31 July 2010

Middlesex Zindabad

Middlesex v Surrey

Highlights:
[day 1] [day 2] [day 3]


Bye bye Finny: Toby Roland-Jones is the man  (c) Getty Images
This is my feeble attempt at finding words for the incredible. Middlesex have beaten the living hell out of Surrey, according to murmurs from the grapevine they have been unable to do that for the last 150 years, so I reckon today is one of the most special days ever.

Surrey decided to bat first and Rory will probably join a monastery in order to repent, to pray and to chasten himself appropriately because of this decision. 

A rare simultaneous outburst of total Murtle and Pedro rage finished Surrey off for 167, Murtagh grabbed 5 for 52 and Collins 4 for 68. Toby Roland-Jones stayed humbly in the background in order not to disturb the M&P show, but added a fine 1 for 19, reminding us of the huge potential he has shown in his past appearances. 

The batting went well, Newman (yes!) and Shah scored half-centuries and Dawid Malan belted a ton out of the Surrey bowlers. Gareth St. Berg nearly came to milestone honours as well but an absolutely hostile and hate-fuelled spell by Chris Tremlett ended the existance of His Holiness on 45. Murts and Toby had a bit of fun at the end and added 51, lifting the total to 423, which seemed to suggest that the batting conditions had improved a little. 

I began to chew my nails nervously when the Surrey openers Lancefield and Danger Davies unpacked their tents and snuggle blankets at the crease, but at 75-0 after 19.4 overs Toby Roland-Jones had enough of the kindergarten and sent Davies home. King Udal put his boots on and kicked Lancefield in the backside first ball of the next over, and a spectacular Surrey collapse was triggered. Rory Hamilton-Brown was allowed to face a phenomenal 3 balls in the entire match and got removed by Toby at 21.1, Afzaal fell to TRJ next at 23.4, and the big cheese Ramps couldn't resist Toby's charm either and folded at 27.3, Spriegel followed him two balls later. So at the end of the second day Toby Roland-Jones had grabbed 5 for 29 from 10 overs incl. two maidens. 

Today Middle just needed to pick up the tailenders.... just? TREMLETT!!! Arghhhh he drives me grrrrrr! I can't believe that he quickfired 53 from 42 balls including about 700 fours and sixes. He is easily Surrey's most dangerous man with both bat and ball. HAHA. However. That is a moment to savour. The cleaning work was done by Murts, Udal and Pedro by the way.

VICTORY by an innings and 44 runs. Enjoy your weekend pinky peeps! Fark knows when Middlesex will have the opportunity to party again, so grab your chance and hug somebody!

Tip: Here's half-tracker's wrap up of the proceedings of the Hampshire v Lancashire match so far, and don't forget to check out Green JJ's Surrey blog to read everything about London's second-best cricket club ;)


Cheers
Wes

28 July 2010

Cosgrove round-up - No pun intended

People have been approaching me in a congratulating and shoulder-patting manner because Mark Cosgrove made his third CC ton of the season a couple of days ago in the match against Leicestershire. I would hereby like to point out that all admiration should be directed at Cos, not me.


Cossy's current rankings in the tables of runscorers

FPT20: Despite Glamorgan not making it out of their group, Cos is the second best runscorer of the tournament to date, surpassed only by Jimmy Adams... who else, ts ts ts:



In the County Championship Division 2 the invincible stupid Ramps is blocking the throne probably until someone removes him by the use of violence. Cossy has racked up 644 runs from 9 matches at a healthy average of 49.53; some other specialist batsmen, who shall remain anonymous now, would sell their grandmothers for such figures. I would also like to mention Gareth Berg's 589 at 45.30. Indefinitely fabulicious.



Last but not least, here's the CB40 table. Cossy averages over 58 and his high strike rate often helps Morgannwg to kick off their innings with a proper caning. Once again he is the best Glamorgan batsman, and it was a bit surprising to see how many stars he has left behind him in the table. Yorkshire's Jacques Rudolph is balancing on the thin line between genius and madness, though.



Let's summarise: Cossy is the best Glamorgan batsman in all formats. Cossy is one of the most valuable batsmen in the entire county cricket circus. Cossy should get selected. Here's my Cosgrove tribute video, just in case you haven't seen it yet.


And now go forth, my envoys, and spread the the word.

Cheers,
Wes

25 July 2010

Middlenews: a draw and a drubbing

Middlesex v Sussex

Highlights:


Middlesex didn't lose! Should you laugh or cry about that. Well we need to see the positive side, Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn, the two future England regulars, saved the draw for the Middle by digging themselves into the crease until the last over was bowled. Toby Roland-Jones (4-100 at 3.57 and 2-54 at 2.55) is awesome. Needed to be said. Battling out a draw against Sussex has to be rated as quite an achievement, especially as the conditions turned Monty Panesar into a killer machine in the last innings and a terrible top order collapse nearly caused the safe draw to become a humiliating defeat.

Morgan and skipper Dexter were the pick of the batsmen, both scored around 50 in each of their innings, but none of the batters survived for a lot longer than that. None of the Middlesex ones, that is. Bloody Luke Wright racked up 134 in the first innings, and as if this wasn't painful enough, IOB re-injured his top of the back of the leg and Gareth Berg fell prey to his recurring back problems. I almost forgot to mention Steven Finn, he takes big strides on his return from his strengthening program, 6 wickets at an improving economy helped Middlesex to somehow keep Sussex under control. Well, nah, not really, they declared, but, ah well.

Anyway, Uxbridge is not the luckiest ground for the Middle, hope they can celebrate a victory in one of the future matches, even if it's just a moral one, because chances to leave the bottom of the table look bleak.

Monty, top wicket taker in the CC,  removes Strauss  (c) PA Photos


Middlesex v Yorkshire (CB40)

Highlights when up

Gareth Berg (40), Tom Scollay (38), Pedro Collins 1-29, Tom Scollay 1-21

Nothing else to see here. Move along.

