World Cup Matches 20 & 21 – Australia v Sri Lanka & South Africa v Afghanistan

Seemed like Lex Luthor left his kryptonite at home yesterday. England completed a routine win, with some scares of the physical rather than psychological kind, and Joe Root completed his second hundred of the competition, this time from the opening batsman slot. Last time he scored a hundred opening in a test, we had a very exciting meme result from it. Ah, the memories.

It has been an interesting old week. Almost a throwback. A tournament being played in a large block suddenly found the vulnerability of a front stalling over the UK, swinging backwards and forwards, round and around, dumping rain all over the place. Welcome to England in June – it happens. Anyone recalling the run-up to the London Olympics will remember the dreadful summer we had, until the games themselves, which got really lucky. There is really little can be done about it once you make up your mind that reserve days aren’t going to be a thing. I wish people could just be a bit more sanguine about that. Most baseball teams that had domes are getting rid of them, and to have a stadium with a retractable roof, like, for example, Minute Maid Park in Houston (where I was a month ago) for venues with 20000 capacity is not viable. It would probably eat up the entire five year ECB deal.

That retractable roof ain’t cheap…. Minute Maid Park in May

We had the Guardian mafia descend on my post. That was fun. Particularly liked Selvey admonishing me like I was a naughty child. Don’t hold yourself out to be the voice of North London Nonsense when you then get called on it. Get it?

I’ll deal with all that at a future date, but something good came out of all of it. It put some bloody petrol in my engine, and I’m right up for it at the moment! I hope it fired some of you up to. That voice we have, judging by the spike in visitors, is still there when deployed.

The real home of English cricket (accept no North London interlopers) plays host to I think it’s final game today, when Australia return to the scene of their defeat last weekend to take on Sri Lanka, who have completed some nice little run chases at this venue in the past. And chase they will, as they’ve won the toss and put Australia in to bat.

This will mean Warner and Finch get to reprise their opening partnership which probably won the game against Pakistan. No doubt the focus will be on Warner, who made a hundred last time out, but was criticised in many quarters (more lukewarm on TV) for his outing against India. Stoinis is out of the competition, but as one of the comments intimated, he’s not exactly done much to be missed. Australia seem to have a little self-doubt at the moment. It wasn’t a disgrace the way they lost to India, and a few things either way and they could have won.

Australia are 9 to 1 on to win this. Sri Lanka are not pulling up any trees, and they are going to need to if they have any hope of getting a semi-final place. The tournament could do with another result setting the cat among the pigeons (only England v Pakistan did that momentarily), so eyes should be focused on The Oval this morning. The weather looks OK early, though may be a little iffy this late afternoon.

The other game being played at Cardiff pits two winless teams together. South Africa appear in total disarray, and anyone reading D’Arthez in our comments gets the unvarnished view of what is going wrong. Afghanistan have proven worthy competitors but haven’t really threatened the winner’s circle just yet. It is a game that could pass us by, as many could in the run-in to the semi-finals, but let’s hope for a really good game. Even if this World Cup is having its issues, the tournament is a force for good in showcasing the game, and we are all behind that, even if we think others may be wrong in their views of just how we take it forward.

Lastly, I want to know, seriously, how much the company that thought up Manchester Originals, as a hook to lure in those pressure mums and kids, got paid. At least with London X, you could have got a semi-unofficial tie up with a Marvel comic and film series. Who are the Originals? A spin-off from the Vampire Diaries? We after young mums?

A bit rushed this morning, as a few of us had events last night to go to. Enjoy what cricket you watch today, and if the mood takes you, comment below.

I’m now off to get my earplugs, and to test whether Slater and Clarke’s voice penetrates them.


41 thoughts on “World Cup Matches 20 & 21 – Australia v Sri Lanka & South Africa v Afghanistan

  1. Rooto Jun 15, 2019 / 9:47 am

    Manchester Originals? Sounds like an indie band on their US tour, like the UK Charlatans or London Suede. Their fans should all wear Fred Perry and Doc Martens.


    • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2019 / 10:18 am

      Apparently “Bees” was in the running. No, me neither.

      I live just across the Dark Peak, so I’m no expert on the place. But, in a 30-second brainstorm I can conjure up football, music, industrial innovation, half-decent architecture, modern and inclusive urban transformation, Pennine surroundings. A lot of those apply to its sworn enemy down the East Lancs Road as well, so if you wanted to at least *try* not to alienate Liverpudlians you could work on those aspects.

      How in living fuck does either “Originals” or “Bees” reflect any of that?


        • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2019 / 10:53 am

          Ok. Always happy to be educated!

          I’m writing this as someone who never batted an eyelid at any T20 county names, and rather liked quite a few (Lancs and Notts among them).


