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  #601  
Old 12-11-2019, 03:14 PM
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Hair-splitting is why we are here! Cricket and the Dope - this is going to take a lot of beers!

There certainly is an argument that the 'work' done to the pitch by boots during the football season can be conducive to a good cricket wicket. How much is too much is a good question. Unfortunately, due to the demands of football, the mudheaps in the middle during winter became unacceptable. (God, I played on some terrible bogs in my youth). Drop-ins seemed a good solution - and probably are, when (if) they get them right. Another issue may be drainage - grounds drain so well these days, that there is probably a completely different 'moisture holding profile' in the soil across the oufield. Whether this affects the drop-in - I don't know - but it's probably another factor. It does mean the outfields are universally superb (if struggling with the power in scrums these days). Well, they look superb on the TV.

I see the curator at the WACA is already in damage control mode for the test against the Kiwis, saying 'It will crack, but not too much'. Hmmmmmm. We shall see.
The WACA was used by Perth Football club as it's home ground up until the 1960s, and fairly regularly after that for a few games every season (State of Origin was played there). It always got a fair chunk of use. The Rugby league team played there during its brief existence.
  #602  
Old 12-11-2019, 09:14 PM
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Another issue may be drainage - grounds drain so well these days, that there is probably a completely different 'moisture holding profile'
A man who knows 'is onions, indeed.

My local oval is Drummoyne, which is curated by Tom Parkerís crew who manage the SCG and North Sydney Oval. Itís a permanent centre wicket of reasonable quality.
The WBBL play a lot of fixtures there, also interstate limited overs games and the odd first class match.

Each year about 20 cubic yards of sand are top-dressed into the oval. The grass thatch is now 75mm thick. Luxurious but slow. No school athletic record at the ground has fallen in the past 5 years, by the same kids who are setting records at meets held on synthetic surfaces. The outfield drains so well (except for the fringes of the centre square where water pools off the covers) that the ground almost burps after rain.

Also, even in winter the covers are deployed when weather is threatening in the latter part of the week. Consequently the pitch resembles a bowling green almost the whole year. Not only just the terrible bogs of yesteryear, youíd also have memories of packing scrums on pitches that were breaking up and the surface was effectively 1cm cube ball bearings with sharp edges. Fucking horrible stuff to fall on.

The groundsmanís view is that most of the water that supports the centre wicket structure (and therefore the solid base of the pitch) percolates across from the outfield. What water gets put onto the pitch itself is just to grow the grass on the surface. Therefore without due care he can prepare a wicked green-top which cracks on the second day because itís a shallow green veneer on a bone dry subsurface.
  #603  
Old 12-12-2019, 05:04 AM
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Tea, Day 1 Aust v NZ at Perth
Aust won the toss and batted for 2-160.
Labruschagne 68 off 127 Smith 31 off 101, Warner out for 43 quite brilliantly c&b by Wagner.
This is a dammed good Kiwi outfit and if Boult was fit they’d have been favourites.

I’m a late convert to Lambruschagne band wagon.still not fully aboard.
Batting #3 and bowling legspin for Australia is Boys Own Annual stuff.
Some guys who really know their cricket (Ricky Ponting being lead) think he is potentially at the very top of world class. I don’t like the way he uses his helmet as part of his defence rather than eyes and footwork, but what the fuck would I know.

Smith is struggling a bit and even by his unorthodox standards is losing his shape on occasion trying to get the scoreboard ticking over.

Upcoming is the first session of Test cricket under lights in Perth so it’d all a bit unknown as to what to expect from here.

