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Tony Tea

Mark Nicholas: "South Africa are cock-a-hoop."

Tony Grieg: "Sorth Efrica or cock-a-hoop."


Bill Lawry: "Ricky Ponting has won the toss and elected to bat."


Carrot

Why does Tony of all people call Nnnntini Nuh-tini? I thought that was the realm of one of the Ians.....

As Flatty plays a park cricket shot through/over mid-off to get off the mark! Bloody hell!!

Carrot

Jeez I hope Hayden settles down.....

Tony Tea

Tony's just playing games. He knows it's Mackun Teeny.

Carrot

Where is everyone?

Tony just said the one thing that annoys me most about being a bowler. And he should know better, he WAS one. "I can't believe Smith hasn't had a word to him about getting it a little straighter". I reckon Steyn, as a specialist international new-ball bowler, is probably aware that he's not bowling great lines at the moment. Why is it that every dickhead thinks that he's making himself useful yelling out "off stump!" to bowlers? Do they not think we're not trying to do that? "Oh, you think I should bowl a good length, on the STUMPS! Sorry, I was trying long-hops just for something new!"

Hayden out. Fuck. I could see it coming. He was never going to hit himself into form.

Tony Tea

Flatty gawn.

1/21.

Stock ball, from Mackun. Shocking shot, wafting outside off.

Looking again: rubbish ball to get out off.

Tony Tea

Warnie enters the fray.

"Matty will be disappointed."

Profound.

Tony Tea

"Where is everyone?"

Recovering from their festive gruel.

Or buying a discounted white-good.

Moses

Suicidal would be preferable to Dissapointed? Why wont he just fark orf to Queensland?

Tony Tea

Moses, spot on.

One of those shots that screams "The end is nigh!"

Unless, of course, the selectors do a Dravid and give the big dickhead 132 chances to get a score.

Moses

Well may I say God save the Queen, because nothing will save Matthew Hayden.

When did it become the "Betfair Hot Spot" ?

Carrot

Question: is Warnie more of a bogan than the others, or have I just grown used to everyone else's boganness and he sticks out because he's not as familiar?

nick

I've got money on South Africa. They will win at a canter in 4 days.

Moses

More gold from his Warneness:
"Him [Kallis] and Steyn are the two big swingers in the South African side"

nick

Warnie on. 3 Maidens. Just like the old days.

nick

Kallis, Ryder and Gosgrove have booked a table for day 5.

Tony Tea

Since when did Fat Jack become the most dangerous SA bowler? He's making Ponting look like a goose... a cooked goose. Boom. Tish.

Tony Tea

"We are only one and a half hours away from the start of the Sydney to Hobart."

Thus announced Karen Tighe, as if we are supposed to look forward to it.

Tony Tea

Ponting six over fine-leg's head!

Hello, Magnetic Island.

Tony Tea

Whoops, Jackies.

The essence of humour: A fat man falling over.

Moses

1000 to Punter, knew he was close, prick

Tony Tea

Curious Me is bound to ask: why is Punter a prick for getting a 1000?

Moses

Oops, cut to a Trojan ad before showing the new ball. Oh, and we've just lost the technical capacity to put the score in the corner. Thanks for telling us that Mark, was furiously adjusting my television set to get the score back.

Moses

He's a prick for reasons unrelated to scoring runs, it just felt right to tack it on to the end of a sentence praising his run accumulation.

He is a prick though, blaming the bowlers for the Perth loss when he set the defensive fields all day and He, Hayden and Hussey scored 56 runs combined. Then there's that ridiculous catching agreement that he's thankfully gone quite on in the last few months.

Tony Tea

Harris on for Porny Snorkel.

If either of these two batsmen, or any subsequent batsmen for that matter, get suckered out tonking I will NOT be happy.

Ponting's a dumb prick for complaining about the pitch, despite winning the toss and batting.

Tony Tea

Richie is getting right on my tits spruiking Betfair.

