RE: Farewell Punter, it's been a pleasure mate! (Full Version)

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Goodfella -> RE: Farewell Punter, it's been a pleasure mate! (16/2/2013 8:39:12 PM)

She may be Australian but I think I have fallen in love....


Women can find plenty of heart-throbs in cricket. Gentlemen I just found ours![:D][sm=wub.gif]

Wild about Wilder -> RE: Farewell Punter, it's been a pleasure mate! (18/2/2013 12:04:15 PM)

Hmm yes wasn't it a major surprise how they so easily dominated a team that surpisingly beat them to make it into the Final.
A more suspicious person would think that they threw the game so as not to play England? [sm=33.gif].
Surely not though as that's "just not Cricket!" [;)]

Goodfella -> RE: Farewell Punter, it's been a pleasure mate! (19/2/2013 12:07:56 AM)


ORIGINAL: Wild about Wilder

Hmm yes wasn't it a major surprise how they so easily dominated a team that surpisingly beat them to make it into the Final.
A more suspicious person would think that they threw the game so as not to play England? [sm=33.gif].
Surely not though as that's "just not Cricket!" [;)]

The Australia women's team are putting together a string of results that has the impression of them as replacing the England team that have so dominated women's cricket since the early 2000s, although there is the Ashes series this summer for England to get their revenge, our women's team have suffered some surprise early retirements of late (Isha Guha probably tops that list, she retired last year at the age of 26) which haven't helped but with the progression of the women's game becoming professional (the ladies spend their "off-seasons" working with various cricket in the community schemes like Chance To Shine and with various coaching roles across the whole structure of the game and I do wonder how long before some of the female players may be contesting for spots in a few county 2nd XIs, like Sarah Taylor who is arguably better than some wicketkeepers in the male county game) I expect women's cricket to continue on it's promising course over the coming years, the TV money has helped greatly as has the idea of the ECB to play women's T20s back-to-back with the men's T20s in this country during the summer and including both games in the ticket price and the men's game helped aid in the drawing attention to the women's game as a whole shown by pretty impressive crowds ahead of the games last summer.

The men, on the other hand, lost the first ODI the other night after wrapping up a vaguely-competitive T20 series in a very convincing fashion. I for one won't be sad to see the back of that series, those boundaries were a joke and WAW if you want to see what's "just not cricket" then I'd rewatch those games because that was just pandering to the slugfest-mad if you ask me, I'm pretty certain even the smallest of IPL minds would have been left feeling that there was something lost in those matches, part of the excitement of T20 is the innovation of the big shots and the batsmen who make them, there was nothing special in that, a proper follow-through wasn't even required when hitting down the ground. It was like watching a nets session live, a nets session with tennis balls being bowled by a drunk Andrew Flintoff with Kevin Pietersen on strike playing for his chance to run the ECB the way he wants....

England lacked 20-30 extra runs I felt the other night (280 is the average target you really need on these kind of wickets in 50-over crickets) and despite good knocks from Bell, Trott and Root England lacked in other areas and couldn't find the runs in the middle overs with Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes, the pair you felt that could really put the sails to the wind, got out just as they got going and Buttler's was especially disappointing after stroking two clean sixes out of the ground. Bell was at his elegant best after being dropped on 25 and Root continued to show what a real all-round prospect he is for England, it's hard to see when he's going to play for Yorkshire later this summer given his current role in the England set-up. England suffered the fate of the left-arm seamer again as well with Mitchell McGlenghan's nibbling left-arm swing causing problems on a rusty wicket and he showed with the wicket of returning skipper Alastair Cook who just didn't pick the length of his delivery.

New Zealand actually slipped behind the run-rate early on despite Kane Williamson's adjusting 74 but under-fire captain Brendon McCullum came out to hit a rapid 69 off 61 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes and he took England apart at the seams, and I must take this opportunity to congratulate Jimmy Anderson on surpassing Sir Ian Botham as England highest wicket-taker of all time, but McCullum stole the show hoisting, hooking and crashing England's bowlers to all parts of the ground whilst keeping both ends ticking over, it's easy to see why he's one of the best one-day players in the world, he knows how to dominate a game and when he's in nick he does it perhaps better than anyone else in the world. It was a close affair but one New Zealand probably deserved as they edged England in some key departments.

