Cricket: More Than a Game

Yeah, the point was made by Athers and co that SA had suffered because of the weather, and that they may have got more benefit from another 4 day game. Bumble also mentioned quite early on that the bowling wasn't as hostile as we'd been expecting - in the first 40-odd overs, there was less than 2 overs of short stuff. It was all a bit friendly out there.

Do you think that Boucher's injury has had a negative morale effect, as well as depriving SA of its regular keeper ?

I'm not sure that the injury would have affected morale. In fact I'd expect the opposite, a sort of "We'll do it for Bouch" attitude. Add in the fact that it's Smith's 100th test, and I would have expected them to come out with a killer attitude.

No, I don't have any explanations. I'm watching the work of some of the journalists closest to the team to see what rumours leak out in the next few days.

Much better.

Regarding yesterday, it seems that it was decided tactically to pitch up to the batsmen to Rob them of space, and to an extent it worked as England didn't score at a great rate, but they just couldn't get Cook out.

The Mighty #, what a legend.

I think we need to declare with an hour left tonight, try get a quick wicket or two and make the English bat tomorrow.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

The Mighty #, what a legend.

I think we need to declare with an hour left tonight, try get a quick wicket or two and make the English bat tomorrow.

Wish you'd bugger off

As I posted that we make a ballsy declaration and it pays off immediately.

God, what a day. I went out for a bit and came back to Amla making 311*, and us at 98-4 with no score higher than 27.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!

Unlike anyone else, the Saffers played a sneaky one and brought some good players. And England have played the wrong bowler on this pitch (Bresnan) and are only playing with 10 men (I don't count Bopara, he's another graduate of the Mark Ramprakash academy, motto 'all the skill, except in the big games').

That is some superb batting on a pitch doctored up to suit Swann.

Go hard my southern hemisphere brethren.

I hope we're not letting the English off the hook here.

Didn't look like it MrDevil - that was a proper smacking.

I think this might be a historic attack from South Africa now. Steyn, Morkel and Philander could be one for the ages.

Yeah, Bell and Prior made it look like we may need to bat again, but they couldn't hold out forever.

It's nice to see us with a full, reliable attack. We've always depended on one or two to carry us, now we've got 5 who can do the job, and even Duminy who can be useful occasionally.

Very pleasing.

I am absolutely fascinated by this game. I have been going with a co-worker to a local indian lunch buffet for several weeks now. They have 1 giant screen 50+ tv showing either bad bollywood commercials or my much preferred cricket.

I think I have a basic grasp of the rules after looking at Wikipedia and applying it over the weeks. I think the only confusion left is from the different games I am seeing having different victory conditions. I am aware of how each victory condition works I am just not familiar enough with the terms to decipher which game is which.

It is still a fascinating game. I think the biggest mind trip is that what would essentially be ground foul balls can score 4 runs and badly fouled fly balls can score 6 runs. There are a few instances where the batter makes a really nice strategic foul hit, almost like a bunt, into open field that rolls to the line for 4 runs.

The other twist is that what would equate to your clean up hitter getting out means that he is gone for the rest of the inning. Which, in cricket terms, can mean he won't bat again for half the game or more.

One of the things I am still puzzled about is what happens if the pitcher throws a ball? What I mean by this is what happens if the pitch is off target and is not in line to hit the wicket, batter or bat and goes by the "catcher"?

And when the runners are running, does the throw into the wicket actually have to hit the wicket while the runner's bat is not across the line to be "out"? Or can the throw just be close or have the catcher field the throw next to the wicket?

Right. As an American who kinda went through the same stuff, I'll do what I can to help. But just as a warning, once cricket gets its hooks into you, no other game matters as much. All other games lack the skill, subtlety and drama of cricket.

fangblackbone wrote:

I am absolutely fascinated by this game. I have been going with a co-worker to a local indian lunch buffet for several weeks now. They have 1 giant screen 50+ tv showing either bad bollywood commercials or my much preferred cricket.

I think I have a basic grasp of the rules after looking at Wikipedia and applying it over the weeks. I think the only confusion left is from the different games I am seeing having different victory conditions. I am aware of how each victory condition works I am just not familiar enough with the terms to decipher which game is which.

So, there is only one real victory condition - get more runs than your opponent without losing all your wickets. Now, there are several variations on how many times you bat through your order and how long the game lasts, but that's basically it.
In terms of length, in the international game there are three 'formats'. The five-day game (or 'Test' cricket and each team bats and fields twice with no limit on the overs), the One day game (one chance to bat each, limited to 50 overs per side), and the shortest form of the game - Twenty20 (like a one day game, where both teams are limited to 20 overs)

fangblackbone wrote:

It is still a fascinating game. I think the biggest mind trip is that what would essentially be ground foul balls can score 4 runs and badly fouled fly balls can score 6 runs. There are a few instances where the batter makes a really nice strategic foul hit, almost like a bunt, into open field that rolls to the line for 4 runs.

