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  #501  
Old 09-10-2019, 04:31 AM
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I heard that England are unchanged which is rather surprising, although I don't know what the alternatives are. Warner seems certain to remain for Australia, so it may be Patterson in for someone- possibly Cummins? He has done a fair bit of bowling, but in the context of past series, hardly onerous.
  #502  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:00 AM
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Some totally irrelevant statistics. I fooled around with Statguru tonight regarding if batting has become that much easier- which I believed it had. So I put in scores of over 259 (should have been 250 but I am hopeless with a keyboard

and by decade the results are

2010 : 15
2000: 23
1990: 11
1980: 5
1970: 6
1960: 4
1950: 6
1930: 9

I didn't go further back as there were to few Test playing nations to make it useless. So after those scores doubling in the nineties and doubling again after 2000 it has come a bit back. Of course there are factors such as RSA's exclusion, Zimbabwe playing and also the player friendly Dubai. I think the answer is a pineapple.
  #503  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:10 AM
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If you're using a count statistic like this, rather than, say, batting averages, you also have to take into account the total number of test matches being played.

1950s - 164
1960s - 186
1970s - 198
1980s - 266
1990s - 347
2000s - 464

This growth, and the increasing number of tests played between mismatched teams, probably accounts for a lot of the difference.
  #504  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:14 AM
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Covered pitches will have helped a significant amount too.
  #505  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:33 AM
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...a composite side ... the top 3 would probably all be English because the Australian top order have been terrible. Stokes and Broad are the only others that would get in the side..
I think that is a fair assessment.
My quibble would be the descriptor "only others" ... 5 of 11 is a pretty even share.
  #506  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:48 AM
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Surely with more runs, no innings under 50 vs 3 ducks and almost twice the average of Joe Root, Marnus Labuschagne would be batting at 3.
  #507  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:17 AM
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Surely with more runs, no innings under 50 vs 3 ducks and almost twice the average of Joe Root, Marnus Labuschagne would be batting at 3.
Root's a world-class player and I'd definitely want him in my side, but you're right: if we're looking at this series alone, with no knowledge of prior form, you'd probably put Labuschagne in ahead of him (nitpick: Labuschagne has had one knock under 50 - he got 11 in the second innings at Old Trafford).

To be honest, I'd think about keeping Root at 3 using Labuschagne as an opener. He's had to come in early on multiple occasions, and has looked as comfortable as anyone except Smith and Burns against the new ball. I also wouldn't give Root the captaincy, because he seems to bat better without it, and he's a pretty crap captain in terms of strategy.

Last edited by mhendo; 09-10-2019 at 09:18 AM.
  #508  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
S... regarding if batting has become that much easier.
While we are on that theme:

From Cricinfo statsguru I took the match result of each Test played since 1930 and calculated the average runs per wicket (= average partnership or batting average)

For those of you inclined, past the figures in the four tables below into Excel and generate a graph of the batting average for winning, losing and drawn/tied Tests per decade.

Quite remarkable consistency given the changes in breadth, depth and conditions of the game

In precis, the Test batting average for the period is 32.6 (hence the batting meme, hit 350 and smile)
Batting average for teams that won is 40.1
Batting average in drawn/tied Tests is also 40.1
Batting average in lost Tests is 22.5

The gap between the average for Tests won and lost is 17.6 runs per wicket, which is 350 runs per match.
From 1950 to current that superior batting differential has been in a quite tight range of from 14.6 to 19.9.

Won
1930 41.2
1940 48.6
1950 35.6
1960 37.6
1970 37.8
1980 37.6
1990 37.8
2000 43.5
2010 41.6

Drawn/Tied
1930 39.9
1940 39.5
1950 36.2
1960 36.5
1970 39.5
1980 40.0
1990 39.5
2000 44.7
2010 42.6

Lost
1930 20.8
1940 23.4
1950 19.5
1960 23.0
1970 22.5
1980 21.5
1990 22.0
2000 23.7
2010 23.1

Total
1930 32.7
1940 35.8
1950 28.6
1960 32.3
1970 32.8
1980 32.6
1990 31.6
2000 34.2
2010 32.6
  #509  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:57 PM
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Won
1940 48.6
Is the relatively high average here a Bradman effect?
  #510  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:10 PM
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Australia won 14/18 Tests in the 40s with Bradman playing in all but the first one and last two but Test cricket was on hold until 1946 so maybe it's a statistical anomaly.
  #511  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:25 PM
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Is the relatively high average here a Bradman effect?
To a large extent yes, but not exclusively.

