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Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
9:33 am - Moment

dmmaus
I just wanted to record an event in the second Test in Hobart, Australia v Sri Lanka, that concluded on Tuesday.

Kumar Sangakkara was fighting a brilliant rearguard action to save the Test for Sri Lanka, and possibly propel them towards an unlikely record-breaking come-from-behind win. He was on 192 and headed towards his third double-century in 3 matches, when he got a rising ball from Stuart Clark, which took his shoulder and helmet before ballooning up to Ricky Ponting, who caught the ball. Umpire Rudi Koertzen judged that the ball had hit Sangakkara's bat on the way through and ruled him out.

Sangakkara looked a little disappointed, but walked off the field quietly, as the commentators examined the replays, which showed clear as day that the ball had not gone anywhere even vaguely near the bat. With Sangakkara gone, Sri Lanka had no batting left to continue the resistance, and lost the game soon after the lunch break that followed.

During that lunch break, Koertzen must have had a look at the replays of the decision he'd made.

When the game ended and the players and umpires were mingling on the field, Koertzen went up to Sangakkara and apologised to him for making the wrong decision. Sangakkara slapped Koertzen on the shoulder in a friendly embrace and told him it was okay.

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Sunday, November 18th, 2007
11:38 am - Streaming audio coverage

dmmaus
ABC Radio streams its live cricket commentary over the net, but because of licensing issues restricts it to Australian listeners. However, I've discovered a back door that seems to work. Use one of the streaming audio links from this page: http://www.abc.net.au/australiaallover/

It's currently working for overseas listeners right now, but I guess it might be closed at some point. (And the cricket is on from 00:30 to 07:30 GMT, so it won't be on outside those hours.)

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Saturday, November 17th, 2007
2:33 pm - Radio comm today

dmmaus
During a rain delay:

Drew Morphett: There are some planets in the solar system where it doesn't rain. We could use those as neutral venues. We could play cricket on Mars.
Peter Roebuck: It hasn't rained on Mars for 250 million years, you know.
Drew Morphett: Imagine the turn you could get on the ball there.

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Thursday, November 8th, 2007
11:28 am - Media

dmmaus
Well, Cricket Australia has shot itself in the foot. The first Test against Sri Lanka just started a few minutes ago, and not a single reporter from any of the world's largest press agencies is there. Reuters, AFP, and Associated Press, along with a coalition of 30 other global news agencies, are boycotting all coverage of the game because of a dispute with Cricket Australia. CA wants them to pay a licence fee and to restrict the amount of photos and text transmitted from the ground. The news agencies are adhering to their fundamental principle of not paying for access to news nor allowing another party to dictate what they are and aren't allowed to report. And good on them too.

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Thursday, November 1st, 2007
5:22 pm - A new summer begins

dmmaus
Well it's been a while. I haven't posted anything to this since partway through the World Cup when I went on holiday to Germany. In the time since, Australa won the cup, and then went to India for a series of one-day internationals livened up mostly by accusations of on-field verbal abuse between players of the teams and crowd abuse aimed at Andrew Symonds.

England played a home series of course, some of which I watched, but I can't even recall who it was against now.

But the lethargy of the colder months is sloughing off as the summer here hots up, and thoughts turn once again to cricket. Today Australia's squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane was announced. There was a bit of speculation over the spinner position, but in the end the selectors named a squad of 13, including both Stuart MacGill and Brad Hogg, both of whom will now have to wait until next week to see which will play.

There were no real surprises, with Phil Jacques being named as the replacement for the retired Justin Langer. Brett Lee will take the role of senior fast bowler from the also retired Glenn McGrath. It's a marked change in the Australian line-up, and it will feel odd for a few games.

The Sri Lankans are sweating over the fitness of wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara, with a torn hamstring, but otherwise have been in decent form. The talking point is that Muttiah Muralitharan will bowl in Australia again. What's more, he'll be threatening Shane Warne's world record Test wicket total.

It's a short series of just two Tests, but it should be interesting. And then the Indians arrive and we could see some real fireworks if the subcontinental niggling carries on. The first Test starts on Thursday 8 November. It's been too long since last January...

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Saturday, April 21st, 2007
8:04 am - World Cup, Super 8s #23

dmmaus
St George's, Grenada: Australia 348/6, New Zealand 133ao. Australia won by 215 runs.

Well, if it comes down to these two teams in the final, we know who will be favourites. Australia inflicted New Zealand's biggest ever ODI loss on the back of a Matt Hayden century at better than a run a ball. This is Australia's 21st consecutive World Cup game victory, and it's hard to see them not extending it to 23 and taking the title.

Tomorrow:
England v West Indies. This is the last match of the Super 8s round before New Zealand take on Sri Lanka and Australia play South Africa in the semi-finals. England and West Indies are out of the running, but there will be a lot of attention on this game - it is Brian Lara's last. I posted some months ago expressing the prediction that Lara might retire at the end of the World Cup, and hoping to see the magic just one more time. We've seen a few good innings since, but not a definitive Brian Lara masterpiece.

Everyone, no matter who they are or what side they support, even the Englishmen, will be hoping to see something special from the retiring legend tomorrow.

