Australia all out 558 - 192 ahead. Expect a last day chase? Oooh, the pain.
"Fruit for the sightscreen"
I get a strong desire to introduce Mr Foot to Mr TV - violently - when the Channel Nine commentators go with their Hawk Eye lie.
Matthew Hayden was NOT out. The ball turned from stump-line and would clearly have missed off stump. Yet the commentators went straight to the Hawk for confirmation that the ball would have hit off.
Lo and behold - with a "convenient" curve back - "The ball would have hit off." Rubbish!
PS: You just knew the only way Hayden was going to get out was via a dodgy decision.
PPS: Why the hell send Gilchrist in at four?!?
PPPS: This was supposed to post about six thirty, but the Drivel Warehouse was down. On the up side, I've watched The Natural, Men In Black II, The Dead Zone and now I'm watching Fargo.
Michael Holding remembers him and hints he ought to get his act together:
His plight has not gone unnoticed by former teammates, either. Michael Holding, now a commentator, is sympathetic, but says "players have to make sure their future is secure".
Read the rest for an interesting contrast between today's well paid, high profile test cricketers and a star of yesteryear who's doing it tougher than the rest.
Gideon Haigh makes some fair points in today's Age:
1) Cricket crowds can be ugly jingoistic morons.
2) Racial undertones are becoming more apparent. (Although that's probably because we now are more aware of the issue)
3) The media is altering crowd behaviour.
All three are signs of collective fatheadism, and the media - especially Channel Nine which gets more down-market by the minute - play up (even exacerbate) the crowd behaviour.
Don't forget the Mexican Wave. Surely the ultimate in mass idiocy.
However, I can't cop Gideon's we bad/they good nonsense:/p>
Australian spectators who hectored Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan with cries of "no ball" were somehow more offensive than the Barmy Army's similar cries when Brett Lee was bowling last season, because the Australians were part of a majority and the English were not.
The simple fact that Murali's out there - and in doing so eroding the very fabric of the game - is more offensive than any sledging that's ever occurred.
Watching Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Wee Wee Laxman bat is the reason I watch cricket. Wonderful stylists with great technique.
Watching a park cricketer - who probably wouldn't get a game in the Pura Cup - routinely count to four, then plonk his foot towards the square-leg umpire and slog his way to a ton is not. Actually, that's not fair, he only moves his feet every second slog.
Listening to Beeeell, Warnie, Griggy and Tubbs tell us about what a great innings it is doesn't make it any better. Nor does listening to the radio.
Nor does watching the Australians field like Inzamam Ul Tufnell.
UPDATE - Shit Gets Wickets
Justice is done. An innings full of rank swipes - possibly the worstest highest in test history - is ended by a rank full toss from the fielder who dropped the swiper off a sitter.
Admit it, didn't you expect Bracken to drop it?
Seen here first, in reply to some Ron Reed rubbish:
Driving him out of the game - or out of Australia - is not in anyone's interest.
Yes it is. It is in the interest of future generations who'll ask, "Dad, why is there an asterisk< next to that bowler's name?". The answer is not because he changed the spelling every couple of years.
Seen today - in full below - courtesy of the Herald Suns Jon Pierik:
Muralidaran, with 473 Test wickets, remains on target to be the first man to pass Courtney Walsh's record of 519 scalps.
He is 18 wickets behind Warne, who has predicted his rival would go on and finish his career with more than 1000 victims.
If that day comes, there will be many suggesting an asterisk be placed next to Muralidaran's name in the record books.
And better add Col Egar to the list:
Others, such as former umpire Colin Egar, consider his action blatantly illegal.
Hussain puts old spin on Murali action
SHANE Warne may be cricket's most controversial player off the field, but when it comes to finding trouble on it, there's no one quite like Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralidaran.
While some believe Muralidaran is the world's best bowler and one of the game's greats, others feel he is a glorified chucker who has managed to flout the laws on throwing.
The spinning maestro with the dubious action has again found himself the centre of attention, this time on the second day of the second Test against England in Kandy.
Match referee Clive Lloyd was forced to warn former England captain Nasser Hussain to behave himself after he was accused by the Sri Lankan team of abusing Muralidaran.
Hussain allegedly called Muralidaran "a cheat and a chucker" when the Sri Lankan was batting during the second session. He made 19.
Muralidaran immediately reported the matter to umpires Aleem Dar and Australian Daryl Harper and the home side's manager, Ajith Jayasekara, followed it up with a written complaint to Lloyd.
While Lloyd could not penalise Hussain because there was "no conclusive evidence", privately, many international cricketers would agree that Hussain was right -- if he indeed had made the comment.
Just ask Adam Gilchrist.
The Aussie gloveman labelled Muralidaran a "chucker" last year before being reprimanded by Cricket Australia.
Muralidaran's stunning progress has polarised world cricket since umpire Darrell Hair no-balled him for throwing in the 1995 Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
Umpires Tony McQuillan and Ross Emerson also called Muralidaran for chucking in a one-day game in 1995-96 and, three seasons later, Emerson followed suit in a one-day game against England at the Adelaide Oval.
Australia remains the only country where Muralidaran has been called for throwing, although he did not encounter any problems with umpires in last summer's one-day series.
Cricket's throwing law has been closely scrutinised during the past decade, with two of the world's fastest bowlers, Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar, and Muralidaran reported and later cleared of bowling with suspect actions by the game's governing body.
Some feel when the Sri Lankan bowls his top-spinner -- as opposed to his regular off-break -- he wheels his arm forward and it straightens.
The laws of cricket deem that a throw.
Experts such as former Australian off-spinner Bruce Yardley consider Muralidaran a genius. Others, such as former umpire Colin Egar, consider his action blatantly illegal.
Muralidaran, with 473 Test wickets, remains on target to become the first man to pass Courtney Walsh's record of 519 scalps.
He is 18 wickets behind Warne, who has predicted his rival would go on and finish his career with more than 1000 victims.
If that day comes, there will be many suggesting an asterisk be placed next to Muralidaran's name in the record books.
Spoonerism (noun) Circa 1900 from William A. Spooner died 1930 English clergyman & educator. A transposition of usually initial sounds of two or more words.
For example: Shining Wits for Whining Bondi Cigars:
MATCH referee Clive Lloyd today warned former England captain Nasser Hussain to behave himself after he was accused by Sri Lanka of abusing spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Lloyd summoned Hussain at the end of the second day's play of the second Test here after the home side complained that he had called Muralitharan "a cheat and a chucker".
Yesterday, unlinked in The Australian, was a Simon Wilde article from the Sunday Times. You can read it in full if you want to fork out a few quids:
Throw, throw, throw the ball,
gently down the seam,
Murali, Murali, Murali, Murali,
chucks it like a dream
If that was sung between Mexican Waves by a gang of MCG Southern Stand yobs the pundits would have eagerly shifted into shame, Australia, shame overdrive.
It wasn't. It was those lovable old rogues, The Barmy Army, and it was all dismissed as a bit of a chuckle. A jolly good weeze, no doubt.
And I agree. The Barmy Army are bloody funny, if a bit repetitious. What they are not, is wrong.
They, like every other sane and sensible cricket fan - with marginally better eyesight than Mr Magoo - can spot a 142 km/h full, fast and sharply rising snow job.
In a words, Murali chucks.
Today in the Australian - judging by the heading the subbies miss the point too - the snow job continues:
Amid renewed debate over the most controversial bowling action in the game, one of the sport's foremost bowling biomechanists has cast doubt over English reports that Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan can straighten his arm.
So what? I accept Murali can't straighten his arm.
Unfortunately, in the same way umpire Emerson (McQuillan?) called Murali on a leggy, Derek Pringle in the Sunday's Times gave some ammunition to the press box members of The Smarmy Army and the Muralistas behind the scenes:
It seems as if Muralilitharan bowls the Doosra with a straight elbow, which is one in the eye for the University of Western Australia.
As pointed as he was being, by writing that Pringle just played into the hands of those seeking - for whatever reason - to keep Murali playing. The more doubt that can be cast, the better it is for Murali. Maybe they've been to the Johnny Cochrane school of defence.
The point is, it doesn't matter that he can't straighten his arm!
