Ban the guilty and get on with the game

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

Cricket has been spoiled by match fixing over the years and Saturday was one such day. A while after Day 3's play, police turned up at the team hotel for investigation. Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have been accused of spot-fixing (getting paid to ball no-balls) and it is alleged that Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal are also involved. The cricketing fraternity is in shock and many former cricketers call for a life ban for those found guilty. Many cricketers have been accused of match fixing but I reckon there must have been other times too, when a player indulged in match fixing. Some are caught, some escape. Somehow Pakistanis are caught much more than others. They have been rather foolish to have a bag full of cash in their rooms after bowling no-balls intentionally. Amir rarely bowls a no-ball and this time he bowled an enormous no-ball. Rameez Raja and the former coach of Pakistan, Geoff Lawson are worried about Amir. They don't think he should be banned because he is an 18 year old from a village and oozing with talent. He is guilty. 18 year olds do have their mind. Pakistanis have been bringing embarrassment to their country and cricket. If they cannot be ethical, they must be punished so that their future generations don't think that they can get away with something like this. It's surprising how cricketers don't think of their team or country and indulge in something so unethical. Gibbs, Kapil Dev, Shane Warne, other Indian, South African and not to forget Pakistani cricketers have been proved guilty but most continued to play. Pakistan's Rashid Latif had written a letter to ICC warning them of spot-fixing going on. Enough action has not been taken on this issue in the past.

The staff of News Of The World, a British tabloid newspaper, published every Sunday, posed as front men for Far East gambling cartel and fooled Majhar Majeed, the man who bribed Amir and Asif. Majeed manages the contracts, sponsorships, marketing of the Pakistan cricket team. He revealed a lot of things about the Pakistani team including that the Pakistani cricketers wanted Butt as captain and they "wanted to lose anyway". Some other sources revealed that Shahid Afridi wanted the cricketers to stay away from Majeed and match fixing and most of the Pakistani cricketers were unhappy with this.

Strauss pointed out that the mood in the dressing room was not good after the news broke to England cricketers. Also, they now fear that this Test might be taken off record books. This was Pakistan's heaviest Test defeat, by an innings and 225 runs. Let me remind you that Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott shared a record breaking 332 run partnership in this Test. Although there is no need to take this Test off the record books, I don't think England cricketers should worry about this at all. Even if it is taken off the books, it will stay in the minds of the cricketers and the fans. But taking this off the books would be unfair to the England team, who did their hard work. There have been many matches in which match fixing has taken place but they were not taken off the books. Notably, Pakistanis fixed the 1999 World Cup final against Australia. Should the cup be taken away from Aussies? And the Lord's Test was not fixed, Pakistanis did not indulge in match fixing but only spot-fixing this time.

On Sunday, the talk was less about England's win and much more about this controversy. Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar will make a comeback to the team as the Twenty20 and ODIs begin. Pakistan's cricketers are so controversial, you name one, you have lots of controversies in your mind. Hopefully, things will settle down when the 1st Twenty20 takes place on Sunday, September 5th at Cardiff.

England bowlers show their magic after Broad and Trott play saviours

Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

England vs Pakistan 4th Test: 26-30 August (If Pakistan lasts)
Day 2 and Day 3
England tumbled to 47/5 and later 102/7 before Broad and Trott shared a historic partnership. Records were broken as Broad and Trott put 332 for the 8th wicket. Stuart Broad played the hero as he broke his previous highest Test score of 67* and went on to make 169. He fell 4 runs short of Ian Smith's 173, the highest by a No.9 batsman. Chris Broad and Stuart Broad are the first father and son pair to hit a century for England in Tests. Broad and Trott surpassed the world record of the highest partnership for the 8th wicket, earlier held by Saqlain Mushtaq and Wasim Akram (313). Broad and Trott now hold the record for the highest partnership for any wicket, for England vs Pakistan. If someone would have told me before the Test that Stuart Broad is going to hit a century, I would have laughed out loud. Words are not enough to describe how stunning both of them were. It didn't seem like they can ever get out. Yes, we have seen 300-621 runs partnerships but so many wickets don't fall before and after the partnership. From Pakistan's point of view, it was terrible to let the opposition score 446 after having the match in their hands with England struggling at 102/7. In my post, Cook shines at Oval but not enough for England, I had criticised Trott and I've criticised Broad many times, including my post England look to finish series on a high as Ashes word war starts. And I stand by my comments, I do not think I was wrong. In my last post, I had praised Trott for being positive at the start of this innings but he was the culprit at Oval.