It's against the law to call Richie a prick. Maybe he's working on an evil persona, like Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin.

nick

Hopefully Hauritz will pick up some pointers from Harris in regard to making the most of limited ability.

nick

I'm sure Richie feels a little dirty as well.

Tony Tea

Tony the Gourmand?

Tony the Spatchcock, more like.

Tony Tea

Steyn's on. (Stale according to Bill earlier.) Better not pinch a pole before the luncheon break.

Luncheon always reminds me of processed meat: bolony, stras, devon, etc, depending on which state you come from.

Tony Tea

Ponting Dropped!!

Macca Enzie puts down an absolute sitter.

Is that going to be The Biggest moment in Test cricket history on the second last ball before luncheon?

Tony Tea

Update!!

We are only 23 minutes away from the start of the Sydney to Hobart.

nick

I was doing to comment, when Steyn came on, that Ponting would get a thin edge to Boucher off Steyn, before the lunch break. Hopefully OCD Mckenzies drop will be the even break sucker Ponting needs.

Tony Tea

As the poet L.R.Band once wrote: reminiscing.

11.1 Kallis to Ponting, no run, dropped! Nel drops the catch, short ball, Ponting pulls straight to midwicket.
Tony Tea

Nine just showed Tubby making a 100 at the MCG in 1989 when he ran out Boonie. Boonie on strike, his call, but Boonie ended up at the non-striker's end, with Tubby standing his ground.

But does anyone really believe Tubby's lame excuse? "Boonie said 'running' but I thought he said 'waiting'."

Carrot

Can't remember seeing a bowling attack so consistently over the 140 km/h mark. Every ball, 90 mph or more. I wonder what Ntini has done lately, too - he was nowhere near this quick - or this good - in England last summer.

Tony Tea

It's lucky they haven't consistently bowled a good line and length. Steyn's first spell was tripe, but his second, just before lunch, was excellent; Ntini was steady, but hardly dynamite; Fat Jack was slower, but dangerous; Snorkel was all over the place.

Carrot

Warney - shut up. Seriously. Just stop talking.

Carrot

Punter - where have you been? We've missed you!!

Tony Tea

Warnie's not a commentator, he's a spectator.

He needs to learn how to put across his observations and opinions to an audience, rather than sit and chat to his mates in the rooms.

Tony Tea

Kat gawn!

2/128.

Played it on. Another lame dismissal. I hate played-it-ons.

Speaking of played-it-ons, how many times has Hussey played it on?

Tony Tea

Hussey gawn!

3/143.

Caught behind. Timid half-waft.

Right before drinks, too.

South Africa remind me of the old Australia in the way they manage to scrap back into a match.

Game on.

Tony Tea

Sh1t.

Steyn's bowling a very good spell.

Bring him off from both ends!!!

Tony Tea

100 to Ponting.

Thanks, Macca.

nick

According to the radio - he scores a lot of double hundreds...out in the next 5 mins then.

Tony Tea

Evil commentators.

Also, it's four minutes to tea... and Clarke is in...

nick

Told you.

Tony Tea

Ponting gawn!

4/184.

Caught bat-pad off Harris.

It's an evil world.

SA to win in a canter.

nick

F**k.

Tony Tea

A poll.

What is the most deflating Australian dismissal of 2008?

1. Ponting, Boxing Day, caught Amla, bowled Harris, last ball before tea.
nick

Is there a worse dismissal than bat pad off Harris the ball before tea? Getting out of Warnie's bouncer would come close.

Tony Tea

Just like the 2005 Ashes, you know we are fvcked when Giles/Harris keep taking wickets at key moments.

Tony Tea

David Hemmings... I mean, Neil Manthorp has a fair old dip in today's Herald Sun:

The power of our unity

nick

Any of Hayden's dismissals, any of Clarke's pre-break dismissals, Hussey's return to mortality, and any one of a multitude of millionaires shots played by Australian batsmen (never batters) this year.

Tony Tea

CA have issued an edict: "All players must say batters."

