Netherlands v Kenya at Voorburg, ICC Intercontinental Cup One-Day

Well, it seems people do read this blog.  I thought I was talking to myself the entire time.

Thankfully, my new readers understood the “tongue-in-cheek” nature of yesterday’s post, and that the majority of my posts are meant to be taken as semi-jokes.

And even when I am being serious, I freely admit that my lack of knowledge opens those posts up for criticism.

Today is Tuesday, so that means a short post, which works out because there doesn’t seem to be a great deal going on.  The fifth and final ODI of the England-India series, and the last match of India’s summer in England, is on the 16th in Cardiff.  (So, I guess, in that case, India’s tour of England ended at Lord’s on Sunday.)

Can Indian win at least one game of the tour?  That is really the only storyline left.

I will admit that I am little down about the series ending, as it means that fall is well and truly here.  But I am looking forward to what should be a great autumn and winter of cricket, lots of which I will be able to watch on Willow.tv.

In other news this morning, Trott is ICC’s cricketer of the year.  Okay.  I guess.  I have not read any of the pundits’ reaction to the selection, but the guy did remorselessly accumulate over 1000 runs in 12 tests and over 1000 runs in 24 ODIs.

Cook won test cricketer of the year, and that is well deserved, while Sangakkara (my personal cricketer of the year) won the people’s choice award and the ODI player of the year.

As Cricinfo mentioned in its article this morning, the only real snub was the entire nation of India, as they only one award despite being the number one test nation for most of they year as well as being, you know, world fucking champions.

What does this prove?  That no matter the genre, award shows are complete rubbish.

Today’s matches to follow include: the Dutch versus Kenya in a 50 over match (hey, no rain!), Ireland versus Canada in a 50 over match, both games are part of the laboriously long ICC Intercontinental Cup (see you for the trophy presentation in 2013).  There is also a whole host of county games to watch.  All in all, a nice day of cricket.  Until tomorrow.

Hampshire v Warwickshire at Southampton, County Championship Division One (Day 1)

Rain, rain, rain.

Yesterday, the fourth ODI between England and India at the Oval was marred by persistent rain, finally ending as a tie (not a draw, mind you, but a tie) on the Duckworth-Lewis method.  (Isn’t the method supposed to produce a result?  Isn’t that its only purpose?)

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the fifth day of the 2nd test between Sri Lanka and Australia was greatly shortened by rain, helping the hosts preserve a draw.

AND: in Holland, their one day match against Kenya has been delayed by rain.  The Kenyans tour of the Netherlands has been a complete washout so far.

Now, I realize that rain delays and rain shortened matches are nothing new in the sport.  They have been dealing with it for well over a hundred years now, and I am sure smarter people than myself have come up with theories on how to best combat the rain.  Domes, floodlights so matches can play into the evening to make up overs lost to weather, different colored balls…etc, and I am not saying I have any answers here, but something has to be done.

It doesn’t help that the sport is wildly popular in three of the wettest nations on the planet (India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh) (Cherrpunji, on the eastern slopes of the Himalaya in Shillong, India, is the wettest place on Earth), and even England is infamous for its damp summers, but I still think there has to be a solution to this.  I always say that there is always so much cricket, but really, when you think about it, there isn’t.

When a minnow has a test washed out, for instance, that might have been one of only five they will play all year long.  In Major League Baseball however, by comparison, if they lose a game to weather, who cares, as they have 161 other games to play.

Get to work, ICC.  Forget about DRS or the IPL or the Associates, let’s figure out this rain issue.

I mean, for crying out, the means in which the sport decides rain shortened one-dayers (The Duckworth-Lewis Method) is the most ridiculously complicated thing ever.  I think Google’s search algorithm is easier to understand.   It attempts to understand and accurately predict the outcome of a sporting event, which is seriously insane when you think about it.

That’s it from here.  Thankfully, it looks as though the rain is going to hold off in England today, which means I have County Championship matches to follow.

Until tomorrow

 

Phoning It In

Again, so much cricket this morning.

The third ODI between England and India snuck up on me this morning, I had honestly forgotten all about it.  England won the toss and elected to field, and India are 92/5 through 28 overs.  It’s not going to be enough, if their bowling on Tuesday was any indication of future results.