England bowlers (except Finn) especially Broad, usually don't bowl enough at the stumps but on Day 3, they were superb. 5 of the 10 wickets in the 1st innings of Pakistan were taken as lbw or bowled. All of them were impressive. James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graeme Swann fetched 1, 2, 3 and 4 wickets respectively. The controversies were endless. Salman Butt complained to the leg umpire about Finn (bowling at that time) and England's fielders chirping. But the umpire didn't intervene and the complaint didn't shut up England's fielders of Finn, who chirped on the very next ball. I think the aggression and chirping of a fast bowler are a part of the game and should not be discouraged. Umar Akmal complained about not being able to pick Finn as his hand went above the sidescreen. Later, Finn bowled Umar Akmal with a yorker. We have seen batsmen having a problem in picking Flintoff for the same reason. Notably, Kallis has been a victim of this, getting out lbw and bowled to Flintoff. Pakistan were very frustrated. England have unleashed the weakness of Mohd. Yousuf, who averages 52.95 in Tests. Yousuf got out in the same fashion in the 2nd innings at Oval, the 1st in this Test (bowled by Broad) and way back in the 2003 World Cup when Jimmy, then a youngster, just at the start of his career, bowled him with a full delivery. Jimmy did the same at Oval and bowled the same delivery to Yousuf when he first arrived at the crease in the 2nd innings in this Test. Yousuf survived it but did not last long.

In this Test, the review system actually helped to overturn the bad decisions of the on-field umpires. First, it saved Cook, which I mentioned in my last post. Then, Broad was out, lbw, way ahead but it struck him low, Pakistan reviewed and that's how the partnership was broken. Then, Amir was out off Finn in the 1st innings, on the second ball that Amir played, full toss, on his pads. England reviewed and it was given out, rightly so.
Pakistan finished Day 3 at 41/4 following on, after being all out for a modest 74. This is the third time in the series when they have been routed for less than a 100 runs. Pity. It may not make that much of a difference but Malik must replace Farhat. Even though rain almost washed Day 1, this Test will probably finish on Day 4.
Until next time, take care. Cheers!

Rain spoils Day 1 at Lord's and AB turns musician!

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

England vs Pakistan 4th Test: 26-30 August
Day 1
The match was scheduled to start at 10 am GMT (11 am local) but due to rain, cloud cover, it started at 1:40 pm GMT. Only 12.3 overs were bowled in the day and Pakistan must be happy to have picked a wicket early. All credit to Asif who balled a stupefying delivery to Straussy. The review system came into play as Billy Bowden gave Cook out. It didn't look out to me even before I saw the reply. One reason being that it wasn't out. Second reason being that I've seen Cook getting out on edges but he always walks straight away. Alastair Cook's reaction was like...."out? really? I didn't expect that bad from you, Billy." He looked so sexy! And he referred it after walking down a few steps and catching up with Strauss. Trott, on the other hand looked positive after being criticised in the last Test for not looking to score.

AB Devilliers swapped his bat for a mike as he sang "Show Them Who You Are" and "Maak Jou Drome Waar" (Make your dreams come true) for the album Maak Jou Drome Waar which was released on 2nd August 2010. For track listing, click here. 9 of the 14 songs in the album are in Afrikaans while others are in English. He also plays the guitar! Nice thing to do after he retires or if SA drops him. Ampie du Preez (Not to be confused with Dillon du Preez or Mignon du Preez or Johan du Preez or any other cricketer) is his band member and he is featured in the video below.

I rather like the song and the video! I'm not too interested in other teams but thought this deserves a mention on my blog and AB is not bad!

England look to finish series on a high as Ashes word war starts

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

I hate losing games of cricket. Every game that I play in, whether it's for my club side, Middlesex or England, every game you lose leads to a period of reflection. There were areas where I didn't bowl as well as I could have done and that might have contributed towards us losing the game. That's something I'm very aware of, and in the grand scheme of things you learn a lot from that having lost that Test
 Steven Finn is not the kind who take their place for granted

Watson singled Finn out as the potential weak link in the England attack. Funny thing. Jimmy Anderson can struggle on flat tracks, which is more of a mental thing though he is improving. Swann has been very successful, which is more of a mental thing, again. And if I have to single out any England bowler as a weak link, it would be Broad, which is not a mental thing. It will be interesting to see if Ponting gets out on a pull shot off Broad, something we have seen in the past. But other than a few batsmen getting out on the pull, I don't see Broad doing much, other than breaking partnerships occasionally.
Like everyone, Ponting is having a go at England's "foreign" players:
I just have a feeling England really like Morgan, what he brings to their set-up – plus he’s not English. I have got a lot of thoughts on why they pick those guys, it is quite surprising when you work out how many there are. But it doesn’t matter where they are born, we have to make sure whatever team they put out we are equipped to break them down. I think one of the reasons for playing Morgan is his attitude – but he hasn’t been tested against us yet.
They are all taking at the new guys, Finn, Morgan....who's next?

England vs Pakistan 4th Test: 26-30 August
Surprisingly, Pakistan dropped Shoaib Malik for the 3rd Test and now for the one day series. Younis Khan has not been called up either. Pakistan never fails to amaze us. Malik gives them a bowling option and without him and Amin, who has broken partnerships a few times this summer, Pakistan lacked a 5th bowling option. The reason why Pakistan drops anyone has always been a mystery. And though Malik did not fire in the first 2 Tests, the reason could be something else. Captain Salman Butt and long time wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal have failed too. England captain Andrew Strauss has averaged a meagre 28.40 in the series while Kevin Pietersen follows with 28, though I'd reckon he has played worse than that. Steven Finn suggested that a batting collapse (Pakistan) is just around the corner by reminding us that Pakistan were routed for 72 and 80 earlier in the series. But English need to take care of their batting collapses. It's appalling. They can lose from any position if winning is dependent on the batsmen. Must have scored at least 300 in the 2nd innings at Oval, given how well Cooky played. The match starts at 10 am GMT at Lord's, Finn and Straussy's home ground on Thursday.

