England on top as Jimmy grabs 5

Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

England started day 2 on 331/4. Collingwood went for 82 and Morgan 130. England's tail was brilliant. England lost 6 wickets for 23 runs on day 2. Swann was the best who didn't only give his wicket away but he was also guilty when Prior was ran out. England finished at 354 and Asif with figures of 5 for 77. Pakistan dropped lots of catches, as usual. 7 of the 10 wickets were taken as lbw or bowled. So this is why Asif bowls a lot of deliveries at the stumps.
                The crush of my life, birthday boy, James Anderson bowled impressively and took 3 of the first 6 wickets. Finn, making a comeback after his strengthing programme took the other 3. Strauss gave the new ball to Broad instead of Finn, which I reckon as not the right thing to do. And Strauss did not attack after Pakistan were struggling at 47/6. Shoaib Malik and Aamer shared a partnership of 58 till Anderson finally removed Malik. Pakistan lost 2 more wickets before bad light stopped play. They will start day 3 at 147/9.

Colly And Moggy put England in a good position

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to bat first in overcast conditions in the 1st Test of the series. Guess who are the hosts? Pakistan. Straussy's decision could prove to be right or wrong depending on a lot of things. Given the conditions, England's awesome bowling attack, Pakistan's fragile batting order, bowling first seemed like the obvious option. The only reason why batting first could prove to be right is if the pitch deteriorates with time. In the last Test played here, England scored 364, with Kevin Pietersen scoring a ton, Ambrose 67, Broad 64 on his home ground. Anderson finished with 7 for 43 as New Zealand were all out for a meagre 123! Ryan Sidebottom grabbed 6 wickets as New Zealand were bowled out for 232 and England won by an innings and 9 runs. What a Test to remember for England's top swing bowlers! I enjoyed those Tests against New Zealand so much, played at home and away. Teams batting first have won 15 Tests and teams batting second have won 17 Tests at this ground, not much difference there. There have been 7 inning defeats, 5 by teams by batting first and 2 by teams batting second.
                                                                             Coming back to the on-going match, Cook went early, his place is in doubt, needs to score big to stay in the team. With Morgan flourishing, Belly may come back to play the Ashes and take Cook's place. And if England decides to go for 5 bowlers in Australia, which they should, then Trott and Cook both will be dropped. England were under pressure when Collingwood came out to bat with 118/4. Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan shared a partnership of 219 runs to get England out of trouble. Aamer got the first 3 batsmen. This Test saw the comeback of the good for nothing referral system, which may not help in good umpiring decisions but surely brings a lot of drama. You'll see lots of times when the fielding side would ponder hard about whether they should refer or not. When it's close, the benefit goes to the umpire. Then what's the point? When it's clearly out or not out, the umpire on the field can tell the right thing anyway. This just means that the referral system may only help in avoiding the obvious errors. "May" because hawk-eye is not always right and snicko is not even used.

England vs Pakistan: An exciting battle

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

A few days ago, we heard that Shahzad and Morgan have been selected for the Test side and Belly has been ruled out of the 4 Test series. True, there is never a good time to get injured but it is the worst when you have just made your comeback. Trott and Morgan pose a threat to Bell. Now Bresnan, who has played a lot more than he should have played, has replaced injured Shahzad. Half of England's selection woes are solved by injuries. I seriously doubt Bresnan's credentials as a Test player. It is compulsory for every Test playing nation to tour and host every other Test playing nation at least once in 5 years and now that no International matches are being played in Pakistan, they will tour and host England in England. This English summer is full of International matches as the summer stretches to September 22. While England are playing in the seaming, swinging conditions, Australia will play 2 Tests and 3 ODIs in India before playing against Sri Lanka at home as part of their Ashes preparation, which Ponting has regarded as the worst preparation. England will not play any International matches after playing Pakistan, before the Ashes.
        Andrew Flintoff has backed fellow Lancastrian James Anderson to prove to be England's best bowler during the Tests against Pakistan and the Ashes. With new spearhead Finn, still in the reckoning Sidebottom, fiery Shahzad, things will be hard for grumpy Jimmy, who can be lethal in swinging conditions but has a history of being down in the dumps and a bad record in Australia. Onions looked impressive last year but he is injured and will be hard for him to his way to the Ashes. Kudos to Sidebottom for his confidence about playing in the Ashes who has warned the current lot of fast bowlers that he will come knocking as soon as they falter.
                                             Pakistan are on a high after defeating Australia for the first time in Tests in 15 years. But with them you never know when they are going to be disastrous or spirited. They have good fast bowlers but changing captains so often and their fragile batting may not help. Salman Butt has vowed that he will not criticize his players no matter what, unlike Mohammad Yousuf who decided to be a captain-cum-critic, once commented that Salman Butt "cannot run". The 1st Test of the series will start today at 10 am GMT at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, watch out for it!
Until next time, take care, Cheers!