What matters is that he can flex it. Whether from twenty five degrees to twelve, or six degrees to five. You are not allowed to change the angle of your arm as you bowl the ball. Doing so gives any bowler a huge advantage when it comes to "flicking" a sharp turning "offy".
As Patrick Smith said of a Smarmy Army general in todays Australian....
Roebuck said that it had been a poor match for the Jamaican Bucknor. This is interesting for it was only a matter of years ago that Roebuck thought Australian umpires drongos.
You fancy it was more because they had the courage to call Muttiah Muralitharan for his blatant throwing than for their overall incompetence.
Blatant throwing. I know it, Adam Gilchrist knows it, Mark Butcher knows it, Bishen Bedi knows it, even supporters of Murali - Greg Chappell, Kerry O'Keefe and David Hookes - know it, they just want the rules changed.
I would rather there was a split in world cricket, with the subcontinent taking their bats, balls and cynically played deck of race cards home with them, than to have to continue playing against a side that has "bent" the rules because it's the only way they are able to remain competetive.
I get mighty sick of fellow smarmers oozing: "It's all too quick. You can't tell."
Yes. I. Can. He chucks.
A performance by Greg 'Fat Cat' Ritchie in the character of Mahatma Coat at next week's cricket Test in Adelaide has been cancelled.
Concern had been expressed that the former Test cricketer's Punjabi character was racially insensitive and could offend some of those attending the Test between Australia and India.
The South Australian Cricket Association says the performance in a sponsor's tent has been cancelled following discussions between Ritchie and the sponsor.
Obviously the South Australian Cricket Association have been gulled by the toothless simpletons in the studio audience of the S'Sinney Rugby League Show.
Ritchie has been booked to perform his routine - widely criticised as culturally and racially insensitive - during the lunch break on day one of the Test next Friday.
The SACA or a pea-brain working for them - watch the buck passing - decided it would be a post-prandial cackfest to employ an Indian pisstake artist during the luchbreak of a test against India. Bizarre!
Best hire Vince Sorrenti or Wendy Harmer for some real top notch gear.
Forget the first test - Matt the Bat's magnum opus notwithstanding - you know summer's back proper when you hear Kerry O'Keefe's characteristic cricket comedy stylings percolating out of the SCG.
At the end of the first over he debated the wisdom of the Zed's skipper, Heath Streak, sending in the Aussies under a cloudy canopy:
KO'K: Heath's obviously seen 8 Mile. Have you seen 8 Mile, Roger?
Roger Wills [probably looking blank]: No?
KO'K: Well, in 8 Mile a young rapper, Rabbit, competes in a contest to see who's the best rapper going around. Eventually he makes the final and has to toss a coin to see who performs first. The accepted wisdom being you always send the other rapper in first and then blow him away after. Well, Rabbit loses the toss and has to go in first so everyone thinks he's a gonner but he's so good the other guy just gives up and goes home. Obviously Streak hopes the Aussies will go home.
Roger's response? No response.
This doesn't bode well....
A near-full strength Zimbabwe.....Playing a Rockingham-Mandurah club team boosted by six WA squad members, Zimbabwe was dismissed for 149 on the first day of their three-day practice match at Settler's Hill in Baldivis.
As much as any Aussie cricket fan I love to smack up the Poms, Sarth Effies, Windies and Kiwis, but zapping the Zims just doesn't float my boat.
This post is about cricket. Specifically chucking. But first, a message about your sponsor.
We all know the ABC would never give countenance to the perverted influence of base and vulgar advertising. Nope, heroic Aunty ABC stands erect and proud as a guardian of our viewing integrity. Mention devil words like Saatchi, Clemenger or Saatchi too close to Southbank Boulevard and you risk a catastrophic synapse collapse in the Friends of Abe brain box.
There is, however, one tiny little outlet of commercial aunt-erprise. I don't know what it's called in your part of the world (Willard), but here in Poohtown, Braxtoria it's called The Conversation Hour.
It's an hour's worth of chit and chat hosted by media super-brain Jon Faine. It airs daily between eleven o'clock and mid-day. Terry Lane's a regular. As is Elaine Canty. It's even possible the occasional blogger may pop by for tea and talk. Or to quote the ABC website....
From 11am, Jon is heard across the state with The Conversation Hour - a celebration of the richness of life that so distinguishes Victoria; its culture, its sport, and its people.
Yep. That's me in a nutshell. Minus the rich, distinguished and cultural.
Like The Panel, it's main function seems to be interviewing people who have something to sell. A film? Phil Noyce pays a visit. A book? Tim Winton. A play? Hannie Rayson. A lie? John Pilger. Get the picture? Super Aussies with something to talk about.
My point? I've one somewhere. Let's seeeee�where is it? There it is. Under the cat.
It's this. I haven't been into an ABC Shop in a while and I was wondering if the Vidjo of Rabbit Proof Fence, the book of Cloudstreet, the DVD of Hotel Sorrento or Crazy John's Big Book of Lies adorned the shelves. And if so, does the ABC take a cut? I'm not up with my commercial law, but it would appear this constitutes a nice little earner and therefore contravenes the ABC charter.
That out the way it's chucking I want to talk about. Again.
A little while ago Dennis Lillee dropped by for a pot of Darjeeling. Mind you, he still had something to sell. In this case his biography.
There was some talk about Perth and moustaches but mainly, as you'd expect, the conversation revolved around cricket.
At one point Faine asked about an excerpt from the book on chucking. A reasonable question when you consider Lillee is Australia's representative on the international bowling review panel. As the foremost bowling coach in world cricket it would appear to be a fairly sound appointment.
This is the panel where you get sent when it's belatedly discovered you're more suited to a career on the mound at Yankee Stadium than you are to a career trundling in at Lords, the MCG or Lilac Hill Park.
As it happened, Lillee's first comment echoed my own sentiments on the issue; wherein there's not much point having your action cleared off the field when there's every chance you'll throw the very next ball you bowl.
Faine then asked Lillee who he thought threw in international cricket. DK replied along the lines of....
I don't want to name names, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out who the chuckers are. The same names keep coming up and little or nothing is done about the problem. It would seem to me that the issue has been neutered by political interests and the panel set up as window dressing.
Pretty stern stuff that left me in no doubt he thought the whole throwing issue had been monumentally mismanaged and that some "bowlers" were being allowed to get away with cheating.
It was his next comment that really surprised me though....
Although I'm on the panel, I've never once been contacted to attend a review of someone's action.
Really though, I shouldn't be surprised. Obviously the world cricket authorities don't want to risk someone of Lillee's stature criticising an action and thus requiring progression to the next step. Official sanction of the "bowler".
Best keep Lillee well away from the too-hard basket.
What's Steve Waugh up to? Bat Them Out Of It Tugga! Just like the bath dodgers did in S'Siddey.
And what's this nonsense?
He decided against batting in the first innings after feeling his concentration had waned while waiting out long partnerships.
So he sends someone else in then. I'd be very disappointed if I thought he was protecting his average. If it's good enough to sacrifice Gilchrist's and Hogg's then it should be good enough for Waugh to step into the breach. I'd actually thought he was protecting his hand for an extra day or so. That seemed reasonably sound given the circumstances. But "concentration"?!? Every one in the dressing-room would have been suffering the same degree of tedium. For the captain to cede his position in the order for that seems totally bizarre!
Yesterday I accidentally mentioned Aussie cricketer Greg Ritchie. Accidentally, at first, that is. Because, in the same way Fleming discovered bread mould cured sore throats, some Greek guy's wet bathroom floor became an Aussie symbol of Unionism and an apple gave Isaac Newton a headache, Greg Ritchie turned Gabba Garbage into Gabba Gold.
Some of you may remember Greg Ritchie. Some of you may not. Anyway, Fat Cat, as he is known, was a mediocre batsman during Aussie cricket's great era of
domination abomination during the early to mid 1980's.
Some others of you may remember him as an Aussie tourist in the West Indies. Wallowing in a blow-up plastic swimming pool, swilling rum and waddling onto the oval at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica "Mon" to help Steve Waugh celebrate his series winning double century (Thanks to Courtney Brown).