Cook shines at Oval but not enough for England

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

Alastair came all guns blazing as he looked to save his place in the team. But doesn't he score a ton in almost every series regardless of how many technical faults he has? Alastair is a century maker. Even though his average was 27. 60 in Ashes 2006, he scored 116 in the 3rd Test at Perth. The question is whether he should continue playing for the England team while working on his technique or whether he should go back to county cricket. He was a good batsman when he came into the side but the reason why he hasn't worked on his technique is because England play too much and there is too much pressure while playing for England. I've seen him getting out while playing for Essex, he is barely disappointed. There are lots of batsmen in county cricket who are worse than Cook so he knows he will not be criticized or lose his place. Another reason why he hasn't worked much on his technique is because he tried to make himself suited for one day cricket. When England are playing ODIs, he is out there, playing for Essex, proving a point. He tries to bat with a good strike rate and he has succeeded at that. But Tests are the real game, I'd like to see him play well in the Tests. In the nets, he does work on his technique, bending the knee and all that stuff but obviously, there is pressure and not enough time in International matches to take care of those things. As Michael Atherton in the last Test, Cook was over conscious. But yesterday he was aggressive, with fire in his eyes. He was positive, he was looking to dominate. It's all about the mind. Cook looked so much at ease with batting buddy James Anderson. I enjoyed his innings to a great extent. He was lucky at the start but later, his shots were glorious. It was a hell of a knock.
        In my view, it will be hard for him to improve his technique while playing for England. Dropping him in South Africa would have been ideal. England are very reluctant to drop him. He has never been dropped. I didn't want him to bid adieu to his England career, I wanted him to go back to county and come back soon, better than ever. Of course, he cannot be dropped now, he will play in the 4th Test and the 1st Ashes Test. Others in the reckoning are Michael Carberry and Ravi Bopara. Personally, I'd prefer Carberry but bringing Bopara into the side would not be wrong either. He has played for England in the past, didn't prosper much in the Tests, except against West Indies but his recent 45* off 16 were very impressive.
                                           Lets get back to the ongoing match. To sum it up, this Test has been interesting. Pakistan have played a lot better. I think they dropped only one catch in the 1st innings, dropped by Yousuf. Oval has been known to support batting and spin more than pace. Yet, England were all out for 233 and just been all out for 222 in the 2nd innings. Day 1 and Day 2 belonged to Pakistan and Day 3 belonged to Cook and of course, Pakistan. His century put England ahead in the match but soon the momentum shifted towards Pakistan's side. England lost it all. The match was in their hands when Cook was batting. Collingwood cannot be blamed, he has saved England in crisis quite a few times. KP and Straussy need to score. KP's 80 in the last Test were not classy. I blame Trotty, who took 130 deliveries for his 36 and hit just 4 boundaries with over a hundred dot balls. There are batsmen, who take time to settle and don't score many runs at the start but he never settles. He should have been reminded that it's not Day 5 and England are not looking to draw. You need to score runs. There is no point in occupying the crease without scoring runs. What happened to the Pakistani batsmen who scored 20-30 ball ducks earlier in the series.
Pakistan need 148 to win their first match in the series as England hope for a miraculous win. Anderson, the leading wicket taker of the series, has struck in the 1st over to get rid of Hameed. Cheers!

In The Name Of Sportsmanship

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

England's young aggressive fast bowler Stuart Broad sparked controversy by throwing a ball at Pakistan's wicketkeeper Haider. Why so much havoc? I'm not a fan of his bowling in Tests but I like his aggression. He was fined 50% of match fee and some argued that the punishment should have been more severe. How wrong was he? There have been times when bowlers throw the ball after a delivery and the batsmen gets aside and the ball reaches the wicketkeeper. Would it spark a controversy had Haider ducked?
Here is what England's fast bowling coach David Saker had to say on the matter:

He's tall and he hits the wicket hard so he needs to be aggressive, and I like it. He had some things building up - there was a caught-behind [off Haider] that most of our guys thought was out, and he didn't get the rewards he wanted for a very good spell - but he knows there's a fine line that you have to tread, and he'd be the first to admit that he went over it a little bit the other day.
But there's no way I'll take that aggression out of his game. It's just about focusing it and making sure it works for the team and not against us.
On the other hand, during the match played between India and Sri Lanka on Monday, an issue was blown out of proportion. Sri Lanka's Randiv bowled a no ball when India needed 1 run to win and Virender Sehwag needed one run to complete his ton. When Sehwag got the MOM award, he said "It happens in cricket." but later suggested that the no ball was delberate and that it has "no place in good cricket". Now, after all the fuss, Randiv has been banned for one match and Dilshan and Randiv have lost their match fees. Oh come on, it wasn't illegal and hence ICC did not indulge in the matter, it was the Sri Lankan Board which initiated the move because of all the hue and cry by Indians. Funny, how much do personal achievements mean to Indians? The headlines on websites and in newspapers were not about India winning the game but only about the no ball.
 There’s nothing special to say to Sehwag. He said one thing at the match presentation and there was a marked contrast in the press conference with regard to that no-ball. I have spoken to Mahi and Gary Kirsten. Sehwag has tweeted that there have been other such approaches made to him (Randiv also went up and apologized). I think if you all talk of the spirit, once you set things in motion it’s the responsibility of all players to be within that spirit. We can’t expect just one side to keep making the advances and holding out the hand while it has been sensationalized by other players. I think everyone’s got the responsibility to move on from this incident. We have regretted it. We have addressed it. It was in the heat of the moment. It’s India and we have to understand the repercussions as well. The board has done everything to make sure there’s transparency. That’s their prerogative. As players, our prerogative is to play. We should be able to have a mentality to rise above. India is a big country, the media there is one of the strongest and they always try to take advantage whenever something happens.
It’s a grey area. But I don’t think it’s going to affect the relationship. I regret what happened overall. There’s been some damage done to the reputation.

