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Ashes 2021/22 and other cricket through the winter of 2021 thread

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:46 am

First topic message reminder :

Thought I'd start a new thread for the winter cricket of 2021 that we (covid depending) have ahead of us. Obviously the World T20, but that has it's own thread...

The main event being the Ashes, with the dates below

Men's Ashes schedule
First Test: 8-12 December - Gabba, Brisbane (00:00 GMT)
Second Test: 16-20 December - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (d/n - 04:00 GMT)
Third Test: 26-30 December - MCG, Melbourne (23:30 GMT, 25 December)
Fourth Test: 5-9 January - SCG, Sydney (23:30 GMT, 4 January)
Fifth Test: 14-18 January - Optus Stadium, Perth (02:30 GMT) (subject to change)

Women's Ashes schedule
Test: 27-30 January - Manuka Oval, Canberra (23:00 GMT, 26 January)
First T20: 4 February - North Sydney Oval, Sydney (08:10 GMT)
Second T20: 6 February - North Sydney Oval, Sydney (08:10 GMT)
Third T20: 10 February - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (08:10 GMT)
First ODl: 13 February - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (23:05 GMT, 12 February)
Second ODl: 16 February - Junction Oval, Melbourne (23:05 GMT, 15 February)
Third ODI: 19 February - Junction Oval, Melbourne (23:05 GMT, 18 February)

India have a busy winter, with New Zealand touring in November/December and then India head to South Africa for the boxing day test/January.
There's an interesting test series between Bangladesh and Pakistan in Bangladesh in Nov/Dec, which should be an entertaining watch. Unfortunately I don't see much cricket on the schedule for Pakistan/Sri Lanka (unless I am missing something!)
A few others on the future tours programme, but not confirmed yet as far as I see...
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:38 am

Don't know why the Comms are surprised that Anderson and Broad are bowling a bit faster today - and looking more dangerous. Fairly obvious that they'd be better for having actually bowled in a match here instead of just coming off a few net sessions.
Which was always the trade off between "keeping fresh" for this match and going immediately in Brisbane.
I'd have definitely played Broad in Brisbane. But I do accept there was no perfect choice of handling the bowling rotation , given the cramped schedule and lack of warm up games.

Smith and Labuschagne doing what they do : 5 runs between them from 34 balls . But importantly , they are staying in.

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Post by Pal Joey Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:40 am

Extraordinary indeed.

These two seem to have found some extra energy and are bowling very well. I guess with Root missing they realise they all have to step up and are relatively more fresh after having missed Brisbane, as you say, alfie.

Just trying to do the maths in my head. If Australia manage to eke out 70 runs per session for the next two and a half sessions... that would mean a lead of around 460 runs or so with England having 4 and half sessions to chase them down.

I'd expect Australia to lose a few wickets along the way today and score at a relatively low RR (2.5?) during this awkward first session until the usual late flurry from the upper part of the tail later in the day and partly under lights. That would make for a very interesting finish tomorrow. England would want to go for the chase rather than shut up shop... otherwise they will no doubt crumble in a heap.

It would be hard to navigate such a scenario with the current poor form of the England top order and perhaps Root a little hindered by his midriff injury. Stokes (with the aid of someone else... Malan?) would have to perform another miracle... you can never put that possibility out of the equation.

It would certainly be more interesting if they were only chasing 400 runs (or even less) with a day and a bit to go.
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:48 am

First nine overs bring 2 wickets for 8. Hard work for the bats.

Robinson on now : seriously down on pace first over so hopefully just getting warm as they need to keep up the pressure on these two key batsmen.

And now Woakes : fair to say his batting has been more effective than his bowling so far in this series...and that probably won't be enough to save his place. So he needs something here...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:56 am

Incidentally, the events of this morning probably raise further questions about the position of Harris for Boxing Day. Suppose presuming an Australian win they might give him another go ; but he isn't exactly cementing his place , is he ?

Hello ! Buttler's topsey-Turvey game continues as he takes an excellent leg side catch to remove the oddly out of sorts Smith for a pretty dreadful innings of six !

Robinson strikes and it's 55/4.

