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Charles Evans 25's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 7,305 posts (10,168 including aliases). 16 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 70 aliases.


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Nope. Cook's team back on best match-losing form. Something for the Australian men to look at and console themselves with the thought of, as they (I would guess) start to rebuild.

And Cook's Clowns do their best to resume what for them is usual service; five wickets down for not many runs.
Looks like the first test may have been a case of 'win the toss; match is almost impossible to lose'.
And this time (second test) Cook failed to win the toss, and let India get a total (400+) currently being made to look like Mount Everest by Cook's batting lineup.
Still, at least Hameed got into double figures on the scorecard (unlike Cook, Duckett, or Moeen).
Stokes and Bairstow, after a 50 from Root, being left to try to dig Cook's side out of the hole of avoiding a potential follow-on.

Ooooh! Have they at last (Cook's team) found a proper opening batsman (Haseeb Hameed)???

Meanwhile, probably best not to mention the recent Australia-South Africa series as far as Australians go. Was that an Australian side bowled out for 85 at home in the Hobart test?

Hah! And Cook's team are now so inept at batting (at least in unfriendly conditions) that they've lost a test-match to Bangladesh. To Bangladesh. (Although at least Cook himself managed a semi-respectable knock in the second innings.)
At this point, perhaps Cook needs to ask the selectors if they could kindly give him some of the members of the England women's squad, as far as the batting goes, since the current all-male test line-up seems to be failing so predictably...

Well, Morgan's team did okay in the one day series, until the 'real' Pakistan decided to 'turn up'. I think up until then the one day side may have been flattered by the opposition they were playing against.
And now a Bangladesh tour is coming down the line which Morgan doesn't want to go on (personally) due to worries he has about safety.
More chaos and disruption for the one day side.

And Cook's team do indeed snatch a series-draw from the jaws of victory, as Yasir resumes where he left off after the first test, taking five wickets relatively cheaply in the second innings of the Oval test.
Cook's team seem to have a halfway decent bowling attack at present, but 'batsmen' (for want of a more appropriate term) who seem either unwilling or unable to remain at the crease far too many times.

Umm. Better performances in two matches immediately after Lords by Cook's team.
Still dropping far too many catches, mind you, and being made to pay dearly by some of the batsmen that they do give 'second chances' to.
Will Cook's team snatch a series-draw from the jaws of a series-victory with a loss in the last test match, or will they somehow fumble and cling on and do enough to retain a series win?

brock, no the other one... wrote:
I have no special knowledge of such things, but I assume that UK based companies that would be hit by this are already contingency planning a move to Paris, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam, if whatever deal is hashed out does not include financial passporting. What worries me is that if the uncertainty stretches on too long, they may get to the point in the planning where it is worth executing anyway.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of them move; however, for reasons of costs involved, and/or key staff not being able to relocate, I imagine that not all corporate lenders will relocate, which as far as I can see would result in a reduction of corporate lending available inside the EU.

So: is there sufficient slack in the corporate lending sector of the EU (minus the UK) for them to be able to cope with the loss of lenders?
(And indeed, something which had not occurred to me in my previous post: are EU organizations/businesses allowed to borrow outside the EU - in which case it's possibly a moot point whether London is in or out? Given Irontooth's post (which I was originally responding to), I get a sense that there must be some sort of controls or regulations which make it difficult/expensive (or outright illegal) for EU organizations/businesses to borrow (edit: on a 'corporate lending' scale) outside the EU...)

Irontruth wrote:

London based EU financial services won't just fall off, they're going to end.

Non-EU based financial institutions aren't allowed to make corporate loans in the EU. Corporate loans make up a HUGE amount of the world financial system. For example, if a bank were denied access to that part of the market in the US, that bank would essentially cease to exist. Not over night, but suddenly a massive portion of their day to day operations would be over and their ability to support or make use of their other operations would end. Imagine a football player with no spinal column. Sure, they still have arms, legs, a torso and head... but none of it works right.

Interesting. Looking at the EU side of things, is there sufficient slack on the corporate lenders front inside the EU (minus the UK) to completely make up for the removal of London from the EU's corporate loans market?

After managing to beat an under-cooked Sri Lanka team, in a series where the first couple of test matches took place on pitches tremendously favourable to Cook's team, normal service has been resumed with Cook's team being thrashed by Pakistan at Lords. Geoffrey Boycott has just said in the post-match interviews/analysis that he doesn't think Pakistan are that much better than Cook's team - a possible omen, given what happened in Australia when he said similar things, that Cook's team are about to go down without winning a single test in the series...

Meanwhile, the women's England teams are having quite a good summer...