Professor Rosseforp

I saw a nice slo-mo of "Coupe" De Villiers' bowling action. I think when bowlers were being tested for arm-bending, he was the one bowler in test history who has a 0% elbow bend. Then I saw a couple of the other guys, and blow me down if they didn't also have a straight arm delivery -- nowhere near 14.9% -- although it could be an optical illusion.
Is the "captain-in-waiting" an official position in the Australian team? If so, does this mean Clarke can't be dropped, or the selectors will have to admit they made an error in so anointing him?

Tony Tea

Roy gawn.

5/223.

Sliced the first sh1t ball in ages to Kallis.

Seems like we've been on 223 for 223 minutes.

Make that 227. Haddin doesn't muck around.

Tony Tea

But, Prof, that can't be true about the 0% bend. Everyone! bends their elbow. Just ask the ICC.

Moses

2. Clarke on the last ball of the day in India, first test I think..

Tony Tea

Nine poll.

"Will Warnie be as good a commentator as a player?"

27% yes

73% no

Tony Tea

There was Clarke's last over dismissal in the second Indian Test, too. Off Mishra.

nick

Who else is sick of hearing about Ponting's incredible 100...that was about 3-4 hours too short.

Tony Tea

Come on, Nick, you know the rules: brilliant or shouse, few in-betweens.

Words of wisdom from Chappelli on fieldsmen to bowlers: "You're not the boss of me."

Tony Tea

Braddin gawn.

6/277.

Gee! It's not often we lose a wicket late in a session.

With Clarke on strike for the last over, expect another.

m0nty

Another toss thrown away. Our tail has to wag again to make our batting look half competitive.

We've struck India at the very peak of its powers, as its bowlers rise to world best and their great batsmen haven't all retired yet. We're striking The Varks at a point in their cycle where they have a perfectly balanced squad which has grown strong feasting on weaker nations, with an excellent bowling attack that we still haven't seen nearly the best of. In six months we go to England where they'll be baying for our blood, with Pietersen leading from the front and Freddy Flintoff finally fighting fit.

We could well be undisputed #4 in the world by August.

Professor Rosseforp

Actually I had brain fag -- it was Kallis, not De Villiers, whose bowling was shown in slow-mo.
Sydney to Hobart yacht race commentary on the ABC news: "The race leader showed a clean pair of heels" -- should that be a clean pair of keels, or are yachts allowed to wear shoes now?

Tony Tea

We deserve to be No.4 the way we've played this year.

No.3, anyway.

I'm blocking out *** *****.

Our tail has been bailing us out for 13 years, and while it's disconcerting that our top order has been wonky, it's our tame bowling that concerns me most.

The experts keep on about "rebuilding" as if it's a given that we will soon re-assume our rightful position at the top of the wazza. In Test cricket, it doesn't work like that, rebuilding is really just code for buying time. Simply put: we've lost two superstars and hope to fluke two replacement superstars. You don't rebuild a Test team like you rebuild a footy team. There are enough good cricketers here to keep us perpetually strong-ish and up near the top of the ladder, but to have an extended run at No.1 we need to unearth another Warne and another McGrath. They could nearly always be relied upon to bowl the opposition out for less than us; they were the reason we stayed at No.1 for so long.

It's unlikely we will drop too far off the pace, but a 1994/5 conversation between Mike Atherton and Tubby Taylor keeps nagging at me.

Athers said Australia were a good chance to knock off the Windies in the Caribbean the following April (1995) and Tubby replied that once Straya beat them everybody would.

His implication was that once your aura goes, that mental advantage goes, too, and your drop is greater than you anticipated.

m0nty

The selectors deserve a good kick up the arse for playing an injured Roy over an in-form Watson.

Also, I read the press reports after the first Test and every other word out of the South African camp was "holding role". Harris was in a holding role in the bowling, thus allowing the strike bowlers to strike, or some such shit. They just about said ABDV was in a holding role for his catches, and Duncan Fletcher was in a holding role for Smiff's todger when he went to the loo. Evidently all of this talk got inside the heads of the Aussies because they picked Hauritz, who would be lucky to hold his Christmas pud in when Fat Jack is in full belly swing. Can't take more than four wickets in four sessions? Sure, drop your 12-wicket debut hero and slot in a bloke who's taken 14 wickets at 40 in five matches with a strike rate of 97.7. Holding role, my turkey leg!

nick

We have a good team.

