Almost every cricket fan will have heard the famous quote, attributed to Brian Johnston, “The Bowler’s Holding, the Batsman’s Willey”. Whether or not this really was said live on air no longer matters a great deal, it is brilliantly representative of the many double entendres that have featured in cricket commentary before and since. That latest in this fine tradition was offered up yesterday by Charles Dagnall in his commentary on the Champions Trophy match between Pakistan and South Africa, when, in describing the 7ft1 Mohammed Irfan of Pakistan, he announced “He’s just got a monumentally big handle… so to speak”. After a good chuckle I set about compiling a list of some of my favourites, which I present below.
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And so it happened.
England wrapped up a convincing victory thus taking the series 2–0. It was all a little too easy. Only the weather could have saved New Zealand from certain defeat. It rained, but just not quite enough, and England stepped up to the plate and showed their true class.
They are a far better side than New Zealand and they proved it. The bowling attack in particular throughout the series have performed very well although the Kiwis’ attack hasn’t done too badly either.… Read Full Article
What originally got me following international cricket was an early exposure to Test Match Special. As we all know, test cricket isn’t always the most breakneck paced sport, and filling in the time between overs, the drinks breaks, lunch, tea, and “British-summer” inspired interruptions is not an easy challenge. TMS has done this so well it pretty much justifies the license fee on it’s own. In the most recent 2-match series I’ve enjoyed “ask the umpire”, I’ve learned about bulbs that repel moles from your garden, and probably the highlight of TMS in 2013, I heard a wonderful “sermon”, written for a cricket loving groom who was getting married whilst the 2nd test was being played. Thank you to TMS for broadcasting this, and thank you to the Revd Stewart Fyfe for writing and sharing it with the nation via TMS.… Read Full Article
Whilst grumbling to myself about the end of play (due to light) last night, a thought suddenly occurred to me — with a red ball and a green pitch, can red-green colour-blind people play cricket successfully?
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Bit of a steady day today… if the weather is OK tomorrow England will almost certainly win and if it chucks it down then a draw would seem likely.
But it should already be all over with a comfortable victory, probably by an innings. Cook should have enforced the follow-on. Even if England had ended up losing he would have made a clear statement of intent and put a marker down that he is an aggressive and gutsy character who takes no prisoners. Instead he took the defensive option.… Read Full Article
There are various topics I could have chosen to write about after the third day of the second test in the England vs New Zealand series.
The issues that immediately jump out are 1) another fantastic performance by England’s bowlers against a woeful Kiwi batting line up 2) a lovely return to form of the home side’s skipper and opening bat Alastair Cook 3) four wickets for Swann or 4) the highly debatable decision by England not to enforce the follow on (almost guaranteeing a series victory but greatly reducing the chances of a victory in the match with rain forecast). But today I am going to swerve a little left of centre and focus on something entirely different…
They say every day is a school day and today I learnt something new today… The great moustachioed former middle order Aussie slugger David Boon is match referee for this test. I like to think I have a good grasp of world cricket events but the promotion of the talismanic Tasmanian as a world referee in 2011 is something that passed me by but is something that also pleases me greatly.… Read Full Article
First off a great big cherry bun with extra icing congratulations to my fellow Yorkshire lad Joe Root for his maiden century. Joe – who even went to the same school as me and my fellow author of this website (King Ecgberts in Sheffield) – simply oozes class. Barring injury he’s going to be an England fixture for many years to come.
But Joe aside there has to be concern at the form, or lack thereof, of the England top order. And questions need to be raised for a team with designs on the World number one test ranking.… Read Full Article
After such a slow start to the game the first test finished at break neck speed today – and what a performance by Stuart Broad to raise the chequered flag.
Not only did he club 20 odd important runs (not out) as England’s innings came to a quick and disappointing end but he followed that by a spell of supreme fast-medium bowling which decimated the New Zealand order.
When Broad is on-song like that he was today there is simply no stopping him and he can be virtually unplayable. The last time he delivered a performance like this was against the Old Enemy at the Oval in the 2009 Ashes clash. I recorded the highlights of that day’s play and kept them for a few years just so I could watch it again and again. That day he got a 5-for, claiming the scalps of Watson, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke and Haddin – so pretty much the Australian top order.… Read Full Article
What a topsy turvy match is proving to be! Three days gone and it’s still very unclear who is on top.
Until just before 6pm it was very much England’s day. The bowlers stepped up to the plate and managed to eek out a slight lead. And then the young pretender Root hit a steady half century well supported by the even steadier Trott.… Read Full Article
Or so the song goes.
A review of the second day’s play would always be incomplete with a nod towards shining star James Anderson.
By dismissing Kiwi opener Peter Fulton (his second wicket of the innings) Jimmy became only the fourth member of England’s prestigious 300 club. Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fiery Fred Trueman are the only other current custodians.… Read Full Article