  (c) PA Photos
[1st innings]

Robson and Newman edge a few but nevertheless seem not too uncomfortable, but as Newman (25) goes he triggers a collapse, Shah out next for about zilch and eventually Robson (39) has to leave due to a dodgy decision, 77-3. Another must-win match for Middlesex with a suboptimal start. Oh hell, at 83 Dexter goes for a duck when his team would have needed a captain's knock from him. Four wickets before lunch. And then also Simpson manages to nick one, five down before lunch, I think the cake is eaten. Oh as Middlesex bat first they can't be made follow on, how practical, one must clearly look for a positive side here. Maybe they can benefit from the green top still today, if the tail doesn't stand up.

Gloucsman Chris Taylor is the fielding coach of the English Women team, IOB says their fielding has improved dramatically in the last years.

After lunch Malan and Davey settle in, Malan (29) is the first to go though, 134-6 after only 38 overs. Murtagh already padded up looking not the happiest. Haha. Perhaps we are gonna see Middlesex all out before tea.
156-7, Smith (7) out. Davey on 26* after 51.4 overs.

181-7 as Murtagh (17, four fours) edges it. IOB not happy, Murtagh is a good player, he can bat, Hand adds "but obviously he always finds ways to get himself out". If he has a batsman at the other end, like Davey currently, it is not his job to go for "these shots", but to hang around. IOB adds he should have tried to get Josh to his fifty. He criticised earlier that Murts always goes for the big shots instead of trying to wear the bowlers down and stay in as long as possible. Toby Roland-Jones needs to pick up the job to get Davey to his half century now.

You wouldn't believe it but after exactly 60 overs the 200 comes up for Middlesex, and at 218 Josh gets his fifty. Very well-deserved milestone, and Middlesex are actually not all out before tea. That is quite a recovery from the lower order here. 224-8 at tea, this is slowly starting to look like a score.

234-9 as Roland-Jones (19) departs after tea, it's the fifth wicket for Anthony Ireland. Collins is the last batsman to come in but it is Davey (60) who gets killed by a bouncer, would have deserved to be not out, but if it rains it pours. Middlesex all out for 236. There goes my hope for at least 250 :/ Would be nice if the bowlers could get some early breakthroughs here, Hand expressed high hopes in the seamers earlier, Roland-Jones and Davey will surely be trying to chip in with some victims as the quicks make good use of the green surface.

Total 236


[2nd innings]

It's a pitch on which you'd like like Finn and O'Brien, without any disrespect to Murtagh and Collins, says Hand. 28 without loss in the 7th over as the covers come on, the long anticipated rain has obviously arrived at the ground. Hand can't spot any real threat though and a minute later the covers are coming off again and the umpires reappear. Hand is annoyed by all this yee-haw but says ah well that's cricket.

Collins gets the breakthrough as Kadeer Ali (13) loses his offstump. Gloucs are 30-1. A minute later Batty could have been run out, but Robson throws the ball to the wrong end. Obviously Murtle is giving Batty a hard time, it's not over yet tonight but the curfew is approaching quickly now. ARGHHH second time that Batty chips it over mid-off i.e. Newman with a leading edge. All excitement in vain.

Ohhhhh big lauds of Warner's shoulders, who is obviously subbing at the moment. Collins suddenly bursts into a huge appeal and Batty (20) is gone, trapped in front, out, out, number 2 goes, 11 overs still to play tonight, well well, go Middx! Gloucs are 41-2.

Josh Davey, who turns 20 in August (awwwww), comes into the attack and bowls four wides, but he has three consecutive First Class fifties on the scoreboard now, so I guess we love him tehehe. 53-2 for Gloucs and Toby R-J is warming up. Nothing happening though,

81-2 at the end of the day.


Day 2

Nothing happening either, the early wickets haven't come, Murtle bowls a not too inspired spell according to Hand, IOB arrives. The pitch is said to be a little softer today. Still dead pants on the field, as we say over here.

Instead we are getting informed about IOB currently trying to behave himself and denying himself the ice cream. He likes carrot cake. Gloucs are now only 100 behind with 8 wickets remaining, Hand doesn't quite understand why T R-J was opening and not Collins. Gloucs are scoring a couple of sixes. 150-2 in the 42nd over. The skipper brings himself on but gets belted as well.

DT arrives, Roland-Jones finally gets the wicket of dangerman Dent (53), bounces him out and Dent gets caught at square-leg by Newman. Well done, 167-3. Dent, the 19-year old, might have provided the match-changing half-century here and the deciding partnership with Hamish Marshall (55*). Skipper Gidman comes in for Gloucestershire.

Dawid Malan added 29 before he fell  (c) PA Photos
The Pietersen discussion rages on. Some people seem to disagree verily, saying this ego will mess up the dressing room, something that Middlesex don't exactly need now. DT sort of admits that KP loves attention. Others are very positive about the idea, pointing out that KP could bring a lot of experience and useful batting into the side.

193-3 at lunch. Upon return Dexter bowls Marshall, the other half centurion (68), with the first ball after lunch! A short while later 199-5 as Dexter gets Taylor! I'm very happy for the skipper, leading from the front here taking key wickets! A couple of unnecessary runs. Hand finds Collins quite good, he remembers how nobody understood why Middlesex would sign a player that couldn't get into the Surrey side, but he has turned out quite good, very economical, DT agrees. Again nothing happening and this allows Gidman to reach his half century, 260-5, Gloucs lead by 24 runs.

Before tea Malan comes on and gets Gidman (61)! The Gloucs skipper goes lbw. DT says it's not a good decision but the main thing is Gidman is gone. 275-6. Middlesex need to wrap this up now! Hand mentioned earlier that Malan also has a googly.

Sudden laughter, the sub fielder's identity is unclear, he looks like Camilla Parker-Bowles! (wtf??) "medium to long strawberry-blond hair" What is strawberry-blond hair? They are calling him Camilla now. IOB oracles something about Camilla being a Gloucs NZer called Ollie. I have looked it up, there is no Ollie in the Gloucs squad. Fred knows who O'Brien was referring to. The lead is 68. Nothing until tea, 319-6.

After tea Tom Smith comes on, 324-7 as he gets Lewis, who was on 30 already, a good and necessary wicket.

IOB thinks Finn is 21 and needs to bowl a lot, he says he himself (IOB) needs to bowl a lot to stay on top of his game.

357-7 as Gloucestershire gain the 4th batting point, they took all three bowling points as well, James Franklin patiently batting towards a high score.

Finally, finally!!! Franklin goes on 99, Gloucs 399-8, that must have been the fourth time that he misses out on a century this season. Dexter takes his third and Smith catches. Let's hope Middlesex can take the remaining two wickets quickly now. Gloucs already lead by 163 runs :/

DT insists that Paul Collingwood is not a Test player: "He's just not a batsman". (Huh?)

Gloucs are past the 400 now, DT urges Tom Smith to give it a bit of air "Come on, float it a bit!!!", speculations as to whether Middlesex will actually be able to chase this down. Hand argues that Malan and Dexter are in good nick but none of the guys sounds really convinced. General disappointment by today's bowling. Middlesex can't take the two remaining wickets either.

404-8 at stumps, and Gloucestershire lead by 168 runs with two wickets left.


Day 3

The day is a lot colder. Very disappointed emails coming in about Middlesex conceding more than 400 runs on a green top, while in their own innings the pitch seemed like a minefield. 419-8 after 128 overs. Eventually the tailenders fall, Kirby (9) bowled Smith caught Newman and Ireland (0) bowled Roland-Jones caught Malan in what must have been a rather curious fashion. Gemaal Hussain remains unbeaten on 28*.

420 for Gloucestershire, they lead by 184 runs. Well well.


Anthony Ireland didn't take any prisoners: 5 for 25 in the first innings  (c) PA Photos
[3rd innings]

This is a disaster. In the second over Newman (5) goes lbw to Lewis, 5-1, unlucky decision, Newman is convinced he got bat on it. Owais comes out. Goddammit. I hope Sam Robson will keep impressing though, I have a good feeling about him. This is obviously a 400+ pitch now so please Middle, make something of it.

Gidman has five slips in, or four slips and a gully, Hand lauds the aggressive captaincy. Middlesex are staring at the ugly face of an innings defeat if they collapse now. Kirby keeps bowling his beauties. Shah looks very twitchy, keeps edging it. Arghhh Robson (12) departs, Jon Lewis killed him by line and length, Robson nicks it to the keeper, Umpire VA Holder does a Koertzen, but eventually raises the finger. 40-2 in the 10th over. Dawid Malan and Owais Shah (15*) have to anchor the innings or it'll all be over tonight.

Hand blames the absence of Finn, Berg and O'Brien, it would have been a different bowling attack with these three. Suddenly a noise goes "moop", Hand "Oh dear what was that, hopefully not a vuvuzela, maybe just a car horn somewhere" hahahaha. Terror! But he calms down quickly reporting about the arrival of the ice cream van.

IOB pops in for a rant, apart from that nothing happening, 65-2 at lunch.

Shah (32) edges it to the keeper, Lewis gets him with a fuller one. Next wicket Malan (13), caught at second slip. James Franklin the bowler. Alright. I predict Middlesex all out before tea. Okay well but still tonight. Hand points out that Dexter has a huge work load, needs to produce a captain's innings now, is the main spinner and fields in the slips (like most captains)

"When you're in good form you actually end up having more luck than when being not" or so. IOB getting carried away here a little. Dexter has raced on to 46* with the lucky shots IOB just mentioned, 19 runs of that last over. 127-4 after 32 ov.

A fair while of nothing and suddenly Dexter (54) nicks Hussain to second slip. 139-4. Very very big wicket. Speculations that Gloucs are probably motivated by the prospect of having a day off tomorrow. Simpson and Davey now the guys to save Middlesex from an innings defeat. IOB is a barrel of info and opinion again. Simpson (23) goes but no one knows for what. Umpire gave lbw. IOB's top scores: 44 for Wellington and 38 against Pakistan in Tests. Not long until tea, 180-6, Middlesex still trail by 3 runs.

Hand hasn't even sat down properly as Davey (9) gets picked up by Hussain first ball after tea. Very very bad, he played a great innings and Middlesex could have needed another good effort from him. Murts comes in now. Smith out for 18 to Gemaal Hussain, cuts it to point. Toby Roland-Jones in. He hits a four and a six. Middlesex have avoided the innings defeat, TRJ and Murtle hanging around for a bit. 209-8 after 65 overs. Murts (8) out to Ireland, 216-9. The tailenders, namely Toby R-J and Pedro Collins, are frolicking around now, both score boundaries, but as expected the fun doesn't last for ages, Toby gets removed by Lewis for 23 and Pedro survives on 7*.

Middlesex have accumulated a total of 228 runs, that's a lead of 44, which has to be defended now before the players are allowed to have dinner.


[4th innings]

Josh Davey opens the bowling with Toby Roland-Jones. Gloucs are comfortably cruising towards the target. At 33-0 Dawid Malan comes into the attack. Gloucs are making an epic drama of it now because none of the openers wants to go out. They are snailing along exactly until Kieswetter in the Eng v Aus ODI gets removed, just for the mere sake of annoying me, before they finish the chase after 13.1 overs.


Well well, one can clearly state that Middlesex' weakened attack robbed them of the majority of their chances. I think Middlesex are now about bottom of table in the CC and the chances against weaker opponents in the FPT20 have also been spilled. Strauss and Morgan off to national duties, and Finn, IOB and Berg as well as Udal out with injury or by prohibition cannot be compensated. Shah alone can't pull the chestnuts out of the fire and as long as guys like Newman keep failing and the team mainly consists of guys aged 23 and younger one cannot expect the big battles from the boys. Anyway, this shall not diminish the achievements of the youngsters, Davey's vital first innings half ton and very promising signs from Toby Roland Jones indicate where the journey could be going. Middlesex need to take the bull by the horns no matter what the cost, they can survive one more year in misery and shame, as long as these young talents stick to and grow with them.


Not grumpy,
Wes

29 June 2010

The Saussies are coming!

Despite the mixed bag of news produced by Australian cricket at the moment there is one utterly positive trend emerging clearly: The Redback bites! Let us have a look at some of the recent Australian matches in which players from South Australia played a big role:

England v Australia 3rd ODI

Third loss in a row, loss of the series, two dead rubbers left. BUT! The injury-induced misery in the bowling department forced Cricket Australia to order Shaun Tait into the line-up, and once more he impressively demonstrated that he has matured into one of Australia's most accurate fast bowlers. Black flags everywhere as Shaun will never pick up long format duties again, but his figures of 3 utter sniperings at 2.80 after he had bowled the full quota of 10 overs speak a clear language. I hope that this performance, as well as his appearance in the two remaining matches, will open the door to the first string ODI line-up for him.

~~~

Australia A v Sri Lanka A
1st unofficial Test
2nd unofficial Test

Peter George aka The Georgeous:
1 for 24 at 2.66, 5 for 85 at 4.00 / 4 for 13 at 1.36, 1 for 47 at 2.76

~~~

Marylebone Cricket Club v Pakistanis

Redbacks newbie Aiden Blizzard (73) top scored for the Marylebone Cricket Club against the Pakistanis and survived 59 balls against the creme de la creme of Pakistani pace bowling, I can't determine whether he also faced a lot of spin but probably yes. Anyway, very well done!

Any high score of him is important in view of the Champions League T20, in which the Redbacks will utmost likely be without the services of their legionnaires Kieron Pollard and Shahid Afridi. The absence of Pollard, who will be free to chose between the Redbacks, Mumbai Indians, and Trinidad & Tobago (if the latter win the local T20 tournament in the Caribbean), is the most painful blow the Redbacks have to cope with. Pollard is in mindboggling form at the moment with both bat and ball and has won numerous battles for his current Friends Provident T20 team Somerset this season. In last year's CL T20 he posed a key figure in the fiery T&T line-up.

The more important is it for the Redbacks to sniff sufficient international air and get into competitive shape as comprehensively as possible. 
Jake Haberfield needs to bowl in the upcoming one-dayers against the Lankans, good luck Jake!
I hope Peter George and Shaun Tait will both be alive and kicking any butt when the tournament starts, they are bowlers that can win matches for their team.  
Aiden Blizzard, regarded as a T20 specialist, has also played in the Bangladesh T20 Cup this year and helped his team win the title. You can read more about this curious adventure here.
Dan Christian, who couldn't really unfold in the Australian T20 side, is currently missed badly by his Friends Provident T20 team Hampshire, where the services of the injured allrounder are highly appreciated.
Michael Klinger is worrying me a little, I hope that he can get his mojo back in time, and we still haven't heard anything about the progress of Callum Ferguson.

And before I forget to mention it:
The SACA will still bite their butts a million times over abandoning Mark Cosgrove.

Mustn't think of it. Getting ANGRY!!!! 

However, bla.

Cheers,
Wes

27 June 2010

Bloody Gloucs

Gloucestershire v Middlesex (FP T20)

[scorecard]

The match highlights can as usual be found at the bottom of the post.

Davey in for Berg, according to Hand the latter is out due to "part rest, part slight niggle".

~~~

Just a summary as the aftermath of the football (Schland! Schland!) and the parallel Eng-Aus ODI require my attention as well.


[first innings]

Middlesex elected to field, Collins and Murtle opening, on the Gloucs side Porterfield and Redmond, two potent openers on paper. It's 16-1 in the third over, Porterfield (8) removed by Collins, Davey catches, James Franklin in.

Hand being his funny self, can't stop harping about "what happened between 3 and 5 o'clock", "the game that we won't talk about" etc. I think the match is just a sideshow today.

Redmond (10) gone, edges it to the keeper, Henderson the bowler, 25-2.

40-2 after Davey's opening over, in which he leaks 16 runs. Oh boy. Against Gloucs! Must-win match. Otherwise total humiliation.

44-2 after another Henderson over, Josh Davey jogs in enthusiastically but the skipper says no thanks. Haha arghh poor. Skipper brings himself on. Bowls a slower one and Franklin gets stumped. 44-3.

Tom Smith on. I am losing track a bit, Australia currently slaying English tail and looking as if they could turn a lost match around. Hand just realised it and exclaims "wowowow what has happened there!" I am wondering as well. Dexter in the meanwhile leaks four wides. 67-3 after 10 overs.

126-3 after 17 as several boundaries and even a few sixes were scored by the Gloucsmen. Middlesex need a wicket. 138-4 as Gidman (42) goes out to Murtagh as Malan catches him at long-on. Sorry for the incoherence. Gidman's successor Dawson goes out soon thereafter, Collins and Newman cooperate. 144-5, and the next Gloucsbatter gets yorked by Murts. Five balls left.

Total: 153-6


[second innings]

IOB arrives for the second half, they keep discussing the football in their cryptic language: "The disallowed G of the F-game... but I think G were too strong for E anyway." Hahah IOB.

Warner goes first, who'd have thought it.  28-1, Warner gone for 17, Hand still waiting to see the big innings from him. Middlesex ahead of Gloucestershire though. I think Henderson is batting and he lifts Kirby over the grandstand. Hand and IOB happily blabbing, Newman makes a six, loses control and in an attempt to make another one he says bye-bye, Middlesex are 41-2. Dexter goes, victim of a slog, 47-3, Henderson leaves next, 66-3 in the 9th over.

Lighthearted babbling, 93-4 after the 13th.

Really nothing much happening, Owais and Malan enjoying their time at the crease and IOB praises the lovely evening. Middlesex have accumulated 101 after the 14th, Shah bats sensibly as usual. And just while I am writing this he hits it up and goes. 107-5 should that be now. NOT GOOD OWAIS! Davey comes in, if you have counted you will find out that this is just his second T20. Oh my. I could really do with some Berg here.

If Middx lose against Gloucs the humiliation will be perfect. Apart from that now it looks more like Middx will need 9 victories to reach the next stage. And Davey is stumped.

Ben Scott, the specialist wicket keeper, is in. 111-6 with four overs to go and 43 required. IOB finds Scott is one of the best keepers he has ever seen. Scott gets a lucky edge to the boundary, 39 needed. Go Scotty! He and Malan should be able to knock the remaining runs off here. 123-6, three overs to go. The boys keep going, Scott gets another four. Come on Middlesex!

Steve Kirby bowls at Malan, who suddenly only has the handle of his bat in his hand, but they scamper through for a single, IOB says the bowler could have appealed for a dead ball as he couldn't field the ball, as the blade of the bat was flying at him. Or so. Next ball Scott paddles it over his left shoulder, no fielder there. Arghh that must all be pretty hilarious. 18 off 11 needed. Arghh. Some good running here, a couple of twos. Okay this is a thriller now. 12 off the last over. Darnit.

IOB and Hand are discussing what they call the "Power Over", Hand has never seen one. Haha. I have and it was awesome. Timmy Time in Kiwiland! Also, support Southee! Not sure though if there would be a Super Over, isn't it so that in the group stage ties are possible?

Bloody hell, Malan bowled, five balls left. NOT GOOD. I can't believe it. Malan out for 44 but now there are no batsmen left. The responsibility is on Ben Scott. Tom Smith comes out. Single, Scott on strike now. 11 off four needed. I feel sick. Single. Smith on strike. Single. Two.

Need a six off the last ball to tie the score. Kirby bowling a great over here. Two. Middlesex lose. Gloucs (bloody Gloucs) win by three wickets. Arghh.


I repeat: NOT GOOD. Match ruined by crap batting and the absence of Berg just frickn hurts. And tomorrow it's Gloucs again in the County Championship. Grrrrr.


Grumpy,
Wes

26 June 2010

Panthers grilled by Dragons' breath

Glamorgan v Middlesex (FP T20)


Middlesex won the toss and elected to bat, Newman and Warner opening, Ben Scott replaces Adam Gilchrist behind the stumps and Tyron Henderson is in for Josh Davey.

Please scroll down for the highlights.

[first innings]

They aren't getting off to a flyer but Hand thinks they have learnt from Gilchrist to be patient. They are struggling against Huw Waters though, a large number of dot balls creates pressure, 12-0 after 2 overs. Warner eventually gets on strike more often and plays a couple of nice strokes. 29-0 after 4th over. Dalrymple comes on and leaks only 2 runs in his first over. Owen comes on for Glamorgan, 41-0 after 6 overs.

The match meanders on, Dalrymple restricts and others leak a bit, but nothing remarkable. 52-0 after 8 overs. Hand suspects Warner will be desperate to get a big innings for Middlesex, understandable, he hasn't really lived up the hype yet.

The wicket is slowish, the Glamorgish spinners are doing a good job. I'm looking forward to Smith and Dexter bowling. Hand expects a par score of 150, if at all.

Dalrymple bowls the 10th over and Warner succumbs to the pressure, gets caught on 24. 56-1 after 9.1 overs. The new skipper Dexter enters the arena. Hand lauds Shaun Udal's captaincy stint, says it's a much better dressing room now. 63-1 at the end of the over. 68-1 after the 11th, the run rate hardly exceeds 6. Newman suddenly explodes, two maximums as Cosker can only look on. 84-1 after 12 ov., Cosker's over has yielded 16.

Robert Croft on, Newman hits the ball straight back to him, Croft takes a beautiful one-handed catch, Newman leaves for 48, Malan in, Hand is missing some Shah.

92-2 after 13 as Dalrymple comes back on for his last over. The hundred comes up for Middlesex, 102-2 after 14, Allenby on.

The crowd erupts in cheers as someone (?) has appeared "with an inflatable doll the type of which I will leave you speculating on", quote Hand. 118-2 after 16, 129-2 after 17, there is hope for a defendable score. 140-2 after 18, this is eventually starting to look ok. Malan gets a life as the fielder (Maynard?) spills the ball over the boundary, thanks Tom, how kind of you. 152-2 with one over to go. Hand reckons they are only just above par now. Only two singles off the first two balls. Arghhh long on fielder drops Dexter and spills it for four! Hilarious. Not for Glamorgan, though. Malan tops the cake with a six, replacement ball comes in, as Malan probably hit it into the river, 14 runs altogether off the last over bowled by Allenby. Malan and Dexter both 40*.

Total: 166-2


[innings break]

Hand still not sure if it is a good score or only just above par, as the wicket is rather slowish, but he lauds the patience of the Middlesex batsmen. I'm not sure either. First of all, Cosgrove! The rest isn't of bad parents either. The question is: what if it's not a spinners' wicket? What if Middlesex just batted too cautiously? Glamorgan will not. Can't imagine Cos driving with the handbrake pulled. I'd feel better with 180-9. Anyway. We'll find out soon. Finn is expected during the second half.


Sophia Gardens  (c) Glamorgan CCC
[second innings]

Collins from the River End to Cossy. Dead ball as no one is ready. Owais does the slipping. First real ball is a wide, followed by a boundary. Cossy has the mauling pants on again. 6-0 after the opening over. There is a Beatles cover band playing, while the stadium speakers blare Michael Jackson.

Murts in for the second, Glamorgan climb to 12-0, Collins back on and gets a boundary knocked about the head right away. 21-0 after 3 overs, Glamorgan ahead here. But Murtagh isn't receiving any better treatment, 34-0 after the 4th over. Murts gone for 19 in his first two overs, this is awful. 

Tyron Henderson comes on, let's see what he can do on his return. Hmm no difference. Boom boom goes the Cos. 49-0 after 5, as Cos finishes the over with a six. HELL.

Skipper brings himself on. MUST take wickets now. To no avail. Another boundary to Cos and the 50 for the Dragons. Fifth ball, Cos hits it straight to Newman at mid-on!!! Dexter gets the dangerman. Phewwww! (No offense Cossy, you are still my favourite forever Redback). Tom Maynard in. 56-1 after 6 overs.

Henderson, who had gone for 15 earlier, comes back, his over includes a boundary. Tom Smith comes on, yeah. Waist high full toss but umpire doesn't signal a no ball, it's a six for Allenby, a four rounds the over off, 15 from it, 79-1 after 8 overs.

Dexter back into the attack. And... a four. 83-1. Alright I think we can forget this match. Glamorgan won't do us the favour and collapse magically. 86-1 after 9 overs, Middlesex were 56-0 at this point. Haha. Tom Smith reappears, he only gives four runs, most economical over of the innings so far.

Dexter comes back and Maynard slogs him for six. 101-1 after 11. It is looking desolate. Collins returns. Maynard hits him for 6. 11-1 with 8 overs remaining. No Finn in sight yet, Hand suspects he has forgotten about it.

Henderson back on and eventually gets Allenby, Owais catches, but it might be way too late. Rees joins Maynard. The latter gets a life from Malan at the boundary. 114-2 after 13 overs.

Dexter comes back on. Will his first ball go for a boundary again? No, just two. But the compulsory boundary follows.

Finn into the box. He even thought 140 was a par score. Henderson bowls his fourth over. More strengthening talk. 126-2 after 15. Glamorgan need 40 runs from 5 overs, as Owais is called into the attack, Finn says about him that he has very big fingers, he bowls very quick and is hard to hit. But Maynard greets him with a six. And four more. 138-2 after his over. Finn says they still need three more overs like this one. He has faith in the death bowlers.

Collins comes in for the next over. Rees out lbw!!! 143-3 with two overs to go. Murtagh bowls the 18th over. Wallace came in for Rees, but he can't get off strike. Murtagh bowls a nice over but the last ball goes for a boundary, very unlucky. Glamorgan need 15 from two overs now, Tom Smith in. Four. Match is slipping away. Then Warner makes a desperate attempt but in vain, it goes for six. Maynard knows what he is doing, a four follows, scores are level with more than an over remaining, and Tom Smith also has to bear the winning run. Maynard 63*.


Sigh. A little bit disappointing to realise that Middlesex could either have got a lot more out of this wicket, or just had the worse bowlers. I guess the latter. In fact it feels a bit like a mirrored image of the Eng v Aus ODI a couple of days ago. Cardiff is a difficult pitch for the teams I like. Although: we scored over 600 last summer! Ritz will confirm. However, Gloucs must be defeated tomorrow, even Hampshire won against them.


Cheers,
Wes

25 June 2010

define: sob-standard

England v Australia 2nd ODI

[scorecard]

INJURY UPDATE: please scroll down!

Line-up:
Hazelwood out, Clint in; Harris has a groin injury and Steven Smith replaces him. Cardiff wicket is expected to be slowisher, Punter wins the toss and bats.

AUS batting:
Timmy gets stoned by Bresnan, out for 16. Watson belts Anderson, carries on and gets a half ton. Punter, Clarke, Hussey all out for not worth mentioning. Broad gets 4 on his birthday. Cam White steps up just once again with 86, Steven Smith adds a funny to watch 41 with shots so improvised that Eoin Morgan turned green with envy. England restricts AUS to 239, good work from the bowlers. Basically everybody agrees that it won't be enough.

During his invaluable 41 the Legsmith found utmost innovative ways of getting the ball to the rope  (c) Getty Images

AUS bowling starts:
Clint gets totally raped by Strauss (apologies for the language.) Ohh ohh suddenly Kies out to Bolly, edge to Timmy. Arghhhh! I am currently getting the slow-mo of that shot hit around the turnip, over and over again. Who is the greater goat, Kies or Bolly? I am settling for Kies here... Bolly needed that wicket. Bloody KP in, and Clint keeps getting whacked, not sure how many matches he will still get. Ritz gets lauded as a fairly decent bowler in particular to Strauss.

Legsmith in, he is happily chirping with Punter. What a marvellous, unbelievably witty plan. KP can't resist and Punter takes a ripper and Legsmith gets KP in his first over. My ears are red with excitement.

England are taking the Powerplay as Collers comes in, Ritz to continue and he bloody gets Strauss!! Ritz takes a beautiful super cool return catch to remove the man with the interesting back. How warm and wonderful these familiar things feel at times.

Morgan in, Bolly back on and Morgan immediately scans the field in his lighthouse manner. Finds it hard to cope with Bolly though. A couple of overs later Bolly tries to neuter him. Watto on and Smith as Punter keeps seeking for wickets. Morgan and Collingwood have dug themselves in, and that's it, England clearly on the way to the win as Bolly takes the consolation wicket of Collingwood. Wright in, Hopes bowls him. Bresnan in. Bolly gets Morgan, Paine catches!!! England still need 29 from 58. Swann in, game over.

~~~

Well.
Australia need to find a way to remove Morgan. That's basically the essence of the two matches. It looks as if anything else can be dealt with, but as long as Morgan is alive the other English batsmen are so secure that no one really bothers getting out. A second acceptable fast bowler would be nice as well. If Harris isn't fit for the next match it looks gloomy for the Aussies. I am surely not the only one who has pondered a spontaneous fly-in of the likes of O'Keefe or Peter George / Trent Copeland. Smithy and Ritz did well though, the fast bowling is where the hare lies in the pepper. Happy though that Bolly is getting into his trot. I would also welcome it, if the contributions with the bat were not only made by two or three guys. It is understandable that the boys find it hard to cope with the improved English attack, I mean even Bresnan is a real threat. The more Australia need to concentrate on their classical strengths. Also Punter should introduce corporal punishment for bowling no-balls.

England on the other hand made no mistakes, strangled Australia in the first innings and comfortably waddled to victory. Strauss was allowed way too many runs. Collingwood's 48 hurt as well, especially as he was getting bold at the side of Morgan and nurdled only 95% of his shots.

INJURY UPDATE:

Nathan Hauritz is probably out of the Test Series against Pakistan as an old foot injury seems to have recurred! 
Shaun Tait will arrive from Glamorgan to fill the gap, while Steven Smith is likely to receive his Test Cap. 

Oh. My. God. 

Click here for more info.

Cheers,
Wes

24 June 2010

4 of 7!

Middlesex v Kent (FP T20)

[scorecard]

Scroll down to watch the match highlights

Middlesex win toss bat first, no King Udal or Robbie Williams, Collins and Josh Davey in, who is back from his rather not so successful adventure in the Highlands.

No epic write-up as I am glimpsing at the ENG v AUS match with one eye of course. Middlesex should be able to beat Kent, who are having a really bad streak of defeats.


Yeah.  (c) Getty Images
[first innings]

The Aussies getting off to a magnificent start. 30-0 after 3 overs. The Middlesex Aussies that is. In the 4th over Gilchrist slogs a massive fat six in the top tier of the grand stand, then gets another one with a lucky leading edge. 44-0 after 4 overs. 52-0 after 5, same score after 6. Kent bring a Sri Lankan spinner with the dreadful name Malinga Bandara on. And he takes Warner.

Dexter in. Next wicket Gilly out for 28, 58-2, Owais comes out. Hand corrects himself, it's Malan, to employ the right-hander/left-hander combination. The duels between Bolly and Kies / Clint and Strauss are currently killing me.

Dexter out for 8, 69-3, now comes Owais. Malan still alive on 4. 70-3 after 11 overs. The Kent spin has brought the Middlesex innings to a halt. Just as I am writing this Bandara comes off and Cook back in, Malan immediately hits him for six. 95-3 after 13.

Owais out for 4, 97-4. Middlesex imploding again. Can hardly listen to it. Positive stride from Berg as he approaches the middle. That's him! Run rate 7.1, score 101-4 after 14. Malan hits a low full toss for six. Hand corrects the target to 160.

Malan out for 41. Newman in, 55* against Oz. Do it again, Scott. 119-5 after 16 ov. 126-5 after 17. 128-6, Newman out for 9. Nothing is bloody working today. Josh Davey in, please Josh make your mum proud. Ice Man needs to stay alive at all costs. He whacks it for a great six. Arghh make that consecutive sixes! Bergy being the total Lord again.

Total 154-6


[innings break]

Berg (26*) got Middlesex to a decent total. Josh Davy didn't go out.


Tom Smith took 5 for 24 for Middlesex  (c) Getty Images
[second innings]

Murts and Collins opening, business as usual. IOB had arrived earlier, he explains how misfields, like that of Gilly, which just happened and resulted in a boundary, leave you gutted as it gets on your stats. 19-0 after 3 overs. More overthrows here from Warner. 25-0 after 4. Dexter on while I am watching the Legsmith executing his art. 37-0 after 6, Josh Davey in, Hand says a brisk medium pacer.

Middlesex can't get a wicket. 48-0 after 6.1

Tom Smith on, and finally takes one! 54-1 after 7 overs. Davey stays on. 57-1 after 8, well bowled by Davey. 60-1 after the 9th. Score still comparable to the Middlesex one, Middlesex were one wicket more down. 69-2 after 10 overs. Smith on, stumped! IOB must be partying hard over this. Rob Key still in though. 75-2 after 11 ov, Collins back on, then Dexter. Kent keep up with the Middlesex score.

Suddenly Hand starts screaming, Key gone, Murts takes the catch! Dangerman out. 84-3 after 13 ov, Kent have fallen behind Middlesex now, required run rate up to over 10. Davey on and Collins causes a boundary, IOB takes a deep breath. Maybe Collins should generally get subbed in the future. 95-3 after 14.

Tom Smith on, suddenly groaning, shouting, moaning of pleasure as Murtagh takes the catch of the millennium at the boundary, must have been breathtaking, Hand can hardly come down. Murtle must have run 35 meters and IOB thought it was going for six. Asking rate over 11. 105-4 after 16. Warner takes the next ripper running and diving to his right, Smith has 4 for 17. Unbelievable. Stevens whacks him for six and then next ball is stumped!!! Smith gets a fiver. Kent are 113-6 after 17, Smith has 5 for 24, Murtagh back on, gets a big fat maximum smack on the cheek. 29 needed from 11, Collins on, just one boundary, 135-6, 20 needed off the last. Murtle bowling, dot, 2, 2, 1, bowled him! The last ball yields a single.


Middlesex win by 13 runs



Gilly finishes his captaincy with a win, Middlesex gain 4 wins from 7 matches, which puts them in roughly the same spot as Somerset in the table, so that's something. Hell of a week now before Middlesex, I will try and keep up.


Cheers,
Wes

23 June 2010

Guten Morgan means Good Night

England v Australia 1st ODI
[scorecard]

Yeah Sir Eoin Morgan. Also Clarke's vice captain's knock. Timmy Paine, probably the sunniest, happiest man ever to have kept wicket. Watto, tragic; on the day after I had dreamt that he died he took wickets... and got slaughtered. Harris, the light in the dark. Hauritz, the next Dilshan. Tim "Today I bat" Bresnan. Luke "bloodiest hobbit in Middle-earth" Wright. Strauss (10).

You can read about all this here, here and here.

From now on I will try and tell you about the PFCNFS moment of the match, the one match situation I found most intense, personally. And in this match there was one so good and so crap at the same time that I nearly didn't survive it.

Click to enlarge, then zoom:
(c) Getty Images
The Joshonator kills the Kiesbatter - should one laugh, cry or just jump out of the window? Everybody was on the edge of their seats waiting for the Hazelnut to get his first man, and I swear I would have laughed like a monkey for three days had he taken out the K-Pee. But why the Kies of all people???? Oh Josh I think we have to practise that a little...

Something about Eoin Morgan, though: the thing I find most characteristic about him is the way he scans the field. The eyes narrowed to slots, the head slowly and gradually turning from right to left (I think), and you can almost literally see how the information enters through the eye slits and is then processed in the brain. Sometimes he also mumbles to make things clear to himself.

The ECB has uploaded some highlights, unfortunately they only show the wickets, and some happy Morgan at the end, but I guess it's better than nothing: Australia innings ~ England innings ~ Strauss/Punter blabbing

Before I forget: Timmy Paine will keep playing as Haddin won't be fit for the Pakistan Tests. Yippieh! No Paine, no gain hehe.

~~~

A word about Usman Khawaja, I am really happy for the bloke, if he makes his Test debut against Pakistan I am sure he will give his best. But I am bloody sick of the media putting his origin and religion in the centre of their reports. Imagine the following headlines:

GDR-born Cosgroveologist Wessington to play for Oz
Wessington first Cosgroveologist ever in Australian Test squad
Australia select GDR-born Cosgroveologist Wessington for Tests

I mean wtf? I would shoot myself in multiple body parts. Khawaja left Pakistan when he was three. He says: "It [being a Muslim] doesn't cross my mind until someone brings it up. I am around the boys all the time and I never once feel like I am different." Do you hear him? Okay it's a bit fishy that he's a pilot. JOKE! The Youtube-sort of discussion below the linked article is doing my head in, BTW.

Hilditch underlines: "Usman Khawaja has been selected on the back of some very strong Weet-Bix Sheffield Shield performances. He is blablabla blabablablabla balabla in the order in blablablabla, but importantly for this blablablablabla bla bla blabla batsman who could blablablabla bla blablabla bla arise."

Hmmmm Weeeeeet-Bix, hrlahhhhhhhhhhh



Cheers,
Wes

21 June 2010

Blood, sweat and claw marks!

• For a preview of the England v Australia ODI series please scroll down •

~~~

All Hilf breaks loose!!!

Australia A v Sri Lanka A,
1st unofficial Test


I am sitting here looking at the scorecard laughing my arse off. Seriously, what a crazy match!

Australia A won the toss, batted first

1st innings:
The batting is provided by the bowlers, NSW left arm spinner Steve O'Keefe top scores with 61, Hilfy adds 42!!! Eight (!) of the Australian wickets are taken by Sachithra Senanayake, total 208.
2nd innings:
Aforementioned O'Keefe takes 7 for 35 , Peter George (1 for 24) and Mitchell Starc (2 for 13) grab the rest. Fantastic figures all around. Sri Lanka all out for 103, wow.
3rd innings:
Captain Bailey (Cossy's new boss in Tasmania) steps up with 87, O'Keefe is again badly in the runs with 47, and Hilfy makes a half century.  Go Hilfy! 318 runs come from the innings, not bad!
4th innings
Peter George devastates the Sri Lankan top order with 5 for 84, he swaps roles with Hilfy after half of the job is done and Hilf grabs the lower order 5 for 63. Sri Lanka are all out after 316.

