Sunday, 24 December 2006

Stats: Australia Vs England at the MCG

Last ten results

  1. Aus won by 5 wickets 4th Test 2002/03 Scorecard
  2. Eng won by 12 runs 4th Test 1998/99 Scorecard
  3. Aus won by 295 runs 2nd Test 1994/95 Scorecard
  4. Aus won by 8 wickets 2nd Test 1990/91 Scorecard
  5. Eng won by inn & 14 runs 4th Test 1986/87 Scorecard
  6. Eng won by 3 runs 4th Test 1982/83 Scorecard
  7. Aus won by 8 wickets 3rd Test 1979/80 Scorecard
  8. Aus won by 103 runs 3rd Test 1978/79 Scorecard
  9. Aus won by 45 runs Only Test 1976/77 Scorecard
  10. Eng won by inn & 4 runs 6th Test 1974/75 Scorecard

Ponting and Hayden
Ponting averages 75.25 here, with three hundreds - including his highest of 257 - and three fifties. Hayden averages 68,he has scored four centuries in
seven Tests here. They also put on awesome partnerships, in seven
innings they have put together 687 runs with three century stands at an average of 171.50 highest of 234 against India in 2003-04.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Warne Retires.

I was shocked to hear that Warne has retired. He has said a few times in the past he would only play if he was enjoying the game. The way he appealed and celebrated when Australia won the 3rd test looked to me like a man enjoying his cricket. He is going to honour his final 2 years of his Hampshire contract. I saw no reason for him to retire as he was still bowling magnificently. Australia will miss him dearly. I feel privileged that I can say I grew up watching Shane Warne.

Warne confirms it's over - Fox Sports

More valuable than The Don? You bet - Fox Sports

Steve Waugh: Fizz is unique. - Fox Sports

Warne confirms retirement - ABC Sport

Shane Warne ends his test Career - BBC

Cricket stars hail legend Warne - BBC

What people have been saying:

Steve Waugh - It's very hard to judge across eras but Warne would sit pretty comfortably as the second best player ever. He has been responsible for winning more Test matches than anyone else I have seen or played with.

Merv Hughes - Whatever you say about Shane Warne it isn't enough. His performances have not only shaped cricket in Australia but worldwide. Most people go through a purple patch and Shane Warne has had a purple patch for 15 or 16 years

Richie Benaud - Shane Warne is without doubt the finest legspinner the world has ever seen. You would certainly have Warne right up there as one of the greatest Australians to ever step on the field.

Ian Chappell - I think it's perfect timing for a champion player. If you make a mistake it's best to get out a little early than a little late.

Allan Border - Bradman - it's hard to make comparison with that guy's record, but on the next level of cricketers, Warne is right there. He's been a breath of fresh air, what he's brought to the game is immeasurable.

Geoff Lawson - I thought he might still have another three, four years left in the game and in fact I've lost a lot of money because I backed him to take 1000 Test wickets and it's not going to happen now.

Mark Taylor - Not only is he a great bowler but he's also a great thinker. He got a lot of people out with wonderful deliveries but also out-thought a lot.

James Sutherland - There are a generation of Australians who were privileged enough to see Bradman. We are the generation that will always say we were privileged to see Warne.

Adam Gilchrist - As a wicket-keeper there's no better spot to be than standing behind the stumps to Shane Warne

Shane Warne speaks about his famous wickets, along with their clippings, includes the famous gatting dismissal.

1994 Boxing Day Test - Hat Trick

Warne's 600th Wicket


Wednesday, 20 December 2006

World shocked by retirement reports

World shocked by retirement reports

THE cricket world is in a state of shock after reports that Australia leg spinner Shane Warne is expected to announce tomorrow that he will retire from cricket after the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney.

Australia selector David Boon said he had first heard of Warne's possible retirement came when journalists began inundating him with calls tonight...

The Ashes. What people are saying.

Cricinfo reports that Duncan Fletcher has said that the English players still respect him.

Also on Cricinfo - Ricky Ponting jumps to the defence of Flintoff and Fletcher saying the criticism of them is "harsh"

FoxSports reckons England should be embarassed with how they handled Monty Panesar

The BBC's "Robbo" takes a look at how England lost the "Thrashes"

The Sydney Morning Herald tells of Terry Jenner (Warne's Bowling Coach) predicting Ian Bell to be Warne's 700th wicket.

