Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Lahore, 4th day

It’s all going a bit wrong for England, isn’t it? Akmal played very well though yesterday – although I can’t help feeling England looked flat, again. The penultimate day of the last Test of a momentus year for English cricket is upon us – chat away with zeal and splendour!

Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Lahore, 3rd day

The third day of the third Test – a day which is oft said to be the most crucial in a Test. That being the case, tomorrow might well be the turning point of the series. Crack on, chat away, and amuse yourselves with great gusto! Splendid

No more Ian Botham pitch reports, please!

So in response to England’s 288, Pakistan are 4 for 185. Flat batting track, huh? Thanks for nothing, Beefy.

And add to that, Inzamam has retired hurt and is off having x-rays. I’ve not seen any news as yet as to how bad the injury is, or whether or not he can resume his innings tomorrow.

I think honours are about even here, and neither side has taken a clear advantage. Mohammad Yousuf needs to kick on, and the lower order need to help him. I saw a couple of deliveries in the latter part of the day that kept low, so I think Pakistan will need a first innings lead, the more the merrier.

Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Lahore, 2nd day

“England waste golden chance” was the headline which led Cricinfo after about midday at Cricinfo, which sums things up. England did waste their chance, in what has been a forgettable series for them and a rather anticlimatic one at that. I’m speaking as an English supporter firstly, but I’m not naive enough to ignore the efforts of Pakistan who have been shown immense pride and fight in all three Tests. Anyway, I’m back at Cricinfo tomorrow so will have my eye closely watching the events at Lahore. In the meantime, chat away.

Common Sense

So England stumbled to 248 for 6 when bad light brought a halt to proceedings. It seems to me that this is the custom in Pakistan. Given slow over rates, there is always the demand for the ‘extra’ half hour to get the regulation 90 overs in, so the chances of this happening in Lahore at this time of year are possibly nil.

In fact, Pakistan managed to bowl 77 overs today.

This situation is farcical. Between slow over-rates and bad light, 78 overs were lost during the Second Test, which almost certainly cost Pakistan the game. The solution of course is to schedule Test matches in Pakistan to go for six days of five hours, rather then the traditional five days of six hours.

That way, cricket would be conforming with the natural geography of Pakistan, rather then trying to force the natural geography of Pakistan to conform with cricket. It is just common sense.

Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Lahore, 1st day

Can England pull it back to level the series, or will Pakistan be too strong? Both teams have lost key players and I think Osman Samiuddin sums up the situation rather eloquently and simply:

Eventually though, all these factors (weather permitting of course) will go into the making of only one question, one that decides this series. Is winning a series after two years more important to Pakistan than avoiding a series loss after two years is to England?

Bore draw at Lahore?

Blimey, the third Test is already upon us. How Test cricket moves these days – winter tours are no longer the long-drawn-out affairs they once used to be, or is that just because I’m getting older and wiser?

Michael Vaughan is going to return to opening, where he’s had a lot of success and James Anderson might well get a recall. This tour has come and gone in such a hurry, I’ve hardly had time to digest it – least of all now, and will miss all of tomorrow’s first day. I’ll stick a post up for the night owls able to courageously manage another disturbingly-early start (well, there’s always one!)

Last note; Inzy, spokesman from the department of the Bleeding Obvious. Wonderful batsman though he is, he wouldn’t get much more than 4 out of 10 for his public relations. He makes Duncan Fletcher sound – and look – like Max Clifford:

“Younis is our team’s main batsman and a key player. His loss definitely makes a difference to the side and especially to our batting. But we have players to take over; Asim Kamal is coming in as No. 3. His performances are good for us internationally.”

Cricket Limerick part deux

After the surprising success of the first limerick idea I had, it’s time for a repeat. For rules and regulations, see here – but the concept is simple: use the a a b b a 5-line form, and make it as funny and irreverant as possible. And the first, second and fifth lines generally have eight syllables, hence a limerick’s rhythm. For example:

A flea and a fly in a flue

Were caught, so what could they do?

Said the fly, “Let us flee.”

“Let us fly,” said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Anon

The starting line this week is: The series resumes at Lahore. Go for it!

Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, 5th day

Last day, chat away

Shot of the year

Steve Harmison reverse-sweeping Danish Kaneria, Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Faisalabad, 4th day.

Oh yes.