I won't see it, however, being on a plane to Europe. I'll be back in three weeks.

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Friday, April 20th, 2007
7:22 am - World Cup Super 8s #22

dmmaus
Bridgetown, Barbados: West Indies 230/5, Bangladesh 131ao. West Indies won by 99 runs.

Finally, another win for the home team, and a big one too. This gives West Indies a chance of finishing in 5th spot, if they beat England on Saturday. (Again the West Indies have two games in three days, just as at the start of the Super 8 round. Whoever scheduled this round is an idiot. No other team has had to play 2 games in three days even once.)

Tomorrow:
Australia v New Zealand. This could very well be the two teams who make the final, so this will be a very interesting game, and both sides will want to win it to stamp their authority on the tournament.

Depending on my spare time tomorrow, I may or may not make any comment on this game after it's played. If not, I'll return in three weeks from my holiday!

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Thursday, April 19th, 2007
8:12 am - World Cup Super 8s #21

dmmaus
St George's, Grenada: Ireland 77ao, Sri Lanka 81/2. Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets.

It was too much to ask of Ireland to do well in this game. Ah well, they can still go home from this tournament with heads held high and a record to be proud of.

Tomorrow:
Bangladesh v West Indies. With both teams already eliminated, there's not much point to this one really. The same could be said of all the remaining Super 8 matches. If only the stretched out tournament had been shorter, I'd be able to keep this blog going through to the final, but unfortunately I'm going to miss the semis and the final because of a holiday to Europe. So there will be no commentary on any of those games. :-/

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
8:41 am - World Cup Super 8s #20

dmmaus
Bridgetown, Barbados: England 154ao, South Africa 157/1. South Africa won by 9 wickets.

An absolutely dismal performance by England sees them bow out of the tournament. The semi-finalists will be Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa. South Africa will qualify in fourth spot, and play against the top qualifier, which is almost certainly Australia, unless NZ can beat them by a huge amount on Saturday. In all likelihood the semi-finals will thus be: Australia v South Africa, New Zealand v Sri Lanka.

Tomorrow:
Ireland v Sri Lanka. The result matters little to Sri Lanka, but Ireland have pride on the line. If Sri Lanka rest a bunch of their top players again, Ireland may have a chance to put in a decent showing, though I wouldn't expect them to win.

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
8:37 am - World Cup Super 8s #19

dmmaus
St George's, Grenada: Sri Lanka 226ao, Australia 232/3. Australia won by 7 wickets.

Another demolition job by the Aussies secures top spot in the Super 8s, barring a huge loss to New Zealand on Friday.

Tomorrow:
England v South Africa. A lot hinges on this game. If South Africa win, they make the semis at England's expense. But if England wins, all they need to do is beat the lacklustre West Indian side to oust South Africa. So this is basically the semi-final qualifier playoff.

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Monday, April 16th, 2007
8:40 am - World Cup Super 8s #18

dmmaus
Bridgetown, Barbados: Ireland 243/7, Bangladesh a69ao. Ireland won by 74 runs.

It means little to the tournament overall, but to Ireland this will be a big boost. Bangladesh's form has let them down towards the end of the tournament, causing them to lose to a team they should have been able to beat. Although the Irish will be seeing things in a different light, with wins against two Test nations now under their belt. One wonders if this marks the beginning of something big for Irish cricket over the next few years.

Tomorrow:
Australia v Sri Lanka. It means little enough who wins this game that it's being touted as the World Cup Final preview match. At this stage it's pretty likely that Australia will be playing either Sri Lanka or New Zealand in the final, barring an odd upset somewhere along the way.

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Sunday, April 15th, 2007
7:37 am - World Cup, Super 8s #17

dmmaus
St George's, Grenada: South Africa 193/7, New Zealand 196/5. New Zealand won by 5 wickets.

That cements NZ's place in the semi-finals, and exposes South Africa to being overtaken by England. It will basically come down to England v South Africa on Tuesday to decide which of these two will snatch the fourth finals berth.

Tomorrow:
Bangladesh v Ireland. It's of no consequence to the tournament any more, but both teams now have a point to prove, so neither will go down without a fight.

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Saturday, April 14th, 2007
8:12 am - World Cup, Super 8s #16

dmmaus
Bridgetown, Barbados: Ireland 91ao, Australia 92/1. Australia won by 9 wickets.

Australia's opening bowlers reduced Ireland to 2/3 and then 12/4, before bundling Ireland out for a mere 91. Not entirely unexpected.

Tomorrow:
New Zealand v South Africa. This is a crucial game for the semi-final hopefuls. If South Africa lose, then England can realistically threaten to topple them out of the semis. If New Zealand lose, there's an outside chance England could remove them. If NZ win, they're safe, but South Africa really need to win this game and their next to guarantee a finals spot.

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Friday, April 13th, 2007
8:36 am - World Cup Super 8s #15

dmmaus
St George's, Grenada: New Zealand 219/7, Sri Lanka 222/4. Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets.

Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia now sit on 8 points each, but Australia have a game in hand and should move to 10 points with tonight's game against Ireland. With NZ's remaining matches against South Africa and Australia, while Sri Lanka have to face Ireland and Australia, it'll be tough for NZ to clinch the number 2 spot. It probably won't matter though, since no matter which order NZ and Sri Lanka finish at 2 and 3, they'll be facing off against each other in the first semi-final - barring strangeness from either Australia or South Africa in their remaining matches.

Tomorrow:
Australia v Ireland. Oh dear. Now is when the Irish really learn they're outgunned.

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Thursday, April 12th, 2007
8:13 am - World Cup Super 8s #14

dmmaus
Bridgetown, Barbados. Bangladesh 143ao, England 147/6. England won by 4 wickets.

Although England prevailed, it was a desperately unconvincing display, with them losing 6 wickets in a meagre run chase and taking 7 overs more than Bangladesh to score the same number of runs. This destroys any chance beyond the mathematically theoretical of Bangladesh making the semi-finals, but neither does it boost England's chances of usurping South Africa much either. If New Zealand can defeat South Africa on Saturday, it will pretty much come down to England v South Africa on Tuesday to decide the fourth semi-final place.

Tomorrow:
Sri Lanka v New Zealand. With both teams pretty much certain to make the semi-finals, this game will be more of a warm-up for those and jostling for the number 1 qualifying position than anything else. This should be a cracker of a match, between two storing teams in good form.

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
8:32 am - World Cup Super 8s #13

dmmaus
St George's, Grenada: South Africa 356/4, West Indies 289/9. South Africa won by 67 runs.

South Africa seem to be involved in all the highest scoring games lately. Despite what would have been a huge score in most other contests, West Indies couldn't even approach South Africa's mammoth 356 runs. This puts South Africa on 6 points with Sri Lanka, but with an extra game played. It's looking more likely that South Africa will keep any of the other contenders out of the semi-finals.

Tomorrow:
Bangladesh v England. And two of the contenders face off against each other. Whoever loses this is definitely out of the running, while the winner retains a chance at knocking South Africa out of the 4th semi spot. Expect a hard fought contest, as both teams know they have to win everything from here. England are strong, but Bangladesh has proved to be in good form this tournament.

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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
7:24 am - World Cup, Super 8s #12

dmmaus
Providence, Guyana: New Zealand 263/8, Ireland 134ao. New Zealand won by 129 runs.

New Zealand displayed a clinical demolition of the weakest team left in the competition, propelling them into top spot above Australia and pretty much ensuring them a semi-final berth. New Zealand's big worry is they have the three strongest teams in the round left to play as their final three round robin matches, so from here it may be difficult picking up any more points. It's mathematically possible that NZ could be stranded on 8 points and fighting it out for the 4th semi-final spot with one of South Africa, England, West Indies, or Bangladesh. Although given NZ's form so far, you'd have to imagine they can pick up at least one more game.

Tomorrow:
West Indies v South Africa. West Indies need to win this one to even be in with a chance of making the semis. If South Africa win, it will be a nail in the coffin of England and Bangladesh too, so a lot of people in the Caribbean will be cheering for the West Indians. South Africa have shown inconsistent form so far, but the home side has been even worse. It's a matter of which ways the see-saws swing.

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Monday, April 9th, 2007
8:46 am - World Cup, Super 8s #11

dmmaus
North Sound, Antigua: England 247ao, Australia 248/3. Australia won by 7 wickets.

As expected, Australia have leaped to outright first on the table while England now face the further mess of the teams fighting it out for 4th spot.

Tomorrow:
Ireland v New Zealand. NZ should join Australia in an unbeaten position after 4 games. Ireland are already out of the reckoning.

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Sunday, April 8th, 2007
8:53 am - Billionaries to finance rebel Twenty20 tournament

dmmaus
http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/twenty20-hijack/2007/04/07/1175366533107.html

Is it going to be Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket all over again, this time with American backing??

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8:06 am - World Cup, Super 8s #10

dmmaus
Providence, Guyana: Bangladesh 251/8, South Africa 184ao. Bangladesh won by 67 runs.

Well, this throws if not a cat, at least a kitten among the pigeons. Bangladesh have already shown they're playing above the form everyone expected coming into the tournament, and now a masterful display against South Africa shows they have what it takes to defeat the top few teams in the world. Their remaining games are against England, Ireland, and West Indies - the three weakest opposing teams in the Super 8. They should easily account for Ireland, and with just one more win Bangladesh will end on 8 points and possibly a place in the semi-finals.

South Africa, on the other hand, look forward to West Indies, New Zealand, and England. Although you'd expect them to win two of those games, that also puts them on 8 points, and if they're tied with Bangladesh for the 4th semi-final spot, Bangladesh might be able to pip them on run rate. All assuming England and West Indies don't storm into 4th spot above them.

Tomorrow:
Australia v England. You have to pick Australia in this one. Which will propel them further ahead in first place, and stick England in the same desperate spot as West Indies and Bangladesh, with just 2 points from 4 games. England, Bangladesh, and West Indies each have yet to play each other, so the placings between them will depend heavily on their mutual results.

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