A Year of Thinking Positively.

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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:40 pm

I saw a game today oh boy.

About a team that made the grade. Yes, after England's amazing win a the Wanderers against South Africa, anything is possible. Ten years ago Mike Atherton blocked his way into English sporting folklore by batting for eleven hours to draw a game in Johannesburg.

Now England show a reach of ambition and ability to make that feat seem a little subdued. With the time slipping away and most of the attack injured, seven wickets from the magnificent Matthew Hoggard saw England to a 77 run victory at the Bullring.

Hoggard was unstoppable, indefatigable as he bowled out South Africa for the second time for thirteen wickets in the match. And his performance was of a piece with Trescothick's superb declaration hitting in the morning, even as the loss loomed into view. His 180 was his best Test innings, and I'll treasure those pulls and slog sweeps into the stands.

This England team wasn't just willing to take the draw on offer. It took the win that had to be worked for. It was England's best win since Colombo in 2001. Credit to Freddie for his support and his wickets at the end. And lest we forget, Strauss' first innings 147.

Fair play to Smith for batting with his head injury. But he's a captain you like to see explaining his team's defeat. One up and one to play.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:31 pm

England drew the final Test in Centurion to complete one of the finest series wins in a long time. The middle order of Thorpe and Freddie scored runs, and Jones and Freddie were superb with the ball. Great effort. Only a 6-fer for Andre Nel spoiled the polish. A big well done to Freddie, Hoggy, Tres and Straussy. And all the team. Some win.

The ODIs are all square so far, one win each and a tie. What about KP in the tie? A hundred in his second game! Give me more. Ashes a bit too early for him though.

Australia whitewashed the shambolic Pakistanis, meanwhile. They go to New Zealand next month.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Durhamfootman » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:48 pm

I've been enjoying Talk Sport's live coverage of this series. Atherton and Bannister holding the fort, with help from Jackman, and all other programming pushed aside. It could be the way forward for covering England's overseas tours. Lets hope that this isn't just a one off.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:46 pm

At least we have terrestrial tv coverage of home games.

I'd rather listen to Mike and Bernie Winters than Jackman and Bannister, but they have at least sorted out my office equipment needs.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Durhamfootman » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:24 pm

I'd rather watch Schnorbiz than Mike and Bernie Winters
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Wow.

I mean, wow.

And I know what you are thinking. Because it's what I am thinking too. It's like that moment in Casablanca, when Rick remembers after a long time, that the world isn't always a terrible place. And he says, within a new relish, "It looks like fate is playing a hand'.

It was when Kevin Pietersen came to the crease throughout the ODI series, with the top order in tatters, and with barely any assistance from the middle order, and took England to glorious failure over and over again. 100* to fall seven short in East London. 116 to give South Africa a tough target, hauled down in the last over, in Centurion. Don't forget his 108* in the Bloemfontain tie. The 75...

He averaged 151, with 454 in six innings. Those three hundreds... no one else got a third of those runs. No one else made a ton. Like Rick, he can play a lone hand, and doesn't get dragged down by the struggles of the others. He has an individualism, and a clarity of thought.

England were 68-6 in Centurion, when he and (what's the point of) Ashley Giles dug in and took England to 172-7. How great that felt. Unorthodox, a bit flashy for sure, but this is a big bonus going into the Ashes. It looks like fate is playing a hand. You can't ignore talent like that. Which transcends the idea of the team, as he did here. As is never said, there is an i in side. I'm going to enjoy watching this player.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:55 pm

What is the point of Ashley Giles was of course a reference to Jeff Thomson's dismissive assessment of the England left armer. I so hope he takes a few this summer. I've come to the conclusion that not getting Ashley Giles is a tell, which reveals that you don't really get this England side.

A queue of former Australian players are dismissing England. And, you know they are right. But if England did win, and held the replica urn aloft at the Oval, this is just one of the many things that will make it so special. Stripping England of belief is one part of the process. Ridiculing even the dream of success, so you feel foolish for even imaging the win. This is what is forced into the heads of the Poms.

Going out to get the DVD of the win in South Africa. Well done Duncan, Vaughany, Freddie, Hoggy, Tres, Straussy. And KP!
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:09 pm

Where the Ashes are concerned, the Aussie team always splits into two parts, those players you really hate to lose to, and the ones you've never heard of. Watson fits in the latter category, everyone else in the former. Actually, I've never heard of Brad Haddin either, so he might be someone you'd gladly hand the urn over to. Let's wait and see. Not that he'll get on the pitch, unless Australia drop Gilchrist for walking.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Durhamfootman » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:34 pm

Botham reckons that Graham Thorpe will be key for England at 6 in the ashes later this year. Hard to argue with one of the best readers of the game.

I can't help but think that playing the ODI tournament before the ashes is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot. It'll give the Aussies ample time to blow away the cobwebs. Will we never learn?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:36 pm

The ODIs are a huge potential banana skin.

Or, as a coach would say, a huge opportunity.

Don't really hear much of Botham on Sky. I hope it stays that way.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Aidan11 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:41 pm

He's probably exploded.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Durhamfootman » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:42 pm

Sky?

what's Sky?
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:44 pm

My mate's got it. I'll never get it though.

Never.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Aidan11 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:45 pm

I can't do without it.
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Re: A Year of Thinking Positively.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:47 pm

I saw some of the ODIs in the pub actually. And KP got terrible abuse from the South African crowds. But he still performed.
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