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Charles Evans 25's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 7,046 posts (9,833 including aliases). 16 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 70 aliases.


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Gemcraft Chapter 2 Chasing Shadows appears to have had no playtesting of any effectiveness whatsoever. Reports of errors are popping up all over threads on some boards now, and instead of withdrawing the game for several months, to try and fix everything, the writer appears to be attempting to patch things 'on the fly', breaking things which were working fine before in the process.
Not a very glorious addition to the series.

Darn it, why did Arran Brindle retire a couple of months ago?
Oh well, well bowled and played Australia.
Next big event will be the MCC women vs Rest of the World this summer...

Yes! England-Australia final to the women's 20/20 contest. Bound to be epic!

Congratulations to the Australian women's team on making it through to the finals. Hopefully the England women will make it through too, and the two sides can resume their friendly Ashes rivalry...

Good play by the Netherlands [men]. Nice to see them go home with a victory. They worked hard and wanted the win more, and were duly rewarded.

They started to air it again on terrestrial in the UK (on the UK's Channel 4). Not sure why there was the delay - maybe Channel 4 were waiting to see how the second part of the season was received in the US before committing themselves.
The episodes I've seen so far from the second half seem to have more of a sense of direction and of pace than the first half of the season.
Starting to wonder if the 'clairvoyant' is some version of 'The Mad Thinker'. I have some of the reprints they did a few years ago of old fantastic four stories, and the Mad Thinker seemed to be one for always knowing what everyone was going to be doing approximately when (even if he occasionally overlooked 'the human factor').

Another win for the England women's team sees them through.
Only one chance left for a win in the tournament though for the Australian men. Surely, if even the clown squad can pull a victory off from nowhere against the Sri Lankans, the Australian men can defeat Bangladesh?

Information to follow in the next few days...

Good performance by the Australian women today, crushing Pakistan. An England/Australia final would be interesting, but I don't know if the way the tables have been going if that's a possibility. I hope that they at least broadcast the women's final if that does happen.
And perhaps a touch prematurely, the commentators on the men's side of the game today just said that England's 'horrible winter' has come to an end - personally I think that's a touch premature; there's still the game against the Netherlands to go after all!

Sorry to see the Australian men lose again. It's a tough group they've got there, and this time they were up against the current holders, the West Indies.

Surprisingly tense game, with South Africa [men] vs Netherlands, where if the Dutch had kept their heads a bit more, once the target was in sight, they could have pulled off an upset.
And then I'm not sure how Sri Lanka [men] managed to lose the game after that. Dropped catches all over the place let the Sri Lankans set a target of 190 for the win, the first over (once their opponents were batting) finished with their opponents having lost two wickets for no runs on the board, and yet after that the improbable happened over after over with a stand of 152 for the third wicket. I'm baffled. Probably so are the Sri Lankans. That was one of the shock results of the tournament to date.
Efficient, ruthless, win by the Australian women against Ireland.

No men's 20/20 matches on and still the BBC can't be bothered to provide radio coverage of the women's games.
Still, normal service is resumed. England [women] beat India with eleven balls to spare, despite losing several wickets towards the end.
Looks like the evening games are tending towards low scores unless a complete mismatch of teams happens.

What the commentators of the (men's) South Africa/New Zealand game mentioned of it, it sounded a tense engaging game too.
England women unfortunately lost, but even the BBC commentators mentioning it between overs in the South Africa game reckon that the England women's team have a better chance of reaching the knock out stage of their respective contest than other England team over there trying to play cricket.
Dramatic finish to the (men's) South Africa/New Zealand game, anyway, with magnificent bowling from Dale Steyn at the close.

Good game with Australia vs Pakistan. Have to wonder if it was correct for Australia to pick the bowling line up that they went with, but Finch and Maxwell got them to a pretty good position in the subsequent chase before they fell away in the end.

Promising couple of warm up match results for the England women for their international 20/20 competition.
A bit tragic that England currently lack a professional team to represent them at the equivalent men's contest.

GeraintElberion wrote:
A knock about?

Maybe! At any rate Australia have wrapped up the third match with five overs and six wickets to spare. Built up some quite nice momentum there going into the world 20/20.

I'm not sure you can call a 20/20 match reduced by rain to seven overs a side a 'match', but whatever that was in Durban, Australia won it... :)

Umm. First Australia/South Africa twenty-twenty match rained off.

I'd be interested to see what Shane Warne could do, if he was appointed the coach of the England men's side, but unfortunately I don't think I've seen his name mentioned as being even under consideration. I've heard a lot of good things about what a good cricketing brain he has.
He might not even want the position, either...

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

Good win.... The SAs are almost as stubborn as us, knew it was going to be challenging.

The Poms just need to rebuild restructure and find the right chemistry.

We are lucky that Boof was there his main skills as coach, are getting Mitchell to play at his best and bringing out the mongrel in the Australian team.

Unfortunately, on the England men's team front, the current frontrunner for the coach position is Ashley Giles whose teams never looked like even worrying a full-strength Australian side in the one day series in Australia (or not from where I was sitting), and whose teams in the West Indies have humiliatingly lost one match, and won the other two only with the assistance of some dodgy umpiring decisions and West Indian batsmen losing their heads and overdoing it in a couple of key moments. Ashley Giles is a guy whose influence on the one-day squad has apparently scrambled the bowlers' brains to the point where this evening Bresnan was bowling Ramdin short balls to smash all over the park in the dying overs - and when Bresnan finally tried aiming at the stumps for once (the first time the commentators thought they'd seen England try a 'yorker' at the death in the series), Ramdin (on 128) was apparently so surprised that he missed it and was out, clean bowled. Giles' instructions to the bowlers seem to be to the effect of 'help the opposition score as many runs as possible, by putting the ball in the right place for a competent batsman to smack repeatedly to the boundary'. Yes, bowling the short stuff may be effective if you're Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson, but none of the current set of English trundlers are anywhere close to that pace. And yet they still keep doing it, and Giles (I can only assume) apparently keeps encouraging them to do so.

I'm convinced the England women's side would do better against almost any opposition the England men might face, right now, than the men's team, and I can't see the situation changing any time soon.

BBC posted a list of Graeme Smith stats:

BBC wrote:

Smith in numbers

Graeme Smith
Tests 117

Tests as captain 109

Test wins as captain 53

Test runs 9,265

Test average 48.25

One-day runs: 6,989

One-day average: 37.98

Test statistics include a match for ICC World XI

And apparently, having retired from test cricket, he's going to captain the English county, Surrey, for a year or two...

Apparently Smith scored most of those test runs opening the batting, and places highly in the list of scorers in that position.

And, once again, the clowns got in a decent position, and then contrived to do everything that they could to lose their match. They had the West Indies 80-5 and then 131-6 and still let them get to 278 before finally getting the last wicket. This means that they managed to accidentally win the series, which will no doubt make ringmaster Ashley Giles look 'good' when the EWCB come to deciding who will replace Andy Flower. More clownish escapades and high jinks looking inevitable for years yet to come.

And Smith who broke, destroyed, and saw into retirement so many England captains (back in the days when England had a professional men's cricket team) himself goes into retirement having seen his team beaten. Mixed emotions here. He was clearly one of the great figures of the game, and presided over a South African team that reached (for a time) the apex of test cricket, but having shown little sympathy for the opponents he in his time crushed, I can't see it as appropriate to feel sympathetic to him.

(Third test, Day five) And, despite an obstinate rearguard action, the Australians take the last South African wicket with four overs or so to spare and finish the series with another win and break South Africa's five year or so run of not losing a test series.
Congratulations to Australia.

(Third test, Day four) I'm reminded of the moment in a BBC show called Time Commanders where the lights started flashing and klaxons started hooting accompanied by an announcement 'Victory imminent, victory imminent...'
At 71-4, with Smith and Amla gone, I really don't see a way out of this for South Africa unless it rains most of the last day or something.

(Third test, Day three) Good bowling from Australia; I'm slightly surprised they didn't enforce the follow-on, but I suppose the bowlers probably had earned a rest after getting South Africa out for under three hundred. Now all Clarke has to do is judge the declaration right and hope the weather holds.

(third test, Day two) Loss now averted, but rain showing up. Might not be enough time once the Australians declare to bowl South Africa out, score more runs, then finish it off.
Still, a very fine Australian performance.
And in other news, the clown squad should have lost again today, but a dodgy umpiring decision sawed Dwayne Bravo off in his prime, and the West Indies consequently failed to use all their overs. As usual the clown squad managed to fall flat on their collective faces, when batting, but facing such a restricted target that they managed to fall flat with their chins barely over the line for victory this time.

(Third test, Day one) Good Australian batting performance. Shouldn't lose this match now unless they collapse quickly on day two. All they have to do is get a big enough total to put some real pressure on the South Africans.