Hughes/Rogers/Jaques
Katich
Ponting
Hussey M
Clarke
Hussey D
Watson
Haddin
Lee
Johnson
Hauritz/Krezja/Hilf/Clark/Siddle

We just can't pick them, stick with them, or have them led well.

Jonah

Who knows where the selectors heads are at (although I thought I heard that Watson had done himself an injury along with Symonds).

The selectors had to drop either Siddle or Krezja--one of Ponting's many questionable decisions the previous test was having the two second-gamer bowlers continuously supporting each other instead of getting them to bowl in tandem with Johnston or Lee. However, to my mind Siddle was the drop-candidate, because 1) we have strong domestic fast-bowling stocks to replace him but weak domestic spinner stocks to replace Krezja, and 2) while Siddle tried his heart out in the first test, his stress and anxiety was clearly written on his face on the fourth day, whereas Krezja held his nerve much better.

This is not to say that Krezja would not benefit from being dropped back to domestic level. He would clearly benefit from this. The problem is, it all seems very random, and there is nothing to set Hauritz above the man he is replacing.

Yobbo



The selectors deserve a good kick up the arse for playing an injured Roy over an in-form Watson.

Disagree. Watson in-form is still rubbish. Symonds is both a better bowler (when fit) and a better batsman. But at the moment I'll settle for his batting.

Watson has never looked comfortable doing either.

Professor Rosseforp

I don't see a big difference in ability on the team sheets of India, South Africa and Australia. They all have proven players in the top echelon of the game, they all have one or two about to go, and one or two up and coming.
My impression is that Australia has totally lacked concentration, whether bowling, fielding or batting (and even wicket-keeping, although that has improved).
Allan Border and Steve Waugh certainly learned the art of unrelenting pressure (Bobby Simpson's legacy?), which can be applied with limited resources. This is what South Africa is doing. Their bowling lineup is nothing out of the ordinary (Harris looks like a latter-day Tony Grieg as an offspinner), but they are concentrating on their game plan all the time. The run chase in the last test was a brilliant example of batsmen who were refusing to get out, knowing the runs would come if they stayed in. The Australians, on the other hand, when batting, looked like they wouldn't mind being with their mates in the dressing room, and having a few beers.
Is it poor captaincy on Australia's part? Poor coaching? Too much spare cash, too much one-day cricket, too many fishing expeditions for Mr Symonds? I don't know, but the continuation of "Look at me, I can get myself out to average bowling deliveries" is a sign that the boys need to up their ritalin intake to quell their AD/Haitch D.

Professor Rosseforp

On the selection issue, a side that has lost bigtime is not really sending any threatening messages with the addition of Nathan Hauritz. Is Nathan Bracken due for consideration in anyone else's view?
Watson/Symonds still seems to fit in with the obsession over an all-rounder in the side. We don't have one, let's not ruin their games by trying to force Symonds into the mould. His batting and fielding should get him in without any consideration of bowling. Watson should get in with his bowling or stay out altogether.
In the bowling front, might I say that if Ponting is thinking about bowling Clarke or Symonds at any point, he should immediately have a few overs himself before giving the ball to ther part-timers. He has always underbowled himself, and is as capable as Symonds and Clarke of (a) snaring a breakthrough (b) sending down a couple of maidens to batsmen who don't want to get out to part-timers (c) getting tonked.
Perhaps time for Brett Lee to go the way of all tearaways and drop back to medium pace trundling, where he may get a few wickets. A quiet word from Lillee or Hadlee perhaps?

Russ

Morning to all, hope we had a good Christmas. Was at the game yesterday, so no comments, though I checked in here from time to time.

It shows how dependent on our tail we are (and how dependable it is), that the papers put the game as evenly poised. If we had them 6/280 I'd be very pleased. As it is, I think we went behind as soon as Haddin got out.