Goodfella -> Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (27/2/2013 8:49:59 PM)

Well as saddened as I am by the latest findings by the public inquest into the death of young Surrey and England cricketer Tom Maynard, I cannot say that I am entirely surprised. This makes me feel a little judgmental but I can't help it, I saw Maynard two days before his death on Cricket AM, the Saturday morning show that Sky Sports airs in place of Soccer AM during the summer, and I remember distinctly saying at the time "they all look like they've been on a right bender." That was Maynard, former Surrey captain and Maynard's best friend and housemate Rory Hamilton-Brown and England cricketer Jade Dernbach, incidentally the same three he had been partying with the night before he died. I don't want to play any part in conjecture or rumour or start creating any aspersions, but Maynard is not the only young cricketer to have or be using alcohol to excess and experimenting with drugs, and it's no surprise from that the calls we've seen from the likes of Michael Vaughan and Mark Ramprakash over the past few days for more regular drug testing both within the game and outside of it, and I wholeheartedly agree, for, in some cases, seven months a year most of these young cricketers, especially those without any international duties, are completely unmonitored, for lack of a better word, sure they sometimes they have winter nets, play club cricket, train and play abroad, take part in development programmes etc. But these are fairly unmonitored and traveling around the world as a young man and athlete and dealing with the inevitable pressures, stresses and strains these bring cannot be easy, not to mention sitting around at home waiting for training to start again, twiddling your thumbs, wondering if you've chosen the right career path or not. This all contributes and plays a huge part in a young player's development both as a young person and as a cricketer, and inevitably some of them are going to wander down certain paths, and I think we all have to assume to a degree that is what happened to Maynard. He is not your stereotypical London binge drink and drug user, raised in a cricketing family, privately educated at the very competitive and productive Millfield School and already involved in Glamorgan's 2nd XI county set-up by the age of 16. Believe me though, I'm not asserting blame anywhere else, ultimately Maynard was responsible for his own actions, no-one else. He was supposed to be an intelligent, well-educated 23 year-old young sportsman with his whole, and a very promising one at that, life ahead of him. He should have been far more concerned about the damage the drink and drugs were having on his health and body, perhaps two of the things most tantamount to his career. But I guess that maybe goes to show how easy it is, he was a very promising talent who never wavered on the cricket field (he followed his father out of Glamorgan after the row when it would have perhaps been easier for him to stay behind and dominate their lacklustre batting order, instead he signed for the talent-blessed and competitive Surrey) so I would be surprised if he was lazy or careless about his career, which maybe says more of a statement about the general youth of today, we often attribute these kinds of actions and desires to certain groups and categories. Someone find me one that Maynard fits into, because I can't. Fact is though, as it seems to me so perhaps fact isn't the most sensible description, he ran from his car that night not because he had been drink driving (that would be a hefty slap on the wrist in court and probably a fine from Surrey, and a dressing-down from the ECB but hardly likely to have a wildfire effect on his previous and future career moves, he's not the first cricketer to have done something like this off-field), however if he was incredibly high on drugs as the inquest suggests and had been discovered to be a regular drug user that would have perhaps been different, it would have attracted far more attention and would have landed him some fairly unsavoury headlines, it would have drawn him into a different light to the one his family and team see him and it may be something he'd struggle to recover from. The papers like a sexy story, especially in June when there's no football and the Olympics hadn't started yet, I'm not saying this all went through Maynard's mind as he decided to make his way across those very dangerous train tracks, but I'm starting to disbelieve that a drink drive charge was his biggest fear, we all said at the time it's a very strange thing to do, it's extreme in it's nature and out of character, especially for a cricketer of which we all have a perceived image of, a bright, well-spoken young man of the sporting world, someone who will turn down a jaeger bomb and most certainly line of charlie, for a 28-year old whiskey and a chat about WG Grace. We surely can't be living in that reality anymore, if it ever was one. Young men will be young men and with the glutony of sex, drink and drugs availaible out there to those in a position to get there hands on it, especially those who are basically celebrities and not short of a bob or two, and whatever bologne you may be getting from what the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior have been spurting recently is nonsense, what with sponsorship deals and bonus payments, a Surrey cricketer like Maynard would have been earning somewhere between 55,000 and 80,000 a year, he was driving a Mercedes with a private license-plate the night he died, not too shabby for a man only five years out of full-time education I think you'll agree.

The interview with his girlfriend at the time also leans towards that Maynard was struggling with some, shall we say, emotional issues at the time that may, or may not, be connected to his drug use. This is another concern, the mental and psychological effects that would come from regularly using drugs like cocaine and ectsacy, and the medical report says that Maynard may well have been using these class a drugs up until at least three months prior to his death, I think we can safely assume from that Maynard had not just been taking his first drop that night and this was something he had been regularly entertaining. His girlfriend was also very cautious in her answering and candidly leaned on the fact he may have been experiencing some problems, clearly she is not telling the whole story, nor should she, and she clearly knows more than she's letting on. Like I said I find this highly unlikely given Maynard's age, his living situation and his social circles that this was a one-off thing or something only he was dabbling in, RHB has been struggling hugely with his death resulting in him leaving Surrey who he led to the D2 title and CB40 title in the same season as captain and with a very serious chance of winning the county championship (the signings of Smith and Ponting will have the old guard clambering over each other to get Oval memberships next summer, trust me if they all turn up and perform to 80% of their potential last year and can get a bit more life out of that wicket and the weather holds for them, they'll win their much-coveted championship back next August) and returned to his home-county Sussex, whilst I could understand many of the foundations for this move I still found it a slightly odd one, I really am not entirely comfortably throwing this one out there, but I'll find it hard to believe if some of RHB's family and friends won't be sitting down with him over the rest of this off-season and talking things through with him if you know what I'm saying. Same goes for Dernbach and others that Maynard held close association with in the Surrey and England dressing-rooms.

