Some thoughts on The Royal London Cup and England v Australia, and plenty of photographs.
Somerset are heading for a comfortable win over Hampshire in the final of the Royal London Cup – the only question being whether they will complete the job before I finish this post or not. Meanwhile at the Ageas bowl England are trying to beat Australia in a World Cup warm up match (the tournament proper begins on Thursday.
A CRICKETING WATERSHED
This final is a ‘last’ in two different ways. It is the last to take place at Lord’s, and it is the last domestic 50 over final to involve anything approaching full strength sides, because next year this tournament will be taking place at the same time as “The Hundred”, a new competition in which sides will contest matches of 100 balls per innings, and the best players will all be involved in that competition. Fortunately, although Somerset have been definitely the better side it has been a decent match. Hampshire were 180-8 at one point in their innings, but boosted that to 244-8 so that at least Somerset had some work to do. 56 from Northeast and 55 not out from Fuller (this latter contributg to the final fling mentioned above) were the top scores for Hampshire. Jamie Overton took 3-48, Josh Davey 2-28 from eight overs and remarkably Tom Abell, mainly a batter, had 2-19 from five. 69 from young wicketkeeper/batter Tom Banton at the top of the Somerset innings is the highest score of the day so far, Azhar Ali the other opener made 45, and James Hildreth is currently 45 not out, batting now in the company of youngster George Bartlett.
England are very much in the game against Australia, in spite of the fact that Australia were allowed to play a team of 12.
First, a new find for me – a couple of tiny little birds I spotted while out on a short walk earlier today and which (with help from Lynda Keen on twitter as well as my bird book) I have been able to identify as goldfinches:
Accounts and predictions relating to today’s cricket world cup warm up matches, a health/fitness update and some photographs.
Two Cricket World Cup Warm Up matches are under way – both at the halfway stage. They form the main part of this post.
WORLD CUP WARM UP MATCHES
There are two games today:
SouthAfrica v Sri Lanka – South Africa 338-7 from 50 overs.
A respectable total for South Africa at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff. 88 from Du Plessis and 65 from Amla were the main batting contributions. Left-arm medium pacer Isuru Udana was economical, taking 1-42 from his 10 overs, while Lakmaland Pradeep each took two wickets, though expensively, going for 140 from 19 between them. This is a tough one to call, but looking the way everyone other than Isuru got treated in this innings I am going to predict that Sri Lanka chase these down.
Afghanistan v Pakistan – Pakistan 262 all out from 47.2 overs.
This match, at Ashley Down, Bristol, has all the makings of a classic. A century from Babar Azam was at the heart of the innings – and on recent evidence Babar Azam scoring a century is not necessarily good news for Pakistan. Mohammad Nabihad 3-46 from his 10 overs andRashid Khan 2-27 from nine, while fast bowler Dawlat Zadran took 2-37 from 5.5 overs. Nabi and Khan will probably be very economical in the world cup, as opponents look to avoid losing wickets to them and hope to cash on the other less good bowlers. Today I am predicting that Afghanistan will chase down this target to put down a marker for the tournament.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND FITNESS
Today I broke new ground in my slow regaining of fitness and health post cancer. I managed to extend this morning’s walk to just opposite The Hob in The Well, which is close to King’s Lynn town centre. I am hoping to develop sufficient fitness to reach King’s Lynn Library unassisted in time for an NAS event there on June 14th, so that I do not have to rely on some kind person being able to gave me a lift. I finish with my usual sign off…
A giant mixed bag of a post covering the European Elections, other recent developments in my life, cricket and liberally equipped with photographs.
A lot has happened since I last put up a blog post I will try to cover all the interesting bits, and I have a large number of photographs to share. First of all…
THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS
Today is polling day in the European Elections. Here in Britain the polling stations are open until 10PM. The decision for me was between two parties. In a general election, knowing the support base of the respective parties in my constituency and constrained by the outdated, unfit for purpose FPTP system used in such elections, I would vote Labour as the only way to have even a chance of unseating the Tories. In a European election, run under the D’Hondt system, it was a question of maximising the number of progressive MEPs from my region, and that dictated a vote for the Green Party who were just short of having someone elected last time round. Therefore, I made my way to the Discovery Centre, which I expected would be the local polling station (fortunately I was right – for some reason I never received a polling card for this election, so I was relying on the same polling station being used for this one as had been used in the local elections a few weeks earlier – when I was unable to vote, being in a hospital bed at the time), equipped with ID to make up for the absence of a polling card (neither should be required but Tories are up – or down – to all sorts of tricks these days and it is better to be safe) and duly cast my vote for the Green Party.
