England’s dodgy drivers dobbled by deadly Dasun

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The received wisdom is that you don’t get wickets in Test cricket with dibbly-dobbly medium-pace. This is actually entirely accurate – but only because nobody picks dibbly-dobbly medium-pacers for Tests.

The truth is that dibbly-dobbly is tough for Test batsmen. Their net bowlers are 85mph, their bowling machines are 85mph. They’re grooved. They expect a certain pace and length and when it’s not quite fast-medium and nor is it spin, they like to edge it.

Dasun Shanaka purveys dibbly-dobbly medium pace (you always ‘purvey’ that sort of bowling). He isn’t really a bowler. He has taken 26 first-class wickets in 31 matches. Nevertheless, at one point he had three wickets for one run. Alastair Cook was dibbled, Nick Compton was dobbled and Joe Root was, er, medium-paced out.

We were out for the James Vince and Ben Stokes bit and will have to catch up with that on the highlights, but after that Jonny Bairstow did some whoppery. Alex Hales also started playing ‘his natural game’ after first adopting a classical opener’s approach – something which seemed to come entirely naturally to him to these untutored eyes.

Then it rained and David Gower said that this was to be expected in spring – almost as if he has gained no insight into the spring/summer British climate despite 40 years of his professional life being greatly influenced by whether it rains or not.

Maybe they will play a bit more later on, but we have to go and buy a smoke alarm now.


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  1. Does anyone find Boycott’s incessant “at headingly …..” prefaced before any observation mildly irritating?

    1. I think you’ll be able to find someone to agree with any sentence containing the words “find” “Boycott” and “irritating”.

      I like him, actually, but only when he’s got somebody there to wind him up. He was intolerable at the start of today, until Roshan started fighting back. I maintain, though, that Aggers and him are one of the greatest comedy double acts in cricket.

      1. One of our all-time favourite stories is when it was Agnew’s birthday and Boycott got him a present. It seemed touching and thoughtful, but the present was Play Cricket The Right Way by Geoffrey Boycott.

        That is way funnier simply because it’s Boycott and was therefore achieved with a certain lack of self awareness.

  2. It’s alright though, because according to Hales, England have the momentum.

    Until the forwards momentum of the ball is transferred into sideways momentum by the bat, with that momentum being cancelled out by the opposing force of the slip’s hands.

  3. The best of cricket on right now – a batsman on 98 with only two tail-enders to help. What to do? Does he take a single if it’s on offer?

  4. Vince is on. This is turning into the best test match.

    And a long hop bashed for four, described by Holding as “pathetic”

    1. Followed by a straight ball, a bouncer, another dot, an inside edge nearly chopped on, and an edge over the top of a leaping Stokes. Marvellous stuff.

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