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Charles Evans 25's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 7,268 posts (10,130 including aliases). 16 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 70 aliases.


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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!

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).

Oh well...

[Treguard voice] Oooh, nasty! [/Treguard voice]
Cook's team finally work out that it's actually rather a good idea to ask your groundsmen to prepare a pitch which is good for your best bowler.
Then Australia compound their problems by winning the toss, and apparently figuring it's another pudding of a pitch and batting first on it as if it were a pudding in their first innings, going on to then lose in consequence by eight wickets inside of three days.

A shame Cook may not get away with that again this summer, with Anderson out injured.
Still, it was fun whilst it lasted.
(And good rearguard act from Neville.)


Gah! England have no answer, apparently, to Meg Lanning, or at least not in the fifty over format.
Oh well, well played to Australia. England having to hope that they get some points out of the 20/20 games from rained off/drawn matches, and can win the test. Doesn't look too good for them otherwise. Lanning simply too fast a scorer.

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. :)
Some good run outs to apply pressure on the Australian team in the Aussie innings.

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.

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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.)

Not sure how Australia lost that one. All they had to do was bat the two days out, and they could/should have won, or come darn close to it.
97 for one, they were looking good. Then Moeen got Warner and Broad made inroads, and the game started to slip away from Australia until the Johnson/Starc partnership for the seventh wicket. Which turned out to be not enough, in the end.
Maybe if Australia hadn't missed Root early in his innings on Day 1 we'd be looking at an Australia win instead of one for Cook.

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.
Having ordered up what the TMS commentators described as a pudding of a pitch, Cook's team managed to recover from a near catastrophic 43 for 3 to 430 all out.
The bad news for Cook's team is that at 36 overs into the Australian first innings, Australia are 145 for only 2(!)
Could be a looooong time in the field for Cook's team.
Maybe they'll hang on for a draw.

Or rain might strike!

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...
I would have liked a proper run chase, minus the weather interference, to have a clear result.

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!
I suppose that's in character for Flintoff, though...

Okay, that one went better for Morgan and company. Series level.
One match left (rain permitting) to clarify which team plays the better 50 over cricket.

GeraintElberion wrote:

Well, that was more like it.

We can do this one-day stuff...

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.

And thus concludes another campaign...

Ah, and Cook's team are back to that 'good old England' standard that we all know and love (or something - loathe, maybe?).
Inadequate bowling and chances missed, game lost, series with New Zealand leveled at one all.
Bring on the Australians!
(I estimate, assuming no Aussie injuries, that Cook's team have about a one in six chance of not losing the series, and about a one in nine chance of actually winning it.)

That was... unexpected.
An improbably good bowling performance by Alistair Cook's side, including by Anderson and Stokes, and New Zealand couldn't quite hang on.
Cook manages a win and the next 'coming of a NEW BOTHAM!!!!' bandwagon starts rolling, with Stokes this time being proclaimed as 'The second coming of Beefy!'

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.
Chances of a draw looking much better for Cook than they were 24 hours ago.

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.
Will try to keep an eye on developments in the situation. It might be improved by July...

(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
On the negative side, the 134 run first innings lead that New Zealand ran up in the current test doesn't exactly inspire confidence of Cook and company providing sufficient resistance to even tie the upcoming Ashes series against the Australians. :(

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It's perhaps a touch religious in places, but:


When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old,

He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

No charger have I, and no sword by my side,
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride,
Though back into storyland giants have fled,
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead.

Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed
'Gainst the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed;
And let me set free with the sword of my youth,
From the castle of darkness, the power of the truth.

*Wikipedia link*

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.
One statistic which has jumped out at me about this last test:
Buttler (English batsman/wicket-keeper) has scored 38 runs in total in this third test. In the second innings of this test, after Buttler missed a chance to stump Blackwood when Blackwood was on only 4 runs, Blackwood went on to score a total of 47 runs. Buttler has scored a total of five less runs in the match than a man he failed to get out made in the second innings made after Buttler missed a chance to remove him.
Now granted that Buttler was not out in both his innings, but if England are going to play a batsman-keeper who misses chances to get opposition batsmen out, maybe he should at least be playing higher up the order to try to score more runs to offset those misses?

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).
Bell hasn't exactly covered himself in glory in the match either - two ducks. (Didn't do much in the second test either, but maybe he was still tired from his big century in the first innings in the first test.)

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.
Unless Graves and Strauss (the latter rumoured to be appointed to England management soon?) can get a grip on things, England men's outlook not good for the summer. Wonder if things will get desperate enough for a recall of Pietersen to the side? (Even if the latter doesn't happen, by failing to win this series, England have certainly left it open as a topic of speculation for the summer.)

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.
Oh what that would have meant three or four decades ago.
Oh what a different thing it means now.

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.
The Australians are going to eat this lot on toast, come the England summer, unless they pull their socks up fairly sharpish.

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Vale Ritchie Benaud you were Marvelous.

<brief respectful silence>

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.
And if you live in the UK, BBC Radio 4 is repeating its serialisation of 'Good Omens' this week.

