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  #301  
Old 08-17-2019, 07:08 AM
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The batting line-ups for both these teams really is shite, no?

Khawaja seems to have been the only Aussie with positive intent (or lasted long enough to develop one). But if they can hang in there til tea and only be 50 behind the time will probably have run out to get a result.
Agree and disagree (if that is possible). I thought Root looked pretty good when he was out there. Khawaja seems to have almost as many chances as the Marsh's and at his age I'm not sure his record is going to improve.

I watched Smith batting last night and the conditions were horrible so I believe he has had to play to the circumstances and now with the fall of wickets he can't be too adventurous. I'll be the first to admit I thought when he made his debut we'd see him in about six Tests as a leg spinner and then never hear of him again. Now he is up with the elite players but he is hard to watch.
  #302  
Old 08-17-2019, 08:00 AM
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Just following the score on ESPN and someone has stated that is seven consecutive Ashes 50's for Smith. Pretty impressive Australia - would be an even worse team without him and the bowlers.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:06 AM
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1-75 in the session is solid enough for AUS.
Next session will determine if a result is feasible.
  #304  
Old 08-17-2019, 08:14 AM
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1-75 in the session is solid enough for AUS.
Next session will determine if a result is feasible.
Totally agree. Last few wickets could go very quickly but if Australia survive to tea, I think they will be in the best position if there is to be a winner. However the wicket seems to be a little more placid now so a draw seems likely in that scenario.
  #305  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:48 AM
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My goodness, Smith copped a dull one there. It looks worse with every replay.
  #306  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:49 AM
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"Retired hurt" wouldn't have been on England's list of ways to get Smith out. Seems like it was a great contest between him and Archer, but a bad way to end it. Hope he's OK.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:53 AM
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"Retired hurt" wouldn't have been on England's list of ways to get Smith out. Seems like it was a great contest between him and Archer, but a bad way to end it. Hope he's OK.
Yes it looked bad. I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of concern by the English players, but we had Thommo years ago (who I could never stomach).
  #308  
Old 08-18-2019, 05:24 AM
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From here I can only see an England win. Although my main concern is for the long term health of Smith.

English cricket followers, how good is Archer? I don't follow cricket as much as I used to and will admit I hadn't heard of him before the World Cup. His first class figures are very good and any player would be proud of them, but I wonder if the Fourth Estate aren't going a bit overboard with him. Watching him bowl last night he was certainly fast (on a different tack it would make you wonder how todays players would face Trueman and Tyson (who I never saw) or Griffith and Hall (who I did see although past their best). That is without including Holding or Roberts- and without helmets).
  #309  
Old 08-18-2019, 06:41 AM
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From here I can only see an England win.
Really? You can't see England being turned over for another 30 runs and Aus chasing 130 handily?

Raining at the start of the day, though, which pushes the draw ever more likely. Eng being behind in the series may force a risky declaration, but I don't see England scoring enough runs to allow enough time to realistically bowl Aus out.


The other test going on has finished with Sri Lanka chasing an impressive 268 to record their first points of the Test Championship, putting them in the lead! Captain's knock of 122 by Karunaratne opening to see them through to shouting distance. It's been a decent test match, and I thought overnight that New Zealand would take it.

Kane Williamson, though, 0 and 4. Rubbish, drop him!
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:52 AM
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Really? You can't see England being turned over for another 30 runs and Aus chasing 130 handily?

Raining at the start of the day, though, which pushes the draw ever more likely. Eng being behind in the series may force a risky declaration, but I don't see England scoring enough runs to allow enough time to realistically bowl Aus out.


The other test going on has finished with Sri Lanka chasing an impressive 268 to record their first points of the Test Championship, putting them in the lead! Captain's knock of 122 by Karunaratne opening to see them through to shouting distance. It's been a decent test match, and I thought overnight that New Zealand would take it.

