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Rest of the World

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eirebilly_01
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Post by alfie Sun 18 Dec 2022, 6:45 am

First topic message reminder :

Blimey...just flicked back to see Australia making a meal of chasing 34 to win. Warner another fail (is that a strong hint that his time is all but done ?)

But also Smith Khawaja and Head gone...29/4 and extras has made 14 of them !

Only need five more so no problem...but SA might wonder what might have been if they'd been able to produce a bit more resistance in that awful second innings.

Supports kingraf's pitch assessment , I guess Smile

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Post by Duty281 Tue 03 Jan 2023, 10:36 am

Shocking from Imam, running out Pakistan's best player.

Hosts in a bit of a jam now. 350 behind still

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Post by VTR Tue 03 Jan 2023, 11:01 am

Pakistan are a team with zero confidence at the moment. 100 run last wicket stand conceded, ridiculous runout. It's a lot like England in the final year of Joe Root as captain

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Post by Duty281 Tue 03 Jan 2023, 11:26 am

I think Shakeel has minus confidence. 0 off 39 and scared to play a shot.

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Post by KP_fan Tue 03 Jan 2023, 11:35 am

VTR wrote:Pakistan are a team with zero confidence at the moment. 100 run last wicket stand conceded, ridiculous runout. It's a lot like England in the final year of Joe Root as captain

Rest of the World - Page 4 Fliqsa10
A picture of this Run-Out that sums-up Pak team
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Post by Duty281 Tue 03 Jan 2023, 12:19 pm

154/3 at stumps, still trailing by 295.

Odd innings. NZ have done little with the ball on a friendly batting surface, but Pakistan chose to start their reply by batting like it was an ODI, and promptly lost two wickets to daft shots. Babar never looked like getting out until Imam decided to sell him down the Indus. Shakeel then came out and decided that, even though it was day two, it's never too early to bat for a draw. Maybe he's looking after his average, which is currently north of 60?

Advantage NZ, but they'll have to work hard for these last seven wickets. Pakistan need Imam to go well beyond 150. Occasional low bounce and some turn present, though it's unlikely the wicket will deteriorate much, if previous tests here are anything to go by.

And don't forget - the third test of the evenly-matched Australia v South Africa series begins in just under 12 hours.

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Post by alfie Tue 03 Jan 2023, 12:26 pm

Good resistance from Imam and Shakeel (even if it did take him 42 balls to get off the mark !) so they've made it through only three down. Still a long way behind.

Do wonder if NZ will be a bit disappointed not to have made further inroads , especially after being gifted that run out. We know the Pakistan tail is a bit flimsy ; but they still have a lot of work to get to it and the conditions for batting really don't seem too bad , for all the dry patches. Guess we will see tomorrow - either "moving day" : or the day that condemns this to another very likely draw. Think NZ need to take those seven wickets (with at least some kind of lead) to give themselves time to press for victory. Might not be that easy.

Still rather be in their shoes. As KP_fan says , Pakistan are quite good at shooting themselves in the foot whenever things start to look good for them...


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Post by alfie Tue 03 Jan 2023, 12:39 pm

Do I get the feeling Duty is less than thrilled at the prospect of watching Australia demolish the SA batting order again ?

Not to worry : the good old Sydney New Year weather might limit the action a bit over the next few days Smile

But although this series is done as a contest I am interested to see what Australia do with their selections - and how those selections measure up , with the tour of India in mind. Lot of talk about two spinners . Can't help feeling Agar would be more the "bowler picked for his batting" though - if he gets the nod. Still wouldn't be surprised to see just three quicks and Lyon , with Renshaw having a go as a bat.

Lord knows what SA will do : not a lot in their "spares" cupboard , I'm afraid.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 03 Jan 2023, 6:56 pm

alfie wrote:Do I get the feeling Duty is less than thrilled at the prospect of watching Australia demolish the SA batting order again ?

Not to worry : the good old Sydney New Year weather might limit the action a bit over the next few days Smile

But although this series is done as a contest I am interested to see what Australia do with their selections - and how those selections measure up , with the tour of India in mind. Lot of talk about two spinners . Can't help feeling Agar would be more the "bowler picked for his batting" though - if he gets the nod. Still wouldn't be surprised to see just three quicks and Lyon , with Renshaw having a go as a bat.

Lord knows what SA will do : not a lot in their "spares" cupboard , I'm afraid.