I'm with the likes of Vaughan 100% though. We have to go down the road of off-season drug testing and we have to help players cope with the money-induced, celebrity lifestyles that even the simplest of county cricketers can now lead. Cricket, like many other sports before it, is changing every day. Money is playing more and more of a dominant role and with that we have seen all sorts of corruption come and will continue too. We're just six weeks away from the new county season now and it's time for the ECB to lay a gauntlet down for the following off-season, which for a cricket fan will come around just as rapidly. This cannot be another issue that rides the press for a couple of weeks, and then slips by again. We cannot afford it too, we lost a huge talent in Maynard but more importantly, a young man lost his life, a mother and father lost their son a family and group of friends lost someone they loved very much. Maynard was a nice bloke, he wasn't a 'bad'un'. I've met him, I chatted to him on the boundary rope down at Taunton about football, he was a lively character and he was a fantastic cricketer who undoubtedly would have gone on to play for England at some level. All of that is gone now, snatched away and my heart goes out to his family and friends, especially as they have been trying to deal with the grief of his death in the past months, and now knowing this news will be released to the press and the unwanted attention it will inevitably bring. Maynard wasn't and isn't the only young cricketer who is experiencing these kind of problems and it would be the right thing to honor his life by trying to tackle these issues which are and will continue to effect the game we all know and love, and everyone within it if we let them.

Moving on though, England have made a very good start to their first warm-up match ahead of the three-test series against New Zealand in Dunedin against a New Zealand XI. Closing on the day on 357-7 after batting first England enjoyed the best of the opening day with Ian Bell knocking 127 not out from 196 balls and Alastair Cook also scoring 60, Matt Prior 41 and again, that man, Joe Root with 49. If Root continues down this road we'll have to ditch the incremental contract and get him a central one. Now there's a young player not bothered about the IPL, he didn't appy for it and he easily could have and probably got a contract, he's got the complete skillset, but I have to reiterate again how impressed I've been with Root and his smooth transition into international cricket, even if it against a struggling opposition (India weren't though!), these tours are far from easy things for a 21-year old man, even in the beauties of New Zealand, and having played in all six first-class matches so far, not to mention two warm-ups and the current one he's competing in, I'd say he's adapted very well and his performance rate has been nothing short of exceptional, he's such a natural player of the ball, he uses his imposing reach and is a swift timer and reader of spin, no surprise really given he's an offspinner and I think he could really establish himself as an all-rounder rather than a batsman who can bowl. His speedy, springy offspin can find some violent turners and he's a tricky customer with the new ball as well in one-day cricket (see his 25-odd one-day wickets for Yorkshire last summer, the majority of which came in the first few overs of an innings) and tests, for that matter, although you'll never see England open with a spinner outside of the sub-continent or against the West Indies at Lord's in the middle of a rainy May in 2009 as I found out when I turned to my mate in the Mound Stand and said "I think Swanny's just inspecting the ball, I mean there's no way that a captain like Straussy will open with Swanny, even if they do need another 400-odd...." Swann went on to take 5-57 that day so maybe it's not such a ridiculous idea after all, after all the precedent of the past three or so years of test cricket in England has been breathing fresh air into our game and trying not to be too conventional. David Warner loves to smash them out of the ground in the five-day arena of the game, call me made but on an undoubtedly muggy first morning in Manchester in late July, we could be bold try it. Root v Warner. I'm already dreaming youtube videos up for that one. Sad obsessed wanker I am.[:D]

