Thursday, 7 August 2008

South Africa in Harm's Way

Steve Harmison and James Anderson were able to wreak havoc on the top-order of the South African batsmen today, as South Africa slumped from 102-1 to finish all out for 194. After previous tests seeing partnerships last 200+ runs, England made a huge improvement in the field. The responsibility now lies with the English batsmen backing up the efforts of the bowlers.

Harmison's comeback to the Test side was almost too good to be true as he ran in to bowl to Ashwell Prince on a hat-trick. All five English bowlers managed to get on the scoreboard after tea, with Monty Panesar and Stuart Broad also getting in on the action.

As the sun shone down on the Oval, England looked in the field like a side fighting to ensure South Africa don't go home with a whitewash under their belts.

Morne Morkel was so disorientated after being dismissed by Stuart Broad that he walked off the field to the Groundsmen's shed (perhaps he was trying to hide from his team).

England inning's started with a blip as Andrew Strauss was once again out cheaply, giving Ian Bell, with his endearing sneery-Elvis lip, his first chance to try batting at number three since the end of Michael Vaughan. Strauss' wicket, unfortunately, allowed South Africa back in to the game that had arguably been mostly England's. But Bell and Cook batted well to see off the end of the day's play, leaving England on 49-1.

Nightwatchgirl also realises with hindsight that her skills as a meteorologist are, like her weather predictions, utter rubbish (see previous post) as the sun shone almost constantly for the rest of the day.


Hat-trick - three wickets in three balls. In a row. Extremely rare occurence.
Partnerships - between batsmen at the crease. The bigger the better.
Whitewash - To lose a whole series without winning one Test.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a day's proper cricket from the English team - after a long time.

It confirms my suspicions that there was more to the poor run than meets the eye. I am a firm believer of player psychology to think that it was not just loss of player form.

I am really pleased for Harmison. IMO he did not receive optimum support that he should have got. He has fought his gremlins by himself and found his way back into the team. Hopefully this will augment his self-confidence.

BTW, I like the titles of your blogs. Took me a while for the puns to sink in.