Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
Katherine James on Quota quote
6000 on Cricinfo just said it didn't rain in Port Elizabeth on February 24th until after lunch
Katherine James on Cricinfo just said it didn't rain in Port Elizabeth on February 24th until after lunch
Alison Hendricks on Feline ephemera
A Cowardly Citizen on "In order to comply with Google's regulations ..."
Darren on The good done by the Apple Newton
Darren on Don't judge a new technology by its first stumbling steps
Michael Jennings on The good done by the Apple Newton
Brian Micklethwait on I think I may at last have found myself a sofa
Tatyana on I think I may at last have found myself a sofa
Most recent entries
- Detlev Schlichter talking about Von Mises (and being videoed)
- Quota quote
- Cricinfo just said it didn’t rain in Port Elizabeth on February 24th until after lunch
- Christopher Seaman on conducting
- Under Blackfriars Bridge
- Feline ephemera
- The good done by the Apple Newton
- 3D printed baby in the womb
- A new Morrisons is opening in Strutton Ground next Monday
- Ashes Lag recovery continues
- A Bitcoin vending machine and a Lego photographer (and a Lego Hawking)
- “In order to comply with Google’s regulations …”
- Blue wind
- Don’t judge a new technology by its first stumbling steps
- Me trying to tell Norman Foster and Richard Rogers apart
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6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
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Category archive: Sport
Just chanced upon this piece of dialogue at Cricinfo:
John Ryan: “Tell me - did it rain all day on what would’ve been the 5th day in Port Elizabeth?” Actually, it didn’t. Rain arrived only after lunch, had the match progressed that far.
That was in the commentary on this game, the start of which was being delayed by more rain, when I came across this, which is why John Ryan was able to ask about the rain on that phantom fifth day (February 24th) at Port Elizabeth without changing the subject.
6000 reckoned, in the comments on this, that the weather was bad until 4pm, and that play therefore might not have been possible at all, and certainly not before then. The above says otherwise. Odd. A very local effect perhaps. The weather in Port Elizabeth was bad, but not so bad at the ground itself, maybe?
The point of all this is that if Australia had managed not to be all out on day four, which they very nearly did manage, and then if no play had been possible on day five, they’d not have lost.
And now this latest match has been abandoned without a ball bowled. But you followed the link above, and you already knew that, didn’t you?
Early England try at Twickenham. Did not see that coming. But then, I’m remembering what happened in Wales last year. Wales now have a penalty. 7-3 England. Already England have more points than they got last year. Sunny day. Looks like it will be a cracker. (Wales just missed a try by kicking when a pass would have been a scoring pass.)
LATER: England win 29-18, two tries to none. As I say, I did not see this coming. Home advantage strikes again. If England can beat Italy, and they obviously can, and if France can oblige with another home win, against Ireland, then England will win the Six Nations.
A DAY LATER: My summary is that England played like a good England side, and Wales played like an average England side. Last night I was trying to work out why the match was so disappointing for me, despite England getting a very good win. It was this: that Wales of old seem to be no more. Presumably the Welsh plan is that Wales should play like a decent All Blacks side. But what I like to see is Wales playing like a great Wales side, and we’ve not seen that for quite a while now.
My Ashes Lag is really being taken care of, by the South Africa Australia cricket, which is in South Africa, God bless it. It starts at Really Early am London time. Crucially, it keeps on doing that. You don’t cure Ashes lag with just one virtuous wake-up. You have to string a bunch of them together. Nothing like a really good test series that starts at Really Early am day after day to do that. It’s just a pity the series is not a fiver rather than a mere threeer.
Australia are crushing South Africa in the third and final game, just as they did in the first game, and just as South Africa crushed them in the second. And I sort of told you so:
Mitchell Johnson won the first game for Australia, then did nothing in the second, but I think I heard that the pitch for the third game will suit Johnson, so maybe it will be an Australia win.
Well, not really, I mostly sat on the fence. But, at least I am not surprised. South Africa are 71-4 in their second innings, with Amla out but AB de Villiers still there. At tea they were 15-3.
I really hope they have lots more one-day games, and that at least some of them start good and early.
The other really good news, aside from the Ashes Lag thing, is that South African captain Graeme Smith has now retired from internatioanal cricket, and can now devote all his energies to getting Surrey back on their feet.