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Post by Pal Joey Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:57 am

The huge wicket of Smith and he is gone. Brilliant catch from Buttler off the bowling of Robinson.
Jos is so hot and cold, isn't he?

Maybe this is the Moving Day, alfie?
3/10 off 12 overs this morning.


Last edited by Pal Joey on Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:59 am

Wasn't really any special ball from Robinson , to be honest : bit of a strangle . But Australia have been a bit hesitant this morning - though they are so far ahead it shouldn't matter.

Funny how similar this match trajectory resembles the Adelaide Test from 4 years ago ...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:03 am

Of course , given that the lead is already close to 300 , it might be in Australia's interests to be bowled out reasonably quickly here as it would rule out the danger of declaring too late !

Time for a drink - though perhaps a little too early for "a drink" for me ...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:16 am

Marnus just 2 off 40 balls but I doubt he's too bothered...and indeed he's away now with a boundary.

Head looking to get on with it and the drink break seems to have served to get the runs flowing...more runs in two overs than the whole first hour.

Woakes and Robinson not able to keep the lid on. Think Ben will have a go himself pretty soon.
76/4.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:25 am

Different ! Robinson now bowling off spin ? Tidy enough first over.

Is this a sign that England under Stokes is a lot more flexible than when led by Root ?

And now in fact Root has just come back out there so at least he's not seriously injured.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:43 am

Marnus still enjoying good fortune...edges Anderson and Root at slip can only just get a finger to it.  

But I think they should have had a second slip. Not as if Labuschagne is looking to flay the bowling. Would have been a sitter - though Burns would probably have dropped it Smile

Enough of the Robinson-as-spinner experience: suffice to say he is no Swann. Time for Stokes at 99/4...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:49 am

Oh dear...dreadful first over from Stokes. Two no balls , one wide and twelve off it. Just as Anderson was turning the screws the other end. Can't seem to keep pressure on consistently enough , England.

Fifty stand for Head and Labuschagne. Broad's turn now.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:58 am

It's a good combination for Australia, this pair. Head goes for his shots , while Marnus basically just blocks up the other end...albeit with a continuing generous share of good luck. He's been beaten outside off a lot , along with his genuine leaves.

In any case these two have taken back the initiative in this last period. And England are still looking a bit too reliant on the two old boys - as Stokes continues to supply no balls and loose deliveries.

Great fielding from Pope in the outfield nearly brings off a run out. Story of the game for England ...

124/4 as lunch looms up with Australia well in command ...but at least England have shown some spirit and fight again this morning. Too much to hope that might flow through to the batting ?

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:06 am

134/4 off 44 at lunch. Head (45 off 44) has transformed the session after England were right on top for much of it - as they seem to have been on all the first sessions of this match .
Since all the later sessions have gone emphatically to the home team I suspect any England fans sleeping in might have already missed their high points for the day Smile

Still I am grateful that those two hours were anything but boring !

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Post by Pal Joey Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:23 am

Sorry to leave you all alone on here, alfie. Good summation as per usual.  OK

It seemed whenever I typed something during that first hour's play we lost a wicket, so I was forced to impose a self ban on myself just before 4pm here. That seems to have steadied the ship during the second half of the session. Head is hitting them sweetly in particular and Labuschagne performed his trademark limpet role at first (with the runs now flowing more freely); which is just what Australia desperately needed after that horrible first hour.

Tino and myself have both Marnus and Travis in the tipping comp... so I better go for that walk or have that late afternoon nap to keep the current vibe going. A 371 run lead gives Australia more breathing space but I'll be a lot more content if they can get it up around 460 runs by the supper break.
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:40 am

I fancy the 460 will be along soon enough , PJ Smile

I am at least pleased to see that England do not look quite ready to lay down and die just yet. In a lot of ways the early hour today was arguably their most exciting of the tour so far : one wonders if Root being off the field and the aggressive Stokes having the armband might have helped give the whole side a bit of "ginger" ?