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 15, 2019 / 11:05 am

            I may have called Lawrence Booth’s piece on the FTA debate a name that upset Russell Jackson, but here you can sense the sarcasm dripping from this paragraph. Subtle…

            “But the Lancashire side will adopt a name supposed to reflect the city’s reputation for innovation – from its central role in the Industrial Revolution to the music of The Stone Roses and Oasis.”

            No further comment is offered. Nicely done. It hangs itself.

            Liked by 1 person

          • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2019 / 11:19 am

            Oasis, whose first two albums I enjoyed at the time in common with most other students and 20-somethings, I now regard as one of the worst things to happen to British culture since the 1980s. Noel has, IMO, given the world not a single thing of any worth since 1995, and yet is still treated like some modern godhead. I read an interview with him this morning that made me despair of the human race.

            I still adore (Vic and Bob knowing cheap joke face) the first Stone Roses album, but the grotesquely self-indulgent second can stay in the bin where it always belonged. Ugh.

            The 90s were better when there was a Jarvis to satirise the whole thing. Oh, and there was a lot of amazing music that did not involve 60s guitars and tropes and wasn’t from the land of the Originals. It is so weird to recall now that, when Noel recorded with the Chemical Brothers, people were feverishly anticipating innovation from Oasis.

            Then came Be Here Now. Ahahahahaha!

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Jun 15, 2019 / 11:31 am

            There were many things about Definitely Maybe and What’s The Story, but they weren’t, even by their own admission, particularly “original”.

            The whole Britpop thing ended up with me turning to dance music. So I suppose I have that to thank. Some of the guys out of the EDM mainstream are damn good. 20 years and still not bored with it.


          • Deep Purple Fred Jun 15, 2019 / 12:37 pm

            All this music talk, Bull is going to be furious.

            Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Jun 15, 2019 / 10:24 am

      Also, as several Twitter comments pointed out, the first association most have with “(blank) Originals” is a boiled sweet that has always been advertised as being favoured by grandads.

      So much for inspiring the mums and kids then.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Jun 15, 2019 / 12:13 pm

        How about just leaving the names to the individual counties? (sorry, Franchises) No need for expensive public relations firms, and Advertising agencies.

        The whole thing seems very fake. The local people don’t even get to name their own outfit. It’s all constructed in board rooms.

        I would love to know what criteria The ECB used to hire said firm? Was it lowest price contract wins? Was it based on companies previous work? Did someone at the ECB know some at the company chosen?

        For an organisation that pleads poverty, and warns about financial peril of the game they sure like spending money on their own pet theories and salaries.


  2. Narelle Jun 15, 2019 / 10:42 am

    Lucky you have earphones. I have the mute button. All commentators have verbal diarrhia at the moment. Clarke is a drone and boring at that. Mel can’t shut up and her hands flap while she talks.
    remember Ritchie….we can see what’s happening.

    My other beef is Bairstow. he takes a catch and faces the spectators and dances around like a goose, that he is.

    Good to have you back firing Dimitri. Maintain the rage!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jun 15, 2019 / 11:22 am

      I see Strauss was on Sky yesterday. It’s amazing how easily these people slip back and forwards between the ECB, and the governing bodies “partner” broadcaster.

      I don’t want to have a personal pop at Strauss after what he has gone through privately, but I just find the whole ease at which broadcasters only seem to employ the “right sort” of people deeply unsatisfactory. He was blathering on about flexability. You had to laugh at remembering his one size fits all captaincy, and ultra conservative declarations. Nope, I don’t remember much in the way of flexability either.

      Cook at TMS is another example. How many decent journalists and commentators are sidelined so we get wall to wall Cook? A man not known for either his speaking ability or indeed his wit or intelligence. They even make a joke out of it. Oh look, it’s Aggers and Cook grinning like cats who got the cream on the licences payers shilling. It’s tacky, and it sends a message of …..screw you.

      The standard is now ex players as far as the eyes can see. And God help them if they venture off acceptable talking points as happened to MIcheal Holding this week.

      Sky used to have an option on the original boxes on the football where you could turn off the commentators and just have the crowd noise. Today we are asked to lay a lot of money to watch live sport on TV yet the screen is covered in the particular Broadcasters cretinous logos, the invasion of promotion of up coming events in the midddle of matches, and then a nauseating commentary, usually spouting cliches and conventional wisdom.

      I increasingly watch in dread with the mute button on. Indeed, the TV mute button has become one of the most import technologies of the modern era. And yet it’s decades old.

      I think Dmitri’s fire in the belly return to form has got me going as well. Apologies.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 15, 2019 / 11:28 am

        I have the puppy to occupy me, so having no volume doesn’t really matter. Also found a new deep house artist (yes, you read that right) called Jan Blomqvist and I’m playing that instead of listening to Slater and Clarke.

