Events in the Womens U19 World Cup

A look at a couple of incidents from the inaugural Women’s Under 19 T20 World Cup and of course a photo gallery.

The inaugural Women’s Under 19 T20 World Cup is currently taking place in South Africa. 16 teams are involved, ranging from top tier cricketing nations like Australia, England and India to newcomers to the cricketing world stage such as Indonesia and Rwanda. In this post I look at two incidents from the tournament.

PAKISTAN V RWANDA – ROATeNSE STRIKES

For more about the ROATeNSE as I call it, please visit this post. This one happened near the end of the Rwanda innings, and attracted the usual howls of protest from those opposed to this form of dismissal (I have yet to meet a logical argument against it – it rarely if ever gets beyond “I don’t like it, so it shouldn’t happen.”). I note three things about this particular dismissal:

  1. The bowler ran in smoothly and only changed tack when noting as she was about to bowl that the non-striker was out of her ground.
  2. There was nothing marginal about it – the batter had her bat trailing behind her, and the toe end of that implement, closest part of bat or body to the crease line, was at least a foot out, possibly 18 inches, while the batter herself was at least a full yard beyond the crease line.
  3. This was not a situation in which an accusation of desperation (a popular tactic among opponents of the ROATeNSE) could be made – Rwanda had lost a lot of wickets and were headed for a poor score (Pakistan won easily in the end, with just over two overs to spare).

In addition to the above important points I also noticed (I saw a video clip of the incident) that the non-striker could see the bowler at all times and was still careless enough to stray out of her ground.

FOUR IN FOUR AND A CHANGE TO THE I XI

Today Rwanda were in action again, this time against Zimbabwe. They managed 119 from their 20 overs, and when Zimbabwe were 80-6 in response a close finish looked on. At that point Rwandan seamer Henriette Ishimwe took the last four wickets with consecutive balls giving Rwanda victory by 39 runs. When I did my all time XI series for each letter of the alphabet in the second half of 2022 the Is had a very weak seam combination, and this proof of Ishimwe’s skill is sufficient to induce a change – she replaces Anthony Ireland in that XI (she is also a useful lower order bat, whereas the Zimbabwean was a genuine number 11). That leads on to a question that crops whenever this wicket taking sequence happens:

IS IT A DOUBLE HAT TRICK?

Some people notice that the sequence WWWW contains two sets of three Ws – nos 1,2 and 3, and nos 2,3 and 4 and ignoring the fact that using this to call the sequence a double hat tricks means counting the second and third wickets twice (once in each hat trick) insist on referring to it as a double hat trick.

For me this is absolute nonsense – only four distinct wickets are taken, so it is four wickets in four balls, while a double hat trick would be six in six – two independent sequences of three in three in succession.

Additionally, the phrase hat trick exists because of a match that took place at the Hyde Park ground in Sheffield in the early 1850s. In that match Heathfield Harman Stephenson, captain of the itinerant All England XI, took three wickets with successive balls and the crowd were so impressed by his feat that they passed a hat around to collect money for him. Both hat and coins were presented to Stephenson. I doubt very much that a fourth successive wicket would have got the hat passed around again, but had Stephenson taken another three in succession either then or later it might well have been, and had another bowler matched his achievement it probably would have been.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

The Follow On

A look at a subject that has been brought back into the news by events in the current Afghanistan v Zimbabwe test match: the follow on and whether or not to enforce it.

In this post I look at the question of whether or not to enforce the follow on. This is prompted by match that is still just in progress between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, in which Zimbabwe have just avoided an innings defeat after Afghanistan chose to enforce the follow on.

A POTTED HISTORY
OF THE FOLLOW ON

The follow on is a method by which a team batting second who finish their first innings a certain margin behind their opponents can be made to bat again straight away. At first at was compulsory, though the exact margins varied. In the early days of test cricket the required advantage was 80 runs, and on one occasion a first innings score of 172 was enough for England to beat Australia by an innings. That was increased to 100, then 120, and then 150. In the 1890s there were instances of fielding sides deliberately giving away runs so that they would not have to enforce the follow on and that led eventually to it becoming a choice as to whether it would be enforced or not.

THE FOLLOW ON IN ACTION

At Sydney in 1894 when it was still compulsory to enforce the follow on England came back from a 261 run first innings deficit to win by 10 runs. However, two players who made useful contributions for England in their second innings 437, Ford (48) and Briggs (42) benefitted from dreadful dropped catches, and George Giffen made the mistake of not attempting to push the scoring rate along on the fifth evening of a timeless match. Overnight rain coupled with a strong Sydney sun then turned the pitch into a minefield on which left arm spinners Peel (6-67) and Briggs were basically unplayable.