Others still, an incident at Perth airport where he called an Indian counter jockey a "F**kin' Curry Muncher!"? Actually this can't be true. There are no Curry Munchers in Perth. Just Skippies, Yarpies, Bath Dodgers and Kiwis.
Not yet? Whaddabout Mahatma Coat? A pathetic parody of an Indian living in Australia so excruciatingly bad that, by comparison, made Kate Langbroek's juvenile twitterings seem like the best of Bill Hicks."
Yes. Him. Anyway, this day at the Gabba, Fat Cat was with veteran pigeon impressario, Bill Lawry. The Windies were playing Pakistan and the Windies were bowling. I think it was Moin "I didn't say anything unpleasant" Khan facing Ian Bishop. I'm not 100% sure of the names, but that doen't matter. The commentary went something like this:
F.Cat: "In comes Bishop. Bowls. Moin's down the wicket. Skies the ball towards Mid-On. This is going to be out. Walsh is running back. Here comes Ambrose. They're gonna collide. No. Great catch by Walsh. Great work on the high ball. Could have been straight out of a Rugby League State Of Origin game at Lang Park. Just like Alfie Langer.
Fat Mahatma cranks it up a notch:
"LANGER'S AFTER A HIGH BALL FROM KING WALLY LEWIS. HE'S NEARLY THERE. HE'S GOING TO CATCH IT. HE DOES. HE ROUNDS THE DEFENDER. DODGES ANOTHER ONE. HE PLONKS THE BALL CLEANLY UNDER THE POSTS. GREAT TRY. WONDERFUL RUGBY ... BILL LAWRY, AS A VICTORIAN, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THAT IN AUSSIE RULES PARLANCE?"
Bill, deader than a factory full of pans: "Caught Walsh. Bowled Bishop."
Ahem. Never in Doubt.
The trend continues. The Aussies have won another Test Match inside four days. I'm conflicted over this. I like to spank all comers but I also love Test cricket so I'd like to get my five days worth. Of course that point's about as sharp as a bowling ball because I only watched about half an hour's worth this time.
However, on balance there's one undeniable fact. I hate it when we lose. No, really, I hate it. In the Mark Latham sense. Really. H-A-T-E. It's painful. For all of you out there who suffered through it, remember the 1980's. Night! Mare! Velcro shoe straps. Pastel shirts. Big hair. John Hughes. Fruit shampoo. Pet rocks. Chris Broad. Richard Hadlee. Larry Gomes. Ian Botham. Chris Tavare. John F**kin' Bracewell. Greg Ritchie. Oops.
Admittedly there have been some great matches in the last few years, however we mostly conspired to lose them. That's L-O-S-E. Means P-A-I-N. So, for all of You Out There who Long for a Contest just cool your jets and lap it up while we're winning. We'll be crap again someday. Our winning run won't last forever.
BUT! Forget all that. Here's the real story from last night:
[Gill Pie] received three LBW decisions from umpire Asoka de Silva - all of which appeared to be out.
When I read that I registered three reactions. All of which appeared to be surprise.
I didn't get to see much of the Cricket Last Night. None in fact. The only bit I saw was seen through a Fog Of Hangover early this morning. Very disappointed. 1 for 285 becomes All Out 489. Once again Australia squander a brilliant start. Now they're 252 ahead when it should be 400 some time today.
252 ahead means that if, on this miniscule ground it's not impossible, Lara or Chanders can put together a big score Australia will be chasing a difficult target late in the game. Not a prospect I ever look forward to.
Now, what did I see this morning? Weeeelllllll, as soon as I sat down Gilchrist got out. Nothing new there. That happens nearly every time I turn on the radio or TV. He was Caught & Bowled Jermaine Jackson, err, Jamie Lawson, err Jermaine Lawson. Yep. That's him. A lame shot. Never the less he was once again the right man at the right time. Or as Brian Johnson would have said "Once again here's Gilchrist, righting the ship." I wonder if it would've attracted the same number of complaints as his; "Gower, righting the ship." Which was interpreted by the Test Match Special listeners as; "Gower, right in the s**t.
Anyhoo, back at the point, it wasn't Gilchrist's dismissal that caused a rumpus at Chez Grog, it was the bowler. Or more particularly his action. As soon as Lawson bowled the first ball I've seen him bowl the howl went up. "That's a throw!" I watched him closely for the remainder of his spell. He's definitely a chucker. But that ball to Gilchrist? Jesus H Sandy Koufax! Are they going to do away with the throwing rule? There doesn't seem any point to it?
Travis Bichel was handy too. He's turning into a savior of Dujonesque proportions.
Cricket's back. Good. Starts at midnight. Bad. On holidays. Good. Only two weeks. Bad.
The Action Last Night reminded me of the recent World Cup of Benaud. Windies all out for 237, Aussies 1 for 120. Sounds like a Duckyloo result.
I predicted a 3-0 series win for the Aussies and saw nothing last night which altered that prediction. No Hooper. No Sarwan. No Crystal Gayle. Three of their best five batsmen missing. No Walsh. No Ambrose. No spinner. How are the Windies going to consistently bowl the Aussies out? Now there's no Jacobs. Lara is a shocking captain. If the Windies surprise he'll have made approximately 1,567 runs by serie's end.
Some observations from last night:
1) Smith - LB. Shocker. Not just an edge, it came off the middle of his bat. Almost.
2) Lara - LB. Ordinary. Clearly would have missed Off.
3) Chanders - LB. Shocker. Pitched outside Leg. Missing Off. Shocking shot.
4) Dillon - LB. Shocker. Apparently. Didn't see it. Anyone?
5) Rudy & The Sock - Four bad LB's in one day. Speaks for itself.
6) Tactics - Windies. None. Slogging's not a tactic. Aussies. Bowled sub OK. Batted better.
7) Magilla - Just me? Or, does he drop plenty off his own bowling?
8) Haydos - Bad run out.
9) Bourda Ground - My back yard is made of bricks but is softer. Probably bigger, too.
10) Pitch - Slow. May get difficult.
11) Craig McDermott Memorial Sea Wall - Bigger than I'd imagined.
12) David Hookes - Ease down Hook. You're not smart. Don't opine.
13) Jim Maxwell - No one left at the ABC? "Bowler runs in. Bowler bowls. Batsmen plays. MISSES! Not out. Ooooooh, that was close." No it wasn't. Settle the f**k down! Jim's idea of grenade punctuated commentary gives me heart trouble.
Prediction - Never make them until both teams have batted.
Part 1: Not Quite Right Part 1
You'd think Honssee Cronyeah's 99 bank accounts would've peaked the ICC's interest. You'd think:
news emerged on the day that Malcolm Gray, the International Cricket Council president, admitted that his body had all but given up hope of catching the game's cheats.
I wouldn't sweep it under the covers just yet, Malcolm. It ain't gonna go away:
DPP to continue its investigations into Cronje's complicated finances suggests that the full extent of match-fixing in cricket may yet emerge.
Getting a whiff of scandal here. Does anyone else reckon the ICC know's who's involved?
Part 2: Not Quite Right Part 2
Why can't I find anything about this in the papers? It's noteworthy.
Harby bowls. Hits Gilchrist on thigh. Ball pops to slip. Bounces in front of Ganguly. Ganguly gathers. Ganguly appeals. Not out.
Now. Gilchrist clearly didn't hit it. Ganguly clearly didn't catch it. If Morgan Freeman had thought Gilly hit it he would have referred it to the Third Umpire. Rudi.K would certainly have given it not out.
However, what if there was no third umpire? What if we were back in the days before Michael Vaughan and the crease limpets? The days when batsmen asked the fieldsman if they'd caught it.
Part 3: Not Quite Right Part 3
Realisitically, once Sach'n Bash was out the Indians should have had no hope. This wasn't the case though:
Part 1: Cricketer Chews Gum and Walks!
It's official, Adam Gilchrist's an all round good guy and the pundits are chuffed to their Moo Moos:
Alex Brown in The Age - "...display of honesty rarely seen on international cricket fields..."
Mark Waugh's Best Mate in The Australian - "...refreshing gesture from a quality player..."
Crash Craddock in The Current Bun - "...an act of goodwill in the modern game..."
