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  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Test match cricket

    Just a few hours until India and South Africa set off on a three-Test series that should have an impact for both sides, depending on the outcome.

    Changes for India, with Bumrah unfortunately injured, although they have a couple of more than decent pace men to complement Ashwin and Radeja with the slower ball. The two spinners have great combined results on home soil.

    Pant makes way for Saha behind the stumps, but I have confidence Pant will be in the team on batting merit before too long.

    For South Africa, they haven’t had their troubles to seek but there is the nucleus of a very bright, talented young team there.

    Given it is India at home then it is hard to see past them for the series, the surfaces will suit them far better and while the SAFs have upgraded in the spin department, it isn’t going to be close to the hosts.

    For those with Sky, it appears to be on one of the international channels, Star Gold, at 887. Play seems to start at five am though! That would seem to suggest the evening session commences somewhere around ten am which is more realistic! Can’t find any indication of highlight programmes on Sky Sports or BT and forget to check Star. For those without Sky there will be online radio coverage, both from Indian and South African broadcasters for sure.
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  2. #2
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    There is a half-hour highlights package from day one of the Test on Star Gold (Sky 887).

    Also discovered that Sony Max (Sky 886) seems to show cricket. The closing stages of the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is on now.

    EDIT -oops, didn’t say when the highlights package was on - it is 9pm!
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 02-10-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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  3. #3
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Interesting dayís play to start the series off. India won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat on what looks like a flat, flat pitch.

    They patiently withstood decent attacks at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions, which left them facing tired pace bowlers from then on, and spinners who donít really seem up to the mark. It was to be expected the Indians would take advantage and so they did, flaying South Africa with fours and sixes, very often cuts on the offside for the former and smites over deep mid-on for the latter.

    Rohit clubbed his way to a century in his debut as an opener, with Agarwal nicely poised on 84. Rain intervened before the sixtieth over could be completed, restricting India to a meagre 202-0 .

    I am not sure what the forecast is, will need to check, but India look set. For South Africa it is hard to see how they take twenty wickets. Philander isnít a bad bowler and got some swing both ways but canít conjure up the pace and aggression of a Ngidi. Rabada toiled away but is always going to struggle on a pitch like this.
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  4. #4
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    India pushed on massively on day two. Awargal and Rohit piling on the runs and setting big scores, one double century and one not far off. And although the remaining batsmen didn't score big they did score quickly to set an imposing target.

    This gave them enough time to have a go at South Africa, with the timing of their declaration. We then saw the difference between the two spin attacks, with the Indian pair conjuring up bounce and turn effortlessly and taking three wickets before close of play.

    Ashwin and Radeja are going to bump their figures massively over the next day or two, Awatgal and Rohit already have and probably won't be required to don the pads for a second time.

    Top cricket if you support India, desperately disappointing if you back South Africa - but interesting cricket regardless and the potential for some real fun from the Indian spinners as the pitch deteriorates.
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  5. #5
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Well, well, the enigma that is Test cricket!

    South Africa were on their knees at the close of day two but came out fighting on day three. Elgar and Du Plessis took advantage of a quick outfield in the morning session with some bold shots.

    This continued into the afternoon session, albeit De Kock eventually replacing Du Plessis. South Africa piled up the runs and piled up the boundaries from finding the gaps, a mixture of wide and fine on the offside. There have to be question marks about the Indian field, both inner and outer, for being just too close in. The outfielders in particular missed several catches just by virtue of ten or twenty yards' positioning. It is excusable once, twice, three times but I think it was easily double figures, possibly on both sides.

    Elgar, who opened, and Du Plessis and the De Kock, made all the difference. Elgar was very patient in holding down his end and running up an admirable 160, He ultimately fell to Jadeja with a misjudged slog sweep that gave the Indian spinner his 200th Test wicket at IIRC a very good average. Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers however, claiming a five-for after many, many overs.

    De Kock is a player I really, really like and while Elgar anchored today's play, De Kock made all the difference, scoring at a very quick rate and making a century before being clean-bowled for a Nelson on 111.

    So, South Africa ended up on 385-8, trailing by 117 runs.

    They did far better today than was expected, certainly by me, and deserve credit for that. Still hard to see beyond India but the draw has become less unlikely.
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  6. #6
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Let this slip a bit but as expected, India saw it out comfortably with a convincing margin of victory, in no small part due to skittleing out the dangerous South African middle order in quick time, when they were asked to bat again. Shami bowled very well, to complement the spinners. Doesn’t look like India missed Bumrah

    I have hope that there is still life in this series, but it does feel a touch mismatched at the moment.

    Over in Australia, their domestic red-ball cricket is about to start - the Sheffield Shield. Not sure if there will be any coverage on tv channels in the UK but there are a bunch of positions in the Test side that are up for contesting.
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 08-10-2019 at 12:11 AM.
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  7. #7
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    I never really got the expression ď...like a dog with two tailsĒ until now!

    New Zealand have pushed on at the Bay Oval, patient cricketing but against increasingly tired bowling. They are giving themselves the chance of a declaration and a potential victory.

    Over at the Gabba, it is really just a matter of time. Australia heading towards an innings victory almost certainly, Cummins and Starc again driving it with 4-53 between them so far.
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  8. #8
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Pakistan have been defending brilliantly. Credit due.
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  9. #9
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I never really got the expression ď...like a dog with two tailsĒ until now!

    New Zealand have pushed on at the Bay Oval, patient cricketing but against increasingly tired bowling. They are giving themselves the chance of a declaration and a potential victory.

    Over at the Gabba, it is really just a matter of time. Australia heading towards an innings victory almost certainly, Cummins and Starc again driving it with 4-53 between them so far.
    As a guy who obviously loves cricket whats youíre view on test match cricket in Australia and New Zealand? The flat pitches and the kookaburra cricket ball might well lead to home victories, but imo itís not as exciting. Iíve read that many in the Southern Hemisphere would rather use the Duke ball and I agree.

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  10. #10
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    As a guy who obviously loves cricket whats you’re view on test match cricket in Australia and New Zealand? The flat pitches and the kookaburra cricket ball might well lead to home victories, but imo it’s not as exciting. I’ve read that many in the Southern Hemisphere would rather use the Duke ball and I agree.
    Timely point. Cricket Australia used the Duke ball in the Sheffield Shield to prepare for the last Ashes.

    By the same token one of the England cricketers, Denly I think, came out the other day calling for English county cricket pitches to be prepared more akin to foreign pitches. The problem there is that short-overs cricket has forced county cricket out to the very start and very end of the season, making it impossible to recreate those flat Southern Hemisphere strips.

    I think for a while, home advantage has become key and that has benefitted England as much as anyone. Nevertheless, India, South Africa and England can all, dependent on circumstance, go to Aus with a reasonable chance. Aus went through a real trough but are now looking very strong.

    NZ have a fantastic home series record but again, they have one of the top three batsmen in the world at the helm, a bunch of decent to very good guys around him, and a well co-ordinated bowling unit. Plus arguably, the shorter series format there gives them a better chance. At some point they will lose Williamson, Taylor, Guptill, Nicholls, Boult and if they don’t have the replacements lined up they will suffer in the same way Aus did when they lost McGrath, Langer, Hayden, Warne, Gilchrist etc all within a few years.

    But to get back to your point, I can see the argument for the Duke on Southern surfaces, but when you look at domestic Aus cricket, it is still producing fantastic bowlers of spin and pace. From a purely selfish point of view, I love a big series Down Under, opening at the Gabba, with the tourists in to bat and the Aussies using the Kookaburra - it isn’t as subtle as the Duke but it can be explosive.

    Maybe a compromise - the Kook in Brisbane and Perth, the Duke at the SCG, MCG, and Adelaide
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 27-11-2019 at 01:17 AM.
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  11. #11
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Timely point. Cricket Australia used the Duke ball in the Sheffield Shield to prepare for the last Ashes.

    By the same token one of the England cricketers, Denly I think, came out the other day calling for English county cricket pitches to be prepared more akin to foreign pitches. The problem there is that short-overs cricket has forced county cricket out to the very start and very end of the season, making it impossible to recreate those flat Southern Hemisphere strips.

    I think for a while, home advantage has become key and that has benefitted England as much as anyone. Nevertheless, India, South Africa and England can all, dependent on circumstance, go to Aus with a reasonable chance. Aus went through a real trough but are now looking very strong.