Edit, okay, here's something to see, but be forewarned, it's not pretty:





Cheers,
Wes

Salman Aleykum

Pakistan v Australia Test 2 [scorecard]

Half a year ago I was one of these people who took the mickey out of Salman after he had suffered his personal Run-out-Gate, and Yousuf's press conference on the issue is still one of my favourite audio tracks. At that time no one would have suspected that Salman would captain the Pakistani Test team just a few months later and lead them to their first victory over Australia in 15 years. But after Pakistan had finished their tour in Down Under with disastrous results the PCB went rampant and blew the whole shop up. Salman had been in the contention for the captaincy but suddenly Afridi popped out of retirement and immediately climbed the throne, giving in to his compulsion against any better advice. I was fuming at that time and wishing that a hole in the ground would open and just engulf him. That didn't happen and Afridiland deservedly went overboard in the first Test against the Aussies. The Afridi bubble had burst after just one match, Boom Boom pulled out and generously appointed Salman as his heir to the throne. The Boomster must be having foam before his mouth witnessing that exactly this humble, rather inexperienced and frequently mocked opening batsman takes Pakistan to a historical triumph. This is no attempt to belittle the breathtaking performance of the Pakistani bowlers or Pakistan's vastly improved fielding, or the stubbornness of Punter, who would spontaneously combust if he opted to field. One also has to take into consideration that this match didn't take place in Pakistan or the UAE, which adds even more value to the victory. It was the perfect time for Pakistan to play in England, with an in-form Asif and Gul available and Aamer being his usual wicked self. Now the Pakistan team has the momentum (yes!) on their side and will face the English with heads held high. It might be a severe case of romanticisation if some people herald a new era in Pakistan cricket, one swallow does not make a summer and Pakistan's difficult journey to becoming a top-ranked Test nation has only just begun, but the foundation has been laid and can be built on. All the best to the Pakistani team and good luck for the matches against England.

That fat old guy, behind who Mo Asif is forced to hide, shouldn't even be in the pic :/  (c) Getty Images


Cheers,
Wes

23 July 2010

Marcus Nought et al.

Pakistan v Australia


A yellow fate awaits
North: 36 runs from 4 innings and 6, albeit gloat-inducing, wickets against a line-up of paralysed Pakistani batting bunnies: won't save his arse. Told you 500 years ago, Oz could have given his replacement, aka White, some Test practice, or dare the Khawaja experiment, or even draft Yawn Marsh in. Wasted chance by stubborn donkey selectors.

Watson: 64 runs from 4 innings... and 11 wickets. Better than North in any aspect. NOT GOOD ENOUGH for the Ashes. Needs to find his opening mojo back.

Bolly: Not a lot, 4 wickets so far from 4 Tests. He'll play better when back in Oz. I hope in India he can surprise us like he did during the ODI tour.

Hilfenhaus: Slowly returning, 6 wickets by now. Lovely and adorable with the bat again, 42 runs, thus he could, under the current circumstances, bat as well at 6. Ah Hilf, you've been away for much too long.

Mitch: Ah fark off

Punter: Ditto. I just want him to go away.  98 runs from 4 innings, this includes one 66*, which means he scored 32 runs in 3 innings. Not enough for a guy of his experience and reputation. And his faulty brain will most likely cost Oz the 2nd Test. Furthermore the ICC should ban the pull shot until Punter retires from international cricket.

Clarke: 139, one more or less useful innings per Test.

Timmy Paine:  He is the man. Thanks to Haddin's injury he is getting the time he needs to settle in and get accustomed and find his feet. Constantly improving behind the stumps and a very helpful hand in the lower middle order. Just give him a couple more Tests....  98 runs for him as well, and getting better.

Steven Smith: 100 runs and a threefer for my blindly worshipped favourite kiddie legspinner. All campaigning, all bearing of unbelief, laughter and mockery, has been rewarded royally so far. No complaints. Absolutely deserves his spot, especially compared to the experienced folk around him. Love his unorthodox batting style, like shoving the middlefinger up the bowlers backside. Doesn't care about dancing The Nutcracker at the crease, just gets the bloody runs. Steamroll on, Smithy! The interesting question, which I avoid pondering, is: What's going to happen with Hauritz? He won't come back in the place of North, North will be substituted by a batsman. So once more it is Hauritz v Smith?

Hussey: 69. Ouch. One useful innings (56).

Katich: 187 runs, by far the leading run scorer, in the first Test 80 per innings, in the second Test Aamer's bunny. Doesn't mean anything, the Krab is irreplaceable up there at the top.

Absolutely desolate bowling situation, batting doesn't look a lot better, the former is imho, among other reasons, induced by the permanent line-up changes in the last months due to injury and change of format. Bollinger, Johnson, Harris, Tait, Nannes, McKay, Hazelwood, Hauritz, Smith, O'Keefe, as well as the allrounders Dussey and Hopes. Bizarrely Oz look shot whenever the T20 specialist Tait is not with the team. The batting should fire like it did last year on English soil, but it's only a mere shadow of itself.


I am too annoyed for more now. See you tomorrow,

Cheers,
Wes

21 July 2010

Sean Ervine



The number of shrines on this blog is slowly growing,
today I have added
a tribute to Sean Ervine,
check it out ;)


Cheers,
Wes

19 July 2010

Israel make short work of the Germans

ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010

Day 5 (final day)

Egg and Hersch after the toss (c) ICC/CricketEurope
Germany v Israel

Guernsey v Norway

Gibraltar v France

Today the German team took a really bad thrashing. The side Israel fielded proved too strong for us in both aspects, bowling and batting. Israel won the toss and batted first. At the beginning everything went as expected, Ehsan Latif sliced through the batsmen, and Israel found themselves looking for an anchor at 51-4 after 14 overs. 

Ehsan was, by the way, completely insane again, he took 3 for 27 at 2.70, thereby also removing dangerman Eshkol Solomon.

Ehsan flies in  (c) ICC/CricketEurope
But from this point on the match slipped out of our hands. The Israel skipper Herschel Gutman took roots at the crease and was accompanied by a sufficient number of capable batsmen, I would especially like to point out the young leggie Josh Evans again, who seems to be walking proof for my theory that rookie leggies have a knack of batting... and are prone to getting run out hehe.  I'm really happy for the dude and I hope he gets picked up by someone. 

However, our slower bowlers ran against a force field and were unable to remove Gutman, whose captain's  knock of 73 took Israel to a crushing total of 222, and when Gutman finally departed and Rishi Pillai cleaned up the tail it was all too late.

One has to mention here that Germany bestowed 30 (!) freebies upon the Israelis, some of them came after Satya went out with a suspected hamstring injury after half of the first innings. That was a major shock to be honest, because now Germany would not only have to field a stand-in keeper, but probably also miss an important batsman; a demoralising circumstance in view of the monstrous target.

