Monday, March 7, 2011

England Pulls It Off

I watched the last part of the England-South Africa match yesterday and it was good fun. After all these years I think I have now come to a stage when I know precisely when to check so I can catch it when the match is getting interesting.

I missed out all the experts frankly because they are boring the hell out of me. I cannot understand how they can go on talking on and on and on about the game, predicting, analysing and what not and it still makes no sense and is hardly entertaining. Don't get me wrong - I am not for Mandira Bedi, Rakhi Sawant and the Pakistani girl Veena Malik spicing up things but there is just no juice in the commentary. None. They are all flat, uni-faceted guys and girls with nothing to share, less to add. Anyway I will write about them later because I am up to my gills with them and they deserve a full column or blog.

Anyway when England got 171 it appeared like they would get thrashed by South Africa and I was wondering at my own wisdom in backing them as one of the contenders. But then I had forgotten who their opponents were. South Africa as usual did everything right till the time when it did not matter and then decided to fold up. I caught the action when SA were 5 down and needed another 43 in some 80 odd balls. A resolute Van Wyk was batting with a carefree Peterson. Since they were both just in and did not have many balls behind them I knew there was a twist in the tale especially since Peterson seemed to think that the only way to get it over with. He went after the ball too soon and too often and ended by nicking one behind (after surviving an easy stumping chance) off Yardy who is not the best in class spinner. That opened the floodgates so to speak as Steyn walked in.

Now Steyn is no rabbit and he is a spirited campaigner. He began in right earnest and garnered many runs quickly through some good authentic shots off the spinning duo M/s Yardy and Pieterson and quickly bought South Africa into striking range. An inspired change by Strauss and Bresnan, one of my favourite bowlers, built up some pressure before making Van Wyk play and uncharacteristic cut on to his stumps. That sealed it. South Africa needs someone down there who can carry on and finish the game and not chop balls on to the stumps with 20 to get.

With 8 wickets down, enter Stuart Broad who is looking very good to me suddenly and James Anderson backed by some nice tight fielding. Broad bent on into the increasingly aggressive and comfortable looking Steyn and he was plumb as plumb can be. Nine wickets down. Anderson got Morkel, a big hitter if any, to nick one to Prior and that was it for South Africa. England is back and in my opinion a certain threat.


Anonymous said...

I'm watching as many matches s I can. I'm enjoying it.

A bit of trivia: Which 2 countries plyed the first international cricket match? Bet you'll never guess. Answer tomorrow.

Harimohan said...

Good going Anon. I have no clue about the question. Waiting for your answer on the first one dayer!

Anonymous said...

THe first ever international cricket match was played between USA and Cannada in 1844. Wastn't a one dayer but a two dayer. Dont know who won.

Harimohan said...

Would never have guessed it Anon. USA and Canada indeed!