At Headingley in 1981, by when it long been a choice of whether to enforce the follow on or not Australia were again victims of an astonishing come back by England. Richie Benaud, former Aussie skipper turned commentator, fully endorsed Kim Hughes’ decision to send England back in, and there would not have been many doubters when England were 41-4 and later 135-7, still 92 adrift, in that second innings. Even with Botham, Dilley and Old all making significant contributions England only had 130 to defend in the final innings, and when Australia were 56-1 just before lunch on the final day there still would not have been many questioning Hughes’ decision. At that point Bob Willis was given the ball at the Kirkstall Lane End for a last ditch spell to revive his test career. Trevor Chappell could only fend a bouncer into the hands of keeper Bob Taylor, Kim Hughes fell to fine slip catch by Botham and right on the stroke of lunch Yallop was caught by Gatting at forward short leg to make it 58-4. This little clatter to end the morning session was crucial as it gave the Australians a lunch interval to contemplate the fact that for the first time in the match defeat was a real possibility. When Border, Dyson, Marsh and Lawson all fell rapidly after lunch Australia were 75-8 and definitely second favourites. Lillee and Bright smacked 35 in four overs in a final twist to the tale, but then Lillee mistimed a drive and fell to a running, diving catch by Gatting, and a perfect middle stump yorker from Willis accounted for Bright to give England victory by 18 runs.

The third occasion that a test match was lost by a side who enforced the follow on was at Kolkata in 2001, and on that occasion the three heroes were VVS Laxman (281 not out), Rahul Dravid (180) and Harbhajan Singh who bowled Australia out in their second innings. That remains the sum total of test matches lost by a team enforcing the follow on.

One test match has been lost by a team declining to enforce – Australia vs South Africa, when Australia were rolled for 99 in their second innings and SA chased the target down. Frank Woolley in “King of Games” cites an example at first class level, a game he was involved in. Warwickshire, captained by Frank Foster, declined to send Kent in again and Kent’s two left arm spinners, Blythe and Woolley himself each took 5-8 as Warwickshire were bowled out for 16. Kent chased the target down without over much difficulty. Other occasions when sides have come unstuck in the third as opposed to fourth innings of matches include Derbyshire v Essex 1904 when Essex managed just 97 in the third innings, precisely 500 fewer than they had achieved in the first and Derbyshire won by nine wickets, and Lancashire against Warwickshire in 1982, when a sea fret at Southport enabled Les MacFarlane to record a career best 6-59 with his swingers as Warwickshire followed a first innings 523-4 declared (Humpage 254, Kallicharran 230 not out) with 111 all out, and Lancashire won by ten wickets.

TWO RECENT EXAMPLES

In the first match of the recent India v England series England had the opportunity to enforce the follow-on (current margin required is 200, enforcement is voluntary) after India had responded to their 578 with a modest 334. Joe Root chose not to so, and for me he was right, as the pitch was showing signs of deterioration and there was enough time left in the game to build a big lead and bowl India out a second time. The opportunity nearly arose for India in the second game, and again it would have been folly for them to enforce it in the circumstances.

We now come to Afghanistan v Zimbabwe, which series is taking place in the United Arab Emirates (for reasons that should be obvious Afghanistan cannot stage home matches at present). Going into the current match Zimbabwe are one up in the series having won the opener. Afghanistan posted 545-4 declared in their first innings, Hashmatullah Shahidi becoming the first Afghan to score a test double century (200 not out), and Asghar Afghan scoring 164. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 287 in their first innings. With the game already deep into the third of five scheduled days and needing a win Afghanistan enforced the follow on. When Zimbabwe were 142-7, still 116 adrift few would have been questioning that call, but Sean Williams and Donald Tiripano have shown impressive fight, adding 124 so far and getting Zimbabwe to the close of day four on 266-7, an advantage of eight. If Zimbabwe can conjure up another 120 against bowler’s who have had a night’s rest they might make things interesting. However, this does not reflect on the decision to enforce the follow on, which I consider every bit as correct as Root’s decision not to do so against India in Chennai. It would be a poor batting performance to collapse in the face of a target of 130, and if any decision the Afghans have made would be open to question it would be the first innings declaration rather than pushing on past 600.