No, not at all! It's going to be a very exciting test. Lots of twists and turns. South Africa might even reach 250 this time.

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Post by Galted Tue 03 Jan 2023, 7:16 pm

Duty281 wrote:
alfie wrote:Do I get the feeling Duty is less than thrilled at the prospect of watching Australia demolish the SA batting order again ?

Not to worry : the good old Sydney New Year weather might limit the action a bit over the next few days Smile

But although this series is done as a contest I am interested to see what Australia do with their selections - and how those selections measure up , with the tour of India in mind. Lot of talk about two spinners . Can't help feeling Agar would be more the "bowler picked for his batting" though - if he gets the nod. Still wouldn't be surprised to see just three quicks and Lyon , with Renshaw having a go as a bat.

Lord knows what SA will do : not a lot in their "spares" cupboard , I'm afraid.

No, not at all! It's going to be a very exciting test. Lots of twists and turns. South Africa might even reach 250 this time.

At 125 runs per innings you might just be right.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 3:29 am

Going to have to wait a while to see SA bat struggle collapse...

Australia are batting and comfortably placed at 134/1 off 41 nearly an hour after lunch.

Mixed bag really.  Warner out early today - got a bit too keen to carry on from Melbourne and slashed to slip off the excellent Nortje...and Khawaja and Labuschagne were largely watchful up to lunch against some disciplined bowling , if not particularly threatened. Harmer came on late and troubled Khawaja , but they dined safely at 68/1.

But since lunch : well taking Harmer off early and leaving the ineffective Maharaj on mystified me. Rabada bowled some pies , Labuschagne dined out - raced away at five plus per over... Still no Nortje since the break. Oh , PS : here he is now , after 14 overs...

Had one big incident : Jansen appeared to have Marnus caught low down by Harmer at slip. But he wasn't walking ; and a soft signal of out overturned after a long delay by TV ump Kettleborough - to the bemusement of the SA players ; who admittedly had a somewhat biased viewpoint !
It was a tough one. Like a lot of low catches I reckon the TV picture made it look suspicious , despite looking OK front on , live. Impossible to be certain ; but Mark Waugh did question whether there was enough clear evidence to override the on-field call. I tend to agree - but then I normally side with the bowlers anyway Smile
SA will feel aggrieved. Perhaps with some justification ; but they have to put it behind them and keep working.

Light has closed in a bit now and they've been taken off at 138/1. (Khawaja 51 , Labuschagne 73 from only marginally more deliveries) Batsmen might be happy as with Nortje and Jansen asking questions in less than sunny conditions batting has been trickier in the last few minutes. SA really need a break when they resume or they will be chasing a big total...with Australia batting very deep (Renshaw at six , Agar at eight) if a bit light on for bowling with just the two pace men in Cummins and Hazlewood. Boland can consider himself unlucky - and his omission will further fuel Victorian fans' suspicions of Sydney-centric Test selection Smile

Hopefully we will be back on soon...

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 4:35 am

Still waiting. Rain stopped , covers coming off...or are they ?

Oh the joy of watching ground staff and umpires standing around staring at the sky/grass...

Definitely looks brighter (not exactly sunny !) now so expect action soon. Main covers off. Crossed fingers

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 4:47 am

Frustration squared... No more rain : but Light Meter Says No so we still have no play...

Ah well , Karachi starting soon.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 5:54 am

So Pakistan proceeding steadily to 182/3...and shock : resuming at SCG !

Bit brighter so SA can use their seamers. Had nearly given up on play here ...

Jansen and Nortje resumed. Not many slips though.

Meanwhile Imam has fallen for 83...toe of the bat to a Southee ball he could have left...

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 6:07 am

Terrific delivery from Nortje ! Fast , lifting and moving...no one can play those without a bit of luck...Catches the edge and this time Labuschagne has to go for an excellent 79.

He will be doubly disappointed as the umpires are now calling them off again for bad light even as Smith walks in !

SA needed that. And Nortje deserved it - he has been head and shoulders above the rest again thumbsup

147/2 . Not sure when we will be back...

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 7:26 am

Not getting back at all , as it happens. Weather wins that round... early start tomorrow.

