My thoughts on the new ODI squad that England have had to select, and some photographs.
The original England ODI squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan has had to go into self isolation due to seven positive covid-19 tests among their number. A new squad, to be captained by Ben Stokes, who was originally being eased back from injury and had therefore not been called up. In this post I look at the new squad, and provide some thoughts on it. This is the worst disruption faced by England cricket in my lifetime, beating even that caused by the rebel tours of Apartheid South Africa in 1982 and 1989, and overall the ECB have handled it well.
THE NEW SQUAD
The 18 names in the new squad are as follows (courtesy of the ECB website):
Ben Stokes (Durham, captain) Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire) Danny Briggs (Warwickshire) Brydon Carse (Durham) Zak Crawley (Kent) Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire) Lewis Gregory (Somerset) Tom Helm (Middlesex) Will Jacks (Surrey) Dan Lawrence (Essex) Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire) Dawid Malan (Yorkshire) Craig Overton (Somerset) Matt Parkinson (Lancashire) David Payne (Gloucestershire) Phil Salt (Sussex) John Simpson (Middlesex) James Vince (Hampshire)
Most of these names are fairly uncontroversial in the circumstances. The strangest selection among the 18 is John Simpson, a good cricketer but not my idea of international quality. I am also mistrustful of James Vince, whose England record is not impressive. Brydon Carse is a hugely exciting selection – he is in the same pace bracket as his county colleague Mark Wood and can handle a bat. Danny Briggs has a good limited overs record but I would preferred to see Dan Moriarty capped.
The omission of Sam Hain who averages almost 60 and has a strike rate of 86 in List A cricket almost defies understanding. I would have liked to see a call up for the veteran Darren Stevens. Also the ECB would do themselves a favour if they actually fronted up and said in as many words that they will not pick Alex Hales – the announcement of this squad makes it clear what their actual attitude is and it is just silly to keep pretending that the door has not been shut on an England recall for him.
PICKING AN XI
This XI will almost certainly not happen, but this is the way I would from the selected squad:
My opening pair would be Will Jacks and Phil Salt, with the latter keeping wicket, while the former’s off spin may well enter the equation. At number three I would have Dawid Malan, batting in his best position. Dan Lawrence, needed on ground of prior international experience would bat four. Skipper Stokes gets the no5 slot. In view of the make up of the squad I would play Gregory at six, Carse at seven and Craig Overton at eight (all three can bat very effectively), David Payne whose left arm pace offers a variation would be at nine, with Mahmood and Parkinson rounding out the order.
England are by no means out of this series even after having to select a completely new squad just before it starts.
An account of the concluding ODI between India and England, plus some thoughts on over rates and some photographs.
This post is devoted to the events of yesterday’s final and deciding ODI between India and England.
England decided to retain both Malan and Livingstone, so Billings missed out. They also opted to replace Tom Curran with Mark Wood, a decision that would have been indisputable had Wood been fully fit, but it rapidly became clear that he was not. India replaced Kuldeep Yadav with T Natarajan, changing the balance of their bowling attack. Jos Buttler won the toss and decided to bowl.
THE INDIAN INNINGS
India got off to a flying start, with Sam Curran and Reece Topley both somewhat wayward. Mark Wood bowled fast in spite of obviously not being well. It took the arrival of the spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali at the bowling crease to stem the flow at all. Rashid accounted for both openers, one bowled and one caught and bowled, in successive overs, while Ali clean bowled Virat Kohli. Liam Livingstone had made his first contribution to the game with a fine piece of fielding out on the boundary that saved two runs. KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant maintained the momentum and for a while it looked like something close to 400 was on for India, but then Livingstone got Rahul, as the batter could only put a filthy full toss straight into the hands of a fielder. Thereafter England picked up wickets regularly, and India were all out for 329 in the 49th over. At that stage it looked anyone’s game, with England possibly favourites.
