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England's Summer of Cricket 2023, Featuring The Ashes

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Post by king_carlos Thu 20 Jul 2023, 2:22 pm

First topic message reminder :

50 up for Mo at an absolutely vital moment.  clap clap

A fortuitous way to get there with Cummins not picking it up. It frankly looked like he wasn't moving well chasing back for it either.

Starc back on which I think slows how key a period the Aussies know this is. He's looked their best bowler today.

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Post by alfie Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:09 pm

Into the lead with a Crawley six ! Nice way to get to 184 too...

Totally agree with compelling and rich about the desirable game plan : hope Stokes does too. Much rather bowl in overcast conditions as this pitch itself gives the bowlers nothing.

And runs are coming just so easily now it would be nuts to stop the flow.

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:19 pm

Think I'd probably just save myself and Starc for the Oval at this point in the series if I was Cummins
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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:20 pm

Green ends the fun, Crawley 11 short of his double hundred. Mega innings in the series though
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Post by alfie Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:21 pm

Ah now...Zac drags an innocuous ball on to his bails and falls for a magnificent 189 ...

Pity he missed his 200 but what an innings !

336/3 . Some relief for Australia, who have looked very ragged lately .

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Post by compelling and rich Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:21 pm

Crawley gone, only way I could see an early declaration is if we get a little bit too aggressive tonight and lose a few quickly and the bowlers get in. But while we’ve got batters still in keep going!

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Post by JDizzle Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:24 pm

JDizzle wrote:I will be heading to Old Trafford tomorrow - and I’ve never seen England win a day of Test cricket in person so I apologise in advance for the 50-5 start that is to come. Just want to see Wood bowl a few overs a 95 tomorrow morning though…

No worries gents.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:42 pm

GSC wrote:Green ends the fun, Crawley 11 short of his double hundred. Mega innings in the series though
Crawley is now leading run scorer in the series!

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Post by Duty281 Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:43 pm

Wow, that was a real low one! Root denied a century he seemed to be cruising towards.

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:44 pm

Not sure Australia will be delighted to see that one keep low.

England's surge just being checked.
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Post by king_carlos Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:45 pm

Root gone to an absolute grubber. Brutal for Root but from England's place in the game that variable bounce isn't bad to see.

Jesus. Seeing that replay and it's barely left the ground!!

Worth noting that some forecasts have improved significantly for Sunday. Saturday is still looking dire though.

Just keep batting IMO. Short of an alarming collapse even by England's standards they should be looking for 500 minimum from here.

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Post by alfie Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:47 pm

What happened then ? I leave the room for two minutes and I see Root is gone ? Bowled...oh it really kept low ! That is interesting...

All the more reason to bat on and get as big a lead as possible if the pitch is going to start playing tricks ! Only leading by forty so work to do yet...

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:52 pm

Pitch is just starting to look a lot more threatening
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:53 pm

Crawley has rightly been under the kosh for a while now but and I don't think this is hyperbole, there are very few openers in my lifetime capable of an innings like that.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:58 pm

Starc hurt in more ways than one. England have a very real chance of winning the 5th test, because Australia's bowling attack is falling apart (the loss of Lyon cannot be overstated), so it'll be massively frustrating if the rain denies them here.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:06 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Crawley has rightly been under the kosh for a while now but and I don't think this is hyperbole, there are very few openers in my lifetime capable of an innings like that.
As Rob Key said, "look at a players best not their worst".

Crawley is the upside and downside of that. His worst is woeful and he's so inconsistent. His best can be staggering though.

Specifically openers in Tests off the top of my head I can think of:

Rohit. Hayden. Gayle. Sehwag. Warner. Trescothick. McCullum himself. Jayasuriya. Iqbal.

All better players than Crawley overall but on his frustratingly rare day he's capable of the sort of innings not many can play.

I'd add Shubman Gill as an honourable mention as I absolutely think he can and will play that sort of innings opening in Tests over his career.

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:09 pm

20 minutes left, looks like England will have some work to do tomorrow
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Post by alfie Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:10 pm

Runs have dried up as the ball has been playing a few tricks and the Aussies have reverted to more "normal" bowling tactics. Lead only 47 and Brook just 8 from 26 balls...unusual !

Really need to stretch the lead because it appears batting will get trickier as the game goes on.

Why is Starc fielding ? Ah that's sensible , off for treatment.

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:11 pm

If we had rain on the first two days we'd play on past 6.30. but with the prospect of losing two days to rain we'll go off
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Post by king_carlos Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Crawley has rightly been under the kosh for a while now but and I don't think this is hyperbole, there are very few openers in my lifetime capable of an innings like that.
As Rob Key said, "look at a players best not their worst".

Crawley is the upside and downside of that. His worst is woeful and he's so inconsistent. His best can be staggering though.