AUS averaged 52.3 when winning Tests in the '40s.
Excluding Tests vs AUS, the rest of the cricketing nations averages 43.7.

There was also a fair bit of beating up on India post WWII.
ENG averaged 47.6 and WI averaged 58.2 vs India in that decade.

In that era wickets were prepared as roads on day 1 and deteriorated into cart tracks.
Win the toss and bat for 3 days was SOP.
  #512  
Old 09-11-2019, 06:03 AM
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I think that is a fair assessment.
My quibble would be the descriptor "only others" ... 5 of 11 is a pretty even share.
This is a fair point, and on review, I discovered what the issue was with my (not written down at that point) composite side - I had 12 people in it, with one more batsman than I should have had.

The major issue for any composite side in this series is that one of the opener slots is essentially empty - I mentally slotted Denly in, even though I don't really rate him and had Root at 3 because 3 is also a black hole in Australia's line up - but then had one too many in the middle order with Smith, Labuschagne, Stokes, Wade and Paine.

Having someone open from this lot - Labu seeming like as reasonable a call as any - might be the way around it - but given Root has essentially opened all series for England, I think I settle on having him bat 2, since he's been doing it anyway, and have Smith bat 3, since he's been doing it anyway too.

So Burns, Root, Smith, Labuschagne, Stokes, Wade, Paine, Cummins, Broad, Hazlewood, Lyon - feels about right and gives England only 4 players in the side, which also feels right.
  #513  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:16 AM
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Can't argue much with that selection - for me it really highlights where England missed their opportunity this series. We were never going to have a batsman as good as Smith, a spinner as good as Lyon, or (once Anderson departed) a strike bowling pair as consistent as Cummins and Hazlewood. But neither Wade nor Paine have had particularly good series, if Buttler and/or Bairstow had managed to show some of their previous form we would have been a lot closer.
  #514  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:53 AM
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Understand the sentiment and the lack of options at the top.
But I can't pick a composite side with essentially the entire batting line playing out of position, and you can't put in the team somebody who has been dropped. Elsewise Khawaja is the best option to open.

Lyon has filled his role adequately but despite bowling on some helpful wickets has not reached his own standards. I rarely pick a side without the best available left arm seamer but Broad bowling around the wicket is a viable replacement.

So with considerable angst and hope for some clarity to form at the Oval, my pick is:

Burns
(... to be filled by the opener with highest season aggregate after Oval Test) Denly
Root
Smith
Labuschagne
Stokes
Paine
Cummins
Siddle
Broad
Hazlewood

Last edited by penultima thule; 09-11-2019 at 08:53 AM.
  #515  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:03 AM
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And just when you thought the shit was laid on a deep as feasible come the news that Warner retains his spot (because there isn't a right hander who can open in the squad) and Head has been dropped for Mitchell Marsh.

Like what the AUS team needs is a part time bowler who can't bat.

Siddle comes back. Tres grouse. Looks like it's him or Starc for 12th, I'd leave Starc out.
I thought that Cummins would have been rested and Pattinson back in. Que sera, sera.
  #516  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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England have dropped Roy and Overton for the last test, replacing them with Sam Curran and Chris Woakes. Because of his shoulder problems, Stokes will play as a specialist batsman.

As for Australia, I'd have dropped Warner, who has been terrible this series, and opened with Labuschagne. As I said above, he's had to face an almost completely new ball a few times already this series, and he can't possibly do worse than Warner has been doing. And he bats right-handed.
  #517  
Old 09-11-2019, 01:41 PM
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Check out this catch.

https://twitter.com/wisdencricket/st...966594048?s=12

I mean, bloody hell.
  #518  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:33 PM
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Holy shit! I've seen some good two-man catches on the boundary, but that's incredible.
  #519  
Old 09-11-2019, 05:14 PM
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The decision making is stunning.

