Friday, 20 August 2010

Game on

I try not to spend too much time talking about "serious" cricket on this blog, but you have to say today's play at the Oval has been remarkable.

I can well sympathise with Cook's recent footwork problems and the sheer self-fulfilling nature of a lack of time in the middle leading to early dismissals leading back to lacking time in the middle, so I was delighted to see him hitting 110. He still doesn't look flawless but it'll be a weight off and we'll see how he gets on at Headquarters. I'm sure he'll remember the runs that got him to that ton for a long time...

Then there was Trott's masterful Boycott impression, scoring at a rate of roughly 10 runs an hour. At tea it didn't seem to matter too much with 194 on the board and seven wickets in hand, but then the evening was one of those horrible sessions where it all comes crashing down. What is it about Ajmal's off-breaks and doosras that leaves our batsmen so unable to read him? I'm guessing it has a lot to do with the slight hesitation in his action meaning the batsmen find it difficult to watch his hand at the moment of delivery as it happen just a touch later than it looks like it will.

It's very much Pakistan's match at this point, with two days left and Broad and Finn unlikely to make any meaningful addition to England's 146 lead tomorrow. That said if it's turning for Ajmal, surely it can turn for Swann, and Pakistan have had such a good day today you feel the way the series has gone they're due a shocker tomorrow.

But collectively our batsmen are misfiring badly and our bowlers have far too many uninspired spells for comfort, and with the Ashes approaching I'm getting nervous...

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