The Ashes – Post 2

New Year – New Blog Post.

After losing The Ashes in Perth before Christmas it was a shame that the MCG hosted a dead rubber. There will always be those that insist Cook’s 244* at the ‘G’ was just as important in the scheme of things, but we all know if he had performed  in such fine form in any of those first three tests, the contest could still be alive. Still, he has publicly said that is something he is going to have to live with for a very long time, and it will weigh heavy.

The excruciating thing is, this was by no means an invincible Australian team, and the English cricket team came so close on numerous occasions. It just goes to show the importance of stringing together two winning sessions. There are, as ever, a lot of ‘ifs and buts’, and during the Boxing Day test we may have ended up with another result had the rain not played a part.

England go to Sydney knowing that if they can just get the important wicket of Steve Smith early they will be in with a chance.

Happy New Year!

The Ashes Post 1

I have held off, but literally wtf. The hype, the knock-outs, the tension.

For three days in Brisbane we were holding our own. It was a fight. Then we threw it away.

With the Aussie press publishing lines like ‘Bore-Me Army’, you knew we are getting under their skins. That is where you need them. The Aussies are very quick to turn on their own, and that was the first sign.

It was sad to see such a huge loss (10 Wkts).

Waking to the Aussies having taken it from 209-4 overnight in Adelaide, to a total in excess of 400, I just thought ‘Shit’.

From McGrath saying, ‘9 times out of 10 you bat, and on the one time you are questioning it, question it again, and bat'; to Vaughan saying ‘Don’t look up, look down'; to Aggers commenting on the Ashes being eight days in and we are already possibly starring down a barrel, I am not filled with confidence.

Still, it’s time to put things right. We have not won in Perth since 1978 – and it is time to!

Forget the ‘headbutts’, forget the Canterbury debuts, this is a matter of pride, and England are in a desperate situation right now.

Everyone talks about always finding the positives – the English team just need to make their own. No ifs, no buts.

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.

ICC tournament

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.


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!)



…and another with Tiger Woods and Amir the Organiser.