Their new stud, Ajinkya Rhanae was caught out for a duck after seeing only three balls, which put India into a very early hole.

Can England completely white wash India this summer?  Win ALL the tests?  Win the t20?  Win ALL the ODIs?  That would be a magnificent achievement.

(I should go looking around for information on when that happened last for England, or any country, but I am feeling lazy this morning).

In other home country news, Ireland defeated Namibia this morning by five wickets in what sounded like a very intriguing fixture.  I have no idea what this means for their standing in the ICC Intercontinental cup, and again: too lazy to find out.

What I am trying to say is: I am phoning this in.  Until Monday then.

Essex v Surrey at Chelmsford, County Championship Division Two

Lots and lots of cricket today.

Sri Lanka versus Australia, test match, 1st day:  The Aussie test renaissance continues at Pallekele as they bowled out Sri Lanka for 174 and then tacked on 60 without loss before stumps.

Australia’s attack was balanced and relentless, but just what is wrong with Sri Lanka?  I realize that their strength lies in the one-dayers, but getting shellacked like this on home soil is an embarrassment, no matter the format.  Sri Lanka and India, the two World Cup finalists not six months ago, are both in dire need of a dissection, cricket wise.

Personally, I am just bummed that I am unable to watch any of this test.

Zimbabwe versus Pakistan, 1st ODI:  The hosts chose to field and held Pakistan to 247.  Zimbabwe are now 30 overs into their chase and require another 125 to win the first match of the series.  It would be a great win for the minnows.

This match is taking place at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  Here is the ground in 1961:

Ireland versus Namibia, four day match:  The visitors lead on day three by 122 runs with four wickets in hand.  Despite all the rain delays, there is a good chance we might see a result from this game.

A couple standout performances to note:  Andrew White hit an unbeaten century for Ireland in the first innings, pulling his country out of the fire for sure (poor metaphor, considering the rain, but oh well).  And two bowlers have taken five wickets each: George Dockrell for Ireland in the first innings (22-5-71-5) (He also bowled almost twice as many overs as the next closest Irish bowler) and Christi Viljoen for Namibia, also in the first innings (23.5-4-87-5).

From what I can tell, it has been a wonderful few days of cricket at Belfast.

Netherlands versus Kenya, four day:  Two days washed out by rain.  Not a single ball has been bowled.  Who knew it rained so much in Holland?

Okay, I am off to follow some cricket and, well, do some work.  Until tomorrow.

 

Netherlands v Kenya at Deventer, ICC Intercontinental Cup (Day 2)

Well, that was a fun few days away from the stress and strain of…blogging.

In my time away: quite a lot happened.  But goodness recapping four days worth of cricket and cricket related new is just too much to ask.  The big story?  Sachin has been ruled out of the remainder of the England series.  So there is no doubt now: he will not get his hundredth hundred in England (or…err…Wales).  His next chance will probably be in Australia this winter.

Now, some may argue (cough, cricketwithballs, cough) that the record is the meaningless and silly and stats like this ruin cricket.  And, well, I guess those folks might be right, to a degree.  But at the same time, it would have been really cool for Sachin to get his 100th 100 on his last tour of England.

And, well, now that I look at the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, it seems India are hosting England and the West Indies this fall before jetting off down under.  Which means he will have a legitimate chance at doing it at home.  Okay, that’s better than doing it in England.

Bottom line: it would be best if it happened at a meaningful point in a meaningful match, no matter what country it is in.

Either way, he is out of the ODIs, and boy is that too bad for India because they are in dire straits right now.

Since my last blog, the match in Durham was washed out but England absolutely hammered India in yesterday’s second ODI at the Rose Bowl.

(Fantastic sunset yesterday at Southampton):

Thanks ESPNCricinfo.com @getty images

Now, it was a rain shortened match, 23 overs a piece, and India is terribly shorthanded and decimated by injuries, but it was still a fucking hammering.  And the world champions are going to need a full review once this summer in England that started with so much promise is over.  You can no longer just blame the IPL, or injuries, or any one thing:  a full dissection is needed.