Our run chase began with a disaster, Eggleston, Pillai and Fernando were out before Germany had reached double figures... in the 6th over! Israel were choking us right from the start and the batsmen succumbed to the pressure. Rawat (54) and Leslie (39) tried to get a foot in the door and not to lose their wickets, but it also meant that they ground their way through the innings slowly, too slowly. However, they got a partnership going and with a bit of T20 pepper in the second half of the innings the chase would still have been manageable.

Israel were superior in all aspects   (c) ICC/CricketEurope
Unfortunately both went out way before the task was accomplished and the hopes of turning the match around vanished more with every dot ball bowled. Israel's bowling figures look really pretty, skipper Gutman lead from the front with 4 scalps at 3.30, followed by Josh Evans with 2 at 3.30 as well. Generally the Israelis bowled very tidily and didn't leave us the ghost of a chance, Israel won deservedly by 56 runs.

In the other two matches played France destroyed Gibraltar by 143 runs and Norway lost to Guernsey by 109 runs. None of these results come unexpected, and neither are there any big surprises among the names of the most valuable players, 'Ayya' and Frith ring a bell, yes? ;) Frith made a ton by the way, the man is a machine.

We are lucky that we beat France, our competitors for runners up, in the direct encounter, and so we finish second in the table and travel to Kuwait for the WCL 8. Nice :)
Guernsey remain unbeaten and lift the trophy, while Gibraltar could not celebrate a single victory and are pretty much doomed now. 



Thanks to everyone who popped in to check the progress of the German team, that's the end of my blogs about this year's ICC European Division 2 Championship, I'll keep you posted if there are any important news from the German camp,


Thanks and cheers,
Wes

BTW I have saved the ball-by-ball commentary of the Germany-Israel match, should there be any interest just drop me a line.

18 July 2010

This is the end...

~~~

Tried to follow four FP T20 matches at once, had to go wrong, went wrong.

Essex v Middlesex  [scorecard] for the highlights please scroll down

Gloucestershire v Surrey  [scorecard]

Hampshire v Sussex  [scorecard]

Somerset v Kent  [scorecard]


Both Middlesex and Surrey, that has to be stated clearly, lost one or two matches too many in a stupid fashion, and thus Hants entered the next stage deservedly with a splendid display in all departments. What broke Middlesex' neck was the stuffed up match against Gloucs, should have won that, but the bowling experiment was a complete flop. Watch how David Warner calls Finn's rest stupid and ridiculous. In public. Quotable. With no regrets.


I had put up a couple of spy cams before the cricket and this is what they observed:

Kies Watch: If he goes on like this he will be playing club cricket in no time. I would like to say a few general things about him. There is the opinion going about that he has forgotten how to build an innings, something which he knew in Bangladesh, but started to forget gradually during his T20 campaign with the English team, simply because it wasn't needed there. As a result he decided in favour of the quick slog, because, stepping into the Afridi trap, he felt that this is what the audience finds great about him. Thus he sucked arse in the ODIs against Oz and now he even struggles in the FP T20, as the pressure gets to him quite massively. I just wish he'd show the finger to everybody who utters any expectations, and just started to do his thing, forget about the slogging and just try to get a natural flow back into his batting. It would be an absolute shame if he got dropped from the one-day side, he's a breath of fresh air and I like how KP backs him. It is really weird, he and I seem to be the only two people on the planet who have blind faith in the Kies. Is this the beginning of a wonderful fanship? 

Open wide thy gate... the Kiesbatter needs to reassess a couple of things   (c) Getty Images


Briggs Watch: I was angry with Cork for not sending Briggs on right again after Smith had departed. Briggs is a bloody miracle.

Schofield Cam: Grabbed two, as foreseen by me, and doubted by others.

Oddums Cam: Took an absolute ripper and rofled for a bit before returning the ball. These valuable 30 runs, which he made in the first innings, were really lame compared to that :P

Berg Watch: His Holiness made 41 off 24 and took a wicket. Most expensive bowler again. Oh man Bergy. Awesome knock though, wish I could have seen it.

King Cam: Udal bowled just one over for 2. Need to investigate why he wasn't brought on again.

Wood Watch: Hair was ok today, browner than usual and not that much curled up in little pig tail strands. Still a bit too kieswetteresque for my liking. Oh yeah, bowled like the man.

Beer Cam: Didn't play. What cheek!

DTC watch: Who'd have thought that Dan Christian is useful with the ball. I mean he is! Fabulous economy and a wicket. Doesn't change anything about the fact that Hants have a soft spot for boring people.

Cork Watch: Could still be anybody's uncle. And heck what a bowler he is.

Slug Watch: Needs a shave. Urgently. Needs to stay at the crease until I have a stream that doesn't cause seizures!! Oh dear, what a fantastic cameo. Took a wicket as well. Can't complain, overall performance .

McKenzie wasn't on the watch list *g*


One of the most retarded posts I have ever written comes to an end now. Congrats to Hants and good luck for the QF, Middlesex will hopefully not be too shattered and take a deep breath and return to their daily duty, and Surrey.... ah well :P Will see and put highlights in where possible. Tomorrow the last head-over-heels match takes place (Germany against Israel... I hope it's gonna be a cracker, looking forward a lot) and then, finally, calm. Quiet. Tranquillity. Peace. Test cricket!


Cheers,
Wes

17 July 2010

Germany beats the Vikings


ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010



Massively important matches today. Germany HAD TO win over Norway to stay among the top teams, while France were battling the mighty hosts, and the table enders Israel and Gibraltar fought for their first points.



Norway won the toss and elected to bat. I didn't believe my eyes but their top order collapsed like a card house, mainly thanks to a searing Ehsan Latif, who ran through the Viking batsmen like a hot knife through butter. Seems I posted his picture a bit prematurely hehe. Massive cheers on my end of the things. 4-33 for the pacer from Berlin. The hundred is one of these mentally important milestones in the game and when Norway brought their ton up in the early 30s I began to pull the air in through my teeth. They were 6 down but somehow there was this vibration in the air that they wouldn't plan on getting all out soon. Well, 10 overs later they were still only 6 down but had arrived at 148, with their main batsman Shahbaz Butt unbeaten on 53. Seven overs still to come and I thought that's gonna be a difficult chase now. Although Germany took another 3 wickets before Norway had completed their innings, I cringed when the scorecard refreshed for the last time: there stood a staggering 209 runs on the board. HORROR.

So Germany were forced to score more than 4 an over, doesn't sound problematic if you are sitting directly inside the current T20 tornado, but I honestly have to confess that my heart was hanging a bit lower than usual.
However, the run chase started with a brisk 45-1 after 10 overs, fantastic quick start and all lights on green. Also at 60-1 after 15 ov. I wasn't worried yet, but then the cruise got stalled. Throughout almost the entire innings skipper Eggleston kept carrying the flag, but his scoring rate nearly froze at some point, while at the other end of the wicket the batsmen kept wandering off. I am far from blaming him for that, I guess the Norwegian spinners just put enormous pressure on our batters. However, the run rate kept creeping up, and there came a period when we nearly needed to score at a run a ball, and I didn't know how the batsmen would deal with this tension. Towards the end of the innings, when, according to my calculations, Rishi Pillai, but in fact Satya (34), joined Egg at the crease, a sudden surge went through the figures, my eyes nearly fell out! Might be that they had also taken the powerplay then, but suddenly we only needed 13 from 24 balls and finishing the Vikings off had become a mere formality.

WOW not bad brother!!!!!

It's a huge pity that Eggleston got removed on 87, but nevertheless he pulled off a captain's knock of epic proportions, which I had secretly been hoping for since the tourny had started. The key to our success was to keep the wickets in hand that you need to hit out hard at the end, and Germany batted awesomely here.

Skipper James Eggleston delivered a captain's knock  (c) DCB
Here's the progress of the match:

Norway 44-4 (14 overs) Ehsan Latif 3-24
Norway 52-5 (16 overs) Ehsan Latif 4-29
Norway 72-5 (21 overs)
Norway 82-5 (27 overs) Ehsan Latif 4-33
Norway 88-5 (30 overs)
Norway 107-6 (34 overs)
Norway 148-6 (43 overs) Shahbaz Butt 53*
Norway 209-9 (50 overs) Shahbaz Butt 73

----

Germany 27-0 (5 overs)
Germany 45-1 (10 overs)
Germany 60-1 (14 overs)
Germany 60-1 (15 overs)
Germany 76-1 (20 overs)
Germany 93-1 (26 overs) J Eggleston 39*
Germany 114-1 (30 overs) J Eggleston 52*,
96 from 120 balls needed
Germany 130-3 (35 overs) J Eggleston 57*,
80 from 90 balls needed
Germany 148-4 (40 overs) J Eggleston 67*
Germany 178-4 (44 overs) J Eggleston 80*,
32 needed from 36 balls
Germany 197-4 (46 overs) J Eggleston 82*
13 from 24 balls needed
Germany 213-6 (49.3 overs) J Eggleston 87