Bestest Blog Carnival

My Goodbye Damien post has been featured in the Bestest Blog of All Time's Blog Carnival.

Welcome to the first ever edition of the Bestest Blog Carnival! For the
inaugural version, I think it's been wildly successful...we had 44 different
submissions, thanks to everyone who participated! So grab a chair and a snack
and get ready to read! I tried to split all the posts into different categories
for your reading pleasure, here they are:....

Monday, 18 December 2006

England gone.



Geraint Jones gets a pair - What a strange way to get a pair. Tried to sweep Warne, huge LBW appeal, given not out. Ball goes straight to Ponting, Ponting underarmed it to the stumps and Geraint forgot to slide his foot back until it was too late and was run out. Jones' first duck in his Test career was the first innings here, now he has a pair.
Will we see Read for the 4th test?

Down to nine, ten & jack. Australia could wrap this up before lunch. England 7/337.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Stats: Run chases & partnerships.

Run Chases: England will have to make history and smash the old record for the highest 4th innings total to win the match. The top 10 highest 4th innings totals to win are:

7/418  West Indies v Australia      St John's            2002/03  
4/406 India v West Indies Port of Spain 1975/76
3/404 Australia v England Leeds 1948
6/369 Australia v Pakistan Hobart 1999/00
7/362 Australia v West Indies Georgetown 1977/78
9/352 Sri Lanka v South Africa Colombo (PSS) 2006
5/348 West Indies v New Zealand Auckland 1968/69
1/344 West Indies v England Lord's 1984
8/342 Australia v India Perth 1977/78
5/340 South Africa v Australia Durban 2001/02

Partnerships: Cook and Bell's 2nd wicket stand of 170 was the highest by an England pair at Perth smashing the previous best of 95 between David Gower & Chris Tavaré in the 1982/83 series.
Ponting & Hayden's 2nd wicket partnership of 144 was the highest for Australia V England at Perth.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Some random pictures.

Ford Ranger and Pura Cup tables.

Ford Ranger Cup

Match 17 of 30 P W L NR T BP Points NRR For Against
Queensland 7 5 2 - - 2 22 +0.286 1653 (338.5) 1605 (349.3)
Victoria 6 3 3 - - 1 13 +0.085 1416 (296.2) 1408 (300)
New South Wales 7 3 4 - - 1 13 -0.062 1661 (319.5) 1749 (332.5)
Tasmania 6 3 3 - - 1 13 -0.281 1183 (282) 1192 (266.2)
Western Australia 5 2 3 - - 1 9 +0.163 1321 (250) 1276 (249.1)
South Australia 3 1 2 - - - 4 -0.436 705 (142.4) 709 (131.5)
Pura Cup
Match 12 of 30 P WO WI D LI LO T Points Quotient For Against
Tasmania 4 2 1 - 1 - - 14 0.995 2232 / 54 2367 / 57
Queensland 4 2 - - - 2 - 12 1.075 2011 / 69 1980 / 73
New South Wales 4 2 - - 2 - - 12 0.962 2060 / 71 2231 / 74
Victoria 4 1 - - 2 1 - 6 1.121 2453 / 54 2107 / 52
Western Australia 4 - 2 - - 2 - 4 1.077 2504 / 53 2500 / 57
South Australia 4 - 2 - - 2 - 4 0.808 2053 / 74 2128 / 62


Most Runs

Name Mat I NO Runs HS Ave SR 100 50

CJL Rogers(WA) 4 7 0 638 279 91.14 65.43 1 4
MJ North(WA) 4 7 1 498 239* 83.00 70.53 2 1
BJ Hodge(VIC) 4 8 1 469 153 67.00 52.16 1 3
TD Paine(
TAS) 4 7 0 409 215 58.42 52.91 1 2
N Jewell
(VIC) 4 8 1 366 100* 52.28 46.27 1 2
AB McDonald(VIC) 4 7 2 356 88 71.20 53.77 - 4
CL White(VIC) 4 7 1 333 150* 55.50 51.54 1 2
DS Lehmann(SA) 4 8 1 330 136* 47.14 71.12 1 1

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Simply the Best - Aussie Cricket Team

I made this video a few one day a few months back. I was drunk at the time and for that reason it is not a great video but I thought I would share it with you anyway.

