I don't like cricket...

MrP

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Great win for Australia, well done for nutting it out. Kudos too to the Windies for taking it so close.
 

synicbast

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Dammit MrP, you've been down there too long now. You're giving the crims praise?
Given the shite served up by the NZ cricket menagerie (I won't call it a team), it's hard not to appreciate cricket played hard, with guts and fervour and at a reasonable skill level.

Having said that, unless the Aussies come up with a spin bowler that can threaten, I do not give much hope for the Ashes being reclaimed. Their batting is still relatively brittle, and relies on Clarke too much. Their pace bowling is very good, when you inclde their new generation quicks, but the poms don't seem to have any problem against pace atm. It's only when they get told a spinner is aboout to bowl that they completely freeze. Just as Hadlee's retirement from county cricket allowed many batsmen to rebuild their careers, the damage done by "Bowled, Shane" may last an entire generation.
 

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The England bowling attack is still first class and quite deep. The batting looks shakey at the moment. It's not the fact the spinners bowled them but they seemed to have lost the ability to craft an innings.
 

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The England bowling attack is still first class and quite deep. The batting looks shakey at the moment. It's not the fact the spinners bowled them but they seemed to have lost the ability to craft an innings.
The way they played the spinners was less about crafting an innings for me, as the entire batting plan seemed to be , oh my god the ball is spinning (even if only a little bit) I must sweep. Very much Cullinan esque in the abject nature of the shot selection. A mentally defective sea-monkey could have made better shot selections and implementation. I mean if you are going to sweep, you do so on length and you do so with the bat coming to the ball from above and down (cf MCC coaching manual), not as if you are scooping dog turds from the lawn.
 

MrP

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Just being magnanimous, you should see the emails I send to my Aussie friends :)

Anyway, Australia are still in the doldrums, they've a couple of decent young quicks, a biffer of an opener who either goes or doesn't and are a team held together loosely by the Old Guard and the miracles of modern medecine when it comes to the bowlers. Their spinner (pick ANY) is barely county class but at least they're sticking with him for a change.

I don't expect the Ashes to be winging South any time soon.

NZ cricket is just the pits. A good spinner/captain, a couple of decent if flaky bats (Guptill looks good at the crease) and the odd decent bowling performance does not make a winning side.
I think we've lost him...
 

synicbast

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At least you can revel in hating Australia in yet another sport again, as it's now approaching real sport time: Test Match Union, especially the Bledisloe.
 

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Looks like being a cracker of a series, this. Really saddened by the fact that it isn't a five Test series. Also, a terrible way for Bouch to go out - sport is a leveller, isn't it?
 

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Looks like being a cracker of a series, this. Really saddened by the fact that it isn't a five Test series. Also, a terrible way for Bouch to go out - sport is a leveller, isn't it?
I absoloutely couldn't agree more that it is a scandal that we're not having five tests. I only learned the other day that the one day series with what used to be Australia was a price the ECB paid to get a series in against them just before the ODI world cup. I do not accept however that Test Cricket should ever suborned to the needs of the ODI game.

Now Proteas turn up and, to hear some idiots talk, you'd think English cricket is done for after a day where we took one wicket. No, it's just that this time we have a really good team to play; one as good as their rating. We've played a lot of other sides at home who are on the wane or tired from playing too much. Even with the horrific injury to Boucher (what a horrible end the stellar career of such a noble proponent of the game), SA are the team England really needs to beat.
 

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Barring something dramatic, I reckon we're looking at a draw here. England's batting line-up is too strong, I think, to expect it to fold in the tinme left. I'll be watching Philander closely - our "wunderkind" is likely to face a tougher test against seam/swing canny batters like those in the England side.

Good to see Hash turn on the taps again - as much as Kallis is the best player SA has ever produced, this fella still gets the nod from me as our best batsman of the last few years.

In typical SA style, though, we're starting strong and will probably end up drawing the series....
 

