So where were we?
Oh, that’s right: September.
England’s summer of cricket has become England’s autumn of cricket, and the first ODI versus India is tomorrow morning, after a yawner of a Twenty20 at Old Trafford. I was unable to watch much of the match except for a few overs on replay on Willow.tv, but those few overs confirmed all my suspicions: Twenty20 at the international level is a snooze.
I was doubly disappointed during the Two Chucks recap of the match to see how many of crowd, when asked if they preferred test cricket to 20/20, preferred 20/20. C’mon, people, even if you do, don’t admit it in public. Yeesh. That’s like admitting you think Sara Palin would make a fine president, or that those bags of off-brand cereal at the grocery store are just as good as the branded boxed stuff.
Thankfully, there are two tests to follow today. Well, one, as Sri Lanka v Australia went to stumps before I was even up. In that match, Sri Lanka need 259 runs in two days with five wickets in hand. Considering how long their tail is, I don’t see that happening. But it would be quite the story if it did!
The other match, Zimbabwe versus Pakistan, is at tea on the 2nd day. The hosts batted to 412 all out and Pakistan has already lost one of their wickets in their first innings. This would be a famous win for Zimbabwe, and my fingers are crossed that their bowlers can keep Pakistan shackled.
Also, the above match taught me a new cricket phrase: “carry the bat.” According to Wikipedia, the term “refers to an opening batsman who is not dismissed (“not out”) when the team innings is closed. The term is usually used only when the innings is closed as a result of all other 10 players being dismissed (“out”), not when an opening batsman remains “in” when the team’s innings is declared closed, or the game ends when the batting team wins, or the match is drawn because time runs out.”
Shockingly, it has only happened 42 times in test cricket, which is a very small number considering there have been 2006 test matches. The last time it happened was Dravid at the Oval, and that was the first time since December of 2009.
There are some equally as shocking low scores among the batsmen who have carried their bat, loads of sub 100s and not one 300. For instance, the first batsman to do it was in 1889 in the 32nd test: England v South Africa played at Newlands, Cape Town. Bernard Tancred was the opener and finished South Africa’s first innings not out, but he only scored 26 runs and South Africa in total only scored 47. Heck he was only at the crease for 91 minutes.
So, yeah, carrying one’s bat is just one of the silly cricket stats that are basically meaningless.
Screw you, “carry the bat”.
Note: It was really lazy of me to copy and paste that, instead of summarizing, synthesizing, and of making the definition my own. But it’s Friday before a long weekend and the markets are going to tank thanks to the negative job news and, well, sometimes quoting wikis is the best I can do.
As mentioned, it is a long weekend, and I hope to be able to spend some of it watching cricket. Tomorrow is the 1st Eng v Ind ODI. First ball is at 04:15, Minneapolis time. Not sure if I will be up for that. We’ll see. Also, on Sunday, one of the semi-finals of the CB-40 is on Willow.tv. It looks like both semi-finals are at the same time on the same day, so I am not sure which one I will be watching, but the two games are Somerset v Durham at Taunton and Surrey v Sussex at The Oval.
Okay, that’s a full lid. See you Tuesday, as Monday is a holiday here in the states.
I will leave you with this picture of the first English side to tour South Africa (thanks ESPNCricinfo):