Dubai – Day 4 (and a tale of a collapse)


And just when you thought it was safe to have faith…..

England’s morning session of horror has cost England the test match. The two experienced campaigners just rubbed our noses in it. It seems when England have a bad day they don’t do it by half. They go all in.

Root’s departure this morning set the tone. 7 wickets fell for 36 in a blur of bad shots, bad play and bad timing. Focus inevitably beams in on Jos Buttler, who compounded his batting failure with the bat with some badly-timed wicket-keeping mistakes.

There are many issues with this team, and I’m not sure many of us, whether we are on this blog or criticise it who believe that things should not change. Now we have to wonder what we can do. This team is so maddeningly inconsistent that they can be fun to watch because at times they reach the heights. What is there to do? We’ll discuss this after the match.

I nearly forgot, and apologies for doing so, but Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah were very very good today. Going to be interesting to see them in England this summer.

Meanwhile Younus and Misbah, the old heads, have been imperious. I’m not sure if this is a lesson to England that dispensing with players in the early-mid thirties is a folly, but watching these two just play (and they had their bits of luck) is a pleasure to watch as long as you aren’t a blind England fan. Younus is an absolute legend, a top top player not given his due. Misbah is unassuming and yet eccentric – block, block, block, six.

(Wardy – are there people who really don’t think Kallis is an all-time great? erm…..)

222-3, 358 behind, dead in the water. Not even “two quick wickets” could solve this problem. There will be no rain. Can England bat time. We want to see a fight. Please.

Meanwhile, in bizarre Ceylon, Kraigg Brathwaite takes 6/29. Lord almighty! Did someone say they were the best bowling figures by an opening batsman? Could SimonH confirm this is true? West Indies need 244 to win, and are 20/1, losing Brathwaite from the last ball of the day. Sri Lanka must be hot favourites.

Afghanistan are on the brink of beating Zimbabwe in the ODI series. It speaks volumes about both teams.

I might add to this later, but comments on Day 4 to be put below. Have a good day.