All Time XIs – England Women

Today we look at the England Women for our ‘all time XI’ cricket themed post.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my ‘all time XI‘ cricket series. Today is Monday,, which means that it is tipme to look at an international set up, and today’s subject is the England Women’s set up.

ENGLAND WOMEN IN MY LIFETIME

  1. Charlotte Edwards – right handed opening batter. She was an England regular for two decades, and her departure from the international scene caused some controversy when it final;y happened. However, it was undoubtedly the right decision, and within a short time the England Women had reaped rich rewards for making it. I first saw her in action as a teenager, when her more experienced team mates were by and large unable to offer any kind of resistance to Australia, and she chiselled out 74.
  2. Tammy Beaumont – right handed opening batter. She was moved up to the top of the order after Edwards’ departure and almost immediately began making big scores there. Regular readers of this blog will know that back in 2018, with Cook obviously due to retire soon and Jennings due for the chop (having replaced the proven international failure Mark Stoneman) I advocated that she be given an opportunity to play alongside the men. As it happened Rory Burns who had made an unanswerable case for selection came in, Jennings stayed on for the winter, and Joe Denly got given his test chance. After a disastrous experiment with Jason Roy as red ball opener and a summer of top order strife England subsequently turned to Dominic Sibley who had made a clear case for inclusion and also elevated Zak Crawley on rather less firm ground. I expect that when test cricket resumes post covid-19 the England men’s top three will read Sibley, Burns, Crawley, as it should, and that top three would be the most solid looking England have boasted since Strauss, Cook and Trott were in their prime.
  3. Claire Taylor – right handed batter. She averaged over 40 in both test cricket and ODIs, and no 3 was her regular position.
  4. *Heather Knight – right handed batter, occasional off spinner, captain. She has proven an outstanding captain since being given the job in succession to Edwards, and he record with the bat is excellent as well, while she has taken important wickets with her off spin.
  5. Natalie Sciver – right handed batter, right arm medium pacer. The Tokyo born all rounder has been one of the first names on the team sheet ever since first being picked for the side.
  6. +Sarah Taylor – right handed batter, wicket keeper. One of the two finest keepers I have ever personally seen in action (the other being Ben Foakes) and a magnificent batter as well. Her presence, plus the batting abilities of the next two in the order enables to the selection of five top line bowlers.
  7. Katherine Brunt – right arm medium fast bowler, useful lower middle order batter. She was a pure bowler when she came into the side, but has developed her batting, not quite in the manner of Ellyse Perry and Kiwi Sophie Devine to the point where it is arguably more important to the side than her bowling, but certainly to a sufficient extent to justify selection at no7.
  8. Laura Marsh – off spinner, right arm fast medium bowler, useful lower order batter. A multi-purpose bowler, and perfectly capable of batting for long periods in support of a more established batter, as she demonstrated famously in partnership with Heather Knight.
  9. Anya Shrubsole – right arm medium fast bowler. Brunt’s regular new ball partner. She was the hero of the 2017 Women’s World Cup final, taking six wickets to enable England to defend a fairly modest total against India, an achievement that saw her become the first female to appear on the front cover of Wisden.
  10. Sophie Ecclestone – left arm orthodox spinner. The best of the collection of young spinners currently doing well for England Women, which also features the likes of Kirstie Gordon, Linsey Smith, Sarah Glenn and Sophia Dunkley, with others such as Helen Fenby on the fringes.
  11. Isa Guha – right arm medium pacer. She made her international debut at the age of 17, bagging three cheap wickets to begin a journey that would see her at one time rated the best female bowler on the planet. She is probably better known today as an entertaining commentator who is a regular and welcome part of TMS. She did most of her international bowling into the wind, with Brunt often bowling with the wind at the other end.

This team has a formidable top six, including an incredible wicket keeper, and a collection of five bowlers who between them tick every box save leg spin.

ADDITIONS TO THE ALL TIME XI

  • Janette Brittin – right handed opening batter. Her record demands inclusion, although Beaumont still has time in which to change that.
  • *Rachael Heyhoe-Flint – right handed batter. Amagnificent captain, and a batter who averaged 45.54 in test cricket and just over 58 in ODIs.
  • Carole Hodges – right handed batter, off spinner. A magnificent all-rounder, whose feats included an ODI performance in which she scored 96 with the bat and her bowling figures included a hat trick.
  • Enid Bakewell – left handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner. An extraordinary all round record, averaging almost 60 with the bat and under 17 with the ball, including being the firsst player of either sex to score a century and claim a 10-wicket haul in the same test match.

