Posted by: tootingtrumpet | November 3, 2010

Aus vs Sri Lanka First ODI – Final over of the day

Some bits and pieces

Ball One – Kumar Sangakkara is a class act who enjoys Australian conditions and the combative Australian approach to the game. Showing the impact of Twenty20 cricket on the 50overs format, he came out and timed the ball all round the ground from his first delivery. Chasing a modest 240, an hour or so of such immaculate batsmanship in powerplay cricket can make such a target look very small indeed.

Ball Two – In ODIs, indeed in all cricket, the ability to make something happen is priceless. With Sanga already seizing the initiative, new boy Xavier Doherty, pulled off a sensational run out to see off Tharanga. Such is the quality of fielding these days that one can become blase about feats that would have had us talking for weeks just a generation ago.

Ball Three – Shane Watson, in swing friendly conditions in England and on medium pace friendly pitches in India, looked a proper all rounder, taking wickets when MJ’s raw pace and Hauritz’s slow stuff was going all round the park. In Australian conditions, with pace in the wicket, his cutters won’t grip and his swingers tend to come on to the middle of the bat. He’s worth his place as a batsman alone, but he’s probably gone from a fifth bowler to a sixth bowler on the plane home.

Ball Four – This writer’s first sight of two newish Australians: Xavier Doherty and John Hastings. Of course, first impressions can be misleading – one SK Warne didn’t look all that when he first played international cricket. What strikes me, notwithstanding Doherty’s instant dismissal of Jayawardene, is that both players look (and their records suggest, with neither in the first flush of youth) that they are exactly the kind of bits and pieces players that England have selected for years – usually without success. Australians will soon see an attack featuring three new tourists and one player enjoying a renaissance – Broad, Anderson, Finn and Swann are very much full-on bowlers, with only Bresnan (and, in ODIs, Yardy) true bits and pieces merchants.

Ball Five – Bits and pieces he may be, but Xavier Doherty has turned the ball and bowled the courageous line that attacks the stumps. Would Hauritz have done the same? One can only speculate, but Doherty has delivered at an opportune time for himself and his country.

Ball Six – The purpose of these “final overs” is not to provide a synthetic overview of the day’s play (there are plenty of those available), but a set of impressions as the “balls” are delivered. The Lankans have lost four big wickets for just 13 runs in three overs – or should I say that the Australians have taken those four wickets? Probably a bit of both. If you can punch a hole like that in a middle order, you won’t lose many cricket matches, and Australia surely won’t lose this one.


You can find the Tooting Trumpet at and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.


  1. Australia surely won’t lose this one. Oh, wait.

    The Aussie just can’t bring themselves to win any more. They were playing today with two fast bowlers and one of them bowled like shit.

    They’ve now lost 6 games in a row and 11 of the last 14.

  2. Full credit to Mathews and Malinga.

    But, what has gone wrong with Australia?

    There was a time when I used to follow the Indian hockey team almost as keenly as I would the Cricket. And there were umpteen matches where the Indian forwards used to dominate (almost), earn dozens of corners, but fail to convert enough of them into goals.And so, we used to lose winnable matches. (Now a days, the Indian hockey team doesn’t do even that).

    The Cricket team went through a similar phase too, especially against Pakistan in the ODIs.Have the opposition down for the counting, and then contrive to lose the match.People the likes of Manzoor Elahi used to turn matches around in Sharjah.

    The Australian Cricket team seems to be in such a phase now.The leadership of the team needs to introspect.

    I feel for them, but it is this relative weakening of the team’s winning habit in crunch situations – that make the Ashes a little more interesting.England did not have an edge till now on the mental side.They are in Australia and watching and tweeting about it.England must be feeling a little more confident now.

    Australia is capable of coming back and may win the next 2 ODIs by a good margin.

    But the question remains: Why are they unable to finish off the tail?

  3. So much for your prediction. Maybe you need to write these pieces a bit later than you do :)

  4. The team have had some bad losses of late but last night’s was perhaps the most crushing. It will likely reverberate for some time to come.

    Doherty was a positive but from someone who has seen him bowl tightly in scores of one dayers that was expected. (He rarely plays red ball cricket for his state for Krezja is the No1 spinner.)

    Watching the team over the last three months I’m reminded of the dark and depressing 1980s. The method used to improve back then was to have a strong willed experienced coach (Bob Simpson), a captain with the authority to hire and fire (Allan Border) and a host of determined youngsters that were given 18 months to prove themselves without fear of losing their place (Steve Waugh, Craig McDermott, Ian Healy, David Boon, Geoff Marsh, Dean Jones).

    It won’t happen till England return home with The Ashes in a few months but changes are needed beginning with the coach Tim Nielsen.

    That said, Sri Lanka were brilliant and must be one of the favourites to lift the World Cup next year.

    Also, for the second match this week Clarke looked like a lost puppy when the match turned. I don’t expect his tenure as captain to be anything but an epic failure. Fortunately, for me at least, Tasmanian cricket is in rude health and although I’d like them to keep playing for the Thylacines the Oz selectors could do worse than selecting Travis Birt, Tim Paine (as a batsman), Ed Cowan, Brendan Drew, and possibly, even Mark Cosgrove in the ODI and/or T20 side.

  5. There was some good stuff in the next over Toots!

  6. Angelo Matthews is the new Russel Arnold (to quote a friend).

    Clarke said he tried everyone but maybe he should have bowled himself earlier. I’m so disappointed at the lack of imagination our quicks displayed when the going got tough. However there were times in the game where it looked like good Mitch was back.

    An Ashes spanking may regenerate our team more speedily then a series win. At least that’s how I’ll rationalise any defeat!

    • At only 21 I reckon Angelo Mathews has the potential to be the Sri Lankan Sobers.

  7. Great win from SL. This is going to be a horrible summer for Australia. That North should be considered a possible captain is even more horrible than hearing Toots likening Hussey to Collingwood.

    Ponting is going to have to outscore Broad and Swann, as well as the Eng top order. And then hope 10 and 11 get crook decisions and all the referrals have been used up.

    • Just because some journalist reckons North will be captain doesn’t make it a reality. Clarke will be skipper when Ricky has had enough. Guaranteed. Next in line would be Katich as stand in, then if in the team White and then probably Tim Paine who is almost a certainty to be Australian vice-captain once established in the team.

  8. Well, Ricky’s been away while the mice(SL) play. There’s enough time for Ricky to come back and kick the sh*t out of everyone, including Englishmen with unrealistic expectations of winning the Ashes.

  9. l barely watch one day cricket but this does seem quite symbolic right now

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