I've had another thought as well, related to cricket in this country. Given the continual debate about the Olympic Stadium and possible usage, away from just football and West Ham at the moment and we all know that's not going to completely service it, what about looking at it as a possible home away from home for Pakistan. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course I know where the Spirit of Cricket series led and how, yes, parts of Pakistan cricket have broken our trust, and much coveted trust it was, ultimately friendship, but it's time to move on and it's time to help them once again, what we going to do? Follow the ICC's footsteps and sweep it all under the carpet, and cut them out into the dark. They're already isolated from the IPL, the Pakistan Super League has had it's start delayed for no other reason, it appears, than the fact there are too many talking heads who just don't want it to happen, Bangladesh pulled out of their tour there, the first one in almost five years, last year for security reasons that where never disclosed and seemed truncated from the outset. Look, I'm not blaming anyone for not wanting to go to Pakistan to play cricket, hell I wouldn't, but that doesn't mean the current team and their honest and loyal supporters need to remain continually punished does it? They have magnificent support over here as we saw in the World T20 and the SOC series, they brighten the doorstep of any cricket venue they enter and the stadium itself befits the kind host and atmosphere that lends itself towards sub-continent cricket in my view. People, players, stars like Misbah Ul-Haq, Aseed Shafiq and Saeed Ajmal to coast a couple of examples make me believe once again in Pakistani cricket and the people of the game, they went to South Africa and showed real belief, courage and fight even when at their lowest ebb after being bowled out for a record 49. The belief and courage and fight we had that led Giles Clarke and co. to launch the SOC series can't all have extingushed because of the actions of just a few, yes I know I've said corruption is rife in the sub-continent and it is, but is there are many who are good and they need to be given a helping hand to get to the front of the queue if you ask me, which is why I believe we offered to host a "home" Pakistan series. Just think of the leaps and bounds we could possibly make by being their "home from a home" co-host nation for a few years or so, I realize the security concerns and the costs that would come with that that would be brought to the table and I can't imagine it'll ever happen, but I thought I'd throw it out there. What does everyone reckon?

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (5/3/2013 9:03:50 PM)

Feels a little strange doesn't it that the morning sessions gets underway on day one of the first test in Dunedin in little over half an hour, just as United finish up against Real Madrid?

Cloudy with a chance of light drizzle currently in the aged but still beautiful Dunedin which I should suspect will see England seeking the chance to field first if we win the toss.

No team news yet but Cook has given all the indication that Compton should play. No place for the impressive Doug Bracewell who has injured his foot during what some claim was a party in recent days which has led to an investigation by NZC.

This is the start of an important three-match test series for England at the beginning of a double-Ashes year and the opportunity is there for England to relish a test in similar conditions as to what they will see again this coming winter, it's important England keep the momentum going and I'm excited for the new blood in this test team, especially Joe Root who, so far, has been nothing short of exceptional for England. Really relishing getting test cricket back as well, New Zealand is always a wonderful place to tour and I hope they are a competitive team despite their on and off field struggles.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (6/3/2013 7:39:16 PM)

My Aunty married a New Zealander not long after I was born and I remember her telling me the first time she ever went to her husband's home country was during the height of the summer and for the first time in 11 years it rained heavily and incessantly for a week and a half, it was just typical after all the sunny dreams of beautiful countryside she had had, sometimes it's just bloody typical, I felt a little like that yesterday. New Zealand had been basked in glorious sunshine for the ODI series and we get to the tests and the quirky, traditional and tiny Dunedin is hit first by overcast conditions and then the skies open and you felt from about 10.30pm last night that there was no chance of any real play, it didn't rain that heavily, it just didn't seem likely to cease and wherever you looked on the various webcams there were dark clouds.

Oh well......the loss of the first day may have actually helped England out. New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first, absolutely the right decision given the conditions, now it's likely we're looking at quite a sunny second day in Dunedin, better batting conditions and even as an England fan your heart has to go out a little to Brendon McCullum there who has had far from an easy ride replacing the much-loved, inspirational figure of Ross Taylor. McCullum should in, his own right, be utterly inspirational too but on his darkest day it must feel like the whole of New Zealand hates him and wants to ship him out to neighbouring Australia, so I admire him greatly for being able to keep some sembelence of form given what has been going on and how much of it is actually out of his own hands.

Shifting focus back to the cricket though, no Graeme Swann who's recurring elbow injury has seen him, today, as in last night in New Zealand, ruled him out of, not only this test, but the rest of the series. Swann who missed the ODI tour of India due to the same injury which has been effecting him for the better part of the last two years will require surgery but is confident and upbeat for being fit for the back-to-back Ashes series later this year. Swann has had an inconsistent spell for England over the past 18 months clearly hampered by the problematic elbow that has seen him struggle to find his usual flight and drift that makes his orthodox offspin so deceptive and seen him collect over 200 test wickets, it's no secret it's a blow for England, not least of all with the bat as well where Swann has frequently proved to be a boundary-knocking, lower-order all-rounder who's potency for the shorter delivery I suspect could have seen him cause problems against a New Zealand attack who struggle to finish off a well accomplished tail. Swann's absence, however, offers Monty Panesar another go with the test team after his successful 2012 in the sub-continent, being in New Zealand where he fared reasonably well in 2008 finishing with 11 wickets from the 3-test series at an average a little over 30.

Anyone else staying up to watch as much as possible of tonight?

Here's the teams:

England: Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Finn, Anderson, Panesar.

New Zealand: Fulton, Rutherford, Williamson, Taylor, Brownlie, McCullum, BJ Watling, Southee, Martin, Wagner, Boult.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (6/3/2013 9:15:09 PM)

Oh Compo, your better than that![:(]

Nervous, indecisive and played all around it, ending up knocking a fairly straight one from Tim Southee right into his stumps.