Kane Williamson, though, 0 and 4. Rubbish, drop him!
I was going on the number of balls soaked up by the two at the crease overnight. With the drizzle around now I think it is more likely to favour England rather than Australia, but a draw is very much likely. You never know- Root may bat for 30 minutes and declare. With Smith doubtful and the rest of the batting so weak if the pitch starts playing tricks it could work.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:25 AM
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And Smith ruled out and possibly from the next Test as well.
  #312  
Old 08-18-2019, 07:31 AM
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And Smith ruled out and possibly from the next Test as well.
He has been replaced with Labuschagne, in the first use of the concussion replacement rules. This means Labuschagne can bat and bowl as needed, and Smith cannot return even if he feels better.
  #313  
Old 08-18-2019, 07:32 PM
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Stokes gave ENG the total they needed to defend but a session to much time was lost.
The draw was never really in doubt, the odd palpitation being therapeutic.

The series is played between two pretty average sides; the pitches so far aren't conducive to batting but they are dry and not offering (generally) much bounce or lateral movement, the bowling is sound, the fielding is sub-par, the umpiring reprehensible and the batting is shite.

Which doesn't mean it's not absorbing Test cricket.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:25 PM
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And Smith ruled out and possibly from the next Test as well.
I can live with that. My bigger worry is that the nasty blow he took might affect his confidence at the crease. It's happened in cricket before, and you see it in baseball too; a bad knock can really affect a player's batting.

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The series is played between two pretty average sides; the pitches so far aren't conducive to batting but they are dry and not offering (generally) much bounce or lateral movement, the bowling is sound, the fielding is sub-par, the umpiring reprehensible and the batting is shite.

Which doesn't mean it's not absorbing Test cricket.
Agreed. There are a few real world-class players out there, but the two teams are not, on the whole, especially good.

I thought Labuschagne looked pretty good today, and he's been scoring like crazy for Glamorgan. I'd be pretty happy if they dropped Warner. He hasn't managed to score 20 total runs in four combined innings, and he also seems to have lost his ability to catch the ball.

Last edited by mhendo; 08-18-2019 at 09:25 PM.
  #315  
Old 08-19-2019, 04:39 AM
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A few years ago, there was much talk (in the UK) of the Big 4 in batting. This put Root in a bracket with Kohli, Smith and Williamson. It was always slightly generous to Root, but you could see a trajectory for him which would make it fair enough.

It's a long way from true now, and this series has demonstrated it pretty clearly. Whether that's captaincy pressure or whatever, England might have to accept that "our best batter" and "talismanic matchwinner" are not synonyms. I hope Smith continues to play this series - he's the difference between the two sides*, and if England get a result by bringing Australia down to our level rather than raising ourselves to theirs that will be a little sad.

As things stand, Australia need just one win to retain the Ashes, and England need at least two wins and a draw to regain them. For contest purposes, the longer England can avoid losing, the better the series will be.

*For England, Anderson might have been, and Archer could be. But I don't see a batter balancing the scales against Smith.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:41 AM
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Been MIA for a bit - looking down the barrel of being made redundant will do that to you (redundancy seems almost a certainty, now I am just trying to a) find places for my team to land, rather than follow me out of the business and b) seeing if there are any jobs out there) - so I've not been really on top of this. Watched the bulk of Saturday and Sunday at Lord's though.

In answer to the question of whether Archer is all he's cracked up to be: I understand that the knee-jerk reaction from the press the minute someone new comes along and puts one or two good performances together can be exasperating, and inspires its own knee-jerk reaction that the guy can't be that good. I think this is a special case though. Archer is clearly highly promising and has the potential to be the best fast bowler on the planet if this weekend is anything to go by. Close analysis of what he is doing is probably warranted to really get into why this might be the case, analysis that I myself am probably not capable of doing. This said, two things that seem really obvious to me.

