World Cup Warm Up Matches

Accounts and predictions relating to today’s cricket world cup warm up matches, a health/fitness update and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Two Cricket World Cup Warm Up matches are under way – both at the halfway stage. They form the main part of this post.

WORLD CUP WARM UP MATCHES

There are two games today:

  • South Africa v Sri Lanka South Africa 338-7 from 50 overs.
    A respectable total for South Africa at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff. 88 from Du Plessis and 65 from Amla were the main batting contributions. Left-arm medium pacer Isuru Udana was economical, taking 1-42 from his 10 overs, while Lakmal and Pradeep each took two wickets, though expensively, going for 140 from 19 between them. This is a tough one to call, but looking the way everyone other than Isuru got treated in this innings I am going to predict that Sri Lanka chase these down.
  • Afghanistan v PakistanPakistan 262 all out from 47.2 overs.
    This match, at Ashley Down, Bristol, has all the makings of a classic. A century from Babar Azam was at the heart of the innings – and on recent evidence Babar Azam scoring a century is not necessarily good news for Pakistan. Mohammad Nabi had 3-46 from his 10 overs and Rashid Khan 2-27 from nine, while fast bowler Dawlat Zadran took 2-37 from 5.5 overs. Nabi and Khan will probably be very economical in the world cup, as opponents look to avoid losing wickets to them and hope to cash on the other less good bowlers. Today I am predicting that Afghanistan will chase down this target to put down a marker for the tournament.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND FITNESS

Today I broke new ground in my slow regaining of fitness and health post cancer. I managed to extend this morning’s walk to just opposite The Hob in The Well, which is close to King’s Lynn town centre. I am hoping to develop sufficient fitness to reach King’s Lynn Library unassisted in time for an NAS event there on June 14th, so that I do not have to rely on some kind person being able to gave me a lift. I finish with my usual sign off…

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Super Sunday At The Womens World Cup

An account of Super Sunday at the womens World Cup.

INTRODUCTION

Today featured no fewer than four matches in the womens cricket World Cup. I have been listening to radio commentaries and following the action on cricinfo

SOUTH AFRICA V WEST INDIES

This was about as conclusive a victory as I have ever witnessed. First of all South Africa blew the West Indies away for 48. Marizanne Kapp took four wickets, but the most remarkable performance came from Dane Van Niekerk who matched Kapp’s four wickets, but took hers without conceding a run. South Africa then took a mere 6.2 of their possible 50 overs to knock the runs off. Cricinfo have recently started providing video clips, and below is a two minute video showing the West Indies collapse.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/video_audio/1108001.html

INDIA V PAKISTAN

This was the damp squib of the four matches – India limped to 169-9 from their 50 overs and then Pakistan were bowled out for 74 in response, only getting that many courtesy of a 23 run last wicket stand.

ENGLAND V SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka batted first, and managed 204-8. Fran Wilson took an amazing catch along the way (see link below). Laura Marsh returning to the England side took 4-45 from her ten overs, while Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole both bowled well without picking up wickets.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-womens-world-cup-2017/engine/match/1085953.html

Both openers were out fairly cheaply, Tammy Beaumont for 12 and Lauren Winfield, returning from injury, for 26. A big stand between Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight then took England to the brink of victory, before Knight was out for 82. A crunching boundary straight down the ground from Taylor completed the job, leaving her with 74 not out off 67 balls, and England winners by seven wickets with almost 20 overs to spare. At the other end, not having faced a ball, was Natalie Sciver, fresh from scoring 137 off 92 balls against Pakistan.

AUSTRALIA V NEW ZEALAND

Half centuries from Bates and Perkins got New Zealand to a total of 219-9. For Australia Mooney and Bolton were out fairly cheaply, before Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry shared a good partnership. 16 year old legspinner Amelia Kerr created a bit of excitement when she accounted for Lanning and Elyse Villani in successive deliveries to make it 143-4, but Alex Blackwell was her usual unflappable self, and New Zealand gained only one more wicket, when with the scores level Ellyse Perry holed out for 71. Perry, having started out as a fast bowler who gave it a whack down the order has developed into the most complete all-rounder of either sex currently playing the game – she bats at number four, averaging over 50, and takes the new ball and (in limited overs matches) bowls at the death. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

None pof the four matches were especially close, but three of them featured quality cricket from various players, and I was pleased to see matches being played concurrently, because one reason why mens world cups always seem so interminable is that in deference to the TV people this does not happen. 

Bellerive Brings More History

The match between Scotland and Sri Lanka at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart is at the halfway stage and has already seen a record set and another equalled.

