Month: March 2009 (page 1 of 5)

England Women v Pakistan Women ODI

Ged writes:

Following several days of enforced 5am starts, I was looking forward to sleeping in a bit longer on Thursday, especially as I was cream-crackered by 10pm Wednesday. But of course, once you’ve got your body used to early starts, it just does its own thing. So although I set the alarm for 7am, I woke at 5am, still feeling zonked.

I switched on the TV to the sight of cricket – I hadn’t switched channel since the Trinidad Test. England Women were playing Pakistan Women in a World Cup fixture.

It took me quite a while to realise that I was watching highlights of a completed match rather than the live thing, so I probably wasn’t as awake as I initially thought.

Yet I was soon taken by the beauty of the Pakistan wicket-keeper, Batool Fatima, who came out to bat at jack. She had smeared her face with copious quantities of zinc, which seemed a little unnecessary for the last wicket in such ill-fated circumstances. I thought that she was possibly preparing herself for her fielding labours, but strangely, when she re-emerged soon after, she had removed the zinc. So contrary. I really like that.

She looked lovely with and without zinc. I realise that I probably have little in common with her, but in the early hours, such practical concerns are secondary. The cricket is, at best, tertiary.

The mug shots at Cricinfo are not flattering, so please do not be deceived by these ghastly apologies for photographs. She is the cat’s pyjamas. I’m talking way beyond Isa Guha levels of attractiveness

Highlights cricket does not excite me, so I soon summoned the energy to get up and go about my business.

Yuvraj Singh is so cool it frightens us to the core of our being

Yuvraj Singh is so cool, his coolness can’t be accommodated by one set of trendy, opaque eyewear.

Yuvraj Singh - cooler than Beadle, Tarrant and Titchmarsh combined

His coolness is so dazzling that we need four sets of sunglasses ourself to even look at him.

Opening batsmen and the first powerplay

The reduced nature of today’s match demanded he play in a different way, but of late England have been playing Andrew Strauss in an ‘anchor’ role as one of their opening batsmen. This seems to be a colossal misunderstanding of one-day cricket in our eyes.

The role of the anchor is to bat as many overs as possible and provide solidity at one end. Despite what many think, this sort of batsman does still have a place in modern one-day cricket. That place is not opening however – it is at number three or four.

The one entirely predictable powerplay in a one-day match is the first one. For the first ten overs, the field is in and the batsmen deal in boundaries. This is one fifth of your batting overs. It’s nonsensical to have a so-called ‘anchor’ taking half the strike in this time.

If you’ve got boundary hitting openers and anchor batsmen at three and four, you can attack with impunity from the off, knowing that if wickets fall, you’ve got the right men coming in to rebuild. If you’ve got your attacking batsmen at three and four (England have Pietersen and Shah), early wickets mean your attacking batsmen play in a more reserved fashion, which is a waste.

If you’ve got boundary hitting openers and they don’t get out, you get a flying start. If you’ve an anchor there and he doesn’t fail, he just eats up the boundary hitting overs ‘building a foundation’.

Building a foundation for what? The five over powerplay that the batting team can use when they want? This floating island of slogging can occur whenever the batting team chooses, but you can’t base your plans around it for two reasons. One, it’s impossible to know how the match will unfold. Two, it’s only half the length of the opening powerplay which MUST occur in the first ten overs.

The first batting powerplay is the one time in a match when you can be sure which batsmen will be at the crease and what the field will be like. Being wholly predictable, it’s the one part of the game you can properly plan for.

Chris Gayle hits a six we wouldn’t believe if we hadn’t just seen it

Chris Gayle - 'red ink, schmed ink, I'm having fun'Chris Gayle developed a taste for clearing the ropes in his 43 ball 80, but one six in particular was more ludicrous than the other seven.

England were so dead, rigor mortis had set in and it’s easier to play freely in that situation, but this shot was stupendous. James Anderson bowled a bouncer and Gayle backed away. While he was still moving – retreating AWAY from the ball – he attempted what could only be described as an upwards flail.

Normally you’d miss. On a good day, you’d get a thin edge to the keeper. On a VERY good day, you’d succeed in lifting it to deep backward point.

Chris Gayle managed to punish the ball 90m into the crowd.

The best advert featuring a cricketer EVER

There isn’t one part of this advert that isn’t amazing. It is the world’s first 100% amazing advert.

It's HOW you bury sheep that matters

The slogan’s baffling and surreal and amazing. The picture’s less baffling, but still surreal and amazing. Even the boast ‘SA’s #1 Hand Tool Brand’ is amazing, because just how hotly contested is that title?

Ceci sent this majestic thing in.

She writes:

“This is an advert from a South African cricket mag.  It’s entirely un-photoshopped and is utterly mysterious. Why is Kallis looking so keen and eager?  Is sheep burying his hobby, or is it – like Steyn’s crocodile wrestling – the mark of a Saffer man; the number of sheep he can bury in an hour?”

Girl in uniform handling toolWebco Tools’ website doesn’t quite live up to this promise, but it’s still pretty amazing. They know their target market, as proven by their use of images such as the one on the right.

Bet you’d like to bury sheep with her, eh?

Eh? Eh?


Jesse Ryder adds weight to New Zealand’s middle order

The score was 23-3. Jesse Ryder knew what he had to do.