Engrossing Test cricket.
  #604  
Old 12-12-2019, 11:52 AM
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Iím a late convert to Lambruschagne band wagon.still not fully aboard.
3 tons in a row now, leading Australia to 248/4. Not speedy, but they haven't lost many.
  #605  
Old 12-13-2019, 04:54 AM
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Australia all out for 416. I had feared they'd get over 500. NZ need a big score to stay in this. With Ferguson lame as well I really can't see them bowling Aussie out for much less next innings.
  #606  
Old 12-13-2019, 07:22 AM
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I think Ross Taylor has now scored the most runs of any Kiwi player. They are in trouble- as are Australia in mssing a top bowler.
  #607  
Old 12-13-2019, 07:39 AM
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I was beginning to think that Williamson & Taylor were batting well enough against high class bowling in tough conditions to get through to stumps. Then add a catch of absolute quality and in short order the Kiwis are under the cosh at 5-109.

Another good session of cricket.
  #608  
Old 12-14-2019, 08:13 PM
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Stumps Day 3
Aus 6-167 after dismissing NZ for 166 and lead by 417.

Aus in a commanding position but their batting approach and lack of purpose in the last session was befuddling.
  #609  
Old 12-14-2019, 08:40 PM
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I think you are a harsh judge. Australia scored 56 runs up until the drinks break of the last session. Two balls later Labuschange mishit one, obviously trying to keep the score moving, then Burns got a beauty. Smith looked to move things along but the Kiwis seem to have worked out a plan that has his measure for the moment. After that, Head is rubbish. Paine faced two balls.

Maybe they shouldn't have batted Wade since he is colour blind and has trouble picking up the pink ball. He would probably have preferred batting lower down the order than being hit so often. And Southee and Wagner bowled really well. I think it was just that they had the better of it.
  #610  
Old 12-14-2019, 09:17 PM
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Yeah, maybe.
The NZ approach is exemplary.
But they banging it in short at medium pace and the Aussies decided to defend and get taken on the body rather than attack? We are going to see more of that?

If they had been all out for 150 but given NZ 45 minutes with a new ball under lights, and another crack under lights with a new ball today if needed was much better than their current position. If they don’t declare immediately they might not get that chance today.

What little chance the Kiwis had of saving the Test have been maximised.

Last edited by penultima thule; 12-14-2019 at 09:17 PM.
  #611  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:44 AM
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The injured Hazewood is padded up to bat. What der hey?
He’s not going to bowl. He’s going to miss the next Test. He’s a genuine #11.
No batsmen on the cusp of a century or milestone. Lead now 450.
We hoping for a handy half dozen run or to hold up an end when there is a well above non-zero chance of a twist putting arguably the best workhorse in the country out for the series?
  #612  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:46 AM
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Day 5 Pakistan v SL.
Who in their right mind thought Rawalpindi was a place to host cricket in mid December?
  #613  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:57 AM
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Some sanity prevails and Aus close 9 down.
Interesting technical question, did they declare or are all out with Hazelwood unable to bat?
I think the former as he was padded up.
  #614  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:59 AM
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Who in their right mind thought Rawalpindi was a place to host cricket in mid December?
Mad dogs and Englishmen.
  #615  
Old 12-15-2019, 01:15 AM
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Only 468 to win. Plenty of time to get those runs too.

(Oh well)
  #616  
Old 12-16-2019, 06:48 AM
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Some sanity prevails and Aus close 9 down.
Interesting technical question, did they declare or are all out with Hazelwood unable to bat?
I think the former as he was padded up.
It was a declaration. About time Smith got his act together.
  #617  
Old 12-16-2019, 12:20 PM
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Ben Stokes has won Sports Personality of the Year, as well as being part of the Team of the Year, although Moment of the Year was Buttler knocking the bails off at the end of that final.
  #618  
Old 12-16-2019, 05:07 PM
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About time Smith got his act together.
99 runs @ 24.75 ... how soon they forget!
  #619  
Old 01-03-2020, 07:31 PM
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Just went on YouTube and saw a video from Sky Sports titled "England collapse on day one!". I must admit, from that description I was expecting a lot worse than 263/9. I mean, obviously it's not great, especially the top order, but it's not like we're miles behind in the game at this stage. Denly seemed to be playing nicely.
  #620  
Old 01-04-2020, 05:18 AM
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Just went on YouTube and saw a video from Sky Sports titled "England collapse on day one!". I must admit, from that description I was expecting a lot worse than 263/9. I mean, obviously it's not great, especially the top order, but it's not like we're miles behind in the game at this stage. Denly seemed to be playing nicely.
SA 50/3 in reply.

