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Cricket XIX - Australian Hundreds and Other Myths


Stubby

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299 the target.

I predict we'll be at least one down before lunch, if not two. This new ball spell is going to be horrendous to get through.

While Harris gets the plaudits, I think we should also give a shout-out to Lyon. 4/42 off 20 overs in the first innings, and 3/55 off 22 overs in the second is a good return. He may not be as good as Swann, but in this match he's taken wickets while also being economical. While Agar's 99 was very memorable and vital in getting us close in the first match, there's no doubt that Lyon should have been the frontline spinner for the whole tour.

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England once again bailed out by their lower order. Bresnan is looking like he's back to close to his best, which is encouraging: after his surgery he looked like he might have lost it.

England can't afford to let Australia get settled; the lead is healthy but not huge. Rogers, Clarke and Warner are probably the key wickets: if any of them get dug in they have plenty of time to chase down this total. Australia probably need a century from someone.

I think the thing with England's tail is not so much that they score a lot of runs (although Swann, frequently a #10, has an average over 20) but that they are all capable of batting a bit - and so assisting the batsmen to bigger scores - and also that they are all capable of scoring very quickly. Prior, Swann and Broad all have very positive strike rates; Bresnan not so much, but he showed today he can score quickly when required. They can often pile a few runs on a total to make it just that bit more intimidating, and take a bit of the wind out of the sails of a team before the end of an innings.

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Definitely we'll need a century from someone. I think our best chance is for Warner to get going. If he can get a few quick runs (a bit like England's lower order) Cook may get more defensive and allow the Australian batsmen to settle.

Warner's vital for buying time for the rest of the order...I just can't see this 300 chase being done by conventional batsmen against two new balls (and if we get close to 300, there will definitely be 80 overs, enough for the second one).

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I don't think the pitch is as much of a minefield as Harris has made it look, but definitely advantage England with Swann in the arsenal.

Terrific innings by Bresnan, justified his selection over the fancied Onions.

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Does this mean we're going to get the extra half hour tonight?

Depends on the light which doesn't look great. Maybe if they bowl spin from both ends it will be allowed. Seems Root has to bowl now.

Bell looks like he'll be denied MOTM again because of a 10 wicket haul for the third time.

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