Posted by: tootingtrumpet | April 26, 2011

West Indies vs Pakistan 2nd ODI – The Final Over of the Day

Gros Islet - as a venue for a post-match pint, it beats Kennington.

Ball One – I don’t recall a batsman who combines so strong a desire to go on the back foot with such ineptitude when doing so, as Devon Smith. Coming forward, Smith looks like an opener – going back, he looks like a Number Nine. No doubt this flaw has played its part in his taking 41 matches to reach 1000 runs (which he did in the third over).  As I write, Devon Smith is given out LBW… playing back. The question needs to be asked – when should a batsman ever play back? To Ian Bishop, of course, but he can’t do any damage from the commentary box and there are few men who have his lift these days – and few pitches on which it’s worth trying. Matthew Hayden didn’t play back very often and he did okay.

Ball Two – This afternoon, any UK cricket fan with a satellite dish has a choice to make: this match; the Leicestershire vs Scotland CB40 clash; or whoever’s turn it is to crash it about in the IPL. It really is an embarrassment of riches and will surely be looked back upon as a golden age for the cricket tragic.

Ball Three – It is impossible not to get excited about Darren Bravo, partly because cricket needs a strong West Indies and partly because he can only be described as Laraesque. I count myself lucky to have seen one Lara in my lifetime, so to get a second to watch is a gift. Bravo jnr has some work to do before he justifies the tag, but when you see cover drives like the one he played off just the eighth ball he faced, how can one retain perspective?

Ball Four – Tourism is a major industry in The Caribbean with St Lucia, venue for the T20 and the first two ODIs of this series. Despite fears over pensions and property prices, the UK’s grey pound is still a market worth chasing, particularly those retirees who have no children to push through college. If marketed cleverly, a week comprising a T20 and a couple of ODIs (or a Test) with relatively cheap flights and tickets and transport provided by the hotel, would prove an attractive option for a 60-something cricket nut (and there are a few). Post-World Cup 2007, the stadiums and facilities have been built and are never sold out, so there’s no downside for the locals. Book me in for St Lucia’s WI vs SL Test, April 2o23.

Ball Five – Much praise from Ramiz Raja and Tony Cozier for what looked a regulation slip catch from Misbah. It was made to look better than it was because Misbah came up and then went down to effect the catch. Proper technique has the hands low until the catch is made – though Misbah isn’t alone in not paying heed to this fundamental tenet of slipping.

Ball Six – In this age of GM foods and agro-businesses, why can’t West Indian groundstaff get some pace into their pitches? Pakistan opened their attack with Mohammad Hafeez, replaced him with Saeed Ajmal and now the captain is on. Kemar Roach, a worthy heir to the quicks of the 80s – a notch or two below in class if not pace – deserves more to work with at home – as do Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards, if ever they are fully fit again.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999.

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