Irontruth wrote:

Just curious, do you know for a fact that British companies are going to be able to maintain their financial passports to the EU economy?

Currently, it's estimated that a firm that wants to relocate to Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt or Stockholm will have to spend roughly €50 million. That's per firm. Yet this will still end up being cheaper than staying in London after a mere 3-4 years once the passporting of financial services ends.

Not being in the EU will cost London based financial firms somewhere around €10-20 million every year, in addition to having lowered revenue due to not having access to certain clients. For example, financial firms will no longer be able to make corporate loans.

The UK gets about £65.6 billion in tax revenue from the financial services sector, or about 11.5% of all tax revenue. That number is going to go down significantly as firms either aren't able to do business across the channel, or have to relocate altogether.

The apocalypse hasn't happened yet, I agree. But right now, these businesses can still do business. Once the Brexit happens, if that's no longer true, the UK government is going to find it's lost a serious amount of revenue. How much of that £65.6 billion? I don't know for sure, but if it's more than ~£5 billion, it'll be more than the UK was paying into the EU.

I imagine that France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden are all going to vote in favor of cutting off the UK's financial passporting, because it means they all get a bigger slice of that pie and increase their own internal tax revenues.

I'm not on anyone's negotiating team (and I'd probably be under non-disclosure if I were) so I have no idea what positions are being taken up. What I was commenting on was that George Osbourne and company seemed to be predicting *instant* financial armageddon if the UK voted 'Leave' (including stuff that George Osbourne himself would immediately implement - although maybe Cameron going like that cut George off at the knees on that count) and yet nothing (or at least not in any non-geological sense of the word 'instant') seems to be happening yet.

On a counterpoint to that, I also heard the 'leave' camp boasting during the referendum campaign that the moment the UK left the EU, it would be able to start signing trade deals in all directions with the rest of the world; deals which would mean satisfactory profits and prosperity for the UK, to balance whatever went bye-bye with the EU. (And at least in theory, in a best-case-somewhere-over-the-rainbow scenario, they were right on that. The potential customer base outside the EU is absolutely HUGE; India alone has a population approaching something like twice that of the EU minus UK, and there are China and lower-population-but-wealthier-countries out there too.)
Well Boris: you're foreign secretary now. Get off your backside and start touring world capitals like crazy, so that there is a nice big pile of deals waiting to be signed once the clock runs out on EU negotiations, and the UK is left with World Trade Organization level tariffs (3% if I am correctly informed) on trade with the EU and (I suspect - my guess is that ultimately, to the general detriment, the EU and UK will be unable to hammer out any compromise here, either) the City of London's EU-related financial services trade falls off. Take the UK to the wonderful land of Oz (in the Frank L. Baum sense, although trade deals with Australia would be handy, too...)

Snorter wrote:

...The country was lied to, regarding what the EU is, what the EU does, how the EU positions are filled, the fact the UK has a better deal than anyone else, 98% of EU law being proposed/seconded by UK politicians, and the UK exempting themselves from much of the remaining 2%.

They were lied to regarding the ease with which Brexit could happen, the ease with which new treaties could be negotiated, and told the UK economy would be £350 million pounds per week better off, all of which would be spent on public services, in addition to the funding they already get.

The very morning of the result, the main campaigners for Brexit turned up on TV, telling the public that none of the statements they had campaigned on was true.
We can't reduce immigration.
We can't negotiate individual trade deals.
The UK can't save £350 million/week in EU membership fees, because we have never sent that amount.
Not only will there be no additional funding for any public services, from not paying EU membership, but we will not be able to meet the funding levels that the EU currently returns to us. There will need to be draconic cuts to public services, to pay for the financial upheaval.
And, despite the fact every one of us have been filmed making those promises, have...

In fairness, the country was also lied to by the 'remain' camp, who promised some sort of financial apocalypse, and George Osborne going crazy with a budget hatchet within days of any 'leave' vote.

So far the pound has fallen, but the stockmarket seems to have been bouncing up and down rather than plummeting through the floor, George Osborne had a chance to implement (or at least announce) a budget that would bring the country to its knees - and yet singularly failed to do so - and there seems to have been a shortage of bankers throwing themselves off the top of Canary Wharf or The Gherkin to date or of their institutions going into meltdown.

The country voted (overall) to leave, and yet the four horsemen of the financial apocalypse seem to have decided (thus far - granted that *might* change) to loiter in the bar for a couple of more rounds of drinks, rather than to ride out laying waste to the economy.

Kevin Mack wrote:

Also now we have the situation of being led into the rest of this mess by someone who practiclly no one in the country (heck practically no one ine her own party) voted for. You know exactly one of the things the leave side had been arguing about in regards to the Eu.