At a very likely two down after tomorrow the improvement might be too little too late. But at least the MCG game won't be technically a dead rubber so can live in hope to see a bit more of that sort of display from them. Don't so much mind Australia winning (honest !) but I do crave a proper contest with a fair measure of ebb and flow...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:57 am

Got to love Ben Stokes ! Superb outfield catch to account for Head clap

Lot of players wouldn't have even got to that. Ends a fine attacking knock from Head for 51. Another perhaps unearned wicket for Robinson ; but I guess he deserved better in the first innings so it evens out - sometimes.

145/5 . I think I'd bring someone else on rather than Woakes to attack Green , who is still looking to get some runs. Surely worth another short burst from Anderson or Broad ?

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:12 am

Lead up to 400 now ...and I think England are now resigned to just awaiting the declaration as it is Dawid Malan coming into the "attack".

Should boost the over rate at least Smile

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:19 am

Fifty for Marnus... Getting used to typing that.  Not exactly thrill a minute batting but valuable as ever clap

Taken him 94 balls even with recent acceleration; but along with Head he's done what his team needed after that difficult first hour today.

Out now though : first Test wicket for Malan with another (much easier) boundary catch for Stokes.

173/6

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:26 am

Double spin attack now as Root brings himself on. Declaration won't be long now you'd imagine so I guess he'd rather rest his pace men and try and avoid more fines for slow over rates.


Ah ! What am I saying ...he's here to wreck the innings as Carey chops him on Smile

180/7. Time for Starc to have a swing...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:40 am

Hmm. Starc hits a six : but he's also looking rather uncomfortable ; keeps rubbing his back. Physio coming on...

Can't be too badly damaged judging by the power he put into that shot ; but Australia might be a little anxious to see another fast bowler showing some pain.

Batting on anyway. 211/7.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:51 am

Another scalp for Root as Starc holes out to Pope in the deep. Still no declaration though. Lead is over 450.  

Think they have plenty ; but I guess Smith also thinks they have plenty of time and is happy to prolong the torture. At least it gives the Comms something to talk about.

230/8 as Richardson tees off...

And 230/9 as he hits one straight up in the air. Declaration comes .

134 overs to get 466 ? Good luck...

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Post by Gooseberry Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:53 am

Got to hand it to Anderson for his economy rate, albeit hes had the advantage of bowling with the new ball. Given Aus have been looking to keep a lively scoring rate even with wickets falling regularly to go for less than 1 an over shows hes at least been consistent and accurate. Despite that it seems Robinson is now established Englands number one bowler for the tour, easily their biggest wicket taking threat despite having less total caps than Broad and Anderson have in most years since 2010!

Interesting question raised by Root and Malan taking wickets...genius to trust the part time spinners were good enough or a mistake not to take a specialist spinner who could've ripped through Aus? Assume Stokes' lack of overs and getting creamed on the two he bowled is a fitness issue? That excuses going in with 5 seamers, with Anderson too needing careful managing for his workload England have a real problem if Stokes cant bowl a decent allocation. Putting overs into the England attack is another reason why Aus will have batted on (and didnt follow on), attrition through a long series matters...Aus wont wont to have risked Starc bowling again without rest with Cummins down, and get at Englands top order with all the floodlight overs this way.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:59 am

alfie wrote:Hmm. Starc hits a six : but he's also looking rather uncomfortable ; keeps rubbing his back. Physio coming on...

Can't be too badly damaged judging by the power he put into that shot ; but Australia might be a little anxious to see another fast bowler showing some pain.

Batting on anyway. 211/7.

Morning / Evening, Alfie, Joey and all - my man Starc having a fine game. 58 match runs for once out at a run a ball to go with his 4 wickets and one catch. His back does seem to be a concern though. Be concerning for Australia and interesting for us posters if he's restricted in how much he can bowl.

Anyway, declaration has now arrived in line with Joey's instruction to get a 460+ lead. Seems eminently sensible albeit I would have enforced the follow on yesterday. Can Burns and Hameed get to dinner?

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:01 am

We will soon see if Starc is handicapped at all by his back issue. Warming up with a few on the outfield.

Wonder how Rory Burns is feeling with half hour to bat before tea ?