    NZ have a fantastic home series record but again, they have one of the top three batsmen in the world at the helm, a bunch of decent to very good guys around him, and a well co-ordinated bowling unit. Plus arguably, the shorter series format there gives them a better chance. At some point they will lose Williamson, Taylor, Guptill, Nicholls, Boult and if they don’t have the replacements lined up they will suffer in the same way Aus did when they lost McGrath, Langer, Hayden, Warne, Gilchrist etc all within a few years.

    But to get back to your point, I can see the argument for the Duke on Southern surfaces, but when you look at domestic Aus cricket, it is still producing fantastic bowlers of spin and pace. From a purely selfish point of view, I love a big series Down Under, opening at the Gabba, with the tourists in to bat and the Aussies using the Kookaburra - it isn’t as subtle as the Duke but it can be explosive.

    Maybe a compromise - the Kook in Brisbane and Perth, the Duke at the SCG, MCG, and Adelaide
    I read somewhere that they had tried using a white duke ball in some lower level matches in England and it was moving about all over over the place. I wonder if they’ll ever use that.

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  12. #12
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Itís looking like the long game in this test again. New Zealand have such a strong batting line up that a draw is the worst they can get. More importantly I can see myself lying back on one of those grass banks one day.

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  13. #13
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    What a boost it must be to have someone like Stokes in your team no matter what situation you find yourselves in. Such an inspirational player bowling, fielding or batting.

  14. #14
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HUTCHYHIBBY View Post
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    What a boost it must be to have someone like Stokes in your team no matter what situation you find yourselves in. Such an inspirational player bowling, fielding or batting.
    I just hope they donít spoil it by making him captain. Thankfully Root is still young and doing a good job.

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  15. #15
    @hibs.net private member weecounty hibby's Avatar
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    Great result and match and is exactly why test match cricket is still the pinnacle and should remain as a five day game

  16. #16
    England doing that thing they did in the 1st innings at Cape Town where they all get a start but nobody makes a big score.

    Currently 161/4 with Stokes 11 and Pope 4.

  17. #17
    224/4 at the close. Stokes has grittily dug in and Pope a bit more comfortable. They are 38 and 39 not out respectively. Decent position for England but it could quickly unravel if these 2 go quickly in the morning.

  18. #18
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Cheers for the updates JMS, job well done.

    I caught a bit of today's play. A pleasant surface for sure and no surprise that if you won the toss you would bat first.

    From England's perspective, they have done okay. Everyone got in without pushing on, but crucially they got in and I saw some lovely shots being played. And, at the risk of tempting fate, England might suddenly have options at opening bat with Crawley, Sibley and Rory Burns to return.

    Having said that, it is a placid pitch so I might reserve judgement until I see them at the Gabba or Eden Gardens...

    Can't really criticise SAF, they persevered. Probably a couple of occasions where the fielding positions could have been better, but as soon as Faf recognised it he remedied it.

    Classic cricket cliche alert - the morning session is going to be crucial
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  19. #19
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Cheers for the updates JMS, job well done.

    I caught a bit of today's play. A pleasant surface for sure and no surprise that if you won the toss you would bat first.

    From England's perspective, they have done okay. Everyone got in without pushing on, but crucially they got in and I saw some lovely shots being played. And, at the risk of tempting fate, England might suddenly have options at opening bat with Crawley, Sibley and Rory Burns to return.

    Having said that, it is a placid pitch so I might reserve judgement until I see them at the Gabba or Eden Gardens...

    Can't really criticise SAF, they persevered. Probably a couple of occasions where the fielding positions could have been better, but as soon as Faf recognised it he remedied it.

    Classic cricket cliche alert - the morning session is going to be crucial
    England have dominated the morning session so far with Stokes bagging another century and Pope going along steadily. England are 335/4 at lunch.

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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Cheers for the updates JMS, job well done.

    I caught a bit of today's play. A pleasant surface for sure and no surprise that if you won the toss you would bat first.

    From England's perspective, they have done okay. Everyone got in without pushing on, but crucially they got in and I saw some lovely shots being played. And, at the risk of tempting fate, England might suddenly have options at opening bat with Crawley, Sibley and Rory Burns to return.

    Having said that, it is a placid pitch so I might reserve judgement until I see them at the Gabba or Eden Gardens...

    Can't really criticise SAF, they persevered. Probably a couple of occasions where the fielding positions could have been better, but as soon as Faf recognised it he remedied it.