Friday, 8 December 2006

Symonds and Voges shoot into Test squad

On a day of shocks for Australian cricket the selectors produced two more by picking Andrew Symonds and Adam Voges, a Western Australia batsman, in the 13-man squad for the third Test starting on Thursday. Damien Martyn began the rash of surprises by retiring and the decision was followed by Cricket Australia insisting he was part of the original outfit for Perth.

While a "flabbergasted" Symonds was an outsider, Voges was not even on the radar until Martyn walked away. Voges, a hard-hitting 27-year-old, was chosen ahead of the injured Brad Hodge and Phil Jaques, Chris Rogers and Marcus North. He did not know the news until tapped on the shoulder during the game against the England XI at Lilac Hill. Told to leave the field, he thought he was in trouble until he took the call from Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's operations manager.

Click here for full story.

Interesting choice by the selectors. I thought Jacques but the selectors obviously still see him as an opener and an opener only. I don't know much about Voges so I've decided to take a look at some statistics. Voges has scored two Pura Cup centuries this season, with a high score of 152 and has 320 runs at 53.06. Statistics don't tell the whole story but it looks as though he is quite handy with the bat.

Goodbye Damien

Australian middle-order batsman Damien Martyn has announced his retirement from international and domestic cricket, effective immediately.

Australian middle-order batsman Damien Martyn has announced his retirement from international and domestic cricket, effective immediately.

The Western Australian said on Friday that he was no longer able to dedicate himself fully to the game and that it was 'time for me to move aside'.

Since scoring a match-winning century at the Wanderers in Johannesburg earlier this year, Martyn has struggled with the bat, notching up scores of 4, 7, 29 and 11 in three Tests against Bangladesh and England.

The 35-year-old has played 67 Tests since making his debut against the West Indies at the Gabba in 1992, scoring 4406 runs at an average of 46.37.

Martyn also played 208 one-day international matches, racking up 5346 runs at 40.80.

"I would like to advise of my retirement from cricket, effective from today (Friday). I do so with a deep awareness of the opportunities that the game and Cricket Australia have provided for me," Martyn said.

"However, I'm also aware of the tremendous challenges facing Australian cricket including this current Ashes series. Such challenges require people who are more than 100 percent committed, dedicated, disciplined and passionate about the game, what it seeks to achieve and how those involved in the game can best serve cricket, sport and the wider community."

"I feel, therefore, it's time for me to move aside. I have enjoyed everything the game has given me. I have gained from it more then I could have ever imagined. I have made, in the playing of cricket, lifelong friends."

Martyn said his decision came down to retaining the respect and friendship of his team-mates.

"They have always been utterly supportive, totally professional and completely committed to all that their responsibilities require of them," he said.

"I said to myself when I made this decision in the last 48 hours that I may lose friends in doing what I'm doing. But I also said to myself that if I stayed doing what I was doing I may equally lose respect for myself and the friendship of those around me who are entitled to expect from me more than 100 percent."

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Martyn was one of the most 'unsung' players in the cricket world and his experience would be missed.

"Damien is one of the world's most unsung players in both forms of the game and I don't think it is really understood how good a player he actually is," Ponting said.

"In recent times he won the Test in Johannesburg off his own bat and played a huge role in Australia claiming the ICC Champions Trophy in India for the first time."

"He is one of those players who, as the conditions and situations got harder and more difficult, the better he became. Some of his innings in Sri Lanka and India on turning pitches proved his class and I know I will miss his influence on the Australian team."

The squad for the third Ashes Test in Perth is expected to be announced later on Friday afternoon once the national selectors decide on Martyn's replacement.
Article here

Goodbye Damien
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself

While those around you crawled
You crawled out of the woodwork
And you caressed it through the gap

They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your game

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along WA's greenest hills

Your candle's burned out long before
Your legend ever will

Loneliness was tough

The toughest role you ever played
Western Australia created a superstar

And pain was the price you paid
Even when you hit a ton
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Damien should be dropped

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along WA's greenest hills

Your candle's burned out long before
Your legend ever will

Goodbye Damien
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than conservative
More than just our Damien Martyn

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Hayden boost for Bulls

Queensland's chances of strengthening its hold on top of the Ford Ranger Cup standings have been enhanced with the inclusion of Australian Test opener Matthew Hayden into its squad for the match against Victoria at the Gabba on Friday.

