Middlesex v Surrey at Lord’s, Friends Life t20, South Group

On the days I ride my bike, like today, like yesterday, it is very hard to get my head clear again to write a blog post.  You think it would be the opposite, that my thoughts would be crystallized after 90 minutes of pedaling, but it is not.  So, like most days, bear with me, eh?

Yesterday, (click here for a tweet of a wonderful picture of the ground) England routed Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI by 10 wickets at Trent Bridge, leveling the series at two a piece, with the decider on Saturday.  I was supposed to be on a bicycle pub crawl brewery tour…thing…on Saturday, but it was cancelled last minute.  So instead, I will be at the computer with willow-dot-teevee, instant coffee, and my stats homework.

At Trent Bridge, Anderson showed why he is still England’s number one ODI bowler, despite his recent World Cup flop.  I was able to watch a bit of Sri Lanka’s innings last night, and I was struck by how consistent his line and his length were – it really is like watching a metronome.

Dernback also took three wickets, Bresnan two, and, YES, Broady took two, as well.  Both of the t20 captain’s were a bit on the lucky side, but sometimes that’s what a quality player needs to pull himself out of a slump.  Remember what the football announcers always say: form is temporary, quality is permanent.  (However, they do also say things like “2-nil is the most dangerous score in football” and “Wayne Rooney doesn’t dive” – so all with a grain of salt or two, then).

On the batting side, for England, Cook and Kieswetter went unbeaten for 171 (via D/L).  The captain was a few short of his century, but I think the result was what mattered to him.

You have to feel a little badly for Sri Lanka – the pitch was perfectly rolled for the England bowlers to take early wickets, so they really never got going.  Chandimal and Dilshan both went for ducks, and Jayawardene only scored 9 off of 12 before being caught by Trott at slip.

The always classy Sangakkara hit for 75, but it just wasn’t enough to get them to the 230 or 240 that they were going to need.

I am still not sure why Dilshan chose to bat after winning the toss, though.

Either way, on to Old Trafford for the deciding ODI.  Once that is over, we can all start getting excited for India’s visit.  And then international cricket really kicks off, and goes all the way through the spring.  Of course, most of the matches will be in Australia and in the middle of the night, Minneapolis time, but such is the life of an American cricket writer.

In Dominica: it is raining.

Now back to work, I am going to try and follow a bit of county cricket today, so look for some of my inane, cliched, and thoroughly borrowed commentary over on twitter.

Until tomorrow.

Update: the ICC just tweeted that the England v India ODI in Kolkata has been moved from 26 October to 25 October.

Which begs the question: England is in India this fall?  It is not on Cricinfo’s unofficial FTP, but it is on the the ICC’s official version.  Huh, I guess I know which one to trust now.

Japan v Vanuatu at Port Moresby, ICC East Asia-Pacific Region Division One Twenty20

*I said no more talk about the associate members, but the above are affiliate members…you have been loopholed.*

Without doing any real research, I am going to assume that the above is an early round qualifier for the 2012 Twenty20 World Championship (it’s actually title is the ICC World Twenty20, I guess. Thanks, Wiki).  Of course, thanks to our friends in Hong Kong last week, there are so very few “extra” spots available now outside of the test nations, that the above tournament is basically meaningless.

Despite my blood oath last night, I wanted to use the match in the title this morning because I wanted to find some information on, and write a little about, the ground.  But it seems there is very little information available about a ground in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, which is here:

Cricinfo tells me it is called the Colts Cricket Ground, but Google tells me that Colts Cricket Ground is in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Google found this place for me:

And people complain about the slope at Lord’s…

But, honestly, that’s all I could find.  And now my screen grabs of Google Maps are having a weird white space added at the bottom of each image, which is really annoying, so that’s enough about Port Moresby for now.  (The first European to see the land where the city would be was named Captain John Moresby, he named it after his father…okay, now I am done.)

I had mentioned yesterday that I wanted to write more about County Cricket, but I am having a hard time getting started on that project.   International cricket (and that includes things like the IPL and yes, the associates) is just far more accessible.  I need to take the time to read bulletins, and history books, and the like.  It is easy, even for a novice, to sit down and write about, say, the upcoming England-India tests, but it is far more difficult to pick up pen and  paper and write about the county game.  It is just so much more…nuanced.