TO ENFORCE OR NOT TO ENFORCE? THAT IS THE Q

The answer is: it depends on the circumstances. If there is lots of time left in the game and the pitch seems likely to misbehave later then it can make sense not to enforce. Also, if it is the final match of a series and a draw will be sufficient then there is a case for not enforcing as it is slightly less unlikely that you will lose outright if you don’t enforce (though defeat with that kind of lead is rare anyway). If however you are a match down and it is already quite late in the game (the Afghanistan situation) then failing to enforce would be an act of arrant folly. Overall I would say that one should be inclined to enforce, and that there should be a strong reason, as there was in Chennai, for doing otherwise.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Not inappropriately for a post in which a team who could be considered the wrens of the test cricket world have featured so prominently today’s usual sign off is headed by the first wren I have seen in 2021…

All Time XIs – The Minor Nations

Today is ‘international Monday’ in my all time XI cricket series, and I honour some of the finest cricketers to hail from countries who do not dine at cricket’s top table.

INTRODUCTION

Today is Monday, and our ‘all time XI’ series of cricket posts usually covers an international set up on that day. Today varies the theme by acknowledging various countries who have produced the odd fine player but never a top ranking team. Some of the countries from whom I have selected players have or have had test match status, others aspire to such. I have included one player who actually did play for a major nation over a century before the land of his birth gained test status. The two XIs I have selected are named after their captains.

SHAKIB AL HASAN’S XI

  1. Freddie Fane – right handed opening batter. He played for and captained England in the early part of the 20th century, his international highlight being an innings of 143 against South Africa during the 1905-6 series. He was born in Ireland and is proof that that country has been producing talented cricketers for a long time. He is part of the select group of people to have read their own obituary – his cousin Francis Luther Fane – same initials, middle name and surname, had died, and somebody dug out the wrong obituary. Other members of this club include Mark Twain (“reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”)
  2. Tamim Iqbal – left handed opening batter. A man who currently averages 38.64 at test level, probably the classiest batter that Bangladesh have yet produced. Bangladesh’s elevation to test rank came too soon for them, and their record shows this only too clearly. They may eventually become a force to be reckoned with.
  3. *Shakib Al Hasan – left handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner, captain. I have awarded him the no3 slot from where he had such a marvellous 2019 World Cup. He is currently serving a suspension for failing to report an unathorised approach from a bookmaker, but there is no suggestion that he has actually been involved in any sort of fixing, he appears to have accepted his punishment with good grace, and he had done enough before his fall from grace to earn his place.
  4. Andrew Flower – right handed batter, occasional wicket keeper. The only Zimbabwean to ever be ranked world no 1 batter, he averaged over 50 in test cricket. He subsequently had a very successful career as coach, including guiding England to the world no 1 test ranking, a position they achieved in 2011.
  5. Steve Tikolo – left handed batter, occasional off spinner. His country, Kenya, have never had test status, but they rank fairly high in ODI cricket. Tikolo’s first class average of 48 is far in excess of his record in short form cricket, and suggests someone with the class and the temperament to succeed at the highest level.
  6. Alec O’Riordan right handed batter, left arm fast medium bowler. His first class record looks modest, but his mere 25 appearances at that level were spread across 15 years. He was the first, and for many years, the only person to have both scored 2,000 runs and taken 200 wickets for Ireland. His finest hour came at Sion Mills in 1969, when he combined with his skipper Doug Goodwin to dismiss the West Indies for 25 (and 13 of those runs came for the last wicket!) Ireland overhauled this total for the loss of one wicket, declared later in the day and took a few more West Indies wickets, Goodwin finishing with match figures of 7-7. It was scheduled to be a one innings per side match, so the result appears in the book as Ireland beat West Indies by nine wickets – everything that happened after Ireland had reached 26 was merely to give the crowd their money’s worth.
  7. +Mushfiqur Rahim – wicket keeper, right handed batter. He averages 36.77 in test cricket and is excellent behind the stumps. If a world XI of current test players was being picked he would be in the mix for the gloves – BJ Watling of New Zealand also has a good claim, and were he the incumbent Ben Foakes of England would be there as well.
  8. Mehidy Hasan – off spinner, right handed batter. Another Bangladeshi, and provenly capable of match winning performances – just ask England.
  9. Bart King – right arm fast bowler, right handed batter. The greatest cricketer ever produced by the US. His 415 first class wickets came at 15.66 each, and he also averaged 20 with the bat. He was one of the pioneers of swing bowling. At one time, thanks to the efforts of King and his fellow Philadelphians the US was not all that far from test match status. WG Grace toured North America in 1872-3 and was favourably impressed, though he expected bigger things from the Canadians than from the US.
  10. Rashid Khan – leg spinner, useful lower order batter. He has already experienced some success in the test arena (23 wickets at 21 each in four matches) although most of the cricket he plays is short form – I would applaud any county who had the courage to offer him a contract as their official overseas player for a whole season. He is the finest talent to emerge from Afghanistan to date, although as we shall see not the only one.
  11. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza – right arm fast medium bowler. He went on a little too long at the top, but in his prime he was decidedly sharp, and remains the best pace bowler to have come from Bangladesh.

