Root’s Moose Cup Powered by Daraz | Mop-up of the day

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Three things, okay?

Thing 1

Just as with Botham’s Ashes, the 2021 Moose Cup Powered by Daraz seems destined to be forever remembered as Root’s Moose Cup Powered by Daraz.

In the first Test, Sri Lanka made 135 and then Joe Root made 228. In the second Test, Root made 186 before Sri Lanka made 126. England’s bowling was effective, but the captain made the runs.

There were other noteworthy performances though and it would be remiss of us not to mention Lasith Embuldeniya who appears to have filled a vacancy.

Sri Lanka generally like to have one guy who’s going to bowl somewhere near half their overs. Murali is the obvious example and then there was Rangana Herath. Now it looks like it might be Embuldeniya.

Embuldeniya took 15 wickets at 27.66 in the series. Sri Lanka’s second most effective bowler was Dilruwan Perera, who took five wickets and then Asitha Fernando, who took two.

In contrast, England had seven wicket-takers. Joe Root took the fewest – also with two.

Thing 2

We’ve always been a big fan of vague yet slightly misleading descriptions of size.

A lot of people get annoyed about “fun size” Mars Bars, moaning that there’s nothing fun about them being smaller. However, the flip side of using terms like “fun-size” to mask inadequacy is that we also get crisps in a “grab bag” which is a magnificently evasive way of saying “geared towards the fat bastard”.

And so to “bite-size” highlights.

If you’re fairly-but-not-massively interested in the Pakistan v South Africa Test series, you may be pleased to hear that Sky Sports are uploading free “bite-size” highlights packages to their YouTube channel after each day’s play.

The day one video is about 11 minutes long and they cram more in than you perhaps think.

Thing 3

After much dicking about last week, we have finally concluded that we don’t actually know how to repost an updated version of an older article so that it goes out in our daily email (despite the fact we do it by accident all the time).

So let us instead tell you here within this shiny new article that the fourth episode of The Ridiculous Ashes Podcast is now available to listen to. You can find all four episodes – all of which focus on the 1997 Ashes – on this page.

The fourth Test is one of the better episodes – our co-presenter Dan Liebke says it’s his favourite so far.

There’s a big philosophical question in this week’s episode: At what point do you become a one cap wonder?

It also features pantomime cow hostility, Australian street hustles and an explanation of how Curtly Ambrose could have been one of Test cricket’s greatest batsmen.


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. I’ve been enjoying the ‘bite size’ highlights on YouTube, as a non-subscriber to Sky TV. I was slightly surprised to discover them, given the usual policy of trying to make sure as few people see cricket as possible, especially when it happens outside of the UK.

    Arguably, 11 mins is a better length than 30 mins or 60 mins, for the busy person who sometimes doesn’t even have time to type the whole word ‘minutes’.

    1. Often, there’s not actually much less in there – you just see everything once, without replays.

  2. Lasith Embuldeniya had figures of 15-170 against the England team minus Joe Root. Against Joe Root on his own, Embuldeniya ‘took’ 0-247.

    On the other side of the coin, Embuldeniya took 12-297 against England’s top six batsmen. The rest of the Sri Lanka team combined took 2-430.

    It feels like you could do something with those figures, but I’m not really sure what.

  3. Daraz is an online marketplace and logistics company – who knew?

    Very much enjoyed the Ridiculous Ashes this week. Loved the Mike Smith conundrum, which might have been enhanced by the additionally ridiculous notion that his name might get him confused with the better known Mike (MJK) Smith, who had a wholehearted 50 match test career for England.

    I still haven’t quite got my head around the skirmish between the Headingly stewards and the pantomime cow. Is there video evidence?

  4. I feel in terms of noteworthy 1-cap wonders they generally fall into 3 camps, the WTF selections (Darren Pattinson), “Right Place Right Time” (Tony Pigott, and episode 6 might feature one of these…), and “Hilariously Bad” (Bryce McGain). I feel Smith’s “Deserved the cap but unlucky” camp probably applies to a lot of 1-cap wonders.

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