Champions Trophy – The Final Group Game

OK. Time for me to write something. I’ve been here, I’ve been there. Cologne on Wednesday, Guildford on Friday. Sleep has been a stranger. But that’s life. I’ve been on the sofa for large parts of the weekend watching the two group games that sealed the fates of Australia and South Africa. Yes, if you remember I tipped Australia. I love being wrong. I’ve had a lot of practice.

Today’s game, and I’ll review it if I have to, was a poor old show. South Africa started out at a sedate pace, as they did against Sri Lanka last weekend, but then collapsed into a heap. Nasser has been banging on about how the big players have come forward, but AB de Villiers was the exception. He hasn’t been at the races in this tournament and will now be able to rest up for the summer while his team-mates undertake the test match heavy lifting. I wonder what South Africa’s version of Oliver Holt or Paul Newman would make of that.

Once South Africa had been dismissed for under 200, it was always going to be a walk in the park. They lost two wickets getting there, but there was never really any alarm. Rohi Sharma’s dismissal to Morne Morkel, however, reminded me of a game I saw 10 years or so ago, when Morkel, who was, I think, a bit quicker then embarrassed James Benning in a T20 game as his bounce caused mayhem. Benning ended backing away a little and losing his composure. Sharma is in a different league, of course, but that wasn’t his finest hour. Food for thought?

India will, in all likelihood, meet Bangladesh in the semi-final, while England, who have been incredibly impressive so far, will meet the winners of tomorrow’s clash between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Frankly, your guess is as good as mine. Pakistan took advantage of dismissing South Africa cheaply but looked woeful against India. Sri Lanka’s batting looked frail against South Africa and then chased down a large total set by India. Strengths and weaknesses….

In other matters I went to Surrey v Essex at Guildford on Friday. I’ll probably put some pictures up in due course. It was a very entertaining day out, even if Kumar came and went in a very short time. I had visited just one session of play previously this season – the opening day – where I saw Mark Stoneman finish his 165. This time I saw him score 181 not out, and he looked magnificent. Sam Curran was also a pleasure, making a breezy half century. All the while though, the presence was too much for me to concentrate on the game. I was too close to the genius, to the aura. I was not worthy seated under the tree.


Catching a day’s county cricket at an out ground is always fun. Guildford is well worth a visit, with the beer served up of excellent quality and at £4 a pint. It will never catch on. As I said, more on this during quiet periods and when I’ve got my photo-editing software on to some of the pics.

I did like this one – Dominic Sibley dances down the track and I get the ball at point of impact (almost)

Other heads up for pieces in the future – and you know these aren’t guaranteed – is I’m reading a lot of old books I’m snapping up on Amazon “Used”. I’ve read Bob Willis on Test Cricket. I read Mike Brearley’s regaining the Ashes book from 1977. I am now reading John Snow’s book. It’s tremendous dipping into these old books, because they are anything but andoyne. They are full of forthright opinions, not written with anyone other than their own accuracy and views in mind. I’ve picked up a load of these recently, with books by Tony Greig and a couple more by Brearley to read. I also got Stuart Broad’s recent effort for a couple of quid, as well as the Simon Jones book. Also snapped up the Wisden Anthologies, a few missing B&H Cricket Years from my collection, and now I just have to read them! Any recommendations, let me know.

Finally, not to blow my own trumpet, but more of an explanation. I recently got a promotion at work, which is going to mean that the time I can devote to the blog maybe more restricted than before. I know we are all busy people on here, but given where life has taken me in the last few weeks, I’ve not been able to write as much as I would have liked. It’s life. We’ll do what we can.

Comments on the Sri Lanka v Pakistan game below.



10 thoughts on “Champions Trophy – The Final Group Game

  1. Mark Jun 11, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Watching CWOTV this morning was like watching the last stand of the dinosaurs. Pringle & oh my Gawd…… The man in the White suit is back……Stephen Brenkley!! Where did they dig him up from?

    Pringle won’t let it go. Making snide comments about the dropping of Rashid for the first game…..blaming Morgan for the decision. In 4 years he never blamed Cook for anything. ( So you think Rashid should play now?)