Let's get Real Kids!
Surely Ricky Ponting's closer to the truth; "I think Gilly didn't see Rudi's (umpire Rudi Koertzen's) not out. He knew he got some bat on it and set off."
Gilchrist got an obvious touch and not thinking Koertzen would make such a giant blunder, walked off without looking. As my flat mate said; "Not out would have been a shocking decision!" After he'd taken a few steps he couldn't then turn round and come back. I bet he was kicking himself in the dressing room. It's connected to the shower bone. Painful that.
What the pundits would have us believe is that Gilchrist has gone through some kind of catharsis that has him embarking on a crusade to reform the image of world cricket. Or that Gilchrist has made a conscious decision to walk every time he thinks he's out. That scenario simply defies belief. Nope! It was just one of those things.
Never the less, it'd be nice if Gilchrist ushered in a new era in proffessional sportsmanship. I'm not holding my breath. Expect crease-limpets like Nasser Hussain and Steve Waugh to keep their feet super-glued to the pitch.
Footnote: Crash also wrote:
Umpire Morgan Freeman tries to encourage batsmen to walk by leaving his decision as late as possible but barely anyone accepts his offer.
Balls. What fiction's that?!? Whenever I've heard him interviewed he's said he's trying to find a reason not to give the batsman out. I've never heard him say anything about encouraging the walk.
Part 1: Could be a long night.
3 for 51. Two wickets to stoppers. One to a bizarre crisis of conscience from Gilchrist.
What was that I said? THE PITCH IS CRAP!
First silliness; Gilchrist hits it straight to Murali who bowls it at the stumps. Misses. Not out. Tony Greig - "WHAT A BRILLIANT piece of fielding!! Wonderful fielding!!"
WRONG!! Straight at him. Clear shot at the stumps. Time to aim. 15 metres away. Miss. POOR fielding. Shut up Tony. Where's my radio?
Part 2: Beep. Beep. Incoming text: delicately poised.
Half time at the cricket. Target 214. That's one more than Sarth Efrica were chasing in the 1999 Semi Final. We're home! Cough.
A couple of observations before I tuck little baby Aptiva in for the night:
Part 2: I've a confession. I love Collo! I might even buy a Bald T-Shirt!
Received an email from regular reader Jim. Jim maaaaayyyyy be distantly related to an Aussie test batsman of the last 30 years, and yet strangely, he may not.
Anyway, Jim generously asked me to remind everyone to congratulate New South Wales on winning the Pura Cup Final. That's very magnamanious of Jim. He's a Queenslander.
Jim would have read all about it in the Courier Mail.
In case anyone missed the result, it can also be found in the Sydney Telegraph. It's under one of their typically Reserved Headlines.
So, because I'm Nelson; "HA HA!"
Which Simpsonian are YOU?
Part 1: Gorn Pollock!
No surprise round Clogbloggia that Shorn Pollock got the sack.
From Ex-Pat O'Jennings, "His captaincy in this tournament was so dreadful that it had to be done." From Scott Crow, "Shawn Pollock has paid the price for failure." As he should. If you're both dreadful and a dismal failure it's time to hit the bricks.
There's no point tip-toeing round the issue. The guy was a dud skipper.
THEN he Blamed A Dead Guy for his shortcomings. "Since the Hansie issue there has been an effort to ensure the captain isn't given too much power." Low.
Now the replacement for Pollock is Graeme Smith. He's real tough. "The Aussies called me nasty words." Sob, sob, kick dog.
Clearly in Yarp Efrica it's not a game it's a shame!
Apparently there was a bit of a cover up. It seems the Indian cops found out what was going on but the Sarth Efrican officials decided it would be too embarrassing in the lead up to the World Cup Of Benaud. "....three sources, who said the investigation was called off a month before Cronje's death." Where's ace scandophile Bob Woodward when you need him?
And poor old Honssie. 99 bank accounts. Still couldn't crack the ton.
Speaking of shorn. Seems the Kiwi's are looking for some Scapesheep of their own. I'd suggest their tactic of revealing their tactics over twelve months ago was a tactical mistake.
Part 1: Toss You For It!
Punter: Where'd the coin go?
Tony: It lawnded in thet raveeen. The one over there awn a gud length.
Guess I'll have to touch wood while I cross my four fingered clovers because there was some bad news over-night. Just when it looked like we might have secured a semi-final against a minnow, the minnow swallowed a macrow and where back where we were. Looking at a game against the crap track bullies, New Z'land, or the bent arm bullies, Shree Lunka.
Judging by the papers, I'm not the only one concerned.:
Beefy Botham immediately recognised the threat; "You don't want such big games games played on uneven wickets. Australia will take a lot of beating, but under those conditions, anything could happen." True! "TAIL 'EM UP Punter!!"
Ali Baba's Concerned. "We are determined to produce a pitch for the cricket World Cup semi-final at St George's Park that is conducive to great one-day cricket." So in true Bracksian spirit, he's called for An Inquiry. Why aren't I convinced? Never the less, he's fully aware of how embarrassing it would be to Sarth Efrican cricket if the World Cup was forever remembered for it's dodgy tracks. However, it may count for nothing if the Tide's still in on the Port Elizabeth pitch next week.
Doom and gloom aside, I have to agree with The Spanker when he writes; "The Australians appear to be relishing the challenge and appreciating the opportunity." There's no doubt the Aussies are better scrappers than most of the other teams and that's seen them in good stead so far. But, I also agree with Roebuck whan he writes; "Australia has been playing with fire." You can only tempt fate for so long. Eventually the chickens come home to pay the piper.
Why is it that while the other teams keep losing, they also keep getting lucky breaks to remain in contention? The Australians, on the other hand keep winning and therefore increasing the pressure. They must lose sooner or later. One unlucky break could mean they're out on their collective ears. Of course, it just so happens that we'll play one of the two sides best suited to beat Australia on a Pot Luck Pitch.
If Australia win this tournament they'll have well and truly earned it.
Part 2: Whazza matta? Hooza pretty boy then?
What's the go with Chrissie Cairns? He sledges Ponting throughout the Aussie skipper's innings, then when he cops a return serve scampers off to Morgan Freeman for a whinge. Soft!
Of course the Guardians at Fairfax are into Ponting.
We're all sooooo unworthy!
Part 1: Pass the port, Elizabeth.
Turns out the predictions of a tight game were only partially true. A Comfortable Win disguised what was, for the most part, a tough contest on a dodgy pitch.
Oddly enough the condition of the core real estate was a side issue. It may have played on the player�s minds, but they either got themselves out or were beaten by good balls. No wicket came about due to tennis-ball tricks. Never the less, runs weren't easy to get on an ill prepared pitch that should not enjoy the kudos of a semi final. That game should not be turned into a game of One Up. Although, the Aussies probably wouldn't mind now they've had a chance to get used to it.
Of the batsman who got out to dud shots, Ponting's was probably the worst, but Cairns and Vincent also fell on their bats. Mind you, Cairns's six was one of the better ones I've seen in world cricket. Martin lamely hung his out for slips practice and Harvey didn�t know what to do with his. Flummo got out to a loose one, but this came about after Travis and Blee had tempted him with a succession of slowish wide ones and his eyes became bigger than his bat. It's true what they say; "S**t gets wickets!"
The Flummo tactic was reminiscent of McGrath bowling to Lara. Neither batsman gets fully across to wide ones as they slash away through the off side. In concert with round the wicket bowling, it cramps their swing and would appear a sound tactic.
Some of the batsmen, however, got rip-snorters. None more so than Hogg, but Gilchrist (A bit unlucky) and Adams also got skittled by screamers. Scott Styris was trapped by a superb McPigeon Off-cutter. Ian Botham; "That's not only plumb ... That's just OUT" and Jacob Oram was clinically cleaned up by a ball so good that the stump cam had to have a little lie down to contemplate the cloud formation. This was duly acknowledged by Oram when he saw it on the Giant Telly; "Awwww, Faarrrrrk!" .
Adams had a shocker! A rank beamer and a twin hopper which Travis clubbed for six. It was about then you got the impression the Aussies might mount a defendable score. It's amazing how often a scrambled score after a poor start returns the pressure onto the chasing side. Not to mention the two sixes from Lee at the end.