In Karachi , Sarfaraz and Shakeel have batted steadily to lunch at 224/4. Neutral session ? Only one wicket ; but the scoreboard didn't run away and a new ball is due in six. The fact that we've had seven of 15 sessions for just 14 wickets suggests a result is hardly inevitable ; but I still have some hopes for this one. NZ need some wickets this afternoon though.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 04 Jan 2023, 7:39 am

There are catches by Neser in BBL ( given out by TV umpire) and by Harmer in the test match today( given N.O by TV umpire) doing rounds on twitter

both in different ways symptomatic of rules not keeping up with the evolution of game

The point missed by rules in first case is that Neser had relayed one full cycle of the ball to himself  whilst being  completely outside boundary

and Umpire overturning Labuschagne c Harmer type situations in 2nd case have become a charade & you hear all of following arguments simultaneously

"The finger is  underneath the ball"
"the ball bounced on the ground before the fielder put his finger underneath"

" The fielder &  keeper look confident" Very Happy

"If he is appealing he won't be lying" Very Happy  Very Happy

The fact is that technology has not evolved enough to catch such a 3 dimensional situation thru 2D images on TV
& hence we should leave it to the judgement of the on-field umpire who saw the 3D situation in real time from the ground level
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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 7:41 am

While waiting for the rain to stop , I was looking at the Future Tours programme... Really appalled at what SA are signed up for : not a single three or more Test Series until [2026 !

Bizarre. I get the financial aspects but surely if they want to kill off the long form in one of the "established" homes of test Cricket , this seems a good way to go about it. They hardly play red ball at all now until 2024. Won't help develop the new bats they need to remain a power in the game. Sad.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 04 Jan 2023, 7:51 am

alfie wrote:While waiting for the rain to stop , I was looking at the Future Tours programme... Really appalled at what SA are signed up for : not a single three or more Test Series until [2026 !

Bizarre. I get the financial aspects but surely if they want to kill off the long form in one of the "established" homes of test Cricket , this seems a good way to go about it. They hardly play red ball at all now until 2024. Won't help develop the new bats they need to remain a power in the game. Sad.

I think white ball game is now developing the way red ball cricket is played ( or will be played)
Eng has shown it....and sooner the remaining teams will follow same styles
and those having shown potential in white ball formats especially T20s will find their way into test cricket
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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 7:52 am

KP_fan wrote:There are catches by Neser in BBL ( given out by TV umpire) and by Harmer in the test match today( given N.O by TV umpire) doing rounds on twitter

both in different ways symptomatic of rules not keeping up with the evolution of game

The point missed by rules in first case is that Neser had relayed one full cycle of the ball to himself  whilst being  completely outside boundary

and Umpire overturning Labuschagne c Harmer type situations in 2nd case have become a charade & you hear all of following arguments simultaneously

"The finger is  underneath the ball"
"the ball bounced on the ground before the fielder put his finger underneath"

" The fielder &  keeper look confident" Very Happy

"If he is appealing he won't be lying" Very Happy  Very Happy

The fact is that technology has not evolved enough to catch such a 3 dimensional situation thru 2D images on TV
& hence we should leave it to the judgement of the on-field umpire who saw the 3D situation in real time from the ground level

Agree with all this. I know the "low catch" thing is always going to provoke debate because of the limitations of the TV view ; but if it were made a firmer rule that the on field umpire's call was the default option it would maybe be fairer for all. Batsmen could review , no ? And then an obvious "howler" would be reversed...

As for the Neser "catch" . It was technically a valid dismissal because of a poorly worded amendment to the laws. Pretty sure it was never intended that this exact situation would arise - spectacular , clever : but ridiculous really as the boundary is there for a purpose , no ? They really need to change this rule ! Throw it up and jump back , knock it to a teammate , sure. But toss it over the rope , hop around outside the field of play and then jump up to knock it back in so you can regather ? Not a fair method of dismissal , whatever the (current) law book says. Hopefully a change will come soon !

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Post by VTR Wed 04 Jan 2023, 9:02 am

The Neser dismissal looks ridiculous, it's like a child skipping around playing catch with themselves. I hope the laws change as I never want to see anything like it again!

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 04 Jan 2023, 9:44 am

I'm no betting man but I'm still putting my money now on Blundell for Stumping of 2023.

Just try and see his dismissal of Sarfraz off Mitchell. Excellent leg side take and quick hands, especially after being behind the stumps so long. Kudos to the third umpire as well for diligently exploring all the camera angles.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:03 am

Tea in Karachi on day 3 with the hosts on 337/5, trailing by 112. 

Looking like it could be another close one.

Shakeel still there on 101 but Sarfraz's dismissal shortly before the break has probably put the visitors in front by a short head. At least for now ...

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 04 Jan 2023, 10:17 am

VTR wrote:The Neser dismissal looks ridiculous, it's like a child skipping around playing catch with themselves. I hope the laws change as I never want to see anything like it again!

I still think the umpires got it wrong;

Rule 19.4.2 under the MCC Laws of Cricket states, “The ball in play is to be regarded as being grounded beyond the boundary if a fielder, grounded beyond the boundary as in 19.5, touches the ball; a fielder, after catching the ball within the boundary, becomes grounded beyond the boundary while in contact with the ball, before completing the catch.”

It wasn't a completed catch before the ball goes beyond the boundary and the law does state catching the ball within the boundary which he didn't. The moment he initially releases the ball, it resets.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 11:55 am

Wonderful slip catch by Bracewell to get Salman - when it looked as if Pakistan were going to bat the day out just five down.

385/6 , knowing Pakistan , could yet fold up . But you'd think even their flimsy tail might survive on this...

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:02 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
VTR wrote:The Neser dismissal looks ridiculous, it's like a child skipping around playing catch with themselves. I hope the laws change as I never want to see anything like it again!

I still think the umpires got it wrong;

Rule 19.4.2 under the MCC Laws of Cricket states, “The ball in play is to be regarded as being grounded beyond the boundary if a fielder, grounded beyond the boundary as in 19.5, touches the ball; a fielder, after catching the ball within the boundary, becomes grounded beyond the boundary while in contact with the ball, before completing the catch.”

It wasn't a completed catch before the ball goes beyond the boundary and the law does state catching the ball within the boundary which he didn't. The moment he initially releases the ball, it resets.

The trouble is the wording - He wasn't "grounded" in the instant he knocked the ball back. The absurdity being that he'd been "grounded" before he jumped - which obviously wasn't what the law was meant to cover. But they need to make it explicit. The umpires were correct by the letter of the law - but (in this case) the law is an ass Smile

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:04 pm

Latham dropped a fairly simple one that would have got NZ into the tail 13 overs quicker.

And Hasan Ali has now played some dumb cricket to gift his wicket. The last three for Pakistan are all pretty much number 11s, so NZ might be thinking of wrapping the innings up tonight.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:05 pm

Meanwhile , Conway takes a totally non-controversial boundary throw up catch to see off Hasan Ali and Pakistan slump to 393/7...

Collapse incoming ? Or will someone stay with Shakeel ?

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:09 pm

alfie wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
VTR wrote:The Neser dismissal looks ridiculous, it's like a child skipping around playing catch with themselves. I hope the laws change as I never want to see anything like it again!

I still think the umpires got it wrong;

Rule 19.4.2 under the MCC Laws of Cricket states, “The ball in play is to be regarded as being grounded beyond the boundary if a fielder, grounded beyond the boundary as in 19.5, touches the ball; a fielder, after catching the ball within the boundary, becomes grounded beyond the boundary while in contact with the ball, before completing the catch.”

It wasn't a completed catch before the ball goes beyond the boundary and the law does state catching the ball within the boundary which he didn't. The moment he initially releases the ball, it resets.

The trouble is the wording - He wasn't "grounded" in the instant he knocked the ball back. The absurdity being that he'd been "grounded" before he jumped - which obviously wasn't what the law was meant to cover. But they need to make it explicit. The umpires were correct by the letter of the law - but (in this case) the law is an ass Smile

To initiate a catch you need to be within the field of play which he wasn't.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:16 pm

Naseem can't stay anyway...397/8. Game moving on now !

And with balls virtually running along the ground the prospects of a result have increased quite a bit...

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:21 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
alfie wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
VTR wrote:The Neser dismissal looks ridiculous, it's like a child skipping around playing catch with themselves. I hope the laws change as I never want to see anything like it again!

I still think the umpires got it wrong;

Rule 19.4.2 under the MCC Laws of Cricket states, “The ball in play is to be regarded as being grounded beyond the boundary if a fielder, grounded beyond the boundary as in 19.5, touches the ball; a fielder, after catching the ball within the boundary, becomes grounded beyond the boundary while in contact with the ball, before completing the catch.”

It wasn't a completed catch before the ball goes beyond the boundary and the law does state catching the ball within the boundary which he didn't. The moment he initially releases the ball, it resets.

The trouble is the wording - He wasn't "grounded" in the instant he knocked the ball back. The absurdity being that he'd been "grounded" before he jumped - which obviously wasn't what the law was meant to cover. But they need to make it explicit. The umpires were correct by the letter of the law - but (in this case) the law is an ass Smile

To initiate a catch you need to be within the field of play which he wasn't.

