Previous Page (From
Skirts to Pink Balls - part 4)
My failure to
sort my links properly may mean you missed Part 4 of "From Skirts to
Pink Balls", but have no fear - no, I know you haven't really -
it's still here.
have been ill for quite some months as some of you may know and therefore
not seen a single cricket match (apart from TV that is) this year.
Sadly this state of affairs will continue for a little while yet. That
doesn't, however, mean I won't be following the WC seriously and
updating this blog as and when hospital appointments allow and
attempting to make a contribution to ..
Want to see what's happening NOW and DURING the World Cup
Then you need to follow...
... where I had hoped to
provide up-to-date images. There's is every chance I may be able
to for later games.
Now the News
rounds of warm-ups, both official and unofficial have been and gone as
I type and there has been one major surprise. Most of the games have
pretty much gone to the form-book, although margins of some of the
victories may have flatteered the winners. That remains to be seen and
I have to hope the minnows generally put up a better showing when the
fun really starts at the weekend.
But what about Pakstan? Two
of their batsmen really stood out against the West Indies!
Left-hander Bismah Maroof (75/80)(above) and
Nain Abidi (81*/86)
The West Indies opening gambit of 246 was thus chased
down with 14 balls to spare. For the Caribbean side the star was the
newcomer Felicia Walters (59/93)
which at least held the side together but the WIndies know now they
will have to bat even more forcefully than the all-but 5 runs per
over here. Now that's a real change from days gone by, when a 240ish score
would have been considered remarkable. Only two West Indies batsmen
managed better than a run a ball. True only one did in the Pakistan
innings but major scorers came close - in the 90s!
But Now the (possibly) Bad News
You will have seen my headline on the
Home Page which stated...
... well it seems that maybe you can't - well free
There is, of
course, a perfectly sound commercial reason for this and that is - to
take one example - Sky would wish, not unnaturally, that those living
in the UK would take out a Sky subscription. It makes no commercial
sense to give away what Sky nowadays obviously considers a saleable
product. As someone who ran a business all my life I can, as the
Americans would say, 'see where they're coming from'.
But do I like the idea from a cricketing perspective?
Well, no, but that decision lies with the ICC and not, before you get
hot under the collar, with the ECB. Will this mean
those in Australia won't be able to watch the erstwhile Southern
Stars? Maybe. Perhaps that will depend on commercial interests down
under. At the time of typing I have no idea. I will update this
section if and when more definitive news becomes available. The same
applies to all seven countries and one cricket federation, of course.
India taking on Sri Lanka has almost always been a
rather one-sided affair. I have to admit to feeling rather sorry for
Sri Lanka. Troubles with the cricket board back home, far exceeding
anything else alleged around the world, have not made it easy for
them, and the poor domestic structure only adds to the country's woes.
The Indian openers, Raut and Mandhana, are possibly,
from a purists point of view, the most attractive pair of opening
players in international cricket.
Poonam Raut (69/79) (above) and Smriti Mandhana
The icing on the cake for India was Raj's 85/89,
giving India a total of 275 for 8 and a good outing for the main
strength prior to the 'real thing'.
The surprise in the England v New Zealand match was not
the leisurely (but sensible) 51/76
from Tammy Beaumont but the fact she had no need to hurry as the White
Ferns could manage only 130 all out in 38.3 overs. England bowlers
shared the wickets and the only worry for the management may be the
retirement of Lauren Winfield who kept wicket during the Kiwi innings.
She retired during the England innings but it was said to be merely a precaution after the keeping caused a stiff
back. With only three players reaching double figures, and
that doesn't include Bates and Priest the biggest hitters in the side,
it would seem the New Zealanders have work to do. Knowing their
mentality I've no doubt they'll be back in this tournament - but how
soon? Their first fixture is on Wednesday 28th June against South
Africa, a side known for punching above their weight, so the White
Ferns will need to look out.
Warm-up games over rather quickly today with Australia needing only
23.2 over to knock off Pakistan's 156. Evan a half century by Bibi
Nahida (aka Nahida Khan) (51/57) failed to stir
her compatriots into faster scoring. Sarah Aley took 4 of the wickets
and Jess Jonassen 3. In Australia's reply Beth Mooney retired out (63/72)
and Australia lost only 1 more wicket collecting the runs.
In the West Indies/South African encounter West Indies simply fell
apart once again, managing just 63 in 23.5 overs, a dismal scoring
rate and a dismal total. All of this is very un-West Indian like.
Masabata Klaas did the damage with the ball taking 4/14 in just 4.5
overs. Woolvaardt top scored for the Saffers in the reply (26/41)
and while they knocked off the runs in just 19 overs, they did lose 4
wickets in the process.
Everyone (including me) having predicted this will be the most open
Word Cup ever must be wondering where we got it wrong!
What Next for the World Cup