Lee and Bond bowled brilliantly. Full and fast. Just the ticket on an awkward pitch. Bond gets plenty of wickets against the Aussies, but doesn't seem particularly prolific against other teams. Of course, Adam from Thomastown will be happy with Lee's figures.
Part 2: More? The boy wants more?
Yes I do dammit! And none of that gruel thanks, Fatso!
I'm sick of Blogger! For some reason I can only ever post about 480 words. Less with blockquotes. That's only about a page of 12 font in Word. It means I can't ever do a substantial post. When I'm on a frantic Clog run, that spells S-w-e-a-r-a-l-o-t.
Anyhoo, this arvo, before I went to the place where I get paid, I was blogging about last night's game against the Achy Shakey Islanders and had plenty more to say. All of it juicy. None of it sensible.
Firstly, I was struck by how lowly Thommo rates Damien Martin. He went on for ages about how Martin never makes any runs when it counts. Sure, he's been a bit achy flakey lately, but for about 18 months he was close to the best Aussie batsmen. He's got a big head though, I wonder if a couple of good years went to it. He needs to start moving his feet. I wonder if the Kiwi's tactics last year unsettled him.
I watched the TV with the volume up AND the radio on. I'm starting to warm to Ian Botham, but he's offset by Tony Greig and Ian Smuth. Mike Haysman's an apprentice Greig. Bout time he started auctioning pictures of Table Mountain. Or even a table. $500 Rand unframed. One wonders how these tools get a gig. Simon O'Donnell instead of Richie? Don't Nine ever learn? How about getting someone with a pleasant sounding voice? James Mason's not long dead. "Go ahead Greig. Do your stuff!"
I'm also sick of replays over-lapping real action. They only play them because the commentators have nothing worthwhile to add. Just let us enjoy the rhythm of the game. Don't over-cook it. And the Runout Ruler?!? Close is close. Six inches of six cubits? They're still either IN or OUT. No Inbetweens here. The actual distance doesn't matter. "Shorts don't matter! It's what's inside that......ummm......right."
Also, we know a Melon is a Noggin. In the UK a Loaf is a Turnip and in France a Merde is a Tete. Did you know that in Enzed a Nadger is a Swede? According to Smuthy anyway. Although, he may have been talking about his sandwich filling.
Of course the best line of the day went to the Richie. When he saw three sun-basted shirtless Kiwi zeppelins quaffing beer as they waved to the camera he noted; "Jusssst trying to signal their dieticians." Love your work Doyen. Not dieting. Waving.
Part 1: Which is it then?
I like Peter Roebuck. Honest. Never the less, he frequently ends up padlocked in the AGB Stocks with me gnashing bad teeth, brandishing an over-ripe eggplant and screaming "Gaggrr. Gurrrrr. Oim f'rrst!". Today's no exception:
"Considering the pressures on [Heath Streak] and the abuse thrown at him by dismal English journalists living in pretty little places like Surbiton."
Seem's Dismal Roebuck thinks England's a "pretty little place" to live. And, by implication, a safe place from which to criticise Zimbabwe. Or not. If Spanky's March 6 article is anything to go by:
"The possibility of war with Iraq has turned the island into a target for terrorists. As far as visitors are concerned, Harare is safer than Bondi or Heathrow."
However, the last time I Scored in Surbiton, I didn't notice the:
"Police were everywhere, standing still and solemn in a crowd trying to be cheerful."
as they were in Bulawayo in Spanky's article from Feb 25.
However, it surely offers better prospects than those available to the people of Zimbabwe.
Part 2: Rotation.
New Z'land always give Australia a tough game, and tonight's game will be no exception. They're the team I fear most and, like Richard Hadlee, I consider them a fine team. So there'll be no "Upset Talk" round here, should the Kiwis get up.
One thing puzzles me though. The Kiwis have been dwelling on the success of their strategies in last year's Green Can Cup. Therefore, are they going to use the same tactics? It strikes me that they'd have been much better served if they'd held back on the surprises until it really mattered. Namely now. Or have they got something else up their sleeves? Dipak Patel to open the bowling perhaps? Mark Greatbatch the batting?
Damien Martin's been doing plenty of work on the Kiwi's gully/point trap and Adam Gilchrist's been working on ways to counter round the wicket bowling. What's New from the Black Caps?
Also last summer the Kiwis Went The Tonk. There's no Shane Warne this time so does This Headline mean Hogg's in for a tough match? The Kiwi's wouldn't have seen much of him. Maybe he could prove the difference. He's got an excellent toppy/wrong'un. Warne used his sparingly last January.
So, have the Kiwis played their cards too early? The Aussies have surely thought up some way to counter the Kiwi slog fest. Hard and fast at the ribs is always hard to counter and we've seen plenty of that so far.
However, the Aussies displayed a degree of over confidence last time. This time it would appear they've Recognised the Threat posed by New Z'lund and are hoping to eliminate them from the semi finals. Australia seem far more focused on their matches this time than they did last year when Player Rotation was all we heard about. I've a hunch that should Australia win tonight, the Kiwis will beat India and make it through to the semis anyway.
Never the less, Mike Coward's sub editor is right when he declares that a Great Rivalry Deserves World Stage. This will be a tight game. Australia should win. They won't be as blase as they were last time, but the Kiwi's are playing better too. They keep squeaking past obstacles and we all know that a little luck goes a long way in a tight cricket tournament.
Part 1: Bully For You!
~~ "Morning Bully"
~~ "Shut up you snivelling Headmaster"
Who'll ever forget the West Indies thumping world cricket with an endless production line of fast bowlers. From Wes Hall, all the way through to Curtley Ambrose the Windies were feted for their uncompromising and ruthless cricket. The batsmen who countered them just as much so. Why do you think Alan Border is so highly regarded?
Back in the '70's there was also Lillee and Thompson. This brace of Speed Merchants is often rated the deadliest of all time. Yet while they were terrorising batsmen, cricket fans won't forget Roy Fredericks smacking them round the WACA in 1975.
If you disregard the obvious hypocrisy of them decrying fast bowling, you've never heard these cricketers wailing about how the Aussies have become a bunch of bullies. They all know that if you've got a weapon, you use it.
That's why it really spikes me when I read headlines like We're Not Sorry. The implication being that Brett Lee's doing something wrong. Sorry for what?!?
Fortunately Captain Punter know's test cricket's a tough gig and isn't backward in coming forward when he says; "We are not going to go out there and bowl full wide ones where he (Jayasuriya) is going to smack us over cover every time or point every time. That's a weakness in his game and we've picked up on that of late and we've been able to execute pretty well."
In other words; "Tough s**t!". Nice use of execute by the way. Good man that Punter.
Thommo knows it's a tough game too. However, he shouldn't have to defend stupid accusations about Bodyline Bullies. Especially from slack paced trundlers like Angus Frazer who should know better than to say; "They tend to bully the Asian sides with short-pitched bowling". Racialistical angles not withstanding.
Nope! Pipe smoking, beige clad dilettantes may pine meekly for the good old days of village green, tea-cakes and "jolly-fine-shot-that" but top class Elysian Field cricket disappeared with green rubber spiked batting gloves, Phillip Adam's whistful memories of Dickies towels and the Titfield Thunderbolt.
Let's ask Big Curtley to get nice. What was that Big Fella? "If you don't like the heat, get back in the kitchen!" Love your work Amby!
Part 1: Rout Of Africa.
All through a difficult southern summer Nasser Hussain performed his duties with dignity and humour. Turns out he wasn't playing out of character either, because now he's gone and done The Honourable Thing.
Patrick Smith writing in today's Australian Said as Much when he noted; "Even Tony Greig in the commentary box told us Boucher needed to score a single at least off that last ball...."
Even Tony Grieg: DOOMED!
Yarpies coach Eric Simons certainly agrees! "Simons also expressed the hope that Shaun Pollock will not step down as captain after facing a barrage of criticism." We Joe Shlubs here in fanland all know that's code for; "We shall be appointing a new captain in the morning."
I'm tipping the last conversation between Hussain & Pollock went something like this....
Sean: "After you."
