A Spectacular Recovery

An account of the dramatic finish to yesterday’s ODI between England and Sri Lanka, some links and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post is about the closing stages of yesterday’s ODI between England and Sri Lanka, which I listened to once I had got home from work.

A DISTANT PROSPECT

When I switched the commentary on Sri Lanka had made a respectable 286, which by that stage was looking positively mountainous since England were 39-4. When skipper Eoin Morgan was out for 42 to make the score 73-5, and Moeen Ali also fell cheaply to a poor shot the situation looked even grimmer for England, as Chris Woakes walked out to join Jos Buttler…

A GREAT PARTNERSHIP

Buttler and Woakes fared better than had seemd posssible when they came together, and gradually victory moved from the realms of fantasy to a distant but imaginable outcome to a genuine possibility. Two wickets in quick succession, Buttler and then Dvaid Willey seemed to have once again settled things in Sri Lanka’s favour, but Liam Plunkett (surely the most talented batsman ever to be at number 10 by design) played well alongside Woakes who established a record score for a number 8 in an ODI. In the end it came down to…

A SPECTACULAR FINAL OVER

At the start of this final over 14 were needed for England to win. Good bowling restricted England to seven off the first five, meaning that unless a wide or a no-ball was bowled England could no longer win. Neither was forthcoming, but Liam Plunkett did hit that final ball for six to level the scores and earn England a tie after a come-back of epic proportions.

LINKS

My first link, just to tie up the loose ends from the first part of this post is to an official account of yesterday’s ODI, courtesy of cricinfo.

My remaining links are all on the subject of referendums and one referendum in particular. I start with David Hencke’s post about why he will be voting for remain.

My next two links are both to posts from that legal eagle of the blogging world jackofkent, first a detailed analysis of what he sees as the flaws of referendums, and second, acoompanied by a screenshot below and some subsidiary comments of my own afterwards a proposal for banning referendums:

JoK

I would change clause 2 of the above act to read:

2. This Act can only be repealed by a unanimous vote in the house (for the purposes of this Act abstentions and absences count as votes against).

PHOTOS

For anyone who has read all the foregoing text here is your bonus in the form of some recent photographs:

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Although the day rider plus that is my standard bus ticket specifically excludes the coasthopper whose route map is pictured here, coasthopper buses sometimes run other routes, notably the X8 between King’s Lynn and Fakenham.

 

A Wonderful Weekend of Sport

INTRODUCTION

As well as the sporting events that I shall be writing about I have some important links to share. Faced with more sport than I had time to follow I had to make choices, and with I settled on cricket and athletics (in the form of the European Team Championships). I will write about each in turn starting with…

A FINAL MATCH THRILLER

To set the scene for Saturday’s action, the series was level at 2-2, and records had been tumbling left, right and centre throughout. The actual result was pretty much a secondary consideration given the quality of the cricket that had been on show through the series.

NEW ZEALAND BATTING

Very early on in their innings New Zealand passed their all-time record aggregate for a five match ODI series, a feat that England had achieved in the previous match. For the first time in the series batsmen found it difficult to really get going, and it took some big hitting in the closing stages to get New Zealand to their eventual 283-9, the lowest first innings score of the series.

THE INTERVAL AND DUCKWORTH-LEWIS

During the interval between innings it rained, and it kept raining for some time (this is England after all). Eventually, by the time play was possible again there was time for England to bat for 26 overs, and the Duckworth-Lewis calculation (a very complicated formula that has produced the least unfair way for resolving rain affected ODIs yet devised) gave England a target of 192 off 26 overs.