The third ODI is at the Oval on Friday, the fourth at Lord’s on Sunday, and the fifth and final is in Cardiff on the 16th, and then the tour is over.

It’s funny, thinking back to Cardiff: that’s where it all started this summer for England with the first test against Sri Lanka.  Goodness that feels like five million years ago. Truly.

As far as other cricket is concerned: the 2nd test between Sri Lanka and Australia is tomorrow at Pallekele.  Unfortunately, as with the last test, most of the action will happen as I snooze.

Oh, and the ICC Intercontinental Cup is back!  There are two four day matches happening right now:  The Netherlands v Kenya in Holland and Ireland v Namibia at Belfast.  And:  there is ball by ball coverage on ESPNCricinfo.

With that: until tomorrow.

Kent v Essex at Canterbury, County Championship Division Two

So where were we?

Oh, that’s right:  September.

England’s summer of cricket has become England’s autumn of cricket, and the first ODI versus India is tomorrow morning, after a yawner of a Twenty20 at Old Trafford.  I was unable to watch much of the match except for a few overs on replay on Willow.tv, but those few overs confirmed all my suspicions: Twenty20 at the international level is a snooze.

I was doubly disappointed during the Two Chucks recap of the match to see how many of crowd, when asked if they preferred test cricket to 20/20, preferred 20/20.  C’mon, people, even if you do, don’t admit it in public.  Yeesh.  That’s like admitting you think Sara Palin would make a fine president, or that those bags of off-brand cereal at the grocery store are just as good as the branded boxed stuff.

Thankfully, there are two tests to follow today.  Well, one, as Sri Lanka v Australia went to stumps before I was even up.  In that match, Sri Lanka need 259 runs in two days with five wickets in hand.  Considering how long their tail is, I don’t see that happening.  But it would be quite the story if it did!

The other match, Zimbabwe versus Pakistan, is at tea on the 2nd day.  The hosts batted to 412 all out and Pakistan has already lost one of their wickets in their first innings. This would be a famous win for Zimbabwe, and my fingers are crossed that their bowlers can keep Pakistan shackled.

Also, the above match taught me a new cricket phrase:  “carry the bat.”  According to Wikipedia, the term “refers to an opening batsman who is not dismissed (“not out”) when the team innings is closed. The term is usually used only when the innings is closed as a result of all other 10 players being dismissed (“out”), not when an opening batsman remains “in” when the team’s innings is declared closed, or the game ends when the batting team wins, or the match is drawn because time runs out.”

Shockingly, it has only happened 42 times in test cricket, which is a very small number considering there have been 2006 test matches.  The last time it happened was Dravid at the Oval, and that was the first time since December of 2009.

There are some equally as shocking low scores among the batsmen who have carried their bat, loads of sub 100s and not one 300.   For instance, the first batsman to do it was in 1889 in the 32nd test:  England v South Africa played at Newlands, Cape Town.  Bernard Tancred was the opener and finished South Africa’s first innings not out, but he only scored 26 runs and South Africa in total only scored 47.  Heck he was only at the crease for 91 minutes.

So, yeah, carrying one’s bat is just one of the silly cricket stats that are basically meaningless.

Screw you, “carry the bat”.

Note: It was really lazy of me to copy and paste that, instead of summarizing, synthesizing, and of making the definition my own.  But it’s Friday before a long weekend and the markets are going to tank thanks to the negative job news and, well, sometimes quoting wikis is the best I can do.

As mentioned, it is a long weekend, and I hope to be able to spend some of it watching cricket.  Tomorrow is the 1st Eng v Ind ODI.  First ball is at 04:15, Minneapolis time.  Not sure if I will be up for that.  We’ll see. Also, on Sunday, one of the semi-finals of the CB-40 is on Willow.tv.  It looks like both semi-finals are at the same time on the same day, so I am not sure which one I will be watching, but the two games are Somerset v Durham at Taunton and Surrey v Sussex at The Oval.

Okay, that’s a full lid.  See you Tuesday, as Monday is a holiday here in the states.

I will leave you with this picture of the first English side to tour South Africa (thanks ESPNCricinfo):