58 All Out!!

I was quick to mock Australia for 47 all out against South Africa, and 60 all out in the first innings against England at Trent Bridge back in 2015, so it’s only right to take the proverbial out of England as well.

What a dismal showing. Joe Root talked of the importance of winning test matches overseas ahead of Day 1, and then played his part in his team getting bowled out for 58.

With New Zealand winning the toss and bowling on a green top, you expect movement and maybe to lose a couple of early wickets, but to be 27/9 – as England were at one stage – is a absolute joke.

Moving conditions early on, on a green top aren’t just second nature to English batsmen, they are first nature. I expect the likes of India and Australia to maybe struggle, but England should be used to this.

Also, Joe Root claimed he would have batted first on this pitch, and this after dropping a batsman. Not sure which is the worst here? It all looks pretty calamitous from where I’m standing.

Finally, it;s always said you can’t win a Test match on the first day, but you can lose one. England have well surpassed that achievement here. They have managed to ensure they can’t win a whole Test series inside the first hour, never mind the first day!

Cricket Betting – A bet at last

I waited and I waited and eventually late on Day 4, I had a lay of the draw. I always thought the draw odds would shorten in price, and late on in South Africa’s 2nd innings it did. It had actually shortened during the first session of the day, but I delayed a little and missed the price as a wicket fell.

After that opportunity was missed, I waited for what I believed to be the imminent end of the SA innings. I decided this was after their 7th wicket fell. At this point I placed the majority of my lay with a view to the innings not continuing for much more than half to three quarters of a session, that also would have allowed for an annoying partnership down the order.

I also did this in the belief that England would have to bat late on Day 4, and when they did they would have to go for bust chasing what ever South Africa set them.

All in all, I did three lays of the draw, the majority of the lay was done at 2.58 with top up lays at 2.3 and 2.7. I also had a couple of speculative quid on England at 20.

At the start of Day 5, with England already 2 wickets down, they will surely have to go for it now trying to get these runs. I will be amazed if England are daft enough to bat out for a draw, but given the goings-on in their dressing room lately, nothing would surprise me as common sense seems to be a thing of the past (as does catching).

I’m happy with my position at the moment, and if it doesn’t come off – although I’ll obviously be disappointed – I won’t be too down on myself as I think it is a decent value bet.

On the cricket side of things and the Pietersen row seems to be getting worse and more terminal looking by the day. I believe serious questions have to be asked of England’s management over their handling of this whole Pietersen affair.

We have Strauss who either didn’t notice a serious clique develop in his dressing room, or he turned a blind eye to it. We have the T20 captain involved in the clique, and his ignorance of the parody Twitter account is debatable at best.

What kind of leadership is this from both men?

England’s hold on the World No.1 Test ranking spot is also all but over. It was only a stay of execution at the top of the rankings, as it would have gone in the upcoming tour of India in my opinion. If we couldn’t play on the wickets in UAE against Pakistan earlier this year, I fail to see how we will be able to cope on Indian wickets.

I could be wrong here and sincerely hope I am, let’s see what happens on Day 5 first. At the worst, I hope England at least put up a decent fight. A limp ending on the back of a couple of crappy weeks would be a sad note to end the summer Test matches on.

Question Answered

Before today I, and probably the majority of English cricket observers wondered whether England were more a lame racehorse in desperate need of putting down.

Or if, after all the entertainment and near misses, England were actually the team who’s name was already on the trophy.

After a quarter-final more one sided than the West Indies’ capitualtion against Pakistan, it’s ‘question answered’.

I’m going to go away now and wonder how embarrassed I might be if I were South African, rather than English.

It’s comforting to know there’s always someone worse off than yourself:)