He's got to concentrate on performing what would have been a stunning enough catch if just done infield by himself, realising he's going to need a relay throw to complete it, work out where his teamate is and then as he doesn't have the time in mid dive to throw the ball back in forhand and so flicks it backhand in one motion of taking the catch.

Wowsers!
  #520  
Old 09-11-2019, 07:06 PM
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Aaaarrgghhh.


Marsh. They are doing this to make me froth at the mouth.
  #521  
Old 09-12-2019, 05:44 AM
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AUS win toss and elect to bowl.
Denny and Roy look solid enough and put on best opening partnership of the series, albeit a mere 27 before Denny goes hard at a ball he could have left or played with soft hands. Edges to 2nd slip where Smith makes a meal of it but doesn’t panic and eventually holds on.
  #522  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:19 AM
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ENG 107-2 after 33 overs.
We have some batting with application going on. Good stuff.
  #523  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:25 AM
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I don't understand the decision to bowl. All the stats give the advantage to the team batting first in tests. Sure, there are some circumstances that dictate bucking the conventional wisdom, but none of those circumstances apply today; in fact, The Oval is generally a ground that rewards batting first. Not only that, I'd think that the Aussie quicks might have benefited from an extra day or two of rest before being asked to bowl again.
  #524  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:44 AM
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I agree on all counts (though two of the Aussie quicks have had plenty of rest days). Some chat on cricinfo about it being a strategy to play for the draw. I personally doubt that came into it - I mean, Paine is no Steve Waugh, but surely no Aussie captain worthy of the name would think that way? A better reason would be the general fragility of both sides' top order. But if England do go on to 300+ (as they really ought to, but I'm not counting any chickens by any means), that just increases the pressure on the Aussie openers.
  #525  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:45 AM
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Am here. On the toss, think Paine got suckered in by the overcast conditions and a little grass on the wicket. Shouldn’t have batted first down here. It’s flat in the County Championship, this also looks like it’s not doing much except for Cummins (because he’s great)

Root has ridden his luck. Burns should have played that shot full bloodedly instead of pulling out halfway through. He’d done ok up until then.

Last edited by Cumbrian; 09-12-2019 at 08:47 AM.
  #526  
Old 09-12-2019, 09:06 AM
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Some chat on cricinfo about it being a strategy to play for the draw.
Nope, if that was the thinking why did they drop a batsman for a bowler (Head for Marsh)?
  #527  
Old 09-12-2019, 09:22 AM
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I think they put England in so that they would have an excuse to bat for days to allow Steve Smith to get the 329 he needs for 1,000 runs in the series.
  #528  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:02 AM
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Not sure what the point is of replacing Roy with Curran if he's just going to do the same thing. Needs to redeem himself with the ball. England in serious danger of failing to make 250 now, 199/6.
  #529  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:06 AM
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Marsh. They are doing this to make me froth at the mouth.
Well, you'd have to say that Marsh has just about justified his selection today.

Cummins, though, has bowled incredibly well. He could just as easily have five or six. In addition to going past the bat on numerous occasions, he had Root dropped twice in consecutive overs, then set up Curran beautifully for an LBW, only to overstep the crease.

Even with the drops and the other missteps, the Aussies would have to be happy to get 6 for under 200 runs. This looks like a 400-run pitch to me.
  #530  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:16 AM
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Very astute from England - making Mitch Marsh look a world beater is teeing us up nicely to win the urn back next time.
  #531  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:19 AM
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Very astute from England - making Mitch Marsh look a world beater is teeing us up nicely to win the urn back next time.


His two LBW's were decent balls, but it's not like they were unplayable. Bairstow, in particular, should have done much better, and his decision to review was pretty poor.
  #532  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:46 AM
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I am sat almost behind the stumps facing the end that Bairstow was batting when he got out. From 90 yards away it was plumb. Dumb review - as I said to the mate I have sat next to me, he’s either hit it, in which case he should review immediately and he didn’t, or it’s out.

He needs dropping. He averages around 20 since the starts of 2018 and has a glaring flaws that make him susceptible to being bowled through the gate. He’s also aggro as hell and not as good a wk as Foakes. Get him out.
  #533  
Old 09-12-2019, 12:55 PM
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Pretty good last hour for England. 70 runs at about a run a ball. Leach doing a nice job of protecting his wicket while Buttler smacks them around.
  #534  
Old 09-12-2019, 02:52 PM
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Well, you'd have to say that Marsh has just about justified his selection today.