THE ENGLAND REPLY
For once neither Roy nor Bairstow managed a substantial score, and Stokes and Buttler both also went fairly cheaply. At that stage it was 95-4 and England looked in deep trouble. Livingstone and Malan batted well however and at the end of the 20th England were 132-4, two fifths of the way to the target after two fifths of the overs and having lost two fifths of their wickets. Livingstone was fifth out, having batted well, and then Malan having completed a fine 50 was sixth to go. That brought Sam Curran in join Moeen Ali, with England in deep trouble. At the end of the 30th England were 196-6. Moeen Ali’s departure seemed to be the final nail, but Rashid provided Curran support, and then extraordinarily, Mark Wood, for all that he was obviously not well, continued the support work, while Curran was playing a very special innings. Wood was ninth out, but even Topley, the most genuine of genuine number 11s, did his bit, and at the end of the 49th England were 316-9 needing 14 to win, and crucially Curran was at the strikers end. He did his best, but the task was just too much, and England were beaten by seven runs, with Curran 95 not out off 83 balls.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Sam Curran was named Player of the Match for his fighting knock, a decision which Indian skipper Kohli disapproved of. Shardul Thakur with 30 and four wickets was the obvious alternative candidate, and normally I would say that this award should go to someone from the winning side. However, at the point at which Curran came in to bat England were staring an absolute hammering in the face, with a three figure margin looking likely, and Curran turned that around to the extent that the game ended as a nail biter. Also most of Curran’s batting was done with the support of a no9, a sick no10 and a n011. Thus on this occasion I think the decision to give the award to someone from the losing side was justified, although I would not have quarrelled with the award going to Thakur.
This match was conducted at a tempo that to borrow from the world of music could only fairly be described as ‘adagio molto’ – very slow. 100 overs occupied eight and a quarter hours of actual playing time, with England being in the field for three hours fifty minutes and India for four hours twenty five minutes. This leads me to revisit an old idea of mine in slightly revised form: based on the 15 overs per hour officially required in test matches I would allocate each team a fixed time slot to bowl their overs of three hours and 20 minutes, and for each over they have not bowled in that period the batting team get awarded penalty runs at a rate of ten per over or double the scoring rate, whichever is the greater. Obviously umpires would have to watch out for batters deliberately wasting time in the hope of securing penalty runs. If this was adopted there might be one ODI series/ tournament in which extras had a Bradmanesque aggregate but I reckon over rates would speed up pretty quickly. Here is a very famous slow tempo piece of music, Albinoni’s “Adagio for Organ and Strings”, from youtube:
A look ahead to tomorrow’s final ODI between India and England, some photographs and the resumption of one of NAS West Norfolk’s activities.
The main body of this post is devoted to looking at what England should do in terms of selection for tomorrow’s final match of the tour of India.
Morgan remains unavailable, though Billings could be picked. Personally although most of the work was done by Bairstow and Stokes I think that both Malan and Livingstone did enough to warrant continued selection, so I would not recall Billings. I believe an element of flexibility is needed after the 1,2,3 – if the second wicket goes before over 30 then either Malan (if Stokes is second out) or Livingstone (if both openers are out, meaning that the left handed Stokes is still in) come in at no4. If the second wicket goes after over 30 then skipper Buttler should promote himself and treat it like a T20.
Tom Curran has to go – he is not quick, he does not take many wickets and he is not exceptionally economical. I hope Wood will be fit, in which case he plays. Also, Adil Rashid has not been impressive, and Matt Parkinson has been in bio-secure bubbles since January for no cricket, so for my money he has to play. Reece Topley did quite enough to retain his place, so he rounds out the bowling options.
THE XI IN BATTING ORDER
Bear in mind the caveats in the section about the batting, and that therefore this is a ‘likely’, not a ‘set’ batting order:
This usual sign off has a variation to it: today for the first time in over a year an NAS West Norfolk activity happened: music therapy at the scout hut on Beulah Street. This was organized in two 45 minute sessions, and at no time were there more than four people in the room, which is a very large room, and the back door was open to keep it properly ventilated (and with a classic Norfolk ‘lazy wind’ – can’t be bothered going round you, so it goes straight through you – blowing outside I can tell you that the place was most definitely properly ventilated!). Explanation complete, it is finally time for the photographs…
A brief account of today’s second #INDvENG ODI, telling the story of a remarkable chase.
This post is an account of the match that has just finished in Pune.
Morgan and Billings were both injured, being replaced by Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone, while Reece Topley came in for Mark Wood, leaving England without an out and out speedster. For India Shreyas Iyer was injured and Rishabh Pant was selected in his place. Stand in skipper Jos Buttler won the toss and decided that England would bowl, which at the time looked questionable.