Wasn't surprised by Haydos yesterday, but was by how out of form Ponting looked for most of yesterday. Sratchy through to lunch, then all aggression and no timing in making his hundred. He only started to look good when he got out. None of the batsmen are making as many runs as they could, and haven't, it must be said, for some time. Given how weak the bowling is, not being able to bat sides out of the game, given the opportunity, is a problem.

And Clarke? He doesn't look like he is playing badly, so much as he's put away every shot in the hope of playing a really long innings. With luck he'll be not out 50 when we get bowled out around tea.

Tony Tea

I've just woken up and am rubbing my eyes. We are suddenly 8/352? That would make 72 runs in the first hour.

Aaaannnd, there you go. Drinks and a wicket. Hauritz out.

9/352.

Tony Tea

The commentators blithely accepted that catch. Where are the 400 replays, the gadgets, and the commentators expressions of doubt as to whether it carried? Tubby: "That's good enough for me."

The KFC Poll says it was 65% out, 35% not out. Or as Heals sneakily put it: "the viewers say the commentators were right."

The Chicken Poll is the final arbiter.

Tony Tea

Hey, GK, build a bridge and get over Sydney:

Gautam Kunapuli adds: "Great sportsmanship from Smith. He could have pulled a massive celebratory stunt ala Australia but chose the cautious approach instead. Ponting, Clarke and the rest of the Australian team would do well to learn from his example."

If there's one thing about Sydney that gives me the sh1ts, it's this: Australia are suddenly the only side that over-appeals, appeals for wickets they know aren't out, claims dodgy catches and tries to con the umpire.

There's more:

"No great problem with the Hauritz wicket but the laws of cricket state that 'A batsman is not to be given out by an umpire unless there is an appeal from the fielding side," emails Pete.

"Great sportsmanship from Hauritz to accept the decision, and not blatantly walk down the pitch and harass the umpire like Ganguly did last year during the Sydney Test," says Kevin Gregg.

"Once again the Aussies lose a wicket at a break. It's turning into a bad habit. Re the Smith catch: I have worked editing film and video footage for over 30 years and I reckon I know a thing or 2 about on screen vision. From what was shown on the screen the front portion of the ball appeared to touch the ground. So there must be doubt - doubt fom Smith and doubt from the vision replays. Apparently the rules of cricket have changed re benefit of the doubt - or the 3rd umpire does not really understand the fore-shortening effect of long lenses," says Bob Blasdall.

Tony Tea

This just in!

The Dick has "pulsating blue balls".

Tony Tea

Quite obviously Andymc hasn't watched the Aussie tail at all over the last 13 years.

Andymc: "How Australia would love to have Gilchrist at a time like this... Clarke needs to start hitting out. It's one thing to trust a Number 11 to hold up an end, but it's another thing to take a single off the first ball time and time again!"

In fact, ever since Bobby Simpson first ordered Merv Hughes to "Get into the nets and bat!"

Tony Tea

Sizzle gawn!

All out 394.

Easy catch, and another wicket in the shadows of a break.

Still, great session from Straya.

Tony Tea

Prof, looking this morning, the Kallis elbow action is as clinically correct as you could get. If he's one of the 99% of Test bowlers who bend their arm, the ICC should stand accused of massive malfeasance. (As opposed to their normal malfeasance.)

Tony Tea

Macca gawn. Skittled Sizzle.

1/1.

Macca having a shocca.

Carrot

Tone, not sure if this is something to do with this new comments thing or not, but I'm not sure if I can read them all. You seem to be having conversations with people whose comments I can't read.

Looking at the pace of all the bowlers in this match - and pace is not usually something I particularly use to rate a good bowler, despite my comment from yesterday - it makes me realise how pedestrian we were in the 2005 Ashes. A lot of the time they were barely in the 130s, and yet we've seen all the seam-up bowlers, except for Kallis, consistently pushing 90 mph and more. If it's that commonplace, it shows just how ordinary Kasprowicz and Gillespie must have been.

