2-1 ENG v WI

Farewell Blowers, you will be missed so.

Flicked on Sky to see the Don of Cricket Commentators doing a lap of honour. Rightly so. 45 years is a huge achievement and I for one will miss his creamy tones.

Well done Jimmy on taking 500 test wickets. Great to cap it with the name on the honours board for 7-42 in the second innings.

Stokes was the man who did the damage initially (6-22) and held his nerve during the batting too. It would be truly fantastic to see him in action in The Ashes come Boxing Day. All rounders like him do not come along that often.

A small shame the second test was not a little more of a nail-biter. I will forever remember listening to Hope and Chase (names as representative in their field as Bernie Madoff was in his) hold their nerve. Dad and I listened to some groovy Calypso commentary under a flapping awning in the Northern Spanish sun a few weeks ago.

A good series but let us not forget the poor souls suffering from the damage Hurricane Irma has caused in the Caribbean.

Not so snookered on the pink.

We’ll drink a drink a drink a drink to Lily the Pink the Pink the Pink…. the savior of our human race…. la la la. It seems red ball or pink, we are on our game. I was looking forward to watching Cook hit that triple ton, but it wasn’t to be. He must love batting at Edgbaston, having scored 294 there only a matter of months ago. 243 is no mean feat.

What a result. In the first day/night test ever to be played on these shores, England emphatically won. Anderson picked up 3-34 in the first Windies innings and Broad mirrored these figures once England enforced the follow on. Sky TV  put a little edited highlights together to the soundtrack of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’.

Not since sometime in the 60s, when Truman and Statham were charging in from either end have England had their number one and two all time wicket takers bowling together. 19 wickets fell in the day, pitiful for the Windies, but good to see England playing so well.

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Some great results flooding in. Went to bed on Thursday night not expecting Bangladesh to get anywhere near the NZ total. Mahmudullah and Sakib put pay to it with apparent ease.

As for the match between the Aussies and ENG. Stokes! What a knock. I watched Rashid claim 4-41 on the box, and nipped away from the screen, only to see that we’d fallen to 30 odd for 3.

Foolishly I didn’t think it could happen two nights in a row. Stokes and Morgan saved the day. Bye bye Aussies. Bangladesh will have a spring in their step too!

Roll on the semis on Wednesday.

ICC Championship. England on a role. Roll on Saturday.

Hit the hay last night at half past midnight. Dozing on the sofa. Thought NZ might do it. 150 odd for 2. Well set. Checked the internet this morning and saw that the Kiwis ended up 70 odd adrift of our 300. They must have collapsed when I went to bed. So England are guaranteed a spot in the Semis. Boom. Guaranteed whether we win against the Aussies on Saturday or not. Will still be enjoying the weekend’s show-down.

Confucius Chinaman Cricket Team.

It was a brutally early start to the weekend, but this is the way the Indian and Pakistani Cricketers of Chengdu like to role. Needless to say, I didn’t volunteer to umpire the first match of the day which kicked off at 7.30am. Gotta love ‘em.

The bad news was, thanks to a game of ‘u.mao.cho’ (Badminton) with Hong Kong Harry on the Friday evening I had a horrible calf injury. It felt like more than cramp, but less than a pulled muscle. Anyway, I limped about the field and was largely useless throughout our two matches of the tournament.

Shanghai may have grass pitches, but the enthusiasm from the Indian and Pakistani teams was just contagious, and playing on worn astro was not such a bind. I think a lot of the players study medicine here, and some may work in a Pakistani Aeronautical Complex which I believe is based somewhere in the basin.

 

Above is some footage of the one and only William Mwangi from Kenya being castled. It’s true, his stance needs some pretty major reconstrucutive surgery but we’ll leave that for another day. For the moment he is quite happy taking things in his own time on the 18th.

 

Our star player, Southern Indian Sun was keen to get the team practicing throughout the day, and here they are catching with soft hands.

Amir, the tournament organiser, was very happy with the way things turned out and posted his gratitude on the old wechat.

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A great day was had by all : Jack, Alan, Sun, Matthew, George, Stuart and me (and William Mwangi who didn’t make the Sichuan lunch!)

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…and another with Tiger Woods and Amir the Organiser.

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Sichuan Cricket Cup

We are still in the process of cobbling together a team for this weekend in Chengdu. Same old story, doesn’t matter if you are nestled in the Home Counties or laying low in the humid Sichuan basin. Our allrounder Harry can’t get a refund from ctrip so is sticking to plan A and flying to Hong Kong worst luck, so it is up to the rest of us to show up. The draw is being held tonight and we’re hoping we get a lie-in on Saturday. That’s how keen we are.

The big question is, will we make it to day 2 and the semis? More to follow.