Rejigging the team to include these legends gives us a batting line of Edwards, Brittin, C Taylor, *Heyhoe-Flint, Hodges, Bakewell, +S Taylor, Brunt, Shrubsole, Ecclestone, Guha. This makes the batting formidably strong, and gives us three front line seamers in Brunt, Shrubsole and Guha backed by three topline spinners, Ecclestone, Bakewell and Hodges. The similarity in bowling style between Bakewell and Ecclestone can be coped with.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

I have already mentioned the phalanx of young spinners currently available to England Women, and I add to that list Alex Hartley, who was part of the 2017 World Cup winning squad, and up-and-coming off spinner Mady Villiers. Isabelle Wong, still in her teens, is quicker by some way (and actually styles herself as a fast bowler, as does her Aussie contemporary Tayla Vlaemink) than any of the seamers I have picked, and I fully expect her to force her way into consideration sooner rather than later. There has been one previous player of Chinese ancetsry to play international cricket, Ellis Achong after whome the ‘chinaman’ was named, and there was also a Sheffield Shield player many years ago by the name of Hunter Poon, while in my brief umpiring career I saw a boy who I believe to have been of Korean descent, named Kim (but no relation AFAIK to the ruling family of North Korea!) take 6-6 in a spell. Three fine all rounders who I could not find space for were Jo Chamberlain, player of the match in a world cup final back in the day,  Melissa Reynard, an unglamorous but mighty effective middle order accumlator and bowler of medium pace, and Jenny Gunn, possessor of the slowest ‘slower ball’ yet seen in international cricket. Danielle Wyatt would be a shoe-in for a T20 side, but her record in other formats is not good enough for her be given serious consideration in this exercise.

WOMEN PLAYING ALONGSIDE THE MEN

I reckon that a female playing alongside the men at the highest level is something that will be seen before too many more years has elapsed. Arran Brindle nee Thompson scored a century in men’s league fixture a few years ago. While it is unlikely that a female could ever bowl as fast the quickest men, batting does not depend solely or even principally on power – timing and placement are key, and there is also no reason why a female spinner should not prove deadly, and I have named a female wicket keeper as one of the best I have ever seen in that department. Of course women who can hold their own alongside the top men,if we do see such, will always be rarities, but I refuse to accept that the possibility should be ruled out entirely.

AN INVITATION

One of my twitter followers, Iain Davidson McKane, suggested that I might offer to produce these to fill third party requests. So, keeping things sensible (perhaps study previous posts in this series to see what I have already done), I now ask readers who have an ‘all time XI’ idea for me to suggest it in the comments. If you have a blog of your own and mention that as well then if your idea works and I can produce a post about it I will link to your blog.

PHOTOGRAPHS

And it is time for my usual sign off…

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For the first time in over two months I have been somewhere other than my bungalow and its bit of garden – not very far afield (I don’t trust this government an iota, and although I am prepared to go out walking now I remain exceedingly cautious).

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The teams in tabulated form.

 

100 Cricketers – The Fifth XI Opening Batters

The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, dealing with the opening batters in my fifth XI and a couple of other bits of business. Also features some og my photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my “100 cricketers” series. Having spent most of the afternoon getting care arrangements sorted I now have time to attend to this and am delighted to do so. My introduction to this series can be seen here, and the most recent post, in which I introduce the fifth XI in batting order can be seen here. First however there is a bit of business to attend to…

ENGLAND MAKE IT 3-0 IN STYLE

The third and final match of the ODI series between Sri Lanka Women and England Women took place this morning. After a clinical bowling and fielding effort had restricted Sri Lanka to 177 from their 50 overs thbis modest total was made to look positively risible by Amy Jones (76 off 58 balls, her third successive fifty plus score), Tammy Beaumont (63 off 66 balls), Lauren Winfield (29 not out off 28 finishing the chase with a six) and a walk-on for captain Heather Knight (3 not out at the end), the target being chased down with 23.5 of a possible 50 overs unused. The wickets had been shared around, with Cross (2-25 from her full 10 overs – another fine effort in what has been a good recent run for her), Shrubsole (2-30 from nine) and Hartley (2-39 from eight) each picking up two and three run outs being achieved (Sciver, Wilson and Winfield being the successful fielders, the work of the latter two being completed by keeper Jones). A full scorecard can be viewed here and an official report here.

A PARTIAL APOLOGY RE DUANNE OLIVIER

When I mentioned Duanne Olivier while covering “Kolpak” players in a piece devoted to Jonathan Trott I implied based on the fact that he had already played for the full South African side that he did not intend to make his skills available to England. It appears that I was wrong about this (though not about Jacques Rudolph or Kyle Abbott, the other two players I mentioned in that context) and if he really means it about wanting to play for England I hope he succeeds in attaining that ambition. I still stand by what I said overall regarding “Kolpak” players, and especially those who do not intend to make their expertise available to England, but it appears that Olivier has the right intentions whatever one might think of someone who has already played for one country seeking to do so for another, hence this little section.

PUNAM RAUT

Two fine innings against England in the 2017 Womens World Cup (90 in a winning cause in the first match of the tournament, 86 in a losing cause in the final, when she eventually became one of Anya Shrubsole’s six victims) showed how good a player she is. Her approach suggests that had she had the opportunity (like so many of the women she has not) she would do well in test cricket as well. Although Harleen Deol has done little to impress in her brief tenure as opener, Jemimah Rodrigues looks to pose a stronger challenge to Raut’s continued presence in the team (Smriti Mandhana – see this post for more – has one opening berth absolutely nailed down but I expect to hear and read more of Raut before she is finished.

