The thrid and final test match of the series between England and Sri Lanka has ended in a draw. Perhaps the most significant occurrence of the match was the return to form of Kevin Pietersen who contributed a magnificent 85 to England’s 377-8D. The horrible weather that has blighted this series was particularly unfortunate here as the groundstaff had produced a proper cricket pitch on which all types of player were in the game, as opposed to the shirtfronts we see far too often. Today we witnessed Kumar Sangakkara’s 1st test hundred in England, wilile Thilan Samaraweera was 13 short when the rain came.
On Thursday I had a day out in Southwold (lunch at the Red Lion, home of Adnams). Adnam is a family name. Family names ending in -nam appear to be a Suffolk peculiarity. In the eighteenth century there was a Suffolk family called Bradnam, one member of whom was incorrectly registered at birth with the n and the m transposed, and it so happened that it was the son of this individual, still using the -man ending who emigrated to Australia, where his one of his grandsons attained considerable fame. As I write this England are making a fine effort to win the series against Sri Lanka 2-0 istead of 1-0. Andrew Strauss made an excellent declaration yesterday to give England a chance of finishing it in spite of the poor weather. The sea views at Southwold are impressive even on when the weather is ordinary, as it was. I append some photographs:
On Sunday I collected a substantial quantity of kindling, having been unable to purchase Asparagus I put the bag I had with me to alternative use, and filled it without ever leaving my path! Today we had a delivery of wood which means we now have ridiculously large quantities, but at least we will not need deliveries in midwinter when everyone is thinking about such things
A rose which a couple of months ago was showing no signs of life is now in full flower, having had no assistance other than being watered by me – a truly resilient plant. The stuff growing abundantly around the outside of the pot is wild Marjoram, which I use in some of my cooking.
A baby jay was in our driveway look very forlorn this morning, but it has gone again, hpefully safely back to the nest.
England have made a magnificent recovery from a poor start to the second test match. Having at one stage been 22-3 they reached 486, with Cook, Morgan, Prior and Broad all making major contributions.
Have just had a marvellous barbecue (our first this year). Our local butcher supplies the best burgers you could ever hope to eat, while for accompaniment we had locally grown rocket and even more locally grown lettuce.
This is the first post I am writing on my new computer, and in it I will tell the story of how an apparently straightforward process took over three weeks to be finally sorted.
When I decided to launch this blog, I also decided it was time to replace the world’s slowest laptop (which will be going out to Greece to enable schoolchildren there to have access to computers), since it was no longer able to connect to the internet regularly. I naively imagined buying the new machine, connecting it up and then launching the blog from it. Part one, finding an appropriate machine went extremely smoothly, and for an extra £30 it was supposedly set up ready to go. After getting the machine home and switching it on the problems started. It proved impossible to connect to the internet, so we went back to the shop and they apparently sorted the problem. Take two failed as well, so next up was a call to Talk Talk. They said we needed a new router, which would have locked as into a further 18 month contract, so we decided to switch to BT as we had had problems with Talk Talk. This entailed extracting a MAC code from Talk Talk and passing it to BT. Once we knew when the BT router would arrive we arranged for an expert we had used before to come out to do all the various things that needed doing. So approximately three weeks later than intended I finally have a computer with which I can access the internet instead of having to hop on to other people’s computers.
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Not four hours ago I dismissed the test match at Cardiff as a rain-ruined draw. I should have remembered the astounding finale of two years ago when the straight bats of Anderson and Panesar (!) saved England, and also recalled that this wonderful game has a habit of flinging egg in the faces of those who make dogmatic comments. A combination of wonderful English bowling and the inexperienced Sri Lankan batting beign overtaken by panic has created out of nothing a victory by an innings and 14 runs, England’s fourth innings win in their last five matches. Swann and Tremlett each picked up four wickets and Broad two. Trott deservedly got the man of the match award for his double century which left this match with only the two possible results. Some have commented on his inability or unwillingness to change tempo, but as Strauss pointed out during the post-match interviews, the man is averaging nearly 70 per innings and his side are winning most of thgeir matches. A further response to one very well known Yorkshireman who was among those voicing this critiicism of Trott is: “Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle”. Sri Lanka will have a hard time bouncing back from this, especially with play getting underway at Lord’s on Friday. For England the only question is who will replace Anderson. England’s declaration immediately after Bell had completed his century seemed at the time a bold but futile gesture, but bravery was its own reward.
It is by now entirely clear that the test match in Cardiff has been one by the third participant – the weather! England have done enough to suggest that if they get an uninterrupted match thsi will be their series. Sri Lanka’s bowling looks very ordinary indeed. The selectors did the right thing in going for Morgan to replace Collingwood, though he has not had much opportunity in this match. It does seem ridiculous that in a year as dry as this one, the first test match should be ruined by rain but there you are.
To start with, congratulations to Sri Lanka whose enterprise in declaring early was rewarded when Middlesex collapsed for 161 in their second innings, and SL were able to knock off the runs.
Essex and Surrey are enjoying a run-fest at Whitgift School. Graham Napier has so far had the starring role with 196, including a record-equalling 16 sixes in a first class innings (Andrew “Roy” Symonds also hit 16 in his 254 not out for Gloucs v Kent in 1995. Essex totalled 548, but all results are still possible. The rec ord first innings score by a side who ended up beaten is currently held by Essex themselves who made 597 at Chesterfield in 1904 and lost by nine wickets after collapsing to 97 all out in their second innings.
Market day in Fakenham was particularly impressive, not least because it was sunny throughout. Tony’s Deli had some very good olives at very reasonable prices.
I have spent today listening to coverage of day 2 of Middlesex v Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka made a brave effort to breathe life into a game that has DRAW written all over it by declaring while still 51 runs adrift, so as to bowl at Middlesex this evening. They then disposed of Robson quickly for the second time in the match. Another youngster who has not done much to catch the eye is 19 year old Gurjit Singh Sandhu, whost first two overs were dispatched for 22 and bowled a mere eight overs in total for 46 – a comment on the unwisdom of giving someone their first class debut against international opposition. Middlesex failed to capture a wicket at all, both openbers retiring to allow team mates toi have a bat, which means that Strauss has been on the field for two innings against Sri Lanka (World Cup QF the other one) without seeing any wickets go to bowlers. It is abundantly clear from all this that the pitch is a batsman friendly road, unsuitable for a match of a mere three days duration.
Who do I think should replace Collingwood in the test team? Eoin Morgan. He has a decent record fom the tests he has so far played, and has not blotted his copybook, as Bopara (the other principal candidate) did against the 2009 Aussies. Do I think the three captain approach can work? Ask again at the end of the season. However at least we will see three captains in action because such is the plan, unlike previous multi-captain seasons which came about because of lack of planning (Yes, I am old enough to remember the horrors of 1988, the year of the four captains).
Have been helping out with various bits in the garden. One of our plants is a miniature orange tree, intended ultimately to be taken out to Greece, where my parents have a holiday home. Although the main purpose of this tree is ornamental, the fruit can be used as a component of salad dressings. It has now been re-potted having outgrown its original pot and moved to a new location on top of a wooden outside table that gets no other use. It is in fine fettle with a bumper crop of fruit, as the photo shows: