Anyway catch the crazy antics in Lords? Justin Langer displayed innovative captaincy by declaring the lowest total in Championship history (apparently).
After ducks galore, Langer decided it to call it a day at 50-8. The reason behind this apparently suicidal decision was to deny Middlesex the additional bowling point. The ECB website can clarify the bonus point situation:
“A maximum of three bowling points is available for three to five wickets taken by the bowling side (1 point), 6 to 8 wickets (2 points), 9 to 10 wickets taken (3 points).”
So, Middlesex were denied the third point. However, a 97 first wicket partnership quickly assured that Middlesex captured two batting points. More importantly, Somerset did not receive any points from their move, and decreased their hopes in the game. Was this stupid?
Brian Rose, who once declared Somerset after one over in the old Benson and Hedges Cup whilst he captained the side, said:
"It was quite a brave decision that Justin took. He wanted to get the best of the conditions and frankly we had been struggling to put bat on ball. He thought he should give his bowlers a chance to put Middlesex under the same pressure. If we'd scratched around for another 15 to 20 runs it would have made next to no difference to the match."
Perhaps this is true. But the Somerset batsman are struggling to play out time now, and would dearly love to have the two extra wickets they forfeited in the first innings.
The legal structure of cricket matches is always open to abuse. But one hopes that the spirit of the game is sufficiently strong to discourage captains from abusing loop-holes.
Generally, the bonus point system works well, and promotes aggressive cricket. Some cricketers are satisfied with their lot in life, and like to play at being lawyers. But no one likes lawyers.
No one likes Australians, either. So perhaps dealing with hatred some naturally to some?