Rather annoyingly, what with me trying to get other stuff done, cricket remained interesting all day, with Pakistan chasing a vast Bangladesh score, in the Asia Cup, or something. The highpoint of that was the innings of Shahid Afridi which began like this, the W at the start being the fall of the wicket that brought him in:
W 6 2 6 1 |6 2 . 6 6
35 in ten balls, in other words. At the start of all that, Pakistan were in a seemingly hopeless position. After those two overs, the chase was doable, and they duly did it, despite Afridi having a bad back which meant he couldn’t stretch out and avoid being run out, just after he’d raced to fifty.
Tomorrow, the decisive SA v Aus action is likely to come at the start, so that’s more good news on the Ashes Lag front. If early wickets fall, especially that of de Villiers, that will be it. If they don’t, and especially if de Villiers hangs around for a decent time, South Africa would have an outside chance of a draw. But, I doubt it. South Africa’s only real chance is if Johnson gets hurt early in the day, just like Steyn got hurt early on day one.
The Six Nations has been its usual unpredictable self this year. Italy lost to Scotland to claim the Wooden Spoon, or so it looks. Can either of them win any games during the last two weekends? While above them, Ireland, England, Wales and France are all played three won two. All the results are here.
Those top four provide us with a typically delightful Six Nations circle of scores. France beat England 26-24. But last Friday, Wales hammered France 27-6. In round two, Ireland crushed Wales 26-3. So, did England then lose to Ireland by a margin of 2 + 21 + 23 points? No, they beat Ireland 13-10.
England’s winning try against Ireland was a thing of beauty. I recall saying here (here) that England’s loss to France didn’t really bother me, and that England actually looked pretty good. Against Ireland they proved me right.
A clue to that strange circle is, however, that of the first nine games, seven have been won by the home side, including all four games in that circle. The only home defeats were when Italy lost to Scotland, and when Scotland lost to England.
Meanwhile, the cricket series going on between South Africa and Australia is terrific. The games all kick of at 8.30am England time, which makes them the perfect cure for Ashes Lag. Australia won the first game, and I made a point of tuning in promptly for the start of the second game. Sure enough, Australia soon had South Africa reeling at 11-2. But from then on it was all South Africa. They won inside four days, having been desperate to stop it going to five, because the forecast for day five was rain, rain, rain. But was it? I just tried to find out what the weather was like on Feb 24th, but all you get on the www is forecasts. No reports of the past. The weather of the past is another country, it seems.
It may be that the Australia win at Centurion, an away win, will be the exception. England beat Australia 3-0 in England. Australia smashed England 5-0 in Australia. Meanwhile NZ were beating India in NZ. Now South Africa to beat Australia in South Africa? Mitchell Johnson won the first game for Australia, then did nothing in the second, but I think I heard that the pitch for the third game will suit Johnson, so maybe it will be an Australia win.
LATER: I nearly forgot about this, this being Afghanistan Under 19s beating Australia Under 19s, at cricket.
Taken by me today, from outside Waterloo Station, as afternoon was turning to evening. Strata is suffering from red eye.
I love this time of year.
There’s the Six Nations. The England France game was a cracker. Oddly it did not distress me that England lost, narrowly, because they played some really good stuff and might have won. The England Scotland game, on the other hand, did distress me, because both Scotland and the pitch were utter crap. And although England were okay, on a proper pitch they could have really played well and scored a decent number of tries, instead of just one in each half. As it was England played only adequately. Very dispiriting. But, it’s still the Six Nations. Maybe week three will be as good as week one was.
And, I love it that the days are now lengthening. My photography depends heavily on daylight. Even the difference between dusk and dark is very important to me, as the above photo illustrates.
So Kevin Pietersen has been sacked by England, for not being a team player, being obnoxious, friendless, or whatever it was. Still a good player, but not a team player. The gory details will presumably all emerge, soon enough.
But the really important question is one that nobody seems to be asking, obsessed as they are with England, England losing the Ashes in humiliating fashion, and so forth and so on. Will Pietersen now be able to play more often for Surrey? Or, will he be so busy roaming the earth playing T20 cricket that he won’t have any more time to spare on Surrey than he has had in the last few years, ever since he joined them.
A couple of years ago, Surrey were in the throes (sp?) of the Maynard drama and the Ramprakash retirement, nobody was playing very well, and in particular nobody was batting very well. My theory is that when tragedy strikes a sports team, the natural reaction of the other players is to play badly, as a mark of respect. To play well, in the immediate aftermath of tragedy, would be to display insensitivity, selfishness, greater concern for one’s own career than about the tragedy.