England cricketers off the field

Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Craig Kieswetter go back to the 60s...

 while Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Eoin Morgan turn into racers...


After clinching their first ever victory over England, Bangladesh came back to their style of playing cricket. Ian Botham had suggested that this is a bowl first pitch and that's what Bangladesh did. Andrew Strauss made 154 from 140 balls, batted till the 46th over, smacking the ball around the park. He struck 16 fours and 5 sixes! No, boundary wasn't as short as South African grounds. Often disregarded as someone who plays with a bad strike rate, England captain Andrew Strauss batted with a good strike rate in all three matches of the series and grabbed the Man Of The Match and the Man Of The Series awards. Trotty did quite well too, with a ton in the 3rd ODI at Edgbaston. I don't really remember any centuries by English batsmen this year except the 2 by Eoin Morgan, against Bangladesh and Australia and the one by Kieswetter against Bangladesh. Strauss and Trott broke a few records today. Their partnership of 250 is the highest for England. Earlier, the record was held by Andrew Flintoff and the man who still holds it, Andrew Strauss (226 against West Indies at Lord's in 2004). Luke Wright was praised for his duck, yeah praised for duck, because he hasn't really scored many runs in the past few matches (past few years would also be appropriate here) but he put the team before himself, he came out to bat in the 41st over, so he needed to go big. Bopara, the comeback batsman provided some entertainment after Strauss went, hitting 45* off 16 deliveries! He could score the fastest half-century beating Sanath Jayasuriya (17 balls). Simon O'Donell (Australia) had scored a half-century in 18 balls and so did Shahid Afridi, twice.
                                                                  Back to the match, England dropped Jimmy to bring in Bressie lad. Actually, dropped for us, they call it "rotation". You could use that word for someone who had been playing a lot, who needed rest and you could rest him since England have got a dozen fast bowlers. Personally, I always wanna see Jimmy play, for reasons other than cricket. I'm not talking about looks, people do have personal choices. That was similar to what Michael Holding said during the match. They were all talking about him. I don't really see the point in bringing in Bresnan for James Anderson. If you want to drop him then why not bring in someone better, someone who can actually pick up wickets, someone like Sidebottom. I wonder why he stayed on the sidelines during the 5 matches against Australia and I wonder why Jimmy stayed on the sidelines during the whole ICC World Twenty20. All right, I understand you gotta have extra players when you are on tour but why Sidebottom? These guys should play for their County teams if they are not playing for England. Bresnan picked up one wicket in the 3rd One day. Shahzad impressed again, getting rid of both the openers. But he pulled a hamstring during his 4th over, went out of the field. He came back after a while (I wonder why, not like he is a fielding all-rounder like Wright) but didn't bowl after that. Wright overstepped the crease and Shakib Al Hasan provided some humour by starting to run when he saw Kieswetter throwing at the stumps. Collingwood even missed it but Shakib didn't try so Colly realized he had more time and took the bails off and the everybody burst into laughter. There was another funny moment, not as funny though, on the next delivery, when Mahmudullah came out to bat and everyone except Kieswetter remembered that it was a free hit. Kiesy started celebrating! Threw the ball so high in the air that the batsmen almost took a single!
There was nothing more in the match to write about. I got pretty bored afterwards. So did the crowd at Edgbaston who left the ground a while before England won. Bangladesh were 111/6 in 22 overs and the required rate was 8.46. After that, they never really tried. As if they had forgotten that they were playing an International match. It looked a net session. England weren't ripping them off and they were just standing at the crease. They were just waiting for 50 overs to finish. Waiting for the game to be over. That's what I waiting for too, but not in that way. I just wanted England to take the wickets and finish it off or Bangladesh to try and lose their wickets after a while. From over 22 to over 37, only 49 runs were scored, 2 of which were maidens. They did hit a few shots after that, especially Shafiul Islam who had given 97 in his 9 overs earlier in the day. Bowled well at Bristol though. Bopara and Yardy took the wickets at the end. Bopara finished with figures of 4 for 38 in 10 overs.