5-1, Cook and Trott to drop anchor on the new ball now and see it into the 20+ over stage when this ball will be far easier to hit through the line on.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (6/3/2013 9:27:44 PM)

There's a fair bit of pace in this pitch and it's lively and England's top order have never been that comfortable against this opening left-arm seam, and Trent Boult has a mixture of deliveries in his locker, if a little inconsistent with line and length.

It's your baked wicket and England will have to navigate the faster stuff, and do the damage themselves when they're in the field (Steven Finn opening the bowling is a definite option on this track I feel), and then they should be able to start putting runs on the board.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (6/3/2013 9:55:58 PM)

Pakistan anyone?

This has that feeling of real uncertainty and unknowing from England, and that mixed with lapses in concentration and composure resulting in incredibly poor shots, summed up no end by that effort from Kevin Pietersen. Looking to hit away into the legside first ball at 18-2, realizes it's a straighter delivery when it's too late and ends up completely missing it and is plum lbw. That's top dollar that is, what an exceptional attitude to your team-mates.

Cook's was woeful as well, lord knows what he was up too, I can't remember the last time I saw an England opening batsman caught so easily at mid-wicket after trying the pull shot, or was it the cut? Who knows, whatever it was it lacked any clarity and that's why it ended up firmly in Rutherford's hands.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (6/3/2013 11:03:34 PM)

No way are TMS seriously going down the line of "the problem is Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen haven't had enough cricket to play....."

That is so loaded with irony I could headbutt my computer screen right now!

64-4 now, Bell lurches into a sudden moment of madness and pops Wagner's first ball from round the wicket straight into the hands of extra cover. McCullum set him up to play that shot and he walked right into, it was so inviting he should have spotted it, just as England had started to get going too. 250 is the target now and that could potentially be a stretch here.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (6/3/2013 11:21:50 PM)

Roll up, roll up, it's that time of the year again folks, get your tickets, get to the front of the queue, it's THE ENGLAND CRICKET MIDDLE ORDER COLLAPSE!!!

It's well and truly under way! Next act up, Mr Joe Root from Leeds, Yorkshire. Of late reliable, consistent and occasionally quite outstanding, now even young Rooty has succumbed to his team-mate's peril of playing with fire in the circus ring. He sees a ball outside the line, he knows there's three slips, he pokes at it like he's not sure if it's alive or not, Dean Brownlie is sure it is and he's heading back to the hut!

79-5. I need a fucking beer.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (7/3/2013 5:47:50 PM)

Right first off, well done to New Zealand. They owned the second (first) day and that is a much-needed and thoroughly-deserved confidence boost in the wake of the decline in their cricketing scene recently, especially where the test format of the game is concerned, and Brendon McCullum and his entire team can hold their heads up high going into the third day knowing that currently they own in England, and to be fair, whilst there is still a fair way to go in this test, England don't really deserve anything from this test currently given the way we've just played for 97 overs of the beautiful game. Michael Vaughan is spot-on about one thing, England "disrespected" the game yesterday. They played like the overpaid primma donnas of football, they showed no desire, no fight, let alone any concentration and composure and Dunedin applauded the brilliant Peter Faulton and Hamish Rutherford off and rightly so. In some ways I hope New Zealand claim this scalp to teach England a lesson, which obviously they still need.

The cheap dismissals, and I feel I'm being generous at best there, were woeful, especially those of Cook, Pietersen, Bell and Prior, I'll forgive Trott his as that was, I felt, a shot aimed in frustration at disappearing partners as he top-edged a rare sweep off the 32 year-old debutant spinner Bruce Martin who had a day he could only really dream of. England played right into his hands as England attempted to hole out to him, he kept a perfectly-patient line and if it wasn't for a determined and resolute partnership of 47 from Jimmy Anderson and Steven Finn England would have been staring into the face of, for the second year running, breaking some unwanted records. Wagner caused England some real problems on a pacey and lively track with his slingy, left-arm seam, something I said England's top order don't know how to cope with and something they should have been preparing for given the pedigree of left-arm bowlers New Zealand have, although I suspect coaching and preparation was not the problem going into yesterday, but rather a total lack of commitment to giving a performance, for whatever reason.

As for the paltry excuses that certain batsman haven't played enough cricket of late is as dumb as it is offensive. These are professional athletes of an international quality with the greatest and latest advances in training and technology available to them, let me simplistic, man the fuck up! And if Pietersen is going to draw complaint from this me and the other vultures will round on him so quickly he'll need to hide under a rock, I sincerely hope that he is not as stupid as his shot was last night.