First, the main question for England for the first match and the opening part of the second was "how are we going to get Smith out?" - no one looked capable of doing it. Even before he scalped Smith, even before he hit him on the elbow, Archer was giving Smith more trouble than all of the bowlers he had faced in the series thus far combined. Pace will do that for you, and his line, delivering from close to the stumps, is probing at worst - batsmen can't get him away (look at his economy figures) and this in and of itself builds pressure. Then, second, the short ball. The most interesting thing about his bumper is that Archer appears to have no "tell" - Ravi Bopara explained over the weekend, that, having faced him in county cricket, his head doesn't dip when he's delivering the bouncer, so you can't read it at the crease, you have to read it off the pitch. I'm not even convinced that his bumper is super accurate, it's that batsmen have fractions of a second less to react, and consequently get pinned. He's been playing international cricket since May - he's already hit more than 10 batsmen.

He's the most exciting pace bowler we've had in our side since Simon Jones (reverse swing at 90 mph? Yes please) and he got invalided out of the game before he could really have a massive impact. Smith is the best bat in the world and he's the only one who stands chance of getting him out by the looks of things (notwithstanding the scrambled decision making that saw him pad up to Woakes on Saturday). It remains to be seen how good he will be - maybe he will prove to be a hype job, who can tell? But he is the fastest bowler we've had, possibly ever, and there's stuff in his arsenal that says he's going to be very good. He's already our most important bowler - and in this series, against Smith, he's the guy that could keep us in it. He needs to be looked after.

I say all this because it seems pretty clear Smith is the difference between these sides. Neither team can bat properly collectively. Even the big scores on England's side have had a touch of fortune about them (although Stokes looked far better towards the end of his innings yesterday) and we are always moments away from collapse. Australia are not much better it seems. Australia are going to win this series, I think, especially if Smith is able to play. Without him, it could be closer, but I still take Australia's attack over England's as a collective and that will be where they win.

Saw nothing of the SL/NZ match. Good result for SL. Score wise very similar to the match at Lord's except the chase seemed very easy for SL. Don't know if anyone saw much of it to give us better idea beyond reading the scorecard? Lisiate?

Last edited by Cumbrian; 08-19-2019 at 06:44 AM.
  #317  
Old 08-19-2019, 12:43 PM
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Hope things turn out well for you Cumbrian, I've been there three times now and know how you feel, I realise I may be something of a Jonah though.

As far as the cricket goes. Archer seems a bit of a find. He looks to have an economical action that suggests long sessions are possible. He pulls out the bouncer and slower ball at will and good seam control. If he can find a little more movement he'll border on the unplayable.

I'm anticipating England winning the toss this week and sending Australia in to face Archer, Broad and Anderson (ABBA?)
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  #318  
Old 08-22-2019, 04:59 AM
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Three Test matches start today! NZ and Sri Lanka is underway after a delayed start, we've got match 3 of the Ashes in Leeds and later India are in the West Indies.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:30 AM
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Will be a big test for this new age Aussie team.

The old adage about express pace bowlers is that “if you have ‘em, use ‘em ... ‘cause if they have ‘em, they’ll use ‘em on you.”

So old school thinking would be to pick select Pattinson, Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc (let Lambruschagne bowl a couple of overs before the 2nd new ball) and bounce the fucking shit out of the Pommie bustards.

Last edited by penultima thule; 08-22-2019 at 05:31 AM.
  #320  
Old 08-22-2019, 06:07 AM
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Cumbrian, I do hope things go well for you on the job market. And thanks for your thoughts about Archer. I recall Simon Jones and hell he was a talent. Sadly a lot of those seem to lead no where. I always thought Gary Gilmour was one of the most talented players Australia had but his liking for a drink was against him.

I expect England to win this Test unless it is totally rained out. Smith has been dominant for Australia and he is not playing.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:19 AM
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Yes, best wishes Cumbrian.

Another rain-affected start. Enough cricket played for Archer to claim Harris's wicket, and for Broad to beat Watson all ends up without getting the edge.

In fact, rain affected day. Forecast is for rain throughout.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:36 AM
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Son#1 just texted me to say “Warner is dead man walking” which is not an unreasonable call, but he’s still walking. Stats say he’s edged or missed 39% of deliveries faced (not faced that many) this series. But he’s still walking. And he’s not edging.