Cummins, though, has bowled incredibly well. He could just as easily have five or six. In addition to going past the bat on numerous occasions, he had Root dropped twice in consecutive overs, then set up Curran beautifully for an LBW, only to overstep the crease.

Even with the drops and the other missteps, the Aussies would have to be happy to get 6 for under 200 runs. This looks like a 400-run pitch to me.
I can turn any player into a world beater by saying that player should not be in the side.

Sending the opposition in on a 400 wicket doesm't seem a great idea. England may still get them.
  #535  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:27 PM
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Well, you'd have to say that Marsh has just about justified his selection today.
Yes, but I ain't for droppin' da bone on dis.

The problem with Mitchell Marsh, from my perspective in advertising parlance is that he’s a bait and switch.

Promoted by the cabal that runs cricket in Western Australia as a candidate to solve Australia’s perennial search for a bowling allrounder to follow in the footsteps of Alan Davidson and Richie Benaud.
Note bowling allrounder, somebody capable of bowling first change @ 140k or long spells to rest the frontline and batting #6/7/8 who can periodically turn out a quick half century to set up a win.

To be fair, they are rare diamonds. Since those days England have produced Botham & Stokes. Kiwis had Hadlee, Pakistan had Imran Khan, India had Kapil Dev, South Africa had Kallis, Windies had Sobers.

Much of this can be blamed on the fact that bowling in an Australian summer is bloody hard yakka and the role and expectations make it pretty much a mugs game.

But Marsh was promoted within the Test team from a #7 who bowls and bat a bit (but didn’t take wickets and couldn’t score runs) to batting at #4 and not bowling.

He took 4 wickets with some handy swing bowling yesterday, but only because AUS couldn’t take the catches off Cummins.
He’s supposed to take wickets in the manner he did, just he almost never does.

In 32 Tests/53 innings he’s bowled 462 overs i.e. averages just 8 overs per innings.
His strike rate is a wicket per 71 balls so takes less than one wicket per innings, barely one per Test.
He’s a part time bowler with a sub-par batting average at Test (25.4) and first class (31.6) with just 10 100’s from 172 innings

As the Grade Cricketer would say, he’s a salad or rig based selection.

Last edited by penultima thule; 09-12-2019 at 11:30 PM.
  #536  
Old 09-13-2019, 02:49 AM
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So basically, unlike Cummins and Hazlewood who are class, Marsh has been made to look good by the England batting line-up? No surprises there.

I posted this to cricinfo yesterday but it didn't get published - anyone know what Bairstow's ratio of unsuccessful/successful reviews looks like? My impression is it would be a typical cricket score, e.g. something like 176/5. I backed him early in the series to show up and prove the doubters wrong, and as usual I was way off the mark there. Unless he gets a big score in the second innings, surely he is dropped for Foakes for the next series.

Cumbrian, once the hangover has receded, any more thoughts from the ground?
  #537  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:14 AM
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Possible 11 for the next Test (if all fit), thoughts? I know we have discussed Gary Ballance here before and basically dismissed him from consideration, but I've forgotten why - was it flawed technique against top seamers? That's true of most of England's options at the moment. I checked his stats and he has a Test average of 37, first-class average of 47 (51 this season), and is only 29. We desperately need someone to fill that hole at 3 who stands a chance of building an innings (i.e. not another strokemaker like Roy/Stokes/Bairstow/Buttler, though Stokes has shown aptitude for patience too, of course). Tell my why not.

Burns
Denly
Ballance
Root
Stokes
Buttler
Foakes
Archer
Leach
Broad
Anderson

On reflection, while I think those are England's 11 best players at their respective positions, that bowling attack looks a little fragile. On a pitch not expected to turn, I'd replace Leach with Curran or Woakes. Or drop Buttler/Foakes in favour of one of those.
  #538  
Old 09-13-2019, 05:37 AM
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From what I've read, the other names in consideration would be Pope and Sibley. I'm not seeing a lot of people talking about Malan, but I reckon he's worth another shot.

