Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Test match cricket is great

What a high-quality end to a game that has been a little frail around the edges.

Viv Richards thought the second day’s play was the worst he’d ever seen in test match cricket. But the enthralling developments towards in the second innings produced an absolute cracker.

In fairness, this was mainly due to England’s wayward bowling. Although Steve Harmison seems to be pulling himself together, only Monty Panesar looked like finishing the Windies off. However, the boys in red took the fight to England, and really knuckled down.

Unfortunately, their bowling didn’t reflect this toughness. They leaked 77 extras in England’s innings, and gave away lord knows how many runs in misfields. Coupled with the numerous drop catches and dodgy umpiring decisions, this game could have been a lot closer.

Secretly, I wanted them to win. Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s typically gritty 116 not out off 257 was a splendid effort. If he had one more competent tailender then he could have taken his side home, and his innings would have been one of the all-time greats. Sadly, it was not to be.

Cricket has this great capacity for making heroes out of those who may not have the ability, but put their all into the moment. A stodgy, stubborn knock by a tail-ender could have been the decisive innings of the match. Test match cricket has the faculty of drawing out greatness from good players, and Chanderpaul excelled in this arena. Even Panesar filled his boots. A top quality match.

In other news, Aleem Dar had evidently been pondering the question I posed yesterday, by having a few words with Monty about his over-keen appealing. A fair comment and exactly the sort of way that the player-umpire relationship should be managed. You don’t really need this technology malarkey, or a Daryl Hair-like aggressive adhesion to the rules. Just a couple of blokes that can rub along well and enjoy the cricket.


Blue and Brown said...

Jerome Taylor deserves some plaudits for his innings. It was a classic obdurate tail-ender's knock.

Pity he fields like a blind giraffe with a fear of cricket balls.

The Atheist said...

No. giraffes NEVER deserve plaudits. They're the bastards of the savanna.

Ever watched a documentary where a wildebeest hasn't been harassed by some long-necked bastard? No. Neither have I.