The trick is not to think of the field in terms of baseball, or maybe more directly - think of baseball as a limited cricket field. None of those shots are 'foul', as the batsman can play a shot wherever he can work the ball. That really encourages a variety of types of batsmen. Its not all about power or timing, but also about placement and finesse, as well. You'll find some batsmen that rely solely on some of those qualities, but the greatest are a complete package.

fangblackbone wrote:

The other twist is that what would equate to your clean up hitter getting out means that he is gone for the rest of the inning. Which, in cricket terms, can mean he won't bat again for half the game or more.

Yeah, Ed Smith (county cricketer) compared batting in cricket to pitching in baseball in his book, and I see what he means. You only get one shot to get it right as a batsman or a pitcher. If you're out or you're pulled from the mound, your primary job is over. As a bowler in cricket or a hitter in baseball, you get multiple attempts to get your skills right. Bowlers have a strike rate, hitters have a batting average.

And the line-ups in the game reflect that. Whereas in baseball you get a bullpen and bunch of players to draw on, you have to pick your 11 players in cricket with a eye to your bowling options as well as putting forward a strong batting lineup. Some of the greatest players have been good at both (called an all-rounder).

fangblackbone wrote:

One of the things I am still puzzled about is what happens if the pitcher throws a ball? What I mean by this is what happens if the pitch is off target and is not in line to hit the wicket, batter or bat and goes by the "catcher"?

Nothing. Which is why you have to bowl aggressively enough to threaten the batsman or they'll just 'leave' everything (not get their bat near it, not risking edging the ball) until you bowl a bad ball and they'll punish you. This is particularly relevant in Test matches where batsmen aren't limited in how long they can bat, and it becomes a contest between patience and endurance.

The exception is if the delivery is too wide for the batter to reach, then it is called a 'wide', doesn't count toward the 6 balls of the over, and the batting side gets a run.

fangblackbone wrote:

And when the runners are running, does the throw into the wicket actually have to hit the wicket while the runner's bat is not across the line to be "out"? Or can the throw just be close or have the catcher field the throw next to the wicket?

As long as the ball hits the stumps before the batsman has made it over the line, it doesn't matter how it happens. You can throw and directly hit it or you can throw it in to another fielder and they can break the stumps. Either way, they're out.

Any more questions?

The exception is if the delivery is too wide for the batter to reach, then it is called a 'wide', doesn't count toward the 6 balls of the over, and the batting side gets a run.

That helps a lot. As I am sure you know, when you are unfamiliar with a game the first thing you have is questions for things you see as game exploiting. It seemed like there was no incentive to give the batter anything to hit so there would have to be a penalty for constantly bowling junk.

The other thing I was explaining to my co-worker is that it seems like the long games (Tests) are like a whole playoff series for baseball except that the score was cumulative.

I also explained to him that some games end by trying to score the most amount of runs in a given amount of pitches (overs). And that being a bowler is not like being a pitcher because you have to get used to giving up hundreds of runs. (it'd totally crush the ego of a mlber) So in a way, defense is more like basketball with goal-tending and a much bigger basket and a 1, 4 and 6 point line. (and you have so many shots to score before the opponent gets theirs)

edit: and there are twice as many baskets as defenders

fangblackbone wrote:

That helps a lot. As I am sure you know, when you are unfamiliar with a game the first thing you have is questions for things you see as game exploiting. It seemed like there was no incentive to give the batter anything to hit so there would have to be a penalty for constantly bowling junk.

Yeah, definitely see that. The difference is that in cricket, width can be the bowler's enemy. If you bowl wider of the batsman, that gives them room to free their arms and really swing the bat, hitting the ball harder and racking up runs quickly. So, as a bowler, I aim to bowl as though there were four stumps instead of three, and I'm aiming at the outermost stump from the batsman's 'leg stump'. That few inches outside the real 'off stump' is called the corridor of uncertainty, because the batsman doesn't know whether to try and play the ball or let it go by and it is (usually) too close to really swing at.

Traditionally, the way to combat that fourth stump line is with a straight vertical bat, covering the 'line' of the ball with as much of the bat as possible. And as a bowler, you want to bowl a ball that 'swings', 'seams' or 'spins' to deceive the batsman into which line they should play down. That gets you the edges of the bat, and provided people take their catches, earns you wickets.

The other thing I was explaining to my co-worker is that it seems like the long games (Tests) are like a whole playoff series for baseball except that the score was cumulative.

Sort of, but they're one game, spread over five days. And you play a series of them, like England and South Africa at the moment just finished the first of three Tests in a series. So they have two more matches and a potential ten more days of play.

I also explained to him that some games end by trying to score the most amount of runs in a given amount of pitches (overs). And that being a bowler is not like being a pitcher because you have to get used to giving up hundreds of runs. (it'd totally crush the ego of a mlber)

Yeah, for the most part. Don't assume that bowlers don't hate getting tonked around the ground, though. I REALLY hate giving up runs, but I really love getting wickets, so you have to balance out the risk of giving them balls to hit with creating enough problems for them that they take a risk and you can get them out.

Is there a channel that shows cricket games that doesn't require satellite tv?

edit: There has got to be a local bar that shows games. I'll have to do some research.