Specifically openers in Tests off the top of my head I can think of:

Rohit. Hayden. Gayle. Sehwag. Warner. Trescothick. McCullum himself. Jayasuriya. Iqbal.

All better players than Crawley overall but on his frustratingly rare day he's capable of the sort of innings not many can play.

I'd add Shubman Gill as an honourable mention as I absolutely think he can and will play that sort of innings opening in Tests over his career.
Thought I'd just add that there of course the likes of Barry Richards and Gordon Greenidge who are astonishing openers who scored very quickly but I was thinking of batters I saw live myself.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:15 pm

GSC wrote:If we had rain on the first two days we'd play on past 6.30. but with the prospect of losing two days to rain we'll go off

Yeah, that can always be the frustrating nature of when the rain falls during a test. Plus, if we had rain on the first couple of days then England would be clearer in their minds about how best to try and win the game, rather than the uncertainty of what is going to be missed over the next three days.

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:22 pm

Stokes and Brooks seem content to take this into tomorrow. Perhaps Sunday will be better than we think? Definitely aim to bat once from here
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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:24 pm

Flip side is Australia will have 8/9 overs tomorrow until the new ball
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Post by alfie Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:32 pm

Fair to say unless you can get at least some play on Sunday , there is no way to get a result. So have to assume that there will be extended hours available on that day..if the weather allows Wink

But yes , annoying you can't "make up time" in advance when you are looking at a guaranteed Saturday washout !

Just 79 overs bowled today. When spinners ain't around , over rates are abysmal...

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:33 pm

Strong day for England, in a strong position taking the weather out of the equation. But looking a struggle to force a result at the moment
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Post by alfie Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:33 pm

So that's it for the day. Leading by 67. Ready for a thrash in the morning...

England in the ascendancy , I think we can say Wink

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Post by Duty281 Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:41 pm

Lead of 67 at stumps. Very interesting day.

Australia are in big trouble. Their bowling attack has fallen apart. Hazlewood has never been 100%. Starc is troubled with his hamstring and shoulder. Cummins appears to have hit a wall, from the dual burdens of bowling and captaincy. One physical, the other mental, both impeding him. And Lyon is already out. That's their first choice bowling attack either out or doubtful, presenting huge problems for the 5th test, with the batting not generating sizable returns to bail them out. But it'll be OK for them if they get out with a draw here.

Current weather forecast:

Friday - Met Office and BBC pretty sure there'll be at least some rain in the morning session, but it should definitely be dry from 14:00 onwards, with overcast conditions for the rest of the day.
Saturday - Looks nailed on to be a complete washout. The rain will be constant from the very early hours of Saturday, so no gaps for any play.
Sunday - Met Office forecasting a low to moderate chance of rain throughout the day, with some sunshine. BBC going for a complete washout.

Based on that I'd gamble and declare overnight, hope to bowl Australia out for 150 and chase down the rest by stumps on Friday. But I think bowling Australia out for that cheap will be incredibly tough on this, despite that low one we saw that got Root.

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Post by VTR Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:46 pm

Where's the guy who always used to post that Crawley was too tall to be an opener?

I mean generally Crawley has been utterly pants, but that was very good today

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Post by GSC Thu 20 Jul 2023, 6:55 pm

Think I'd probably try and thrash another 100-150 and put Australia back in. It's getting worse to bat on but it's not there yet. Probably gamble on getting some play over the weekend in horrible batting conditions over hoping a long batting lineup capitulates on a fairly docile pitch.

Think if a declaration was imminent Stokes and Brooks would've gone at it tonight
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Post by KP_fan Thu 20 Jul 2023, 7:03 pm

I was away for a period when Crawley was about 80 something and returned when Root had just fallen
The scorecard suggested that a massacre had occurred in that period Shocked

For a bowling side to allow that to happen....you have to be a vegetable.
Cummins is at best not the most spontaneous captain on his feet. He needs an interval break and think tank ( coach, Smith etal) to give him the script until the next break.
And now he is not even at his best...looks tired.....5th test in a row.....so even slower in thinking in the midst of a sudden open arm firing.

On the other side take nothing away from Eng....they are fresh and clear headed in their mind....Stokes keeps them focused and fearless.
And the real power of Bazballing is when limited technique averaging 30 something type batters like Crawley, Duckett, Brooks go bazballing they deliver big spikes Duckett ~190 runs in T2 and Crawley's here.
( Duckett will end up averaging 30 something over a period of time....I think and brooks perhaps touching 40)
If the game goes all the way Eng will win hands down....so Aus has to hope for and leverage rain.
Regroup tomm
Slow down Eng....bowling one-side and bumper barrage....they have 4 live seamers still.....even with Starck off.
Use a seamer at one end and Manus / head at the other.