Kumar Sangakkara is not too impressed by India's tactics

England cricketers on twitter!

Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Quite a few England cricketers have joined twitter. Jimmy Anderson (jimmyanderson9) first tweeted on 27th June 2009 while Swann uses the name swannyg66. Tim Bresnan's (timbresnan) first tweet (28th September 2009) read this:

Just joined twitter to get my own back on Jimmy and Swanny for their constant abuse!!
Bressie, Jimmy and Swanny were involved in banter every now and then but the reason why Bressie had to apologize just after 3 days of tweeting was something else. Photoshoppers on twitter morphed an image of his and made him look overweight (as if he wasn't already), which led Bressie swore at the tweeter! Images of Swanny and Jimmy were also morphed during all this banter and these 3 cricketers tweeted about the images they liked.

                                  John Abrahams and Azeem Rafiq

Meanwhile, Azeem Rafiq who captained England Under-19 during the first Youth Test in Scarborough, was dropped for the second Test for going out late at night during the first Test, along with Derbyshire's Atif Sheikh. Yorkshire's director of cricket, Martyn Moxon said "I am deeply disappointed. Rafiq is a player of great potential and it is important that he draws the right lessons from this. You can't stop people having a Twitter page, or whatever, but I don't want to see any cricket issues posted or discussed from now on." 

Azeem Rafiq's tweets:
 What a fucking farsee. ECB prove it again what incompetent people are working for them.
 John Abrahams is a useless wanker.

England captain, Andrew Strauss offered some advice:
You need to take it on the chin and learn from it because if you don't there are plenty of other people who are going to do it better than you. Players should be aware that what they write on Twitter is going to be seen by people they might not want it to be seen by.  We have had a number of occasions of that. There is also a right way and a wrong way to react to disappointment and venting your frustration on Twitter is not the right way to do it, especially if you have been in the wrong.
I don't see why he needed to do that. This young cricketer could play for England soon but he would have been more likely to play if he hadn't indulged in something as silly as this. He has been banned for a month and by the way, John Abrahams is the manager of the England Under-19 squad. Azeem Rafiq, who was born in Pakistan on 27th February 1991, moved to England in 2001.

Other England cricketers on twitter are Kevin Pietersen (kevinpp24), Steven Finn (finnysteve). Kevin claims that he is "back on twitter". I don't know when he had joined earlier. Out of the 32 KP is following, 11 are Indians. I've counted "IndianPremierLeague" and "Force India F1 Team" as Indians. He is also following Chris Gayle, Mark Boucher, Shane Warne, Gordon Ramsay, Jemima Khan, brother Bryan Pietersen, Darren Gough and the current lot of England cricketers except Swanny. Paul Collingwood (@pcollingwood5) had joined but deleted his account after a while. Twitter, which is sort of a micro-blogging site, is the only social networking site I like but it's not a place for cricketers. It didn't take long for Colly to learn that. Lots of former England cricketers and County cricketers are on twitter too. Notably, Matthew Hoggard is on twitter but he has only tweeted twice, once in 2007 and once in 2009, both through twitterfeed. Will we see a tweet in 2011?

Follow jimmymycrushie on twitter! Until next time, take care. Cheers!