Plenty of time for it to all go pear shaped and he’s not my favourite cricketer but I can see signs that if his luck and nerves hold he might yet keep up his application and play an innings of real merit.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:26 AM
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I don't know about anyone else but this movement seems to have hat-trick written all over it.

course, I've jinxed it now.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:39 AM
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In other news, India are 25-3 against W.I., and one of those three is Kohli.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:33 PM
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I was a bit worried this morning when the Aussies lost a couple of quick wickets, and the ball was moving all over the place. Since then, though, Warner and Labuschagne have looked increasingly comfortable this afternoon, and they're maintaining a good run rate. The century partnership came up in less than 22 overs.

I was hoping they'd drop Warner for this test, but I'm happy to eat my words.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:44 PM
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And ten minutes later, Warner is gone!
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:49 PM
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And ten minutes later, Warner is gone!
And then, 43/8 later, Aus all out for 179, and Archer took 6 of them!
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:11 PM
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Yeah, that turned into a pretty shitty day for Australia.

It was good to see Warner return to a bit of form. Even when he played and missed, which he did quite a few times, especially early on, he never looked quite as shaky as he did in the first two tests. Labuschagne looked good for much of his innings, and he'll be kicking himself for getting out to a full toss like that.

Apart from that, though, it was a pretty miserable batting performance. We've got two teams here with damn shaky batting lineups, and pretty good bowling attacks. It's the sort of combination that, if they don't get too much rain, will probably ensure a whole bunch of results and not many draws.

Archer was great today, and Broad bowled really well too for much of his spell. Neither Woakes nor Stokes looked especially dangerous, and it will be hard for Root to resist the temptation to call on Archer and Broad. It'll be interesting to see if that wears them down at all by the fourth and fifth tests.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:16 PM
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I think that 179 flatters Australia a little. The period after tea was very expensive for no good reason and had there been a solid morning session I think theyd've been 5 down at lunch. As it was the ball was legitimately beating the bat time after time, it was almost doing too much.

Still, Archer continues to impress. 11/136 in 3 innings is pretty nifty work.
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  #330  
Old 08-22-2019, 03:24 PM
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Archer was great today, and Broad bowled really well too for much of his spell. Neither Woakes nor Stokes looked especially dangerous, and it will be hard for Root to resist the temptation to call on Archer and Broad. It'll be interesting to see if that wears them down at all by the fourth and fifth tests.
Anderson will presumably return for the next test, and it's Woakes who's currently under the hammer.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:52 PM
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I think that 179 flatters Australia a little. The period after tea was very expensive for no good reason and had there been a solid morning session I think theyd've been 5 down at lunch. As it was the ball was legitimately beating the bat time after time, it was almost doing too much.

Still, Archer continues to impress. 11/136 in 3 innings is pretty nifty work.
Archer was great, but I'm not sure I completely agree about the Aussies.

There was quite a good reason for the expensive period after tea: Woakes and Stokes weren't really bowling that well, and England exacerbated the situation with some sloppy throwing and backing up. It's certainly true that the ball beat the bat on numerous occasions, but Warner and Labuschagne also did quite a good job of leaving it alone when they could.

I'm not completely disagreeing with you. The Aussies did get some luck. But when the ball is moving like that, there's always going to be a bunch of deliveries going past the bat. Sometimes you get the edge, and sometimes you don't. And if we're going to talk about fortune, we could also discuss Wade, who got bowled by a ball that went from thigh pad to glove to leg stump.
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Anderson will presumably return for the next test, and it's Woakes who's currently under the hammer.
Yeah, when Anderson comes back, the balance definitely shifts towards the English, although if Smith returns and isn't too mentally shaken up by his head injury, that might balance it out.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:01 AM
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I think that 179 flatters Australia a little.
You may well have had a profoundly more decorated career than me, but application, dumb luck and plain just hanging in there can have their own rewards in cricket.