New Zealand came out and batted with such ease and entertainment quality it was hard not to enjoy it and not pick so much at England's woes, especially when Pietersen dropped Rutherford on 64 in what should have been a regulation catch in the gully, at that point I was just laughing at him and relishing in the silence from his usually vocal and condescending supporters. England huffed and puffed with the ball, Rutherford cut, punched, swept, drove and at one point hooked up and away to 77 and Fulton supported well with 46, England looked all lost in the beautiful New Zealand countryside and the Barmy Army had reminders of tours to these parts (a little north) in the 1990s!

To say England have a lot of work to do tonight is an understatement. It's not an uphill task, it's a bloody mountain or two to climb! It's some very tough words in the dressing room and that's just the start of it if you ask me!

Rinc -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (7/3/2013 6:27:31 PM)

I think you must hold the record for most consecutive posts by one person which aren't spam/someone drunk.

Sorry to put a stop to that. [:D]

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (7/3/2013 6:32:11 PM)



I think you must hold the record for most consecutive posts by one person which aren't spam/someone drunk.

Sorry to put a stop to that. [:D]

Now come on.......

who says I wasn't drunk?[;)]

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (7/3/2013 9:39:53 PM)

This is going to be a long day if England persist down this road. Two slips, a deep cover point, no third man. Anderson's line is all wrong, he's bowling on the hips and despite a bit of cloud cover both himself and Finn are slinging it in, determined to find the pace and carry of yesterday earlier on this slower pitch. Finn's short-hop bouncer is becoming very predictable these days as well, I don't think he's got anyone out with it since Sri Lanka toured here in 2011. England need to correct their line and length and try and kill the score-board....

Jimmy gets Fulton, one that kept a bit lower and Fulton who has been unspectacular but effective so far licks right through it. Anderson's celebration isn't really required, getting in Fulton's face. Lot of work yet to be done, let's not start getting cocky just yet shall we!?

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (7/3/2013 9:45:07 PM)

Brilliant century from young Hamish Rutherford, top-class stuff right up to punching and then cover driving Finn for two 4s in three balls to get to the 103 required.

Finn is all over the place, Anderson is as focused on running his mouth at the batsmen as he is about getting his line to Rutherford right and Fulton played a shot that was fairly loose and awful but still better than five of England's top-order batsmen did yesterday!

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (8/3/2013 1:08:34 AM)

This is really stacking against England now, they needed New Zealand to be at least five wickets down by the time they reached 300 to make this feel competitive, at the moment it feels like it's slipping away from England with every stroke to the boundary. New Zealand have batted very well this morning, negotiating the loss of three wickets with cool heads seeing them to the crease and now the best batsman in the team, Ross Taylor, is really starting to explore with his shot selection driving and cutting away with excellent timing, I feel he's due a score in tests after his recent and sad hiatus from the game and he could be on to one here, England are going to have to be smart to get him out and so far today they haven't pulled up any trees with their bowling.

There's been a short spell here, Anderson getting a few to shape away nicely but getting his line to the dominant Rutherford all wrong, and there, Broad with a three-over spell where his line and flight could have taken a couple of wickets, but generally it will not have been as effective as England needed it to be and there was a huge let-off for Dean Brownlie on 8 as Anderson got some late movement, he edged it right into the slips and Root's jerky movement meant the ball went sailing over his wrists as his fingers grasped air, it should have been a regulatory catch all day long and it could prove to be a costly miss but really England's bowling has been mediocre at best and you have to credit New Zealand for picking up where they left off and navigating it well. There's been a lot of huff and puff from the tourists, and a lot of verbal aggression too although frankly that will come at some mocking value from the home media tonight given the position England are in and rightly so, but it's all been something of not a lot. We are missing Swann a bit too because he has that knack to produce wickets from nowhere and England need that now more than ever, he strikes early and can deceive the comfortable batsman, Panesar hasn't really been able to do anything, he's been getting faster and faster out of frustration and his one wicket was a swipe and a miss. His figures so far - 19-1-77-1 - tell the story. He's not, in fairness, been smashed about the place, like he could have been by some batting line-ups on this small ground, but he's been relatively untroubling and easy to rotate the run and bleed the new batsman in, as Brownlie did against him.

Kevin Pietersen has left the field with a knee injury and not returned so sub Chris Woakes is in and he took the simple catch for Rutherford who closed the face of his bat to a fuller and pacier delivery from Anderson and who paid the price at mid-wicket, a cheap dismissal that almost mirrored Cook's yesterday, except Rutherford had just made 171 on test debut and is now seventh-highest on the list for highest scores on test debut and to say it's well deserved is putting it lightly. He's been magnificent to watch, full of confidence and charisma. A superb timer of the ball with an orthodox approach to batting but one, that like Bell's, works so well, he's got the ability to read the field and pick his gaps and hits quickly through the ball. New Zealand may have uncovered a solid and reliable opener in young Rutherford and he deserves MOM if New Zealand go on and win this, or even if it ends in a draw for that matter.

So yes Woakes out on the field for England. Dear God let's hope Pietersen isn't injured ey....

