September 2009
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Lee Calvert: Soggy ground and dashed dreams

September 2nd, 2009 by TWC in England, Twenty20


Any fan of cricket can remember their first big match; a major ground with real star players, a huge crowd and all the associated excitement and drama. Thanks to the performance of Lancashire’s covers, the umpires and the captains of England and Australia I know a seven-year-old fan who will have no such misty-eyed tale to tell in a decade or two.

Driving east from our home some 60 miles away in North Wales to Manchester for the second Twenty20, all eyes were on the sky and it was hopeful: a bit grey but clearing in the right places and enough wind to ensure the rain could be moved along. Arriving around 6:30pm the sun was actually shining so much that many people in the east side of the ground were sheltering their eyes with the large sponsors’ cards with a big ’6′ on them.  After six months waiting and one excited sleepless night it seemed things had turned out OK for his first game. How wrong I was.

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Posted in England, Twenty20 | 3 Comments »

Lawrence Booth: Swann's numbers add up

September 2nd, 2009 by Lawrence Booth in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


Strauss, Broad, even Flintoff: the usual suspects have been slapped on the back since England regained the Ashes. But what about Graeme Swann? I’m not thinking so much of his bowling, which could be summed up as two good matches (Lord’s and The Oval) and one great moment (bowling Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston). No, it was his batting that made the difference.

This may cause one or two of you palpitations, especially if you are from the “batsmen score runs, bowlers take wickets” school of intransigence. Yes, they do – in an ideal world. But in the real world of Test cricket (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) games are sometimes won by those who exceed their brief. Had South Africa’s No. 10 Dale Steyn (previous top score: 33) not made 76 in the most recent Boxing Day Test at Melbourne his team might not now be top of the world rankings. As for Owais Shah bowling the final over in the win against Ireland last week…

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Posted in England, Test cricket, The Ashes | 1 Comment »

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