THE INDIAN INNINGS
India started steadily, and built through the middle overs. Rashid Khan and Moeen Ali both bowled reasonably well but neither looked like getting wickets, and after 40 overs India were 210-3. Then, as in match one, England had a horror show in the final ten overs, as the Indian score mushroomed to 336-6. Though he picked up a couple of wickets among the mayhem Tom Curran has surely bowled his last for England. Moeen Ali was economical, but never looked like taking a wicket. India’s total looked formidable.
Roy and Bairstow got England away to a strong start, but when Roy was out the game was far from settled either way. Ben Stokes came in at no3, and reached 50 from 40 balls, though he was a trifle fortunate to be given the benefit of the doubt on a very close run out caused by the fact that he had failed to realize the danger and was jogging rather than running full pelt. Having got himself a start Stokes proceeded to go absolutely berserk, blasting 49 from his next 11 balls before edging one behind to miss out on a century by the narrowest of margins. Bairstow and Buttler fell in quick succession, but England were so far ahead of the rate that even losing three wickets so quickly was barely a set back. Some solid blows from debutant Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan took England home, Malan enjoying one moment of good fortune when an edged shot flew through third man for four – had India posted anyone in the slip area they would probably have been in business. I will draw a veil over the Indian bowling figures, none of which their owners would wish to be publicised. Hardik Pandya, supposed tn be an all rounder, was not called upon to bowl while his team mates took horrendous punishment. England had 6.3 overs as well as six wickets to spare when they completed the task and levelled the series.
England need to find a way of not being destroyed in the final ten overs – it has happened in both matches this series, though they made up for it today with the bat. They also have a virtual obligation to select leg spinner Matt Parkinson for the final game, given that he has been in bio-secure bubbles since January and played no cricket. India have a quandary in the spin bowling department – Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya were both slaughtered today. Also there are questions about their batting in the first 40 overs – it is not great to be reliant on a massive burst in the final 10, especially when it is not guaranteed that said burst will be enough: they scored 126 in overs 41-50 inclusive today and England made the chase look like an absolute cake walk. Sunday’s grand finale starts at 9:00AM UK time (an hour later than the first two games because British Summer Time kicks in overnight between Saturday and Sunday, with 12:59AM becoming 2:00AM as the clocks move forward an hour).
An account of yesterday’s India v England ODI, some geological stuff and some photographs.
This post looks back at yesterday’s first ODI between India and England, which took place in Pune.
England’s chosen team was: Roy, Bairstow, Stokes, *Morgan, +Buttler, Billings, Ali, S Curran, T Curran, Rashid, Wood. Livingstone and Parkinson were players many would have wanted to see who were left on the bench. India handed debuts to K Pandya and Krishna, with KL Rahul named as wicket keeper. Their team was: Sharma, Dhawan, *Kohli, Iyer, +Rahul, H Pandya, K Pandya, Thakur, Kumar, K Yadav, Krishna. Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl.
Dhawan played superbly in the early part of the innings, but England also bowled decently and with 9.3 overs to go India were 205-5 with Krunal Pandya on international debut joining KL Rahul. Both these players batted beautifully, England bowled very poorly in the closing stages, a recurring problem for the current outfit, and the total mushroomed to 317-5 by the end of the innings.
Roy and Bairstow began superbly, and at 135-0 in the 14th over that target of 318 was looking manageable. Then Roy fell for 46, his fourth recent instance of getting to 40 and not completing a half century. Stokes was unable to get going at all, Bairstow lost momentum due to the problems at the other end and missed out on his century, and as wickets continued to fall England looked a panic-stricken side. Moeen Ali hinted at a late revival with 30, but when he and then Sam Curran fell in short order to leave Tom Curran, Rashid and Wood nearly 80 to score between them the writing was well and truly on the wall. England were all out for 251, beaten by 66 runs. The debutant Krishna had 4-54, the best figures of the day, but the most significant contribution was from the experienced Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who had figures of 2-30 from nine overs, applying the squeeze at a crucial stage. Roy and Bairstow gave England an excellent platform, but once wickets started to fall no one was able to steady the ship, and the cold hard truth is that England lost all ten wickets for 116 runs on a flat pitch.