Nasser: "No. Nooo. After you."
Sean: "Ooooooooh. Never. Do lead."
Nasser: "You're too too TOO kind. But no, I simply couldn't."
Nasser: "Ooooh yes. Let's!"
Nasser: "What a good idea!"
Sean: "Thaanngg gyoo."
Part 1: We like it rough.
Great win by the Aussies. Bad sleep by the teacher. Those winning streaks though. Startin' to worry.
Bevan's a freak and the freak wasn't even playing. Work that one out. Travis Bichel was fabulous too.
Based on the closeness of games played on those diplomatically termed "difficult pitches" it must be tempting for cricket authorities to throw up dodgy tracks all the time. If January's pot-holed bat-off is anything to go by, they already have in New Z'lund.
Not much to say on the game that hasn't already been said, but I've a few observations:
Part 2: Who's this?
"Oh Yes! THAT'S OUT!"
"Now. That looked plumb. Lets have a look at the replay. Pitches outside leg. Missing off. Not Out. What saved him was he was across so far"
What saved him was the ball wasn't going to hit the stumps. At all.
The batsman's Lehmann. The commentator's holding... his willy.
Part 1: I'm sorry. I'll say that again.
At about one o'clock I wrote:
Australia have lost. Good! When I think we may go into the final on the back of a 16 match winning streak I shudder.
It only needs a lost toss and all of a sudden we're chasing a difficult target on a dodgy pitch against a side that has the scent of upset in their nostrils. In those circs everything always seems to go right for the under-dogs.
Tonight, Andy Bish-elle excepted, it has.
We've got that self same dodgy pitch. And everything's gone right for England as well. Dropped catches re-taken, Vaughan. Bad LBW's, Martin. Poor caught behinds, bonus fumble included, Hogg. Miss-hits all going straight to the fieldsmen.
The upside is we've managed to release some of the implied pressure that a winning run entails.
Well, whaddaya know? I'm wrong. Don't count your Bevans until they hatch. That was one of the best get-out-of-jail efforts since Ronnie Biggs chased 550 for Wormwood Scrubs against the Dartmoor Gentlemen's XI.
PS: Can anyone remember a better Man Of the Match performance than tonight's tour de force from
Travis Andy Bickel? What happens when Jason Gill'pie regains fitness?
Great Blokes & Bonzer Aussies
While reading Caroline Wilson in the Sunday Age....
Like Shane Warne in his excuse for an interview on Channel Nine five days ago - amazingly, the cricketer was never adequately asked why he had changed his story.
it occurred to me that it's not only Shane Warne's credibility in the toilet. Ray Martin came back to ACA ostensibly to lead it away from health fads, shonky TV repairmen and naughty neighbours. However, since he's been back he's investigated termites, Simon Crean and now Great Bloke & Bonzer Warnie.
Ray's "interview" with Warne will probably be counted amongst the luminous journalistic moments of our time. The moments that include such items as John Safran & Ray's Rubbish Rummaging and Martin's weird TV show that addressed significant issues du jour such as The Little Black Dress. What the hell was that all about?
ACA needs a cigarette packet style warning: Watching This Is Bad For Your Health!
Part 1: "Ooh Ooh Ahhh! Just look at that follow through."
From this purist's perspective, there's nothing quite as enjoyable as watching Sachin Tendulkar bat. Last night, in the Clashmir of Traditional Rivals, India and Pakistan, he played another masterful innings to see India home. The only pity is he didn't make his century.
Tendulkar makes me drool in my TV snacks. However, it's not as if you're in awe of his power as he doesn't flail away like Viv Richards or Adam Gilchrist. He never looks like he's going to get out as he cruises along like Mark Waugh. You just don't expect him to be dismissed for a "Gracefully made 44". He's also got less than classical footwork, but he is beautifully balanced at the crease. And, refreshingly, he's no show pony as there are no histrionics when he goes about his batting, bowling or fielding. Although he did stun me one day in the 1998 series in India when he casually threw a Left Handed return back from the boundary and right over the stumps. I think most of us know how hard it is to throw with the other arm.
I guess he doesn't need to carry on when he can amaze you simply by batting. The on-drives past the bowler before the bowler has a chance to move. The wristy flicks through the leg side. The sweeps that start outside off-stump and end up with the ball hitting the ropes at very fine fine-leg. And most of all, the back-foot caress either through covers or once again back past the bowler. The last one is the true masterpiece. Shoaib Aktar, Waqar Younis and Wazim Akram could all reasonably expect their straight balls, just short of a length, to be dropped at Tendulkar's feet. However, the merest push of his bat sees the ball speeding back past their feet. Over to you Richie? "Wonderful shot that."
At least Shoaib Aktar got his pre-match wish. He made the statement that he'd like to get Tendulkar out. He did. In his second spell after Tendulkar had spanked him out of the attack early on. Seven balls for twenty runs.
The upshot is though, that Pakistan are out and India, after their debacle against Australia, are looking dangerous. Especially if Tendulkar can get going.
Part 2: While receiving the Man Of The Match award Tendulkar showed admirable modesty and poise, without the hint of coaching all too apparent in an Aussie speech. However, Robin Jackman ought to be given the flick for telling the crowd to shut up for booing Waqar Younis. "I'm waiting. Waiting. Still waiting." So are we, Robin. Get on with it.
Part 1: Absence Note
Apologies for the recent dearth of World Cup reports. I know you're all devastated. Doesn't matter though, I've been reading plenty of good stuff from super-cloggers, Ex Pat O'Jennings and Ubersporty
Spice Scott therefore all your Clogging needs have been sumptuously catered for.
"Yeah, but do you have an excuse Teacher Boy?"
Anyhoo, I teach on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Unfortunately this corresponds with my
Big Biggish Some Hits days. The trade off's not too shabby though. I don't have to work on Monday or Friday. Sweet deal! A four day long weekend every weekend. Don't anyone ever question why I became a teacher. However, I sometimes feel I'm blogging to myself. There's an upside here too. I'm massively self-indulgent.
Also, this particular Tuesday delivered low Cloggage because of events Previously Documented. I intend to review that Musical Extravaganza at later date, but as I say, this most recent of AGB midweeks has been somewhat clogged (Hee Hee).
Where the hell am I? Oh yeah. Cricket.
Caught the second half of the Aussie innings last night. Pretty damn uneventful. It was always a casual progression, slip-ups not withstanding. The Aussies were going to score something over two-fifty. Even the last over slogathon was interesting only for how many would be scored. Let's face it. Half the bloggers on my links list would have knocked up at least 16 runs in that over. Girly blogettes included. Nubie Blogger Mike (More about that swamp burner later) tried to read a bit extra into it. Not sure I agree with him. The game was echoing to a chorus of snores. There's no story in Lehmann smacking around a second rate park cricketer. I'd have been much more impressed if he'd tonked Curtley Amby for 28.
Our bowling was even more of a doze as it was blindingly obvious the Nambies didn't have a clue. There's no excitement to be extracted from Glen McPigeon dismissing my blogroll.
That's all I've got to say about this week's cricket. Normal service shall be resumed this (Four Day) weekend.
Part 1: Call the Stewards.
Not only did Sri Lanka lose to Kenya, they got flogged (Not footy blogged). Reminds me of Bangladesh v Pakistan last time and The Windies v Kenya the time before that. Bizarre. This is bigger though. Now Kenya are a great chance to advance to the Super 6 stage. And because they've thrashed Sri Lanka and beaten New Z'land on a four-feet, if they make the last stage they'll be seeded Number 1. It also means the Yarpies have a harder run to make the last stage. (Ho. Ho.)
Australia didn't exactly canter in against Zimbabwe In Bulawayo, but neither should they have. The home team aren't a bunch of Zimbociles and would have expected to put up a good show. They batted well at the top and bottom of the innings but Hogg bogged them down mid way. In fact Hogg seems to go from strength to strength. An excellent mid stage bowler, terrific fielder and a more than handy batsman. At this point the Aussies certainly aren't missing Shame Warne.
Brett Lee's catch was a stunner. I think he redefined the term "reflex catch". To quote that famous commentator, Bill Shakespeare; "Is this a ball I see before me?!?"
