90s XI v Now XI, day 5: Finally, a result…

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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.

Here’s what happened on day four.

And here’s the match situation at the start of day five:

The Now XI need 318 to win. The 90s XI need seven wickets.

The 90s XI seem overwhelming favourites, but commentators always go on about how modern players will try and chase down any total and 300 in a day isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

Whatever happens, by the end of the day we will have identified the better cricket era, once and for all.

Morning session

Kane Williamson and Steve Smith are the batsmen. Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are the bowlers.

Anil Kumble, meanwhile, has been kind of cack. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when he comes on to bowl.

The ball is 35 overs old, so Wasim is bowling full, looking for reverse swing. In his third over of the morning, he gets Kane Williamson caught at slip.

Marnus Labuschagne, whose selection in this team was in no way controversial, walks to the crease.

Wasim makes way for Curtly Ambrose.

At the other end, Kumble replaces Waqar and has a big, loud shout for LBW against Smith second ball.

Pitched outside leg, missing leg, but otherwise a good appeal.

It’s worth emphasising that the 90s XI has been at a MASSIVE disadvantage when it comes to the decision review system (DRS) and this has definitely made up for any potentially questionable selection decisions in the Now XI.

What we’re saying is that if the 90s XI win, it’s completely legitimate to say that the 90s had better cricketers.

Labuschagne hits Ambrose for a couple of nice fours.

The South African Australian is looking good against the quicks, but then completely misreads Kumble’s googly and that one really is out LBW, clipping leg.

Quinton de Kock walks to the crease.

With five wickets down, the Now XI need 277 to win.

De Kock hits some fours.

With 20 minutes to go until lunch, Jacques Kallis reluctantly comes on to bowl a couple of overs.

Lunch. The Now XI need 229 to win.

Afternoon session

Wasim and Waqar again start the session.

Waqar yorks de Kock.

Jason Holder walks to the crease.

Holder hits a couple of fours and then skews Wasim to short leg.

Mitchell Starc walks to the crease.

Waqar has an LBW shout against Starc. Not given.

Wasim has an LBW shout against Starc. Given.

That’s three wickets in four overs. Suddenly it’s al happening very quickly.

Pat Cummins walks to the crease.

Wasim gets Smith caught and bowled.

Nathan Lyon walks to the crease.

Waqar has an LBW shout against Cummins. Not given.

The chances start to dry up. The new ball is almost due, but Wasim and Waqar have gone on a little too long here, so what is Gooch going to do? Ask a reluctant Kallis to take the new ball?

Kumble replaces Wasim.

Kallis reluctantly comes on to bowl a couple of overs with the old ball.

Curtly Ambrose takes the new ball.

Kallis’s reluctance to continue is too great and so a visibly-knackered Wasim comes back at the other end. He swings it a mile to beat Lyon but somehow fails to make contact with bat, pad or stumps.

In his next over, he beats batsman and wicketkeeper and it’s four byes. Then he befuddles Lyon, who squirts one to short leg, but also Gooch, who can’t take the catch.

After just three overs, Wasim’s on his knees and has to make way for Waqar, who it has to be said isn’t looking a great deal sprightlier.

Waqar pins Lyon LBW with a yorker.

Victory for the 90s XI!

The 90s is officially the better cricketing era, by miles (155 runs).

In the post-match press conference, members of the Now XI make feeble complaints that don’t remotely stand up to scrutiny.

David Warner takes to Twitter to make his feelings known. The platform hides his tweets behind a warning, flagging his comments as disputed and potentially misleading.

The Now XI are failing losers and very bad people. SAD.

Even though Wasim took nine wickets and Kallis hit an unbeaten hundred, Gooch is for some reason named man of the match for his two fifties.

The moral of the story is that if you put Wasim and Waqar in the same team as Sachin Tendulkar, you will probably win.

Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and the rest of the Now XI should take long, hard looks at themselves for failing to be any of those three people, or even Jacques Kallis.


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20 comments

  1. I’m wondering what a combo XI based purely off this match would look like now.

    Gooch is the only opener who did a whole lot – could maybe go with Saeer Anwar as his partner in the combo, or perhaps move THE WALL up to open. Either way, Williamson gets the number 3 slot for a quality 91. Tendulkar at 4, Smith at 5, Kallis at 6. Giving the gloves to de Kock purely on the basis that he pulled off a stumping, otherwise there wasn’t much to separate him and Flower this match.

    As for the bowlers, Wasim is an obvious shout and – amazingly – so is Lyon. Starc also probably deserves credit for his five-for. Not sure whether to give the other place to Waqar or Ambrose. In summary:

    Gooch
    Saeed Anwar/Rahul “THE WALL” Dravid
    Williamson
    Tendulkar
    Smith
    Kallis
    de Kock
    Wasim Akram
    Starc
    Ambrose/Waqar Younis
    Lyon

    That’s six 90s players to five Now players (with the reasonable possibility of swapping de Kock for Flower for a seven-four split). There were actually a few solid performances from the Now team in all that, despite the thumping – their biggest issue was letting the 90s get what turned out to be a huge first-innings score.

  2. Too bad Williamson couldn’t carry on from his overnight score. I guess c Lara b Akram is as good a way to go if any. Kohli lbw Kumble was satisfying. Hurrah for the 90s XI! (really started my comment to say Kane W. is my modern batting crush but couldn’t fit it in.)

  3. Thanks for the good reading all week, KC.
    Any chance of a rematch with a Now XI that doesn’t have loads of Aussies and includes Stokes and at least 1 of Jimmy and Broad?

      1. I know you don’t do requests, KC, but I believe this rather hapless Now XI would struggle against an England 2010s XI. I’d love my hypothesis to be put to the ultimate test in one of your Sim Series matches.

      2. We’ve already expressed our dissatisfaction with the notion of a Now XI. A ‘current’ team would probably appear as a 2010s XI if it were to feature again. (Yes, we know that’s not current, but it’s close.)

  4. I would be interested in teams that are chosen purely based on character.
    I propose the next match to be played between the Apathetic XI (Kallis, Dhoni, Gunawardane….) vs the Flaming Assholes XI (Warner, Warne, Broad…..)
    I know you don’t do requests, but…..

    1. Wouldn’t say apathetic. It’s more a chill/undemonstrative XI. You couldn’t claim that Dhoni didn’t care about winning which is where apathetic fits for me.

    2. I cannot envisage The Reluctant XI getting through a whole test match, DC. How would it work? Kallis and others of his ilk are only prepared to bowl a couple of reluctant overs per spell. The reluctant captain (not sure who that might be, btw, but I don’t think it’s Dhoni) would not be arsed to try and bully the bowlers into bowling spells…

      …The Reluctant XI would simply amble off the field after 90 minutes or so.

      You might just about get a T20 match or two out of them – especially if the prize money was enticing enough.

      I could go on, but I’m reluctant to write any more about this.

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