An Object Lesson In Two Games

A post inspired by a tweet from former England cricket captain Nasser Hussain.

INTRODUCTION

This post is inspired by a tweet from former England captain Nasser Hussain:

Those who know anything about me can probably guess my answer, but please read on anyway…

CONGRATULATIONS BANGLADESH

Just before getting to the meat of my post I belatedly congratulate Bangladesh for a magnificent seven wicket victory over the West Indies, chasing down 322 with eight and a half overs to spare. Shakib-al-Hasan made a superb century for Bangladesh and masterminded the chase.

NASSER’S TWO GAMES

The England-Afghanistan game featured a brief period of spectacular play, when Eoin Morgan blasted 120 off 46 deliveries, having just had a catch dropped. He shared a partnership with Joe Root worth 189 to which Root contributed 43, while Morgan scored 142 and there were four extras. At The Oval on 1886 W G Grace reached 134 not out by the time his opening partner W H Scotton of Nottinghamshire was out for 34 (two extras meant that this stand was worth 170, which coincidentally was WG’s final score when he was out to make it 216-2), while at Old Trafford in 1981, again against Australia Ian Botham scored 118 while Chris Tavare advanced his score by 28 (three extras meant that this stand was worth 149). Morgan’s amazing spree included 17 sixes, a record in a single innings in any form of international cricket, but precisely because it was so amazing it killed the game as a contest, and long before it had finished the final outcome was very obvious, which meant that the rest of the match lost something.

By contrast, the South Africa – New Zealand game went down to the wire, the latter eventually being seen home by Kane Williamson who hit the second ball of the final over for six to bring up his century and then coolly took a single of the next delivery to complete the job. This was a pulsating contest, commanding full attention all the way through. Its eventual outcome has almost certainly condemned South Africa to an early exit from the tournament.

England – Afghanistan saw 640 runs scored, South Africa – New Zealand only just over 480 and the lower scoring game was definitely the better of the two overall. Also, for all its spectacular qualities I cannot rate Morgan’s innings as high as I do Williamson’s – the latter was a clearly defined matchwinner, whereas England would probably have managed to win even if Morgan had made a blob.

South Africa – New Zealand was the game of the tournament so far, and Kane Williamson’s knock to see the latter home was as far as I am concerned the innings of the tournament to date. Morgan’s performance was spectacular, and wonderful while it lasted but it robbed that match of much interest by ending it as a contest before it was half over.

I welcome the fact that this world cup has not been the absolute run fest some predicted, because I continue to believe that at its best cricket is a contest between bat and ball, not a ludicrous spectacle in which bowlers are reduced to mere servants to fulfill the whims of the batters.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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The first pictures in this selection are from Tapping House, where I continue to attend physio sessions – my upper body strength is apparently quite good,

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My birthday present from my fellow NAS West Norfolk committee members – I wonder if anyone had given one of these to Mr Smith or Mr Warner?! (the actual day was May 31st, and for the record it was number 44.

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A few pics from Golding’s in King’s Lynn town centre

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Once a huge eysore the outside if this supermarket has been done up recently,

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My birthday present from my sister.

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A blackbird pays a visit to the feeder.

“Your Captain’s Irish” and some Cool Pics

The first part of the title refers to a chant allegedly perpetrated by Scottish fans at the cricket world cup. It is perfectly true that England’s current ODI captain is Irish. It is also hypocritical for such a chant to come from Scotland fans whose team is captained by Preston Mommsen (hardly a 22 carat Caledonian name!). Finally I do not consider birthplace to be all that important – what matters is that people give 100% out on the pitch. This team (and note it has proper balance – it is not just 11 players) is made up exclusively of players I have seen playing for England, and its members have one either thing in common which I shall reveal after I have shared some pictures. Here is our team:

Andrew Strauss (Captain)
Robin Smith
Jonathan Trott
Kevin Pietersen
Allan Lamb
Nasser Nussain (Vice Captain)
Matthew Prior (Wicketkeeper)
Philippe-Henri Edmonds (SLA)
Andrew Caddick (RFM)
Alan Mullally (LF)
Devon Malcolm (RF)

The only slightly questionable selection is Robin Smith as opener, a position he never actually filled, but given his relish for fast bowling he would probably have fared well there. There is no all-rounder because Basil D’Oliveira had retired from international cricket before I was born and Tony Greig not long after. Now for some pics…

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These were growing beside Hardwick Road!
These were growing beside Hardwick Road!

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Detail from above the door of Custom House
Detail from above the door of Custom House
Close detail of immediately above to door of Custom House.
Close detail of immediately above to door of Custom House.

The answer to what that team all of have in common is all were born outside England:

Strauss, Smith, Trott, Pietersen, Lamb and Prior were all born in South Africa, Hussain in India, Caddick in New Zealand, Mullally in Australia, Malcolm in Jamaica and Edmonds in Zambia (he is also half Belgian, hence the first name Philippe-Henri).

The Cricket World Cup (and Some Pictures from Kings Lynn)

The cricket world cup is well and truly under way. The night before last our time Ireland chased down a target of over 300 to beat the West Indies. Last night co-hosts New Zealand took on Scotland in Dunedin and a look at the scorecard would suggest a typical Dunedin cold, grey day with the ball nipping about all over the place. The truth was that after some excellent new ball bowling by Trent Boult and Tim Southee reduced Scotland to 12-4 the match was as good as over. Scotland rallied to reach 142. New Zealand then squandered seven wickets knocking off this very modest target (the dismissals were almost all down to bad batting rather than good bowling – but fortunately Geoffrey Boycott was not there to bear witness).

I have plenty of pictures to share with you, which I shall do in two tranches, starting with some from Sunday…

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The newly refurbished steps from the street to Boal Quay Car Park, done as part of the work of increasing the height of the flood defences.
The newly refurbished steps from the street to Boal Quay Car Park, done as part of the work of increasing the height of the flood defences.

Before sharing the pick of yesterday’s images, mention of my new work shoes, which after periods of wear indoors on Sunday and yesterday are going to get their first outing today (if this proves a mistake I can revert to the old work shoes that I still have for Thursday and Friday). The key day for when I have to be able to wear them without issue is a week tomorrow, when we have our next auction down at Fakenham Racecourse, and I will then be playing bridge in the evening without going home between the two events. At this moment I am not anticipating that there will be any problems because I have catered for all eventualities including buying a box of cushioned plasters in the event of a bad reaction from my heels. My mother spotted these shoes in Russell and Bromley while in London last week, for which I was very grateful as I had drawn a blank at Clarks. Now for some more images…

The flag fluttering from the Guilhall.
The flag fluttering from the Guilhall.

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One shot, three species - the smallest of which is only seen in this area at low tide when there is exposed mud.
One shot, three species – the smallest of which is only seen in this area at low tide when there is exposed mud.
They were there in great numbers - 28 in this shot post cropping.
They were there in great numbers – 28 in this shot post cropping.

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These birds are not regulars in Kings Lynn.
These birds are not regulars in Kings Lynn.

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