Bowl out!!!

Tonight, cricket saw its first “bowl out”! The Twenty20 game between Surrey and Warwickshire was tied – Warwickshire, who I can only presume were set a revised target (Duckworth / Lewis) due to rain, tied the game with Surrey…and a football-style penalty shoot-out (hence “bowl out”) took place.

I only saw the final two balls – but the goal, if you’ll pardon the pun, is fairly obvious. Each team has to bowl at, and hit, the stumps. Tim Murtagh sealed the win for Surrey 4-3 – each side having bowled 12 times! Not that difficult to hit the stumps, is it? :) Murtagh tore his shirt off, lampooning around the boundary like a football freak! Amazing scenes! Should be more news on this tomorrow.

“Put the pipe away, Piper!” Warwickshire keeper in drugs SHOCKER!

Pipe

Warwickshire ‘keeper Keith Piper has been summoned to an ECB disciplinary panel for testing positive on a “recreational drug.” Unfortunate surname to have, “Piper,” but not as a bad as Mr Bong, Mrs Roach, or “James Ecstasy Tablet”[1] I suppose. Most newspapers are calling Piper Mr Anonymous, apart from the Daily Telegraph who obviously don’t think much of him

[1] NB: I don’t know anyone called James Ecstasy-Tablet

Ian Bell makes double hundred

Ian Bell has hit a double hundred against my team – couldn’t he have waited a week? Run Out for 231 – and, with Robert Key also making a hundred, and Pietersen looming ominously over both of them, some very, very tricky decisions have to be made. Key, Bell or Pietersen? Butcher is almost certainly out of the Bangladesh mini-series due to his injured wrist – and frankly, unless there’s a spate of injuries, this ought to be the end of his Test career. So there are potentially 2 positions available.

As much as I like Key, I feel Bell deserves the 2 Bangladesh Tests to just have a bat and aclimatise with the side. Pietersen, too, has to play…

County games preview

Another round of matches start today – subject to rain, and it’s been pelting down here last few days – and it should be quite interesting.

Andrew Strauss needs a score/hundred in his game against Warwicks. Failed twice in his first game of the season last week – just needs to get moving right about now.

Surrey’s disasterous (here and here) start to the season also needs a kick: they’re in Cardiff playing Glamorgan, although don’t count on there being much play today.

Andrew Flintoff plays his first 4-day game (purely as a batsman) today as Lancashire meet Worcester. Just take it easy, Fred – hit boundaries, don’t bother running :)

And in the same game, Jimmy Anderson will be another I’ll be watching/reading carefully. He’s started the season very well, by all accounts, despite some unattractive figures. Huge season this for him.

Dale Steyn signs for Essex

Dale Steyn
A great signing for Essex as they snatch Dale Steyn, the young South African quick. It was rumoured in January Warwickshire were itching to sign him in the winter, but Essex have got in first.