If I see enough of a day’s play, I’ll post a “final over”. I also mention the splendid Kane Williamson in a piece at Clear Cricket about the dearth of very good young Test players.
Ball One 10.30pm – Having seen 83 runs added for the eighth wicket yesterday, Umar Gul and Tanvir Ahmed came out and bowled plenty of bouncers. Surprise, surprise, the tail didn’t last much longer. Why one sees late order bats being served up ball after ball in their own half has been beyond me for years. Tanvir’s going round the wicket too now – good man.
Ball Two 10.54pm -By way of contrast, faced with the Pakistan upper order, bowlers have to be prepared to pitch it up and be driven, because they may find edges that carry to the slips. Chris Martin isn’t the most hostile bowler around, but he’s canny and he suckered Mohammad Hafeez into reaching for one that was too wide and Tim Mcintosh completed the dismissal with a very fine catch.
Ball Three 11.20pm – Daryl Harper misses a huge Chris Martin no ball. The only plausible reason to miss one so big is that he wasn’t looking, concentrating on matters at the other end of the pitch. If that’s the case, and umpires do occasionally say such things, then let’s bite the bullet and have no balls called by the third umpire.
Ball Four 11.50am – The commentators are speculating that Jesse Ryder is at short leg because there’s a good chance of his catching the ball if it hits him in his gut. Jesse is still very comfortably built, but his Test match record is excellent and he only missed out yesterday due to a freak dismissal. Mark Cosgrove is of similar shape but has never got a Baggy Green. What would Aus do for a batsman who can average 50 in Test cricket (as Ryder does)? Swallow their prejudice about what a Test cricketer should look like?
Ball Five 1.00am – Hamilton looks a beautiful ground – Test cricket played in a park, with something of the atmosphere of, if not quite country house cricket, not quite MCG cricket either. It was at a similar sleepy New Zealand ground (Napier) that Andrew Strauss made 177* nearly three years ago, ending a run of thirty innings without a century and saving his career. What happened to him I wonder?
Ball Six 1.27pm – The New Zealand commentators are impatient with play that has seen just 19 runs from 10 overs, but we’re only just into the middle session of Day Two with Pakistan trailing by just 189 runs. England and India have both shown the value of patience with both bat and ball in recent series. Another quiet 10 overs for 19 runs and a slow acceleration as bowlers tire later in the day, will see Pakistan within 50 runs of parity by the close of play. With one big proviso – no loss of wickets. (As I write this, Taufiq and Younus plundered four boundaries in seven balls – patience paying off).
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.