Kumar Sanggakara kept his appointment with a century, becoming the first to achieve the feat in four successive ODIs. His century was matched by one from Tillekaratne Dilshan and the main course was followed by an explosive 51 from Angelo Matthews as Sri Lanka ran up 363 from their 50 overs. In amongst this carnage Josh Davey took three wickets, taking him up to 14 for the tournament and temporarily leading wicket taker, one ahead of Trent ‘the conductor’ Boult. That figure of 14 wickets for the tournament also ties Eddo Brandes of Zimbabwe for most wickets ever taken by a bowler for an associate member at a world cup (in 1992 Zimbabwe had yet to be promoted to full member status).

The Bellerive seems to be a serendipitous ground for great things to happen at – it was here that Ireland edged out Zimbabwe in a thriller just a few days ago. The word serendipitous derives from the wondrous island encountered by Sindbad the Sailor in his sixth voyage, the Arabic name of which is rendered in English translation as Serendip, Serendib or Sarandib. The name by which this island is now known? Sri Lanka.

I do not see this game developing into a Zimbabwe v Ireland style thriller, especially with Kyle Coetzer, the Aberdonian with a South African surname having gone to the second ball of Scotland’s reply.

As those familiar with this blog know I never leave you without sharing some pictures…

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Work on what will be the Northbound exit from the new bus station.
Work on what will be the Northbound exit from the new bus station.
Gaywood Clock through the window of an X8.
Gaywood Clock through the window of an X8.
A lacewing on the inside window of an X8 on the return journey.
A lacewing on the inside window of an X8 on the return journey.
A close up of the same lacewing.
A close up of the same lacewing.
A new dawn (something English cricket needs) breaking over King's Lynn
A new dawn (something English cricket needs) breaking over King’s Lynn
My new bathroom window - I also have secondary glazing on the High Street side of the flat.
My new bathroom window – I also have secondary glazing on the High Street side of the flat.
A glimpse into the Jewish Cemetery, Millfleet, King's Lynn
A glimpse into the Jewish Cemetery, Millfleet, King’s Lynn

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These swans, swimming in the Nar, were a trifle uncooperative.
These swans, swimming in the Nar, were a trifle uncooperative.

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Moorhen about to take the plunge...
Moorhen about to take the plunge…
...And now happily swimming.
…And now happily swimming.

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Bellerive Blockbuster

The best match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup so far took place at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart this morning GB time. Ireland, with a century from Ed Joyce and 97 from Andrew Balbirnie reached 331-8. In reply Zimbabwe fought brilliantly, and at various times, not least when they took 19 from the 49th over, bowled by Kevin O’Brien, to leave themselves needing seven of six balls, they looked like favourites for what have been the largest successful chase in World Cup history. Alex Cusack kept a cool head, and put the finishing touches to a fine bowling performance by capturing the two remaining Zimbabwe wickets for the addition of a single, in three balls. A full scorecard can be viewed by clicking here. Having set the scene with this opening account I will share some pictures before moving on…

This device appears above Paper Klip, the Fakenham stationers.
This device appears above Paper Klip, the Fakenham stationers.

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Not only was that match a classic, featuring quality performances from many players, but the eventual result means that Ireland have now won three matches at this tournament, and are very well placed to progress to the quarter finals. The only disappointment to me was that the Player of the Match Award went boringly (and in my opinion wrongly) to Ed Joyce for his hundred when the key to Ireland’s victory was the cool head under pressure displayed by Alex Cusack. Having witnessed this amazing match I am more convinced than ever that the ICC would be utterly wrong to reduce associate nation involvement in the World Cup. My response to Aakash Chopra who gets to publicise his ideas on www.cricinfo.com and who believes that the World Cup should be reduced to ten teams and that the associates should concentrate on getting to play more matches against full members outside of world cups is twofold. First he is guilty of presenting a false dichotomy: it is not a case of either or – i would like to see both more matches between full members and associates outside of world cups and greater associate participation in World Cups. Whether he is guilty of any offence beyond sloppy logic I am not prepared to say, but it is only in cricket that anyone argues for a smaller world cup. My thoughts on how the Cricket World Cup should be formatted can be viewed by clicking here.

Congratulations to Ireland on a magnificent performance. Before sharing some more pictures I will comment on nations who first entered the world cup as associates and are now full members:

Sri Lanka – played 1975 and 1979 as associates before being granted full membership – Won in 1996 (a feat never achieved by England), Runners up in 2011.

Zimbabwe – made world cup debut in 1983 as an associate,promoted to full membership in 1992 – beat Australia in their first ever world cup match, nearly beat India (eventual champions), later in that competition, and in 1999 when England were ejected from their own party embarrassingly early came with an ace of qualifying for the semi-final.

Bangladesh – No great highlights yet, but are going fairly well this time, and there is at least one person who would not be in the least surprised were they to end up progressing further than England.

Now for the second batch of pictures…

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I was delighted to see cormorants back on the structure I have dubbed Cormorant platform as for some weeks due to nearby roadworks they had not been in evidence.
I was delighted to see cormorants back on the structure I have dubbed Cormorant platform as for some weeks due to nearby roadworks they had not been in evidence.

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