Saturday, 27 December 2008

Never Kick An Aussie

So there was South Africa, all puffed up after winning the first Test, all puffed up after a good first day yesterday, and then Australia decided that that was enough and they wanted to win this one.

South Africa finished on 198-7. Smith was seemingly the only batsman wanting to score runs, as McKenzie was out for a duck (England please take note: apparently he does get out, it was just you being rubbish), and apart from Duminy, no other South African batsmen scored over 30.

This puts Australia in a firm lead, and unless lightening strikes twice (Graeme, lightning conductor might help you out here), Australia will most likely level the series.

This is a good thing for the neutral observer. The final Test will most likely be the king of all games, where heroics are a necessity and mistakes of any kind will be regretted.

NWG may even try and stay up and watch.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Hayden's Christmas Hangover

Just as Nightwatchgirl was putting the turkey back in the fridge and insisting on another glass of wine (always a mistake), she realised that the cricket world had not abandoned her. The cricket world had provided another Test match to watch and she was grateful.

The second Test between Australia and South Africa has not disappointed. NWG watched Hayden get out again (is this the end for him?), and then was forced to stop imagining what a Christmas in Australia was like (oh to be warm again) and go to bed.

But that didn't stop Ponting or Katich knocking around the ball, but it did stop Hussey (another duck, not the greatest Christmas present ever) and Australia will start tomorrow 280-6, with Michael Clarke (36) and Brett Lee trying to get a few more precious runs.

While England stuff themselves full of everything available, Australia and South Africa are living up to the hype (Aussies may not agree with that last statement).

It's a close contest; it's aggressive; and best of all England can't lose (for once).

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Pietersen Drinks Party

"What a lovely sight this is, Jessica, you've done so well with the Christmas decorations," KP said, gazing around the room in awe of all the flashing lights, and the ten foot tall Christmas tree, decorated with bats and cricket balls (part of the sponsoring deal).

"Thanks husband," Jessica giggled, she still couldn't get used to the fact that somehow she married the England captain.

Jessica and Rachel (Flintoff) were very competitive with each other, even down to the size of their sunglasses. While Rachel had a modelling contract with Asda, Jessica had managed to land a lucrative place on Dancing On Ice; a highlight for any celebrity: the thrill of broken bones and ice skates is often a combination many can't turn down (and the tour and possible part in Chicago). And while Rachel had to live down the sight of Freddy drunk and disorderly and falling off pedaloes, all Jessica had to cope with was being married to a South African who used to have a haircut similar to a badger.

"What time are the team coming over for the drinks party?" Asked KP. He had started a new tradition where the England captain must host the Christmas party for his team.

"In about 10 minutes," she replied, straightening the carpet to line up symmetrically with the sofa (she has a serious case of OCD).

The doorbell rang. Jessica opened the door and in poured the entire England set-up, physio and all.

That night was one for the history books. Matt and Ian spent twenty minutes trying to decide who was taller with Peter siding with Matt (big surprise), Ryan shouted at Monty for not buying him a present and Stuart cried when Steve told him Santa didn't exist. KP showed off by serving drinks with his left and right hand.

At the end of the night, KP and Jessica stood in their living room (featured in OK magazine) and surveyed the mess. Alastair had been sick in the fireplace. Owais had thrown a brick through the window because he wasn't invited and an unexpected phone call from Ricky explaining how to captain properly had really thrown KP off his guard.

"Don't worry babe," Jessica said reassuringly, "once I win DOI, I'll bring out a single and next thing you know, I'll be touring again and you can watch me from the side of the stage."

KP nodded his head. He didn't really like playing cricket anyway.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

What A Test Match

Wow.

The most exciting Test match of all time. So tense. So nerve-wracking. It ended with.....

a draw.

In fact the most thrilling moment came right at the last over when Dhoni decided he fancied a little bowl.

Still. England have reasons to be grateful:

1. They didn't lose. Definite improvement.
2. In the second innings, Bell managed not to get out (faced a whopping 70 balls).
3. Yuvraj only scored 86 (call that a score?).
4. England are due home for Christmas, to eat puddings, turkeys and mince pies. Perfect preparation for 2009.

So all in all, what a great Test match.

Bravo England.

Nightwatchgirl hopes that Father Christmas brings you everything on your list. You deserve it.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Yuv Got To Be Kidding

After yesterday's brave efforts between KP and Flintoff in the batting department, England fizzled out hopelessly today.

The last five batsmen made a measly 19 runs between them (NWM Jimmy - not out, important distinction), to leave England dangling at 302.

And then India were batting again. Scoring runs again. Not getting out again. Leaving them on 134-4 (Yuvraj 39, Gambhir 44) at the end of play.

If this game peters out in to a draw, England will have done well.

But NWG doesn't hold out much hope. She has become a fervent pessimist. The only thing that could save her now, is the return of Hoggard, and although she has asked Santa very kindly, she feels that Peter Moores will over-rule her.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

KP and Freddy To The Rescue

After the worst possible start (England were 1-2, more of a football score than cricket), England recovered as well as could have been expected.

Nightwatchgirl finally figured out that KP was batting so badly in the last Test, so that his score of 144 would look so much better. That's very clever, Kevin. But NWG has found you out.

Yes, England are 282-6, yes, James Anderson is currently being NWG's equivalent, and yes there is only Prior, Swann and Broad to go who can really bat, but at least England have given it a good go.

That's all an England fan can really hope for when playing India in India.

And NWG is grateful.

Because as England will eventually, at least Australia lost too.

It's not too often you can say that.

Ho Ho Ho

And so there it was.

Australia lose.

South Africa win by six wickets.

The second highest run chase in history.

Ponting et al were left stunned. He said "another very flat batting wicket," which gave a "certain advantage batting second." Come, come Ricky, be a good sport, won't you?

Graeme Smith et al were overjoyed.

All that talk about South Africa not being able to handle the pressure was wrong (this time).

What a cracker.

Nightwatchgirl is glad that Test cricket in the southern hemisphere is alive and well.