LAURA WOLVAART

At 19 years of age she has already played 41 ODIs and averages 43 in that form of that game, with two centuries (best 149). Her 13 T20I appearances have been less impressive, and is so often the case with the women she has not as yet had the opportunity to show what she can do in the test arena. I for one believe that even more than in the case of most of the others in her current position she would fare well there given the opportunity – the fact the she sppears to positively relish playing long innings points success in that arena. 

With a strong middle order (subject of the next post in this series) to follow the opening pair she would have every opportunity to bat for considerable periods of time. 

I expect plenty more big scores from her in the not too distant future.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual finish to a post…

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100 Cricketers – 4th XI Opening Batters

Continuing my “100 cricketers” series with the openers from my 4th XI. Also features mentions of Afghanistan vs Ireland and the womens game between Sri Lanka and England.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my “100 cricketers” series. Last time I took the bowlers from my fourth XI out of position because one of them was in the news that day, so now I move on to the opening pair. The introductory post to the whole series can be found here, and the post introducing the 4th XI can be found here. There are two other bits of business to attend to as well…

CONGRATULATIONS AFGHANISTAN AND COMMISERATIONS TO IRELAND

Yesterday I outlined ways in which things might get tense in the test match between Afghanistan and Ireland. In the event, none of those possibilities eventuated as Ihsanullah (65 not out) and player of the match Rahmat Shah (76 to go with his first innings 98 – he now has a test batting average of 48 from two matches) took Afghanistan to 144 before the second wicket fell, and although a third fell in the dying embers of the game as well, there was no way back for Ireland and the final margin was seven wickets. In winning their second ever test match Afghanistan have made a better start in this form of the game than any side since 1877, when the original combatants Australia and England each won one match (Aus the first, Eng the second). Ireland can also take plenty away from this game, having fought hard all the way. They now travel back to more familiar climes, and their next test match assignment is against England, which will be very tough for them, but I do not expect them to simply allow themselves to be steamrollered by their much more experienced opponents. A full scorecard can be viewed here and a match report here.

ENGLAND WOMEN SEAL SERIES IN SRI LANKA WITH A MATCH TO SPARE

Sri Lanka won the toss and batted, but that was about all that went right for them in the second game of this three game series after they had been walloped in the opener. England restricted them to an inadequate 187-9 from their 50 overs, spinner Alex Hartley taking 3-36, while Anya Shrubsole was parsimony personified with 2-21 from her full 10 overs. Amy Jones then blasted 54 off 39 balls to put her team in an unstoppable position, Lauren Winfield following up with 44 off 41, while Tammy Beaumont played the anchor role with 43 off 60. Heather Knight was unbeaten on 20 and Danielle Wyatt 13 when England coasted home with six wickets and 99 balls to spare. Even in the absence of Brunt, missing with a back problem, the England women were simply too strong for their opponents. It is hard to see this series finishing anything other than 3-0 to England, so dominant have they been in both matches so far. A full scorecard can be viewed here and a a report here. Now on to the business part of the post, starting with…

CHARLOTTE EDWARDS

Many years ago the England Women were playing against their Australian counterparts and being given a thorough beating (as I recall, Lisa Keightley had contributed a century to what was by the standards of women’s cricket at that time a huge total of in excess of 250), but one person did not surrender tamely, battling on with virtually no support, and the age of just 17, to make 74 and given England one positive to take from the match. This was Charlotte Edwards and that was merely the first of many big performances she would produce over many years.

Edwards came into women’s cricket when it was still regarded by most as something of a joke, and then players still wore skirts. By the time of her retirement the game was being taken properly seriously.

As well as being a heavy scoring opening batter and a magnificent captain (note that asterisk against her name in this XI) she also bowled occasional spin, on one occasion in an ODI effectively enough to take 4-30. 

HERSCHELLE GIBBS

6167 test runs at 41.95, and a record as an ODI opener that included the rare feat of six sixes in an over (Daan Van Bunge of The Netherlands was the victim), his achievements speak for themselves. He suffered from the fallout around the disgraced Hansie Cronje, being one of two players (medium pacer Henry Williams was the other) who had been suborned by Cronje into underperforming in a match. When it came to it neither actually did so – Gibbs scored 74 in the game in question. 

Perhapos Gibbs’ most remarkable innings came at Johannesburg after Australia had scored 434 from their 50 overs. South Africa knocked them off, Gibbs scoring over 170. Medium pacer Mick Lewis for Australia had in the indignity of being butchered for 113 from his ten overs. 

The next post in this series will look at numbers 3, 4 and 5 from my 4th XI, but now it is time for…

PHOTOGRAPHS

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These four mosaics are on the walls opposite the lifts used for transferring bed bound patients between floors at Addnenbrookes (down on level two, the entrance level to the hospital)

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Scores and Scandals

Some cricket stuff, including a view on the ball-tampering in South Africa.

INTRODUCTION

A lot has been happening in the cricket world over the last few days, and I am using this post to write about some of those things. There are a lot of links in this post – anything in bold and underlined will be a link.