To be blunt the entire thing has/is a farce.

The UK has a history of changing national leaders without General Elections in moments of crisis.

Winston Churchill replacing Neville Chamberlain in May, 1940, for example...

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

New Street Station continues to be a building site*, of course...

Also, just to confuse things even more, they've fenced off some of the staircases/escalators down to platforms at New Street into different blocks **. Go through the wrong (automated ticket barrier) into a block that it turns out doesn't go down to the platform you wanted, and you have problem...

* Main concourse is open these days, but some platforms continue to be closed.

** Fenced off on the east side of the main concourse, that is to say. See post #7 on this thread.

Orfamay Quest wrote:

So did the Gaming Club at Goshwhatta University. For that matter, so did Goshwhatta University itself, although think good ol' GU called their Parliament the "University Senate."

If anything with a President and a budget is a government, then there are a lot of startups who are a lot closer to ruling the world than they think....

Are you saying that Goshwatta University University Senate doesn't actually do any regulating or governing at all of Goshwatta University???

If so, by golly, you may have a point! :)

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:

The EU is NOT a government, no matter what paranoid Britons and others think

It is an alliance of sovereign states that agreed to work together for their mutual benefits

It never became a stronger political union than this thanks in a major part to the UK fighting it relentlessly. Which makes it even more ironic that the Leave side won because the UK citizens were afraid of that imaginary EU government.

The problem with saying 'The EU is NOT a government' is that it seems to have gone out of its way to deliberately name a lot of its institutions (such as the European Parliament, the various European Presidents, and the European Court of Justice*) as if it were a government.

It also has a 'budget'.

For an institution which isn't a government, the EU seems to like dressing up as one a lot - well, either that or the translators really messed up when translating the various names and titles of its departments and functionaries into English... :)

* The European Court of Human Rights (which should NOT be confused with the European Court of Justice) is, of course, actually (at the time of this post) an institution outside of the EU. Not that there aren't some in the UK who apparently confuse the ECHR as being an EU institution, which misconception has possibly been unfortunately aided by European treaty obligations requiring member states in some circumstances to abide by ECHR rulings. :(

Most recent 'official' map pdf of Birmingham New Street Station by Network Rail: Link
Note the way in which escalators/stairs to platforms on the east side of the station are broken up into two separate blocks; minor inconvenience here, if you go through the barrier into the 'wrong' block and discover that your platform is actually one of the ones directly accessed via the other block.

The Raven Black wrote:

One word : scapegoating

Blame the migrants
Blame the EU
Blame the elite / establishment

Works wonders when people are desperate

(edited, typo corrected, minor rewording)

The pre-referendum debate/discussion campaign was going on for six months or so. There should have been more than enough time for the 'remain' side to utterly discredit any claims lacking foundation in reality (especially with Nigel Farage's constant assistance by quoting figures that fell apart under scrutiny) that the EU was/is a source of problems. Or at least there should have been enough time assuming the big speakers on the 'remain' side were competent politicians (which admittedly there seems to be some debate about in the UK right now, at least in the case of Jeremy Corbyn - does this lead to a conclusion that Corbyn may have been a crucial weakness in the 'remain' campaign???).

Smarnil le couard wrote:

Far from me...

I'm not trying to say the EU should give a UK that leaves the EU any kind of special deal; I'm saying that, on paper, with so much that should have been lined up in favour of a 'remain' vote, I hope that someone in the EU is thinking 'what the heck just happened?' possibly followed up by 'was that a one-off bizarro situation, or are we going to have to make changes so it doesn't happen elsewhere?'

Hopefully someone in Brussels is asking themself 'what the heck happened here?' over the referendum result. As far as I can see, on paper at least, the 'remain' side should have had the deck stacked in their favour in the run up:

  • Most of the main UK political parties (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP - I'm not sure if Plaid Cymru or the Green Party were pro-remain or not) were behind the 'remain' campaign
  • Nicola Sturgeon delivered Scotland as a solidly 'remain' vote
  • Northern Ireland was in favour of 'remain'
  • The UK's biggest city (London) was solidly 'remain'
  • the Government and civil service bigwigs were behind the 'remain' campaign, with massive leafletting and online adverts
  • the 'leave' campaign was split into factions, with the faction leaders at times bickering with one another
  • Nigel Farage, one of the 'leave' campaign leaders, managed to stab himself and the 'leave' campaign in the foot on several occasions during the runup to the vote by reeling off figures about finance and/or migration that were being questioned and exposed as inaccurate/outright wrong within hours, if not minutes

And yet, with all those things nominally in its favour, and on top of that years of those little 'blue flag with five pointed stars' plaques going up in projects all over the UK to announce that 'this was funded by the EU' (and on the Thursday night that the polls closed, Nigel Farage himself said he thought 'remain' had the result in the bag, before he went to bed), the 'remain' side still lost.
Despite all those things, there was still a majority (almost 52% against 48%) of voters who took part who felt sufficiently disenchanted (or at least disconnected) from the EU to give the day to the 'leave' campaign.
I really hope that someone in Brussels is trying to honestly understand what happened, because somehow the EU (as an institution) appears to have become alienated from a lot of at least UK voters...

New Street Station continues to be a building site, of course...

Also, just to confuse things even more, they've fenced off some of the staircases/escalators down to platforms at New Street into different blocks. Go through the wrong (automated ticket barrier) into a block that it turns out doesn't go down to the platform you wanted, and you have problem...

Secret project possibilities:
1) Has been 'loaned' to Chaosium to work on a Call of Cthulhu related project.
2) Is working with del Torro on the At the Mountains of Madness film.
3) Is a consultant for a D&D and/or Pathfinder film, probably involving drow and/or other elves...

(Men's) South Africa 50 over series over, 2-3 against Morgan's team.
Morgan's team started strongly, winning the first two matches, but South Africa came back strongly in the third match to win, and then Morgan's team blew the series with dropped catches (all too reminiscent of some of Cook's team's recent test performances?) and a missed run-out in the fourth match, and then what Geoffrey Boycott described as 'brainless batting' in the fifth match.
Question is, will Morgan's squad learn from their experiences and improve, or continue to repeat the stuff they got wrong at the end of this particular series?

Meanwhile, the England Women won their 50 over series against South Africa...

South Africa test series over, 2-1 to Cook's team.
Given the way Cook's team dropped catches all over the place at what could have been (or actually ended up as) crucial moments, and the way they simply folded on the last day in the final test, my impression is of two teams which might have been evenly matched. South Africa still hurting very much from a series loss in India, and pummeled by injuries to some of their best players (e.g. Dale Steyn).
Once South Africa fully integrate their new players, and get back players like Steyn, to full fitness, my feeling is that South Africa have a better chance of getting (for them, back) to number one test team in the world than Cook's current team.

Morgan's teams, after a wobbly start, won both the fifty over and twenty over series.
Don't know if Morgan's teams would have done as well against less erratic teams than Pakistan - some of the games were pretty tight - but I suppose all they can do is try to beat the side in front of them.

And in the meantime, Australia have defeated New Zealand in a day-night test-match.

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.
Nothing like losing a test series to a side like Cook's during an English summer to put some fire into an Australian side. Looks like they might be aiming to whitewash Cook's side 5-0 next time they come calling in Australia...

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':
Again, in multiplayer situations, this deck looks a bit weak on aerial and early-game defence. It does have a few sufficiently silly cards (including Nevinyrral's Disk, which combo's with other cards for reusability) to give a moderately good account of itself, the deck's recommended commander aside.
With the deck's recommended commander taken into account, the deck neatly makes itself the number one target in a lot of multiplayer environments, because if the other players don't pull the deck down and bury it, it has the potential to run up some hideous advantages.
If whomever at Hasbro designed Oloro thought that it was not going to be in most situations advantageous to a deck to have a commander who increased your life count simply by sitting in the command zone, doing nothing, then that employee requires their head examining.
And once the great lump is in play... every time the deck gains life, the player has an option to pay a point of mana to turn it into an additional card draw for themself and life-loss for all opponents...

<Wanders off to look for 'Rain of Gore' from 'Dissension' and other life-gain nerfers...>

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.
The deck seems built around going on a late-game offensive with 5/5 (or larger) creatures but has the problem that it has little defence against being knocked out in the early game by an aerial offensive, aggravated by the fact that the sight of Mareth, the deck's 'designated' commander, in the command zone invites other players to gang up to take the deck out as fast as possible.

'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.
Slightly surprised 'Venomsprout Brackus' didn't make the deck list, given that in common with a couple of the deck's themes it's a 5/5 beast - and it actually would be able to do something about low toughness fliers attacking you.

LazarX wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:

But the WORST, WORST part was the resolution between him and The Master, for two reasons:

1. Here are two characters that are supposed to have a complex love-hate relationship, unsure of what to do without the other. The last time the Doctor met the master, he begged him to give it up and come with him. He cried in agony when he watched him die. This time? Meh. Complete indifference.