        Events of the past few weeks have opened up some things in me. I hope it lasts.


        • Mark Jun 15, 2019 / 12:02 pm

          Yes, sport with sound muted, and music playing instead go well together!


        • OscarDaBosca Jun 15, 2019 / 3:58 pm

          Thanks, I have now discover Jan Blomqvist.
          New music to listen to always makes me happy


      • jomesy Jun 15, 2019 / 11:14 pm

        Mark – you seem to have forgotten that TINA is now SIR COOK. Mind your fucking manners, respect your betters and shut your gob.


  3. LordCanisLupus Jun 15, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    Double ton on here. If he gets his head down, definitely. Finch has 150, but Australia only reached 260. In the 42nd over. Warner’s kept them under 400, hasn’t he?


  4. Deep Purple Fred Jun 15, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    You can have your Steyns, your Bumrahs, your Rabada’s, Amirs and Cummins’s. There is no bowler I’d rather watch than Starc. Not seen anything like it since the silky smooth West Indians back in their day.


    • jomesy Jun 15, 2019 / 11:20 pm

      Fred – l like your posts (especially, recently, to Bull) but Starc is Starc. Steyn is … better (can we agree without arguing on how much?).


    • Deep Purple Fred Jun 16, 2019 / 7:51 am

      OK, I will concede I may have been overstating things in respecr to Steyn.
      Im not going to attempt to defend any “better than steyn” position.


    • quebecer Jun 16, 2019 / 6:43 pm

      Actually, I feel more like I did when watching War bowl. There is something about seeing quicks come in knowing they are going to target the stumps. It’s a different thrill than watching Patterson/Roberts/Bishop/Holding who you know are going – equally thrilling, but differently so.


      • quebecer Jun 16, 2019 / 10:32 pm

        War? Autocorrect doesn’t know Waqar? That’s what not being on FTA leads to.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jun 16, 2019 / 7:56 pm

      I couldn’t deny Jomesy’s point about Steyn, but there’s something about Starc which is unique today.

      The long, loping run, the low energy action, and the inevitable trajectory that homes in on the base of the stumps. I know they’re not all like that, he can bowl allsorts especially if he’s not in rhythm, but he has this way of loping in and smashing the stumps. I see the resemblance to Warne, some bloke who just jogs in and throws it down, but who cannot be ignored, because it’s always coming for you.

      He’s not a show poney, he’s not an alpha male, he’s not a specialist for conditions, he just bowls, really well.


  5. man in a barrel Jun 15, 2019 / 3:29 pm

    Sangakkara seems to be channelling the great Swiss Tony right now. I’m counting the seconds till he says “building partnerships is like making love to a beautiful woman..”


    • dArthez Jun 15, 2019 / 4:27 pm

      Just admit it, you were asking for a collapse of epic proportions.

      Sadly, in terms of having the pretence that the next 25 fixtures matter, it has happened.


  6. Metatone Jun 15, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    A real day of boring predictability this one.

    I suppose we’ll get a good game tomorrow, since I can’t watch…


  7. LordCanisLupus Jun 15, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    A very disappointing last half hour. This was shaping up to be a decent contest, but a combination of pressure, some players being over the hill, others not up to it, the game is now Australia’s.

    Meanwhile, Afghanistan aren’t exactly making a persuasive case to expand the tournament. If you are going to put the expansionist view, then you really have to look at the evidence against as well. In a world dominated by TV coverage, rights driving budgets and salaries, this isn’t helping.


    • dArthez Jun 15, 2019 / 4:38 pm

      Sri Lanka are always like that, at least in the last few years. They probably would have needed to reach 220/0 in about 32 overs before I would have started to believe they might win this. Their batting has been that shaky. Their ODI record over the last three years, shows that for every three games they lose, they win one. And that is against all opposition, including home games. This includes one bilateral series win – against Scotland (1 game). So yeah, you were hoping against odds that Sri Lanka had turned the corner. Sadly.

      It is certainly not helping that the Afghans are struggling. But it is also not helping that these are probably the most alien conditions (with rain included) that the Afghans could possibly ask for. And I suspect the chase will take South Africa a bit more than the 15 odd overs that West Indies needed against Pakistan, or the 16 overs New Zealand needed to complete a 10-wicket win against Sri Lanka.

      But that is the downside of the format as well. If you have to play 9 games before you might qualify you have to be a pretty decent team in all disciplines to stand a chance. The shorter the format, the bigger the chance for an upset. And as we all know, the ICC was desperate to rule upsets out. They have succeeded.


      • Metatone Jun 15, 2019 / 5:19 pm

        Afghanistan needed better weather I think. They qualified (inc. win against WI) on much drier pitches – sort of makes sense when you think that Nabi is a key backup bowler and Rashid Khan is their bowling star.

