Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beer could be big factor: Fleming

This was among a list of Fox Sports headlines. Given that Australia's front-line spinner finished Day 3 with 1/85 from 29 overs, I assume Fleming must have been referring to Steve Davis' umpiring decisions.

I will be at the SCG again tomorrow, in Bay 27, if anyone feels like coming over to experience my particular brand of wackiness live. I'll be wearing a white Barmy Army t-shirt and probably a pair of red jeans.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I hate nightwatchmen. Like many, I'm sure. The concept is stupid, the execution is even more stupid and the whole thing is, overall, just...stupid. Today's major beef is that I think they negatively impact upon the batting of the proper batsman, by a) giving him one extra thing to think about and b) putting all run-scoring pressure onto the said batsman. Meanwhile, they're worse equipped to face difficult bowling (often in failing light).

And, if your nightwatchman gets out before stumps, do you bring in another? The case, based on the usual logic of using them, is even stronger now than when the first one came in. Where does the madness stop?

A few notes, post Tea

  1. Johnson’s wayward legside deliveries are faster than Hilfenhaus’ wayward legside deliveries.
  2. After Johnson finally managed to bowl a ball that could be reached by the bat (and that didn’t go to the boundary) Clarke clapped for an inordinate length of time, like an ignoramus during a brief pause in Sonata Pathetique.
  3. VB is too dreadful to tempt even me.
  4. One Indian mynah should be fined for multiple pitch invasions.
  5. There are pigeons at the ground, so I’m glad I’m not listening to Henry Blofeld.
  6. There is a slight delay between sights and sounds on the cricket pitch, making it look like a badly-dubbed movie.
  7. Drinks breaks are a lot faster live.
  8. Flying bails only look beautiful when the ball is bowled by my team.
    (Strauss was just bowled for 60, by the way.)

    Pre-Tea report, Day 2 at the SCG

    I’m writing this at the SCG – although I won’t be able to post it until I get home as I have no internet access – and tea has just been called. What an excellent day of cricket watching so far! Watching Jimmy running in with the new ball (Aah! That’s Jimmy Anderson about 120m away from me!), Bell diving in the field and Straussy clobbering the Australian attack around the park is a wonderful way to spend the New Year. The morning rain that was promised has failed to deliver, I’m sitting in the Churchill stand close on as straight as I can get (around about straightish long-off to the right-hander) and I’m comfortable in the knowledge that England have already secured the Ashes.

    Strauss has gone to tea on 49, an innings which has so far included a magnificent pull for six and (in my opinion) and even better shot – the straightest of straight drives for four. Cook has accumulated and shouldered arms at the other end, playing a steady second fiddle to Strauss’ flamboyance (never really thought I’d describe his batting as flamboyant).

    However, the highlight of the day for me, so far, is when Paul Collingwood cleaned up Hussey’s stumps (admittedly off the bat and the pad). My favourite ginger cricketer just looked so happy, and I’m hoping he gets a hundred here so that if he retires, it will be on a high – or it could rescue his Test career!

    There are a few lowlights. Firstly, the partnership between Johnson and Hilfenhaus was allowed to build through Strauss playing to Johnson’s ‘farm-the-strike’ game and Bresnan and Tremlett bowling a few feet too short to induce edges. Second, the woman directing vehicle traffic at the entrance was incredibly rude and in need of a strong sedative (and muffler). Third, the food on offer was so dreadful I couldn’t bring myself to buy any and therefore went without lunch. I also generally get very pissed off with the SCG groundstaff – they take forever, prepare a pretty poor pitch and get all precious over their ground. Also, I’m about as far away from the Barmy Army as possible – although thankfully surrounded by jubiland England fans.

    Anyway, 73/0 in reply to 280 and tea is at an end. My phone has run out of batteries so unfortunately I’ll be a bit quiet on the Twitter front (@MeikoElektra) and can’t listen to Test Match Sofa. However, I’m having a brilliant time and wouldn’t be anywhere else for the world!

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Do I dare to hope?

    No, of course I don't, stupid. I'm an England supporter. We are entirely bereft of hope most of the time, and don't dare to hope the rest of the time.

    However, I have been letting my imagination run away from me. In brief alcohol- and chocolate-fuelled moments, I have visualised how England could win this Test. Incredibly dangerous, I know, and I have surely doomed them to a resounding defeat. But here's how it could possibly go on Day 5 at the 'Gabba.

