I’m going to be taking a break from updating this site due to work commitments, so in the meantime, enjoy this yorker from Freddie:
It’s difficult to imagine India enjoying the dominance of Test cricket that the West Indies, and more recently Australia, have – partly because of how little Test cricket India play at the moment, and partly because of their mixed record away from home – but the masterplan seems to be working so far.
Sulieman Benn has shown considerable promise for some time (even to the extent of me noticing), so it’s gratifying to see him stepping up when his team need him, taking 5 for 155 (including the wickets of Watson and Katich, who started the day having built a 174-run partnership) as the West Indies dismissed Australia twelve runs short of their own first innings total.
The West Indies could really do with a top-class spin bowler at the moment, as their bowling attack has struggled against the Aussie machine, and if Benn can maintain the same standard in the second innings at Adelaide, where the pitch is starting to deteriorate, then who knows what could happen?
Kim Hughes doesn’t think they should continue to play Tests, but does the Windies’ recent run of poor form (although not too long a run, they humiliated England less than a year ago) and apparent lack of appetite for five-day cricket undermine their long history of Test greatness?
Afghanistan, everyone’s favourite heartwarming warzone-based cricket team of the last year, have won the ACC Twenty20 Cup, beating the UAE in the final by 84 runs. Mohammad Nabi starred with both bat (73 from 38 balls) and ball (4-7 from just nine deliveries) as the Afghans won the trophy which they had to share with Oman two years ago.
Afghanistan will shortly play their first ‘official’ Twenty20 International matches in the next World Twenty20 Qualifier, where they have been drawn in a group alongside Ireland, Scotland and the USA.
Jimmy Anderson’s first ever ODI five-for was a sight to behold (highlights here and here). South Africa’s batsmen, having been so imposing at Newlands on Friday, were in disarray as the hosts were skittled for 119, with the ‘Burnley Express’ taking 5-23, including the pivotal wickets of Amla, Boucher, and Duminy.
England’s tour so far has been more up and down than a kangaroo on a trampoline, but they find themselves 2-1 up in the 50-over series with one to play. Cue a 100+ run defeat for the tourists in Durban, probably.
As an aside, it may be worth noting that Kevin Pietersen failed with the bat again, lasting six balls and making just three runs despite getting a reprieve on his second ball when Morne Morkel dropped a sitter.