Cricket: More Than a Game

Pitch ended up being a road, so the draw was almost a given. But its good to see WI batting with some patience and grit. And to see Stokes back in the runs. Slowly creeping back into form.

Ben Stokes has been announced as the England Test Squad Captain to replace Joe Root who’s stood down.

In conjunction with Rob Key - England Cricket’s new Managing Director - looks like the first thing he’ll be doing is bringing back Anderson and Broad to the team. You do wonder if Root will carry on to be honest.

Sorbicol wrote:

Ben Stokes has been announced as the England Test Squad Captain to replace Joe Root who’s stood down.

In conjunction with Rob Key - England Cricket’s new Managing Director - looks like the first thing he’ll be doing is bringing back Anderson and Broad to the team. You do wonder if Root will carry on to be honest.

Add McCullum into the mix and its going to be a very interesting few years for the England Test side.

Well.

The England v New Zealand test series has been intriguing so far. Both teams struggling with the apparently minefield pitch at Lords, only for Joe Root to be Joe Root and take it away from NZ.

As for the current test match at Trent Bridge, the pitch is a pancake and the outfield a snooker table - it's been a batter's delight. So, taken in context, it's been a pleasure today to see the English batters properly apply themselves - mostly - to the conditions and bat sensibly and positively towards chasing down the Mammoth NZ total they amassed in the first two days.

Once again Joe Root has been a phenomenon and is currently well on top of the Root - Kholi - Smith - Williamson group of outstanding test batters but special mentions to Alex Lees who actually looks and plays like and opening test match batter, and to Ollie Pope, who after a rather uncertain, injury ravaged start to his career looks to have just cemented a place at No. 3. with a wonderful 145.

It's got a draw written all over it and sneaking suspicion the ECB might have asked the Trent Bridge groundskeeping staff to make the track "a bit more batter friendly" but over all it's not been too bad.

England have won the second test match at Trent Bridge after a remarkable game and a remarkable 4th innings from Johnny Bairstow. England were 93-4 when he came in, with game firmly tipping towards New Zealand.

YJB got about pulverising the New Zealand bowling attack after tea scoring a 77 ball Century, ably abetted by Ben Stokes who finished with 75 off 70. England scored 130 runs in 11 overs that final session, a T20 performance.

An astonishing test match. New Zealand must be shattered.

The IPL just sold five years of media rights for $6.2 billion US, lifting it above the English Premier League for per-game revnue and second overall behind only the NFL.

Knight Riders!

Or is it Knights Rider?

Just watching the highlights of one of the recent IND v SA T20s, and there was a scary moment when Jansen of SA turned his head on a bouncer that hit him on the back of the neck and caused him a good deal of pain. I thought those protective pieces for that area were mandatory - it looked to be almost the same spot where Phil Hughes was hit and died.

BazBall is fantastic isn’t it?!

It can't last, right?

The last four tests have been lunacy.

Jonathan Liew talks about BazBall (don't call it BazBall).

This includes some of the usual work that makes me love Jonathan Liew.

Interviews have long since degenerated into a sort of passive-aggressive nonsense verse, in which various players make various claims of courage and bravado and challenge us to publish them.

Baz thinks we can change the face of cricket. Stokesy wants us to chase down 600 in a day. Leachy punched a swan at drinks. Popey threw a shoe over a pub.

Never mind.

The final over of the IND v PAK match of the T20WC was the most exciting that has ever happened in the long history of the game.

Every ball was just bonkers.

Bruce wrote:

The final over of the IND v PAK match of the T20WC was the most exciting that has ever happened in the long history of the game.

Every ball was just bonkers.

Very nearly as exciting as the super overs between England and New Zealand in the One Day World Cup!

I think those super overs, while exciting, were mostly conventional. This over had the waist high full toss dispatched for 6 with the slow no-ball call that was almost batted back into play. The 3 byes from the free hit ball hitting the stumps and deflecting to 3rd man. Nawaz spewed up all over himself with some nervous trash wides but it stilltook till the last ball to decide it. It went from 13 off 3 required, to 3 off 3 required.

There was even some edit wars as PAK fans change rules references online so they can post screenshots of incorrect rulings to prove they were hard done by.

Bonkers.

England are currently Pulverising - there’s no other word for it - India in the world t20 cup semi-final. Currently 140-0 chasing 168 with 7 overs to go.

India have given up.

Wish I'd put a tenner on a Pakistan v England final after Pakistan lost to Zimbabwe and England lost to Ireland.

Just want England to win the cup now in Australia, really hack the convicts off.

I just want to say that as a South African cricket supporter, all cricket world cup tournaments in any format of cricket that exists and might ever come into being, can kindly piss off… :-/
We just cannot find a way to get to a final in any of these, nevermind even winning one

IMAGE(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/live-experience/cps/624/cpsprodpb/vivo/live/images/2022/11/13/76c79457-0a54-4298-ae6d-89f1d9688954.jpg)

Well, that was some final. Terrific bowling by both sides - some of Pakistan’s was absolutely outstanding without a reward - but England had a game plan, stuck too it and that man Stokes saw them through again. He’s got ice in his veins that man!

A good World Cup to be honest. Some of a ‘lesser’ nations are clearly showing they can compete in the white ball game and that’s no bad thing.

Stokes gonna Stokes. Thank god for this win, otherwise it could have been on of the worst sporting weekends in English history given what happened in both codes of rugby yesterday.
Had it on at work, where we have a couple of British pakistanis working with me, they weren't best pleased with the result, I was though.

The BazBall revolution continues. England are currently 174-0 against Pakistan in Pakistan. At lunch. Off 27 overs. It’s the highest score England have ever scored before lunch.

I feel we’re seeing test cricket change before our eyes.

506-4 at close of play. The first time any time has scored 500 on the first day of a Test
Off 75 overs. At 6.75/over for the whole day.
Fair enough, the bowling and fielding were pretty ordinary, but you've still got to do it for the whole day.

I'm just hoping that Sky organises one of their watch-along things. With Geoffrey Boycott. And paramedics on stand-by.