SCANDAL IN SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa are handily placed to inflict a heavy defeat on Australia, but the actual state of that match has been completely overshadowed by a scandal that has broken while it is in progress. Cameron Bancroft was caught live on camera tampering with the ball, and it has subsequently emerged that his action was the on-field element of a plan concocted by the so-called ‘Leadership Group’ of the Australian team. Already Steven Smith and David Warner have been stood down from their roles for the rest of the match (other members of the Leadership Group remain to identified, since as part of press conference performance of breath taking arrogance, which also included refusing point-blank to resign as captain, Mr Smith declined to put names to the Leadership Group, but the vice-captain cannot be protected even by that). 

PUNISHMENTS

As a preface to this section I am going to stay straight out that fines do not come into the equation – the use of fines in other, less serious situations has demonstrated that players are not bothered by fines (unsurprising, since the fines relate only to match fees, which form only a small part of the incomes of top players). I will now list my thoughts on punishments for those involved:

Cameron Bancroft, perpetrator: permanent ban from all forms of professional cricket.

Stephen Smith, Australian Captain: At minimum a ban from all forms of professional cricket until the end of the Australian season of 2021-22, which would cost him a world cup and an ashes series on home soil. He is instigator-in-chief of this incident, and in picking the youngest and most vulnerable member of the squad as his cat’s paw he has taken the same approach to his variety of misconduct as Hansie Cronje did to his when he roped in Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams. Thus I would not actually quarrel with him copping the same punishment as Bancroft, and have suggested my alternative slightly lesser punishment as part of a sliding scale…

David Warner, Australian vice-captain (and other members of the Leadership Group when identified): At minimum a ban from all forms of professional cricket until the end of the 2019 English season (thereby costing those involved a world cup appearance).

These suggested punishments are intentionally draconian because I believe cricket needs to send out an unmistakable message about this. 

KARMA

I hope that sometime later today the first three lines in the Australian second innings scorecard will read:

C Bancroft…B Rabada 0
D Warner… B Rabada 0
S Smith…     B Rabada 0

LINKS

Here are some links about this story:

WICKETS AND WASHOUTS 

At the end of the fourth day’s play in the first test match between England and New Zealand there is an outside chance of England escaping defeat. An hour and a half into day 1 it did not look like this match was making it anywhere near day 4, let alone going into the day 5. In that time England had been dismissed for 58, and for much of that period it had looked like being much worse. At 23-8 England were in serious danger of being all out for the lowest total in test history (26 by New Zealand against England, also in Auckland, in 1955). At 27-9 there would probably have been people putting money on England failing to match their own previous record low (45 all out in 1887). Craig Overton then connected with some lusty blows, reaching 33 not out before James Anderson finally succumbed. Overton’s innings was the second highest proportion of an all-out total scored by a number nine in test history, Asif Iqbal‘s 146 in all out tally of 255 for Pakistan v England being the record holder (Asif came in at 53-7, lost his senior partner at 65 and then found such good support from leg-spinner Intikhab Alam that they put on 190 together, Intikhab finishing with 51). While crediting the fine bowling performances of Tim Southee and in particular Trent Boult (a.k.a The Conductor – his colleague Neil Wagner – ‘The Composer‘ did not even get a bowl) the people most responsible for this dire score were the England batsmen, most of whom contributed to their own downfall (it is a toss-up in my mind between Bairstow, pushing back a return catch to make it 18-6 or Ali missing a straight full-toss and being castled to make it 23-8 for the worst culprit).

A combination of a lot of rain on days two and three, and the fact that while never looking very threatening England contrived to bowl less dreadfully than they had batted plus a second-innings batting effort that finally showed a hint of backbone is how this match is going into a fifth day. The New Zealand innings featured centuries from Kane Williamson (his 18th in test cricket moving him past Martin Crowe and Ross Taylor to the top of the Kiwi pile in this department) and Henry Nicholls (a.k.a ‘Harvey‘ – hat-tip to Graeme Swann for that one). England are currently 132-3, needing a further 237 to clear the deficit. Alastair Cook failed again, while Mark Stoneman’s 55 was his fourth test fifty, but his highest score remains 56, and I suspect that barring a mammoth score there the second and final match of this series in Christchurch will be his last for England, Joe Root also scored a fifty but fell to the last ball of the day. England will need a major contribution from Dawid Malan, not out overnight and from at least one out of Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow or Moeen Ali to get out of this one. 

For more about this match start here.

ENGLAND WOMEN FLYING IN INDIA

England’s men may not be faring too well at present, but the women are having a splendid time. Having started the tri-series (England, India, Australia) by beating Australia (after a disciplined bowling performance left them only 150 to get in their 20 overs, splendid batting performances by Natalie Sciver and Tammy Beaumont carried England to a very comfortable win) England followed up with a record breaking chase against India. India made 198-4 in their 20 overs (Jenny Gunn made history by playing in this game – she is the first player of either sex to appear in 100 T20 internationals), with Smriti Mandhana scoring 76 off 40 balls. England cruised home with 7 wickets and 8 balls to spare, largely due to Danielle Wyatt (124 off 64 balls, becoming only the second woman ever to score two T20 international centuries).

PHOTOGRAPHS

Regular visitors to this site will know that I always include some of my own photographs in my blog posts:

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Ducks are not a common sight at King;s Lynn bus station, but the very morning after England’s collapse in Auckland there they were (one short of matching England – four ducks showed in total, to five on the England scorecard.