Ajmal takes 5, still cannot save Pak

Posted: Sunday, August 8, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,

England vs Pakistan 2nd Test: 6-10 August, 2010
Day 2
England started the day at 112/2. Rain delayed the start and interrupted the game twice later in the day. Kevin Pietersen brought more drama than the review system. From taking risky singles to going off the field for a "comfort break", he did it all. I haven't seen a batsman go out like that. There were a few instances when he almost got out. He was dropped a few times and when the catch was taken, it was an awkward moment. KP moved outside the leg stump, indicating that something is wrong, the umpire called it a dead ball but Pietersen still hit it. Pakistan were desperate to get him out, just before the dead ball, they referred, it was struck outside and missing wickets! Wasted! All eyes were on him as he top scored with 80. England were 174/2 but only managed to make 251. How many times have we seen this with the England cricket team? But this would be enough for Pakistan who could still lose it by an innings. Saeed Ajmal fetched 5 wickets and substitute Yasir Hameed took 2 catches, he should be playing. Ali, Farhat, Amin have not been scoring runs. Oh well, who is?
                           Pakistan finished the day at 19/1, Anderson removed captain Butt in the 3rd over with an awesome delivery. Broad again got the new ball and bowled the most overs. Strauss continued to defend. At the start of the innings, there were only 2 slips and no short leg, later 3rd was called and much later, short leg was placed. Only 66 overs were bowled in the day until bad light stopped play.
Alastair Cook's average this summer is exactly 16, including this innings. He needs to go and work on his technical faults, but this is a bit late, he may miss out on the Ashes.

Another low for Pakistan

Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

England vs Pakistan 2nd Test: 6-10 August, 2010
Day 1
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Even if the conditions are not concerned, I'd still reckon that Pakistan should bowl first, given their fragile batting. Their bowling has potential, Amir and especially Asif have been doing well. I had mistaken in my last post, I had forgotten about Saeed Ajmal. I thought Raza Hasan would play since Kaneria has been released to play for Essex. Pakistan made two changes to the side, they changed their spinner and wicketkeeper but what they really lack are batsmen and fielders. They drop too many catches while England rarely drop any. Their is no belief in their batsmen, no one lasts long and yesterday Umar Akmal was the only one trying to score. Five of their batsmen went for nought, Imran Farhat was one of them, who played 24 deliveries. Azhar Ali was another one, he played 32 deliveries. In the end, Pakistan were routed for 72. Their batsmen don't score much, nor are they capable of batting out a day or two so their matches are unlikely to result in a draw.
                                                                               Broady took 4 of the top 7 wickets but how much credit does he deserve? It felt like even if Trott would bowl, Pakistan still wouldn't score much. Anderson took 4 as well. Finn bowled only 8 overs and removed Pakistan's captain and Umar Akmal. The UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System) brought drama again. Amir was out off Anderson but the technology didn't serve justice. Umar Akmal may have been given out wrongly but the technology wouldn't have saved him because the on-field  umpire's decision is upheld when it's close. Swann wasn't needed, kept fielding at second slip, happily. It will be interesting to see how long this Test lasts and if Strauss doesn't mind, I'd like to see an innings defeat.
Signing off for now. Cheers!

Kamran, Kaneria out. Yousuf not playing either

Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

England vs Pakistan 2nd Test: 6-10 August, 2010

I was really pleased with the patience I bowled with in both innings. I didn't get greedy or try to bowl the magic ball too much.

       James Anderson after taking 11 wickets in the 1st Test

As the drama unfolded after Pakistan's 354 run loss to England, Mohammad Yousuf was called and Danish Kaneria dropped to bring in left arm spinner Raza Hasan. A day before the 2nd Test, Pakistan's captain told the media that Yousuf would not play in the 2nd Test since he has not had much match practice. According to the captain, Akmal has been "rested" because "he is having a run where he is not able to do what he is able to usually. But he now has ten days to just take his mind off the pressures that accompany when you are not doing well at international level. I'm sure he is a champion player and he will work hard to make a comeback." Zulqarnain Haider has replaced him.
                                                                       So what happens after Pakistan is routed for 80, experienced batsman Yousuf called, who averages 53.07 in Tests, Kaneria who took 1 for 171 in the 1st Test, dropped for 18 year old Raza Hasan, who has played 2 first-class games in which he took 8 wickets and averaged 16.12. He has played 9 list A matches, 2 Twenty20s and no International matches. I'm not sure if starting his career in England is ideal. And now that Yousuf, who arrived with less than 24 hours to the match, would not play, Akmal being dropped, in the end, we will see 2 Pakistan players making their debut. The other one, Haider has played one International match, a Twenty20 three years ago.
                                                                    Predictably, England have made no changes to their 12 man squad. Cook and Pietersen need runs. Cook needs them more than KP. James Anderson, who made his Test debut in the summer of 2003, will play his 50th Test today.