This team has a solid batting line up, two genuine all rounders, a top keeper who can bat and lots of variety in the bowling: Right arm pace from King and Mortaza, left arm pace from O’Riordan, leg spin from Rashid Khan, off spin from Mehidy Hasan and left arm orthodox spin from Shakib Al Hasan.

MURRAY GOODWIN’S XI

  1. Jeremy Bray – left handed opening batter. He was of that generation who put Ireland firmly on the cricketing map but for whom test cricket came just too late. Am average of 52 in first class cricket suggests that he would have fared well at test level.
  2. Hazratullah Zazai – left handed opening batter. A first class average of 38, yet to get his chance in the test arena. His aggressive approach should complement the more old school approach of Bray nicely.
  3. Dave Houghton – right handed batter. One of Zimbabwe’s best, he once scored 266 in a test match, and averaged 43 in that form of the game.
  4. Mominul Haque – left handed batter. One of the few Bangladeshis to average over 40 in test cricket.
  5. *Murray Goodwin – right handed batter, captain. He played for Zimbabwe, once scoring a century against England in a test match. He retired early from international cricket, and proceeded to churn out bucketloads of runs for Sussex, including a county record 335 not out which secured them their first county championship (a feat they repeated twice in the following three seasons).
  6. Manjural Islam Rana – left handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner. He died in a road accident at the age of 23, but even at that young age he was averaging 36.26 with the bat and 25.97 with the ball in first class cricket – figures that suggest that had he survive Bangladesh may have had two Shakib Al Hasan type cricketers available to them.
  7. +Niall O’Brien – wicket keeper, right handed batter. Ireland’s elevation to test status came too late for him, but a first class batting average of 35.51 and 540 dismissals in 176 matches are some testament to his skill.
  8. Heath Streak – right arm fast medium bowler, useful lower order batter. Zimbabwe’s finest test bowler, with 216 wickets at 28 each at that level. He played county cricket for Warwickshire, once combining a half century with a 13 wicket match haul.
  9. Dawlat Zadranright arm fast medium bowler. So far the only pace bowler of indisputable class to have come out of Afghanistan.
  10. Sandeep Lamichhane – leg spinner. Almost all his cricket has been played over limited overs, but his record in both List A and T20 is outstanding, and I would love to see him gain first class experience – I would applaud any county who signed him as their official overseas player. Nepal are not currently in the running for test status, and it takes a lot more than one player to make a case. Bangladesh and Ireland have both suffered from mistimed promotions – in Ireland’s case the promotion was confirmed just as the generation who had really earned it were bowing out, while Bangladesh’s came without sufficient scrutiny of their domestic structure. On overseas players I would add that is unlikely that a top player from really top ranking nation will be available for a whole season as they will have other commitments, and I would prefer a calculated gamble on a youngster who may well improve such as Rashid Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane or indeed the chap I will be mentioning next to the signing of someone who is established as not quite being top drawer. I would also say that an overseas player should not be signed just to tick that particular box – one should be certain they are bringing something to the squad that is not already available.
  11. Zahir Khan – left arm wrist spinner. We end with another Afghan (not be confused with Zaheer Khan, the Indian former left arm quick bowler), and another who has had little exposure to long form cricket and is still well and truly young enough to learn. Afghanistan’s promotion to test status appears to have been managed very well, and they recorded a victory in their second game at that level, the earliest time of such an achievement since 1877, when Australia won the first ever test match and England the second. Although they were winless in the 2019 World Cup they had their moments along the way, and I shall not be unduly surprised if in years to come we see an Afghanistan side that is truly a force to be reckoned with.

This side has a solid top six including a genuine all rounder, a keeper who can bat and four varied bowlers. There is no front line off spin option, but there are three very distinctive and different styles of spin represented. Heath Streak and Dawlat Zadran should make a good new ball pairing.

LINK AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK has produced a brilliant diagram comparing outdated beliefs about money with modern understandings of the same. I urge you to view the full post in its original setting by clicking on the screenshot below.

OB v NU

Now it is time for my usual sign off…

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I ventured out for a walk today, taking good care to go nowhere that might be crowded, and got some good pics along the way.

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A ladybird and…

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…what I believe to a species of shieldbug

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The lavender is in full bloom outside my bungalow, which means lots of bees..

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…and other pollinators – this one from the wings and eyes is a tyoe of fly that has evolved to resemble a wasp.

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Back home, and the weather which had started cloudy cleared (I started today in trousers and jumper, and the clearing of the weather has seen that change into shorts and t-shirt).

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Minor Nations
The teams in tabulated form.

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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