But Kevin Pietersen, being Kevin Pietersen, is impervious to such emotional atmospheres. So, some crazy kid gets hyped up on drink and drugs and gets clobbered to death by a train? Although I hardly knew the guy, I am supposed to be all bent out of shape? Forget it. So out Pietersen goes and makes 234 not out, …:
This, by any standards, was an extraordinary innings. It was not just that Pietersen hit the fastest first-class century of the season - 93 balls with 13 fours and three sixes - or that he went on to hit the fastest double-century of the season - 170 balls, 25 fours and seven sixes - but that he bullied the bowling - the bowling of the county champions, no less - with a dominance rarely witnessed in the professional game. It was an innings that would have made Sir Viv Richards proud. And there really isn’t higher praise than that.
… which was, actually, the exact thing that the Surrey cricket team then needed. A ruthless bastard prepared to go on playing cricket, really well, when all about him were shuffling about staring at their feet, as if at a seemingly endless funeral, which mentally speaking they actually still were.
I bet Surrey would be very, very glad to have as much of Kevin Pietersen as he is now willing to bestow upon them. And what is more, at a time when he will be in the mood to inflict maximum embarrassment on England, for dumping him. To this end, merely thrashing sixes in T20 tournaments in faraway countries will not suffice. What he will want will be huge first class scores, in England, at exactly the time when England are being bowled out for smaller scores by visiting test teams with bowlers no better than English county bowling, and all in England for every cricket fan and cricket person in England to see and talk about and chortle about.
LATER: What Pietersen brings to the IPL.
England’s men, on the other hand, are now, according to
my Michael J’s calculations, 10-1 down, with one two to play.
So, earlier this evening I did my talk at Christian Michel’s. It went well, I think. More about that tomorrow. Maybe. I promise nothing.
I’ve just got back and am now watching the NFL semi-finals highlights on Channel 4. I am really enjoy this. All the boring stuff is cut out.
Super Bowl: Denver v Seattle or San Francisco, probably Seattle, Feb 2. All the boring stuff left in, but a great occasion. Seattle. The Guardian really seems to be doing well with the NFL. Or is that just me, linking to the Guardian recently about other stuff?
Then, the Six Nations.
Meanwhile, England are doing really well in the Ashes.
I like the colour of that. Click for a little more context.
Nice to have a posting that combines sport with poetry, as cricket used to do, rather a lot.
More thoughts about the poem here. The complete poem here. (For some idiot reason my blogging software turns “Lord’s” into “Lord/’s” in that link. Remove the “/” in the URL to view the poem. Anyone know what’s going on there?)
The more I ponder that “impact of digital photography” thing, the more I become convinced that the photographing of text is one of the most significant things that digital cameras do.
On having written about the 1958/9 Ashes series before the 2013/4 Ashes series had started
Tough going in Australia
Jane Austen’s naval brothers
Ashes to ashes
Gloomy Earl’s Court picture
Broad thrives properly on getting abuse
Conquer the Pillars of Islam
Ashes black out
Who was the youngest batsman to reach 7000 runs in Tests?
Otherwise blogging (and a Burgess Park butterfly)
Stuart Broad has a kitten heel
Why I admire short term weather forecasts but why cricket people don’t
Chess set made of London’s Big Things
A day in and around Olympicland with Goddaughter One
Australian selection inconsistency and getting the causal link the wrong way round
Quite a morning
Monty Panesar: “I piss on your short pitched fast deliveries aimed at my body!”
Australian cricket is doomed! - or maybe not
Women of Japan – better luck next time
Should Broad have walked?
On the pleasure of assuming the worst
Samir Chopra on how match fixing turns cricket into not cricket
Funniest run out ever?
Wembley Arch with balloons and with umbrellas
Me and the Six Nations under the weather
Six Nations joy
Monopoly Cat replaces Monopoly Iron
Me going to bed causes collapse
Carnage at Adelaide
Australia v South Africa starts now
Surrey win their relegation battle
A memorable scoreboard surrounded by empty seats
Surrey might not be relegated after all
Back there and now back here
Usain Bolt takes photos of photographers!
Self portrait with sunburn
Well that was close!