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A blackbird near my aunt’s house.

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Three pictures of the town hall to finish.

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A Thriller To Start The Women’s Ashes

An account of the opening salvos in the Women’s Ashes and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Unlike the original Ashes, which have been fought for since 1882, the Women’s Ashes is contested across multiple formats. The current scoring system awards two points for a win in a limited overs match, 1 for a no-result and 0 for a defeat, while the sole test match is worth four points. 

A Classic Match

The first of three ODIs that the women will be contesting took place at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Australia won the toss and put England in to bat. Several England players got starts but none managed to build a really substantial score, Lauren Winfield leading the way with 48. A total of 228 off 50 overs did not look like it was good enough, and in the end it wasn’t.

Eng;land bowled better than they had batted, and at 87-4 Australia were looking distinctly shaky. Alex Hartley failed to hold a return catch offered by veteran Alex Blackwell when the latter had 35 to her name, and Australia were behind the rate, Talia McGrath having occupied 26 balls for a score of 7. This missed chance and some aggression from Ash Gardner (27 off 18) made the difference, Australia getting home in the final over with Blackwell unbeaten on 67. 

A highlight of this match was the preponderance of quality spin bowling on show – in Gardner, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Jess Jonassen Australia had three high-class practitioners, while Hartley and the experienced Laura Marsh both bowled well for England.

More details and official reports here.

ON THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ‘WOMEN’S ASHES’ AND ‘ASHES’

This applies across the board, and not just to cricket between England and Australia, but this seems a suitable place to mention this. I see the distinction between these categories as that between a restricted (“Women’s”) and an open category – if a woman is able to play alongside the men she should have the right to do so – the existence of Women only teams is an acknowledgement that few women could because the men are generally larger and stronger. Similarly if a disabled athlete happens to be performing comparably to their able-bodied counterparts they should be able to compete alongside them. 

In terms of cricket I would expect that a woman who earned selection for ‘The Ashes’ as opposed ‘The Women’s Ashes’ would not be a specialist fast-bowler, but I could see spinners, wicket-keepers or batters earning selection.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some recent photographs…

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A new building among the old.

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A Tale of Two Cricket Matches

An account of two recent cricket matches involving England and South Africa, first the England men’s humiliation at Trent Bridge, and then the nailbiter of a Women’s World Cup semi-final at Bristol.

INTRODUCTION

Both of the matches of my title were cricket matches between England and South Africa. The first was the test match between the men’s teams, and the second was the women’s world cup semi-final. A couple of notes about links in this piece:

  1. All cricket related links are to cricinfo, and…
  2. Some links are in red – these are to video footage.

IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES

England had won the first test match of the series handily, with Joe Root scoring 190 in his first innings as England captain and Moeen Ali being player of the match for his first inning 87 and match haul of 10-112. Among England’s male players only Ian Botham with 114 not out and 13-106 v India in 1979 has topped Ali’s all-round haul in a single game (Enid Bakewell was the first player of either sex to combine a match aggregate of 100 runs with a haul of 10 or more wickets, hence the earlier caveat). 

Thus at Trent Bridge England should have been strong favourites. South Africa won the toss, batted first and made 335 in their first innings and England by bad batting handed South Africa a lead of 130, South Africa extended this to 473 with two days to play before sending England back in, messrs Elgar and Amla having demonstrated how to make runs on this pitch, each batting a long time. England’s second innings was quite simply shambolic, with batter after batter handing their wickets away. Four wickets down by lunch on the penultimate day it worse afterwards, with England being all out for 133 at approsimately 3PM. South Africa, having given themselves two days to dismiss England a second time had required less than two full sessions and were victors be 340 runs. 

ENGLAND’S MISTAKES

The first mistake England made was with the selection of the side. According to the powers that be Moeen Ali is happier as a second spinner than as either a sole spinner or as first spinner. However I find it hard to believe that even he could really consider himself no2 to Liam Dawson. Dawson is an ill thought out selection reminiscent of the dark days of the 1990s. For his county he averages in the low thirties with the bat and the high thirties with the ball, so even at that level he comes out as clearly not good enough in either department to warrant selection – the reverse of the true all-rounder. If a pitch warrants two spinners (and no Trent Bridge pitch in my lifetime ever has) the other spinner should be a genuine front-line option such as Dominic Bess (first class bowling average 19.83 per wicket – what are you waiting for selectors?). The other logical alternative would have been to bring in an extra batter (there are any number of possibilities) to strengthen this department. England’s batting in both innings smacked of panic. Other than Root whose 78 in the first innings was a gem and Cook who played well for a time in the second no England batter is entitled to be other than embarrassed by the way they played in this match. The scorecard, in all it’s gory detail, can be viewed here.

