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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.
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.
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?...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
And 'England' go down to Bangladesh. As I posted a couple of days ago, I had a feeling that that was going to happen...
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 with Bangladesh's victory over Scotland, with overs and wickets to spare, the England women's team's male counterparts move one step closer to sliding out of their contest in an inglorious fashion...
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I don't see India beating Australia in any one day match played in Australian conditions in this tournament; not if Australia have all their front-line players injury-free and available, and given the recent triangular series results. If an elimination match takes place in New Zealand, (I'm not sure at this point who is going to play who where) I'd have thought the conditions would still likely be friendlier to the Australians than India. But: I suppose it's possible that Australia might get South Africa, not India, in an early round elimination match, and that could be tough for the Australians. Otherwise, who else is going to knock Australia out, pre-finals? West Indies, maybe, if Gayle goes completely berserk and hits something like 200 runs off a hundred and twenty balls?The England women's team's male counterparts are all but out of the competition now, having lost to Sri Lanka. Bangladesh got a point out of their game with Australia, due to rain, remember, and the women's team's male counterparts have taken an absolute hammering in some of their matches, which hasn't exactly helped their net run rate. All it needs is a further draw or win for Bangladesh in one of their games against New Zealand and 'England', (and a win of course for Bangladesh against Scotland) and the England women's male counterparts are completely stuffed, whatever else they do. They needed to beat Sri Lanka, they failed badly, and irrespective what they do now, they're not going to make the quarter-finals unless they get results elsewhere going in their favour.
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
New Zealand won by 1 wicket.... And multiple heart attacks.
My apologies. I was sure I'd seen 'eight wickets' in a report somewhere. I have checked the official BBC scorecard, and see it was indeed only one.Looks good for Australia to win the contest, then, at least out of the teams in their 'pool'.
Well the England women actually managed to win their twenty-twenty series, to my surprise, and, once there weren't any more 2017 qualification points at stake, took the last two matches to actually win the 50 over series, too.
Someone explain to me please, how the England men's team automatically qualified for their current 50 over competition, instead of having to go through the play-off stages alongside teams like the UAE? They've just been bowled out by New Zealand (edit: New Zealand are a good side, but their bowling attack doesn't exactly have a Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson, who should be able to blow a nominally international level batting lineup away like that) for 123 in 33.2 overs, and seen New Zealand thrash their way to victory in 12.2 overs for the loss of only two wickets. Any explanation for how England automatically qualified which does not involve 'The EWCB has money' seems nonsensical to me in the present circumstances.
Except I suspect (I may be wrong) that the Netherlands has at least as little time given over to cricket at school-level as the UK; that football is at least as much a 'glamour sport' in the Netherlands as it is in the UK. And yet The Netherlands humiliated England in a 20/20 game in Bangladesh in March last year.Hence my suspicion that the EWCB is managing to utterly scramble all its international level 'England' players' minds, by over-management; that the 'England' players are being told so many different things to do and think by so many different people that they're incapable of simply going out there and playing professional international level cricket any more.
And unfortunately I can't see the current EWCB recognising that this might be a problem of their own creation any time soon (if that is indeed the case), but I can see them instead assuming the problem is 'not enough management' and throwing ever more managers and coaches and psychologists at things to try and 'fix' them, as likely as not only making the situation worse instead.
Well either that or the 'England' teams are doing so consistently badly because sufficient of them are as bent as corkscrews and trying to 'throw' matches for bribes from bookmakers that a no-win is a guaranteed result in many cases, but let's not go there for now...
Nope. Lost another one. England starting to look incompetent in all forms of cricket now, of either sex. (Granted, the women are still *miles* better than the men.)
And the England team which isn't female have lost to Australia yet again. No surprises there. Presumably at some point bookmakers will stop offering odds of any kind on Australia getting a 'not losing' result against this particular side, at least when playing in Australia.
'Political Puppets' is a deck apparently built around one trick: 'Insurrection'.
Personally I'd remove the 'Rapacious One' (uncommon) and 'Murmurs from Beyond' (common), neither of which seem to me to fit terribly well with what the deck is supposed to be trying to do. ('Murmurs from Beyond' seems particularly pointless to me, as it allows an opponent to put almost certainly out of immediate reach, in the graveyard, one of the deck's few cards which might actually win the game.)
I also have doubts over the deck's 'Flusterstorm' (Rare), which is ineffective in many situations, if you're actually seriously trying to counter something; 'Spurnmage Advocate' (uncommon), which is rather weedy at 1/1, and doesn't actually bury or remove-from-game a target attacking creature; and 'Death by Dragons' (uncommon), which I regard as generally pointless, although it does at least make occasional sense in the context of this deck in combination with 'Insurrection' if you're trying to get a game over in one massive strike.
Gah! England women let New Zealand get a 150+ run opening partnership in the first match of their one day series and then lost chasing the New Zealand total of 240 by 67 runs.
The NPC wrote:
A lot of damage and harm can be caused by people being incorrectly informed...
Happy to have posted something even mildly thought-provoking. :)
My reaction to 'Mirror Mastery' is urgh.
Final comments for now on 'Counterpunch'.
Other possible recommendations for inclusion in 'Counterpunch' are Creakwood Liege (Rare, Eventide) and Distorting Lens (Rare, Mercadian Masques).
The NPC wrote:
Misinformation. In all its forms, including (but by no means limited to) typing errors & malapropisms; incorrect Wikipedia pages; news stories which have more basis in 'we want something which will grab people's attention' than in actual fact; speeches or other public declarations by most extremists; and 'faked' you-tube clips (or at least the ones which are not clearly identified as such and posted solely for entertainment purposes).
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Dude don't get depressed it makes hating England less fun... Come now chaps, stiff upper lip, and all that, what what, tallyho...
Right now, I feel that the England men's side ought to be banned from playing overseas matches against anyone else 'major' - except maybe Zimbabwe - for at least the next couple of years. (And of course the politicians in London likely won't let the men's team play against Zimbabwe...)Something has gone very badly wrong with men's cricket, at the international level, as far as the 'England' team go. And based on recent performances it's going to take years to correct it. If it can be corrected.
And, as predicted: Link
Mark Seifter wrote:
...So that's the good. And if I stopped there, it would be a full Keep from me...But the problem is mechanical skill is extremely poor. First of all, the staff's caster level was left at the default, but it has to be 9th, since it has a 5th-level spell. Even if I accept that the caster level is 8th, the staff would...
I remember Sean Reynolds addressing Caster Levels of items in a RPGSuperstar thread a few years back... LINKI remember it, having been on the wrong side of that discussion... :)
Dark blue lines around some rooftops and parts of ship are presumably shallow water.
Given the hazards of steam (being boiled alive and suffocated - and possibly being crushed by atmospheric pressure, too, if the steam is unable to vent by a route such as (in this case) the surface connection in area 10) I take it that anyone still in the majority of the map area once things start to 'heat up' either has some sort of protections like high fire-resistance and necklaces of adaptation or is very, very, dead.
Tomb of the Mad Alchemist.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
There's an 'Earth Rune' on the far side of the acid. What it does isn't clear from the map, but there is something on the other side...
On the 'straight edged square rooms and hallways' front, they are at least simple for the DM to draw when laying out the situation for their players on a gaming table, if the DM doesn't have some sort of fancy electronic gaming table available or a custom map bought or printed from a pdf file.
Urborg is nice, but Commander decks with 40 lands in already hardly need more land.