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Post by guildfordbat Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:05 am

Just to add - some wonderful catches today. Stokes and Buttler with outstanding takes. Adds to the frustration though that we've let so many less difficult chances get away already in this series.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:05 am

Hi guildford

I know you would have enforced the follow on ! You might also have noted that the employment of a night watchman led to a quick collapse in the morning Smile

Worked out OK in the end for Australia though , one could say.

Starc at 146k already so guess he's all right...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:09 am

guildfordbat wrote:Just to add - some wonderful catches today. Stokes and Buttler with outstanding takes. Adds to the frustration though that we've let so many less difficult chances get away already in this series.

Stokes we expect that. Buttler though : talk about ups and downs ! Taken some terrific catches in this game - but drops as many as he takes ; generally the easier ones. So after his pretty dire first innings duck , can we expect a match winning century tomorrow ?

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Post by Gooseberry Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:12 am

So about tha England fightback.... Sad

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:14 am

alfie wrote:Hi guildford

I know you would have enforced the follow on ! You might also have noted that the employment of a night watchman led to a quick collapse in the morning Smile

Worked out OK in the end for Australia though , one could say.

Starc at 146k already so guess he's all right...

It was only fear of Olly's response that prevented my usual diatribe about use of a night watchman! Smile

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:15 am

Ah well the procession starts already...Hameed first one gone this time .

Inevitable. Just have to look at his hands - never likely to succeed on Australian pitches I'm afraid with that technique.

Richardson will be happy to have that after a rather disappointing first innings return.

Will Root be in before tea ?

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:19 am

alfie wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Just to add - some wonderful catches today. Stokes and Buttler with outstanding takes. Adds to the frustration though that we've let so many less difficult chances get away already in this series.

Stokes we expect that.  Buttler though : talk about ups and downs ! Taken some terrific catches in this game - but drops as many as he takes ; generally the easier ones.  So after his pretty dire first innings duck , can we expect a match winning century tomorrow ?

Hi Alfie - I noticed you mentioned some good fielding by Hameed at the start of play when I was in the land of nod. Good to read that as I've been very disappointed by what I've seen of Hameed's fielding so far in this series. Too often diving over the ball or failing to make a clean stop.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:32 am

Yes agree Hameed has been poor in the field generally : was pleasing to see he - and all the fielders actually - up on their toes this morning.

With an ounce of luck his excellent throw might have brought an immediate run out on the first ball of the day. But it was arguably a factor in the early pressure anyway , along with the good bowling.

And then Buttler's first great catch seemed to be keeping things buzzing - only for him to drop Smith next ball and rather suck the life back out ...

England just haven't got the details right for a long enough period on any day in this series , I'm afraid.  Keep seeing good signs and then it all falls apart. Really think the fielding has been the most disappointing aspect , as I never had too many expectations of the batting.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:35 am

Ha ! Nearly a run out ...

Nice to see Australia make a mess of an opportunity for a change Smile

But a bit alarming to see these two exploring yet another way to donate their wickets !

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Post by king_carlos Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:48 am

alfie wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:Just to add - some wonderful catches today. Stokes and Buttler with outstanding takes. Adds to the frustration though that we've let so many less difficult chances get away already in this series.

Stokes we expect that.  Buttler though : talk about ups and downs ! Taken some terrific catches in this game - but drops as many as he takes ; generally the easier ones.  So after his pretty dire first innings duck , can we expect a match winning century tomorrow ?
Buttler's success rate with taking chances since coming back into the side sits at about 90% with the global average for keepers around 84% I believe.

Foakes is one of the best keepers I've ever seen but even he showed that no keeper is infallible with some regulation misses in India. With a more specialist keeper such as Foakes I do feel the misses get remarked on less. When any Test sides latest futile attempt to get their own Gilly drops a catch it gets remarked on more.

Buttler's batting just doesn't come off enough and it's time to move on. Preserve Jos for white ball where he's an all time great and back Foakes with a run in the team.

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Post by king_carlos Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:53 am

As for the game itself it shouldn't be impossible to bat out a draw on this wicket. For this England lineup it will be unless Root bats 3 sessions minimum.