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES

On what should have been the final day of the men’s test match but for England’s spinelessness the women’s teams convened at Bristol for a world-cup semi-final. The final will be played at Lord’s and is already sold out. South Africa batted first and were restricted to 218-6 from their overs, Mignon Du Preez top scoring with 76 not out, and Laura Wolvaardt making 66. South Africa bowled better than they had batted, and the outcome remained in doubt right to the end. Anya Shrubsole who had earlier finished with 1-33 from her 10 overs settled things by hitting her first ball, the third-last possible ball of the match through the covers for four. Sarah Taylor’s 54 and a brilliant wicket-keeping performance highlighted by the spectacular stumping of Trisha Chetty off the bowling of Natalie Sciver earned her the player of the match award. Sciver incidentally is the pioneer of a shot that in honour of her first name and the f**tballing term ‘nutmeg’ commentator Charles Dagnall has dubbed the ‘Natmeg’, one example of which she played in this match. Video highlights of this amazing match can be seen here (runs for just under five minutes), while the scorecard can be viewed here.

THE ROLE OF EXTRAS

To set the scene for the rest of this section here are the extras (a cricket term for runs scored not off the bat) from both innings:

When South Africa batted: 

Extras (w 4) 4

When England batted

Extras (b 5, w 17, nb 3) 25

A note on the designations within extras: Byes (b) stands for runs scored when there is no contact made with the ball but either the batters are able to take runs, or the ball goes to the boundary unimpeded, legbyes (lb), of which there were none in this match, are runs scored when the ball hits the pad but not the bat. Wides (w) are deliveries that are too wide for the batter to be able to play, and no-balls are deliveries that are ruled illegal for some other infraction (bowler overstepping the crease, high full-toss etc). The 21 run difference between the two tallies shown above is of major significance given that England reached the target with just two balls to spare, and there is yet a further point.

WIDES AND NO-BALLS – WHAT APPEARS IN PRINT DOES NOT TELL THE FULL STORY OF HOW EXPENSIVE THEY ARE

England bowled four wides in the match, South Africa 17 and three no-balls. That is a 16-run difference, but the actual costs are likely be even more different because:

  • When a delivery is called wide, as well as incurring a one-run penalty an extra delivery must be bowled to replace it. Thus a wide costs the original penalty, plus possible extras (if it goes unimpeded to the boundary it costs 5, the original 1, plus four foir the boundary) plus any runs scored off the seventh delivery of the over, which the bowler had they been disciplined would not have had to bowl
  • When a delivery is called a no-ball, the batter can still score off it, the delivery immediately following it is designated a ‘free-hit’, meaning that the batter cannot be dismissed off it, and as with a wide an extra delivery must be bowled to replace it. Thus a no-ball actually costs the original penalty, any runs hit of that delivery, the lack of a wicket-taking opportunity on the next delivery and any runs of the seventh delivery of the over (which would otherwise not have needed to be bowled). 

Therefore the discrepancy between the sides in terms of wides and no-balls is probably much greater than shown on the score-card, and this in a very close match. Sarah Taylor certainly deserved her player of the match award, but the much tighter discipline shown by England’s bowlers than their South African counterparts was also crucial to the result.

PHOTOGRAPHS

After over 1,100 words those of you are still with me deserve some pictures, so here we are:

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Puppet theatre
This puppet theatre is in town for the Lynn Festival

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Greyfriars
Greyfriars Tower
Library
King’s Lynn library

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Red Mount Chapel
The Red Mount Chapel
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The unedited Red Mount chapel picture.
Guanock Gate
The Guanock Gate

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The first of three pictures featuring the Custom House

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West Lynn Church
West Lynn Church
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Just as a bee pic was worthy start to this series of photos, another bee pic is a worthy finish to it.

A New Venue With Old Connections

The start of my personal coverage of the second Test Match between India and England at Visakhapatnam, with a mention of some old connections of this new venue, also a mention of Sri Lanka Women v England Women in Colombo, and a little mathematical teaser.

INTRODUCTION

Just like the first match of the India v England series at Rajkot, this match is happening at a new Test Match venue, Visakhapatnam. This is the 111th test match venue overall and the 24th such in India (more than any other country).

OLD CONNECTIONS AT A NEW VENUE

One of the two ends at this ground is called the “Dr Vizzy End”. The Dr Vizzy of that designation was the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, captain, administrator and briefly late in his life a Test Match Special summariser. He also ran a private team for which he got both Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe to play, which led to a bit of controversy over statistics.

WISDEN VERSUS THE
ASSOCIATION OF CRICKET STATISTICIANS

When Jack Hobbs retired at the end of the 1934 season his record stood at 61,237 first class runs with 197 centuries, although in some sources you will see him credited with 61,760 runs and 199 centuries. The Vizianagram XI matches and a desire to get Hobbs to 200 centuries are the reason for this. Hobbs himself was deeply opposed to any retrospective alteration of players records, and rightly so in my opinion. In 1925 Hobbs had had a nervous period when he had 125 centuries to his credit, with W G Grace according to his official record having 126 which at that time was the record. It was against Somerset at Taunton (a frequent combination for the setting of new batting records over the years) that Hobbs equalled the old record in the first innings and then beat it in the second. However, the revisionists in the ACS camp who have revised Hobbs’ record upwards, have revised W G Grace’s downwards, from 54,896 runs and 126 centuries to 54,211 runs and 124 centuries. This makes a mockery of the events of 1925 described above and the celebrations that accompanied the Taunton match.