These figures are close to ridiculous, what entertainment it must have been! Australia win by more than 100 runs, Hilfy is alive and kicking, and fred knows where he picked up these batting skills, he got nearly a hundred runs in this match! I am bursting with pride over Peter George's achievements as well, the Redback bites! We haven't exactly been overwhelmed by good news from Adelaide lately so I have to admit that Petey's success makes me grin all around my head. On a side note, my clue is limited but the increase in runs as well as the complete change of wicket takers probably indicates how significantly the wicket evolved during these four days.

► Important: For the latest updates on the 'haus, click Hilfy407 or click the Hilfy pic in the sidebar!

Media:
George Bailey speaks after the match (Courtesy of Cricket Australia):

Steve O'Keefe speaks to CATV after the match:

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That guy is the total Callum Ferguson soundalike, it scares the bejesus out of me seriously, did anybody else notice it?

~~~

Tomorrow!!!!

Finally, finally the long-awaited series of battles between England and Oz, the prelude to the Ashes, starts at the Rose Bowl!

I am a fair bit excited, England have a very strong outfit these days.

Strauss is back to form as he has proved in the County Cricket and in the match against the Scots, Kieswetter scored a couple of runs for a change and the partnership with the England skipper seems to make him feel more secure. [scorecard]

Timmy and Watto in comparison look a fair bit twitchier, and to be honest I blame this on Watto. He hasn't fired since I can't remember, and he more or less ran Tim Paine out in the match against Middlesex. Tim on the other hand made 81 against the Irish. And! He won the Ford Ranger Cup. I almost forgot to mention it. All hail to the future Australian superduperkeeper in all formats.

Clarke!!! Clarke has failed in both warm-up one-dayers but hardly anyone noticed it. We shall also cover his T20 achievements with the veil of silence. He needs to pull the pants up now, it is getting embarrassing, he cannot always hide behind the backs of Mussey and Cam.

Generally Australia will have to fire as one, single good performances might not be enough this time. This also concerns the bowling. I strongly assume that the double spin experiment is already over and Australia return to the reliable pacers. That's really really sad but the winner of this series will earn the momentum for the Ashes (IMHO bullshit because from now till November it's several months to go, but well, it is perceived like that), so that Australia will make sure the attack is able to put England in chains. I am hoping and praying for a Hazelwood outing though, maybe in place of old Harris.


Creasewetter attempts to hold it in - Scotland v England (only ODI)  (c) Getty Images

The English attack lacks Yardy for my taste, would have loved to see him play again, he took 3 in Scotland, he knows which way to hold a bat, and he also delivered some pretty remarkable performances in the FPT20. Nobody wants to see stupid Broad, but we all knew that he would inevitably return at some point. Same goes for Graeme Swann but there's no getting rid of him in the near future. Shahzad is an interesting addition, Tim Bresnan and Luke Wright are solid although I expect more from Wright (also batting-wise).

Anderson is back after injury and performed well in Scotland, Collingwood and Eoin Morgan are no surprise either. But I just realised that bloody Kay-Pee is a part of the line-up! I was actually going to watch the matches! Arghhh!!! He, in all likeliness the future pimple on the butt of Middlesex, could become the nastiest of all challenges the Oz bowling will have to put up with.

Bolly has already picked Strauss as his bunny and he's probably spot on with this prediction simply because that's how Bolly works. Ritz is back in the flow, bowled very tidily against Middlesex; Clint McKay, the work-horse among the pacers, and Ryan Harris are ok, but not overwhelming.

You will notice that, if you look at the scorecards of the matches against Ireland and Middlesex, in the former match Hopes was the pick of the bowlers and he will shoulder a large part of the workload again, as he has evolved into a super professional and reliable ODI specialist allrounder (does that makes sense :P), cometh the Hopes, cometh the wicket. Can't help comparing him to Scotty Styris, sorry.

Punter! Yeah Punter is back in his element, he and Strauss will be staring into each other's eyes with all the indicated hostility; blood, sweat and claw marks, hallelujah!!

Let the show begin!!!

Cheers,
Wes

19 June 2010

Pink Panzer v Yellow Forces

Middlesex v Australians (50-over tour match)


Very special match today, nevertheless I managed to miss the first overs. Curse me! 
Middlesex won the toss and bat first. I will try and give you a real-time description of the match, and promise to be more coherent than usual.

For the highlights please scroll down.


[first innings]

Bolly makes short work of Warner and the Middlesex top order  (c) PA Pictures
Dropped in late, Hand and IOB in place, Middlesex one down, Warner out to Bolly caught by Paine for five runs in the first over, that's the end of his one day career, he won't get rid of the T20 shackles anytime soon.

Changes from the T20 squad: Udal and Collins out, Ravi Patel and Robbie Williams in. Patel, the 18-year old left arm spinner, has only one First-class match under the belt against Oxford University. Middlesex are obviously cautiously approaching a change of generations.

Australia have lined up the Clontarf side, but Steven Smith replaces James Hopes! Hear hear! Smithy and Ritz teaming up, that could be interesting.

Gilchrist on 38 skies a Watson to Mussey at 15.5, must have been extremely disappointing as he punches his pad twice walking off. Watto has an amazingly good economy while Bolly and Klint have gone for 6 each in their 3 resp. 4 overs.

Owy is on 26* and has been joined by Dawid Malan.

Iain quotes Douggie; before Bolly had started playing Tests he promised to give 150,000,000% for Australia, cordial laughter in the box, 18 overs over, 80/2

Bolly to Malan, edges it, it's in the air, Timmy runs a fair bit from deep behind the stumps to square leg and takes the catch. Malan out for 2, 86/3. IOB suspects they still have the T20 mindset and haven't settled into the ODI trot yet, feel too much pressure if they don't score a run for a few balls, don't realise how much time they actually have. Dexter in.

Obviously Josh Davey is playing for Scotland today (against England), good luck to the youngster. 88/3 after 22 overs.

Smithy comes on for the 24th over, Ritz has already bowled five. Now there's the spin tandem on. Middlesex' run rate has dropped to 4. 102/3

Finny enters the box! He is working a lot harder at the moment than if he was playing cricket. 114/3. Finny will definitely play a couple of games for Middlesex before the Test series against Pakistan. Three or four T20 games. He loves playing domestically, loves the crowd.

Josh Davey is eligible to play for Scotland but in the CB40 he plays for Middlesex. Finn says it's frustrating not being able to be out there helping the team, he grew up in Middlesex and is good friends with everyone, but with so much cricket being played these days you have to take a break sometimes.

129/3 and Owais gets the fifty. Finny has done a 2-day course in journalism but isn't planning to make this his education. He is telling a load of interesting stuff but I can't stencil this all down. His shins are okay again, he has seen a physiotherapist and rest helps, it's a problem after being out there for so long.

Misfield from Watson brings up the 50 partnership between Shah and Dexter.

Owais sweeps Legsmith for six, and Timmy is back!!! (c) PA Pictures
He'd love to play in Australia but there is a lot of cricket between now and then and he thinks there are people ahead of him in the pecking order as they have played a lot of international cricket. Arghh Finny of course you will go! He says IOB can't spell "poking", he thinks the New Zealandish education is not quite up to standard ^^.