Jimmy Anderson grabs 6 as Pakistan stumbles for 80

Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

England vs Pakistan 1st Test: 29 July-2 August, 2010
Day 4
Ah, wickets kept tumbling and Pakistan were bowled out for 80. Jimmy Anderson, with his swing, grabbed 6 wickets in the 2nd innings and 5 out of 7 on Day 4. This was Jimmy's first 10 wicket haul in a match. Finn only bowled 2 overs and removed Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Amir. Oh well, I'm quite confused about his name's spelling, it's written as Aamer, Amir and Aamir. England won this game by a huge margin, 354 to be exact, exactly as much as they scored in the 1st innings. I don't see how Pakistan could win any Test with this batting line-up. Mohammad Yousuf refused to comeback after consulting his "elders" when Afridi asked him to do so. But they should still bring back Younis Khan. And Yaseer Hameed is in the squad, he should play the 2nd Test.

MOM: James Anderson

The next Test begins at 10 am GMT at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Friday. Until next time, take care. Cheers! 

England on the way to victory

Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

England vs Pakistan 1st Test: 29 July-2 August, 2010
Day 2
England were all out for 354, which proved to be good for them. I've always liked the idea of declaring when there are a few overs left in the session and this was similar. It's great for the bowlers to pick up a few wickets then go for lunch or tea, start fresh again. Michael Holding said that he attended a function which Steven Finn also attended and he chuckled from his chair when Finn was asked what would he prefer- 2/20 or 5/100 and he said 2/20! Who wouldn't want a 5 wicket haul? And Holding has always said that he wants 4 bowlers to play, 4 who are capable of taking a total of 20 wickets in a Test match. If all bowlers would take 2 wickets, you'll need 5 bowlers to bowl well. Holding hopes Finn's attitude will change. Finn is the kind of bowler who takes wickets and gives quite a few runs. He has not been smacked much, has a good strike rate and average but he is more likely to take 5/100 than 2/20. I like bowlers of his kind, don't need to be too economical in Tests! In Pakistan's 1st innings, Finn bowled 13 overs and Broad, 17 overs even though Finn bowled a lot better. Strauss' captaincy has not been impressive. He has been defensive.
Day 3
Pakistan started Day 3 on 147/9. When Finn was bowling, the field was set as if it's an ODI. England just needed to take one wicket to finish it off. Pakistan made 182, though they were 47/6, England should have got them out for less than 100. No, I do not blame the bowlers, I only blame Straussy. Umar Gul made his 1st first class half century, hit four 6s, made 65*, the highest in the innings. Pakistan avoided the follow-on though Strauss had already said that he wouldn't enforce the follow-on, he was worried about chasing 100.
                                Cook looked determined but went early. I felt bad about that, it didn't even look out to me at first though it was out. I was not too interested in the match during England's 2nd innings, there wasn't much into it, I was just waiting for the declaration. Prior struck a beautiful ton, he was on 63 when Finn came out to bat, believed in the No.11 and it took him a while to go from 93 to 100. Strauss declared as soon as Prior completed his century. Asif took his 100th wicket in his 20th Test, Waqar Younis is the only Pakistani who had done this as fast as him. Younis was 21 when he achieved this feat, while Asif is 27.
                           England took early wickets, Broad took 2, Jimmy 1. I'd say that he should have given the new ball to Finn. England will probably win this Test but they could have won it by an innings comfortably. Only one team has chased more than 200 at this ground, except England, i.e., West Indies, long ago.