Hayden's inclusion has been offset, however, with all-rounder Shane Watson ruled out of contention. Watson is still recovering from a hamstring injury that saw him miss the first two Ashes Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.

He is considered a possibility to return to the line-up for the Bulls' Ford Ranger Cup and Pura Cup clashes against South Australia next week.

Queensland extended its lead at the top of the competition with a 24-run win over NSW in Sydney on Wednesday.

The match against Victoria, who will be without star batsman Brad Hodge who is suffering from a leg injury, will also be captain Jimmy Maher's 100th one-dayer for his state.

The former Australian player, a member of the 2003 World Cup-winning team, is only the second Queenslander to play 100 first-class games and 100 one-day games.

Maher is the all-time leading runs-scorer in domestic one-day cricket with 4161 runs at 46.23

Thanks to Story here

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Ford Ranger Cup - New South Wales v Queensland

Queensland 9/239
C. Perren
69 (77 balls)
A. Symonds 44 (39 balls)
M. Buchanan 29 (63 balls)

NSW Bowling

J. Krejza 3/69 (9 overs)
N. Hauritz 2/38 (10 overs)
N. Bracken 1/12 (10 overs)

New South Wales 8/215 (RR: 3.87)
J. Krejza 52 (44 Balls)
D. Christian 41 (86 balls)
P. Jacques 33 (49 balls)

Qld Bowling

C. Simpson 4/34 (10 overs)
A. Bichel
2/37 (9 overs)
M. Johnson 1/38 (10 overs)

Queensland won by 24 runs
Points Queensland 4 - New South Wales 0

Points Table
(Thanks to cricinfo)

Match 14 of 30 P W L NR T BP Points NRR For Against
Queensland 5 3 2 - - 2 14 +0.178 1175 (238.5) 1183 (249.3)
New South Wales 5 3 2 - - 1 13 +0.084 1151 (219.5) 1214 (235.4)
Tasmania 6 3 3 - - 1 13 -0.281 1183 (282) 1192 (266.2)
Victoria 4 2 2 - - 1 9 +0.214 913 (199.1) 874 (200)
Western Australia 5 2 3 - - 1 9 +0.163 1321 (250) 1276 (249.1)
South Australia 3 1 2 - - - 4 -0.436 705 (142.4) 709 (131.5)

Matthew Sinclair Catch

Absolutely awesome catch in the outfield. From the 2004 Chappel-Hadlee series.

"Fatty" Vauitn's awesome catch.

This is from a charity match a few years back. Former Manly rugby league player and now host of "The Footy Show" Paul "Fatty" Vautin takes an incredible catch.

Ponting hails finest hour.

RICKY Ponting and Shane Warne labelled yesterday's Ashes victory against England in Adelaide as the most imposing of their stellar careers.

After a brilliant bowling performance by Australia revived a match which seemed long since dead, the unflappable Mike Hussey (61 not out), hit the winning runs amid jubilant scenes to achieve a six-wicket victory and give Australia a daunting 2-0 lead in the five-Test series.

As Hussey cover drove the single that brought up victory and charged down the pitch shouting with joy, one arm raised above his head, the Australian dressing room erupted before the players charged onto the field to embrace Hussey and his batting partner Michael Clarke (21 not out).

"That's the best Test win I've ever been involved in," a jubilant Ponting said after hugging Hussey and Clarke.

Warne agreed: "It was just a great effort to win this Test the way we did."

England must defy history and a seemingly irreparable psychological battering to retain the Ashes it won so dramatically at home little more than a year ago. No touring team has ever recovered from 2-0 down in Australia to level a series.

In a complete contrast to its first innings 6(dec)-551, England lost 9-60 in 43 overs yesterday to be bowled out for just 129 in its second innings.

Click here for full story.

Warne: I can't bowl any better.

SHANE Warne said last night that he could not bowl any better than he did in Adelaide yesterday, but he warned England there was more punishment to come this summer.

The leg spinner bowled unchanged for 27 overs, finishing with 4-49 and helping to dismiss shell-shocked England for 129 in its second innings.

Warne was punished in the tourists' first innings, finishing with his most expensive figures (1-167), but he was the money man yesterday.

The tourists froze facing him yesterday morning, and they were dealing with the harsh reality last night that they had all but handed back the Ashes.