Meanwhile, England aren't hanging about: last two wickets gone for 17. 294 isn't great, but better than it could have been. But, you know, Steve Smith. Instead of the usual "add two wickets to the score and see how good it looks then" heuristic, against Smith England need to employ the "subtract the 100 Smith is good for from the score" version. Unless we're bowling the other 10 men out for <200, if not <150, then we're done here.
  #539  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:01 AM
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Bowling out the other 10 for 200 seems plausible given the form most of them are in, but possibly not on this pitch.
  #540  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:58 AM
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Marsh has been made to look good by the England batting line-up?
No, you are being unnecessarily harsh. That was as good an exhibition of swing bowling as Archer was of fast bowling at Lords.
  #541  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:20 AM
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Fair enough. The commentary I read suggested one or two players could have got into better positions to defend against it.

I suppose the question now is whether this represents the blossoming of Marsh as a Test bowler, or if it's just a flash in the pan.
  #542  
Old 09-13-2019, 01:43 PM
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Fuck me. Apart from Smith, these really are two pretty woeful batting sides. Someone on another message board that I frequent opined that it's probably the worst two batting teams to contest an Ashes series since WWII, and right now I'd be inclined to agree.

Amazing catch by Burns to end the Aussie innings. Great work by Jofra Archer to get 6.
  #543  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:10 PM
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Cumbrian, once the hangover has receded, any more thoughts from the ground?
Erm...maybe?

I think a lot of the time you get a better idea of what is happening at the wicket off the TV. Field placing wise I thought Root was, yet again, odd today. But bailed out by Archer and latterly Curran doing a better than good job (Smith missing a straight one also a help).

Weíre ahead and now need to press home the advantage. As has been pointed out by Mhendo though, aside from Smith, dear lord these sides are not good with the bat. The bowlers are decent but not so good that someone shouldnít be able to put a score together.

Best bit of today was Cummins ridiculously reviewing his lbw. Didnít even need to see the ball tracking in the crowd - once it was obvious he hadnít hit it, it was so plumb. Waving him off before it even got to the ball tracking was pretty fun.
  #544  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:13 PM
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Best bit of today was Cummins ridiculously reviewing his lbw. Didnít even need to see the ball tracking in the crowd - once it was obvious he hadnít hit it, it was so plumb. Waving him off before it even got to the ball tracking was pretty fun.
Something you might have missed, being at the ground, was that it seemed like Smith, at the non-striker's end, who strongly encouraged the review. As one of the commentators said, Smith is clearly a better batsman than he is an umpire.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:40 AM
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Also shows Smith isn’t absorbed with his own interests ie saving the review for himself.
  #546  
Old 09-14-2019, 04:49 AM
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Probably the second best day for England to watch of the summer, Cumbrian, after Stokes at Headingly, you picked a good one!

Long way to go though, and England do have a lead, but it's not a massive one. England's last few innings have shown some batsmen showing a little grit, and we'll need more of that today. Hopefully we'll get to see an actual top-order partnership, and maybe Joe Root scoring more than Steve Smith's lowest score of the series (80).

Curran has come back in and shown that he shouldn't have been dropped, but bowling hasn't really been the issue for the series (or, indeed, the last few years of problems).
  #547  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:50 AM
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Well, England's lead is now over 200, with the loss of only two wickets. If I were a betting man right now, I'd put money on England to win this match and draw the series. If that happens, it would be the first drawn Ashes series since 1972.

And, to be honest, I think it would probably be a fair result. England haven't been great, but apart from Smith, neither have Australia. On the other hand, if the Aussies come back and pull of a victory here, I'll be very happy.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:41 PM
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ENG lead by 382 with two tail end wickets in hand.

An unspectacular but thoroughly sound team batting effort, of the caliber any cricket fan would expect from a Test.

ENG will win this by 200 runs and two sessions to spare, even if Smith gets 200.
Fair squeeze.
  #549  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:38 AM
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The game will be over today and hopefully so will the Paine reign. Even with loust fielding it was a risk sending England in- and one that wasn't necessary.
  #550  
Old 09-15-2019, 05:53 AM
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AUS 1-18 with Harris bowled by a handy Broad delivery that kept a touch low.

Best AUS opening partnership of the series! ROFL

Last edited by penultima thule; 09-15-2019 at 05:53 AM.
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