I recall once going out to open against superior opposition because nobody else would.
They were top of the table, we needed to win to make the semis.
Their home pitch had a bit in it, but nothing unplayable. Grand day, ideal for cricket.
Was seeing them well enough, just couldn’t get the information to where it was needed.
The hands weren’t working, the feet weren’t moving. Timing was all over the place. Could barely get the ball off the square.

Could defend anything on the stumps, couldn’t get the middle of the bat to anything off line.
It was mortifyingly embarrassing, the sheer ineptness of my efforts.
Considered going the tonk and holing out to save the battereremains of my ego.
Couldn’t get sufficient bat on ball to achieve that act of wanton cowardice.
Considered feigning injury or illness just to get off the field.
The thought of the scorebook entry reading “Retired, Incompetent Prat” was all that prevented me.

They bounced the shit out of me. I copped a few on the body. No helmet, no concussion rule back then.
Nobody asked if I was OK. They did suggest digging a hole and burying my still breathing body at short leg.
The notion wasn’t totally out of the question.

They sledged me incessantly, the bowler, the slips, even from fine leg.
The scrawny kid at point told me I was the worst batsman he’d seen in his life. He looked about 15.
The umpire was looking for the slightest excuse to fire me and put this indelible blot on the game out of it's misery.

The only thing I could do from the self-limited options available was try and work one off my pads or squirt one between slip and gully for a single and the blessed relief of sanctuary at the bowlers end.
But even that behaviour was largely denied me because 1) I couldn’t get off strike that often and 2) anytime I did my batting partner promptly nicked off.
So it was block, play and miss, get bounced and abused, rinse and repeat for 4-5 balls an over and try to get the single.
The only thing redder than the bruises were the edges of my bat.

Over, after over …. …. after over.

Eventually I got an inside edge to a delivery I was aiming an outside edge at and played on.
My first thoughts were of happiness. Thank God. The nightmare was over. Now just to get away. Walked off, wanted to run.
Planned to hide behind the change rooms for the rest of the session, if not the day.

Involuntarily I looked at the scoreboard to confirm the damage. Pre-game 280 was deemed par. We were 9 down for 105 off 65 overs. Sundries weren’t just second top score. Leg byes, wides and then no balls were second, third and fourth.
I had 82 but the number was meaningless. Worst. Inning. In. History. Of. Cricket. Period.

Got to the fence and the teammates just about smothered me.
Guys who I’d played with since juniors (with a fraught relationship begun over who’d pinched the team’s confectionery snakes after an U14s finals win, and who’d dobbed) showed pleasure and delight in humanity I didn’t think they were capable.
Despite the unseemly new age display of male affection around me, still I felt profoundly hollow.

We went out to bowl and rolled them for 40 odd.

Played them again the next week in the finals. But they were shot ducks and we were all over them like a cheap suite.
Rolled them again for well under a tonne and knocked their meagre tally off at a rapid rate, after a couple of early wickets, one being me.
Two weeks later we won the Premiership, the first for the club in a decade.
I again only got a bare handful, but can still recall fondly one off drive smoked through the covers.

Funny game, cricket.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:20 AM
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You may well have had a profoundly more decorated career than me, but application, dumb luck and plain just hanging in there can have their own rewards in cricket.....................snipped for brevity..............Funny game, cricket.
Oh it absolutely is, and yours is a great little tale and I'm certainly familiar with the sentiment.

I'm not having a go at Australia at all (and perhaps "flattered" is not the word I'm looking for), just that the morning period ended up as an unexploded bomb. Had it been an unbroken session, with the ball doing what it was, it could so easily have ended up as carnage and in light of that, 179 could be seen as a bit of an escape.

And of course, England haven't batted yet, a funny old game indeed.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:00 AM
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A great tale well told penultima thule! Such dogged perseverance is seldom seen in these T20-ified days.