~~~


France accumulated a total of 189 runs and fought like lions, but it proved not defendable against the stalwart Guernsey batsmen. I had hoped the French could be strong enough to beat Guernsey and by doing so open the door to the top again for themselves and especially also for Germany, but cricket is the game where Guernsey always wins. I needn't point out that Frith was both in the runs and in the wickets again.



In the basement duel between the two, errm, pointless teams Israel bagged a well-deserved victory against the weak Gibraltarians. I've always had the feeling that Israel had lucked out on a couple of occasions and it was about time for them to stride off the field as winners. The light blue team managed an excellent total of 200, and, sadly expectedly, the Gibs failed to chase it. Eshkol Solomon scored a record-breaking 120 runs for his country, while in the second innings a young leggie called Josh Evans pained Gibraltar with 4-21. Can't help grinning all around the head, legspin for president!

~~~

Now let's have a look at the table. Guernsey are throning at the top unbeaten and unbeatable, followed by the mighty good Germans, who have only lost the match against the hosts. France and Norway have won two matches each and Israel are probably safe from relegation now. Unless the rules have been changed again.



Tim Ravenscroft drives... the Germans bonkers!  (c) ICC/CricketEurope
On a sidenote I would like to mention that Tim Ravenscroft of Guernsey, who, alongside Jeremy Frith, annoyed the hell out of our bowlers in yesterday's match, has signed a development contract with Sussex CCC, congratulations and respect!

So in general one can state that this has been a very successful day,  although the Frenchies stuffed it up and now Guernsey will win the tournament. What Germany gains from it is further superiority over France :P Each team has one match left to play, Germany will face the Israelis and hopefully beat them, Norway have to put up with the hosts and Gibraltar will receive another massive drubbing from France.


That's it for today,
Cheers,
Wes

Royals spun through the Middle

Hampshire v Middlesex (FP T20)


Surprise surprise, no Finn, no O'Brien. Shaun Udal and Gareth Amen Berg back. Morgan nothing to do, but not allowed to play, Dexter not amused. Hants won the toss and are batting.

For the highlights please scroll down


[1st innings]

1) King Udal opens the bowling. Quiet start, 2-0
2) Pedro on. Makes Jimmy Adams shoot himself in the head, Oddums hits it up and five years later Ben Scott doesn't even need to move to take the catch. Jimmy what did you do! James Vince in. 4-1
3) Murtagh. Very steynesque run-up, FOUR by Carbs. FOUR, SIX because of two runs and the throw misses, Murtagh can't hold on to it and it goes to the boundary instead. 20-1
4) Pedro Collins, FOUR by Vince, belts a widish one to the rope. Udal sweeps with commitment, battles his way back into the team. SIX Carberry starts the fireworks for the Pants. 35-1
5) Tyron Henderson in, Dexter keeps adjusting the attack, very neat. 37-1. Malan on the mic. Hopes to keep it below 50 in the first 6 overs. He thinks anything around 150, 160 is chaseable.
6) OMMMMMM. FOUR. Shite. Thou dost not treat the Ice Lord so! Carberry is probably the most disrespectful cricketer ever. The smell of wicket lingers in the air. 42-1
Wished he was somewhere else painting doors: Sean Ervine  (c) The Rose Bowl
7) Henderson to continue as expected. Henderson is a magician, he can make sticks fly. Vince trots off. Remember where you smelled it first. McKenzie in. Nearly another one. 44-2
8) The King comes on. Good over, 48-2. I just spotted Slug, he is happy, I am happy.
9) Henderson in for another one. Huge appeal, Carberry out!!! Misses the reverse sweep, hits him on the foot. 50-3. SLUG IN. Oh man, here we go. Good running. 52-3
10) Udal resumes. "The outfield is quite slow and sluggish" well perfect conditions then, eh? Nearly a run-out. 58-3
11) Tom Smith on! Tommyyyyyy. HELL. McKenzie aims it neatly at Berg's throat at deep midwicket. Too much pressure from the spinners. Macca loses the nerves here. It is starting to troglodyte massively as Razzaq comes in. 62-4
12) Udal comes back on. Oh boy!! Ervine hits it to Pedro but Pedro "leaps like a drunken giraffe", and it goes for four. And Slug chips the next ball back to Udal! For fark's sake!!! Slug OUT! Okay now I am close to losing my lunch. This is clearly wrong now, very very wrong. Dan Christian in. Shaun Udal takes 1-17 from 4 overs. Hats off. Malan hopes that Razzaq falls next and they can wrap up the innings. Pitch a bunsen, that's why they decided to play two spinners. 68-5
13) Smith. 74-5
14) Dexter strikes first ball! Dan Christian out! Bowled! Nic Pothas will try to make runs. Just one run, 75-6
15) Smith. WICKET, Razzaq! "Brainless cricket from Razzaq", hot catch by Berg, carbon copy of Macca's wicket. Skipper comes in, needs to walk over water here. Oh man Razzaq in the dugout utterly down. 78-6
16) Dexter. CORK run out, "terrific stuff by Scott, took an absolutely stinking throw and whipped the bails off" haha. 78-8. Kevin home alone comes in. Ohhh nearly a returncatch. Hants bring up the 80. 81-8
17) Smith back on. FOUR, Murts at long-on flies in but can't cut it off. SIX. Pothas doing some work for Hants. OUT! Murts takes a genius catch including running backwards and rolling on the floor. Baby Briggs in. FOUR by Wood. HECK! Absolute corker by Smith. One handed sidewards dive. OH MAN. Baby Briggs out, Wood the sole survivor of this massacre.

Total 99 all out after 17 overs


[innings break]