Looks like the clown squad managed to spectacularly lose again, once again snatching defeat in a truly grandiose fashion from the jaws of victory.
First they had the West Indies 45-4 off 15.4 overs - now any other international team at that point might have been looking to bowl the opposition out, but not the clown squad. The clown squad wanted the game to be as far out of their reach as possible, and the West Indies innings closed on 269-6. (Granted one of the not out batsmen was Dwayne Bravo, who has some pedigree, but for the West Indies to get a further 200+ runs after that start wouldn't have happened against any top flight team interested in winning the game, I suspect; to refer to some of what they were served up with as 'bowling' is to flatter the clowns who delivered it.) Then, someone seemed to have forgotten to tell Lumb, Moeen, and Root that the clown squad were supposed to avoid winning the game at all possible costs. The clown squad actually got to 180 off 37 overs, before losing their third wicket. But from that point forwards, they regularly lost wickets and failed to score runs and finished up sixteen runs short of the target.
Looks like the clown squad (still under the management of ringmaster Ashley Giles, despite (or perhaps because of) the ludicrous performance in the one day series against Australia) are aiming to be whitewashed in yet another series. Well I suppose that *is* appropriate, for clowns...

Meanwhile, I note that the Austrlians are to face a gladiatorial conflict with South Africa in the third and final match in their test series shortly... Best of luck to the Australians! Give the clown squad a reminder of how players who *want* to win a match and a series should play, please, and maybe, just maybe...

(Day 4)
England have been on the wrong end of Hashim Amla centuries like that.
And apparently the old ball was almost impossible to 'get in' against, once Australia were batting.
One match to go.

(Day 3) Owch. Starting to look like it might be a win the toss, bat first and get runs on the board and the rest of the game takes care of itself pitch. South Africa, of course, won the toss and batted first...

(Day 2) Ooh. Good batting from South Africa. Five wickets for Lyon though. A lot on Warner (and subsequently Haddin) tomorrow.

Gritty start from South Africa in the second test. Interesting to see what Australia score when they bat - that'll give some idea of whether it's a slow scoring pitch or if the Australian bowlers exerted remarkable control.

Absalom was my first thought, but Katapesh was a very fast second; Katapesh has the pactmasters after all.

Darn. Arran Brindle's calling it a day on her international career. After the early wobble she and Greenway combined to win the first one day international for England back in January, and she bowled a fairly tidy five over spell, too. She scored runs in the test match as well.
Oh well, best to go out at the top of her game, after an Ashes series win, I suppose. I just hope they have some good players coming through who can fill her place.

Whew! Day four, and Australia have wrapped the match up. Johnson continuing to bowl well.
Could this be the start of something special for Australia? Can they keep this level of intensity of play up?

Oooh, what a statement that would have been if Australia had forced South Africa to follow on. Came so very close to being able to enforce it, too.
South Africa not just missing Kallis' batting, by the look of it, but his bowling to back up Steyn. And maybe his fielding, too (don't know if Warner was dropped either time in the second innings in a position Kallis might usually have fielded?).
South Africa going to be under immense pressure to save the match when they have to bat again.

Whilst I consider Salmond probably one of the politically canniest and most charismatic operators in British politics right now, I'd find anything on economic matters which he has to say much more credible if he hadn't expressed so much admiration for the 'Celtic Tiger' phenomenon before the economic bust.
(Sadly economic competence in the British political classes seems to have been in decline generally for the past few generations.)

Egads! Day 2 and that must have been quite a spell from Johnson. South Africa going to have to steel themselves to save the match, and presumably missing Kallis badly right now.
Surprised Haddin was out for a duck, but maybe he'd been waiting so long to come in that he'd half gone to sleep.
Looks shaping up to be an interesting match, anyway.

*Oooh*. I think Warner [day 1, first test, Pretoria] must have forgotten for a moment that he was facing the bowling of Dale Steyn, and not a few gentle lobs from the clown squad. Yahoo! Cricket had a (Reuters?) picture of one of Warner's stumps going flying. Good recovery from Marsh/Smith partnership in the latter part of the day though. Question is, is it a good batting pitch, and if so what are South Africa going to do when they bat? Match a high scoring draw, maybe?

Aaaaand in other news the idea of a world test championship has been scrapped in place of a one day trophy. Not sure if that affects the women's side of the game, but presumably it's a relief for the clown squad since it means they don't have to spend so long on the field making idiots of themselves.

More incessant worm-eating-its-tail back-and-forth about the clown squad. At least the announcement that the clown squad will be drafting a couple of previously internationally untested players from the county system (Moeen Ali and Stephen Parry, although Ali apparently has played for the 'Lions' a couple of times) for the 'world cup' is interesting - always assuming that the as yet unappointed and unknown replacement for Andy Flower actually wants to use them.
And Ben Stokes finally gets a look in in the 20/20 squad, in a case of closing the stable door a couple of weeks after the horse of the Australia tour bolted.