I haven't got much to say about NZ Sri Lanka Cumbrian had a busy couple of weeks myself and so have only caught the odd highlight and press coverage. I hope your work situation isn't too stressful.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:46 AM
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Oh, England.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:13 AM
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Isn’t it lucky the grounds men are offering flat tracks, (they aren’t roads).
Gawd knows what the combined batting sides would be like on seaming green tops.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:37 AM
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Isn’t it lucky the grounds men are offering flat tracks, (they aren’t roads).
Gawd knows what the combined batting sides would be like on seaming green tops.
I really wish we could have a few more decks as they have been presented. The batters have had so much in their favour.

As I type England are 38 for four wickets. I'm not sure Lyon will be a force on the fifth day as the match seems unlikely to reach the fifth day.

Intriguing series, but I think both teams have a few imposters in there. When Smith comes back surely Khawaja must go. He has had a terrible series.

And my previous question re Archer seems to have been answered. He is pretty good but I'd like to see how he goes on the sub continent. Woakes must be a bit concerned re Anderson becoming available for the next Test.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:49 AM
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And now 45 for 5 wickets. From watching the game it doesn't seem it is that a bad pitch but just good bowling (And indifferent batting from both sides).
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:50 AM
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As I type England are 38 for four wickets. I'm not sure Lyon will be a force on the fifth day as the match seems unlikely to reach the fifth day.
Aus to win by lunch tomorrow.


That hundred partnership yesterday looking huge at the moment,with Eng at 45/6,and looking unlikely to get within 100 of the Aus total.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:21 AM
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And that is what I was suggesting could've happened yesterday morning given a full session. If anything the ball is doing less today and has ended up nearer the bat and should England fall to a low total soon there's no reason why their bowlers won't do exactly the same.

Did we mention it was a funny game?
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
And that is what I was suggesting could've happened yesterday morning given a full session. If anything the ball is doing less today and has ended up nearer the bat and should England fall to a low total soon there's no reason why their bowlers won't do exactly the same.
I do agree that Australia benefited considerably from the rain delay in the first session. They lost their second wicket the ball before the umpires took them off, and another half hour or so might have seen another few wickets fall.

The ball is definitely doing less today, especially through the air. The English batsmen (and I use that term loosely ) have played some terrible shots.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:02 AM
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If anything the ball is doing less today...
Wanted to add one thing:

It's doing less through the air, for sure, but the amount of movement off the seam is fantastic for the bowlers. It's enough to make life really hard for the batsmen, but not so much that it's just going to keep missing the bat.

Ricky Ponting, commentating this morning, observed that this was harder for batsmen than the large amounts of swing they were getting yesterday, because movement off the pitch comes later, and is less predictable.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:08 AM
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All out 67.
AUS lead by 112.

How many do the need in 2nd to have enough to win?
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:34 AM
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50?

In all seriousness, 150 would make life tough. But they've got the chance to bat all day and into tomorrow, set a monster and still have 2.5 days to bowl England out.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:38 AM
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Ponting just observed the following stat, that in this Test a wicket has fallen every 23.6 deliveries, even padded out with the Warner/Lambruschagne century partnership, the worst average this century!
  #346  
Old 08-23-2019, 09:44 AM
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The last 19 wickets have fallen at one every 17 balls.
  #347  
Old 08-23-2019, 09:44 AM
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All out 67.
What the Hell happened? I just got back from lunch, took a quick peak at the score, and now my chin is bruised from my jaw dropping and banging against my desk.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:45 AM
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All out 67.
AUS lead by 112.

How many do the need in 2nd to have enough to win?
I like the answer this guy gave on the BBC cricket thread.
  #349  
Old 08-23-2019, 11:02 AM
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Lead is now 184. Australia should declare at tea as the ultimate power move.

(They shouldn't really. But if they did and won that would be historic)
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:05 AM
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The ultimate power move is to bat til tea on day 4 and set a chase of 500. ��

Winning an Ashes series away from home is historic enough, thank you.

Last edited by penultima thule; 08-23-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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