Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Second Test - idle thoughts

The second Test between England and Sri Lanka petered out to a draw on Tuesday.  Fantasy Bob considers some of the talking points - well he would talk about these points were anyone to listen.

Seminar in existential philosophy
The draw was conceded or identified when players gave up with an hour or so to go of possible playing time.  Cricket must be the only sport where the pointlessness of proceeding can be openly acknowledged in this way.  And the remarkable thing is that cricket was invented before existentialist philosophy came along.  It isn't even French and Sartre's great tome Batting and Nothingness has little to say about the forward defensive. The coming to terms with its own futility is clearly a feature that other sports could emulate - many a football match, particularly Scottish football matches, would be improved beyond measure if the players decided after 30 minutes that enough was enough and the crowd must have better things to do than watch their embarrassing efforts.  Tennis also would be improved if the players decided before any ball was struck that was all going to be pointless and did something else. Since there is no point to golf to start with this approach seems tailor made.

Will I ever
play the violin again?
Fantasy Bob saw several TB replays of one of the hits to Dilshan's thumb.  This looked sore - Tremlett's ball hit his thumb right on the end bending it back towards the wrist - the thumb seemed to rotate a couple of times before it settled back.  Ouch.  As the commentator said 'Well, if it wasn't broken before it certainly is now.'  Dilshan's innings was the highlight of the game - full of character and positive strokes.  That he is out for the final test is a great shame.  Since FB is going to the ODI at Headingley on 1 July he hopes Dilshan is mended by then.

Fantasy Bob naively understands that the purpose of having floodlights is to substitute for daylight when it is dark.  Wrong.  This is not to be an understanding shared by the cricket authorities.  Floodlights seem to be for the purpose of allowing the umpires to read the rules that say if they need the floodlights to read these rules then it is too dark to play cricket.  Ridiculous - 2 teams who were content to play on were dragged off by the umpires like kids being taken home to bed.   These players play under floodlights all the time - exactly what is the issue?

You'll pay for the
damage from your
pocket money Prior
Matt Prior had a torrid time behind the stumps in SL's first innings as Steve Finn in particular tested his agility down the leg side  - 25 byes were conceded.  He got a fine hundred in the first innings so it wasn't all bad.  But he was run out in the second and evidently was rather cross on his return to the dressing room.  Glass showered down on the members from a broken window.  What happened?  There are several versions, but Fantasy Bob's forensic team has worked through the night to reconstruct events.  They report 'Mr Prior returned to the dressing room with a slight sense of disappointment.  He gently laid his batting glove on the bench where it accidentally touched a pad causing it to move and in its turn touch a helmet which fell against a bag which nudged a drinks tray which fell to the floor rolled and knocked against the massage table dislodging a bottle of linament which hit a boot as it came to rest on the floor the boot bumped gently against a bit leaning beside the window which fell against the window with sufficient force to shatter it into a thousand pieces.  Mr Prior's has withdrawn his earlier account of the incident in which he suggested it was big boys who did it and ran away.'

Cook got his 18th Test century and was stumped for the first time.   In all there were a record 9 English innings of 50 or more; and in between spraying it all over the place Steve Finn became the youngest person to get to 50 Test wickets since someone else not quite so young did it some time ago.

Fantasy Bob has long campaigned to persuade the authorities that any ball bowled with an arm other than the right arm must be classed as a no-ball.  He is pleased to announce that his campaign has been joined by  Andrew Strauss and Kevin Petersen.

A Test venue?
And so on to the Rosebowl which isn't really a name for a cricket ground where FB expects England to wrap up the series.  But to make it 2-0 rather than 1-0 and improved bowling performance and more aggression is required - Strauss' declaration was a bit conservative and his field placing not assertive enough.  The tactic of lulling SL into a belief that it was bound to be a draw didn't work  a second time.  Some fresh thinking needed.