England's first innings yesterday was very frustrating, the stereotypical "everyone getting starts, no one going on" innings with scores of 34, 38, 35, 47 and 29 - Ollie Pope ended on 61* for the highest score of the innings.


Australia had a similar looking scorecard in their test against NZ, except that one of them stayed in and got 215 - Labuschagne has been unstoppable since he came in to replace Smith in the summer Ashes.
  #621  
Old 01-04-2020, 12:39 PM
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99 runs @ 24.75 ... how soon they forget!
Heh- that was my attempt at humour. He's still scoring runs at a pretty good average but by his standards of the Ashes that is a slump.

Sitting in Paris, so haven't seen any cricket- draw in the Test vs NZ?

Dead Cat I saw your post re the English slump- it hardly seems a slump to me (or collapse- forget the terminology).
  #622  
Old 01-04-2020, 01:26 PM
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Jonathan Agnew nails it, as usual: "it is a question of two fragile batting line ups". SA 215/8 at the close, 54 behind.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 01-04-2020 at 01:26 PM.
  #623  
Old 01-05-2020, 09:55 AM
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Jonathan Agnew nails it, as usual: "it is a question of two fragile batting line ups". SA 215/8 at the close, 54 behind.
England doing better today - 171/2 - when was the last time England were 171/2? - 217 ahead, with two days to play.
  #624  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:08 AM
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A pretty decent Test match in the end, SA surviving 130 overs before being Stokesed in the final hour of play. Deserved win for England, albeit both sides struggled with injuries and illness. Series nicely poised at 1-1. I'm sure both teams will be glad of the 9 day break that follows before the next Test.
  #625  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:09 AM
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And England win with 9 overs to go in the fifth day. Great play from both teams in their second innings - England to build their lead, SA to keep their nerve and get close to the draw. Fantastic cricket and (as both captains pointed out in their post-match interviews) something of an advert for the five-day game.

Last edited by Stanislaus; 01-07-2020 at 11:09 AM.
  #626  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:48 AM
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Decent first day for England in the third, closing at 224/4. OK, so the scoring is slow, but Stokes is at the crease, and if they can see a bit more shine off the new ball tomorrow morning, there is the opportunity to accelerate.

In other news, I see Moeen Ali has had a bit of a whinge about always being the first one blamed for England's defeats. Well Mo, my recollection is that was usually justified by you consistently playing silly shots to get out when patience was required, while not setting the pitch alight with the ball. Hope you come back stronger.
  #627  
Old 01-16-2020, 06:03 PM
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With England it's impossible to say whether they'll get to 450 or 280. Either is possible - probably the latter is more likely.
  #628  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:23 AM
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Well, England have just declared on 499/9, with Pope finishing 135*, and Curran and Wood coming in late on to do what Buttler should do, but he's been rubbish.

Some rules oddness a little earlier, when Root declared when Wood was given out, but it turned out to be a No Ball and so the wicket was overturned, and so was the declaration... but there's a bit of chat around whether the rules say he could do that.
  #629  
Old 01-17-2020, 12:47 PM
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My take on it is the rules about declarations probably don't allow for that, but a good, pragmatic decision by the umpires to allow him to reverse it, given it was based on what turned out to be wrong information (it was pretty obvious that the strategy at that point was to declare as soon as England reached 500 or lost a wicket, whichever came first).

