Month: June 2010 (page 1 of 3)

A worrying Rob Key development

Thanks to Bradders for pointing us towards this:

Don't point that thing at us

But also not thanks. Pretending things are guns is never cool. Somebody will have told him to do it, but that doesn’t matter. Rob could have gone for bat-as-guitar or bat-as-snooker-cue even. Both would have been better than bat-as-gun.

There’s the sunglasses too. It’s all bad. We feel very disappointed today and we don’t quite know where we go from here.

We’re also wondering whether to move the ‘Rob Key’ child category out of the ‘England’ parent category and back into the ‘county cricket’ one. This really is a low moment.


They’ve wedged in some County Championship fixtures

Shit! They’re playing County Championship matches. How did that happen?

We’d checked the fixture lists and had therefore been slacking off because it’s only the Twenty20 Cup and we can’t really be arsed with that until they’ve finished the crappy group stages. But knock our chicken and chorizo sandwich to the floor and call us mildly exasperated and a tad disappointed if they haven’t shoe-horned in a solitary four-day match slap-bang in the middle of it all.

If there’s one lesson we should have learnt by now, it’s to never think we know what form of cricket the counties are likely to be playing on any given day.


Someone’s challenged Shiv to a crease occupation contest

Shiv celebrates a particularly well-judged leave outside the off stumpAshwell Prince’s 262-ball 78 not out effectively said to Shivnarine Chanderpaul: “You think you can bat time? Come on. Let’s see what you’re made of.”

Why would you do that? Shiv has now found himself in a situation where the West Indies are deep into their second innings, only a handful of runs ahead, with bags of time left. If someone could stay with him, he could bat for two whole days and get 61 not out. It would be a thing of rare beauty.

Sadly, Shiv’s best hope was Dwayne Bravo who’s already out. Bravo batted alongside Shiv in the last Test and scored a stunningly grindsome 215-ball 53 – an innings that somewhat ludicrously featured a six at one point. Never one to be outdone, Shiv weighed anchor upon reaching 150 in that match and crawled to 166 off a further 95 balls, as pointed out by Andy Zaltzman in his Confectionery Stall blog for Cricinfo.

Next week, Luke Wright dares Shahid Afridi to renounce shot selection completely.


Ian Botham’s rich mahogany armpits

Now there’s a post title for you.

We’ve had another Sunday post at Cricinfo that you’ll all have missed. It’s about great English cricket embarrassments and we wrote it after England had nearly lost to Ireland in the World Twenty20. They’ve been great since then and we’re taking the credit.


England cricketers taking penalties

Alastair Cook fails to keep it down for once

Worst. Collection of nicknames. Everrrrrr.

You can watch England’s cricketers taking penalties here. We’d have put the video on this page, but there isn’t a YouTube option small enough. A site redesign is probably in the offing, but really, how often do we feature videos? It can wait.

The video’s worth watching to hear Graeme Swann accidentally pointing out why these guys are better than ‘our boys’ in South Africa.


Australia’s second-best ODI bowlers

The story at the moment is ‘liberated England’ – daring, dashing World Twenty20 champions who play with no fear.

That’s the official line, but we’re looking at an Australian one-day international (ODI) bowling attack that’s shorn of Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and even Ryan Harris.

You could also add Brett Lee to that, although he might never come back and Dirk Nannes would conceivably be above the quick bowlers who appeared in Cardiff yesterday, were he available for ODI selection. Oh, and Nathan Bracken as well.

This Australia ODI bowling attack is a gherkin, emmental and chilli sauce sandwich made with dry wholemeal bread because all the food you thought you had in the house wasn’t actually there.

Australia never want to lose to anyone, least of all England, but if they had to pick a time, it would probably be now.


Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians‏ match report

Ritesh writes:

This was my third game at the ground during this year’s IPL. At the previous game, my marriage was almost destroyed when the missus and I had to wait in line for an hour and subsequently had to sit on hard concrete rafters approximately at square leg.

So this time I overcompensated by reaching the ground at 2.30pm for the 4pm match. We got plum seats – about 20 rows back, sandwiched between a very large lady (not said missus) and an elderly constable with a pleasing underarm sweat patch.

Some time later, a bomb went off. The explosion was so loud we could hardly hear the Max Mobile countdown. Here is a picture of the panic in our stand:

Panic on the streets of Bengaluru

The police swung into action upon hearing the bomb blast. They immediately suspended the sale of beer in our stand – a ban that stayed for the rest of the tournament. We showed our support for the prompt police action by waving several brand logos at them.

Meanwhile, our escape vehicle was standing by in case of any further bomb attacks. The tyres seemed a bit unusual, but it couldn’t be so bad – IT HAD SO MANY LOGOS.

We can still see some white space - a wasted commercial opportunity

The missus got increasingly anxious as she wasn’t able to lay her hands on beer-bottle shaped sunglasses which the kind folks at Kingfisher were handing out. They looked somewhat like this:

Behold the glamour

As a bonus, here is a picture of Sachin Tendulkar being conspicuously indifferent to terrorism:

Unarsed


We’re pacing ourself like Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan playing a mediocre sort of shot

Apologies for the delay. We’ve a new internet provider and getting back online is never easier than pushing string.

Eoin Morgan’s hundred against Australia is worthy of high praise, but if we’ve learnt anything from the serious-faced Paddy finishotron, it’s to pace yourself. We’ve got to leave ourself room for manoeuvre for when he plays an even more exceptional innings.

We’ve said he’s played the best Twenty20 innings by an England player, we’ve called him a Paul Collingwood deluxe and we’ve said he’ll make it as a Test batsman. We’re not going to leave ourself anywhere to go at this rate.

With that in mind, Eoin Morgan’s 85-ball 103 not out to get England home against Australia was somewhere between ‘passably fair’ and ‘reasonable’.

By this new scale, Ajit Agarkar’s bowling is now officially ‘unclassified’.


The context of England v Australia

England are playing Australia today. We imagined the team talk for Cricinfo and they gave us our usual Sunday slot.

We also wrote about why context matters for the Wisden Cricketer, but it’s not actually about England v Australia. It’s about the Twenty20 Cup.


England football fans and cricket

Your greatest attribute is that you run around a lot

This is cricket-related. Stick with it.

Supporting a football club is basically just supporting a business. It feels like supporting Sony or someone. However, we can still watch international football. We can still watch the World Cup.

On Saturday, we watched England’s footballers give a performance of such breathtaking ineptitude that the already foolish talk of winning the tournament should have immediately ceased.

Meanwhile, England are about to play five one-day internationals against Australia. England hold the Ashes and won the World Twenty20 earlier in the year. They’re not cricket’s equivalent of Brazil’s football team, but they’re a good side.

England will lose one of the Australia matches. We all know that. It will be on the news and when it’s reported, we just know that we’re going to hear someone say: “God, we’re shit at cricket,” at which point they’ll go back to talking about how if England’s shit footballers were played in a different formation, they’d miraculously stop being shit and would win the World Cup.


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