I get what you are saying , Soul. But the definition of "catching" is ambiguous in this law. First part refers to "catching within the boundary" - and then , at the end , "completing the catch". So the first part cannot mean "a completed catch " - just a first grab. Otherwise none of these boundary throw , jump over and back , "catches " would be legal.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:22 pm

Nine now...good old Pakistan Tail Performance Smile

Moving Day after all...

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:23 pm

This looks like it's going to be a useful lead for NZ, with time left to force a result. Bracewell's top catch being a key moment.

Looks like the pitch is a proper test match pitch as well, the bounce becoming more erratic as the game moves into day four.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:35 pm

407/9 at the close. Abrar did well to last nine balls - so when the NZ openers do get their turn (with , presumably, a slender lead) they will have just ten minutes to prepare ... guildford will approve Smile

Shakeel a patient hundred to keep Pakistan afloat despite the late collapse. But NZ will be delighted to have taken those wickets as it should give them time to at least look to set a target.

Two days and a pitch that seems to be getting very low - though still slow. Fancy either side could win from here.

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Post by VTR Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:36 pm

alfie wrote:Nine now...good old Pakistan Tail Performance Smile

Moving Day after all...
Caddick, Giddens, Mullally and Tufnell might be better than this lot!

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Post by KP_fan Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:40 pm

NZ I sense with more than just the Nose in front.
They should get a 30 odd run lead & Pak will have to bat 4th when NZ have 3 spinners in their 11
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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:40 pm

Not really understanding the odds on this one - Pakistan 3/1, NZ 15/4. NZ are going to get a brief head start, most likely, in the third innings and it'll be Pakistan batting on the last day, on what looks as though will be tough batting conditions, so I wouldn't put Pakistan ahead of NZ at this juncture.

Don't want to jinx it, but might be a good finish to this one. Either Pakistan battling to save the test, or being left around 250-300 to win it.

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Post by alfie Wed 04 Jan 2023, 12:59 pm

Duty281 wrote:Not really understanding the odds on this one - Pakistan 3/1, NZ 15/4. NZ are going to get a brief head start, most likely, in the third innings and it'll be Pakistan batting on the last day, on what looks as though will be tough batting conditions, so I wouldn't put Pakistan ahead of NZ at this juncture.

Don't want to jinx it, but might be a good finish to this one. Either Pakistan battling to save the test, or being left around 250-300 to win it.

Tricky predicting how these pitches develop over the later days - but it really looks as if this one is going to get worse... So even a small NZ lead , plus Pakistan batting last , should make them favourites.

"Should". In any case , if I'm right about the pitch , a 250 lead would be practically impregnable...

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Post by dummy_half Wed 04 Jan 2023, 2:27 pm

VTR wrote:
alfie wrote:Nine now...good old Pakistan Tail Performance Smile

Moving Day after all...
Caddick, Giddens, Mullally and Tufnell might be better than this lot!

Right, I know if I have nightmares tonight, where the blame lies...

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Post by VTR Wed 04 Jan 2023, 2:59 pm

You can calm yourself down by recalling the safe waters of having Ronnie Irani above them at 7

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 04 Jan 2023, 3:59 pm

alfie wrote:407/9 at the close. Abrar did well to last nine balls - so when the NZ openers do get their turn (with , presumably, a slender lead) they will have just ten minutes to prepare ... guildford will approve Smile

Shakeel a patient hundred to keep Pakistan afloat despite the late collapse. But NZ will be delighted to have taken those wickets as it should give them time to at least look to set a target.

Two days and a pitch that seems to be getting very low - though still slow. Fancy either side could win from here.

I do.

Very much enjoying the ebb and flow of this Test. The final wicket century partnership between NZ's 10 and 11 the stand out for me so far. Even if that doesn't get the visitors a win, it's certainly made life a lot harder for the hosts.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jan 2023, 7:40 pm

https://www.thecricketer.com/Topics/countycricket/middlesex_talks_pcb_enter_pakistan_super_league.html

Middlesex want to join...the Pakistan Super League? Headscratch

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Post by Duty281 Wed 04 Jan 2023, 11:17 pm

Covers go on. Covers go off thirty seconds later. Covers go back on ten seconds later. I love this game. All for a light drizzle.