This is bloody awful. Pants all out for 99. Carbs high-scores with 34. Neither of the teams is aware of the fact that under the current circumstances they are on the best way to kill each other off. We can only hope that if Middlesex win today they can also beat Essex and then somehow make it through. If NOT they have only made it a lot harder for Hampshire to reach the next stage, and on top of that allowed Surrey to get a sniff of a chance again. That's why I'm pretty gutted at the moment, and this whole post sounds so illogical. Happy for the Middle boys though. No stars at all (Warner doesn't count anymore) and they are deconstructing the favourites. Why so inconsistent :( Fantastic bowling and fielding, Scott precise like a Swiss clockwork. It would be a treat to savour if it wasn't for the stupid circumstances.

Total darkness for Hants in general and Sean Ervine in particular  (c) Getty Images

[2nd innings]

1) Cork. Warner and Dexter opening. FOUR, Davo. 5-0
2) Chris Wood. His hair is more kieswetteresque today. FOUR, Warner. FOUR Dexter. 17-0
3) Razzaq. I totally don't get why people mock his age, he looks ten years younger than Udal. He has played 240 ODIs. FOUR Warner beats the fielder. Two wides already from Razzaq. 27-0
4) Briggitte in. FOUR, Warner. 33-0
5) Dan Christian is Cork's next try to get a wicket. Warner skies one but just beats Cork at mid-off.
6) Sluggy in. FOUR. Warner. Another one. This is a funeral I am forced to attend because they are playing cricket at it. FOUR. Cork out of ideas. 50 up for Middle. 53-0, nothing going the way it should for Sluggy here.
7) Carberry. He doesn't run up, he just walks to the crease and makes a tiny leap. 56-0
8) Briggster. LBW Dexter (11). Owais in. Briggs creating a lot of pressure, Owais in danger of a run-out.
9) Dan Christian. OUT Warner with another skyer safely taken by Razzaq. 43, well at least some sort of score for him. Dawid Malan. 64-2, DC gifted Middle two wides as well.
10) Briggs. FOUR, Shah. 73-2
11) Cork. Edged between keeper and slip. 77-2
12) Danny Briggs. Bowling so beautifully. I mean seriously. His spell ends, 1-19. 80-2
13) Cork, FOUR off a shorter one, pulled by Owais. 88-2
14) Dan Christian. FOUR Malan. FOUR. 99-2
15) Cork in for the death of his side. FOUR Owais hits the winning runs.


Well both teams are still in the contention, maybe it isn't as bad. Surrey still have to play against Gloucestershire, who have made short work of Middlesex three times in a row. Thus I bet my arse that Surrey will beat them, they just are like that. Middlesex have improved their NRR insofar that they are ahead of Surrey now but Hants are still sitting on top of the two rivals. Both Middle and Hants will play against teams that have already made it to the next stage, while Gloucs are out. Blabla, it stays interesting. Too interesting.


Cheers,
Wes

16 July 2010

No Wickets, No Win

Feck.

ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010

Day 3



Ehsan Latif opens the bowling for Germany   (c) DCB
Germany lost to the favourites Gibraltar but it wasn't like we didn't have a chance. Well we knew they wouldn't humiliate us but we also fancied a medium-sized chance to interrupt Guernsey's unbeaten run. Guernsey decided to field first and managed to take only 6 wickets, what a difference to their previous matches. The problem was they also bogged us down quite a lot, mentionable in particular J Frith, who took 3 for 37, of which the wickets of Asif Khan and Farooq Ahmed pained me especially because from that point on I saw us getting all out, but Rishi Pillai and Shakeel Hassan established a heartmeltingly nice partnership at the end of the innings and got both into the 30s to lift Germany's score to 188. The comment thought the total was ok but Guernsey would chase it. Nevertheless it would have been better if Farooq had been allowed to contribute some lusty strokes. Fernando had a good start as well.

Hmm hmm. I was more hopeful, trusting the bowlers to run for their lives and make early inroads, as they always did, and to derail the Guernsey train early. Ehsan Latif and later on Shakeel Hassan, once more in collaboration with Rishi, took a wicket each, but apart from that drought prevailed. Frith carried the bat and basically won the match for his team, Ravenscroft, who had joined him after the second wicket, didn't show the nerves of Queribel or Savident and kept sticking around. How annoying that must have been, like running against a wall over and over again. The batsmen scored boundaries at will and the run chase was finished after the 39th over.

Well that was quite a cold shower. I am not unproud of the boys, they've kept their heads up and worked like dogs, but I can't see anybody else beat the Guers, except for France maybe, which could help us a bit, but would also mean that France grab more points than we could approve of.



France put a huge total on the board, 271-9 with Ayya (78) being again the key batsman. Unlike Germany, Israel obviously couldn't take the last wicket. They fought back bravely but were all out after 49.3 overs, 65 runs short of the target.


This is pretty amazing. The Gibs, who got totally belted in their two previous matches, reached a total of 189-6, bizarrely exactly the same score as Germany, plus 1 run. It took Norway 44.1 overs to chase this down and they lost 7 wickets on the way. Gibraltar will be happy about the improvement but a loss is a loss.

Cheers,
Wes

14 July 2010

Thumping Win For The German Cricket Team

ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010



Gibraltar v Germany [gallery]
Guernsey v Israel [gallery]
France v Norway [gallery]