151/3 after Owy sweeps Smithy for six! The Legsmith, that is. And Dexter adds a four to it. Poor Smithy :(

I'm missing a few hearty laughs as IOB returns. He lauds Klint's ODI figures and thinks this boy's got some skills! Strike rate 25, phenomenal returns! (Wow IOB) 174/4 as Dexter has gone, which I totally missed as well. Obviously slain by Bolly and caught by Timmy; he goes for 45, nice innings.

Newman comes in, say your prayers. He immediately starts hopping in an ugly manner facing Bolly's yorker. 175/4 after 38 overs. Hand suspects Middlesex must be pondering a soonish Powerplay. Newman slogs Hauritz into the grand stand, 194/4. The comment box are trying to make up a sentence of just repeating one and the same word. I am utterly distracted now.

Batting Powerplay has been taken, Harris and Klint back on. They are bantering Owy a bit, as the latter has obviously overcome his calling woes by turning his back on the fellow batsman. 206/4, end of the 43rd over. Owais is cruising along, on 88* now, another great knock from a man that has turned out utterly precious in a lot of the recent matches.

225/4 after the 45th over, Watto in for the last Powerplay over, IOB notes that he got smashed around the park a bit, he thinks a par score is 250, and a good score from here is 265. Newman is weirdly cruising. 

Owais out to Klint! Goes for 92. That must be gutting him now. IOB lauds the knock and says Shah still wants to play for England! Says it's an unselfish act for Middlesex as he didn't slow down for a safe century.

Bergy in, he is wearing Dexter's jumper again, Klint running in, it's his 10th over, then Watto. The Ice Lord is obviously batting beautifully again, don't expect anything less. IOB notes that now the score is moving from par to good, 257/5 with one over left. Newman hits it only just over the ropes, gets his 50, off just 38 deliveries, the crowd is madly clapping, Newman on fire now, next ball goes for four, I am vividly imagining Watto's sour face. Bergy facing the last ball, they get two, 16 valuable runs from the Bergmeister. Fantastic innings by the Middle boys.

Total: 273/5


[innings break]

Players are charging down towards the pavilion for a presentation, Neil Dexter is getting capped, only just before he takes over the captaincy on Friday morning, congratulations! Gilchrist gets a cap as well, which was the reason for the Australian players standing aside and waiting.

Well well. 274 on a pitch that is supposed to get worse, the box suspected that's why Oz are playing two spinners. I say Oz will chase this, Middlesex are lacking a Collins today. But you never know.


[second innings]

Murtle opens to Watson, Watto gets off the mark and Timmy faces. Middlesex batting coach Mark O'Neill is in the box, my god he sounds like bloody Udo Lindenberg. The voice is totally killing me, can't concentrate on what he is saying.

Williams shares opening honours with Murts, O'Neill says he is probably too nice for a fast bowler, Watson and Tim powering off Murts. 20/0. Then Timmy goes as Watson chips the ball back to Murts and Timmy is run out at the non-striker's end! Punter in for the last ball of the over. 31/1 at the end of the third over.

Williams is learning a couple of lessons here. 40/1 after 4 overs, Gilly is very chirpy behind the stumps. O'Neill shares his football memories with us, Holland getting knocked out by Germany in the 70s. Ponting 11*, Watson 19* after 5 overs. Watson goes! 50/2 as Watson is run out in a fabulous piece of fielding, they are not sure if it was Warner (according to the scoreboard) or Tom Smith, there seems to be jumper confusion again, they are coming to the conclusion it is Warner.

Murtle and how he sees the world  (c) PA Pictures
Pup comes out. Make that 51/3, Murts takes Clarke lbw! Pup goes for a duck again, oh dear!!! Cam White comes in. Coach is happy with the proceedings, says it could look a lot worse if it hadn't been for the fielding. Socceroos distracting me a little, glimpsing at the footy with one eye. 52/3 after 7 overs. No bowling change yet, Williams still going at about 10/over, it starts to drizzle. Umpires starting to chat, the players are taken off, the crowd boos! And now it stops, the players stay on, the crowd cheering their heads off! Comedy gold. 57/3

Kewell just got sent off for a non-existing handball. Football really distracting me now. Hand exclaims "Oh deaaaar!"

Bergy in for the 10th over, then in the 11th over suddenly 64/4 as Murtagh gets another lbw, Ponting out! Mussey joins White at the crease. Cracker of a game on now, the dream partnership at the crease. Match is trickling along. 69/4 in the 12th over. White survives a huge appeal but I can't say for what, was in another room.  According to Duckworth Lewis they would have to be at 120 after the 13th if they want to win this.

Still Berg and Murtagh bowling, Williams had bowled four overs for 33. 69/4 after 13 overs.
75/4 after 15 overs, 85/4 after 16, Finny back in the box! I'm a Finny fan, you know. Oz are picking up some pace here, getting a couple of boundaries.

Finn harping again on the one email that came in a couple of weeks ago about IOB being as funny as Finn but not as full of himself. Finn is surprised that the Kookaburra ball keeps swinging like that into 15th, 16th over, usually it stops swinging at all after the 10th. 96/4 after the 17th. More talk about fitness routines. Bergy and Robbie Williams sharing the bowling.

Tom Smith in now, the Middlesex Smithy. He had bowled very well in the T20s. 97/4 had been the score after the 18th. Hand dies laughing over Finn's antics, unfortunately I've been distracted again. Darn.

The 100 comes up for Oz, 102/4 after the 19th. In Scotland Kies is on 80 odd or so! Kies Time!!! Football distracting me again, Oz are approaching their D/L target.  104/4 after 20 ov. Smith bowling. Blabla, Finn sneezes into the microphone, doesn't know the mute button. Finny makes his first ever Twitter tweet, asks Hand how it works. 125/4 after 25 overs. Cam is on 45* now.

Not playing, but very present: Steven Finn  (c) PA Pictures
Cricinfo scorecard not the quickest, Dexter bowling. 131/4 after 26. Finn went to the theatre last night instead of watching football, he finds it was a good decision. He loves football, though. Smith bowling, 135/4 after 27. Finn attempts at cricket commentary. Not bad but needs to be slightly more emotional! "Scott Newman at the boundary rope coming in, earrings glaring in the sun!" Mwahahaha. That's better! The match has been pushed to the background, happy babbling now. 147/4 after 19. White and Muss flourishing. Finny leaves the hall, I think we learnt a lot from his stint.

150/4 after the 30th. Ravi Patel in to bowl, greeted by Hussey with a boundary. Meanwhile Oz drew versus Ghana, IOB bantering that Oz have now joined New Zealand in the competition with one point. Oz cruising along, Dexter bowling well but no wicket yet. 167/4 after 33 overs. Been away for a while, no change except for Oz doing a good job here. Owais into the attack for the 39th over, 208/4. Not helping. Cam comfortably approaching his century. I have totally lost overview over the ongoing games.

Dexter bowling. Oz trying to close the sack now, Cam on 95* at the end of the 41st over, 224/4. IOB keeps calling Hauritz "Harritz". Century for Cam at Lord's off a big six off Tom Smith! 234/4 with Powerplay still to come. White and Muss once again getting Australia home here. Murts back in and gets Cam on 106 as Cam tries to finish it quickly, Newman catches, Warner comes running and gives Cam a pat on the back, 106 for the Victorian Bush Bear, congratulations on a great innings, how long till Tests? Legsmith entering the arena. Some life back in the game, even if just a bit. Powerplay on now for the last five overs. Smithy obviously putting some logs on the fire here. Robbie Williams bowling as Australia close the sack, Smithy on 28 unbeaten, along with Muss on 72*.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The Eternal Muss  (c) PA Pictures