Wow, uh, I don't know. Things may have changed, but you might be able to get a bar somewhere showing the Indian Premier League or at least the highlights of whatever Tests happen to be playing at the time.

I don't know if it has changed now, but there were ways that you could listen to Test Match Special in the States. Because that's the best way to take in the cricket, even when you're over here. Turn the TV over to Sky, mute it and flip on TMS.

Oh, I don't know - Sky's cricket commentary team is pretty decent.

How can you go wrong with 4 ex-England captains (Gower, Botham, Hussain, Athers) and 1 ex-England team manager (David 'Bumble' Lloyd), together with two of the world's finest ex-bowlers (Michael Holding and Shane Warne). Just have to be careful who is paired with who - Bumble goes off on tangents so having a fellow Lancastrian like Athers with him is useful, Botham was a self-opinionated prick as a player and has maintained that ever since, so pairing him with someone from a later era (like, say, Hussain) is only a good idea if you like verbal sparring, because they are barely civil to each other. Sticking him with Michael Holding is a better option.

There are a few others circulating on Sky's team - Nick Knight is OK (though Petersen hates him, so he went up in my estimation because Petersen is another prick), Dominic Cork is an arsehole (he didn't like the way Lancs dumped him, so tries to find sly ways to diss them if he reports on them on Sky Sports News).

The only commentary team to avoid is Channel 5 - Michael Vaughan isn't too bad, but Geoffrey Boycott is another of those blowhards who became a better player once he'd retired and is as tiresome as he was when he was batting. Mark Nicholas is almost unique as a commentator having never played Test cricket at all, but I can never look at him the same way after he was described on the cricket blog AGB Cricket as a 'sumptuous gaylord'

Hang on - are you an AGB reader/commenter too Dave?

Have I asked this question before?

Bruce wrote:

Hang on - are you an AGB reader/commenter too Dave?

Have I asked this question before?

I think you might have

Reader - definitely.

Commenter - no, I've never dared. I do agree with most of the comments from Tony and co though, but it'd be a brave Pom who'd shout up from the back.

Apologies - I'm a little fuzzy after a few days at the mine site.

Aw, poor KP. Apparently the great 'I Am' has threatened to quit test cricket altogether after the 3rd test against SA, not just because he's a greedy bastard who wants his own way all the time, and wants to ditch Test matches so that he can play in the IPL, but because he reckons some f the England dressing room dislike him (ooo, can't imagine that being the case).

Apparently, FIGJAM has found a Twitter account called KP Genius, and reckons one of his England teammates is behind it. It has been pointed out to the ignorant skunk that some of the tweets have been made while they are fielding, so unless someone's toting a Blackberry onto the pitch, it couldn't be one of the team (although that might explain some of the dropped catches).

He is apparently annoyed that some players have been interacting with this account though, and have taken to reading some of the tweets out....leading to this hilarious quote.

"It's tough being me and playing for England, it's tough."

You want to know why people dislike you, Pietersen ? It's because you are a greedy, selfish, ignorant, self-serving wretch. So f**k off to the IPL, you deserve each other.

EDIT - Just followed KP Genius, which is intermittently amusing. One thing did strike me - if he's annoyed by that parody, why isn't Sam Allardyce out trying to murder the author of NotBigSam as we speak, which regularly has me in stitches with its bizarre tales of sexual deviance and "doing 'shrooms with Nigel Havers".

So now KP has 'unretired' from all forms. What a pillock, I'm glad you guys took him off our hands.

Read an article about a week ago, I didn't realise what open hostility there is between him and Strauss.

Yeah, what a farce this is. I hope this doesn't interfere too much with the prep for the Lord's Test.

On a related note, I might have a line on tickets for the Friday, which would be amazing.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

So now KP has 'unretired' from all forms. What a pillock, I'm glad you guys took him off our hands.

Read an article about a week ago, I didn't realise what open hostility there is between him and Strauss.

Want to swap him for the other Petersen, now we've run this one in for you ?

Haakon - good luck with that, have a great day if you get them.

davet010 wrote:

Want to swap him for the other Petersen, now we've run this one in for you ?

;)

PFFFFFttttttttttthhhhahahahahahhahahahahah!

davet010 wrote:

Haakon - good luck with that, have a great day if you get them.

Yeah, should be awesome, hope you get them. I'm still sore Kingsmead isn't getting any tests this season, even my precious Boxing Day test.

Playing it out through the media just shows what a diva he is - I'd love it if England just said "we ain't picking you again, Skunk, F-Off to the IPL."

Pietersen axed over texts

Kevin Pietersen has been dropped from England's squad for the third Test against South Africa after the controversial batsman was caught up in a text message row.

England's selectors made their decision to axe Pietersen following reports he sent text messages to several South African players during the second Test at Headingley that were believed to contain derogatory comments about English captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower.

Guess he thought he had some friends in the SA camp.

HahahahahahHHAHAHAHAHAHhahahhahahahah!

Hahaha. What a cockend, he hasn't got the common sense of a five year old.