The Over: Pakistan v England – Day 1

Sigh. Do we have to?

Ok, so here’s the first instalment of ‘The Over’ – the day’s play (and anything else that caught our interest) neatly digested in six ‘balls’, unless there’s a no-ball or wide. Make sense? No, us neither. Here we go then…

Police are currently searching for whoever spiked both sides’ batsmen’s breakfast with laudanum this morning (with the exception of Shafiq, Strauss and Pietersen, who weren’t feeling hungry). Side effects included catastrophic playing across the line and a heightened inability to play the spinning ball. The latter didn’t appear to affect Ian Bell, who’s that bad against spinners anyway. It also appears that Simon Taufel may have ingested an extra large dose after having a second glass of orange juice, but more on that in a minute.

England’s bowlers really are quite good. Unless you’re at Sabina Park, Jamaica in 1998, batting first on a sunny day is a pretty safe bet, so to knock over the oppo for 99 is a damn good effort. Stuart Broad is finally something like the bowler everyone thought he was three years ago, now that England have instructed mid-off to remind him to pitch it up before every ball. Got there in the end, Stuart. Also, so much for the high-scoring draw everyone predicted, we’ll be lucky to get 400 runs in the whole match.

Simon Taufel probably had the worst day of anyone, and if you saw Ian Bell’s knock, you’ll know that’s saying something. It really was horrible. He’s already known as the one umpire on the ICC’s elite panel who doesn’t really like the whole DRS idea, and it’s easy to see why. Three of the five decisions he gave which were reviewed were reversed, and one of the others (the dismissal of Pietersen) stood by virtue of an extra coat of virtual varnish – Hawkeye showed it was 2.2mm away from missing leg stump. Although technically correct, just, it was a pretty poor decision, something we think KP would agree with, judging by his expletive-riddled trudge back to the pavilion. The fifth and final review off Taufel was so misguided that Misbah was actually forced to give Rehman some tutelage on the LBW law, so we’re fairly loath to put that down to good umpiring. Steve Davis at the other end had a 100% record on the day (three out of three correct), just to really rub it in.

KP must have been reading the blog, because he made it all the way to 32 whilst playing only one truly horrible shot that we saw, which he fortunately missed. He was actually looking pretty fluent until getting out (see above). Baby steps perhaps, but we’re delighted to help, Kev, and if you need any more advice on not being stupid whilst batting, please get in touch. Our fees are only mildly extortionate.

We reckon England might struggle to chase 60 batting last, all things considered.

At one stage, with Pakistan 44/6, dear old Henry Blofeld announced that Cook was coming on to bowl. We thought this was a jolly decent gesture by England, reminiscent of a schoolmaster in an under-11 match trying to ‘make a bit of a game of it’ when the opposition are 12/8 by bringing on the boy who is only in the side because there isn’t anyone else, who then proceeds to bowl 14-ball overs and ends up with figures of 3-0-83-0. The official description of Cook’s bowling is ‘Right-arm slow’, which is really the diplomatic definition of ‘filth’. Sadly our excitement at seeing some of Chef’s finest pies being deposited in the stands was curtailed upon the realisation that Blowers had had another senior moment and he had actually meant Swann. Even more disappointingly, Swann then produced a wicket maiden in his only over of the innings. Crying shame.


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1 Comment

  1. Like the blog, TMS! I do so love Cook’s “right-arm slow”


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