Bengal Tigers Roar after 247 Days!

Posted: Saturday, July 10, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

Bangladesh created history at Bristol earlier today. I could start with England won the toss and choose to field......but I wouldn't. The newsflash is that Bangladesh won. All said. Having defeated all other teams in International cricket, Bangladesh secured their first ever win over England in the 2nd One Day International of the Natwest series 2010.
                                                           England made a few changes to the side by bringing in Jonathan Trott and Ajmal Shahzad in place of James Tredwell and Timothy Bresnan. I liked both changes, bringing in a specialist batsman and a specialist bowler in place of 2 all-rounders but Tredwell should have been given an opportunity to show his worth. He was only given 3 overs, in which he conceded 18 runs. Shahzad was like the umpire of the match, he decided a lot of things, like how long Kayes batted, by dropping him thrice, once each off Anderson, Wright and Broad, in different funny styles as if his eyesight is weak and he had forgotten to wear his lenses. Wright almost got a wicket in the 19th over- twice actually, once when Kayes was out, caught by Kieswetter, it looked out to Wright but no one appealed much and 2 balls later when Shahzad dropped Kayes' catch. Shahzad even took the wickets of 3 of the first 4 batsmen and ran Ashraful out. There was another run out, in which Mortaza and Mahmudullah ended up at the same end. Bangladeshis do provide some humor. Jamie Siddons wasn't pleased though. Bangladesh finished at 236/7, didn't quite score much in the last 10 overs.
                                           Strauss and Keiswetter made a quickfire 33 and 20 respectively. Collingwood, Morgan, Yardy, Shahzad went quickly. They never really got going. But wait, there is more to this, Collingwood was clearly not out, got a big inside edge and was given out lbw and my list of batsmen missed someone, the star of the 1st ODI, Ian Bell. Belly got injured while attempting to take a catch. So badly injured that he could sit out for 6 weeks. Stuart Broad gave us a bit of hope with his 21 off 25 while comeback batsman Trott batted till the end and finished on 94 off 130. It was a remarkable effort, given that wickets kept tumbling from the other end. James Anderson batted at No.10, where Bell should have batted. He made 2 off 7 and Bangladesh started celebrating after they got him out. They had the stumps in their hands while their coach pointed that they still have to take one wicket- that of Ian Bell or Jonathan Trott. He must have learned sign language by now, I wonder how many of the Bangladesh team understand everything he says. Bell came out to bat with heavy strapping on his foot, like he was wearing one pair of shoes in one foot. But he wasn't needed. Trott took a couple on the first 2 deliveries of the over and when 6 were needed off 4, Trott edged the ball to the keeper and Bangladesh won!
                                                                England have been known to respect and never lose a game against the minnows. Yeah, they did lose to Netherlands in the ICC World Twenty20 last year but that was a Twenty20 in which winning isn't as hard as it is in ODIs and Tests for the less developed cricketing sides. England did take Bangladesh lightly, having rested Graeme Swann and paid the price. They should still have won without KP and Swanny.They would have won, had they not been so sloppy in the field. And they could have still won it, had Bell batted at No.10. Anderson just wasted the deliveries and in case, Trott would get out at that point, Bell would have to bat with Anderson, which would have put him under immense pressure. I wanted England to win, very badly but at the end, I did enjoy watching Bangladesh celebrate. They rarely win so every time they win, they celebrate like they have won the World Cup and it was good to see that they got supporters in England. It's good to see minnows win and prosper. I did enjoy the match, best match of the summer. The next game is on Monday at Edgbaston, the noisiest of all England grounds. Cheers!