    Then they moved onto talk about The SA Vs India match. Pringle was using this to go after Morgan again. “Morgan says it’s important to play IPL, so both these teams have lots of players in the IPL so it should be 400 plays 400.”

    He just won’t let it go.

    Congratulations on you job promotion. Good luck with it. Hope it works out. If you haven’t got the time for this site then that’s life I am afraid. No need to apologise.

    Sad that a big test series against SA is coming up, and ABV has ruled himself out. Sign of the times. I used to get some of those cricket autobiographies out of the library, and yes they are much more interesting than the ghost written stuff served up these days. I read Bob Willis book about captaining England, and his injuries and listening to Bob Dylan tapes. Boycotts original book and the endless battles with the Yorkshire committee is priceless. Don’t think it was meant to be a comedy. Made me laugh!


  2. SimonH Jun 12, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    A few book recommends from me:

    Candid biographies of a certain era department – Boycott’s ‘In the Fast Lane’ and Graham Yallop’s ‘Lambs to the Slaughter’. Also (with something of a health warning) Roebuck’s ‘Slices of Cricket’ and ‘It Never Rains’.

    Governance – any of Haigh’s collected writings (especially ‘Spheres of Influence’) and Brian Radford’s ‘Caught out’ (I picked it up for two quid in the local Oxfam and it’s a real eye-opener on some of the scandals in cricket’s last three decades).


  3. Benny Jun 12, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Jim Laker – Over to me
    Fred – Ball of Fire

    Oh yes, loved SL v Pakistan today. Not one for the purists but great theatre.


  4. Mark Jun 12, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    That was interesting. Just heard Hugh Morris on 5 live talking with Tuffers and Vaughn about the ticketing. He can’t explain why all the tickets have been sold, and only half of the buyers turn up at Cardiff. However he gave a clue…….

    Apparantly 38% of all the tickets for the semi final on wed between England vs Pakistan have been sold by the ICC to Indian supporters. So unless they sell their tickets on there is going to be a lot of empty seats.


    • d'Arthez Jun 13, 2017 / 4:43 am

      The ICC did have forcibly allocated venues for the knockouts in WC 2015, (NZ would play in NZ, regardless whether they finished 1st or 4th in the group, to give but one example). Incidentally that group did not involve India, and the Indian supporters had to gamble on which tickets to get. But they can’t do the same with regards to this tourney?

      Let me be clear: I find such forced venue allocation wrong, but if these are the real volume of sales, then there would be justification for it. Although knowing how greedy the ICC in general is, they will never tie it onto India, because that will mean people know what tickets to buy, and hence the games not involving India will not be sold out …


    • AB Jun 13, 2017 / 8:25 am

      If I had tickets to India vs Pakistan, I’d attend, so why would Indian fans not attend England vs Pakistan? Are they all really that one-eyed?


      • Mark Jun 13, 2017 / 12:06 pm

        I think there are a number of issues here. First off, should the semi finals, and final be pre sold before we know which teams will be at the various venues? Iam not criticising Indian fans at all. But they are the biggest group by far, and is it right that 38% of tickets have been sold to the fans of a team who are not in that match?

        I guess Indian fans wanted to cover their options, and probably have tickets for the other semi final as well. We are not talking about football size stadiums of 70,000 plus. Cardiff only holds 14000. So there may be less than 9000 tickets for Pakistan and England fans if the Indian fans attend or can’t sell their tickets.

        No system is perfect of course, but we are reliant on Indian fans being able to sell their tickets on or attending the match otherwise the stadium will have a lot of empty seats. Anyway the forecast is really good for tomorrow so the weather should not be a factor. Pakistan have a good following as well…… so it will be a total balls up if there are large amounts of empty seats.


  5. pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 13, 2017 / 8:04 am

    Dmitri, there is no need for you to apologise for not being able to come on here and write as often as in the past. I have found that I too have been about a lot less in the last few months as work has been crazy for me as well. I have to say that I thought England would probably have a brain fade in the game last Saturday. Funnily enough I was at Guildford for the Surrey v Essex game on Saturday too rather than be watching the 50 over stuff on the box.


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