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News from UAE not good for Cook's team. 0-2 thrashing by Pakistan as Cook's team failed to score fast enough on the last day in the first test match to snatch an improbable win, and then their batting hit self-destruct mode in at least one innings in each of the last two test matches.
Currently looking better news for Australia in their current test series against New Zealand. Potential opportunity to force New Zealand to follow-on with half the match still to go.
I feel that I should clarify that most of my comments to date assess the preconstructed decks in the context of multi-player situations. It's belatedly occurred to me that for one-on-one situations, some of them should possibly be rated differently.
On to 'Eternal Bargain':
Correction: 'Nature of the Beast' also features, in the flying department, 'Eternal Dragon'. Since it's another casting cost 7 double-points-of-white creature, it's as unlikely as 'Archangel' to save the deck from being mauled for the first half dozen or so turns by all manner of faeries and vampires with the odd 'Zombie Drake' or 'Goblin Balloon Brigade' thrown in.
'Nature of the Beast' from the 2013 Commander preconstructed decks has some interesting cards as far as breakdown value goes (including one 'Wrath of God') but has problems as a deck. Apart from one 'Archangel' it seems to be wide open to being attacked by creatures with flying, and at more than half non-basic lands it's in potentially trouble if a turn two 'Dwarven Miner' hits the table.
On the 'technical pacifist' count, Davros pretty much accused the Tennant Doctor of being that in the Journey's End episode.
Mind you, a different Doctor, the Tom Baker one, did do his best to keep one of his companions, Leela, from solving problems by creating a trail of bodies...
Turin the Mad wrote:
Chapter 7 was all home-brewed, good (Sir) Charles. I put in a LOT more work than I used due to the "they have 3 sessions, max, to do-or-die against Sorshen".
Reading about it again, I just picked up that the Arboretum/Menagerie area was apparently 'multi-level', which by the sound of it should have offered lots of scope for strategic positioning of characters/monsters.It seems almost a shame when a detailed location only gets one brief - albeit for an epic fight - outing.
And just to mix things up, in the last two matches of the one day series neither team batting first is able to score enough runs for their bowlers to be able contain the other side.
Progress report for Morgan's team on the fifty over match front... mixed, at best. Won some matches well in home conditions, lost others equally spectacularly, and lose the series 2-3 in the final match.
Been away (bar the odd cricket post) on other websites for a while, and only just caught up with the grand finale.
Hmm. So, Australia bat first in the first two fifty over matches, and win thumping victories; Morgan's team bat first in the third match and win a thumping victory. Pattern emerging here of 'bat first and win'?
Morgan's team win their 20/20 match, and then proceed to imitate a herd of lemmings rushing off a precipice in the first fifty over game, down at Southampton. They were keeping up with the run-rate, they had wickets in hand, and then proceeded to throw away a succession of wickets and control of the game with a succession of needless shots.
There's playing 'positive' cricket, and then there's playing 'reckless' cricket.
Morgan's team nine down and heading for defeat at the time of this post, in a game that earlier it looked like they had an at least outside chance of winning.
Inexperienced players or, if that cannot be used to excuse them, utterly brainless.
And the Southern Stars complete formalities and wrap up the women's Ashes series with one match still to go. They're simply too good for Charlotte Edwards' team in the shorter forms of the game - once the England women lost the test, that was always going to be it, for the England women.
Well. That was unexpected. The Southern Stars' undefeated 20/20 run finally comes to an end at the hands of the England women...
Could be partially a consequence of the multiple changes of personnel on the management/coaching side of things, I suppose, with regard to the fragility of Cook's team.
Okay, they've had a year less between a test series 'down under' and the subsequent one in England, but they've still had eighteen months which would be the traditional gap between a series in England and the following one in Australia.
And Cook's team, at least, have had considerable changes of personnel since the 0-5 thrashing they were handed on the 2013-2014 tour.
And Cook's team do their best to prove it was pure fluke that they won this series, by being hammered by an innings by the Australians in the last test at the Oval.
The way this series has gone, day one has been decisive - whomever had the fortune to win day one, the other side lacked the capacity to seriously fight back from that. Day one of each test match has basically been a knock-out blow, that either side, when on the receiving end of, has proven incapable of coming back from.
England women currently being hammered at Canterbury.
Cook's team, who nobody was expecting to beat the Australians have done so, handily, and the England women, whom I'd have thought were at least even to retain them, are currently going down in smoke and flames, being mercilessly demolished in even the format of the game (test matches) that they're supposedly best at.
That's cricket for you!
Didn't Roald Dahl write stories like this? I'm thinking in particular of his Two Fables collection, although it's been some time since I read it, and I may be misremembering. I think one of the stories in that had a Princess so dazzlingly beautiful that people driven crazy by it threw themselves onto the pikes of her guards, if she went out in public.
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
There is no such thing as cricket anymore..... Hello rugby and New Zealand aren't undefeatable. :-)
Cheer up! Australia are darned near invincible across the shorter forms of cricket, of late, in both the men's and the women's game, or at least versus England (although Charlotte Edwards' squads have tended to do slightly better in such formats against Australia than their male counterparts).
And yes, congratulations on the rugby.
And that's it...
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
The Australian strategy is clearly to let Cook's team get out in front a little bit, so that they feel all over-confident and off-guard, and then the Australians will come speeding up from behind and *CRUSH* them. :DErr, Clarke does know, though, that this is only a five test series, doesn't he?
He might have put himself under a bit of pressure if he was planning on winning it four tests to Australia to three to Cook's team.