        Still they have not batted as well as they did in qualifying, and that has been quite fatal to their chances. If they had managed 250 against Aus or SL they might have grown into the tournament, but in only making 200 I think all confidence has drained away.

        Also, I agree with Darthez, expansion can work, underdogs get a chance to do something, when you run a knockout type setup. But that isn’t what we have here. So you can’t really think about how well expansion works if you’re going to run things this way – but I think it’s also important to acknowledge that this current setup has flaws beyond issues for underdogs.


  8. Deep Purple Fred Jun 15, 2019 / 5:06 pm

    Hey Darthez, is Duminy still in the team? Might not be all over yet for Afghanistan.


    • dArthez Jun 15, 2019 / 5:15 pm

      No surprisingly he is not playing this game. I had honestly expected that Markram’s failure against the West Indies would have been used to get JP ‘excellent player of spin who can’t average 20 against spin’, to get back into the side. So I was pleasantly surprised when the teams were announced.

      Which means that there might just be 4 more opportunities for JP Duminy to score his maiden 50 in England.

      I still expect the Afghans to pick up a couple of wickets against this batting order, and probably Miller to hit the winning runs. 125 is too few to be competitive, but ought to be enough to avoid a ten-wicket trashing.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jun 15, 2019 / 5:24 pm

      Well, if worst comes to worst, you know Steyn is always good for a few low order…oh, sorry.
      Avoiding a ten-wicket trashing is a good outcome for SA these days!
      Sorry for taking pleasure is SA’s discomfort but, you know, it just feels good. Going out tonight, probaby won’t get the chance to see Faf interviewed.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jun 15, 2019 / 6:27 pm

      Sorry, I shouldnt really be making jokes during a difficult time.


  9. dArthez Jun 15, 2019 / 5:17 pm

    No surprisingly he is not playing this game. I had honestly expected that Markram’s failure against the West Indies would have been used to get JP ‘excellent player of spin who can’t average 20 against spin’, to get back into the side. So I was pleasantly surprised when the teams were announced.

    Which means that there might just be 4 more opportunities for JP Duminy to score his maiden 50 in England.

    I still expect the Afghans to pick up a couple of wickets against this batting order, and probably Miller to hit the winning runs. 125 is too few to be competitive, but ought to be enough to avoid a ten-wicket trashing.

    (If this is a double post, please delete)


  10. Topshelf Jun 15, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    3rd game at the Oval this WC for me, and not the best. Barney Ronay described it as “agreeably boisterous” but he must have been watching the telly.

    There was virtually no atmosphere, the Aussies were quiet and the Sri Lankans fatalistic. Most fun was had with Steve Smith – my kids got “clapping the batting but booing the man” very quickly.

    Aus should have got 20-30 more, SL fielding was awful, bar Udana’s brace of run-outs, which were fabulous. Smith hit a 6 straight over our heads, and the SL opening 15 overs were fun. Finch made a lot of runs, but only a couple of shots stand out. Personally, having never seen the Aussie bowlers in person, I was impressed by Cummins, but felt Richardson and Behrendorff looked distinctly average. Starc fielded near us, and I was surprised how unimposing he actually was. He’s a weird shape, wouldn’t pick him to bowl as quickly as he does. Lockie Ferguson last week looked a real step above for speed, and a lot more dangerous.

    Ultimately though, the whole day felt pretty inevitable. The guitarist was as irritating as usual, the sponsor/social media plugging possibly even worse, and I don’t think anyone ever thought SL could win. Which rather makes you wonder why we bothered…

    Got a break until Pak v Ban at Lord’s in July. Expect that to be a lot more fun.


  11. Rooto Jun 15, 2019 / 8:51 pm

    Afghanistan’s previous World Cup win was a one-wicket victory against Scotland. We can hope for upsets, but they’re only upsets if they’re rare. By being left as the only minnows in the competition (even if quite strong by minnow standards), then Afghanistan were being set up for an 0-9 tournament. That’s arguably worse than 0-3 and goodbye after a fortnight. I’m not arguing for fewer small teams, but for more so they can play against each other and get experience of new conditions without being thrashed in half a day. And then take that into the big matches.
    Surely two groups of 7 leading into quarter finals gives India enough matches. I’d love to see a bit more Zim vs Scot, or Neth vs Nep. It’s not the Champions Trophy, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jomesy Jun 15, 2019 / 11:07 pm

    Gosh – where to start?

    World Cup leaves me cool – not entirely cold – but I don’t really care … too many false shots.

    I’m a test match fan.

    But watching it is really painful – it’s shit cricket – shots nobody would play but for the need to score, commentators telling me these “are good bowlers” when they’re not; they can only get wickets in a compressed game. Lots of dancing, lots of adverts (telling me to be a shot maker – and buy a car).


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