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Barring something dramatic, I reckon we're looking at a draw here. England's batting line-up is too strong, I think, to expect it to fold in the tinme left. I'll be watching Philander closely - our "wunderkind" is likely to face a tougher test against seam/swing canny batters like those in the England side.

Good to see Hash turn on the taps again - as much as Kallis is the best player SA has ever produced, this fella still gets the nod from me as our best batsman of the last few years.

In typical SA style, though, we're starting strong and will probably end up drawing the series....
Nope.
Looks like youve got this one in the bag
Deserved to...played well.
England...played like the chumps of yesteryear. Rank Hovis McGarbage
 

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I've been pleasantly surprised, sipping my Guinness and watching the day's play. Six wickets still to get, as I type this, so still a lot of cricket left to play for us. I always worry about our all-too-familiar last day complacency, so I hope Steyn and co can wrap it up quickly. Memories of Atherton and Jack Russell back in '95 are still strong out here...

Ernie winning the Open was a nice touch too. Poor fella has been in the wilderness for long enough.
 
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Martin Mayers

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I've been pleasently surprised, sipping my Guinness and watching the day's play. Six wickets still to get, as I type this, so still a lot of cricket left to play for us. I always worry about our all-too-familiar last day complacency, so I hope Steyn and co can wrap it up quickly. Memories of Atherton and Jack Russell back in '95 are still strong out here...

Ernie winning the Open was a nice touch too. Poor fella has been in the wilderness for long enough.
I can see no other result here.
So much so I've just put some money on you at 5 to 1 on
:)
 

trevpr1

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I've been pleasently surprised, sipping my Guinness and watching the day's play. Six wickets still to get, as I type this, so still a lot of cricket left to play for us. I always worry about our all-too-familiar last day complacency, so I hope Steyn and co can wrap it up quickly. Memories of Atherton and Jack Russell back in '95 are still strong out here...

Ernie winning the Open was a nice touch too. Poor fella has been in the wilderness for long enough.
Enjoy your Guinness. You're going to win this one. Proteas outclassed England everywhere.
 

n3ddy

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I have to mention the incredible fair-mindedness - bordering on unpatriotic at times! - of the English commentators in this, as in all other Tests I've watched involving England in England. I'm not sure whose broadcast we get out here (Sky, I *think*...) , but Mike Atherton, David Gower, ol' Bumble and (my boyhood hero) Sir Ian are always a pleasure to listen to. A breath of fresh air in comparision to the sledgers of Channel 9 and the smug attitudes of many of the South African commentators.
 

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So was this a failure of the English batsmen or the bowlers? I'm tending towards blaming the bowlers, 360 odd is not a horrible target for the batsmen to have acquired.
 

MrP

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A combination of both - England should have made a shedload more runs - they had a bad patch where the weather went a bit muggy and overcast and the SA bowlers got back into the game, but the England bowlers looked tired and disinterested (as did the field). Swann spun the ball, but the pitch is slooooooooww so Amla et al had plenty of time to play him. The way the pitch is, I don't think England could have bowled them out twice (or even once!) but the game'd be safe if they'd notched up 500 in the first innings.

Well played SA - dare I say test cricket #1 on this showing?
 

n3ddy

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Number 1? Oh, you know us! We'll duff it somehow, we always do! :D In all fairness to the Proteas, though, we're a lot tougher mentally than we were a few years ago. Most of the "crumble brigade" of the 90s and early 2000s have retired and so some of those memories of epic chokes have lost their grip in the changeroom. Under gary Kirsten there isn't likely to be much room for the flan-like mental poise of the past, nuggety character that he is.

Imran Tahir certainly owes us a few wickets, though. Everything seems to suit him going into the last day. I think folk have been unfairly critical of Swann in this match - wrist spinners generally get more turn out of tracks than finger spinners (It's their special brand of evil!)

Winning this Test will be important, but even more important will be the follow-up by Smith and company in the Second Test. There needs to be more ruthlessness and drive. This is a good, young-ish SA side that needs to develop a culture of going for the throat when they're up.
 
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