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Posts Tagged ‘dominic cork’

Australia’s well-documented injury problems in India have allowed one or two players the chance to break into the side. The man with possibly the most masculine name ever, Burt Cockley, may not have made it into the side, but Doug Bollinger did, and took 3-38 on Monday and 5-35 today to move his way up the pecking order of Aussie quicks (Mitchell Johnson also had a good match, so he probably still pecks first).

Bollinger has been on the fringes of the Australian side for some time, having often been a non-playing tourist with the Test side, and having played only 3 ODIs before the current series (in the relatively low-profile series against Pakistan over in the UAE). Given Australia’s problems with bowlers this year, perhaps the Champagne puns that have been (ahem) ‘on ice’ since Dominic Cork’s international retirement will get more regular outings in future.

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  • Durham surprised a lot of people with their Championship win last year, and with Steve Harmison out of favour with England once again, their bowling attack looks just as strong as it was in 2008. Ian Blackwell has come in to bolster the middle order and add a spin option, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul returns in June following the World Twenty20.
  • Hampshire arguably owe last year’s survival, let alone their eventual third place, to the spin bowling of Imran Tahir, who returns from June. In the meantime, Australian Marcus North comes in as an overseas player to add runs, and Dominic Cork also arrives following his release by Lancashire. Chris Tremlett will also be key for the attack, whilst Mascarenhas’ England and IPL commitments will drain the Rose Bowl’s resources for much of the season.
  • Lancashire have released Dominic Cork and Stuart Law, whilst Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson are likely to make very few appearances for their county, so the Red Rose lineup will be somewhat unfamiliar in places. Mark Chilton and Francois Du Plessis need to improve on last year’s performances with the bat, or relegation may threaten to make Peter Moores’ 2009 even worse.
  • Nottinghamshire may spend the majority of the season watching their three best bowlers ply their trade for England, so the likes of Shreck and Pattinson will be key. If Samit Patel gets fit enough to be called up as well, the side could look a little thin in the middle order, but if newlywed Adam Voges can translate his limited-overs form to the four-day game then the prospect of a title challenge isn’t too far-fetched to consider.
  • Somerset continue to have an incredibly strong top order (especially with and Marcus Trescothick as an opening pair), but with Ian Blackwell moving to Durham and Andy Caddick into his 40s, the bowling attack looks worryingly thin. Unless a young gun steps up to take wickets, a proliferation of draws may ensue.
  • Warwickshire face the step up from Division Two without Ian Salisbury, but Jeetan Patel should be a strong addition to their four-day side. If Ian Bell stays out of the England team long enough to feature regularly, then the Bears can reap the benefits. Similarly, Tim Ambrose will be a force in the County game even he doesn’t cut it at Test level.
  • Worcestershire enter the post-Hick era in 2009, which puts a lot of pressure on Vikram Solanki and the likes of Stephen Moore. Gareth Batty’s recent England call-up underlined his quality with the ball, but the pace attack is relatively weak, especially given Simon Jones’ continuing injury problems. If Solanki and Kabir Ali find form, then the side can look for more than just consolidation in their return to Division One.
  • Yorkshire came uncomfortably close to relegation last year, but players of the quality of Michael Vaughan, Anthony McGrath, Matthew Hoggard and Adil Rashid should see them improve in 2009 (assuming England call-ups don’t intervene). A championship challenge may be asking too much, and adjusting to life without Darren Gough will be difficult, but there is enough class (especially with Jacques Rudolph in the side) for a top-half finish.

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Australia have called up two relative unknowns for the Third Test against South Africa in Sydney. Firstly, there’s Doug Bollinger, the NSW left-arm quick with Russian hair who has the potential to become involved in the most champagne puns since Dominic Cork. Bollinger has already delighted fans and opposing captains alike with his promise to give a logically preposterous 150,00% in his debut, suggesting that whatever standard he attains in the match, his usual top performance is only 0.067% as good.

Secondly, there’s the markedly less hilarious Andrew McDonald, who shares a name with an NHL player as well as a character from Coronation Street and looks like a cross between Ron Howard and Matt Damon.

I’m sure they’re both fine cricketers, but they’re hardly going to inspire terror in the hearts of South Africa’s batsmen on a par with the Australian bowling attack of yore.

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Dominic Cork‘s first class cricket career seems to be almost over, as he has not been offered a contract for next year by Lancashire.

The 37-year old is not bitter, though, and why should he be? Not many other English bowlers have taken a hat-trick on home soil, let alone a hat-trick on home soil that is often referred to in conjunction with a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of wine to effect carbonation. Although that’s mainly for punning purposes, to be fair. Nevertheless, it often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The same could be said for Cork himself, although he always does his best to make sure that isn’t the case

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Dominic Cork has suggested dropping Michael Vaughan.

At the moment, Vaughan’s captaincy skills are keeping him in the side, but how bad a captain can you be if you have Ryan Sidebottom taking 7-47?

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This week’s videos are on the subject of that Holy Grail for Bowlers – the hat-trick.

Irfan Pathan’s in the first three balls of a Test match against Pakistan is a classic of the genre, as is one of my personal favourites, Dominic Cork’s ‘Champagne’ hat-trick against a formidable West Indies side.

Spinners’ hat-tricks tend to be a bit heavier on the psychological warfare, and Warne and Harbhajan have both ripped through batting orders using this tactic.

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