I have finally got all my stamps mounted (I was given a large quantity while in Addnebrookes being treated for cancer, to go with some that I already had). Here are the photographs I took while finishing the job:
With my Aunt not being around my parents and I had Sunday lunch at Goldings, which is a very fine restaurant. Although my alcohol consumption is restricted at the moment a pint of Adnam’s Ghost Ship (not hugely strong at 4.5%) combined well with steak and chips. I am not yet quite fit enough to get from my bungalow to the town centre on foot, so this meant a car journey.
On Tuesday, as usual, I had my physio session at Tapping House. It went very well, even including one set of exercises that involved balance and co-ordination (neither of them strong points even before I became ill). This has become a valued part of my life.
NAS WEST NORFOLK COFFEE MORNING
This took place yesterday morning at the Pretty Little Tea Shop on Norfolk Street (thanks for stepping in at the last minute to give me a lift, Rachel). There was a reasonable turnout, a good time appeared to be had by all, and, mirabile dictu, the filter coffee was drinkable (though somewhat under strength by my standards), although £2.15 for about half the amount I make for myself at home in the morning seems a trifle steep.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
Much has happened in the cricket world over the last few days. England did defend their total of 350 in the final ODI. David Willey and Joe Denly not very surprisingly missed out on places if the final world cup squad, although I was a little surprised to see Liam Dawson given a place (the other selections were all pretty automatic given Alex Hales’ recent indiscretion which ruled him out). Somerset have consolidated their place at the head of the County Championship table by beating Warwickshire in seven sessions (out of a possible 12) while Surrey and Kent are involved in a fine scrap, likely to end in a draw, though a victory for Surrey remains possible. Now it is time for my usual sign off:
A look at the cricket world, especially the England v Pakistan ODI, an all-time England ODI team and lots of photographs.
The final ODI between England and Pakistan has reached its halfway stage. I will look at that and other stuff in this post.
England departed from their usual practice and decided to bat first after winning the toss at Headingley. They have amassed 351-9 from their 50 overs, a good but by no means unassailable total. Big scores from Joe Rootand Eoin Morgan were at the heart of things, and there were contributions all down the order. Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets but paid dearly for them (82 being hit of his ten overs). The real bowling star was Imad Wasim with 3-53 from his 10 overs. This is a close one to call, but I think England have just enough on the board and will defend this total.
Pakistan Women have won a T20 match against Pakistan with four wickets and two balls to spare. Tazmin Brits made 70 not out for South Africa and had support from Nadine De Klerk(36) and Sune Luus (28 not out). Offspinner Rameen Shamim took 1-20 from her four overs and while medium pacer Aliya Riaztook 1-26 from her four. Pakistan lost their top three cheaply but Iram Javed (55) with good support from all-rounders Nida Dar(32) and Riaz (30) did the job. South Africa’s opening bowlers Shabnim Ismail(2-12) and Mosaline Daniels(3-13) were outstanding but none of the other bowlers did anything.
Update: I am now rather more confident of England’s ability to defend their score as Chris Woakes has bagged three quick wickets, thus far without cost.
A look at the ODI between England and Pakistan and the County Championship, a few other things including plenty of photographs.
The current round of County Championship matches are approaching their conclusions (some being already finished), and the ODI between England and Pakistan is at the halfway stage. This post looks at what is going on, starting with…
England won the toss and put Pakistan in. Pakistan have just finished their 50 overs on 340-7. This might look a good total, but England at this ground have recently scored 481 versus Australia and 444-3 against Pakistan, and that 340 is the lowest total of the series to date. Thus I expect England to chase these down trivially easily, just as they did when facing 358 a few days ago (they got home with over five overs to spare). Babar Azammade a hundred for Pakistan, but was slow by modern day standards, being only just better than a run a ball. There were four wickets for Tom Curran, albeit at a cost of 75 runs from his 10 overs. Now we move on to…
THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
This is what is going on in the County Championship…
Kent v Yorkshire – Yorkshire 210 and 469, Kent 296 and 207-9.
A massive second innings by Yorkshire turned the tables on Kent, and the only question now is whether Yorkshire can get the wicket they need before time runs out. I fully expect them to do so. Ballancemade 159 in that Yorkshire innings. The Kent second innings has been a tale of batting failure, with Bell-Drummond top scoring with 41. Ben Coad has 5-48 so far.
Surrey v Somerset – Surrey 380 and 255-8, Somerset 398 – Match Drawn.
A combination of bad weather and decent batting by Surrey saved the defending champions in a match dominated by Lewis Gregory who must now be firmly on England’s Test team radar. Somerset did not try George Bartlett’s offbreaks even though Jack Leach had three second wickets with his slow left arm. Burns made 78 in the Surrey second innings and Will Jacks 54.
Warwickshire v Hampshire – Hampshire 354 and 302-5 declared, Warwickshire 233 and 109, Hampshire won by 314 runs.