My own view is this: Players records should be given as they were recognised at the time, but if you are so inclined certain records of those who played long ago can be footnoted to the effect that “if current definitions of first class status had prevailed when X played their record would have read Y”. This acknowledges the problems with some of the old records without changing them.

BACK TO THE PRESENT

India having won the toss and chosen to bat are 134-2 in the current game, with Jimmy Anderson in the England side after injury. For India Gambhir and Mishra have been dropped, replaced by Rahul and Jayant Yadav (there was already one Yadav, Umesh, in their squad). Meanwhile, in Colombo the England Women have staged a remarkable recovery in the final match of their ODI series against Sri Lanka from a low water mark of 58-6 to a current position of 218-8, Natalie Sciver making 77 off 74 balls and Danielle Hazell a career best 45 off 64 balls. Laura Marsh is on 29 and Beth Langston on 6.

A TEASER TO FINISH

I have recently acquired a mathematically minded follower of this blog, and being mathematically minded myself this seems a good moment to set a problem which consist of two parts:

I am going to set out two pairs of simultaneous equations, and your task is first to select one and then to solve it (nb, both parts of this teaser have clear cut right and wrong answers):

73X + 43y = 211                                                                 685,463X + 314,537Y = 2,685,463
31x + 83y = 199                                                                  314,537X + 685,463Y = 2,314,537

I will provide the answer in my next post.

The England Women have just finished their 50 overs in Colombo at 240-9, Laura Marsh ending on 36 not out, Beth Langston being run out for 21, and number 11 Alex Hartley being at the on-striker’s end for the last ball of the innings.

Cricket, Photos and Links

Some thoughts on the recently concluded England v West Indies women’s series and the match in progress between England and Bangladesh, some links and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I will start with the cricket related stuff before moving on to some other stuff later on. Without further ado I will move on to…

CRICKET

Before moving on the match in Chittagong which is superbly poised at the moment a few words on…

ENGLAND WOMEN’S SERIES WIN IN WEST INDIES

Having surrendered tamely in the fourth match to bring the series back to 2-2 the England Women played superbly to win the fifth match and with it the series. Highlights were the bowling of Alex Hartley and a unbeaten half-century from Natalie Sciver (to date the only international cricketer to have been born in Tokyo).

CHITTAGONG CRACKER

With two days to play the first Test Match between Bangladesh and England at Chittagong is superbly poised. England are 228-8 in their second innings, leading overall by 273. A six wicket haul on debut for 18 year old Hasan Mehedi Miraz, runs for Tamim Iqbal and a second innings five for for Shakib feature among the highlights, but the starring role thus far has belonged to…

BEN STOKES

Having started the third day by taking 3-2 for give him overall innings figures of 4-26, Stokes came in to bat in the second innings with England rocking at 46-4, which soon became 62-5. He proceeded to produce the highest individual score of the game so far, with 85.

PHOTOGRAPHS

LINKS

We start with a couple of petitions:

First, from Norfolk’s only current Labour MP, Clive Lewis:

Defend NHS Services for Older People

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Tory NHS cuts are heaping yet more pressure on an Adult Social Care system already being cut to shreds. This is exemplified by the proposed closure of the 24-bed Henderson unit at the Julian Hospital due to lack of funds. Cuts like these are a false economy and make no sense in the long run. This government is squeezing the life out of our NHS by demand huge so-called savings at the same time as demand is soaring. Sign my petition to help us defend NHS services for older people.

Sign my petition to help us defend NHS services for old people.

My second petition comes from Hope Not Hate and is in support of of Gary Lineker and Fatima Manji who have both been subjected to a a barrage of bigotry in the last few days. Please sign here.

My next link is to the Mirror website by way of my own London transport themed website for a story about a London bus crashing into a bridge.

I now have two links to cricinfo in connection with first section of this post:

  • The current state of play in the test match at Chittagong.
  • Cricinfo’s official report on the third day’s play in Chittagong.

I end this section with a link which segues in to some more photographs. Having described and imaged huge numbers of posters for James and Sons’ October auction I was given a similar task for the November auction, this time involving lobby posters and brochures. It was while scouting for information on the set of three lobby posters that will be lot 689 in that auction that I noted the IMDB did not have an image for the movie this posters were advertising (it is an obscure film that was made in 1966), so I submitted my image, which you can see here.

SOME FINAL PHOTOGRAPHS

These photographs are all from work…

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Lot 689 – if you want the posters that feature as IMDBs official image bid for them on November 30!

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This brochure should find a buyer.

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This composite image was for a poster advertising our November auction which will be on show at a collector’s fair in Newmarket tomorrow.

poster – this is the link to the complete poster.

Two Interesting Series

Cricket, Politics and Photographs – enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

I have a few other things to share, but I will be starting this post with cricket.

BANGLADESH AND THE WEST INDIES

England’s men are in Bangladesh, currently endeavouring to chase down 278 to stay in the series and making a decent fist of it (107-1 off 19 overs – 169 needed off 31 for victory). This is not quite a full strength England, but nevertheless winning the series would be a considerable feather in Bangladeshi caps.