Beauty of Test cricket is that there is still a recourse for Aus to be intelligent and maneuver  a draw here..
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Post by msp83 Thu 20 Jul 2023, 8:06 pm

Think Australia limited the damage towards the end of the day through those quick strikes. Brook didn't look at his hitting best, and Stokes was content to take his time and get in, certainly the right approach for me, considering the kind of damage a set Stokes can inflict tomorrow. But if he goes early and YJB doesn't find form, England's plans of batting only once could be badly hit. That'll give Australia a way back in and they bat to 10 as we know. If rain's going to be decisive the next 3 days, think Australia managed just about enough to hang in there.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 20 Jul 2023, 11:07 pm

Agree with GSC’s roadmap per se - slim chance we might get a full day tomorrow, albeit probably a delayed start looking at the forecast.
Go out try to thrash 150 in 20-25 overs in a session

Then just a case of hoping you can bowl them out in likely favourable overheads, and pray we can get enough play in over Saturday/Sunday.

Incredible knock by Crawley and Root, ably supported by Moeen today. Bazball at its finest

Aussies totally lost the plot really, and will be thanking the weather gods that they’re likely to get out of this with a draw. As Duty noted though, the seamers are on their last legs it seems, if Starc is hurt for the final test that would be a massive blow
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Post by alfie Fri 21 Jul 2023, 2:46 am

Those weather forecasts are a bit grim ! Otherwise England would really fancy this - especially with a few balls misbehaving late in the day.

The fact that Stokes and Brook were pretty cautious late on suggests they want to maximise their lead tomorrow - have to remember the innings at Lord's folded up pretty quickly from a seemingly dominant position when Australia came out fresh on the third morning. Feels a bit different this time perhaps : bowlers all looked very tired and Starc certainly carrying injuries ; but this series has surely taught us that nothing should be taken for granted.

Ideal scenario for England would be (a) mostly full day of play (b) quick extension of the lead in the morning (150 ? More ?) and (c) serious inroads under cloudy sky in the afternoon. Would still require some time on Sunday but I honestly can't see any way they could wrap this up on Friday so just have to hope the rain is less than totally relentless.

Pitch seemed flat as all day - until that last hour ;  but you wouldn't think it will turn into a minefield overnight so Australia with their deep batting list will be fairly confident of avoiding any sudden collapse. Probably all means the draw is the likeliest result whatever happens on resumption. However : this series has provided so many twists and turns that you just never know...

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Post by alfie Fri 21 Jul 2023, 3:03 am

Looking back at the day : astonishing innings from Crawley. He had a bit of fortune with a few inside edges , but generally was in command : lot of those lovely drives on the off , glides to leg - and some lusty blows over the ropes (surprised to read he'd hardly ever hit sixes before in Tests : can that be right ?)
Moeen too : excellent knock. Just what he was put in at three to do : sound in defence , scored briskly ; and resisted the hook/pull trap ... until he didn't Smile  Set things up for Root.

Root back to his best after a lean couple of games. Brook was strangely scratchy though which does suggest batting wasn't so easy late on.

Not much joy for Australia. Starc's injury a blow : surprised he was able to keep coming back after the initial obvious twinges and even more that he wasn't kept on ice instead of fielding as long as he did. Cummins didn't have a great day : 16 overs without a maiden and four no balls not like him. Hazlewood and Green the most economical (a low bar on this day !) and the lack of a proper spinner hurt.

But I thought they really were taken aback by England's aggression . Not for the first time in the series in truth - I reckon they've been a bit rattled a few times , though the game situation has lessened the effect in earlier matches. This time it really seemed they were devoid of plans and inspiration and even the fielding became rather ragged. The overnight break will give them a chance to regroup so not ruling out a very much better display on Friday morning.

Another exciting day - have been a few of them in this series already ! Can we hope for more excitement and not a damp and dismal soggy end to this Test Match ? Prayers offered to weather gods...

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Post by GSC Fri 21 Jul 2023, 8:03 am

Aye, I think Cummins in particular looked pretty frazzled yesterday, ended up over bowling himself trying for a breakthrough and in general Australia just followed the ball in the field. Ended up with Smith resuming his usual role as pseudo captain in the field.

Agree that Australia really don't want to see this series come down to the final test with what's left of their bowling attack. Hazlewood kept it tight yesterday at least but Cummins looks like he's drained the tank over a long summer and it might be a better plan to wrap Starc in cotton wool and get him to the Oval. Boland and Murphy on the sidelines but Boland's been ineffective and clearly Murphy isn't trusted as the mainline spinner.