Hampshire made early inroads into the Warwickshire second innings yesterday evening and comfortably finished the job today. Only youngster Robert Yates topped 20 in a dismal second innings effort by Warwickshire. The wickets were shared around the Hampshire bowlers.
Glamorgan v Gloucestershire – Glamorgan 250 and 481-8 declared, Gloucestershire 463 and 103-5 – Gloucestershire need a further 166 with five wickets standing and 16.4 overs remaining.
This looks like a marvellous recovery by Glamorgan thwarted by their unwillingness to risk defeat, which has led them to an overcautious declaration leaving insufficient time to get the wickets. Glamorgan’s recovery after being made to follow on was built on a partnership of 231 between Nicholas Selman (150) and Labuschagne(137), following an opening stand of 133 between Selman and Hemphrey(58). The fifth Gloucestershire wicket has just gone down, giving Glamorgan s shot at victory, although the draw is still favourite. Offspinner Kieran Bullhas two wickets in this fourth innings.
Middlesex v Leicestershire – Middlesex 349 and 223, Leicestershire 268 and 226-5, Leicestershire need 79 runs with five wickets standing. It is raining in London at the moment, which may baulk the fans of what should be a fine finish. Ackerman is 70 not out for Leicestershire.
Lancashire v Northamptonshire – Northamptonshire 230 and 200, Lamncashire 415 and 17-0, Lancashire won by 10 wickets.
Lancashire claimed the extra half-hour to attempt to finish this yesterday, but could not quite do so. However, they finished the job this morning. Gleeson picked up his second five-for of the match in the Northants second innings.
I have received my first European Election publicity – a leaflet from the English Democrats which I tore into tiny pieces and put in the recycling (they are absolute b**t**ds), and this from the Green Party:
It being a dull day today weather wise I have spent some of this afternoon mounting stamps for display:
An account of goings on the County Championship, a brief mention of physio at Tapping House and lots of photographs.
The County Championship matches currently in progress are now on day 3 of 4. In this post I will look at all of them before sharing some more of my photos.
THE STATE OF PLAY IN
THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
This is what is happening around the country…
Nottinghamshire v Essex – Nottinghamshire 187 and 157, Essex 241 and 81-1, Essex need a further 24 to win.
The Nottinghamshire batting has failed twice, leaving Essex a fairly clear run to victory. No Nottinghamshire batter topped 50 in either innings. Nick Browne made 67 in the Essex first dig, while spinner Simon Harmer destroyed the Notts second innings with 6-50. Tom Westley is on the verge of only the second half-century of the match and is being staunchly supported by the only knight of the realmcurrently playing first class cricket. Joe Clarke of my “Five to Follow” made 48 and 1 for Notts.
Kent v Yorkshire – Yorkshire 210 and 328-4, Kent 296.
Kent took what would have looked a useful first innings lead, but Yorkshire have turned this one around in their second innings. They will now be eyeing up a declaration to give Kent an awkward period of batting before the close today and then the whole of tomorrow. 81 for Zak Crawley and 103 from wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson were Kent’s main batting efforts, while Gary Ballance is 143 not out in the second Yorkshire innings. Ben Coad and Duanne Olivier each took three wickets for Yorkshire.
Surrey v Somerset – Surrey 380 and 19-2, Somerset 398.
This one could go a long way to deciding the ultimate destiny of the title as it features the defending champions (Surrey) and the form side thus far this year (Somerset). So far this shaping up as Lewis Gregory’s match – three wickets in the first innings, a magnificent 129 not out, including 10 fours and five sixes to give Somerset a first innings lead and already has a second innings wicket (the other second innings wicket has gone to the Devonian giant Craig Overton). Somerset have quite a tradition of pace bowlers who love to give the ball a wallop – Sammy Woods, Arthur Wellard, Maurice Tremlett (grandfather of Chris, father of Tim), the one with whom we do not compare up and coming allrounders because it gives them an impossible benchmark and a few other lesser names, and Gregory with the development of his batting bids fair to join them. It would be a big ask for anyone to start out in an Ashes series, but I certainly hope that Gregory will be in the winter touring parties. George Bartlett failed in the Somerset first innings but may get a second chance, if Somerset bowl Surrey out.
Warwickshire v Hampshire – Hampshire 354 and 186-3, Warwickshire 233.
I suspect that Hampshire will be looking at batting until there is an hour to go in this day’s play before sticking Warwickshire back in to face a huge target in the fourth innings. The fact that they are going at over five an over in a four-day game tells me that they are looking very definitely at victory. Alsopmade 150 in the first Hampshire innings, Sibleycarried his bat through the Warwickshire first innings for his sixth century in as many matches. 23 year-old Oliver Soames scored 62 in the second Hampshire innings, 22 year-old Joe Weatherley 46, while Northeast and Rossouware currently batting together.
Glamorgan v Gloucestershire – Glamorgan 250 and 184-1, Gloucestershire 463.
