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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...
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.
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.
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.
England women currently being hammered at Canterbury.
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.
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...
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. :DErr, 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.
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...
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??????
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).
[Treguard voice] Oooh, nasty! [/Treguard voice]
A shame Cook may not get away with that again this summer, with Anderson out injured.
Gah! England have no answer, apparently, to Meg Lanning, or at least not in the fifty over format.
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. :)
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.
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.)
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.
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...
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!
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.
Ah, and Cook's team are back to that 'good old England' standard that we all know and love (or something - loathe, maybe?).
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.)