Was surprised to learn this is only Agar's fifth test, and his first at home.

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Post by Pal Joey Wed 04 Jan 2023, 11:58 pm

Duty281 wrote:Covers go on. Covers go off thirty seconds later. Covers go back on ten seconds later. I love this game. All for a light drizzle.

Was surprised to learn this is only Agar's fifth test, and his first at home.

Heck of a lot of rain here last night. I expect this will be another day of rain interruptions. Bit of a stiff breeze which blows rain away but then cues up the next rain band. It's a bit like a bowl of soup that's been left on the table for a few hours out there... neither warm nor cold. Tepid is probably the right word.

Strange match - the decision to bat seemed to be the right thing to do after winning the toss yesterday and is currently paying off but I'd have thought there'd be a bit more bounce on this pitch... and some spicy movement (just from the look and feel of local conditions) but it hasn't played that way at all. Seems a bit dull actually; placid even. I think these rain interruptions obviously make it harder to build the innings but apart from the one that surprised Labuschagne late yesterday I'm surprised Nortje hasn't had more luck. He's bowled very well again.

Jansen should have some advantage with his height and banging it in a bit harder and fuller (and the odd short one) but I don't know whether he has some sort of confidence issue? Always looks a bit p*d off - he needs to transfer that apparent 'anger' into his bowling and then surely his confidence will rise if he nabs a wicket or two.

Ok... I've now cued the collapse! Smile

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 12:48 am

No signs of collapse yet , PJ...Smith settled in now and Khawaja looks nailed on for a big hundred : he loves this ground !

Not much for any bowler in the track today. Still puzzled why Elgar doesn't want to use Harmer (just on now for his 6th over in 66) when he looked far more likely than Maharaj yesterday.

Sensing an Australia 480 , SA 220-260 (generous) , quick Australian 180/3 and a last day battle between weather and the collapsing SA line-up to see how long it takes for 3-0. Only thing that might mess with that is the unusual home team bowler set up : only two pace men and Lyon because I don't see Agar doing a lot of damage even if it does spin...

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 1:54 am

Brilliant session for Australia ! And for Khawaja in particular with another hundred : what a year he's had . Honestly thought his time had probably passed before he got the opportunity last year when Head had to drop out with Covid...and he took the opportunity with both hands. And took England's bowlers apart on his way to a stellar year of run making. Even being shuffled to the opening spot hasn't stopped him churning out runs. I guess tours of India and England might be tougher assignments ; but he's looked magnificent here thumbsup

Stating the obvious but SA desperately need a bunch of wickets with this new ball. On this very slow pitch , with these two well set , that is easier said than done. I think they will be chasing rather a lot : and even if it does look a bit of a road right now , you have to wonder if the frazzled SA batting group will be able to take advantage.

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 3:55 am

Might have to revise those predictions : as Smith passes a hundred , Khawaja reaches 150 - and the partnership is at 209 .

... though it won't go any further ! Smith immediately pats a simple catch back to Maharaj just a couple of balls later. 356/3. Talk about against the run of play...

I was about to suggest 600 might be the target ; might still be. Head is in good form and he's coming in against a rather drained attack. Not much celebrating for that wicket though it must be quite a relief.

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 4:37 am

394/3 at tea. Torment of SA bowlers to resume in twenty minutes...Khawaja nearing his Test best of 174. Short odds on a double .

This is just a bit too easy. Karachi at 4 , I think.

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 5:24 am

No rain in Karachi Smile

Only one run added by Pakistan. So NZ back in again with a lead of 41... but not a great start as an uncharacteristically loose shot from Conway sees Hamza go straight through him and gone for a duck...

5/1

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 6:13 am

His first Test wicket for four years appears to have inspired Hamza . He's bowled some very testing stuff to Williamson - but the Kiwis have survived the opening burst and now we see Abrar and Hasan Ali into the attack at 33/1

Pakistan burn a silly lbw review immediately. Might come to regret that given how many the umpires are getting wrong !

Meanwhile I see Head managed to find a way to get out in Sydney... so Australia are rocking at a mere 475/4 Very Happy

Thought he was a good bet for another century. Rain again so Khawaja still waiting to get the five more he needs for a double...

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Post by alfie Thu 05 Jan 2023, 6:18 am

They have to stop Abrar appealing ! Or Sarfaraz needs to have a word...they have burned another review for lbw : wasn't even close , again. Two lost in eight balls and they have only one left for the rest of the innings...

42/1

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