Possible refund needed for my day 4 + 5 trent bridge tickets
Might go to Day 4 if Cook's team manage to bat a decent amount of time, and the Australians dig in and bat for something like two days in their second innings.Or if it rains. A lot.
Pretty good bowling figures for Broad. 8 wickets for 15 runs in nine and a half overs...
And 'Extras' was the highest scorer for Australia - at 14 runs...
And that surely must have been the first time in a while that Cook's team has had a field set for a batsman with six slips???
What the heck was that??????
Hmm. I was just looking for the Round 2 rules of the last contest, but they seemed to have disappeared (presumably so contestants for this one ('season 9') don't read the wrong set.)
I was looking since I have a feeling that the Round 2 rules of the last one said one thing, then the judges proceeded to do something entirely different when marking the round, which rather put me off (well, that and the moderator deleting a post I made to try and cheer up someone to whom the judges had delivered a darned good kicking).
[Treguard voice] Oooh, nasty! [/Treguard voice]
A shame Cook may not get away with that again this summer, with Anderson out injured.
Gah! England have no answer, apparently, to Meg Lanning, or at least not in the fifty over format.
Ooh. And the Australian women fight back, to level the series. Good opening stand by England, chasing a big Australian score, but they fell away after that - in particular having a disastrous late-innings power play.
Charlotte Edwards and company have got their campaign to win the Women's Ashes off to a good start with a (at times slightly nail biting) win. :)
Mr. Agnew interviewed Ed Balls (former chancellor of the exchequer) in the lunch-interval on TMS today!
And in other news, Cook's team resumed normal service with a near-record thrashing (of them) by Australia.
Still, Charlotte Edwards leads her team out against the Australians later this week, in the women's Ashes.
And that's over for another year (at least for the convention-goers...)
There was an announcement during PaizoCon UK this year that the organisers are looking at 22nd-24th July for the 2016 convention. (Nothing nailed down yet.)
Oh well, no doubt the Australians will bounce backand do their darnedest to win the next one.
Hmm. That worked well for Cook's team. Or perhaps not as remains to be seen.
Umm. Some help there from the rain and a reduced target to chase. England might have run out of wickets if they'd been after the original target...
Andrew Flintoff ludicrously blase about the forthcoming Australians in Test Match Special in one of the rain breaks; apparently apart from Smith, all the Australian batsmen are past it, and Mitchell Johnson is not much different a bowler from Trent Boult!
New Zealand certainly can do this one-day stuff.Starting to look like Morgan's team gambled heavily in the first match and had a day where for once every piece of luck of note went their way.
Since then Morgan's team have lost one match to a rain-break and Duckworth-Lewis (though even without the rain-break breaking momentum that chase would have been a tall order) and another one to those old familiar flaws of not batting their overs out and then dropping catches left, right, and centre.
Mind you, promising bowling debut from Woods.
Ah, and Cook's team are back to that 'good old England' standard that we all know and love (or something - loathe, maybe?).
That was... unexpected.
4th day at Lords, and Alistair Cook has managed to lead something of a rearguard action. If he can last long enough on the morning of the 5th day, England might be able to amass too many runs for New Zealand to get a win in whatever overs are left.
Middle of Birmingham is increasingly resembling a maze, with fences all over the place. At present it's difficult to get out of New Street Station for a direct line of travel to Aston University. Miss a gap in the fences and it's the looooong way around or a case of having to double back.
(Travel from Snow Hill and Moor Street to Aston, for foot traffic, is currently less impeded by fences, men and women in fluorescent jackets and hard hats, and beeping construction vehicles.)
Well, on the positive side for Cook and his Merry Mummers there's always an outside chance that due to the British weather this coming summer, the Australians might not be able to whitewash them 5-0. :D
It's perhaps a touch religious in places, but:
Nice to see James Anderson highlighted for England's man of the series. He's tried, and done his best to win the series for England, at every opportunity. Series might have been a West Indies win, without Anderson.
And West Indies come back and level the series, needing only three days to win the third and last match.
Generally speaking, Trott seems to have fluffed too many of his lines this series, and on a pitch which turned in this third test England's selected spin-options seem to have been ineffective for too many overs (if not outright inexpensive at times).
England still strike me as a team on the way down, or at least bumping along the bottom, whilst the West Indies (credit to them) seem to be finding some spirit/fight and on their way back to being at least one of the better, if not the best, teams in the world.
On 'Anderson and Broad tire themselves out', that seems to me inevitable given the summer coming up, unless they rest them from, say, the New Zealand Test series. (But could this England team beat New Zealand without Anderson and Broad???)
Ahem. Well that was a new point in recent humiliations for the England men's test team. Going by the result of a 'draw' in the first test of their current Caribbean tour, they are now about as good as the West Indies.
Low scores yet again for Cook. Trott failed to impress on his recall. (Personally I think they recalled Trott a season too soon.) Bell scored in one innings but fluffed his lines in the other. Oh, and the much trumpeted England bowling attack couldn't manage to take twenty West Indian wickets. (Only bright point on that latter count is that they did manage to get Chanderpaul out twice.) And in the meantime, apparently the selectors can't make up their minds which spin-bowlers to play, wanting another one out in the West Indies, but not being willing to send one they're not currently using back home.
A funny piece of Harry Potter fanfiction that I've come across is 'The Inner Eye of Harry Potter'. It only goes up to year five at the time of this post, and that last year is somewhat 'smutty' (Harry is very much a hormonal teenager) but for outrageously over-the-top situations it's quite good.