Today Germany won their second match in a row [scorecard], this time against Gibraltar. One has to say here that I didn't expect anything else, as the Gibs got horribly belted in their first match against the hosts Guernsey. Nevertheless the scorecard got stuck when Germany had trundled to 85-0 within 15 overs, and then it wouldn't update until the match was over, so unfortunately I can't give any match description here. Gibraltar had won the toss and elected to field, I can't really say why though, just this much: fielding first on this ground they had suffered that horrible defeat against Guernsey. However, Germany made an impressive 271 runs in their 50 overs, Milan Fernando and Satya Srinivas both got half tons and André Leslie as well as chieftain Eggleston were in the runs, too. Freyone took 4-35 for the Gibraltarians. Germany had absolutely no problems defending the total, Gibraltar were bowled out for 154 runs within 42.2 overs, Farooq Ahmed again our most valuable bowler, he grabbed 5 for 33 today at 3.3, Shakeel Hassan took 3 for 22 at 3.5 and Rana Iqbal bowled 7 tidy overs at 2.3 including 3 maidens. [official match report]

Best little cricket team in the world. Even before Middlesex :P    (c) DCB

Interesting results came from the other two matches:

Israel, who had come so close to a victory over Norway yesterday, and who I considered a strong team, got completely, and I mean completely, humiliated by the hosts [scorecard]. Guernsey elected to field and the light blue team got bundled out for a jawdropping 86 (!!!!) runs within 35.2 overs. Guernsey danced to victory with ease, after 24 overs the cake was eaten. [official match report]

In the third match of the day France beat Norway by 2 wickets [scorecard]! This was a very interesting contest, the French played on the same ground as against Germany yesterday, but unlike us Norway accumulated a score of 196, they batted not a lot differently from Germany but some big hitting in the last overs took them close to 200, which made me a tiny bit jealous. France made a habit of losing early wickets and I didn't think they could chase it successfully but hear hear, they comfortably cruised home with 1.2 overs to spare! I pressed my thumbs for the Frenchies today because of course I didn't want Norway to win two in a row, ahem. [official match report]

So the table looks fantastic at the moment, Guernsey and Germany both leading with 4 points, Guernsey, thanks to their utter superiority over their two previous opponents, should have a mindboggling net run rate of course and we can only beat them by the number of victories I guess, but I can't see them lose against any of the remaining teams to be honest. They do not only know their grounds well but also seem to be a very strong side in general, maybe also whipped forward by a possible enthusiastic home crowd, we can only speculate. Norway and France follow on the ranks with 2 points each, while Israel and Gibraltar are still waiting for their first victory.

Friday is gonna be a bloody tough day as we will face Guernsey. That will be a huge task. I don't dare to hope we can win this but I know the team will fight nail and tooth and hopefully, hopefully we can inflict the first defeat on the rampaging hosts. Good luck boys, all my thumbs and big toes are pressed for you! I will probably not survive the scorecard hassle and hence might not live to see the match result, so please guys make sure I don't die in vain *g*


Cheers,
Wes

13 July 2010

Fistwielding Day For German Cricket!!!

ICC European Division 2 Championship 2010
(Details, a picture of the German kit and some excited blabla about this tournament can be found in this post)

Cricket Germany has also posted some pics of the team and staff after their arrival in Guernsey.


Day 1 

Germany beat France by 5 runs in an absolute nervewrecker of a lowest-possible-scoring match, I am currently jumping around as if I wasn't quite right in the head! What a fantastic effort!!! Whoooobloodyhoooo!!! God it makes me so stupidly happy, feels better than any victories by the German football team in the World Cup. Hell I wish there was footage or anything, hopefully someone uploads a couple of pics. This is unbelievable, France are listed above us in the ODI table and I would say they are one of the tougher opponents. And, of course, they are France! Arghhh!!!

Skipper Eggleston won the toss and decided to bat first, for a fair while I kept thinking about what factors might have tipped his decision towards batting on a cloudy day in a Channel island, but it became clear after a while that the pitch must have been hell for the batsmen and maybe you wouldn't want to expose yourself to the pressure of chasing.

Germany lost early wickets and getting runs was obviously a bloody tough job, 106-5 after 36 overs, I think that says all. I thought it must be some error on the scorecard or so. Unbelievable. 118-5 after 40 ov., 155-7 after 45.

Although they managed not to get all out they couldn't get beyond a medium-goodish T20 score though, 172-9 with top scores of Farooq Ahmed (40), who tried to hold the fort as long as possible, and vice captain Asif Khan (39). Pick of the bowlers on the French end of things: U Khan with 3-26.

The French innings started utterly scratchy with a top order collapse, France were reeling at 25-3 after 8 overs, recovered to 49-3 after 14, and in the next 5 overs they managed to score just 8 runs! 57-3 after 19 ov.

France lost two more wickets on their way to the hundred, 75-4 after 25 ov. and 82-5 after 28.

Germans edging closer to victory, Farooq Ahmed the guy in the middle  (c) ICC/CricketEurope
Gallery
At 100-5 after 33 overs things began to look increasingly bah. The German total should prove chaseable from that point on and my fingernails suffered heavy losses. A Ayyavooraju 42* kept the French innings together and seemed to be a major nuisance to our bowlers, but they kept taking wickets, 118-6 after 38.

125-7 after 40 ov, Ayya on 53*, asking rate about 5. Doesn't seem too high but on that pitch it could still be a tad too much if you have tailenders hanging around with you.