ENGLAND’S CHASE

The England innings got off to a disastrous start, with three wickets falling in next to no time. The fourth and fifth wickets did not take a whole lot longer to fall, and at that stage England were looking down both barrels. Then Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Bairstow, the latter only playing because of an injury to Jos Buttler (scorer of the first and second quickest ODI centuries by an Englishman) shared a good partnership. When Morgan was out, England were still second favourites, but Adil Rashid joined his fellow Yorkshireman Bairstow for a partnership that gradually brought the asking rate back to manageable levels. Seventeen were needed off the last two overs when for the first of them the ball was given to a debutant who until his late call-up had been playing Devonshire League cricket. Bowling the penultimate over in these circumstances would be tough for anyone, and in the end the last over was not required, as a combination of fine strokes from Bairstow and Rashid and a loss of nerve by the bowler settled the issue.

A RAPID TURNAROUND

Just a few months ago England were having their all-time worst ever World Cup campaign, being hammered by all and sundry and being exposed as being sadly behind the times in their approach to one day cricket. To have come from that to even taking part in a series that is a jewel in the crown of international cricket (and ultimately winning it) is an extraordinary transformation. What brought this about? Well England were forced to recognise by the sheer awfulness of that World Cup campaign that they had to change. The new picks for this series were guys noted for 20-20 (ultra-short form) success. Also, however there has been an attitude change. In this series, England never went on to the defensive, there was never a period of seriously slow scoring. Even when those three early wickets went down on Saturday, there was no ‘consolidation’. In the second half of the summer England have another set of visitors from the antipodes to contend with, and it will be interesting to see what kind of account they can give of themselves in that situation.

EUROPEAN TEAM ATHLETICS

The European Team Athletics championship, which I watched on i-player, is decided on a points system. The top nine countries from last year, plus three promoted from the second group, do battle. Twelve points are accrued for winning an event, down to one for finishing. A disqualification in a track event, or a failure to record a valid distance/ height in a throwing or jumping event results in a zero.

In the end, after a some excellent results, and some very bad ones, Britain finished in fifth place, behind Russia (winning comfortably on home  soil), Germany, France and Poland.

Probably the person who overachieved the most for Britain was Rhianwedd Price who, on international debut, came third in the 1,500m.

LINKS

CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT THE FAIRY POSSUM

This tiny marsupial is on the critically endangered list, and the campaign to protect it by creating a preserved environment for it is being run by The Wilderness Society. I have two important links for you:

1)The article which gives full detail about what is happening.

2)A petition which I hope you will sign and share.

WAR ON WANT PETITION TO CANCEL GREEK DEBT

Just a single link, which I urge you to follow up.

AN ACCOUNT OF A TRIP TO THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

This is an excellent piece detailing both the visit and what was seen, and the differing approaches taken by Autism Mom (the author of the piece), the Navigator and Autism Dad. I have already shared this piece with my twitter and I am delighted to include this link to dinos-photos-and-his-own-world.

CONCLUDING REMARK

I hope that you have all enjoyed this post, and that you will be encouraged to share it. For those of you who have stayed with this post right to the end I have a final message…

TY3

A Classic Game of Cricket

INTRODUCTION

As well as my title piece, which refers to yesterday’s fourth ODI between England and New Zealand I have some links to share and some photographs from today at work. I hope you enjoy it all and will be encouraged to share.

TRENT BRIDGE THRILLER

Although in the end this cannot be described as a close game, since England won by seven wickets with almost six overs to spare, the word thriller is nevertheless well merited – it was one of the best games of cricket I have ever been priveleged to see or hear.

A New Zealand total of 349 appeared to present England with a very serious challenge, especially given that the previous biggest successful run chase by an Engalnd team in one day international was 306 to beat Pakistan in Karachi. However, the new (this series) opening pair of Jason Roy and Alex Hales launched a blitzkrieg that yielded 97 off the first ten overs of the reply. After both openers were out in a short space of time Joe Root and Eoin Morgan then shared an all-comers record for a third wicket partnership in an ODI at Trent Bridge of 198 before Morgan holed out just after completing an extraordinary hundred. Then, with the game already well and truly in England’s grasp Ben Stokes came in and provided some late fireworks to put yet more gloss on an already sparkling victory.

