Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Alas Australia

Warner -
 jumping out of the way of victory
Australian cricket bosses were cock-a-hoop yesterday after the team's triumphant turn around in the second Test Match against New Zealand.  At 159 for 2 chasing 240 to win, things looked pretty ominous and they were in sight of the finish line.  But commentators had nothing but praise for the exceptional lack of character shown by the side to lose the next 8 wickets for 74 runs.  And when they got to 192 for 5 a special effort had to be made.  Skipper Michael Clarke commented exclusively to Fantasy Bob, 'I'm delighted the way the boys dug in not to dig in.  I was proud to show them the way by getting out for 0, one of the better 0s in my career.  This is the kind of morale sapping experience we need to set us up for our next batting collapse against India on Boxing Day.'

One of the mysteries of this match was how opener David Warner carried his bat.   Clarke commented, 'Strewth.  He's there to blast quick runs and he gives us all this sitting-on-the splice stuff.  123 off 170 balls - what's he thinking?  He's playing Test cricket or something?  He needs to look at Phil Hughes for an example of how Aussie openers should play.'  However with Australia's extensive injury list it is likely that Warner will get the chance to get out for single figures in the match against India.

Little Mix - could sharpen the attack
Warner was identified as man of the match for his 123*.  This was awarded following a viewer phone in.  Rumours are that many of those voting were in fact trying to reach the X Factor lines to vote for  Little Mix.   This versatile pace quartet may well get the call up for the next match to stiffen the middle order.

Doug Bracewell - walking in the air
Warner aside, there were few positives for Australia in this match.  As brittle as they ever have been in the batting order, they can only look at the bowling of Pattinson and Siddle for any kind of hope.  And with the batting order of India next up, they are going to need every drop of inspiration as well as the pacemen's perspiration.

But this was a pitch that could have been created for the NZ seamers - and good for them bowling to the conditions.   Doug Bracewell in particular whose 6-40 in the second innings was just what the skipper and coach asked for.  NZ coach John Wright was part of the side that last tasted victory in Australia in 1985 - a series dominated by Richard Hadlee.  If Bracewell can achieve one tenth of what Hadlee did, happy days could be about to return for the Black Caps who have not been  hugely convincing recently.   Good luck to him.

With Australian morale on the floor Jonny Wilkinson felt it was the right time to announce his retirement from watching  international cricket.  2 gripping ends to the 2 controversial 2 match series have been too much for England's leading points scorer. In a statement to Fantasy Bob, Jonny said he expected Little Mix to be a strong contender for the number 10 shirt in the coming 6 Nations.  For the avoidance of doubt, FB wishes a true great well even though he wishes he hadn't scored quite so many points against Scotland.

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