143-9 after 43, this should have been the breakthrough wicket, Ayya finally gone!! 63 for France's top scorer! The last wicket partnership needed to provide 30 runs, I was near fainting over here. Tailender fights can be so nasty and the scorecard refreshes only every few overs. The French score kept climbing and that last wicket just wouldn't come, must have been immense pressure on both sides.  France progressed to 159-9 after 46, the words I was spewing forth at that time are not repeatable here. 165-9 after 48, only 8 runs needed from the last two overs and France had already put one foot across the finishing line. I was staring at the scorecard with absolute madness now, and then it refreshes and.....

OUT!!!!!!! France all out for 167 arghhhh coq au vin my friends!!!

BLISS!!! (c) ICC/CricketEurope
Gallery
Germany win by 5 runs, photo-finish!!!

I am still grinning like a happy monkey, can't believe it.

Germany had also won the friendly against Coventry U19 on the weekend by a respectable 50 runs, well done, according to this wonderfully detailed match report (in English) by the Chairman of Cricket Germany, Dr. Brian Fell, the team had to get adjusted to the grass pitch first but won comfortably in the end. Farooq playing a key role again.

But back to the Championship, in the other two matches played today the hosts Guernsey completely thrashed Gibraltar, the Gibs didn't even manage to muster half of the runs Guernsey had racked up in the first innings. Here you can find a nice gallery, Gibraltar in lovely red and black. In the second game Norway beat Israel in a nailbiter similar to the Germany-France match, that certainly keeps things interesting! The gallery is up, Israel in light blue.

Germany are facing Gibraltar tomorrow, it would be utterly nice to start off with two consecutive wins, good luck, boys!

EDIT
Found more info:
Pick of the bowlers: Farooq Ahmed as well, with 3 for 40 [official scorecard]
Obviously the scores would have been even lower if both teams hadn't leaked that many extras. Oh boy!
The match report mentions that wild celebrations broke out among the Germans after the last French batsman had been run out! [match report] [match report by Cricket Germany in English]

Cheers,
Wes

12 July 2010

Why Mo Aamer will batter the Aussies


Snorkelling through the depths of the internet I came across this really informative Mohammad Aamer interview.

Now you will say:

"How can you know it's informative? You don't understand a word?!?"

Good point. But!

Apart from a couple of English words he also says Kaffee, and this I understand very well, because it is German and means coffee.

And I am telling you the guy must be bloody addicted o_O

"...Choci 'n' Kaffee, Kaffee sport, unfiltered (!), Kaffee bag, Kaffee training, Kaffee is cricket (@_@), Kaffee friendly, Kaffee Kaffee..." and so on.
The case is clear. Mo has found a way to circumvent the doping restrictions, and to fly high without getting banned from the UAE. What a clever little mischief.




15 espressos, 170 kph, 20 no balls, 10 for 35. Don't try this at home.



Cheers,
Wes

11 July 2010

Gloucsed again!!!!!!

Middlesex v Gloucestershire (FP T20)



Highlights when up

Not bloody Gloucs again :/ Middlesex probably need to win all of the remaining three matches and now we are facing the nemesis once more. I am not sure if the boys have already managed to lift their spirits after yesterday's sub par performance against Hants. IOB's return has been looming for a week now and the attack could really need some strengthening, although it was not the fast bowling department that had to take the blame last night, Murts and Pedro did ok I think. Anyway I dread today's proceedings a little, we shall see.

Alright 20 min until it starts, Hand announces:

Finn, O'Brien and Thompson come in for the Gloucestershire match.
That is what I call a beef-up!!! That's gonna be a corker!!!!!
No Berg, no Murtagh, no Newman. I expect some steam here. Ice Lord probably with a niggle. Thompson for Newman, thank fred! Two muchly needed fast bowlers in exchange for our dear Murts and St Berg, well I guess he needs some more rest.

I think we have a chance here, amirite? :D
Hand not online yet, listening to Gloucs. Hand on and off all the time. Pitch totally dried and burnt, if I understand that right.

Middlesex won the toss and bat first.


[1st innings]

1) Ireland. Four, Jacko, 5-0
2) Kirby, c&b Warner!! Oh Davo.... :( Hand on now. Owais in. FOUR. 11-1
3) Gemaal Hussain on. Four, JT. And another one. 21-1. Thompson really a boost, also the last time he played.
4) Ireland. LBW appeal against Owais, umpire unmoved. NOOO Thompson out. Caught by Kirby. Should've kept my gob shut. 22-2. Malan in. Need him to score today dammit. FOUR Owais :D "blasts him away" and HUGE shot, SIX, hammers him over midwicket. 32-2
Great innings by Dawid Malan, need more of that. (c) Getty Images
5) Hussain, Malan off the mark. FOUR, by Owais. 39-2
6) Kirby continues. Malan FOUR. And also turns a slower one into a FOUR. 50 up. 50-2
7) Franklin. Shah with a lovely shot, FOUR. He is on 25 now. Free hit but Malan can't make a lot of it, 61-2
8) Dawson in. Shah out!! Caught Hussain. Shah gone for 27. Okay. Crap. In the background the Gloucs comment barks "outstanding catch!!!" Dexter in. Captain's knock!! 64-3
9) Redmond in to spin some Kiwi Test Leg. SIX, Dexter. Utmost necessary. FOUR. 77-3
10) Dawson. SIX Dexter, shot similar to the wicket of Owais but enough on it to get it over the rope. 86-3
11) Franklin. Some good running. 92-3 Dex 23*, Malan 22*
12) Dawson. FOUR to Malan off a misfielded reverse sweep. 100 up. Hand thinks score can be doubled unless something goes dramatically wrong. Hmm not sure, not that much batting depth today because of a serious lack of Berg, and Shah out = ungood. 102-3
13) Franklin. Edge, FOUR. Malan past the keeper. SIX Malan towards the pavilion. I won't say anything this time. Replacement ball needed. 117-3
14) Redmond. Dexter FOUR over the fielder at extra cover, not a lot of power, just timing. OUT to the road hits Malan the ball (does that make sense), SIX :P Box of balls comes in! 129-3
15) Dawson. FOUR Malan, that's the 50 for him! 138-3