Hussey, Pace and High-Flying Catches too Hard to Handle for England

Posted: Sunday, July 4, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

Australia won the toss and decided to bat. In all 5 matches, Australia have batted first despite losing the toss twice. Ian Botham reckoned the pitch would help England's fast bowlers. Anderson and Bresnan started well. No matter how many good deliveries Bressie bowls, he rarely picks up a wicket. I don't know what he is doing in the team. I used to be annoyed with England selectors, captain and coach for making too many changes. Now, they are very, very different, not making any fucking changes to the side. Ryan Sidebottom is the only one on the sidelines with Ian Bell jumping from fielding for England to batting for England Lions. Oh, by the way, England Lions have defeated India A and West Indies A in the ongoing tri-series. Cook captained them in the game against West Indies A but could not play against India A due to a back problem. Bopara, Woakes, Shahzad, Mahmood did the job with the ball and Stevens, Trego, Bopara, Cook, Trott, Bell with the bat.
                                                                     Coming back to the England match, Stuart Broad got us the breakthrough in his first over by removing Watson. A bit later, Broad removed Punter too. He is such a wicket taker in Twenty20 and ODIs. Strauss brought Wright into the attack in the 18th over. I'm not impressed by how he has used Wright's bowling. He was doing well, took 2 wickets at Rose Bowl (Paine and Ponting), Watson's wicket at Cardiff, he was taken off after bowling one over at Old Trafford and conceding 14 runs in it. You have to believe in your players, you can't just take them off after one bad over and he didn't even bowl badly in that over, stats don't tell you everything. Wright is a batsman so if he is not scoring runs, he should be dropped but if he plays then at least he should be used up well. I remember the series against South Africa last year where he didn't do anything except fielding. Wright bowled 5 overs at Lord's and gave 27 runs, was replaced by Swann who took White's wicket on his 2nd ball. White isn't good enough to bat at No.4. Swann bowled Paine for 54 in his 2nd over. This was Paine's highest score in this series. England did pretty well until Hussey and Marsh got going. Australia were 106/4 in the 30th over when Hussey came out to bat. They steadied the innings till 39 overs (147/4) then started smacking around. Every over after that, went for at least 10 runs except the 45th over, bowled by Swann in which Swann took Marsh's wicket. Morgan ran around from long off to take the catch. In the last over of the innings, Smith and Hussey got out in the same fashion, hitting it straight to Anderson at long off, the only difference was that the ball to Smith was a short one. 2 more wickets to Broady, who finished with 4/64 in 10 overs. Australia finished at 277/7 which is much more than what everyone expected.
                                                                Tait came firing in as soon as the England innings began, bowling 97 miles per hour. In his very first over, he bowled a delivery to Kieswetter which was 100.1 miles per hour! Fastest I've seen live! Tait bowled Strauss in the 5th over, top of off stump. KP couldn't bat since he was injured, he had left the field so he wasn't allowed to bat till 44 minutes would have passed. Yardy was sent in. But he didn't survive for long, 3 deliveries actually before he left the ball which was full and straight. Collingwood was sent in next, he hit Tait for a four and six! Colly back in form. There is no one better than him when he is on song and hard to find anyone worse when he is not in form. Hussey took a sharp catch for Kieswetter's wicket. Soon Morgan went, didn't quite deserve it, Marsh took a brilliant catch. The shots on which both of them got out were good, Kieswetter hasn't really fired in this series but looked determined this time. Kevin Pietersen came out with Kiesy as his runner but went for a duck and left England in trouble. England were 73/5 when Wright came out to bat. Colly and Wright shared a bit of a partnership before Wright hit a wonderful slog sweep to be caught by Marsh, who took his 2nd superb catch of the innings. Hussey, yes, Mike Hussey was brought on to bowl the 34th over. Ponting was probably thinking it's Hussey's day, after scoring runs, he might pick up a wicket too. Hussey gave England a sniff of victory by giving 22 runs in 2 overs. No wonder, he has only bowled 5 overs since 2007. England were 194/6 when Punter ran Bressie out. Notably, Bressie has batted quite well in this series. There is barely anyone in cricket who is as quick as Ponting for run-outs. This was it, I didn't really hope for winning after this. After 2 deliveries, Colly went too and the entertainer came out to bat. Swann's strike rate in Tests is 87.42 and 76.21 in ODIs but he hasn't really batted much in ODIs so far. Swann hit Smith for 14 runs in the 44th over but the required rate rose to 10.33. The next over too produced 13 runs with Swann hitting 3 boundaries off Harris. Bollinger caught and bowled Broad in the next over. Broad looks awfully uncomfortable while batting these days. Jimmy came out to bat, hit Bollinger for a beautiful cover drive for four on the 3rd ball he faced. Tait took his 4th wicket in the next over as Swann and that was it. Australia came back strongly in the series to finish it 3-2. England's performance just kept dripping, from winning by 4 wickets in the first 2 matches to giving away 6 wickets for 18 runs and winning by 1 wicket to being thrashed by 78 and 42 runs. Would have been weird to hold the trophy and open the champagne after being thrashed twice. Tait was given the Man Of The Match award, rightly so. Atherton asked Ponting and Tait about Tait's prospects of playing in the Ashes but none of them said much. Tait just said that he struggles to bowl 10 overs in One Dayers so playing Tests is out of question. There are a few months to the Ashes but a whitewash would have given England a slight edge over the Aussies. Anyways, England plays Bangladesh on Thursday at Nottingham at 13:30 GMT for which Trott and Tredwell have been called, Swann is being rested and Kevin is injured. Until next time, take care. Cheers!