Click here to read rest of story.

Warne's bowling the last 2 or 3 years has been better than any time in his career. If he keeps bowling like this he could play into his 40's. He has said before he will only play is he's enjoying himself and bowling like he is surely must be enjoying.

Internet problems.

I had internet trouble yesterday and couldn't complete my updates for the final day. In the end Australia ended up winning by 6 wickets and England will be left wondering "what if?"

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

2nd Test - Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of the 2nd test. Looks like we're heading for a draw unless Australia can bowl England out cheaply.

11:44am: England 1/61

Not much happening. England 1/69

c Hussey b Warne 34 (79 balls 3x4 0x6)
Unlucky to be given out. Looks like it hit the pad.
F.O.W: 2/69
Partnership: 38

Run Out Warne
26 (73 balls 2x4 0x6)
Huge misunderstanding between the batsmen. Good work by both Clarke and Warne, it wasn't easy to get rid of the ball as quickly as they both did and great work by Warney to hit the stumps very. very quickly from the angle.
F.O.W: 3/70

b Warne 2 (5 balls 0x4 0x6)
Attempting the sweep shot, great ball there, pitched on leg and hit off stump.

Flintoff c
Gilchrist b Lee 2 (24 balls 0x4 0x6)
Little slash outside off stump, just nicks it to Gilchrist who takes an easy catch
4 (34 balls)
The last 4 wickets have fallen for just 8 runs.

England 5/89

c Hayden b Lee
10 (24 balls 1x4 0x6)
F.O.W: 6/94

Giles c Hayden b Warne 0 (8 balls 0x4 0x6) QUACK QUACK
F.O.W: 7/97
Partnership: 3

b Warne 4 (24 balls 0x4 0x6)
Wrong'un by Warne. Pretty wide of offstump, Hoggard has a big lash and gets the inside edge on to the stumps.
F.O.W: 8/105
Partnership: 8 Runs (35 balls)
Collingwood 11* (77 balls 1x4 0x6)
Warne 25 Ov 9 Ma 4/39

lbw McGrath 8 (21 balls 0x4 0x6)
Not offering a shot. Plumb LBW

Anderson lbw McGrath 1 (28 Balls 0x4 0x6)
McGrath coming around the wicket, angles it in. Kuertson puts up the finger slowly.
England all out for 129

That's tea. After the break Australia will require 168 runs off 36 overs at 4.66 runs per over.

Australia 1/20 off 3.1 overs.
Langer is the man out, c Bell b Hoggard 7 (8 balls 1x4 0x6)

Monday, 4 December 2006

Some common and not so common statistics.

Our friends over at TheAshesBlog have done a great statistical analysis of the Aussie and English teams. I was going to do something similar but have no need to now. Here is an example -

Australia’s team batting average is far better than that of England. In the Aussie lineup there are 3 players who average over 50, whilst England has just the one in young Alastair Cook. Even in the tail the Australians look far stronger, with Brett Lee at number 9 averaging over 21. In the bowling lineup....
Click here to read the whole article.

Career and series averages and statistics.

When Michael Clarke reached 101 not out today his career Test Average rose to exactly 40. When he was finally dismissed for 139 it dropped back down to 39.48. He is averaging 90 for the series.

Ricky Ponting
's career average has now risen to just over 60 and unlike most players whose average drops as they get older his is rising and rising. In fact Ponting is averaging around the 71 mark since 2002. His career average now stands at 60.06.

Amazingly, after 21 innings with only 4 not outs, Mike Hussey's average is still in the high 70s (77.41)

Glenn McGrath was the only Australian batsmen with an average in the single digits (7.52) In fact, Mcgrath has the lowest average out of any player in both teams, just behind Matthew Hoggard who averages 7.67

Series Averages
Ricky Ponting's average for the series is 199.
Langer - 93
- 90
Hussey - 88.50


Michael Clarke
& Mike Hussey are the only 2 players in the Australian team to have never been out for a duck in test cricket. Ricky Ponting only has 8 ducks in his 178 innings, Damien Martyn only has 7 in his 108 innings.

