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Cricket update

Jan 3, 2005 1:01PM PST

Maybe I should apologize for this, but what the heck.

Third test, Australia vs Pakistan, third day.

Pakistan all out (second day, first innings) 304

Australia now 4/464, Ponting on 178 off 203 balls.

Gilchrist 107 off 108 balls ... absolute magic!!!!

Just to compound my felony of reporting esoteric stuff from Downunder:

Adelaide is currently hosting the under19 international soccer competition.

We, my wife and I, went on Sunday and watched four, consecutive, excellent games ... S Australia vs Malaysia, Tokyo Verdi vs Real Madrid, AIS Australia vs Aston Villa (England) and Zagreb Dinamo vs Barcelona.

Lucky, privileged or what? Certainly reckon I am.

I have never been a "sportsperson" and I cannot get excited about any particular team, national or whatever, but lately I have seen such superb stuff played in the true nature of sport ... so I somehow feel compelled to let that be known, during a rather dark phase of human existence.

Now I'll resume my fielding position at silly point.

Cheers, Gerry

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Best soccer game I ever attended was my son's
Jan 4, 2005 12:31AM PST

Primary school year-end match. The level of skill displayed by 11 year olds and the Killer Focus they had for the game was magic. Now Billericay has a bit of a rep as the adopted home of a number of Premiership players, not least because it's on the rail line to Stratford Park, home of West Ham, but all these kids were just kids, sons of plumbers and accountants and taxi drivers. And it was co-ed so a number of the top players were girls. Sheer Magic.

Lot's more of this Gerry, if you could put together a pin-head's guide to cricket I'd be most grateful.

Rob Boyter

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Funny that you should mention womens soccer ..
Jan 4, 2005 1:45AM PST

it is pretty big here and my wife, who is a lot younger than me, is in a Gawler (town where we live) team ... and two of the matches I mentioned had female referees.

There are no rule modifications that I know of, occasionally there are mixed matches and, though a top male team would always beat a top female team, it is good to have a game with practically universal appeal ... played everywhere and by anyone at whatever level (never much good myself).


Again there are womens teams and no rule differences that I know of.

Rules? Well I'm no expert, but basically a cricket match comprizes two teams of eleven players, taking it in turns to bat (in pairs) and to field, with the object being to bowl-out (hit the stumps) of the batsmen, or get them caught, or run out (throwing the ball at the stumps before the batsman crosses his crease) or have him LBW (leg before wicket, i.e. if the ball strikes his leg, when it would have hit the stumps, then he is out).

There are many different ways to organize matches.

You can have a half-day match, a full day, limitted overs, three day test and five day test for instance.

An "over" is six consecutive balls delivered by one bowler at one end of the wicket, then another bowler has his turn from the other end.

Fast bowlers can achieve speeds of nearly 100mph and rely on speed and intimidation, especially with bouncers and full tosses aimed at the batsman.

Medium pace bowlers rely more on getting the ball to swing in the air and/or change direction as it hits the ground before reaching the batsman. (if you watch a match, then you'll see bowlers carefully polishing the leather ball on their trousers and this is to alter the aerodynamics, e.g. create more drag on one side, so that the ball swings [curves] in the air.)

Spin bowlers are magic to watch ... the speed of the ball may be as little as 30mph, but the batsman never really knows what the ball will do after it hits the ground, e.g. descriptions are leg break, off break, googly and wrongun for instance.

This, of course, is just scratching the surface, but it might make some sense of any match to a first-time watcher.

Regards, Gerry

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Jan 4, 2005 2:03AM PST

Thanks for the tutorial on cricket. It's not played here (USA) much (except by expats of "British Empire" countries) and gets no TV coverage except in the international news segment when there is a riot at some match (or is that soccer with all the rioting fans...), so I have always wondered how the game was played. It's interesting to compare your bowler to a baseball pitcher, with the assorted techniques for throwing the ball in such a manner as to cause weird aerodynamics which will alter the path of the ball in the hopes of fooling the batter. In baseball, though, we can't bounce the pitched ball off the ground.


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Re: can't bounce the pitched ball off the ground.
Jan 4, 2005 4:35AM PST

that's cos in baseball you "throw" the ball, one of the "laws" of cricket is that the arm MUST be straight when 'bowling' (cricket term for throwing)...

there is an ongoing row/dilemma about one of the popular bowlers of today (his name escapes me), he was born -so he claims- with his right arm slightly bent so that when he bowls with a 'straight arm' the impression is that he is actually bending his arm and thus is accused of throwing the ball....

strange world we live in Happy


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Jan 4, 2005 5:12AM PST

The rule has lately been changed to allow a 15 degree, I think it is, bend at the elbow ... with argument going on about how the umpire can tell, but umpires are pretty good at their job generally and them you just don't dispute with any vigour.

Usually we call a bent arm delivery "chucking" incidentally ... not sure why the rule originated, but maybe it's because the game is dangerous enough already and, until recent times, about the only protection was leg pads and gloves.

Another piece of trivia: it is traditional for a batsman to "walk" when he knows he is out, but nowadays that doesn't always happen.

Cheers, Gerry

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Jan 4, 2005 2:33AM PST

Maybe this is worth elaborating - note the name Shane Warne as an exponent. Anyway ...

When a spin bowler more or less just walks up to bowl, the batsman looks at how he is holding the ball, so as to have a pretty good idea which way the ball will "break" (move off the wicket ... the wicket being the strip of ground between the stumps - or another term for stumps ... just to confuse you).

All well and good, except that the hand can be made to look as though it is going to deliver a leg break (a ball which bounces to the leg side - "on" being the bat side), but the ball does something very different in fact.

Don't encourage me folks!!

Regards, Gerry

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