Neither team has really managed to score off the old ball in this game. Might suggest England are hoping the new ball will fly for them
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Post by VTR Fri 21 Jul 2023, 8:13 am

I reckon Australia might not take the new ball. If there's around 120 overs left in this game at best, they can't really win it, so keeping an old ball seems to give them the best chance of the draw they need

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Post by GSC Fri 21 Jul 2023, 8:19 am

I think they probably will, their best scenario to me is rolling England for a lead under 100, and taking a lead and wickets in hand into the weekend
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Post by Duty281 Fri 21 Jul 2023, 8:26 am

Quite a bit of rain around Old Trafford this morning, but it may pass through soon and allow for an on-time start.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri 21 Jul 2023, 8:44 am

Duty281 wrote:Quite a bit of rain around Old Trafford this morning, but it may pass through soon and allow for an on-time start.

I see the draw has shortened with the bookies overnight, forecast worsened for the weekend?
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Post by Duty281 Fri 21 Jul 2023, 8:50 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Quite a bit of rain around Old Trafford this morning, but it may pass through soon and allow for an on-time start.

I see the draw has shortened with the bookies overnight, forecast worsened for the weekend?

Might just be people putting money on it, forecast seems the same. But, of course, the closer we get to Sunday without the forecast altering then the more likely it is that the rain will hit.

I see the forecast for the Oval test isn't especially brilliant either. Sad

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Post by compelling and rich Fri 21 Jul 2023, 9:19 am

Absolutely p1ssing it down here at the moment

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Post by VTR Fri 21 Jul 2023, 9:47 am

Not good news. Think England could end up regretting that First Test, really was one that they had won two or three times but still managed to lose. I won't mention the ridiculous day one declaration again either. Or maybe I just did

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Post by Duty281 Fri 21 Jul 2023, 9:52 am

Rain has stopped, covers coming off and it's all brightening up.

Probably going to have a clear day now this rain has passed, although there is a slight chance of some more rain in the afternoon. Frustratingly, we'll only see 80-85 overs of play today even if it is dry from here.

England batting on is just wasting time. They need to try and win it today. Declare right away and hope to bowl Australia out in 65/70 overs.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:00 am

Even if it does end up being a 3 day Test I still think their best chance is batting for around an hour all guns blazing then hoping for a miracle bowling them out for 150ish without a chase.

If they declare overnight then any chase will be in far worse batting conditions than yesterday and under far more pressure than they would be this morning. Hence they'd get those runs slower than they should by batting on now.

I think they have to plan as if they'll get some cricket on Sunday even if Saturday looks like a complete washout.

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Post by VTR Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:00 am

I think if England get a move on batting then it's not a waste of time, because they'll be effectively chasing down any target in advance, if it even ever gets to that stage. Lead is only 67, and I'm sure none of us have ever seen Australia bowled out for 60, so get that lead up to 150 asap

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Post by king_carlos Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:04 am

Sunday has improved again on metoffice it's worth saying. Their forecast for Sunday looks very similar to todays in fact. I know metoffice is what a lot of county groundsman used a few years ago when I attended a decent amount of county games in person. Whether that's due to superstition or reason is a different discussion with British weather forecasts!

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Post by alfie Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:05 am

Why declare now ? Not going to bowl Australia out for 100 so the runs you don't get now will have to be made in a second innings , on a presumably trickier pitch , in probably worse batting conditions ...so you just throw away the advantage you currently hold.

Surely you attempt to push the lead up quickly to something more intimidating and then try to skittle them ? If you can't bowl them out in the overs that end up available you aren't going to win by giving up on a proper lead , are you ? Not as if it is one of those situations where you have a 200 lead already and are wondering if another hundred runs might be wasted. Besides , once the England innings is done , they can dictate the over rate to an extent with their own bowling tactics so that theoretical 65-70 overs more likely to be achieved than if Australia were bowling in the evening...

Seriously don't think there is any chance of finishing the match today whatever they do. Will just have to push on quick as they can and pray for some more time between "showers" at the weekend.

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Post by GSC Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:06 am

Declaring makes sense in that it gives England more time at Australia today but I still think rolling them on this pitch is a pretty remote possibility, and then adding on the time England will need to knock off runs, it probably takes longer overall.

I still think the most likely route to winning is try and smash the lead towards 200, hope the pitch gets worse and there's cloud cover around and have them 4-5 down by the close still behind. Then just hope there's an hour or so play possible over the weekend and the ball is moving all over the shop in those conditions. Try and bat once and hope the weather gods are generous imo.

Either way it looks a pretty big ask
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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:07 am

Declaring now and hoping to bowl Australia out also means giving their pace attack valuable recovery time.

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Post by GSC Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:12 am

Plus I'd rather take runs out of the equation and be free to attack rather than having to balance restricting the run rate to keep the chase down
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Post by king_carlos Fri 21 Jul 2023, 10:18 am

GSC wrote:Plus I'd rather take runs out of the equation and be free to attack rather than having to balance restricting the run rate to keep the chase down

Absolutely key if they want Mo to be able to give it a rip. The pitch was taking turn on D1. Mo will go for runs but he can get the ball to dip, drift and rip.

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