2. The Doctor doesn't kill. Discounting the old series here - look at Who since the revival in 2005. For nearly a decade, we've been sold on a character who will choose mercy over justice every single time. Who understands there will always be more justifications and more justifications. Yet all of that goes out the window, and no more is said of it. The Doctor gets to keep his 'pacifist' cred on a technicality because the former director of Unit killed The Master first. The end of the episode sets up the next big conflict being the fact he and Clara lied to one another when they promised not to.

1. That's never been always true. The Master has frequently tried to kill the Doctor (succeeding in one occasion!) He'd prefer to get revenge on his one-time friend, but won't hesitate to kill him.

2. The 11th Doctor was ready to kill "The Beast Below" on Starship UK. and the War Doctor obliterated both the Daleks and HIS OWN PEOPLE...including billions of innocents who had nothing to do with the evil of the Time Lords themselves. The only reason that's not true any more is because of 11 mucking with his own timeline.

Also, it's better said that the Doctor is a Technical Pacifist. While he may not kill himself, he's been very adept at turning his allies and commpanions into weapons themselves. The 11th shared that quality with the 7th. He did it a lot with Ace, and Rory was one who called him on it more than once...(while still succumbing to the effect himself)

It's not that simple a character.

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...

Ick. From the look of the trailers for the next season, looks like both Clara and the 'Mistress' Master (or should that be 'Master' Mistress?) are all over it.

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.
Ah well.

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.
Morgan's team win match number four.
Then Morgan's team finish their last innings of the five match series as they started batting in the series, with a lemming-like rush to give away their wickets, interspersed with Morgan himself being retired from the crease by a quite nasty ball.
Australia knock off the runs asked of them in the last match, and wallop their opponents once more to take home the trophy.

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.
Unclear, as of yet, if any significant long-term improvement trend developing in Morgan's team.

Been away (bar the odd cricket post) on other websites for a while, and only just caught up with the grand finale.
As a matter of curiosity, Turin, were you inspired by something else with the 'sets' for the last leg, or did you map and furnish them all (waterfalls, lewd statues, and so on and so forth) yourself?

A concert which happened in the UK over the summer, some of which Radio were nice enough to put on youtube: *link*
(Alas, I only became aware of this one 'after the event' on the 'watch again' version on the BBC website.)

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...
England women still unlikely to save the series (that would require two more wins out of two matches) but the Southern Stars showing that they're not completely invincible in the current shortest format of the international game.

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.
That and a shortage of international level, experienced, 'team player' test batsmen.
Bell seems to be in decline right now, Root is okay, Cook is touch and go whether he has a 'good' match with a bat in his hand at the moment.
And I have the impression of a revolving door with regard to other batsmen in Cook's team right now. In for a few matches, fail, fail, maybe score big once or twice, then out again, and someone else comes in...

GeraintElberion wrote:

Too many Ashes series' in a row.

If each side had spent two years sorting themselves out, rather than eight months, it would have been less scrappy.

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.
Too much cricket (due to the world cup over the winter) might be possible, if there weren't differences between the one-day and test squads. (Cook, for a start doesn't even play the short stuff at the moment.)

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.
Neither side has been able to show the resilience to turn a game around after a bad start.

England women currently being hammered at Canterbury.
Lost the toss, had to field, with one of their leading bowlers out injured couldn't bowl the Australians out, and are now having their batting line up blown away by the Australian attack.
Well, there go the women's Ashes.

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.
She came to a bad end, which she brought down on herself, of course...

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...
One match to play, and Cook's team go 3-1 up in the Ashes, winning the fourth test with two days and two sessions unused, and doing it by an innings.
Cook's team regain the Ashes.
Still an opportunity for Australia to show some fight and maybe try out some new players in the last test, mind you, and to get another match back.

This being after Cook's team were thrashed 0-5 down under in the previous Ashes series, and having only drawn a test series only a few months ago in the West Indies where many pundits were pronouncing that Cook's team would marmalize the West Indies.
At the moment Strauss and Bayliss seem to have managed a remarkable turn around of Cook's team, since they took over the management after the West Indies tour...

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. :D

Err, 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.

And even if the Australians fail to win the test series, they're pretty good against Cook's team in the shorter form of the game. Except I suppose it's Morgan's team in some of those matches. Still, might not make that much difference to the end result, surely???

thenovalord wrote:
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...
Not bad from Finn (1 wicket for 21 runs in six overs) or Wood (1 wicket for 13 runs in three overs) either, in that they chipped in too.

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??????
60 all out?????!?????
By Australia, and all out before lunch?
Ah well. Cook's team (at the time of this post) still have to bat. Let's see how they do, before any conclusions get drawn.

My apologies to the Australian wicketkeeper: That should have been 'Nevill', not 'Neville'. I imagined an 'e' on the end, where there wasn't one!

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