Was quite a fight and the usual suspects (Muss/Cam) had to step up again when the top order collapsed. What would Australia do without them! Middlesex batted extraordinarily well and lost just five wickets against the best ODI side in the world, who played their first string line-up in this tour match. Hats off to Owais Shah for his committed knock. Well done boys, Middlesex as well as Cameron White and Mike Hussey. And Bollinger was a class on his own again!

Good match, both teams should be rather satisfied with their efforts, 

Cheers,
Wes

17 June 2010

This is wrong in so many levels

Middlesex v Surrey at Lord's
The match of matches

[scorecard]

Middlesex win toss, bat (for highlights please scroll down)


[first innings]

Tremlett starts with a dead ball, then Warner skies a free hit.
Nel to continue, Warner gets the first boundary, and a second, the innings has been officially opened now. Six! Poor Andre gets twitchy and bowls a wide. .....and caught! Dammit can the guy pull himself together one time. Nel gets his man! At the risk of sounding repetitive but: stupid Warner!

Dexter in, Tremlett against him, four, continues calmly, 23-1 after 3 ov

Nel back on, four. 29-1 after 4 ov nothing much happening. Gilchrist not firing yet.

Tremlett back on, Dexter gets a boundary. Then Dexter hits him up and Ramps takes him!!! Oh hell! Owy in. Tremlett to Gilchrist, Gilly faces his first ball -it's the 5th over!- and hits it for six! 39 after 5 overs.

Open speculation now about KP probably joining Middlesex (please put some flowers on my grave, I have loved Middx like my own child)

Dernbeast in. Owy yet to face. Wide.  A lot of blabblablubb I haven't listened to, Gilly bats a bit. 42-2

Powerplay over, Batty on for the 7th over. Gilly faces. I hope Middlesex know that this is must-win event here. I am falling asnooze, boundary, 48-2, suddenly Gilly out to Batty. Horror!!!! Schofield took the catch. On the smack list with him! Malan in. 48-3

Schofield into the attack now, to Owy. Plays a beauty, Middlesex 53-3

Symonds in. We need to squeeze some runs out of him. Instead Malan chips it straight back to him and gets gets caught and bowled by Symo!! I am sinking in the ground with a tomato between my ears. 57-4

Newman in, hits the second ball to Younis Khan. I've bloody known all that since last night, incl. the Newman fail!!! Sometimes you bloody know it, it's like a truck that comes rolling towards you and you can't get away, you see it approaching and then, splatter, you're dead. 59-5 Symonds has two. The thing that should not be!

The Pope comes in. Bergy save us, four, six off Schofield!

Symonds back on at 71-5 after 10 overs. Tidy over, 75-5
Dernbeast is back on, single. St. Berg is run out after Shah called (according to Hand, but other sources expressed their doubts about that. Maybe it's a reflex to suspect Owy in such a situation).

Tom Smith in. Dernbeast to continue. Dernbach has complaints, goes out after 3 balls, according to the comment he races to the dugout, fred knows what's wrong with him. RHB into the attack. Under different circumstances I would burst in cheers now, but not today, sorry Rory. Shah takes a four off him.

Batty on, 84-6 in the 13th. Smith caught, not knowing his job. My head is spinning. Not hoping anymore that Middlesex will survive over the whole distance. 84-7, Udal in. Let's hope and pray he knows his job! First ball, keeper takes the edge, out! Decision is doubted but it has to be swallowed.

Murtle in. 86-8. Murtle please no extended suicide today! It's in the hands of Murtagh and Shah here.
Batty bowling. Murtle batting sensibly, trying to get Owais on strike. 98-8, plenty of overs to go, we are in the 15th. Murtle gets a boundary and Murtle gets Middlesex to 100!!! ....and goes lbw. 103-9.

Shah and Collins need to survive, first against Schofield. So far reason prevails. 106-9 after 16 ov.

Batty back on. IOB: "Pedro is not the best batter, I mean, I bat before him!" How encouraging Mister O'Brien! But the boys are doing a good job so far, run, Pedro, run! Last ball of the Batty over, nearly a runout, but they are still twitching. 17 overs complete, 113-9

Nel starts the 18th. IOB says 800 is a total today, they're gonna struggle to reach it. Collins has avoided the strike successfully so far. Owy hits a very pretty four off the last ball but that also means Pedro Collins will be on strike now. Jeez! 117-9

Tremlett to Collins: no run, no run, run out chance, RHB misses, they get the desired single, Owais back on strike, two dot balls, single.

Shah on strike for the last over. Nel! They take two, Collins runs for his life, throw misses, 121-9, two more! 123-9. Refuse the single for the 1000th time, bizarre!!! Two runs off the next ball. 125-9 Two balls left, communication between the batsmen. Just two, fielder got a hand on it. Single off the last ball.

Total: 128-9


[innings break]

Middlesex need to bowl like the devil was behind them, I don't think they can defend this, especially if the Ramps, Davies and Younis get going. Symo is due a performance, Rory can bat, and I will not start with the sudden eruptions that are always possible of Schofield, Spriegel and Nel. My hopes are on the spinners, Dexter, Udal, Smith need to slay, and the eternally underappreciated Iceberg will hopefully rip an aisle through the Surrey batsmen. Holy crap. But maybe, just maybe, it's the day of the Murtle!! Hey Murts, in the mood for killing? :) Collins sure to take wickets. The question is when.

And please guys, FIELD!


[second innings]

Collins to Rory, off the mark, a four to Davies, single, single, dot. 7-0
Murts! single, dot, single, throw misses. Rory hits a PFCNFS Maximum, darnit Rory! And a four.

Collins. Davies, four. 23-0 in the third over, single, dot ball, single, single, almost caught and bowled but it's a dot ball. 26-0

SPIN! The hero of the last match, Smith, comes on. Come on Smithy. (Ummm.) Smithies are good spinners! Four, beats Newman in the field. Dot. Warner slips, two. Warner dives at the boundary. Then Davies goes for the big shot, gone! Josh Davey the subbie takes it. 34-1 Well done Smithy. The Surrey Sachin enters the crease.

Dexter Bergman (?) on. Rory facing. Four. Single. 39-1. Single. Single. Dot. Single. 42-1

Collins, sixth over begins. Dot, single, Rory hits it up in the air, gets a boundary. Then Rory nicks it but Gilly can't quite grab it. Oh damn! Altogether 50-1

Dex! But according to unconfirmed sources it's Berg in Dexter's jumper (??) (and he also bowled the over before the last, hence the strike through), single, dot, dot, single... 55-1... I am currently confused by the jumper thing, as Cricinfo insists it's Dexter.

Smith in, two, single, 59-1, keeps it neat, 60-1 after the 8th

The King comes on. Tidy. 3 off the over 63-1

Smith in, RHB lifts him, just over the fingertips of Warner, goddarnit! Six! Two, Collins fumbles! Then Shah horrible fumble, then RHB is faster than the throw! Last ball, single, 73-1

Udal! Keeps them at bay. 2 runs off the over. Hail the King. 75-1

Berg in! Single, Rory gets a new bat, Gilly up to the stumps. Dot. 1 bye, single, single, 79-1, single.

Udal, single, single, bails come off but RHB is in, two runs , single, 50 for Surrey's very own Barbie, single, 86-1, SIX! Damn you Rory! 92-1

Bergman in, four. Single, single, single, Church again pleasurably letting "Rory Hamilton-Brown" melt on his tongue. He loves the name so much! The 100 comes up at the end of the over.

Smith back on. They are taking the singles and twos, and then a four! And it's 110 after the 15th.

Collins, two, single, single. It feels a bit like England beating Oz in the WT20 finals. Pre-match emotions were a bit like a mixture of hope and fear, and how disappointing it is when you realise that your fear was justified. Oh yes 116-1

Murtle in for the knell. Poor one.




Middlesex clearly feared the derby and Morgan's absence turned their knees into custard. What a great team, what little confidence! 

Grrrmpph nmmpphh mmmmpphh.

Nothing more to say, except for...


...told you so!
Wes