Month: May 2014 (page 1 of 3)

One of you must have seen this match

Or listened to it. Or paid a bit more attention to the scorecard than we did. In which case, please could you leave some sort of pithy synopsis in the comments section so that everyone else can feel like they got something of value out of visiting this website today?

That’d be great. Cheers. It’s much appreciated and we promise we’ll start doing things properly again in a bit.

That timeframe again: ‘in a bit’.

Also, here’s a link to the Jos Buttler section of the site. We’d definitely have linked to at least one of these articles had we written something about the match ourself – probably the one about him batting at five, but we can’t be sure. Presumably at least one of them’s relevant in some way. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

We wrote about Paul Collingwood

No, like, we REALLY wrote about Paul Collingwood this time. It’s like a proper article for a proper website. You may have read it a couple of days ago, of course. If you did, we apologise, because this is all you’re getting here on King Cricket today.

But why not read it again anyway? Come on, it’s a good one. On Twitter, none other than Paul Collingwood himself said of the piece:

“Very kind words!!”

Two exclamation marks! For once we’re actually happy about that, rather than irritated. If you think that betrays a certain inconsistency in our attitude to punctuation, why don’t you toddle off and score a double hundred in an Ashes Test? Do that and we’ll be perfectly happy for you to use two consecutive exclamation marks, providing you’re also expressing approval for something we’ve written.

Didn’t see this one either

Which is a shame, because it looked rather fun.

You may have noticed that some of our updates have been a little half-arsed cursory of late. However, you don’t get to be King Cricket without coming up with some really rather ingenious ways round being completely uninformed about things. Fortunately for you, we’ve already put one of these ploys to use and so you probably won’t even notice that we’re not really doing any kind of a job here.

So that you could still get top-notch cricket coverage here at your ninth-favourite cricket website, we asked our mate who doesn’t even like cricket what happened in the cricket.

He said something like:

“We were shallot on Sunday at Chester le Street and livid about that so were intent on proving ourselves today. I don’t know what the fungi happened. Load of knobs pissing about in the rain and nobody watching as far as I can tell.”

Take THAT, Cricinfo!

We’re a bit disappointed if we’re honest

We honestly thought that someone would have left some sort of tirade in the comments section of our latest article for Cricinfo, but alas, it’s mostly just confusion. We demand a tirade!

Fortunately, on Twitter someone said: “hey u never always boss nd god sachin” which might be a tirade.

Someone else said: “who is alex bow nvr heard????” after earlier saying: “And wiz team better dan english team currently sure ne school cricket team of world…..haha”

We guess we’ll have to settle for that.


Middlesex v Nottinghamshire day three – match report

Ged writes:

Early season, I always try to take in a day of county cricket with my old friend, Charley “The Gent” Malloy.  It helps us both to get over those winter withdrawal symptoms.

Charley has his favourite place to sit at the start of play – “Death Row” right at the front of the Pavilion, close to but not exactly behind the wicket.  By 11am, we were well set in those seats.  But Charley was in thoughtful mood.

“I’m going to be very careful what I say today,” said Charley.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because anything I say might end up in your King Cricket report, showing me to be the idiot and you to be the clever clogs.”

“But if you don’t say anything worth reporting at all, you know I’ll just make stuff up,” I replied.   Charley laughed.

We tucked in to smoked salmon rolls (whisky smoked – the salmon, not the rolls) with a nice little Alsatian Gewürztraminer to wash them down.  Later we had Parma ham in Ciabatta bread, washed down with a rather elegant albeit Australian Shiraz. Between and beyond those major courses were other tasty morsels, including honey-roasted cashews, savoury sesame cracker-thingies and some very jolly posh chocolate biscuits.

We discussed many things during the day, including my latest hobby, learning to play the baritone ukulele very badly; the latest exploits of Charley’s son and daughter; together with news of the house refurbishment carried out by Charley and Mrs Malloy over the winter.

While in the Grandstand for the middle session of the day, a chap sitting with a friend not far behind us, started to snore, increasingly loudly as the session went on.  At tea, the sleeper woke up and said: “It really is lovely being with you here at Lord’s,” to which his mate replied: “I’m not sure you have entirely been with me.”

“Hmm,” said the sleeper. “I suppose I might have nodded off for a moment just then.”

At stumps, Charley wondered what I might report about him on King Cricket. “Will you tell them about me trying to remember a pint-sized cricketer who looked a bit like that little-feller on the field of play, only to discover that the little feller was the very chap I was trying to remember?”

“Unlikely to make the cut”, I replied.

“What about me not realising that your baritone ukulele is different from the instruments that George Formby used to play?” asked Charley.

“A mistake that many would make, Charley. The baritone ukulele is normally tuned as a four-stringed guitar, very different from the banjolele and conventional ukulele, but the distinction is a bit music-geeky.”

Charley and I decided not to have a final, post-stumps drink – I needed to get home and prepare for work the next day. I walked home my usual route. Three minutes from home, as I’m walking past the Prince Edward, a loud voice rings out, “Ged Ladd” (or words to that effect).