Just been online surveyed by the BBC on my most recent trip to their website. I said a few things in the 'comments' section about feeling that there was a disproportionate coverage of the wake of the men's tour, with punditry and more punditry, to stupid levels, and not enough post-tour analysis of the women's series and what the England women got RIGHT. I appreciate that there are 'news' stories happening right now in the men's game, but the number of articles being flung around at present, creates an impression that now the women's tour is over the BBC journalists couldn't care a straw about the women's team again. (Edit: And maybe they don't.)

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

Piers Morgan is on fire - I hope nobody puts him out...

I wonder if KP caused such a toxic situation in England's dressing room that he sucked the spirit out of the team? What I don't understand is that neither the captain, coach or manger were able to address it. I wonder if KP was why Swann left the team?

Swann seems to have had trouble with his bowling action (I think he's had one or more operations on his arm recently) and seems to have completely lost his 'mojo'. Given the way he wasn't taking wickets and that the Australians were clearly enjoying smacking Swann all over the place, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt he simply couldn't do the job he was selected for anymore, and simply quit because of that.

Some of the pundits have been saying that whether he was intentionally causing a problem with anything said or not, that Pietersen wasn't setting the junior players a very good example with the way he was playing - and that it may have made it difficult for the coaching staff to tell the junior players things, given that Pietersen was doing opposite things. I have no idea why the captain, coach, or management were unable to get Pietersen to play better on the pitch - well not explanations which don't involve at least borderline conspiracy theories. From the end of the first test, the men's tour has been one long slow-motion clown-car car-crash.

Here in the UK Channel 4 seem to have dropped the show since episode 11. Possibly a satellite or cable company might have picked it up, but it's not airing on what I consider the main terrestrial channels (BBC 1/BBC2/ITV/Channel 4/Channel 5).

Coverage of the women's team seems to have evaporated here in the UK; granted the kind of publicity currently raging over the men's team is perhaps not the sort of attention/coverage that the women's team would like, but the media could be making a bit more of an effort to give them some nice coverage given that they won their series - and showed a good deal of steel all the way through their tour.

Latest from the EWCB is they've sacked Kevin Pietersen. They haven't even (officially) replaced Andy Flower yet, but they've effectively told whomever they pick to replace Andy that he can't have Kevin Pietersen on the team, whether he/she wants him or not.
It might be the right decision to make or it might not, but the way that they've made it and the timing of it makes it look to me like the EWCB have lost their heads completely. Oh well, at least they didn't sack him by telephone this time, and he now has the chance to go and play in India for the IPL full-time. (Not sure if that would be his first choice of game to play, but it's an opportunity there for him now, anyway.)
Piers Morgan has been sighted in the media, of course, practically spontaneously combusting with outrage at the news.
And test players have been supposedly 'gone' before now, and ended up making unexpected returns at some future point, irrespective of the climate current and words bandied about when they were dismissed.

BBC Website posted some figures on Jacques Kallis a month or two back, which show just how fine a player he's been:

BBC Cricket wrote:

Only Test player to reach 10,000 runs and 250 wickets (Kallis had 13,289 runs and 292 wickets)

Five centuries in consecutive Tests

Fastest Test 50 (24 balls v Zimbabwe, Cape Town 2005)

Third highest Test run scorer (behind Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting)

Second highest Test century maker (45 to Tendulkar's 51)

Second highest in Test outfield catches (200 to Rahul Dravid's 210)

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
South Africa is going to be interesting I hope we can keep up the momentum.

South Africa in South Africa is going to be considerably more of a challenge for the Australian men than the clown squad have been, but as you say, with confidence and momentum behind them they might be able to give them a good run for their money. Kallis (a talented yet modest (in the best sense of the word 'modest') player) retiring has certainly left a bit of a gap in the South African team that they might have trouble filling.

England women pulled off a fairly good bowling performance, but it turned out they had scored too few runs in the end. The pattern of the women's 20/20 matches seems to have been whoever bowled first dominated with good bowling, and then, knowing their target, efficiently chased down however many runs were needed in their innings.

That the clowns managed to lose by 84 runs in their 20/20 game is a pretty spectacular effort on their part to avoid another win. I have no idea what's going on at the EWCB if, as the BBC website reports, Ashley Giles, the man in charge of the one-day and 20/20 squads is 'the favourite' to take over as in charge of the test team too. The only game Giles' squads managed not to lose against an Australian international side all tour was against an Australian side missing both Haddin and Clarke for one match once the series was already won by Australia.

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