The England men's team are apparently so desperate for runs that they've just tied a two day warmup match with St. Kitts, having spent so long batting.
St. Kitts 59 all out (first innings)
England 379 for 6 declared (first innings - and only two of those were 'retired out')
St. Kitts 76 for 7 (second innings - St. Kitts only had to survive one session to draw the match, after England left it until teatime on the second day to declare)

Was having trouble sleeping this morning, so turned the radio on and New Zealand soon reached 150 or so for three, and were going quite well. And then the powerplay struck, and New Zealand collapsed in a fashion that ought to have the England men's team scratching their heads over whether New Zealand have infringed one of their trademark styles of play?...
Congratulations to Australia.

Well, India certainly had their moments - managing to break the Australian second wicket stand before it put the game completely out of their reach, and getting off to a good start when they batted - but it turned out in the end not to be nearly enough.
Final is Australia vs New Zealand.
New Zealand badly need the wheels to fall off the Australian one-day team juggernaut if they're going to have any chance of an even contest.

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
The Kiwis are looking very dangerous.

So do Australia. So long as Australia beat India to reach the final (highly probable to my mind), are in good spirits, and field a full-strength team, I think it'll need a miracle (getting the rub of the green in umpiring decisions included under that heading) for New Zealand to win.

Now, if the Australians reach the final but for some reason have had a collapse in self-belief, or panic in a most un-Australian fashion, New Zealand could thrash them.
Still, all other things being equal, at this stage I'd favour Australia.

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My condolences to his friends and family. I only vaguely knew him, by means of these messageboards, but he seemed to be a hard worker, who threw his heart into projects.
Never a man with enough time to do the impossible, but he came close enough anyway as for the difference to be indistinguishable to most.

Bluenose wrote:
Bluenose wrote:

It's South Africa.

Maybe it won't be a rain delay turning 22 off 13 balls into 22 off 1 ball.

Maybe it won't be Herschelle Gibbs dropping Steve Waugh.

Maybe it won't be Allan Donald forgetting to run.

Maybe they won't assume they've won when D/L makes it a tie and eliminates them.

But you know they'll mess it up somehow.

This time with AB de Villiers messing up a run out chance, though you also had two fielders colliding when going for a catch. But it's another entry in the Saffers fine tradition of mucking up semi-finals.

Even if a South African did hit the winning runs.

Still: that's going to be one more South-African born player in this final of this contest than there have been England players in a final of this contest for goodness knows how long...

And the 'other' Pakistan team turn up (with some exceptions in the bowling department) and Australia march relentlessly on... :)

What just happened to Sri Lanka? (In Sydney.)
For a major one-day side to be walloped like that by nine wickets...
South Africa definitely *not* 'choking' in this quarter-final.

In the meantime, in other news, Charlotte Edwards' male test-team counterpart (as captain) has apparently been quoted saying he thinks it was wrong for him to be dropped from the one-day side. Not a good sign for his team, as it seems to me that at this point he ought to be focusing on the forthcoming West Indies tour, not going 'if' and 'maybe' about decisions taken months ago for a different format of the game.

Looks like an Australia vs Pakistan quarter-final unless I misread something. Should be an easy match for Australia (good team, home conditions), unless the 'cricketing geniuses' version of Pakistan turn up. (Trouble is, it's never clear which version of Pakistan are going to appear on the field on any given day.)

Well that should be a relief for the England women's team's male counterparts. They managed to win in a rain-reduced match against... Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Geoffrey Boycott seems to have gone into controlled-panic mode about the prospects of the Test team. He's calling for the recall of Johnathan Trott. Trott was of course last seen at international level falling apart against the Australians. And with an Ashes summer coming up.
To give Sir Geoffrey his due, he isn't calling for Trott to be pitched straight in against the Australians; he wants to see him play in the West Indies, first. On my own part, I'm not sure if Trott will have had time to get himself back together yet and be able to cope with international level cricket again, given how badly it seems to me that the media portrayed that he fell apart 'down under', but maybe he's more resilient than I give him credit for. (I remember that when Marcus Trescothick had his trouble with mental illness, that that was simply it for his international career. :( )

And 'England' go down to Bangladesh. As I posted a couple of days ago, I had a feeling that that was going to happen...
If the England women's male counterparts aren't throwing matches, the entire setup when it comes to team selection and team management is called into question by this latest world cup exit. (And goodness help them if they lose to Afghanistan now.)
Unfortunately, I suspect the result at the England and WalesCricket Board may be either 'Paaaaanic!!!! We need MORE MANAGEMENT!!!!!!' (when as I commented in an earlier post, I suspect that over-management, and too many analysts and statisticians may be part of the current problem) or 'Meh. We got unlucky. No need to change anything, especially not with having changed coaches only recently.'
I hope Morgan doesn't get the sack as captain over this. He was tossed in at the deep end as captain with only a few months to go until this contest, and I'd like to see him captain a one-day series at home, at least, before they fire him, if they're going to do so.

From where I'm sitting, the Adelaide game feels to me like a Bangladesh win at the time of this post. The recent tri-series games against India aside, 'England' are on a spectacular losing streak of late (they went down something like 1-6 in Sri Lanka), and games in the shorter format which they 'should win' seem to be ones in recent history which they have in fact ended up ignominiously losing. (E.G. the last game with Ashley Giles in charge, against the Netherlands.)
And even if 'England' beat Bangladesh by some fluke (and maybe with a couple of controversial umpiring decisions going their way), they still then have to somehow defeat Afghanistan and to cross their fingers and desperately hope that Bangladesh don't get at least a point against New Zealand at Hamilton and go through on superior net run-rate.

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