This result leaves the series level at two matches all, and given the cricket both sides have produced and the spirit in which the series has been contested I for one would say that the appropriate result for the final match up at Durham would be a tie, as neither side deserves to lose this amazing series.

What makes this series all the more remarkable is of course that only a few months ago English ODI stocks were at all time low, following a performance in the world cup that can only described as atrocious (with all due disrespect to the abysmal 1996 ‘effort’ surely the worst ever world cup for an England team).

LINKS

Just the two links today…

1)A petition via change.org calling on the Chinese government to put a stop to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

2)notesfromthenorth provides a detailed analysis of Britain’s Social Security spending to counter right wing myths.

PHOTOGRAPHS

All of the pictures with which I end this post are of items going under the hammer on Wednesday. A full listing can be viewed at the-saleroom.com

Lot 95
Lot 95
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Lot 345
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Lot 364
The first of three images of lot 374
The first of three images of lot 374

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The first of three images of lot 403
The first of three images of lot 403

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The first of two images of lot 404
The first of two images of lot 404

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Lot 246
Lot 246
The first of six images of lot 391
The first of six images of lot 391

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Lot 397
Lot 397
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Lot 400
Lot 607
Lot 607

Books and Other Stuff

A brief mention of the Strictly final, and Alastair Cook’s replacement as England ODI captain followed by some stuff about books and accompanied as usual by pictures.

Before moving on to the main theme of this post there a couple of other issues I wish to touch on first.

Strictly Come Dancing is over for another year. Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev won the vote (in the final, judges scores are given for guidance only, the outcomes resting solely on the public vote) as they jolly well should having clocked up perfect 40s from the judges in each of their last four routines, including all three in the final. Besides these four the only other perfect score of the series was achieved by Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff in the last couple dance of the series. Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton with two 39s and a 38 were third best on the night.

The second item on my agenda that England have finally acted over the One Day International captaincy, replacing Alastair Cook with Eoin Morgan. Cook is a magnificent test match cricketer but in limited overs matches, especially on good batting pitches, he does not score quickly enough. Not only do I think a change had to be made, I am certain that the selectors have made the right decision about the new captain.

I have decided to write about something that is important to me but which I have not often covered in this blog: books. I am going to focus my attention on an old favourite and two new discoveries.

Starting with the old favourite, Edward Marston’s “Railway Detective” series dovetails neatly with two of my areas of interest, detective fiction and railways, and as such was a sure fire winner. Even so, i never cease to be impressed by just how good the stories are and just how much I enjoy reading them. I do not know how long a period the series will eventually cover, but it has already spanned most of the 1850s. 1863 would be a significant year in this context, because of the opening of the world’s first underground railway.

My second port of call is another fictional series, Laurie King’s  remarkable Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes series. I was originally very sceptical because in the original Holmes stories he is very much not the marrying kind. However, in spite of the implausibility of Holmes marrying, the series works spectacularly well, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.

Finally, moving away from detective fiction and indeed from fiction we have Clifford Pickover’s “The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles & Stars”. This provided me with reading material for three bus journeys (unusual for a book to occupy me that long) and is of more specialised interest than my other two mentions, but the patterns contained within it are fascinating.

I have some photos to share with you – one thign you will notice if you look at the front cover shots of the books – all are library books, and I am happy to pay a tribute to Norfolk Libraries for continuing to provide a good service in difficult circumstances.

This is what I created to make my 10,000th tweet a bit special!
This is what I created to make my 10,000th tweet a bit special!
The next seven pictures are from the Pickover book.
The next seven pictures are from the Pickover book.

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A front cover shot of one of the Laurie King books.
A front cover shot of one of the Laurie King books.
One of Edward Marston's Railway Detective books.
One of Edward Marston’s Railway Detective books.
Cover shot of the Pickover Book.
Cover shot of the Pickover Book.