Shakib al Hasan has played six Tests before this current one against New Zealand, but he hasn’t hit a fifty and before today he was averaging over a hundred with the ball. Not any more.
After Bangladesh recovered from a rocky start to their innings to post a mediocre 245, Shakib set about the New Zealand batting to the tune of 6-31.
Bangladesh need a Test win or two. Near-misses just get chalked up as innings defeats in the minds of cricket’s incognoscenti.3 Appeals
No-one’s scored more Test runs than Sachin Tendulkar and after passing Brian Lara’s record, he went on to pass 12,000 runs as well. We’d say that he was the first to do so, but you can probably deduce that easily enough.
It is very hard to express the significance of this. It’s just huge numbers, isn’t it? When numbers are that huge, how do you gauge their worth? The man himself is the only one who knows what it took and he put it best:
“It’s definitely the biggest milestone because it’s taken me 19 years to get.”
That’s a long time. If you devoted yourself to digging a hole for 19 years, you’d have one hell of a hole. You’d be pretty pleased with your hole. You’d climb out and step back to admire your handiwork, at which point you’d fall down a hole twice the size. This would be Sachin Tendulkar’s hole.
You don’t feel so good about your hole now, do you? You thought you were good at digging holes, but you’re not. Sachin Tendulkar’s got a better technique; he’s stronger, fitter and faster than you and after he’d been doing it for a while, someone gave him a better shovel.6 Appeals
As promised, here is the first installment of our new feature where readers ask delusional sociopath, Laurence Elderbrook, whatever question they want and he rambles on about himself for a bit in response.
If you’ve a question for the turgid buffoon, email us.
First up, Lisa:
Is your genius as admired on civvy-street as it is on the field of play? Does your bestial roar work as well in the boardroom as it does in the changing room?
In this age of flimsy paparazzi celebrity it would be cruel not to give us some insight into the life and achievements of Laurence Elderbrook when in bespoke Henry Poole three-piece rather than immaculate cream flannels.
Sometimes the truly exceptional are not appreciated in their own time. Fortunately, I have always made it my business to make each and every person who encounters me entirely aware of the full extent of my genius.
As for my achievements in industry, you should know that a gentleman never lowers himself to working for a living. I spend the majority of my time at my gentleman’s club, drinking gin and engaging in wagers with fellow members, all the while resplendent in my cream flannels.9 Appeals
Stuart Clark’s injured, so arch woodchopper, Peter Siddle, looks set to make his Test debut for Australia in the second Test against India at Mohali.
Ricky Ponting said:
“He’s a no-nonsense sort of guy and no-nonsense sort of bowler who will run in and deliver what you want him to deliver.”
Which is, presumably, the ball.
Go Peter Siddle! Deliver the correct object in no-nonsense fashion!6 Appeals
The day started well. I caught the bus to Victoria Station, sat up top and wasn’t stabbed. At Victoria station things started to go bad. I had to wait 15 minutes to find out which platform my train was on, only to find out it was to be delayed for about another 15 minutes.
Then when I got on the train, I didn’t sit in the right area and the train conductor treated me like some Rosa Parks type character. He suggested I take my earphones out and listen to the announcements. I asked if he could tell me where to sit, but he had already walked away.
I think I know why he was angry – his pants were very high. Jimmy Smits high.
I took one earphone out and heard that the train was due to split. This seemed rather violent to me dear reader. It said that en route to Favishemshiresex the train would split and those ahead would go to somewhere no one had heard of and those behind to somewhere better.
I made my way back down the train and found a new seat that would split in my specified direction. What I didn’t notice was the orange sticky substance I put my hand in. It didn’t smell bad, but it felt like it should.
The further out of London I got, the more it rained. You could sense the air getting damper outside the carriage and my gammy leg started playing up. I tried to un-gammy it, but the moistness of the air had set in.
Once I arrived in Canterbury East I bumped into a young girl, apologising immediately. She was fine, but her boyfriend and her dog seemed quite angry. You should have seen the teeth dear reader. The dog looked quite aggressive as well.
Finally I made my way to the ground. In the rain, it was a struggle with the gammy leg, but I soldiered on and eventually, two to three hours later, I arrived at the St Laurence ground, just as play was called off for the day.
It was really teeming down at that stage, my gammy leg was really playing up and I saw a seagull drown. Buoyed by the spirit of adventure, I made my way towards a local bed and breakfast where a large, bare-footed Eastern European man showed me to my room.
A great day was had by all.10 Appeals
England have been taking a more individual approach to player development in recent times and we’re all in favour.
Monty Panesar’s going to spend some time playing for the Bloomfield club in Colombo. He’ll get more experience of bowling in subcontinental conditions, but more importantly he’ll be dumped there on his own and might turn into a better-rounded human being.
Now we’re not picking on Monty here. We’d never do that. All we mean is that the man’s 26 and has been led by the hand his entire career. He’s played for Northamptonshire, he’s played for England and that’s it. It’ll do him no end of good to play and live abroad and have the responsibility of being the big player in a side.
He’s not going to suddenly master the doosra or the carrom ball, but he might develop a slightly different attitude – one where he’s more self-sufficient.
Quite apart from that, it’s interesting that the ECB also consider this arrangement to be useful practice before the Test series in India. We thought warming up before Test series was passé. We thought modern cricketers could just turn up on the day and perform at their very best. That’s why they have these constricted tours, right?9 Appeals
All aboard the Rob-Key-fielding-different-foodstuffs bandwagon. Sam sent us this in response to Vin’s exquisite piece of Rob Key art.
We asked Sam if he had anything to add that might enrich our enjoyment of the picture.
Sam said: “Not really, I think the picture speaks for itself. He’s fielding a burger.”9 Appeals
The four Test series between the West Indies and England will feature the umpire challenging system, whereby batsmen can remove one of their gloves, slap the umpire across the face with it and call for lbw shouts to be decided by a duel.
Either that or you get a few chances to have batsmen reinstated when they’re out to a low catch. Because even though everyone knows they’re out, you can’t really say that for definite from what you see on the telly. The batsman gets the benefit of the TV doubt.10 Appeals
Stuart Law’s contract has not been renewed. Partly because he’s associated with the ICL, partly because he called Lancashire’s members gin-swilling know-nothings, but mostly because he’s 40 this week.
The gin outburst came when Lancashire decided to do away with Dominic Cork and we always suspected that it was as much to do with seeing the writing on the wall as any intrinsic admiration for the endearingly irritating former England all-rounder.
How do we feel about this as a Lancashire supporter? Indifferent really. Stuart Law’s one of the great batsmen of his generation, but a few weeks ago we used him as a symbol of something that’s wrong with Lancashire’s batting line-up.
He’s been good for Lancashire, but they were only the latest of a number of sides he’s played for, so we’ve no sense of loyalty. It doesn’t feel like an old, great Lancashire player’s being dispatched without fanfare, because Law made his reputation long before he arrived at Old Trafford.
It’ll be good for the county, although we’ll be quite interested to see how they manage to rustle up enough batsmen. We don’t know of any who are really clamouring for inclusion.
No, wait. We’ve got that all wrong. Batsmen don’t clamour for inclusion – they knock on the door. This is why we’ll never make it big in cricketing circles. We just can’t master the language.8 Appeals
Here’s a quote from raving metrosexual, Shane Watson:
“It’s a good way to challenge them [the Indians], physically and mentally. Not sledging but having an aggressive persona about you – and that’s the way I play my cricket.”
Watson’s always saying things like this about how he plays aggressive cricket. So why does he always look so frightened?
For a big, muscly albino, he’s got a real timid air about him. When he’s batting, he always looks terrified, as if he thinks the umpire’s going to tell him off at any minute.
Plus there was that whole thing during the 2005 Ashes series, when the Aussies stayed at Lumley Castle in Durham. Watson thought there was a ghost and had to go and sleep in Brett Lee’s room.
This gave rise to the greatest on-field ribbing of all time, when Darren Gough did a pantomime ‘wooh – a ghost’ thing when walking back to his mark while Watson was at the non-striker’s end.
We’re not totally sure, but we think Watson might not have any eyelashes. Do we use eyelashes to make ourselves look aggressive? Maybe he just looks fearful the whole time because he’s at constant risk of getting dust in his eyes.6 Appeals