There may have been a bit of implied pressure, but during the chase the Aussies always looked in control. It was a terrific pitch so the tepid Zimbo attack was never going to trouble them. May have been a touch different if Hondo hadn't done a Tuffers and dropped Gilchrist early on, but the Aussies were going to have to get themselves out. Just like Matty Hayden did. He'd be kicking himself. Caught round the corner to what would have been an innocuous wide. My criticism's nothing whatsoever, at all, even slightly, to do with his selection in my Fantasy Beeb Team. Martin & Lehmann also got some much needed batting practice.
Ian Healy, fast becoming the best special comments man around was asked on ACA, pointedly I might say, by Hairdo Martin whether he thought Channel 9 employee Warnie was hard done by regarding the drugs finding. Said Heals; "Nope. Everyone knows the drug code. It's stressed to them all the time. Warnie knows he shouldn't have taken the pill. End of issue." Well said.
By the way, I wasn't too happy with the crystal set reception from ABC radio.
PS: "Dead Rubber" Dean Jones is just as irritating in the commentary box as he was on the field. "Take your sweat bands off Curtley." I wish he'd stop patronising the minnows. The dear little things don't deserve it. They do try so very hard.
Part 1: Hot day. Draw blinds. Drink beer. Watch cricket.
Yesterday's two games weren't biggies. There were, however, some Minty moments. The sort that make the minnow games fun to watch.
India v Namibia was played on an oval with a tree. Reminded me of playing in the Tooronga thirds at Fawkner Park. There you could tap a six. Good for your average. Especially when you're as average as me.
It's always a treat to watch Sachin Tendulakar bat well. No one makes batting look as easy as the Indian batsmeister. It's a pity the whole world has him in their BBC Fantasy World Cup. I'm currently well placed at 21,157.
With a cruisy century Sourav Gangles proved again he's excellent against crap attacks. I couldn't believe it when I saw he has the Second Most Centuries in ODI history. He must have played plenty of minnows. Did I say trouble free? It was until he mistimed a pull to mid-chin. The same thing happened to me a few years ago. It didn't hurt much, but the scar "Chicks dig scars" means shaving can be a bugger.
Nayan Mongia nearly dropped a sitter in the outfield. He must have been concerned about running into tree trunks. However, he recovered beautifully to avoid sliding over the boundary.
In keeping with Monty Python's "Hit the ball back at me like a bullet. Never a chance to move. Couldn't protect myself." Sachin Tendulkar nearly killed the Pakistani umpire, Aleem Dar. Kashmir's got nothing on their cricket rivalry.
Nearly fell off my lounge chair, spilling beer all over the cheezeewhatsits when I tuned in to see Comedia were 1 for 120 off 17 overs. Melbourne boy John Davidson had smacked the Windies around for the Fastest Ever 100. Pity the commentators called him alternately Joe, Josh, Joseph, Davies, Harris. Da-vid-son, rhymes with Har-ris. In Eskimo maybe!
Augustine Eldine Learie Collingbush Lancelot Link Vasbert Drakes, took a screamer. Better than John Dyson. Out near the boundary, reaching backwards, stretching full length and plucking a pearler. Tony Cozier; "That's over his head. Completely misjudged it."
Part 1: Too much sauce?
Nightclubs and cricketers never seem to mix. Chris Cairns needs to have word with Kangaroos footballer David King about the dangers associated with hot-dog stands.
And what's this? "The owner of the club, who gave his surname as van der Post." Gave his surname? Is there some doubt?
Maybe the reporter misheard. Maybe he actually said Wilbur Post.
Part 1: Odds and Ends
Shane Warne's in a spot of bother. Again. He ought to be used to it by now. Never the less, the papers are all over it so I'd have to come up with some pretty imaginative angle to add something to the debate.
End of a career? - Unlikely. The rest will do his shoulder good.
Ban unfair: Berry - No. It was fair in isolation.
Appeal looks futile - That won't stop him though.
A bitter pill to swallow - Indeed. And Dick Pound really is a Dick!
It probably was unfair when compared to the likes of shooter Phillip Adams at the last Commonwealth Games or swimmer Sam Reilly in Atlanta. And Herscelle Gibbs and his gambling offence. That only incurred a six month penalty?!? NSW batsman Graham Rummans got one month. However, those penalties were wrong.
Darren Berry also makes mention of the term Drug Cheat. Doubtless we'll hear a lot of comment along the lines of "Warnie's not a cheat. How does taking drugs improve his performance?" I agree that drugs banned in one sport aren't particularly effective in another. Never the less, due to his own stupidity he broke the rules as they stand now.
Doubtless Warnie will challenge the severity of the appeal. After admitting guilt, he can hardly challenge the verdict.
Reader Ron reckons Warne is a boofhead. I agree. Still, I'll miss watching him bowl. Now we'll have to watch an even bigger cheat overtake him in total number of wickets taken in test cricket. Fortunately Australia are capable of winning matches without Warne. There's no chance we'll threaten to pull out of international cricket because a lone match-winner has been disciplined.
Day Bits Part Pieces - Mum made me do it.
It's been a busy day. It started off with me showing city slicker Bernie Slatts around the historic Victorian township of Geelong.
After that I drove home for a little doze and then enjoyed a couple of beakers at the Royal. Now I'm home and watching Paddle-aide play the Cows.
Anyhoo, this is just a mini blogette where I check in to say I reckon the Warne penalty is a fair one.
That said, I'm pretty sure he'll appeal the verdict, in fact he's probably got some solid grounds upon which to base it. The judgement that the panel "found the charge proved" leads me to believe that it was based on the assumption Shane Warne WAS covering up some steroid take-age. There's a chance this falls under the same "he-said-no-he-said" umbrella which exonerated Rashid Latif. After all, there was no proof - YOWZAH! Treadrea's just done his knee! CAP? Ahhhh! - Warne was taking steroids. Never the less, taking diuretics carries a two year penalty. If he appeals, I predict a reduction of the penalty. Particularly in relation to the financial situation because a year's penalty for Warne amounts to a far greater censure than most other players.
Part 1: The devil made me do it.
Not you two again. Leave me alone.
Devil: Go on, Tone. Do it.
Angel: No, Tony, you can't. It's cruel.
Devil: Go on. Don't listen to her. Do it! Do it! Do it!
Angel: Be a mensch, Tony. Think if it happened to you.
Devil: What? She's a girl. What does she know? Are you a girl, Toni? You've got a girl's name.
Part 1: Kick 'em when they're down. Then kick 'em again.
Gibbs, Donald and Rhodes may be white anting Pollock, but there's no way Ricky Ponting was going to pass up this solid gold chance to continue Steve Waugh's policy of Mental Disintegration.
Straight Onto the Front Foot was Rick:
They're very set in their ways and their plans.... very regimented way and style of playing....not working for them that well at the moment....I didn't totally understand how much pressure they were under.
Tactically lacking. Playing badly. Pressure Bunnies.
It's always been the AFL way to not say anything inflammatory lest you give the opposition a leg up. "They're a great team. We just played better on the day." That sort of nonsense.
The Aussie cricketers are an entirely different kettle of bolted horses. They don't care what the public, the media or the opposition think. They're happy doing or saying anything as long as the other teams know the Aussies have got them in their sights.
The Aussie opinion? If you can't handle it you shouldn't be out there. The Windies did the same back in the eighties. Both with their fast bowlers and their swaggering confidence. The Windies operated the same way as the Aussies do now. (But never seemed to attract the same sort of criticism the Aussies attract)
Well, I for one love it! Test cricket's a tough gig and I remember the bad old days. More power to 'em, I say!
As Confederate General, Nathan Bedford Forrest once said; "Keep up the scare!".
Part 1: A Usual Suspect.
Of course the post below makes the title to Spanky Roebuck's article, Grown-up Gibbs is now key to his team's success look, in part, ridiculous at best.
I know it was probably a sub-editor who plonked that heading on top of the article. And yeeesss, before you all jump me, I know the article was about Gibbs as an opener, but it still included this line; "nowadays Gibbs carries himself well among his peers". I'm pretty well convinced that doesn't mean "whining about the good ole days when you could get a bet on through the captain." That's what Gibbs seems to spend a lot of time doing.
