How to bowl on Australian pitches (video)

A lesson to England, Steve Harmison or indeed any fast bowler on Australia’s pitches. They’ve since changed, and aren’t quite as quick or bouncy, but length bowled here by Curtly Ambrose is just marrrrrvellous.

Australia clean up

Australia made short work of the West Indies target, winning the Third Test with few alarms. Matt Hayden went on to 87 not out, narrowly falling short of getting five centuries in five Tests. Meanwhile Michael Hussey picked up 30 more runs, and he finishes his first Test series with a batting average of 120.

For all their troubles, the West Indies did look like they have made some improvement in their team on this tour, and they are less weak then they appear. Dwayne Bravo is the obvious ‘find’ of the tour, but the economy and line of Collymore is another positive.

From the Australian fan’s view point, it is good to see ‘normal service’ resume, but the real pleasing thing is the emergence of Hussey and Hodge in the middle order. We now have six Tests against South Africa to look forward to, and that is a good chance for the middle order to settle in, before the real challenge against England next summer.

Bravo, Dwayne. Bravo

I’ve not seen much of Dwayne Bravo’s feats against Australia – missed his hundred, for starters – but I did catch his wickets in this Test, in particular his outstanding catch, off his own bowling, to dismiss Shane Warne (think it was Warne anyway). Catching is one of those rare moments of individualism in cricket; no one else can help or hinder your effort, so perhaps that’s why a stunning catch is, well, so stunning. Bravo’s was nothing short of brilliant: diving full length to his left (off his own bowling, I reiterate!) – ah, it was a thing of great beauty and he deservedly celebrated like a clown.

I first saw Bravo when he played against England last year, and his potential was obvious – perhaps now he’s realising that. More brilliance on Monday, please, Dwayne – and bravo to that catch

Brian Lara breaks Allan Border’s record

As expected, Brian Lara moved past Allan Border’s record aggregate of Test runs, and is now the leading scorer in Test history. Legend. Cricinfo have a few things on him, including Vaneisa Baksh on his odyssey; George’s list of his greatest moments and my gallery of his life.

Australia v West Indies, 3rd Test, 2nd day

Brian’s on 202, and is 12 short of beating Allan Border’s record number of runs. A momentus event – assuming he gets it. We ought to have a few things at CI to celebrate this (again, assuming he gets the 12 needed) including a rather splendid gallery.

Chat away

B.C. Special

BC is unbeaten on 190………

Australia v West Indies, 2nd Test, 4th day

I still haven’t seen any of this Test – bad form, Will. If you have any thoughts on it, go ahead. Mr Lara is still there…but, so what, if his team-mates can’t stick around? Show some balls, West Indies!

Australia v West Indies, 2nd Test, 3rd day

Not been following it, too busy, too knackered…will catch up on it tomorrow. Post thoughts if you’re watching down under or “up over.”

Australia v West Indies, 2nd Test, 2nd day

I dread to think how many runs Australia might score today. I just can’t see who the West Indies can turn to to stem the flow – but you never know. If anyone’s up, chat away – I’ll probably catch the highlights tomorrow if I have the time…

Australia v West Indies, 2nd Test, 1st day

My optimism at the start of this series has gone. “Same old, same old” say the fans and critics, and who can argue with them? They still rely on Brian who, himself, is in the throes of a form depression. His team-mates feed like scavangers off his batting genius, but only if he fires; they couldn’t, and nor could Lara, find any answer to McGrath, Lee and MacGill. Warne, curiously, went wicketless.

Peter English writes a very well balanced piece on Lara, Anand Vasu did the bulletin, Scott is looking forward to Australia feasting on the vulnerable. At least they have something to celebrate, in T&T qualifying for the World Cup. Ryan is beside himself.