    Classic cricket cliche alert - the morning session is going to be crucial
    I think Sibley and Burns will be the first choice and given a chance to nail down the selection. Ollie Pope seems to be taking his chance as well. 3rd 50 in 4 tests and a great chance to get his first century today. Which is good timing for England with Bairstow and to an extent Buttler having lost a bit of mojo recently.

  21. #21
    Really surprised at how little resistance SA put up in the end. They seem to be in a bit of a state.

  22. #22
    England wrap up the series 3-1. It's hard to tell how good their performance has been and how poor South Africa's? Any overseas win is pretty encouraging though.

  23. #23
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Sky Sports Cricket is absolutely brilliant right now. The Ashes from the 80s is brilliant and the show with Makhaya Ntini was both uplifting and tragic.

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  24. #24
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    Sky Sports Cricket is absolutely brilliant right now. The Ashes from the 80s is brilliant and the show with Makhaya Ntini was both uplifting and tragic.
    They have a bunch of really good documentaries and interview shows that will be bound to be on for the foreseeable.

    The Charles Colville series where he interviews the various former England Test captains is magnificent. Just very good, well-researched television. Likewise the multi-episode series where Nasser interviewed Kevin Pietersen is great watching, though it is hard to warm to KP.

    I thought Michael Atherton’s interviews with Malcolm Marshall and Steve Waugh were also really entertaining.
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  25. #25
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed this piece by Mark Nicholas about the supreme talent that was Viv Richards.

    https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_...g-viv-richards
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  26. #26
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    They have a bunch of really good documentaries and interview shows that will be bound to be on for the foreseeable.

    The Charles Colville series where he interviews the various former England Test captains is magnificent. Just very good, well-researched television. Likewise the multi-episode series where Nasser interviewed Kevin Pietersen is great watching, though it is hard to warm to KP.

    I thought Michael Athertonís interviews with Malcolm Marshall and Steve Waugh were also really entertaining.
    The KP interviews are really fascinating. Weíre all aware of apartheid and the way it discriminated against black people, but KP definitely felt that the quota system was stalling his career. Thereís no doubt in my mind that KP wouldíve played for South Africa under normal circumstances. Itís just a pity that white people were such *******s and treated blacks as commodities. Thatís just awful for a successful white cricketer.

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  27. #27
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    One day to go, a fifth day pitch, England with a lead of 170 and two wickets in hand.

    This is what makes Test cricket one of the most exquisite things in the world!
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  28. #28
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Deserved victory for the Windies I thought.

    Shannon Gabriel bowled ever so well and the middle order did the job in the fourth innings to seal victory.

    Also nice to see the match go to the last session of the final day, same as the last tour at Headingley.

    Stokes and Holder looks like shaping up to be one of those personal battles that brings an added frisson to a series.

    My personal highlight was when Holder and Blackwood were at the crease. Holder is six foot seven, Blackwood is a short guy to say the least. It was like a dad and a primary-age son batting together!

    Never been to the Aegas Bowl in Southampton but it looks a nice ground. Once normality resumes it may be a trip to make.
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  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Deserved victory for the Windies I thought.

    Shannon Gabriel bowled ever so well and the middle order did the job in the fourth innings to seal victory.

    Also nice to see the match go to the last session of the final day, same as the last tour at Headingley.

    Stokes and Holder looks like shaping up to be one of those personal battles that brings an added frisson to a series.

    My personal highlight was when Holder and Blackwood were at the crease. Holder is six foot seven, Blackwood is a short guy to say the least. It was like a dad and a primary-age son batting together!

    Never been to the Aegas Bowl in Southampton but it looks a nice ground. Once normality resumes it may be a trip to make.
    Great to see the Windies doing so well.

  30. #30
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Great to see the Windies doing so well.
    Yeah, I know it varies but I think because of their home pitches, and also the bowlers they produce and how they can bowl on tour, the Windies and Pakistan are a delight when on form. Either one of those two, or ideally both being stronger, would be great for the Test game.

    As it stands, we obviously have Australia, India, England and New Zealand on form, more so on home turf. South Africa are in a funny state where they have young talent coming through, but not quite settled yet. The Sri Lankans are hard to call, but definitely stronger at home. Same for the newer nations so far, but that might change.
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