Fours & Sixes
has hit 1039 4s in his career off 15586 balls or 1 four every 15 balls.
Gilchrsit - 632 off 6362 (1 every 10.06 balls) 93 sixes ( 1 every 68.4 balls)
Clarke - 155 off 2378 (15.34)
Hayden - 905 off 12308 (13.6)

Great Commentary - ABC Grandstand

ABC's grandstand cricket commentary is leaps and bounds ahead of Channel Nine's and they don't flog merchandise and programs all day. Live streaming available here.

2nd Test - Day 4

12:40pm: Australia 5/364 (113 overs)
50* (70 balls 5x4 0x6)
Clarke 45* (84 balls 5x4 0x6)
Partnership: 79

c Bell b Giles 64 (79 balls 8x4 0x6) - Mishit, would have been a huge hit had it hit the middle of the bat. A good innings by Gilchrist comes to a premature end.

1:26pm: 6/415 (122.3 overs)
67* (111 balls 6x4 0x6)
Warne 11* (24 balls 2x4 0x6)

2:12pm: Just back from lunch. Score is unchanged

2:20pm: 6/424 (126 overs)
Clarke 73* (116balls 7x4 0x6)
Warne 13* (30 balls 2x4 0x6)

2:30pm: 50 partnership between Clarke and Warne

2:52pm: Warne
needs just 2 more runs to have 3000 test runs.

3:17pm: 6/455 (141 overs)
Clarke 90*
(170 balls 9x4 0x6)
Warne 27* (76 balls 3x4 0x6)

3:20pm 6/462 (142 overs)

- (183 balls 9x4 0x6)

3:42pm 6/476 (146 overs)
Clarke 102*
(188 balls 9x4 0x6)
Warne 36* (88 balls 3x4 0x6)
Partnership: 93 runs off 32.4 overs, Warne 36, Clarke 53

4:11pm WICKET
Warne: Out!
lbw Hoggard 43 (108 balls 4x4 0x6)
And that will be Tea Australia are 7/502

4:43pm WICKET!
Clarke Out!
c Clarke b Hoggard 124 (224 balls 9x4 0x6)
F.O.W: 8/505
Hoggard: 6/107 38.1 overs

4:53pm WICKET
Clark Out
b Hoggard 0 (7 balls 0x4 0x6) QUACK QUACK
F.O.W: 9/507

5:18pm Australia all out for 513

Stumps England 1/59

Sunday, 3 December 2006

2nd test - Day 3

Ricky Ponting has hit an Australian record 33rd test century on Day 3 of the 2nd Test. Ponting's hundred came off 183 balls and took him past Steve Waugh for the most test centuries by an Australian.

Ponting and Hussey led an Australian fightback after Hayden and Langer both fell victim to some good bowling by Hoggard. Ponting was dropped on 35 by Giles and has made England pay.

Ponting and Hussy's partnership is currently worth 148 off 49.3 overs.

Australia are 3/222 off 72 overs.

- Hussey almost run out! Throw was a bit too high but it's very, very close. Great decision by the third umpire there. You couldn't give that out. Silly Geraint and his white gloves, you couldn't see the bails.
Australia 3/228

3/343 off 80 overs.
134* (238 balls - 11 x4 0 x6)
Hussey 74* (178 balls - 6 x4 1 x6)

Ponting out - c Jones b Hoggard 142 (245 balls 12x4 0x6)

Hussey out - b Hoggard 91 (212 balls 7x4 1x6)

End of the Day
Australia 5/312
Clarke 30*
(44 balls 4x4 0x6)
Gilchrist 13*
(17 balls 1x4 0x6)

Saturday, 2 December 2006

2nd Test - Adelaide Oval - Day 2

Paul Collingwood's 206 and Kevin Pietersen's 158 took England to 6/551 when captain Andrew Flintoff declared late on day two.

Pietersen and Collingwood batted together for almost six hours and their partnership was the second highest ever scored at Adelaide and the second highest posted by an English pair in Australia.

England's total was its biggest against Australia since 1986-87 when England led by Mike Gatting scored 8dec/592 in the second Test of the series when it successfully defended the Ashes.

England's innings was its biggest total against Australia since Mike Gatting's side amassed 8(dec)-592 in the second Test of the 1986-87 series when it successfully defended the Ashes.

Warne's 1/167 from 53 overs was his most expensive in 142 Tests.

McGrath returned figures of 0/107.