16) Kirby, Malan hits him out the ground once more, new ball comes in. Dexter (38) caught at long-on by Porterfield, Newman (today's waiter) brings gulpies for Dawid Malan. Henderson enters. Careful now. 147-4
17) Ireland returns. Low full toss smashed away by Malan, SIX. He is on 67 now. After a couple more runs Hand takes the word "century" in the mouth, I am pulling my face long. 158-4.
18) Hussain. SIX Malan. Biting my tongue off. Must. Not. Jinx. VERY high shot, Hand worried, but it's so high that it indeed "had the legs", but drops inside the ground. FOUR by Henderson, punishes a low full toss. Malan on 82, 177-4
19) Ireland back on. Arghhh Marshall at long-on picks Henderson up off a badly timed shot, with a diving catch. 179-5. Ben Scott comes out. WOOOT come on Scotto! 182-5
20) Kirby bowls the last one. Scott run out, obviously sacrificed himself for the charging Malan. Tom Smith in. Bowled! Kirby kills The Man. Bahhh. 86 for Dawid, what a pity. IOB in on strike. Almost another run-out. Single, Smith on strike for the last ball. Only get one, Smith run out. 185-8

Total 185-8


[innings break]

Meh. Great innings from Dawid Malan, good starts from Dexter and Shah but generally one has to say there could have been a bit more in it. The bloodshed in the last two overs could be the deciding factor, but I have faith in the bowlers, who will sure bowl like the hooved one was behind them. Worrying oompa music in the background.


[2nd innings]

1) Alright! Finny! Redmond and Porterfield opening for Gloucestershire. FOUR for Redmond, beautiful shot. Porterfield hooks a short one for FOUR. "Probably wasn't the cleverest delivery from Finn". Well well. SIX Porterfield. Oh-oh :/ 15-0
2) Collins in. FOUR cut away through point, Redmond. SIX into the midwicket trees, Porterfield. 27-0
3) Steven Finn back despite IOB asking to get involved now. FOUR for the Irishman over short fine leg. Fuller one on the pads, appeal not given. Lofted over midwicket, FOUR. The Irish captain again. Dexter, IOB, Finn chatting. Three from the next ball. FOUR to Redmond. And the over is still not over. Dot ball ends the over, 42-0. Carnage.

This :(      Just in pink  (c) Getty Images

4) Pedro back. FOUR as Porterfield paddlesweeps him around the corner. 52-0
5) Henderson. SIX over square leg by Porterfield. FOUR hit back over Henderson's head by I think Porterfield. 65-0
6) O'Brien in. Nearly gets him. Dot ball is a no ball. Free hit. FOUR blockhole delivery, leading edge over backward point (JT). Porterfield running amok here. FOUR off the last one. Middlesex were 50-2 while Gloucs are 78-0
7) Skipper on. BOWLED! Redmond out! Goes for 20. Now please would it possible to pick up Porterfield. Please! Hamish Marshall in. Just four runs off the over, 82-1
8) Tommo the Leftsmith comes on. I have the feeling he might strike. Quite tidy, Henderson fumbles a little, then Warner. 90-1 Middlesex had just 64 on the board at that stage.
9) Skipper back on. WICKET! Marshall caught behind. 90-2, Porterfield still twitching though. James Franklin in. FOUR as Finn can't cut it off. 99-2
10) Smith comes on. Porterfield (64) OUT! Run-out at the non-striker's end as Franklin hits it back, deflects off the hand of Smith and hits the stumps. This is about the 500th time this happens in this tournament, and that's only counting those occasions which I have witnessed. Chris Taylor comes in, 100 up. 102-3
11) Dexter back on. Two wides in a row. FOUR off the last ball. Grrr. 111-3
12) Smith. SIX. Finn at the boundary rope but Franklin clears it. Next ball SIX more! Gloucs comment getting excited again in the background, praising Franklin's power. 128-3
13) Dexter returns. Pedro stops one, Dexter applauds. Haha. Now I feel guilty :( 135-3
14) IOB. Franklin on strike, Kiwi Klash. Has pulled the field in, five inside the circle. But there is a boundary. And Taylor drives him for four more. 42 to win. 145-3
15) Henderson. Wondering why Malan isn't getting a go, while Hand notices that JT is warming up. FOUR off the last ball. 152-3
16) Jackson Thompson indeed in to bowl. I am grinning like a retard. That's really interesting now. Off-break. Pedro hits the stumps! Not a run-out but what's with his fielding today! Impressive. Middlesex already looking flat again in the field according to Hand. FOUR, crap. 160-3 OUT! Taylor out caught Dexter and JT has a wicket. Well that's sort of cool. Gidman in.
17) Henderson comes back. Go Henno, take a scalp darnit! Clipped to midwicket, nearly a four but Finny saves.165-4
18) Pedro on! WIDE. HMMGRR. FOUR through square leg. BEAMER, no ball, not a free hit. 177-4 Exactly the same score that Middlesex had at that stage but clatter highly unlikely. 177-4
19) Henderson. Twos and singles. 184-4
20) IOB needs to defend two runs now, calls everybody up. To Franklin. Dropped at extracover, brilliant one-handed effort by the chieftain, dot ball. FOUR over backward point.

Gloucestershire win by 5 wickets with 4 balls to spare.


Middlesex need two big fat victories now, the first one obviously from the Hants match at the Rose Bowl. Hants steamrolling the opposition currently. Middlesex will have to see what the plan is for the Pants. The comeback kids Finn and IOB got hammered in their first overs, Gloucs took the match away mainly with Porterfield's brutal assault of 64 and Franklin adding a muscular 51, Redmond and Taylor playing vital partner roles. Ireland, Kirby and Dawson strangled the Middlesex batsmen well, Kirby being the pick with 3 for 29 off 4 overs. Dawid Malan's (86) wonderful effort shall not remain unmentioned, though. Skipper Neil Dexter bowled best for Middlesex with 2 for 29 off 4 overs. Happy for Jackson Thompson, picked up a wicket in his one ok over. Henderson bowled economically as well but Middlesex would have needed him to take a wicket.

Well I had thought M'sex would be a little luckier here but will spare myself any speculations now.


Cheers,
Wes