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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.
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...
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.
Another win for the England women's team sees them through.
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.
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.
Highly annoyed at BBC. NO LIVE COVERAGE OF TODAY'S ENGLAND WOMEN'S MATCH.
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 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'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.
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
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:
And apparently, having retired from test cricket, he's going to captain the English county, Surrey, for a year or two...
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.
(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...'
(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.
(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.
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 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...
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.
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.
Whew! Day four, and Australia have wrapped the match up. Johnson continuing to bowl well.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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:
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.
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:
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.