When Owais Shah leaves a ball, it stays left.
He plays his most elaborate leaves at relatively full deliveries outside off stump. He doesn’t just get his bat out of the way, he swings it over and then straight down towards the ground in front of him.
It’s like he’s suddenly seen a devious leprechaun just in front of him in the middle of the pitch, so he ignores the ball and pans the gold-loving bastard on the top of its head.
Take a look during the next Test. The Shah leave is a thing of rare splendour.
A last ball win is never bad, even if it condemns your hero to defeat. To be honest, we’re a bit disappointed that Rob didn’t have some anger to vent. He vented well enough last year and Kent won then.
Owais Shah doesn’t seem to be getting sufficient recognition for his innings. We can only assume that Owais Shah isn’t popular with anybody. Most reports are on about Tyron Henderson, because he laid the bowling to waste in Middlesex’s semi-final and because he bowled the last over in the final.
Henderson did go for 58 runs off four overs in that final though. Everyone knows that, right? And Owais Shah hit a 35-ball 75. Everyone knows that too, right? Okay. Just so we’re clear.
The strangest part of the day was probably Durham’s batting in their semi-final. Did they know that it was Twenty20? Did they know how many overs there were to go? Someone in the Durham camp had clearly decreed that a par score was about 31 and the batsmen ambled around from that point on.
It was just the sort of brain dead pig-headedness we like. It would have been even better if they’d been chasing. We’re declaring Durham the moral winners. The moral they’ve won is: ‘never bat like idiots’.
Bad dog. No Test career for you.
Okay, so maybe he is really irritating if you have to share a dressing room with him. We don’t know. We don’t care. He’s a fantastically accomplished batsman.
In the Sussex v MCC – and you have to call it this – ‘county cricket curtain raiser’, 17 batsmen have now come to the crease. Of these, only three have passed 20. Only two have passed 30. Only one has passed 40 – Owais Shah, who’s currently 72 not out.
Owais Shah averaged 70 last season. He averaged 66.46 in 2005. If you gave him a run of matches in the Test side, he’d surely succeed. He’s 29, has played in all sorts of conditions and situations and is now reliably scoring large numbers of runs.
This is the point where Australian selectors look at a batsman and say: ‘He’s learnt his craft, he’s earnt his place – let’s pick him’.
Whereas England’s selectors say: ‘He’s learnt his craft, he’s earnt his place – maybe it would be good for him to spend some time carrying drinks to and from the pavilion. Tell Andrew Strauss he looked good and solid during that 12-ball duck last week. Tell him he’s back in.’