Twenty20 video highlights: Yuvraj Singh goes bonkers, again

Some highlights for those who haven’t seen them of Yuvraj going a trifle berserk against Australia in the second semi-final. 70 from 30 balls! What game is this?

Click here if you can’t see the mayhem. It’s really quite massive.

Monty Panesar DVD – Monty’s Cricket Madness

Dear, dear – oh dear oh dear. The premise behind this tacky-sounding DVD is either a stroke of ingenuity or a bear trap. The DVD promises “a bumper collection of cricket gaffes and goofs” which have been “proudly picked by the Barmy Army”.

In how many of the gaffes will the presenter be appearing, I wonder? Place your orders

World Twenty20 semi-finals

So, the semis are upon us. I’m hoping to at least catch some of today’s games, either on radio or a pub TV, and I’m gunning for the Pakistanis. As my colleague Osman says, this game really is suited to them. Why? Well, partly due to their experience in the format: tape-ball cricket.

The number of overs isn’t important; matches last from five to 25 overs. There are few rules but the basic ethos of these games, the hustle and the bustle of it, the short, sharp intensity of putting one over the boys from the next lane or mohalla because, well, that’s just what men do, is something Twenty20 comes close to capturing.

Runs are not scored but nicked. A little tap, run; fielder about to throw, steal the second; often the only boundaries are straight because of the narrowness of the field, so running becomes an art in itself. Pakistan’s batting successes against Sri Lanka and Australia were built on cheeky running first and boundary-hitting second.

They face New Zealand in the first match (scorecard), followed by Australia and India (scorecard) later in the day. So keep an eye on the scorecards and offer your thoughts as the matches unfold.

Tony Lewis; Glamorgan sausages

Susan Over writes:

I am looking for an anecdote about Tony Lewis suitable for inclusion in a Christian recipe/devotional book to go with the recipe Glamorgan Vegetarian Sausages. Any ideas?

Keep your suggestions tasteful…

Bunch of choking bottlers

South Africa really are a most monumental, unabashed, incomparable Eddie[1] of winning bottlers ever conceived. You have to laugh, really. I’m assuming they’ve lost, having only just been informed by a surprisingly demure text message which read: the boks have done it again.

Bless ‘em.

[1] My suggestion for the collective noun of losers: an Eddie (the Eagle) of losers

Thanks, Fred, and goodnight

So that’s probably it for Freddie, then. Whatever drivel the ECB can try and spin about his ankle needing time “to settle and recover before the process of further strengthening and assessment is intensified” – medico-speak for “he’s done it in again” – it’s probably safe to assume that a man on the wrong side of 30 who has played just one of his team’s last four Test series isn’t really one for the future. It’s time to look beyond.

Flintoff

Probably most likely to step into the breach in the short-term is Ravi Bopara. But he’s untried at Test level and despite knocking Mike Hussey over on his ODI debut, it’s hard to imagine him knocking over Test sides with his gentle trundlers off a short run. Similarly Paul Collingwood, who encouragingly hasn’t let snaffling Sourav Ganguly on a lucky LBW shout go to his head.

So let’s look to the current crop of youngsters. There’s Adil Rashid, who scored his first Championship century this season, and team-mate Tim Bresnan, who has fought back well from being Jayasuriya’s bitch last summer. Younger still, there’s Alex Wakely at Northants and James Harris at Glamorgan. For some of these it looks like the next Ashes in 2009 will come a bit soon (Harris was born in 1990, for heaven’s sake), while none of them really looks like a potential Test number six. But then again, nor does Freddie at the moment.

Who does everyone think will end up filling Fred’s specially-modified boots? A batsman? A bowler? Or is it time David Graveney got Mark Ealham back on the phone?

Willis: Hick and Ramprakash ‘clogging up county cricket’

Bob Willis is never short of opinions. Not all of them are conventional or even particularly thought through, but writing in the latest issue of The Wisden Cricketer he has slammed just about everyone. Ageing players such as Graeme Hick, Mark Ramprakash and Dominic Cork are wasting the money the ECB “create” through their revenue streams, thus impacting on the next generation of England stars.

I don’t have much of an issue with these three, or indeed for any ageing former England player – so long as they perform and contribute to the team. Ramprakash continues to be as prolific a batsman as any – Hick less so, but nevertheless is a reassuring face in a brittle Worcestershire line-up. If their frail frames falter, then goodnight – but so long as they’re producing the goods, their experience is invaluable to younger players.

The Kolpak issue is altogether different, and I suppose I’m contradicting myself if I can allow old English players to play rather than old non-England-qualified Greek/Australian players. But there must be some form of regulation (which, admittedly, comes into force next year) for the selection of third-grade Kolpakians. It’s out of control and impeding the progress of young English talent.

Willis is really off on one, which is always enjoyable to read rather than listen to. Cricinfo has a synopsis and we’ll have the piece up either this weekend or next. Offer your thoughts below.

Video highlights of Yuvraj Singh’s filthy six sixes

Filthy, disgustingly massive sixes these. Just have a look how far they go.

Gluttons for punishment who can’t see the above video should click here. Furthermore, read Cricinfo’s comms of his innings.

Sri Lanka crumble

Sri Lanka crumble. Sounds like a tempting pudding, that. They’re 80 for 7, Australia running through them like maniacs. Are they suddenly up for this match? Seems so. I’m not watching, but might force my German friends to listen to it on TMS later. Jawohl!

Cricinfo’s steaming-hot comms is here.