    Cook and Trott come out tomorrow morning and play themselves in for all of two overs before realising that the Australian attack are eminently hittable, and they clobber some quick runs. Cook eventually falls, followed by Trott in quick succession, bringing in a rampant KP and Collingwood who immediately start butchering the Aussies all over the park. Strauss, being slightly conservative, declares half way through the afternoon session, giving England a lead of around 280 and 45 overs to bowl Australia out. The match looks like it will be drawn.

    And sure enough, Katich and Watson get off to a pretty good start, before Twatto applies hair gel one too many times and Katich throttles him, getting himself arrested. Ponting comes and goes without a whimper, out lbw to Anderson.

    However, Clarke and Hussey put together a handy little partnership and, with an eyelash injury to Jimmy Anderson, it all looks over for England until Strauss has a moment of brilliance and calls upon Collingwood to bowl. Lo and behold, Colly's military medium can only be chipped to mid-off, where the ball falls safely into the hands of a gleeful twelfth man in Monty Panesar (on for Jimmy), giving Colly a hat-trick. Ponting throws a hissy fit at England's use of a sub fielder.

    A jubilant Mushtaq Ahmed dashes onto the field and starts doing the sprinkler with Monty, but is banished from the ground for his unofficially-sponsored Adidas beard, or for being Muslim or something (it is Queensland, after all). Nonetheless, in the dimming light, Finn comes on to clean up the last four wickets, getting himself ten for the match, England win by 87 runs with 5 overs to spare. Jimmy Anderson comes out onto the balcony and, misunderstanding the concept of a flash dance, gets his gear out and does the hokey-pokey, getting himself an instant Men of Cricket contract and becoming the face (and body) of the Mardi Gras.

    A demoralised Australia go on to lose the Ashes 5-0, Ponting retires in tears, Katich is given life, Clarke becomes captain for one game before discovering his life dream of becoming a relationships guru and North is given the captaincy, proceeding to lead Australian cricket into the darkest era of its history.

    This is all perfectly possible.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    When wickets aren't what you really want

    England have just bowled out Australia, and this is probably the worst possible situation for the team as they'll now have to bat for a good two days to make the match safe, which I can't see happening unless Ponting decides that he should use Marcus North and Michael Hussey as his frontline bowlers (which he might, being Ponting).

    I am trying to think of ways in which England could win this match, but my powers of imagination don't stretch that far. Cracks are appearing in the pitch. Cracks of doom.

    Swanny gets a wicket

    Too damn late to make any difference, but it might be a sign of him bowling better in Australia's second innings. If they ever have to bat again.

    Kill me now

    So much stuff has happened since I last posted. Mazhar Majeed, a century for Broad, Herschelle Gibbs' biography, Mickey Arthur's biography, the rise and rise of Test Match Sofa (who may be on the verge of world domination) and so on.

    Day 3 at the Gabba, and all is going to shit. As we knew deep down it would. I'm trying to convince myself otherwise but we are well and truly fucked and it turned out to be a hedgehog, not a gerbil. Perhaps this is the one forgettable match, like Headingley was in 2009, but despite the excellent work of Jimmeh with the ball, I am fast losing hope.

    So, kill me now. Let me die in peace, without having to see the repulsive face of a celebrating Ricky Ponting. It's tea now; lace it with cyanide, please.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Oh rubbish

    England are 47/5 and Collingwood and Prior are out. Trott and Prior remain the only hopes. My love for Test Match Sofa can only stretch so far.

    Still, it's better focusing on this than on the current Australian election. When a third of your hopes lie in the lap of Bob Katter, you should be worried.

    England are in trouble

    And being the sulk I am, I'm seriously considering switching off the radio. Or would be, if Test Match Sofa weren't so entertaining. However, England are in a quagmire at the moment, with Strauss and Pietersen in the sheds (Cook is a free wicket anyway - they'd be better off opening with Jimmy Anderson). Our hopes lie with Trott, Collingwood and Prior, and resistance from the tail to make a decent score. Followed up by brilliant bowling and some helpful conditions. I'm clutching at straws, I know. Anyway, it's given me something to blog about, albeit briefly.

    A referral. Pakistan may have Collingwood out LBW. Bother.