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Cricket 43: So long, and thanks for all the Finch


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Huh, I just realised I missed/forgot one of the tests in the South Africa India series. I thought this win was making it 1-1 but it appears South Africa have won the series 2-1. Good effort from them both in this match and in the series overall, especially with De Kock retiring mid series.

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A good win for SA. If you'd asked me for a prediction beforehand I'd have said that India would win 3-0 - their seam attack is comparable to SA's while their batting lineup is vastly superior. The first Test played out almost exactly how I expected the whole series to go. SA's bowlers were excellent while our batters looked comfortable in the 4th innings of the last two Tests (our first innings were consistently poor throughout the series though).

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It is an impressive series win for South Africa.

Looking just at the scorecard you would probably say the end of the first day of the last Ashes Test was evenly balanced but given how poor England's batting has been it does seem more like advantage Australia, especially with Bairstow missing out due to injury.

The Labuschagne dismissal was hilarious, he got himself into a horrible tangle.

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5 hours ago, williamjm said:

The Labuschagne dismissal was hilarious, he got himself into a horrible tangle.

You know it's bad when your own team is laughing at you.

Good knock by Head to save Australia's innings. They'll be eyeing off 300 which is pretty remarkable considering where they were at. I'm wondering if the pitch is quite as nasty as the top order made it look. Opportunity for England here.

Edited by Impmk2
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Yes, once again Travis Head saved Australia's bacon. 3/12 was definitely not a good look. Lyon and Boland with a handily annoying last-wicket partnership for Australia to get them to 303 after England looked like wrapping up the tail pretty quickly.

While you might say England missed a trick by letting Australia get away, 303 is a good effort by the bowlers, especially considering Stokes couldn't bowl and Robinson only took 8 overs. They did that while only have three frontline bowlers (Broad, Wood, Woakes) plus Joe Root.

Supposedly the wicket looks good for batting (not as green on the second day) and once the new ball gets a bit older it gets softer and easier to bat on. So if England can get themselves in they'll have a chance to build a good total. And 303 is something they could have a chance of overhauling.

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Ffs England.:frown5:

ETA: Jesus fucking Christ Pope. You’re just back in the side, need some runs and have actually started quite well, what the hell are you playing at that ball for?

And Woakes should have gone next ball.

Edited by ljkeane
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It's a pity England can't buy a good first innings score because with Australia at 2/8 and English bowlers (especially Broad) delivering grenades under lights, this really is a game where they should be in the box seat. Last Test with two 300ish scores it looked like their batting was starting to get it together - 300 here and it would be even first innings and Australia in a pickle. But as it is, another sub-200 score has stuffed them up.

It's strange because in Australia, usually there are 400+ scores all over the place, generally the opposition hasn't had much trouble batting, it's more that the bowlers struggle to perform in Australian conditions. This English tour is very much the other way around.

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Virat resigns as test skipper. Woah. Complete breakdown between him and the Board.

I want to write a longer post about the SA win. But that was one of the best series wins I’ve seen. How on earth did they pull off those run chases with Jansen batting at 7?!

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That’s not ideal. Whether you like him or not the fact that test cricket was a big focus for Kohli meant that India continued to place a lot of emphasis on the test arena. If they have a less high profile test captain will that still be the case?

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On the one hand you could see Kohli wanting to give it away after 68 matches - India's most successful Test captain with 40 wins (17 losses and 11 draws). He's been in charge for a long time and I'm sure the job, especially captaining India, would be very draining. On the other hand, India were going well (notwithstanding the SA series) and he couldn't have been blown out of his seat with a stick of dynamite so maybe something really was wrong.

This Fifth Test is looking like a real contest. The standard of cricket has not been great - lots of wickets falling to terrible shots, dropped catches, people getting strangled down the legside, and wickets off no-balls (Woakes the latest offender). But it still makes for an enthralling contest. Australia's lead is 229 and they have 3 wickets in hand. Could have been even better for England if that no-ball hadn't happened. As it is, they've bowled brilliantly and given their team a chance, even if their batting has been brittle, all it takes is a tantalising target and a magical innings from somebody.

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You'd have to imagine anything 250+ will be decently defendable on this wicket with the standard of batting so far this series. But yeah, tons of time left so quite achievable at the same time.

These last couple dead rubbers have been much more entertaining than the first 3 tests.

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Wow, England really will feel hard done by in this past session. Just a matter of millimetres and they would have had three wickets.

Carey bowled off a no-ball, and the no-ball was literally by a millimetre (but probably the correct call).

Carey then given out LBW, but review shows it pitched outside leg by another couple of millimetres.

Cummins then given out LBW with a yorker hitting him in front, but review shows it was narrowly missing off stump (right armer from around the wicket).

Its technology, so it supposedly can't be biased, but England will be thinking otherwise! At the least, they've got a couple of out decisions from the umpires (since overturned) which makes up for the fact that Blocker Wilson missed a plumb LBW (Cameron Green) that they had to review to get the wicket for.

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But also well done to Mark Wood. 5-for and has really looked like taking a wicket every over. He's bowled really well all series but hasn't had many wickets to show for it, so glad for him that he's reaping the rewards now.

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Good call from the umpire on that appeal. It never would have dislodged the bail on the evidence of this series.

There’s no way England are getting 270 but decent start from Burns and Crawley. There’s a bit of an opportunity for a few players to keep their places for the West Indies if they bat well.

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Cam Green has proved me wrong this series, the selectors were right to stay with him. He's played a couple of good innings with the bat, his performances with the ball have been consistent and now he may well have bowled Australia back into this Test. England cruising along with a strong opening stand and now he's taken 3 wickets.

England still with a shot of taking this, at least theoretically they bat deep with Pope, Billings, Woakes still to come - but I reckon they'll need at least one of Root or Stokes to still be there at the end of play today.

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And almost as soon as I write that, Root and Stokes are both gone. They were 0/68, only 200 runs to go with 10 wickets in hand and now they've lost 5/33. Root got bowled by a real skidder, ball kept low - nothing he could do about it. Real bad luck for him but good bowling by Boland. Boland has turned into a McGrath-like figure with his miserly spells, bounce, and line and length control.

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Another dismal effort from England after, for once, having a decent opening partnership. Crawley didn’t do a lot wrong and Root got a ball he could do nothing about but other than that a horrendous collapse again.

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124 all out after being 0/68 isn't a good look but that's been the story of the series.

4-0 is probably an accurate reflection of the series, but the Australian team shouldn't think this means that we're world-beaters. There are some batting problems there, with no consistent runs coming from the two opening positions, and Alex Carey hasn't convinced as wicketkeeper.

Lots of bright spots though - Head's form, the discovery of Boland, and Cameron Green as a genuine all-rounder.

England will be glad to have seen some great spells from Mark Wood, although they'd be concerned they still don't have a good frontline spinner. Every bowler had their moments, with Broad putting in a very good series from 35 years old. But the batting was so, so bad.

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