And that’s that for now.  I am happy my morning meeting was cancelled, giving me the chance to post at all.  Happy Tuesday.  Until tomorrow.

Ireland v Namibia at Belfast, ICC Intercontinental Cup One-Day, 2nd Match

A few days ago, I mentioned that the Scotland-Holland ODI in Aberdeen was not, NOT, part of the ICC Intercontinental Cup one day series.  Well, it turns out it was.  I am seriously so confused these days when it comes to the Associates, and I am convinced, CONVINCED, that the ICC left them out of the 2015 World Cup purely because of how…difficult…the Associates are.

For those new to the game, there are several levels of status in World Cricket.  There are the Test Nations – those countries with full member status.  These are nations that have proven over many years that they are capable of playing the game at the highest possible level.  England, India, Australia…etc.

The Associates, on the other hand, are nations with lesser developed programs.  Nations such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Canada…etc.

Then there are the Affiliates (Nepal, Thailand, Uganda, the USA…etc).

The associates and the affiliates all play in various tournaments which I am not, NOT, going to explain again (yes, I have used that meme three times now, so what?) with the ultimate goal of becoming full member nations and playing tests against England at Lord’s, getting backstage passes to Take That at Wembley, being able to get away with high fashion sunglasses in the field, and of course getting lots of followers on Twitter.

Despite the fact that I did want to point out that the match in the title of this post actually does not take place until tomorrow, I really do not want to talk about the Associates for a very long time.  I write about them far too much in this blog.

I will say, though, that the ICC are idiots for trimming the t20 World Cup.  Serious, fucking, idiots.

In other world cricketing news, Sri Lanka have simply hammered England in the last

(hold on, I am watching Mexico-Chile in the Copa America and goodness that was a beautiful goal from Mexico. one of the best headers I have seen in a very long time.  who scored that?  will he sign for Arsenal? of course he won’t.)

(I am watching it online on Univision, the commentary is in Spanish.  Seriously, it is not very multi-cultural for me to say this, but the GOOOAAALL (ad nauseum) call when a team scores is the most annoying thing in world sport.  full stop.  otherwise I almost prefer the commentary, it is easier to tune out).

hammered England in the last two ODIs.  There are calls for almost everyone in the entire squad to be dropped, taken out, and shot.  But despite the moaning, I bet the squad will unchanged on Wednesday in Nottingham.  Again, I plan, PLAN on waking up early to catch a few overs.  This is something I really need to start making happen.  For England’s sake, hopefully it is damp, as the whole “Sri Lanka can’t play in the cold and wet” theory has legs.

That’s it for now.  I am hoping, HOPING, that there will be time to write tomorrow.  (Yes, that was on purpose).

Oh, I did want to mention how cool I think it is that the Friend’s Life t20 uses the quaint old grounds for their matches.  Today, for instance, Sussex played at the Whitgift School ground.  I love that when I go on my cricket-bicycle-pub-crawl, I will barely have to leave London, and I will still get to see so many wonderful grounds.

Blog resolution: more about county cricket, less about the Associates.

Until tomorrow.

England v Sri Lanka at Leeds, 2nd ODI

I meant to get up early enough today to watch part of the above match before heading to the office, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happened.  Now is is almost 9am and I am feeling quite uninspired – what to write about…? What to write about…?

Well, the chase has begun at Headingley.  Kieswetter and Cook are off and are running down Sri Lanka’s 308.  Unlike like in Bridgetown, there isn’t any rain forecast for Leeds….

Crap, I had to halt the blog process to take an order from a client.  I guess I just need to keep on thinking: each order takes me one step closer to London.  But that is not the case, as each order takes me one step farther away from my home being foreclosed upon, and other boring necessitates of modern American life.

Anyway, it is only the fourth over, but England are cranking along at over 8 an over, which is nice to see.  Can they go two-up in the series?

And, hey, it is the first of July (happy Canada day), which means that the first test against India at Lord’s is only three short weeks away.  I can guarantee you I won’t be oversleeping those matches.

Photo by Niki Becker, London, 4 March 2011.

That is it for now, I might bless you with a rare afternoon post later, and maybe even a weekend post tomorrow.  We shall see.

Until tomorrow.