SA 60/2 and facing a fight tomorrow. It appears there's not much in the pitch - yet - if I were SA I'd be treating this almost like a second innings, looking to bat as long as possible. They can't win this game, prolonging their first innings is their best chance of a draw.
  #630  
Old 01-19-2020, 04:20 PM
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SA fell over today, losing 10 wickets in a shortened day and leaving it all for them to do to save the game tomorrow. If England can get any time at all out in the middle, you'd back them to win!
  #631  
Old 01-19-2020, 04:27 PM
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England have been transformed into a proper test team. But South Africa's batting has been so so poor.
  #632  
Old 01-20-2020, 04:56 AM
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England have been transformed into a proper test team. But South Africa's batting has been so so poor.
They've wrapped it up comfortably enough this morning, despite 28 off a Root over as he failed to get his fivefer. A good win and some promising performances, but there's plenty of time for this to be another false dawn. I, as ever, remain hopeful, but SA have a lot of problems of their own, and folded like a proverbial folding thing in this Test. So let's not get carried away. But one very good thing is they have gone for some young players rather than taking my suggestion of Ballance.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 01-20-2020 at 04:57 AM.
  #633  
Old 01-20-2020, 03:58 PM
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Yes, it wouldn't be surprising to see England throwing it all away with an 8-for-40 collapse in the next Test. But it's a young team, winning Tests away is hard and the good news is that they've started to shade in some of the boxes that have been empty for a few years now - runs from top-order players not called Root or Stokes, wickets for the spinners and the seam attack not turning into pie-throwers when the ball stops moving around. And they've won by an innings without their first-choice opener, first-choice spinner and first-choice pace bowler.

South Africa, meanwhile, look to be sliding into a hole that England will find familiar. They've lost a lot of big names - Amla, de Villiers, Steyn, Morkel - in relatively short order and new players haven't come through. Philander and du Plessis are on the way out. That leaves a big hole in the batting line up between Elgar and de Kock, currently being filled by a rotating cast of new faces averaging less than 30, while the bowling looks toothless when the pitch isn't helping the quicks. (Rabada getting himself banned really doesn't help. Nor does management turnover, contract disputes, no money and the constant bleed of players to Kolpacks).

Last edited by merrick; 01-20-2020 at 04:00 PM.
  #634  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:31 AM
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Day 3 of the final Test, and South Africa have folded over the last couple of sessions, and have been bowled out 217 behind. England will likely bat again.

Wood has been excellent this game, both with the bat yesterday and his 5 wickets this innings. Him and Archer opening the bowling could be quite a handful over the next few years, if he can keep himself fit!

Buttler failed again. The rest of the batting order is slowly, but it seems surely, getting itself into some kind of decent state, with runs coming from people other than Root or Stokes, although our first innings 400 wasn't exactly a batting masterclass - Crawley's 66 is the lowest high score of a Test Match 400+ score ever.
  #635  
Old 01-26-2020, 06:05 AM
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England were heading for a fairly average 330-ish with several batsmen getting in and then not going on until Wood and Broad sloshed 80 off 8 overs for the last wicket. This was put into perspective when South Africa finished the day on 83-6.

Good to see Mark Wood getting a chance and doing well. He's had terrible luck with injuries and was in danger of being stereotyped as a bang-it-in one day bowler. There's a lot of competition for England seam-bowling places at the moment (not that any sane seam bowler wants to tour Sri Lanka), which is a good thing as we head into the post-Anderson era.

For SA, this is what happens when a team is in a slump. Nortje bowled well without much backup and they had England 160-4 and 270-7 only to lose the plot. They shuffled the batting, brought back Bavuma and he failed. De Kock ended up batting with the tail again, and just when it looked that they might avoid the follow-on the lost they last 3 in 4 overs.
  #636  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:05 PM
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Well, SA made slightly heavy weather of getting the last few runs, but the result was never seriously in doubt following an excellent partnership between new captain de Kock and Bavuma. England never quite got going in their innings and the total proved just short. They really missed the hitting of Buttler and (especially) Stokes, I feel.
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