Glamorgan are making a fight of this in their second innings, but probably need to bat until teatime tomorrow to save this one after conceding such a huge first innings deficit. Ryan Higgins matched James Bracey’s century in the Gloucestershire innings, while Hemphrey and Wagg made fifties in the Glamorgan first innings. Hemphrey has made another fifty in the second innings while Nicholas Selman is on 83 not out. 20 year-old offspinner George Drissell took 4-83 in the Glamorgan first innings.
Middlesex v Leicestershire – Middlesex 349 and 147-8, Leicestershire 268. After taking a useful looking first innings lead Middlesex are making an utter Horlick’s of their second innings, giving Leicestershire a way back into the match. Sixties for Ackerman and Dearden were the principal scores for Leicestershire, while no one has reached 40 in the Middlesex second innings. Tom Taylor and Chris Wright each have three wickets.
Worcestershire v Durham – Durham 273 and 107-5, Worcestershire 390.
Durham are deep in trouble in this one. A century for Wessels and 61 for 21 year old Some helped Worcestershire to a substantial first innings lead. In the Durham second innings Burnham and Liam Trevaskis are together, the latter having picked up a wicket with his slow left-arm in the Worcestershire innings.
Essex have completed their win over Nottinghamshire. Westley fell for 49, but Dan Lawrence and the knight saw Essex home, the latter finishing with 40 not out. Jack Leach has just bagged a wicket with his slow-leftarmers, reducing Surrey to 43-3, a mere 24 runs on – defo looking good for Somerset.
Some of these photographs were taken at Tapping House where I had a physio session on Tuesday. All the exercises went well, highlighted by the arms only part of cycling, where I clocked up the equivalent of a mile in three minutes.
A look at today’s cricket action and a lot of photographs.
Today’s ODI between England and Pakistan is just past the half way stage. There are also fixtures under way in the county championship. This post looks at all the action.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
First the ODI:
England v Pakistan at Bristol – Pakistan 358-9 from 50 overs, Eng 46-0 after 7 overs.
Pakistan have put up a good total, but not one that is by any means out of England’s reach.Imam-ul-Haqwith 151 was the principal contributor. Chris Woakes took 4-67, a superb performance in the circumstances. I reckon England will chase these down.
With the close of play approaching on day 1 this is what is happening in the County Championship:
Essex v Nottinghamshire – Nottinghamshire 187, Essex 35-0.
This is looking good for Essex. Forties from Ben Slater and Joe Clarke were the only notable batting efforts for Nottinghamshire. Jamie Portertook 4-75 for Essex, while Simon Harmer had 2-20 from 17 overs, an extraordinarily economical performance for a spinner on day 1.
Kent v Yorkshire – Yorkshire 210 all out, Kent 114-4. Yorkshire were 96-6 at one point, but a lower-order fightback got them to respectability, and they have then bowled well. No Yorkshire batter topped 30 – Brook and Tattersall with 29 each were top scorers. Milnes took three wickets and Podmore two. Zak Crawley is going well for Kent, having passed 50. Tim Bresnan has taken two wickets for Yorkshire.
Somerset v Surrey – Surrey 325-6. Centuries from Rory Burns and Dean Elgar saw Surrey dominate most of the day, but late wickets for Somerset have brought them back into things. Lewis Gregorywith 3-44 has been by far the most successful bowler for Somerset.
An update on my slowly improving health, some of the recent cricket, a few interesting links and lots of photographs.
This post looks at my slowly but surely improving health and a few other things as well.
My last set of predictions did not work out too well. I was right on one, and wrong on two, albeit the second wrong one (Scotland/Afghanistan owing more to a D/L calculation that gave the match to Afghanistan when rain intervened with them needing 57 off 31 balls with seven wickets standing (it was the latter that helped Afghanistan), a target that they would almost certainly not have succeeded in chasing down had the match gone the distance. Had Middlesex started less dreadfully they may have borne out my prediction of a successful chase, since even after slumping to 24-5 they finished up not far short of the target. In the semi-finals, which took place yesterday, Somerset thrashed Nottinghamshire while Hampshire won a closer game against Lancashire. Thus the final will be between Hampshire and Somerset, with the former starting as favourites.
In the first match of their ODI series England beat Pakistan by 12 runs in an extraordinary game which saw 734 runs scored in 100 overs – England 373-3 from 50, with a very rapid century from Jos Buttler, Pakistan 361-9. Left-arm medium pacer David Willey bowled superbly in the closing stages to save England from potential embarrassmAent.
There are County Championship games starting tomorrow, so watch this space!
Yesterday I was feeling sufficiently good to venture somewhat further afield than for some time, although still not very far, going as far as the pond opposite Harewood Parade. Today I was again feeling good, and encouraged by the continuing sunshine did the s