EDIT: Taylor dismissed now though for 31, almost an exact replica of Brownlie's edge into the slips which should have been taken by Root, Taylor has a dab at it from Anderson who gets another one to twist away a bit and this time it's the slip artist who never is, Trott, who takes the simple catch. England needed that and need to keep building pressure, it's the skipper Brendon McCullum at the crease now and this is where New Zealand really have a chance to take it away from England.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (8/3/2013 1:30:43 AM)

An England assault now, led by the formidable Anderson who has been getting closer and closer to another wicket and grabs his fourth as he brings an end to Brownlie who remains rather too stationery and plays onto his stumps and then Broad does the same to Watling, who literally doesn't move, and is clean bowled. 326-6, New Zealand lead by 159 and England will need to mop up the tail swiftly here, they really must be sniffing not letting New Zealand get to 200 now. McCullum will look to push it round the park I feel if they end up losing another quick wicket here. Anderson has been in his masterclass of seam bowling again, it's just Rutherford who he lacked his pincer movement against, and he's well into reach another benchmark, 300 international wickets, on this tour.

This last period before tea could prove to be absolutely vital for both teams, especially with a new ball due later.

EDIT: This is really getting on top of England now. The worse possible partnership for the tourists is at the crease, Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee (both McCullum and Southee often open in T20), one-day batting specialists who can easily transfer their shot ability from those forms of the game to the test arena when required, and they're just doing that. Anderson, previously a real thorn in New Zealand's side, is heaved away for consecutive fours and Finn is heaving in the short stuff only to be pulled away. 367-6, the lead is now 200. Cook staring regretfully ahead of him. This is slipping away over by over now.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (8/3/2013 1:39:43 PM)

Well it's a long way back for England now. At 402-7, New Zealand hold a lead of 235. I'm never a fan of watching England chase anything, it's usually always a nerve-shattering, gruelling event and especially in this type of situational cricket, where England are trying to avoid a heavy (potential) innings defeat after succumbing so easily in the first innings. For all the chatter pre, there is usually little change regardless of the depth of the opposition's bowling attack, especially when abroad, as the statistics of the past decades of England tours show.

New Zealand will return to bat tonight and McCullum will continue his assault task on the English bowlers ably supported by debutant Bruce Martin, they will get the other side of 250, and then probably declare at the loss of the next wicket. An overnight declaration wouldn't surprise me but McCullum loves to bat and he had the sniff of England's bowling attack yesterday getting more and more ferocious with each ball bowled, McCullum is the type of batsman who can hit a rapid 60 or 70 from 55 balls and totally take the game away from you, he does this on a fairly consistent basis, it's just that typically New Zealand are chasing an unlikely 450 to win and in the end it turns out to be nothing more than a brief spell of relief and entertainment for the Black Caps from the misery of the rest of the match. This time the home fans are loving every minute of it and can't wait for the chase, because they are in complete control.

Jimmy Anderson was very good yesterday, although without wanting to be pedantic he contributed to England's downfall as well as his bowling to Rutherford was in large spells very poor and the hundred odd runs he compiled on the third day, the majority of which came off Anderson's bowling. But Anderson was threatening as per usual, seaming and shaping the ball away and back in, working tirelessly to force a breakthrough and getting a just reward of four wickets. Finn was all over the place and his periods of chin music just seemed an attempt to keep his own numbers down rather than claim wickets, Broad got a few beauties in there but otherwise was hoisted to kingdom come and Panesar, for all his efforts, almost ended up looking like a medium-pacer in the end, the surface was too slow for him and the New Zealand batsmen weren't tricked into any mistakes.

It could be over by the end of today's play, it could drift into day five. I personally don't see England batting to 450, which is what they'll probably need, if not a few more depending on how New Zealand wrap up tonight. Especially if they bat anywhere close to the way they did on the second day.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (8/3/2013 9:23:17 PM)

16 hours to prepare for this and we're going to bull full and on offstump and long-hops to Brendon McCullum are we, with two fucking slips in?

Pitiful England.

He's on his way to spanking a century here just to humiliate us further. 73 from 57 balls so far.

The England bowlers are completely silent now. No surprise that.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (8/3/2013 9:30:03 PM)

Broad is bowling like I do.......

when I'm drunk!

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (8/3/2013 9:45:47 PM)

460-9 and after Bruce Martin has a flying top-edge off Finn caught behind New Zealand are going to declare with a lead of 293. 150 was manageable, this is really clutching at straws, can England, for the third attempt since, rediscover the mental toughness that led them to their historical 3-1 Ashes series win in Australia in 2010/11?

