CategoryEng v SA 2017

Sack Or Back? England Player Report Cards


With the series in the books, and the Basil D’Oliveira trophy in the bag, it’s time for a gentle fireside chat about each individual player ahead of the winter. Think of me as Franklin Roosevelt (not Donald Trump), and TFT as an old fashioned homely wireless. I can almost hear the wood crackling away … and it’s getting far too difficult to resist a ‘you’re fired’ pun...

Mo’s Perfect Finish


One man went to Mo. And then another. And then another. What a fantastic way to end a test match: the first hat-trick at The Oval in 100 tests. And, more importantly, a resounding England win. In fact, ‘resounding’ probably doesn’t cut it. I’m going to go with ‘absolute whopping’ instead. If the truth be told, we knew what the result of this game would be on...

Rock ‘n’ Roland-Jones


English cricket has a new hero. He doesn’t have cool hair, he doesn’t have designer stubble, and he’s more Angus Fraser than Brendan Fraser, but who cares when you take 4-20 in 7 overs in your first spell in test cricket? Apparently playing for England is a piece of piss after all. Toby Roland-Jones might be what Australians snidely refer to as a traditional English pie chucker...

Will The Oval Go Pear Shaped For England’s Debutants?


Greetings everyone. Sorry about my lack of output over the last week or so. I’ve been sunning myself in The Loire – not that there was actually much sun! Thankfully a spot of degustation in Sancerre made up for the crap weather. Thanks to Garry, Daniel and Dave for holding the fort. The big news I missed was our women’s fantastic victory in the World Cup Final at Lord’s...

Batsmen Blow It Again


I watched most of day 2 on TV. But I popped on TMS for a few mins in the afternoon when I got the car cleaned. I was lucky enough to hear Geoffrey Boycott off his long run. “The England batsmen were awful. Dreadful. They basically lost the game in 4 hours”. Was he right? Unless something miraculous happens on days 3 and 4 then he probably is. Although the contrarian Ed Smith did his...

Trent Bridge


What a fantastic day. It was test cricket as it should be: movement early on, changes in overhead conditions, quality bowling, brilliant batting, an even contest, and real tension. It made a really refreshing change after a summer of white ball mayhem. The afternoon session was possibly the most engrossing cricket of the summer. Anderson and Broad, two experienced and skilful bowlers who were...

Mo’s The Man


He’s not Graeme Swann. Hell, he’s not even Peter Such. But Moeen Ali is a complete dude. He bowled beautifully in both innings at Lord’s and richly deserved his man of the match award. England might not have won without him. When Mo was first selected by England three years ago – probably because he was the least worst option available – I actually thought he had...

The Lord’s Test


His voice was hoarse. His nose was running. And he was wearing a jumper in temperatures touching 30 degrees. But none of this stopped Joe Root from securing national hero status on day one. It wasn’t Root’s best innings for England. He was understandably a bit loose early on, and should have been caught three times. He was also stumped off a no-ball, and missed quite a few singles...

England Should Beat South Africa. Just.


Test cricket is back. Thank heavens for that. Has anyone else found the cut and thrust of white ball cricket exhausting? I’m done with eight or ten runs per over. I’m craving something sedate and sophisticated. And I don’t particularly care if it’s slow bordering on the soporific. I want every boundary to be greeting by subtle intakes of breath and polite applause rather than the latest hit by...

Disappointing Selection Dampens Optimism


When England left India with their tail between their legs, many of us hoped for a new start this summer. With Alastair Cook stepping down from the captaincy, and an effervescent Joe Root leading the side, I hoped we’d see a new and aggressive England side take on South Africa – a team that might, just might, out-gun Australia this winter. Unfortunately however, I’d forgotten...

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