Saturday, 7 January 2012

Testing Times

Fantasy Bob returns today from the Austrian ski slopes where he sought escape from the awfulness of BBC's Scotland's New Year's TV schedule.  It is an expensive way to avoid the joke free expanse of Only an Excuse, but FB reckons it is worth it for the inner peace.

He is therefore wholly unaware of how the Test matches between Australia and India and S Africa and Sri Lanka are going.  Complete ignorance is of course the condition which informs FB's commentaries on most things.

on the Man of the Match trail
These matches might well be over as neither of the preceding matches lasted beyond the fourth day.

FB was more surprised than many that India's batting line up proved so brittle against Hilfenhaus and Pattison but that match was lost when India let the Australian tail wag - something it has done with vigour many times in the past.  Well done to young Pattison who now has 2 man of the match awards in his 3 Test career.  Ponting also looked less scratchy than for some time and there were good runs for Hussey and Cowans.

Kallis out for 0
Sri Lanka picked themselves up from a run of poor results with a convincing win over S Africa for whom Jacques Kallis had his first ever pair.  S Africa couldn't capitalise on the efforts of debutante fast bowler Marchant de Lange who in the year of 5-fers on debut got 7 for 81 in the first innings.  Sri Lanka's fight back was to a great extent founded on Sangakkara's 108, a return to his best following a run of low scores including a first innings 0. Also significant performances from Chandimal who had 2 half centuries in his first test.

But you knew all this a week and more ago.

The next games are well set up - 2012 could be a vintage cricket year already.  Test matches - how can we do without them?

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