I'm going no. We'll be lucky to be bowled out for 250 or less.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 12:50:56 AM)

So far England have done pretty well. There's a long way to go, at 91-0 there still 200 runs behind but time is on their side, to an essence anyway, and the task ahead is straightforward, bat sensibly and patiently, don't take any risks or make any mistakes. As Bob Willis said earlier, it's pretty much an extended nets session for the batsmen, that's what it's all about from this point out and so far Cook and Compton have done the job. Compo has looked a little shuffly and nervous and Wagner's beaten a few outside edges and there have been some nicks wide of the slips and gully but no series of panicky moments.

Cook and Trott are made for this kind of batting, the rest are going to have to go to distances in their own game to see this through over the course of more than a day and a half. McCullum is trying to tempt the English batsmen into mistakes, Bruce Martin in the middle of a good spell of pushing the ball around the stumps to try and force an error. Like I said earlier, we'll find out a lot about England's mental character today and tomorrow, especially when they lose the first one or two wickets.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 1:07:16 PM)

Well done Cooky and Compo, would not have put money on being 234-1 at close, both of them can be very proud, it was a good pitch, it has been all along, but they had to play the pressures of the situation as much as anything and, especially for Compo with his limited international experience, that almost takes up as much gas batting against a bowling attack that is causing all sorts of problem with the ball. There were a few moments here and there, I couldn't bear to watch when Compo was almost run out on 94, but almost an hour spent in the 90s sums Compo up. He's patient, precise, utterly in control, he plays situational cricket excellently in the domestic game and so far, if you ask me, he's showed he has all the credentials to play international cricket, he just needed to settle into the transgressively tougher arena of test cricket. Much like Cook's century at the Oval against Pakistan in 2010, he needed that kind of resolute if a little scratchy innings to really break himself in, he did very well in India given the conditions with a couple of half-centuries and an average of 34 but, perhaps more because of Joe Root's fine form as a debutant, he's been under a bit of pressure but hopefully last night's display has answered any very early critics. Root is better suited to the middle order, he's settled there and he's a more attacking player, England do not need to make the mistakes of the past and start changing things up at this very early stage in a top order that is in a transition period with two new players.

The job still isn't done though. 4 or 5 wickets for 60 or 70 more runs, and let's face it that can be the English way on occasion, puts this one right back out there for England. England know what needs to be done, their task requires an immense amount of skill, patience and concentration but it's technically straightforward and simple, just bat, bat all day if you want, who cares? We're not winning this, New Zealand are the only ones left it it with a shot at victory, heap them pressure on them, defend them into frustration and pick off the bad balls they will inevitably bowl as the impatience sets in tomorrow. Finn showed he's a little more than an unbalanced tail-ender in the first innings, easy way to really stick it to McCullum and co. tomorrow is he no scores off about 15 or 20 balls tomorrow morning, as every over ticks off it'll be New Zealand watching the clock, not England.

Well done though to the two men out there, I honestly didn't expect that, and Compo, Somerset is very proud of you today!

impqueen -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 10:40:58 PM)

And we're off!

Professor Moriarty -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 10:58:09 PM)

Finn's gonna get a century by lunch, we'll declare and then mop up the NZ wickets

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 11:08:23 PM)


ORIGINAL: Professor Moriarty

Finn's gonna get a century by lunch, we'll declare and then mop up the NZ wickets

This Finn innings has the feel of Steve Harmison's 49 not out against the Saffers, although like you say this rate he's going to get more!

He's played Bruce Martin's lolloping legspin like Michael Clarke! He's dibbled, he's dabbled, he's swept, I'm just waiting for him to hit a six now. Great innings from my man Compo, didn't read the line of the ball for his wicket. Pietersen is in next, do I really have to offer him my full-hearted support?

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 11:11:00 PM)

Might I add also, it's nice to finally have some company![:D] The others will stop taking the piss now.

I could bat to 25 on this pitch I reckon and I can't bat. Seriously. I can bowl, but bat. Nada.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (9/3/2013 11:25:47 PM)

This wicket doesn't do affairs, it is in a tight-as-a-knot, deep, committed, loving marriage with batting. On the first day it was fairly lively, bit of nip, bit of bounce and carry, bit of reverse swing. Since then it has died an untold death. May as well be bowling on concrete, have you seen a batsman do a bit of gardening yet today? I haven't, no need for it.

Goodfella -> RE: Maynard tests positive for drug use prior to death... (10/3/2013 1:05:25 AM)

Steven Finn has his test fifty as England move on to 353-3, with a lead of 60. Finn has been a rock in a morning in which England lost Compton fairly early and Trott recently for 52 as he looped a catch back to the bowler Wagner who did well to cling on. England should get the 150-200 lead on this dull, lifeless pitch where the ball just dies when it hits the track, the excitement so far solely on tail-ender Finn who's played some delicious shots and the forward defensive like a pro. KP is in now and it'll be, shall we say, intriguing, to see how he plays this. He could try and smash it about for a rapid century but with the ball gripping in the surface you mis-time a hoist and your caught at deep backward square. Let's see if Pietersen can play a patient, time-consuming 50 shall we?

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