England haven’t batted great so far today, before a thunderstorm brought the players off, but it’s been gripping viewing, not least listening and watching Andre Nel (henceforth to be known as Nelly the Elephant).
England are 79/3 with both Strauss and Thorpe batting with toothpicks – although Strauss was starting to find the middle before they sprinted for cover. Nelly has caused minor uproar if the emails to Sky (broadcasting the cricket) is anything to go by. Lots of Parents saying how disgusted they are by his histrionics, and what a bad example he’s setting. I can’t say I disagree entirely – I’m in favour of aggressive cricketers, but only if they have a justified reason for doing so. (Donald v Atherton 1998. McGrath v Anyone. Great bowlers are allowed to).
Nelly is all talk – he bowled some reasonable deliveries, but nothing England should concern themselves with. His follow-through is unbeleivably ridiculous – within a couple of feet of the batsman, and he effs and blinds like a maniac – whether he’s been hit for four or gone past the outside edge. It’s all for show, and makes him look very daft.
I also still can’t work out his action – he’s nearly bowling off the wrong foot, chest-on! Try it at home (if, like me, you phantom-bowl in your living room off 2 steps) – it’s impossible.
Back to the game, and it’s difficult to see a result happening in this game. The thunderstorm pelted rain down and they’re waiting for it to dry. It’s day 3 today, and England trail by over 150 – they’d need to chase down South Africa’s total and get a lead by close of play tonight, but are 3 down with the Saffers bowling quite well. Lots of great stuff in the papers today which I’ll go through later.