90s XI v Now XI, day 2: Match shaped by surprise early spin

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We’re playing a Sim Series between a 1990s World Test XI and a Current World Test XI using Cricket Captain’s ‘All-Time Greats’ mode.

Day one was fairly stupid in that Nathan Lyon took four wickets.

No matter which team you’re supporting, let’s hope that’s the end of that sort of nonsense.

The 90s XI are 205-4.

Morning session

Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis walk out.

A simple drop-and-run gets Tendulkar to 50. After that, he just gets into that Tendulkar cruising zone where no-one really notices what’s happening but then at some point the bowling attack goes: “Hey, wait a minute. Are we being very quietly taken apart here?”

Kallis, meanwhile, is just Kallis, which is to say he does a similar thing but in a much less cool way.

Ten minutes before lunch, the South African reaches a 50 you’d struggle to remember.

Other than one over for Virat Kohli and one over for Steve Smith on the first morning, Jason Holder hasn’t given anyone outside his main four a bowl. He’s pretty much just rotating his quicks with Lyon on at the other end.

Lyon gets Tendulkar LBW for 82.

It’s a depressingly reasonable decision.

Looked like a quicker one. The Little Master had his mind on a little lunch, it seems.

Andy Flower gnarls his way to the crease.


Afternoon session

Andy Flower edges Mitchell Starc to first slip, only for someone blond to put down a piss-easy chance. Could have been Steve Smith. Could have been David Warner. Let’s say it was Warner.

Lyon bowls Flower for 18.

What is this shit? It’s the first innings and Lyon has taken the first six wickets to fall.

Wasim Akram walks out.

Wasim Akram does the decent thing and immediately gets out to Pat Cummins, so ensuring that A Very Bad Nathan Lyon Thing cannot happen.

Well played, Wasim.

Anil Kumble walks out (and is probably quite interested in how this pitch is playing).

Kallis, now on 83, offers Holder a fairly straightforward caught and bowled chance, which he completely fails to take.

Kumble is LBW to Starc for 8.

Curtly Ambrose walks out.

Kallis reaches three figures. He waves his bat while pretty much everyone else on the field of play momentarily turns into statues, except for David Warner, top-right, who does some sort of hand jive dance.


Evening session

The session recommences with Curtly Ambrose on-driving Nathan Lyon for four. This is the kind of thing that should have been happening throughout.

Lyon then bowls Ambrose, which is the kind of thing that actually has been happening throughout. Somehow.

Lyon now has the ludicrous figures of 7-128.

Waqar Younis walks in and sweeps Lyon for four, which is the kind of… ah, forget it.

Cummins bowls Waqar.

Change of innings

If Nathan Lyon – Nathan Lyon – can take seven wickets, what can Anil Kumble do?

That’s a question for later though. For now it’s Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose bowling to David Warner and Rohit Sharma.

Depressingly, Warner hits each of them for four in their opening overs. Then Rohit joins in. This pitch has not been kind to the seamers.

Wasim isn’t one to be fazed by a crap pitch though. He bowls Warner for a run-a-ball 15 and it is everything you dreamed it would be.

Warner slopes off like this.

Kane Williamson walks in.

Rohit edges Ambrose to slip for 23.

Virat Kohli walks in looking hyped-up and half-deranged.

Kohli and Williamson versus Ambrose and Wasim anyone?

Kohli cuts his first ball for four.

Turns out it is not Kohli and Williamson versus Ambrose and Wasim. It’s Kohli and Williamson versus Ambrose and Waqar Younis.

Waqar will be bowling nothing but yorkers because that’s the way things should be. Williamson clips the first one off his toes for four. Kohli plays the exact same shot next over.

With two overs remaining, Kumble comes on. He beats Kohli with a top-spinner but fails to find the edge.


The 90s XI have made what we are legally obliged to refer to as ‘early inroads’.

The 90s XI lead by 332 runs.

Join us tomorrow for day three.

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Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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    1. Those Americans who complain about how long a Test takes should take a look at their own election campaigns

  1. As a measure of the scale of Bad – suppose Warner had mysteriously been given an over while the tenfer was still on. Would you, at any stage, either

    1) Have the thought cross your mind that a Warner wicket here would at least prevent a Bad thing,

    2) Have actively desired for it to happen?

  2. The “like this” link demonstrating David Warner’s sloping off posture was worth the price of admission alone.

    Thank you, KC, for meeting your legal and regulatory obligation to say that early inroads have been taken.

    Unfortunately, however, you have miserably failed to meet your legal and regulatory obligation to say that the first hour of play tomorrow will be extremely important and that Day Three is likely to be a pivotal day in this test match.

    1. He might be planning to say that in his opening remarks tomorrow. Give the man time to say his cliches!

    2. Ged, the first hour will be crucial, of course.

      But it’s also crucial to take the Momentum from that first hour into the second hour if it goes well, or if it doesn’t go well, to Take The Positives from the first hour, and refocus on Exercising Skillsets. I hardly need sdd that this needs to be done As A Unit.

      After the second hour, you feel at that stage, all else being equal, it might be Lunch. Lunch is, of course, crucial, as it’s an opportunity to reset, to rebuild if necessary, or if not to simply continue to Do The Right Things.

      After Lunch, at this stage it seems inevitable that it will be the afternoon session, which I think we all agree will be crucial….

  3. Something something decide the election on highest first innings score, something something boundary countback, something super over.

    1. I think the real question is, will this Sim Series match finish before the Pennsylvania count does?

      And if Lyon gets a 5-for in both innings, is that worse than the collapse of American democracy, or is it too close to call?

      1. We’re sometimes accused of ‘phoning it in’ but that’s still quicker than mailing it in.

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