The batting, Roy and Bairstow apart, looks unreliable. Billings and Morgan are both injury worries, and I think Livingstone has to come in- Stokes did not look comfortable at three, while Livingstone habitually bats high in the order. Among the bowlers Tom Curran has to go – he has taken one wicket in his last nine ODIs, and if you are not taking wickets you have to keep it tight, and he is not doing so at present – India scored 63 off his ten overs without having to exert themselves to punish him. Personally I would be inclined to change the balance of the attack and bring Parkinson in to replace him, but could accept the alternative of selecting Reece Topley in his place. India would inevitably look to target Parkinson if he was selected and I would counter that by giving him the new ball because openers sometimes struggle when confronted with spin first up. I am not going to call for Morgan to go just yet, but he could do with a decent score some time soon, and he needs to a little less inflexible – perhaps the occasional decision to bat first when he wins the toss, and perhaps giving more consideration to certain players.
Courtesy of twitter (in the form of Science, Space & Nature) I can provide some film of a volcanic eruption on Iceland (please click picture link below to view):
Collapsing Crater 🌋🇮🇸✨ • the first eruption on Reykjanes Peninsula in over 800 years, situated in Geldingadalur by Festarfjall mountain. Definitely the most surreal thing to ever experienced. You could feel extreme heat coming from the lava Credit: h0rdur/IG pic.twitter.com/rLZR2Ec9LH— Science, Space & Nature (@ScienceIsNew) March 23, 2021
From the Natural History Museum twitter feed comes some info about the first ever Geological Map of a country (Great Britain) – see screenshot below, and click here for more.
I end this section with a picture of one of the maps on display in my bungalow, an old palaeontological map of Great Britain and Ireland:
Accounts of three very different cricket matches, an important link and some photographs.
From the beginning of the first of these matches to the end of the third a grand total of 31 and a quarter hours elapsed. Before I get in my detailed coverage of each game I have one other thing to do…
SHARE YOUR BLOG
The wonderful Phoebe MD has once again offered people a chance to share their blogs with a wider audience. Please visit the post here, post a link to a post or posts from your own blog, and check out the links others have posted.
GAME 1: AUSTRALIA V INDIA
This one was a 50 overs per side runfest notable also for the spectacularly slow over rate – from the start of coverage on the radio to the final delivery over nine hours elapsed. Australia batted first, and Aaron Finch and Steve Smith each ran up centuries, while Glen Maxwell produced a spectacular cameo at the end. This left Australia with 374 to defend, as only Mohammad Shami among India’s bowlers managed to exercise any kind of control over the scoring rate.
India began the chase brightly, helped by some early waywardness on the part of Mitchell Starc, but then Josh Hazlewood took three wickets in very rapid succession, and although they continued to score at a decent rate India never really got back into the contest. Leg spinner Adam Zampa picked up four wickets as India got desperate.
Australia ended up with a comfortable victory and India looked to be lacking depth in both batting and bowling – they had only five regular bowlers at their disposal, and the fifth wicket pair were faced with the double challenge of maintaining a rapid run rate and staying together until quite deep into the innings due to a lack of batting to come.
The umpires were far too lax on time wasting, allowing Steve Smith a ridiculous number of changes of batting gloves to give just one example. I understand that some disciplinary action has been taken, but the problem will only be properly addressed if a)the umpires are absolutely rock hard on time wasting, being prepared to do things like telling Steve Smith that no he cannot have a 27th new pair of batting gloves for the innings, he must make do with his current pair, and b)failure to bowl ones allocation of overs in the allotted time is punished by a fine of runs – I suggest ten per unbowled over or twice the batting side’s scoring rate, whichever is the greater (this latter being to ensure that the measure is actually punitive).
GAME 2: SOUTH AFRICA VERSUS ENGLAND
This was a 20 overs per side match. England had to decide which of the four batters they had who habitually bat in the top three in limited overs cricket would go down the order, and they opted to place Bairstow at number four, going with a top three of Buttler, Roy and Malan (the current no1 T20 batter in the world). They also opted for only one genuine spin option, Rashid, with Moeen Ali missing out. England gave themselves two major bowling variations besides Rashid’s leg spin: the left arm of Sam Curran and the extra pace of Jofra Archer, which latter proved a doubtful asset on a slow surface. For South Africa Nortje was injured, while George Linde, a left arm spinner, was given a debut.