Australia avoids Whitewash by thrashing England

Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Australia batted first again. Anderson started well again. But he was taken off by Strauss after conceding 8 runs (2 boundaries off his last deliveries) in his 3rd over. Bressie took his first wicket of the series by removing Paine. Swann got Watson's wicket in his first over (17th over of the innings). England took a very long time to take the third wicket, during which I went downstairs. I am so not enjoying this series. Why does Australia play a One Day series in England? Anyways, Anderson took Ponting's wicket for 92 in the 42nd over. I don't think Ponting would be too disappointed, that asshole has always wanted Australia to win more than anything else. Australia lost one wicket each in the 48th and 49th over and finished at 290/5. They could score more, given how long Ponting and Clarke played. Clarke finished on 99 not out. There was a time when he used to bat with a good strike rate. Now he was left at 99 because he isn't any good in the death overs.
                                                               Kieswetter failed again and KP's dismissal was controversial. I've seen it lots of times that KP is given not out because of his long stride but not this time. Seemed like he shouldn't have been given out, to me. You can't always believe hawk-eye. I only started watching when England had lost 4 wickets. Morgan and Swann have been impressive ever since they came into the side. Ponting had criticized England's bits and pieces players before the series began. I would say that he has been proved right but England do have better players and England have had a long batting line-up for a long time but every time they collapsed, they all did. Getting out like tail-enders, one by one. Swann should be sent up the order, he should be shown some belief. Someone who opens the batting for Nottinghamshire cannot be a No.10 for England. Wright hasn't done much with the bat, ever, for England, in one day cricket. When he came into the side, I thought he is taking his time to settle down. I would like to see Belly replacing him and anyone replacing Bresnan. Until next time, take care, Cheers!