Stuart Clark, was the pick of the bowlers with 3/75

Matthew Hayden was unbeaten on 12 at stumps with Ponting on 11. Justin Langer was caught in the gully for 4.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Hussey wary of magic Monty

The Australian cricket squad will train in Adelaide today ahead of the second Ashes Test match against England from Friday.

Australia won the opening Test in Brisbane by 277 runs.

Despite the comfortable victory, Australian batsman Michael Hussey says his side should not become complacent.

"The same thing happened in England last year when the guys won the first Test and then England came back to win," he said.

"We are very mindful of keeping our minds on the job and playing well in Adelaide."

Hussey has also warned his Australian team-mates to be wary of Monty Panesar's doosra, should he form a two-pronged spinning attack for England.

England coach Duncan Fletcher said on Tuesday he was considering playing both Panesar and fellow left-arm spinner Ashley Giles at the Adelaide Oval, with one of the quicks to drop out of the side.

Hussey spent a lot of time in the nets with a young Panesar when he played three seasons of county cricket for Northamptonshire from 2001, captaining the county in 2002 and 2003.

England played conservatively by preferring the more experienced Giles for the first Gabba Test and he finished with one wicket for 113 runs.

Panesar, the first Sikh to play Test cricket for England, is considered a more attacking bowler than Giles and Hussey has been impressed with him.

"Monty gets more overspin on the ball so he's more of an up and over bowler," Hussey said.

"When I was playing with him at Northamptonshire he was trying to produce a doosra which can be a difficult ball to play if you get it right.

"Giles is more about keeping it tight and bowling into the rough and building pressure that way."

Rest of ABC Sports article here

The State of Domestic Cricket

I often hear people say that the Australian domestic competition is by far the greatest in the world but why is this so?
Is it because Australians are the biggest cricket fans in the world? Maybe, but then again, maybe not, Indian cricket is a "religion" in India. The Barmy Army have showed us that the English are passionate about cricket.
Is it because our domestic teams have greater funding than others? maybe, I don't have any figures to be able to say for sure.
My theory is that because Australia has been so dominant for so long the "fringe" players have to be better just to get a crack at playing for the national team which in turn means that most players have to be as good or almost as good as the fringe players just to make in to the state team. What's your opinion?

Harmison trains in secret

ENGLAND paceman Steve Harmison's troubled bowling action was worked on by coach Kevin Shine at the Adelaide Oval nets in a session that was closed to the media and public.
Harmison's desire to keep away from prying eyes was a good indication of his equally troubled mindset, which was dented badly during the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

Lock-outs are a rarity in cricket, and the job of clearing media from the nets fell to English security attaché Reg Dickason, who shunted media from the oval before having the gates locked in scenes more reminiscent of secretive preparations for an AFL finals series.

Also irritating Harmison were loud shouts of encouragement from one England supporter.

Before the session, team coach Duncan Fletcher said he had full faith in Shine helping turn Harmison's fortunes around.

He said Shine would spend time with Harmison working on the technical side of the bowler's action and that it was important England did not overload Harmison with advice.

The rest of the English touring party was given the afternoon off after arriving from Brisbane.,8659,20836253-5009880,00.html

I don't know what everybody else thinks but I think this sort of thing is just placing placing extra pressure on Harmison to "perform" All bowlers have their bad days, I'm sure he will bounce back just like Lee will.

Cricket Games - EA Sports Cricket 07

I have the full version of this game and while I won't write another boring review I will tell you it has awesome gameplay and the ashes section - featuring scenarios from last year's series is a great addition. Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Top 15 Classic Clashes

Just found this awesome page on Ninemsn's Ashes website. They've dug through the news archives and picked the top 15 ashes moments. You can view all 15 video news stories. These are the only Ninemsn videos I know of that work in both firefox and IE and not just IE.
Click here to watch.

Hussey backs chosen squad

Middle-order batsman Mike Hussey has given his thumbs-up to Australia's decision to stick with a winning formula and name an identical 13-player squad for this Friday's second 3 mobile Ashes Test in Adelaide.
Hussey, whose 86 runs in the first innings helped maintain a stunning average of 76.56 in 12 matches, was just one of a number of key contributors with the bat alongside Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer and Michael Clarke. The Ashes debutant also shared a 209-run stand with his captain Ponting in the first innings and suggested that the overall team display at the Gabba warranted the chance of a repeat performance this week. "It's pretty difficult to change a team that's performed so well in this Test match," said Hussey after Australia wrapped up a mammoth 277-run victory in Brisbane on Monday. "It's not for me to really comment on selection but I think it's very difficult for the selectors to pick the team they want. There are a lot of good candidates out there but when the guys are performing it's hard to look past those guys." Rookie Test pacemen Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson were again named in the expanded squad although neither is expected to usurp the impressive Stuart Clark, who returned the match figures of 7-93, or Brett Lee. Hussey, meanwhile, said that Glenn McGrath was again applying ice treatment to his left heel overnight but was not considered a doubt for Adelaide. "I think it's great for those two guys to again be in the squad, just to show them how close they are," he said of young guns Tait and Johnson. "Maybe it comes down to horses for courses a little bit (for Adelaide)." "I know Shaun will be very keen to play in Adelaide in front of his home crowd. That would be a huge boost for him but again it's going to be a tough selection." He also offered his commiserations to hamstring injury victim Shane Watson, saying that Watson's ability to share the bowling workload gave Australia's line-up an added dimension. Stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist briefly turned to Hussey's medium pacers on day four in Brisbane. "I think it's really disappointing for the team that Shane Watson hasn't come up," he said. "Having somebody like him in the team really does give us good balance so hopefully he can get fit and be ready for the third Test." Hussey also considered the quick turnaround to Adelaide - the Australians arrive in South Australia on Tuesday afternoon - would be of more benefit to the home side following England's exertions in its first Test drubbing. "One of the positives for us is we weren't in the field in Brisbane for as long as the English were," he said. "I think they fielded for the best part of two-and-a-half days which has got to take its toll." "With the short turnaround maybe that's going to be a positive for us."

Team announced for the 2nd test in Adelaide.

Tearaway quicks Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait have been included in Australia's 13-man squad for the second 3 mobile Ashes Test against England, starting at Adelaide Oval on Friday.

But the additions of Queensland left-armer Johnson and South Australian express Tait to the XI that won the first Test at the Gabba by 277 runs mean there is again no place for spinner Stuart MacGill.

"We are obviously thrilled with the first Test result but we expect Adelaide to be an extraordinarily tough Test match," said National Selection Panel chairman Andrew Hilditch.

"With that in mind we'll continue to look at our options to improve the team as we prepare for a series of tough Ashes encounters. We have picked a squad of 13 to suit the conditions in Adelaide and will look to finalise the 11 during the course of preparation for this Test match."

Selectors were again unable to consider all-rounder Shane Watson with the Queenslander still recovering from the hamstring strain that also prevented him from being selected for the first Test, and his absence has also proved costly for MacGill.

"It is very disappointing for Shane Watson that he will not be fit for this match but we are hopeful for a speedy recovery in advance of the third Test," Hilditch added.

"The possibility of using two specialist spinners continues to be discussed. That decision is made more difficult while Shane Watson is unfit but it will be reviewed depending on the particular conditions we will face at each venue."

But with Michael Clarke making 56 in his only innings in Brisbane after replacing Watson late last week when he had to withdraw, selectors were pleased with the way the New South Wales batsman performed.

"Michael Clarke seized his opportunity after being called in at late notice and played extremely well throughout the first Test and again this highlights the strength of Australian cricket," he said.

The squad for the second 3 mobile Ashes Test is:
Ricky Ponting (captain)TAS
Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain)WA
Michael Clarke NSW
Stuart Clark NSW
Matthew Hayden QLD
Michael Hussey WA
Mitchell Johnson QLD
Justin Langer WA
Brett Lee NSW
Damien Martyn WA
Glenn McGrath NSW
Shaun Tait SA
Shane Warne VIC

Not a totally unexpected decision here by the selectors although Stuart McGill is unlucky(like he has been his whole career) Lee isn't in the best of form with the ball but his batting has improved out of sight and it will only take one match for him to turn his bowling form around. They would have been tempted to drop either Lee or Martyn(I probably would have dropped one if I was a selector) and included McGill but you can't go around changing a winning formula too much as it can create instability.

The First Test

Australia won the first test quite easily (277 runs) This wasn't totally unexpected as they haven't lost at the Gabba since 1988. Let's not forget that Australia smashed England in the first test last time as well and ended up losing 2-1. Having said that it was a great display by the Australians and the only concern is probably Lee's bowling, although he did get Flintoff out for a duck.