Morgan won the toss and chose to field first. England began very well, and after three overs SA were 12-1. The next three overs went for 45 however, so that at the end of the powerplay South Africa were 57-1 and headed for a big total. Rashid was respectably economical, but unthreatening, finishing with 0-27 from his four overs and never really looking like taking a wicket. Sam Curran was the best England bowler, taking 3-28 from his four overs. Unfortunately Tom Curran blotted the family copybook by racking up the wrong kind of half century – 55 being belted from his four overs. A final total of 179-6 was good but less substantial than it had looked like being at times.
South Africa commenced in the field by reinventing the cricketing wheel, starting with the left arm spinner Linde in partnership with Rabada, a combination of left arm slow and right arm fast that was popular a century and more ago (Kent won four county championships using Colin Blythe and Arthur Fielder, just such a combination, and Lancashire at the same period habitually used Briggs and Mold, another combination in the same mould). The bold move (especially bold given that the spinner Linde was on debut) paid an immediate dividend when Linde got Roy with the second ball of the innings. Buttler and Malan also fell cheaply, and at that stage England were well behind the rate, a situation that was still the case when Linde finished his bowling stint with 2-20 from four overs, a truly remarkable effort by the debutant. When he then caught Ben Stokes England looked in trouble. After 16 overs England had got to 129-4 with Bairstow going well, answering every question about his ability to handle batting at no4. The 17th over of the chase was the fourth and last of Beuran Hendricks’ (left arm fast medium) allocation, and he proceeded to lose his team the match. The over contained nine deliveries in total, and between the wides, one of which raced away to advance the score by five and several juicy legal offerings no fewer than 28 accrued to England, reducing a daunting looking 51 off 24 balls to a stroll in the park 23 off 18 balls. This also saw Hendricks join Tom Curran in the ‘wrong sort of half century’ club, leaving him with 0-56 from his four overs. Bairstow, appropriately given his innings, ended proceedings by hitting the second ball of the final over for six to take England to 183-5. It was also appropriate if England were to win that the other England star of the day, Sam Curran, was there at the death.
George Linde deserved better for his magnificent debut effort than to finish on the losing side, and he has my sympathy. I also feel sorry for South African skipper Quinton De Kock who made a bold move at the start of the England innings, and should have seen it bring victory. I can see no case for Hendricks playing any further part in the series. I would also look closely at the involvement of Jason Roy whose recent international form has been very poor.
Other than Hendricks the other let down of the day was the Talk Sport 2 commentary team, who failed to do justice to an excellent game.
GAME THREE – MELBOURNE STARS V SYDNEY THUNDER
This was the final of the Womens’ Big Bash League, which tournament has been very enjoyable. It also duplicated Australia’s oldest internal rivalry, the one that led to the creation of Canberra, since neither of the two biggest cities would countenance the other being named capital.
Melbourne Stars won the toss and batted first, but that win of the toss was the only thing that went right for them. Shabnim Ismail, the South African who is probably the quickest bowler in the women’s game at present, bowled one of the greatest spells in T20 history, by any bowler, either male or female. She bowled her four overs straight through at the start of the innings, finished with 2-12 and would not have been flattered by a five-for. She put Melbourne Stars firmly on the back foot, a position from which they never extricated themselves. They eventually limped to 86-9 from their 20 overs, Sammy-Jo Johnson just improving on Ismail’s figures by taking 2-11 from her four overs. Lauren Smith, an off spinner, went for 18 from two overs, but England captain Heather Knight filled in the remaining two overs, taking 1-9. The top scorer was another England star, Katherine Brunt who finished with 22 not out, just topping Annabel Sutherland’s 20.
This total of course was never remotely defensible, and Sydney Thunder won by seven wickets, with 6.2 overs to spare. There were useful contributions from Tammy Beaumont (another England star), Rachel Trenaman, Heather Knight (26 not out, the highest individual score of the day), and skipper Rachel Haynes.
Quite rightly Shabnim Ismail’s magnificent bowling earned her the player of the match award.
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:
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 same thing, although I had forgotten that BB Care were due to visit and missed them in my eagerness to get out. There is a long way to go, but things are definitely improving.
LINKS AND PICTURES
An article appeared in Saturday’s Times in which the head teacher of Stowe School (£38,000 per year to have your children educated there) had the cheek to complain about the fact that slightly more state school students are now getting into Oxbridge. Many have pitched into him, but the best evisceration of both him and the article came from Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK: