The natmeg was the difference

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Anya Shrubsole carts the winning runs (via ICC)

Just a single sighting of the natmeg in the World Cup semi-final by our count – but it secured two runs and was therefore, by all measures, decisive.

England passed South Africa’s total with just two balls to spare. You can’t honestly suggest that the natmeg wasn’t the difference. With that in mind, you wonder why batters ever choose to direct a shot anywhere else.

Either side of the legs is so passé.

England are in the World Cup final. That doesn’t happen too often. The final’s on Sunday.


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. My opinion is that England’s chances of winning the final depend largely on whether they are playing Australia (who are better than them) or India (who are not).

    Given that in the group stages they lost to India and beat Australia, my opinion is probably bollocks.

    1. Smriti Mandhana kindly seemed to start playing about as well as your opinion is probably good as soon as she stopped playing England. So that might come into it.

  2. Is the “natmeg” really the same as “the draw through the legs”? The draw is a seriously old-fashioned shot, out of fashion by the late 19th century. Does anybody with a long memory know how common it was for the draw to be played between the legs, or was it always between legs and wicket.

    Two useful extracts from the Wisden Dictionary of Cricket:

    Draw, noun 2. A batting stroke by which the ball is deflected off the angled face of the bat and passes between the wicket and the batsmen’s legs in the direction of fine leg or backward square leg; it is presumably so called because the ball is gently ‘drawn’ through away from the wicket rather than more forcefully “pulled”.

    “In playing the Draw … turn the bat inwards, so as to describe an angle of 45 degrees with the parallelism of the wicket” (Felix 1850, p 24)

    Felix and his contemporaries imply that the draw was a popular stroke in the mid-19th century, but by 1900 it had almost died out:

    “John Wisden … was the last of the school of batsmen who favoured the old-fashioned ‘draw’ stroke … The stroke is now rarely or never seen” (Pulin 1900, p 19)

    Draw, verb 2. To hit the ball using the “draw” stroke.

    “‘Drawing’ between leg and wicket is not a new invention. Old Small … was famous for the draw” (Pycroft 1854 in HM p 141)

    1. It’s a bit different than a draw as the ball is struck through the legs off the face of the bat, than deflected off the angled bat.

      It looks a bit like a leg glance played behind the front leg rather than in front of it.

  3. Further to previous discussions on here about TV coverage: for those who have (or are willing to give their card details to) Now TV and are interested in watching the final for free, this link may be of interest – if you register on Thursday, you will get a free 1-day Sky Sports pass, which could be used at any time in the next 12 months. It gets you access to all of the Sky Sports channels, I believe, so if you time it right you could get to watch a fair bit of cricket.

    1. I’m going to watch it. Really glad England got through – should be more of an occassion as a result. Shall I do a match report? Or will Ged have this one covered to his usual lofty standards – with which I would frankly be intimidated to even try and compete!

      1. Ged has retired from KC match report writing to concentrate on a different form of the web site writing game – Ogblog.

        KC has a few match reports from years gone by as yet unpublished, plus one or two other ideas that aren’t match reports.

        In short, Gareth, you are the match reporter for Sunday.

        But have no fear – I’ll be there, along with Daisy, Charley The Gent and a rare appearance by Mrs Malloy.

      2. Definitely do a match report, Gareth. We love Ged’s efforts but a great fear is that his have been putting people off – like that’s the only way of doing them.

        It was always meant to be a very open-ended feature. Half the fun’s seeing what different people come up with.

      3. I’ve been meaning to write a report about my trip to Cardiff for the T20I, given that it included a bomb scare, a succession of cancelled trains, an international taxi ride and (i) a period of poor beer options followed by (ii) a period of excellent beer options, but I’ve not got round to it.

        Maybe that summary is better than what I’d have written anyway, and it definitely has more of an enigmatic style, so I might just leave it at that – or should I get Ged to ghost write it from the point of view of the cricket fielding positions t-shirt I was wearing on the day?

  4. Huzzah Ged! I thought you would be. I will take comfort in that fact. Hope you get to raise a glass (or multiples thereof) of impeccably-selected wine to a fine match.

    1. We’ll be in the Warner Stand. Wave vaguely in that direction and we’ll wave vaguely back in the direction from which we see waving.

      Alternatively, you could break the golden rule (as Edwardian did the other week and indeed which KC has done a few times) and arrange to meet. Although it must be said that Edwardian seems to have been quite traumatised by the experience.

      1. Ooh I dunno Ged…never meet your heroes and all that! Nah, stuff that. That would be excellent! How does one address the logistics of this kind of thing? Apologies to the rest of the readership…

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