Stentor Baritone”, (or words to that effect), I reply.  An extraordinary  coincidence for several reasons, not least because I had never heard of a baritone ukulele, let alone a Stentor Baritone ukulele, when I granted my MCC friend that KC pseudonym some years ago. Also because Stentor no longer lives on my patch, nor does the publisher chum, also an acquaintance of mine, with whom Stentor was having an outside drink, en route to a restaurant.

Being an MCC member, Stentor Baritone was naturally unaware that today had been a match day at Lord’s, nor indeed that the cricket season had even begun.  Equally naturally, I joined the pair for a quick drink, leaving my work preparation to a slightly foggier, later hour.

We didn’t see any of today’s match

Not one minute of it. We logged onto the internet this evening, saw a headline about it, thought: “Ooh, that sounds juicy,” and then went and looked up the scorecard.

Top stuff. Top, top stuff. Well played, England.

We take it this is still the transitional period then? Not quite the new era yet, eh?


The unpredictable flames of England’s one-day batting

Marcus Trescothick shortly after twatting a cricket ball

It’s funny how things change. Time was, England’s one-day batting started with a bang/Banger and then burnt out. Nowadays they light tinder, wait patiently while the kindling gently crackles and then chuck on some logs which have spent eight months marinating in petrol right at the end.

The first scenario refers, of course, to Marcus Trescothick, who made 133 not out off 129 balls in a staggering run chase against Durham this week. Even Paul Collingwood couldn’t get him out. His robust, thocking straight bat presents a marked contrast to Alastair Cook’s deflections and Ian Bell’s scything cuts, which is what we get now.

At the other end of the innings, things are rather cheerier these days. Morgan, Bopara and Buttler provide increasingly demented sloggery, but there’s a case for saying that Chris Jordan presents the logical conclusion to this. In Bridgetown, he hit four of the nine balls he faced for six. Today, at the Oval, his strike rate slipped from that high water mark, but only to 292 runs per 100 balls.

Then he did some bowling. We like him a lot.

Middlesex are slightly top

After whipping the first division’s whipping boys, Northamptonshire, with their whipping boy whipping whip, Middlesex are now 19 points ahead of Yorkshire and 22 ahead of Sussex, both of whom have a game in hand. Yorkshire would need to win to go top. Sussex would need to really, really handsomely win to do so.

Yorkshire’s next match is against Lancashire, so all they really need to do is bat competently and the rest should take care of itself. Sussex’s next match is against Middlesex, so they won’t go top, but nor will they lose that game in hand.

A lot of Middlesex’s success thus far has been built on the work done by their openers. This is great news for England, in that Sam Robson is averaging about 50. However, it’s bad news for England, in that his opening partner, Chris Rogers, is averaging almost 50 per cent more and scoring almost 50 per cent quicker as well. Rogers even treated himself to a six at one point.

So Harry Gurney then?

There have been times when we’ve thought we’d learn to come up with better headlines, but we’ve since concluded that it’s just one of those things we’re never going to be very good at. They say you should work on your weaknesses, but often this is just inordinately time consuming when you could get far better returns making a half-arsed effort to improve something for which you have a natural aptitude.

So Harry Gurney then?

Yes, we were getting to that.

Gurney has been on the fringes of one-day squads for most of this year, but we’re struck by the fact that he’s made the next step under Peter Moores. He likes a left-armer, does the guff-talking Maxonian.

Last time around, it was Ryan Sidebottom. Although he’d played once before, in 2001, Sidebottom started his England Test career proper a month after Moores started his first stint as coach. At the time, he was a reliable, highly regarded bowler, but definitely one who was flirting with journeyman status.

Sidebottom finished his Test career with 79 wickets at 28.24. In the last 30 years, only Angus Fraser has taken more wickets at a lower average. With hindsight, it was like someone had dropped in several years of Test cricket from a parallel universe because after Moores was sacked, Sidebottom played just four more Tests and went back to being a very good but largely unremarkable county cricketer.

So Harry Gurney then?

Yeah, sorry. That got away from us a bit. Like Sidebottom back when he came into the side, Gurney’s record isn’t especially spectacular, but he looked decent enough against Sri Lanka yesterday. There is of course a big difference between doing a decent job on your T20 international debut, when no-one knows who you are, and being Lasith Malinga, everyone knowing exactly how you’re going to bowl, and still doing the job anyway. But all the same, we’ve seen what we’ve seen and can’t judge beyond that.

We’ll be interested to see how this pans out. Has Peter Moores mastered some bizarre form of alchemy that turns stalwart left-arm seamers into world beaters? Only time will tell.

English spin bowler takes wickets

No, honestly. An actual spin bowler as well, not just a batsman specialising in round-arm dob. It was the second division, but these are desperate times – we have to make the most of whatever we can find. We’re basically Wombles.

The spinner in question is Monty Panesar and at the time of writing, he’s taken 4-18 in 14.2 overs. We’re taking this as confirmation that Panesar is the greatest spin bowler in the history of cricket. You don’t dismiss Daryl Mitchell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Ben Cox and Jack Shantry on an unpredictable pitch without being in some way exceptional.

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