Meanwhile half a world away in the West Indies England’s women are tied at 1-1 in a five match ODI series, with the three remaining matches counting in the ICC championship (the first two did count, and please do not ask me to explain as working out the rationale behind such administrative decisions is beyond my capabilities). The two matches in this series so far have been low scoring, with the highest total in the four innings being England’s 149 in the first game. The West Indies are current world T20 champions, while England blitzed Pakistan in England this summer, so we have two sides who are used to success in action.

FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE

This is a new campaign that has been set up to defend the Welfare State from ever increasing attacks by the Tories. More details are available at:

c2g

Please get involved!

THE GARDEN BRIDGE FIASCO

A report from the National Audit Office has just come out revealing that even in crude financial terms the proposed Garden Bridge across the terms is a shockingly bad idea. In terms of its negative impact on the South Bank it is an even worse idea. Here are a couple of links for you to follow:

THE BREXIT SHAMBLES

Our unelected prime minister Theresa May does not intend to give Parliament a vote on the details of Brexit. Many are dissatisfied with this display of arrogance. Alexandra Runswick of Unlock Democracy has put together a petition calling for a change of mind – click here for more details and to sign.

PHOTOGRAPHS

I end with some photographs. The photographs feature boats moored at the pontoon jetty, one of which had the name Cheetah Marine prominently displayed on its side…

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A cormorant dived just before I could photograph it…
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…but moments later I did get it.

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A cormorant flying low and fast over the water.

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A Heretical Idea to Help Aussie Mens Team

A heretical suggestion for the Australian Mens team selection for the fifth ashes test, some photographs, a section on the Labour Party leadership contest and a section on Carl Sagan.

INTRODUCTION

My title piece is about the current woes of the Australian Mens side, and I also have links (though not on this occasion a dedicated links section), infographics and photographs to share.

DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES

With the destiny of 2015 Mens Ashes safely settled I am going venture a very radical selection suggestion for them. At the Oval, on what is usually a flat pitch both sides would be well advised to ensure that they have five genuine bowling options available. Australia’s batting having failed in four straight innings they also need some depth there. Watson (although he is playing in a tour match at Northampton today) is out of favour, neither Marsh brother has been convincing and that is all Australia have in terms of batting variation available to them in their official squad. However, there is an Australian all-rounder in England at the moment who is in the form of their life: Ellyse Perry, fresh from playing a starring role in the Aussie Womens team victory in the test match.

I admit that this is a stretch, especially given that Perry’s stock in trade as a bowler is pace, and in the men’s game she would not be especially quick, but in the state that Aussie men are in at the moment the move could hardly make things worse – and maybe even if she proves unable to do much herself against the men the presence of someone with current winning experience will be a boost in and of itself.

Do I really believe that a woman could mix it with the men? Yes – there are plenty of aspects of cricket that are not all about brute strength and although, in spite of the premise of this piece, I would not particularly expect a female to be able to bowl at 150KPH I could see a specialist batter, a spinner or a wicketkeeper being able to mix it with the men.

A PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

A few photos from in and around King’s Lynn…

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Earnest cleric to JBS Haldane "what have your studies told you about the creator?"  Haldane's response "That he is inordinately fond of beetles."
Earnest cleric to JBS Haldane “what have your studies told you about the creator?”
Haldane’s response “That he is inordinately fond of beetles.”

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Butterfly with closed wings.
Butterfly with closed wings.

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The first of two ponds separated by the width of a Road.
The first of two ponds separated by the width of a Road.
The other pond, with a particularly luxurious carpeting of lilies.
The other pond, with a particularly luxurious carpeting of lilies.

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BEES

A very important and well presented infographic from 38Degrees that I picked up by way of Mike Coulson on twitter:

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THE LABOUR PARTY LEADERSHIP CONTEST

I have a purely watching brief on this, since I am principled enough not to have taken advantage of the “register as a supprter for £3” trick. This infographic is revealing about the voting patterns of the three long serving MPs in the contest (Kendall has only been around long enough to have voted on two of the issues covered, and utterly unsurprisingly to anyone who knows anything about she is 0 for 2):

Lab Leadership

My second offering in this section is a headline about an open declaration of intent to sabotage. If this is telling the truth those two MPs (no surprise that they are Blue Labourites Umunna and Hunt – and I’ll bet that the dishonourable Danczuk is in cahoots with them) should be expelled from the party – this is TREACHERY:

Sabotage Plans

I end this section with link to a piece by Molly Scott Cato MEP (as an aside born in the same town – Stroud, Gloucestershire – as me although a little earlier) which talks about one potential consequence of a Corbyn victory – a red/green coalition.

CARL SAGAN

The late legendary Carl Sagan was a superb writer and populariser of science. I was motivated to produce this section when I stumbled on a thread on twitter that had developed from a Turin Shroud picture overlaid with a great summing up of the religious approach, and then a Sagan quote – which led to me to extract some Sagan books from my shelves and photograph them…

The infographic that started it all.
The infographic that started it all.
The Sagan quote
The Sagan quote
A montage of my Sagan books - I have given Pale Blue Dot extra prominence because although any book by Sagan is guaranteed to be an excellent read this one  is  particularly special.
A montage of my Sagan books – I have given Pale Blue Dot extra prominence because although any book by Sagan is guaranteed to be an excellent read this one is particularly special.