He started the gentle rocking motion that would propel him out of his chair and when he had enough momentum, he went for the stand. A shower of crisp crumbs indicated success. He stretched his arms up and half a crumpet that had been caught in a fold dropped to the floor. Jesse ignored it.

“Roll me to the crease, boys,” he instructed and his team mates did as he bid. Martin Guptill had been dismissed and he confided in Ryder: “They’re the ones who hid your Yorkies,” pointing at the Indians.

Sweating ever-so-slightly, Jesse took guard. He was less unnerved by the 20 over wait until lunch than he normally would be, because the Indians’ sweet-treat-hiding behaviour had woken something in him; a blazing rage that could not be extinguished.

They had hidden his Yorkie bars. They would pay.

Ross Taylor hit a hundred too, but he’s thin, so he doesn’t get his own post.

Andre Nel – Surrey not South Africa

Andre Nel chills outWe’re never a fan of international cricketers retiring to seek their fortune in the county game. It seems so backwards. We’re especially displeased when it’s a cricketer like Andre Nel who’s been so important in our life.

Andre Nel taught us that, in life, it doesn’t matter how bumbling and unathletic your run-up is. As long as you brain your boyhood heroes with bouncers and burst into tears immediately afterwards, that’s all that matters.

He taught us that it doesn’t matter if you have a demented alter ego called Gunther who lives in the mountains who doesn’t get enough oxygen to the brain. As long as you attract strange comments that seem to refer to your manhood, you’ll go a long way.

He taught us that it doesn’t matter what onlookers say to you, as long as you use crude and abusive language right back at them, you can get banned from domestic cricket for a period of time.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that what life’s about? Being ineligible for selection for the remaining two matches of the season?

Mahendra Dhoni harnesses the power of the mind

Do you control the mind, or does the mind control you? Who’s in charge?

Mahendra Dhoni was asked about the fact that India had turned up in Napier just 18 hours before the second Test. Here’s what he said:

“Mentally we are right there. When it comes to the mind, it depends on what you’re feeding into the mind. The mind doesn’t know if it’s Napier or what you’re feeding. You come and say ‘this is Napier’, and it believes it’s Napier.”

How can we know it wasn’t Dhoni’s mind persuading him to say that because it had wanted to stay in Auckland a bit longer?

Whenever we try and trick our mind to gain some sort of advantage, it’s never even paying attention. It’s usually just humming moronically.

Burt Cockley – possible new inexplicable obsession

It’s well hard to get to play for one of the IPL teams. Look at all the disappointed Englishmen for proof of that.

But wait. What’s this? Burt Cockley’s been signed by Kings XI Punjab? Who the hell is Burt Cockley?

Burt Cockley’s an Aussie fast bowler. He hasn’t actually played a Twenty20 match yet, but that doesn’t bother Kings XI Punjab. They’ve signed him on the basis of his eight first-class matches and his three one-day matches for New South Wales.

Actually, Kings XI Punjab coach, Tom Moody, has signed Cockley because he’s dead quick, which is a good reason to like him. His name’s a good reason to like him too. You don’t get enough Burts these days. You don’t get enough Cockleys these days.

IPL teams in 2009

Bangalore Royal Challengers

What’s their ‘thing’?
Bought loads of stonewallers, like Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and promptly finished second to last in 2008.

New players
Wisely added Robin Uthappa, Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder to their obdurate batting roster.

Chennai Super Kings

What’s their ‘thing’?
Second stupidest name. Either ‘kings’ weren’t supreme enough or it’s a reference to a certain grade of cement hawked by the owner. Both are good reasons.

New players
Bought Andrew Flintoff for three small fortunes.

Delhi Daredevils

What’s their ‘thing’?
Having Mohammad Asif banned for drug taking. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir open.

New players
Rucks. David Warner, Australia’s sloggy new opener. Andrew ‘Ronald’ McDonald, Australia’s boring new all-rounder who should really spend more time indoors with his complexion. Forgotten man, Ashish Nehra. As well as England’s Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood.

Deccan Chargers

What’s their ‘thing’?
Shahid Afridi slagged off VVS Laxman’s captaincy and said Adam Gilchrist should take over. The owners promptly gave Afridi the boot, before adding: “Also, Adam Gilchrist is the new captain” – something they forgot to mention to Laxman. Charged their way to last place in 2008.

New players
West Indians, Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Smith.

Kolkata Knight Riders

What’s their ‘thing’?
Got to be the ludicrous name, hasn’t it?

New players
Bangladesh’s Mashrafe Mortaza.

Kings XI Punjab

What’s their ‘thing’?
Being a team of 11 equal-billing kings, like some sort of communist monarchy. They’re also ‘our’ team (in the loosest possible sense).

New players
Ravi Bopara and also ‘Burt Cockley’ who we’re going to go and find out more about, right this minute.

Mumbai Indians

What’s their ‘thing’?
Harbhajan Singh slapped his India team mate, Sreesanth. Sreesanth had a cry.

New players
JP Duminy and Kyle Mills.

Rajasthan Royals

What’s their ‘thing’?
Being the cheapskate team that won the IPL in 2008 with Shane Warne leading the way.

New players
Tyron Henderson

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