Monday, 11 June 2012

Review of the 3rd Test v West Indies

And so the curtain falls on yet another series. The two day Test at Edgbaston was a wash out in this sodden summer of ours and the cricketing crowds of England's second city showed their dissent with the ECB's pricing policy. Who can blame them? When we are in the depths of the second, maybe first depending on your political leanings, worst recession in history, allied to a poor summer and a dead series, sixty plus squid a ticket is a hell of a lot of dosh to fork out for a day out. Something for the marketing department to look at I suppose? Especially when the umpires pull the players off for bad light when the batsmen are creaming the bowling to all parts. Cricket doesn't help itself at times.

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Ramdin impersonates Neville Chamberlain

As for the cricket, we saw a few new things from the Windies. We saw the mystery spinner, Sunil Narine. The way Pietersen and Bell took him to the cleaners, the only mystery is how he did so well in the IPL! The other mystery is would someone really pay to get their hair cut like that? We saw the highest ever score from a number eleven, with Tino Best, gorging on English bowling, like his namesake George would a beer, during his sparkling knock of 95. In his first test for three years, it would almost have been like shagging a Miss World! It wasn't a brainless innings however, and he played sensibly to allow Denesh Ramdin a chance to get to his hundred.

Ramdin was the main talking point, as on reaching three figures he pulled out a piece of paper with the words "YEA VIV TALK NAH" on it. This was a response to Sir Viv's criticisms of the keeper after Trent Bridge, saying that his performances had gone backwards. A brave, possibly foolish move by dogged Denesh, but Ramdin wanted to ram home his point. The Antiguan wasn't happy, and likened it to scoring a consolation goal in the 90th minute when you are 5-0 down. Still classy, even on the radio and he has been a pleasure to listen to over the last few weeks.

Narine...plenty of mysteries

As for England, they were flat. All the talk beforehand was would they play Onions or Finn, and they decided to play both as Broad got himself a little holiday with Jimmy Anderson. Despite yours truly saying Finn should play over Onions, it was the Durham man who looked better, picking up four wickets. Onions makes the batsmen play and there are some saying he should replace Bresnan, as England's third seamer. From Man of the Match at Trent Bridge to potentially being dropped would be harsh on the Yorkshireman, but Bunny is having a fantastic season. Blocker Bresnan also saw his 100% winning streak disappear.

The English batting has a tail like a Manx cat, even Anderson has improved, whilst the West Indians have been likened to having one like a diplodocus. Well it was England who looked like disinterested dinosaurs on the Sunday morning as they had their worst session for years. Ok, Anderson and Broad will be back for the sterner test of South Africans, but poor sessions are starting to creep in with England and need nipping in the bud.

Finally, the rain put us out of our misery, not before Bell and Pietersen improved their average. Off the field, the West Indians have livened things up, Mikey on Sky, Viv on the radio and those good guys at Banks Caribbean Lager selling their fine brew at Tesco's for just one pound a bottle. On the field, their counterparts have been a let down, and this has been the least memorable series with them I can ever remember.

Let's hope that with the teams more closely matched in one day cricket, and the return of Chris Gayle, they give us something better to remember before they return to the Caribbean. At the prices the ECB are charging, we expect and deserve the sort of excitement experienced at Danny Guthrie's wedding!

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