It's embarrassing to think that Burns is England's second highest run scorer this year. Without Root this batting lineup would be of such poor quality that we'd barely be deserving of Test status.

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:34 am

I'd be astonished if England took this game past tea tomorrow !  Sure we might see a period of resistance ;  but the collapse will come at some stage : not even Root can bat the sort of "all day" innings needed , in Australia.

Aussies wasted little time in getting The Lyon into the hunt. Not waiting for Pope : two left handers to torment so will be fancying his chances.

On the plus side - Burns has just about tripled his run tally for the series already Smile

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:52 am

Something of a rough day for Steve Smith continues as he drops Malan off Lyon...

His eyes were spinning afterwards - looked as if he couldn't believe he'd spilled it.

So what's that now Australia dropped two - or is it three ? England ... What... Ten ? fifteen ?

Doesn't matter...Malan lbw to Neser and it's 48/2. If Root falls this could still finish tonight...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:02 am

Malan didn't look as comfortable in this innings , I thought. Played some lovely shots , as usual ; but never looked quite on top of his game. He's been way better than most of his mates so I'm not meaning to be too critical ...probably a compliment to him for his previous couple of innings!

Root appears to want to get after Lyon from the start. Hoping to hit him out of the attack ? Good luck with that idea...he has 400 plus to play with .

Positive I like. Let's not be reckless...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:19 am

How Lyon has only got Malan out once in these first two games is beyond me, he’s causing him all sorts of issues!

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Post by Pal Joey Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:34 am

In other news, I see Mahmood just got Chris Lynn out 3rd ball in the T20 match. Didn't realise he'd been signed up by the Thunder.
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:41 am

Was about to say Richardson was bowling well ... And he's gone and done for Burns now. Well caught at slip (Aussies still snaffling practically everything : England bowlers envious )

Much better knock from Burns - admittedly was a low bar to clear ! But still...

Not sure it saves his place ? Both he and Hameed in the gun , I think : and neither helped by some dodgy fielding. That's for later.

England 70/3 and still a dozen or more overs to face tonight. Not easy for Root & Stokes.

On the plus side , less than 400 needed now Smile

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:47 am

Have to chuckle...Just looked at BBC text : someone posted an effective jinx for Burns - wished him a big score . But the punch line being that he saw him as a Future England Captain...

Think Rory has enough on his plate !

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Post by JDizzle Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:53 am

Pal Joey wrote:In other news, I see Mahmood just got Chris Lynn out 3rd ball in the T20 match. Didn't realise he'd been signed up by the Thunder.

4 wickets in his first two overs! I think we’ll see him this series…

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:58 am

JDizzle wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:In other news, I see Mahmood just got Chris Lynn out 3rd ball in the T20 match. Didn't realise he'd been signed up by the Thunder.

4 wickets in his first two overs! I think we’ll see him this series…

Might ask him to open the batting ...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:59 am

JDizzle wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:In other news, I see Mahmood just got Chris Lynn out 3rd ball in the T20 match. Didn't realise he'd been signed up by the Thunder.

4 wickets in his first two overs! I think we’ll see him this series…

England are lucky he got a last minute BBL deal…or else he’d be home with the rest of the Lions lot
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:01 am

Going to miss this last half hour...hopefully there will still be something to watch tomorrow.

Keep them safe , if you can , chaps...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:20 am

A truly horrendous day for Joe Root’s future ability to have a family
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Post by Pal Joey Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:21 am

alfie wrote:Going to miss this last half hour...hopefully there will still be something to watch tomorrow.

Keep them safe , if you can , chaps...

Joe's crown jewels you mean? Sure, we'll try. Smile
Poor bloke. He's copped a real beating upon his person since the sun rose this morning.
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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:01 pm

Aargh... Back to learn the bad news . Last ball of the day ? Seriously ?

And a second strike where it really wasn't wanted... I feel for Joe.

I did say before tea tomorrow. Might be before lunch...

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Post by alfie Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:06 pm

Do think you fellows could have held out for that last seven overs without my help !

Not expecting much company in the morning. Except you , of course , PJ... Think you might be celebrating early...


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