Posts Tagged ‘steve harmison’

Yep, that’s right – 215 balls remaining. Graeme Smith is presumably drowning his sorrows (and maybe himself) in a Nottingham watering hole after England’s bowlers, especially Stuart Broad, ripped through South Africa’s batting line-up to such an extent that Andre Nel (ODI average 12.70) top scored with 13. Flintoff and Harmison also finished with nice-looking figures (although the latter only bowled one over and was just mopping up the tail).

Matt Prior had a good game too, taking 6 catches behind the stumps, then making 45 not out as England knocked off the runs required in a mere 14.1 overs. KP’s honeymoon continues…

UPDATE: You can see youtube highlights of Broad’s five-for here.

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Following his fine batting performance, new England captain Kevin Pietersen invited more lazy comments about scripts and set design by taking two wickets in his first match as ‘proper’ captain.

Also amongst the wickets, and generally bowling quite well (with figures of 2-43), was the resurrected One-Day bowler and Tie-Organiser/Guinea Pig hybrid that is Steve Harmison. And Flintoff got in on the act at the death, mopping up the tail to finish with 2-46.

Perhaps more exciting (and less believable) than all of this is the fact that England actually won.

Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson’s economies were as bad as Britain’s, but wickets fell steadily for South Africa, with only Jacques Kallis making much of an impression on the scoreboard.

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England take on South Africa in the first ODI of the series at Headingley tomorrow with a slightly re-jigged side, possibly featuring Matt Prior opening with Ian Bell, and with Owais Shah at number three.

The hosts will also make changes to their bowling line-up, partially forced by injury to Ryan Sidebottom and Chris Tremlett. Called up in their stead is Tim Bresnan. Former captain Paul Collingwood is still suspended, but Samit Patel may miss out to Luke Wright and/or Graeme Swann in the lower-middle order.

For South Africa, JP Duminy, Johan Botha and the tremendously-named Vernon Philander are all likely to play. Albie Morkel is definitely injured, and brother Morne is a doubt. Graeme Smith‘s side will be overwhelming favourites (although Duncan Fletcher is optimistic about England’s chances), and the return of Herschelle Gibbs to the side for the One-Dayers is likely to put bums on seats, as they say.

UPDATE: Harmison’s only gone and unretired himself.

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knocking over South Africa for 194, but is it only because the pressure’s off, there’s a good mood in the camp and the conditions meant there was more swinging going on than at an Italian wife-swapping party.

Harmison and Anderson both bowled some real Jaffa’s today, but will they be able to do it on flat tracks in unfavourable conditions under the pressure which so tellingly mounted on Harmison when he was struggling not so long ago? That will be the real test. I hope they can, though.

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Steve Harmison has been recalled to the England squad for the Third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston. Is this a short-term measure, a knee-jerk reaction to the failure of innovative selection in the last Test, or simply evidence that the 2005 Ashes DVD isn’t worn out yet?

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In a nod to tradition and the way things were done in days of yore, India and Pakistan played a 50-over match. India’s batsmen forgot they weren’t still plating Twenty20, and scored 6.6 an over to set a target of 331. Pakistan, who don’t have a Premier League of their own at the moment, obviously wanted no part of such a thing, and came about as close to as a Steve Harmison delivery for England usually does to the stumps, scoring 190.

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What kind of horrible pressure are England’s fringe bowlers under? First Matthew Hoggard resorts to planning car crashes in order to free up a place in the team, then Steve Harmison ups the ante by breaking the Hoggster’s thumb, ruling him out of the Second Test.

This is like some sort of horrible fight to the death for a bowling spot.

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As the County season is about to properly start, here’s my preview of County Championship Division One.

  • Kent
    Positives: Joe Denly looks exciting, plus they are Champions of the most popular form of cricket at the moment (that’s Twenty20, not Brockian Ultra-Cricket)
    Negatives: The bowlers are OK, but they aren’t of the standard that many other county attacks offer.
  • Lancashire
  • Positives: Ashes Hero Freddie Flintoff will actually play some games for Lancashire this year, and there are still more than enough wise old heads to suggest a decent chance of silverware.
    Negatives: The psychological damage of last year will be hard to overcome, and the average age of the side is about 56.

  • Nottinghamshire
    Positives: David Hussey, future Australia star, will score runs aplenty when he’s available, plus there will be occasional cameos from new signing Stuart ‘Ricky’ Broad.
    Negatives: Stephen Fleming’s captaincy skills will be missed, and there are a few concerns about the bowling when Sidebottom and Broad are away on England duty.

There may be a Division Two preview tomorrow, but there may not be if I can’t be bothered.

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The big news from the England camp, as previously mentioned, is that Harmison and Hoggard have been dropped. This has provoked widespread acceptance that Harmison is not what he used to be in the bowling department, but also consternation and even anger at the decision to drop Hoggard.

New Zealand have also decided to mix it up in the bowling department, with Jeetan Patel (who was impressive in the first game) making way for Mark Gillespie. Ironically for Hoggard (who must be crestfallen), this is because the conditions will apparently be well-suited to seam bowling.

I hope that England can at least show that they are capable of winning Test matches, but I’m not even sure they are at the moment.

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It was coming. Harmison’s been living on former glories for too long, and Hoggard was almost as bad in the first test.

With combined figures of 2-243 in that Test, I doubt there will be many dissenters. It provides an opportunity for Stuart Broad (who should also add something to the struggling batting line-up) and Jimmy Anderson to step up and prove themselves.

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For the first time in what seems like months, there’s going to be some Proper Test Cricket. Following the interminable ODIs in Australia, and the (very) brief distraction of South Africa hammering Bangladesh, England take on New Zealand.

For New Zealand, it will be Steven Fleming’s last series. For England, it’s a chance to rebuild.

England are, at the time of writing, odds-on favourites to win the series. They should be. New Zealand are missing a great deal of firepower in Shane Bond, and have played only four Tests in the last 14 months.

Even so, England retain the ability to self-destruct. Of particular concern is the length of the tail, especially given Tim Ambrose’s inexperience in this form of the game. If Strauss (out of place at No. 3) cannot recover his lost form for a more serious match than this, then a massive amount will be the middle order in the run-scoring department.

As for the bowlers, much rests on the shoulders of Steve Harmison. Gulp.

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The 29th of February is traditionally a day when ‘unusual‘ things happen, like women proposing to men.

How fitting then, that Andrew Strauss has scored more than fifty runs, and Steve Harmison has taken five wickets on this particular day.

Just to ensure the world that everything will soon be back to normal, Kevin Pietersen made 53.

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