Tony Tea

Siddle, Studsy, Lee, Hilfenhaus, have to be better than Lee, Dizzy, Kaspers and Tait after Pidge stepped on the ball.

Although, Lee is currently doing his best imitation of 2005, leaking runs and bowling no balls.

Tony Tea

Kevin Rudd to Shane Warne on being PM: "It's all in the wrist action."

Feed the chooks, mate.

Tony Tea

The Tourist gawn!!

2/39.

In his first over S.G.W. Studsy does what he does best. The ball was smote, too. Not a bad snag by Roy.

Tony Tea

Now Rudd is on the transistor wahless rayjo.

He hasn't stuffed up any cherished memories yet (Cowdrey at the Gabba, Ashes to Ashes, etc), or dropped any Gs (Afghanistan: "We're thinkin' of you, soldiers"). But he's on with Fleming so it's only a matter of time before he refers to himself as the PM-ologist.

Professor Rosseforp

I hate to say it, but Rudd makes Howard sound good as a cricket commentator.
Tony T, regarding the droppin' of final letters, have you read The Sandman? He claimed it makes you sound tougher, particularly if followed by a casual spittin' action.
I will have to remove my denigrating comments regarding Clarke -- he batted well this morning and showed c-o-n-c-e-n-t-r-at-i-o-n.
What is Mandarin for Irongloves, btw?

Tony Tea

What. The. Hell.

Richie said the following was a dropped chance.

13.5 Lee to Kallis, no run, well bowled, an effort ball from Lee that hits a lovely length and beats the outer edge of Kallis, playing inside the line, Haddin fumbles and ball nearly hits helmet

If so, it was an absolute howler, and every bit as big a blunder as any of the blunders from Gilchrist last summer.

Mind you, no one, apart from Richie, has mentioned it.

Russ

I'm not convinced he hit it either. But, as straight-forward a take as a keeper could hope for. Kallis hitting it is the only reason I can come up with for fumbling it in the first place.

Not that Lee deserves a wicket. He's bowled complete rubbish this afternoon.

Tony Tea

I didn't think he hit it, either, and no one looked set to appeal, but when it popped out of his glove I thought he had knocked it back through his legs onto the spare helmet and was waiting for the umpires to call for the third umpire to check that.

Lee has been as bad as at any time during his career. The fact that a bowler of his experience can give up so many runs is disturbing.

Tony Tea

Prediction: Lee to get a "wicket" from a no ball.

Tony Tea

Looking ominou...

Kallis gawn.

3/102.

The tea break works against SA, too.

Russ

Hauritz does rip through his overs. Good to see.

We've won both session so far today. Win this one and we'll have a substantial lead.

Now, Haddin? Another drop?

Russ

F**k it Haddin. Genuine edges shouldn't fall short. That's the keeper's fault.

Tony Tea

Smiffy gawn!!!!

4/125.

THE Big Wicket. With a sucker ball. Sizzlers!

Smiffy has looked awkward since before tea.

Russ

Four things:
1) Siddle has bowled a treat all day. Quick, bouncy, aggressive. The wicket came off a sucker ball, but he set him up for it.

2) Given Siddle and Studs are the best two bowlers, why bowl Hauritz after tea? Even when Harris got Ponting, Smith still immediately brought Steyn back after every break.

3) Does Haddin ever take a ball above his ankles? He had this problem in India, with balls bouncing in front of him, and going for byes. Why is he always so far back?

4) How can a player born in November 1984 have Lillee has an abiding childhood memory? McDermott I could believe, but Lillee was retired before Siddle was born.

Russ

Oh! F**ing fabulous nut to take out AB.

Tony Tea

AB gawn!!!!

5/132.

Bowled. Neck AND crop.

Scoop! I've just heard that was Ring-in AB, and not the same AB who played in Perth.

(Same for Sizzlers.)

Thankfully, if Ring-in AB was dropped by Haddin, it didn't cost us a motsa.

Tony Tea

Notification of Patent

When/if player Hauritz takes a wicket with a jaffa I own 'Ritz Cracker.

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