Anyhoo, as regular readers may have noticed, I'm somewhat dubious about Spanky's intentions. I've always suspected that one of the reasons he gets a gig is to provide a counter-point to predominant Aussie opinion. Nothing particularly evil in that. In fact I agree with him often, but I disagree with him more. However, going against the grain for the sake of it smacks of under-grad horse-play, not sound analysis. On second thoughts, he is in the pay of the Fairfaxis of Evil.
Wonder what his response would be if Adam Gilchrist had criticised Ricky Ponting's leadership. Spanky would have been all over it like Flies On Sherbet.
Part 1: When you're on a good thing.
Pat Symcox wasn't much of a bowler. His right-arm offies only ever turned off the bat. Never thought of him as much of a batsman either, but occasionally he'd connect. However, he didn't chuck and he was a tough competitor.
Now he's a straight-talking commentator, weird exchanges with Navjot Sidhu not withstanding:
PS: "Nav, last time I was in India, I was thinking of becoming a vegetarian."
NS: "That's a very strange thing to say, Pat."
PS: "I've heard you're allowed to eat meat on the weekends?"
NS: "Only if you're Sunny Gavaskar."
Now, it would appear he's a straightforward selector as well. Especially if today's Herald Sun is anything to go by:
If Gibbs doesn't want to play under the current management, then he should get out and find another team to play for. For a man who's been involved in match-fixing, smoking dagga and late-night shenanigans, to criticise his captain in that way is unbelievable. He's the last person who should open his mouth, whatever his private thoughts.
Symcox added he was sick and tired of hearing Gibbs, Jonty Rhodes and Allan Donald dedicate the World Cup to Cronje:
It's time the guys stopped living in the past and concentrated on making a contribution now.
Give 'em hell, Pat!
However, I don't know where Gary Kirsten is when he's not batting, but it ain't at the game:
Personally, I think Shaun Pollock's done a very good job for this team. He came into the job under very trying circumstances when the whole match-fixing scandal broke out and, for the next year-and-a-half, we played probably the best cricket we've ever played.
It's right that he should stand up for his captain. I just don't agree with what he says. Watching Flummo bat on Monday's replay it seemed every time he hit the ball into the outfield it bounced back off the advertising hoardings. Most times I expected a fielder to stroll around and pick it up. Not so! The balls kept going to the boundary. It would seem that Ricky Ponting's observation that, "they are very set in their ways and plans" extends to their field placings too.
Never the less, I'm not prepared to write South Africa off at this stage. They've only got to beat the Windies and in turn The Windies could easily lose to Sri Lanka. In One Day cricket it's easy for a side to turn it around and get on a roll. Just look at last time in England.
Part 1: Odds and Sods
What's with Sarth Efrica?
First Herschelle Gibbs:
"His leadership skills made him the icon that he was," said Gibbs
Yeah! In the same way Robbie Waterhouse is an Icon.
Then Daffy Donald takes us to his Supreme Leader:
The absence of Hansie Cronje's "supreme leadership" is a prime reason for South Africa's World Cup form slide.
Earth to Yarpies: Get over it. The guy was a cheat. And just quietly: an extremely over-rated captain too.
Bollock isn't a good captain but he deserves better. Where've I seen this lately? The ALP perhaps?
Now, in the same way Iraq's handed Labor a chance at recovery, the weather's done the same for Sarth Efrica. Last Night's Washout means the ball's now back in their court. Before last night they had to rely on the Windies, or Sri Lanka to lose. Now, thanks to the Windies result against the Bangers, the Yarpies can advance if they win enough games.
It remains to be seen if they can take their chance.
Part 2: It looks like Shane Warne may be in more hot water than initially thought:
The star leg spinner's explanation was also called into question by revelations that analysis of the positive drug test indicated Warne must have taken more than one banned diuretic tablet.
If this is the case it makes Warne's previous claim that he inadvertently took one pill look tenuous at best. This also makes my claim of "three to six" look tenuous.
And I'm not sure what Dick Pound thinks he's doing. As the head of the WADA he should refuse to comment on due process until the event is settled. Well, maybe a few platitudes, but not some sneering comedy routine. "Poisoned by his mother" or "I got it from the toilet seat, It jumped right up, and...." but I digress. He should know to keep shtum until all the evidence has been heard. And what's this:
Pound warned that a lenient Australian Cricket Board decision would put at risk Australia's reputation as a tough leader in the fight against doping
Get your hand off it, Dick. It's not your job to publicly lobby Australian officials to make an example of anyone. Warne must be judged on the merits of the case when they come in.
Part 1: Dontcha hate that.
Sarth Effy have lions, crocodiles, leopards, cheetahs, and all manner of nasty, noxious, bighty, slithering and slavering beasties.
So, in looking for an imposing monicker for their international sports sides, what do they do? Something to terrify the opposition? Maybe they thought of:
The Lethal Lions?
The Horrible Hyenas?
The Mother Mauling Spitting and Sledging Mambas?
The Flesh Tearing, People Eating, Baby Chomping, Mighty Meer Kats?
They went for the jugular. Something really vicious. Something really, really, really horrid. Something so scary it caused fat fans to tackle umpires. They called their rugby side the Springboks and their cricket side the Proteas. What is a Protea anyway? No matter.
Whichever way you look at it, they both sound like blouse wearing, tofu eating, camomile drinking, street marching, panty waist beasts of breakfast. They'd be better off calling themselves The Gnu's or The Pink Arsed Gibbons. Just leave The Zebras alone.
That eventually ties me to a point. Of sorts.
Yesterday as I wrote a post I watched a replay of Sunday night's game. I'd tuned in fairly late and then had to go out just as the game ended. (Psst! Have they changed the end of innings runs rule?) When I got down to the
pub temperance meeting I kept a sly eye on the telly in the corner. It was there I saw Mark Boucher put down My Boy Flummo.
My first thought was, "How blog-worthy is that?!?". Oddly enough my second thought was, "How blog-worthy's that?!?". However, I didn't blog it! I really am an excedingly hard working and responsible member of Victoria's educational establishment. As such I went home and to bed as soon as I'd indulged in a reasonable number of Grape Juices.
I wanted to be the first blogger to jump all over the Herscelle Gibbs/Mark Boucher connection. Let's face it. Sarfy have a magnificent ability to blow a chance. Something along the lines of, "You just dropped the world cup Bouch" came to mind.
BUT! I was scooped by another Melbourne Blogger! Stole my thunder, they did!
In keeping with my pledge to transform this into a family friendly blog. Bum!
Part 2: The Yarpie attack is crap!
Part 3: Apparently the Protea is a flower. Surprise! Surprise!
Part 1: Who would you barrack for?
Although I rate New Z'land an excellent chance of winning the World Cup, I must admit I was surprised when I heard they had beaten Sarth Efrica in last night's game. Then I heard they'd chased a revised Duckyloo target and my mind immediately went back to the Sydney semi-final in 1992 where they needed 22 of 14, which suddenly became 22 off 1 courtesy of a late rain delay. Didn't they squawk then? Wonder if they'll do the same here.
However, any team that can chase a target and end up 1 for 229 off 36.5 overs, as the K1-W1's did, would be a good chance of chasing down a measly, paltry and pathetic 306 off 50.
Anyhoo, it's left us with a priceless situation whereby the Yarpies may miss out on the Super 6 stage. I think they must now rely on other results. Eeeeexxccellent!!
The down side is that NZ are now a good chance to go through and keep their ambush appointment with Australia. I don't think I could handle that! As this noted cricket fan would say, "Ooh the pain!"
The upside is that in the Fantasy World Cup, my boy Flummo made a fine 134. I'm sure regular commenter, Carrot, would approve of that.
On Saturday night Spanky Roebuck interrupted yet another political riff - "Tanks at Heathrow prove England's more dangerous than Zimbabwe." - to predict that England would beat Holland. They did. Of course the Spanker has fond memories there. He's the only England captain ever to lose to Holland.
Part 2: I've just read over at Michael Jennings' joint that Sean Pollock captained down to his usual standard. Agree. The Ginger Ninja may be a good cricketer, but he's a dodgy skipper at best.