Surrey have a short but sweet day against Sussex
Latest C4 logo sculpture
Nerd spin talk overheard by Jarrod Kimber
The Big Olympic Thing from nearer
Steve Baker MP
Ancient and modern (but mostly ancient) cars in Regent Street yesterday
More NFL Fan Rally pictures from last Saturday
That Clive Woodward gets around
NFL fans and their name-and-number shirts in Trafalgar Square on Saturday
The England rugby aftermath
Jarrod Kimber on biased cricket commentators
France beat England
England squeak through against Scotland
Another Surrey fast bowler gets an England call-up
Davies and de Bruyn get promotion for Surrey
How England have dropped catches yet still won matches
WWWhat a great afternoon!!!
Does Kevin Pietersen have a weakness against bowlers?
The boy from Egham Dunn good
Today there is cricket and there is cricket
Friday link dump
Meaning in sport
The fluctuating fortunes of Praveen Kumar and the devastating impact of Lasith Malinga
Rugby shirts on drugs
The most celebrated sporting win ever
NZ doing a bit better than England
New bridge in Melbourne
Ireland beating England in Dublin
Pronouncing on the Six Nations
Ireland lose - England trying to
Sportsmanship by us – bullying by them
Crushed cricket minnows - missable soccer goals - Ashton’s swallow diving
Bouncing bombs and spinning cricket balls
Thoughts on England not just keeping the Ashes but winning the series 3-1 (with asterisks)
Australia so nearly 55-0 (plus thoughts on the impact of Twenty20 cricket)
Boxing Day morning at the MCG
No wickets in the first over shock
The Ashes: chickens and now a swallow
How quickly the mood can change!
And it resumes …
A down and up weekend
More blood to Australia
First blood to Australia
Ashes highlights on ITV4
Twenty ten twenty ten
Greenies make a video saying: “We’re a bunch of vile greenie-nazis!”
I don’t usually approve of swear blogging but …
Zaltzman on Clarke
Andy Flower urges England fans not to punish cricket for being corrupt
Ten thoughts about the Pakistan cricket corruption story
Graeme Swann on drink-driving charge after 3am dash to save kitten
Big Singapore Thing
Cricket technology and its imperfections
Farnborough (5): Supacat Bloodhound Falcon
Snappy quote from Victor Davis Hanson that may or may not actually be true
Another world cup photo of photographers
Photoing the World Cup
On cricket and death
Strata from Waterloo
Cricinfo gets its clock in a tangle and Pyrah bowls an unforgivable no ball
A response to the cyclist menace
England beating Australia – Germany beating England
Curse you Friends Provident t20
Balls balls up
A serious disappointment
Lucky we didn’t go to Lords
Cats and bridges on Pixdaus
Surrey are now crap at cricket but they are sitting on a gold mine
Muralitharan and Hayden carry on doing badly
London is about to be Kapoored with a big new Olympic Games Thing
Six lions on a white Mercedes bonnet
Watching IPL cricket beats watching England play rugby
IPL on ITV4!
Separating the men from the toys - the future of warfare and of sport?
Is Martin Johnson another Kevin Keegan?
Nasa and Gordon Brown both have their uses
Reds against Blues in Munich
Cricket talk tonight
Two New York stadiums temporarily next to each other
Three more headlines and how the internet remembers it all
Andrew Hughes on making heroes of cricketers
London cricket roof clutter
India looking good against Sri Lanka
Talking with Toby Baxendale
Forget the fifth of November - and the Brown curse strikes (again)
Graeme Swann - twitterer but no twit
Gordon Brown dithers about rugby - cricket’s on the up
Making the IOC feel important with a personal lubricant
The curse of Gordon Brown is now ruining the England cricket team
When Cricinfo doesn’t supply the info
Changing faces of Europe
More recorded cricket chat and some further Oval hindsights
How the BBC ignored the problem of how to pick two from three equal-ish teams
England and me both upset
Photo by me in a newspaper!
How technology has improved detention
Thinking thin at the top
More sign photos
IPL continues to literally trump proper cricket
At Samizdata: cricket - crime - Kevin Dowd quote
What the previous two postings here have in common
Indian Premier League trumps test cricket
Angleterre formidable - France merde - Italy crap
By bus to Sheffield
It could be a rather small funeral
Cricketers don’t have to get along – they just have to turn up and play
Nothing today but link to Samizdata
A little drunk blogging
Keeping up with the NFL
Another Samizdata piece
Why Willem Buiter blogs and why I do
England sinking fast
Dongling at Michael’s
Metaphor muddle alert
The Great River Race
On the perils of recording to your TV hard disc at the midnight hour
Smog returns to Beijing
Vaughan steps down
Blue sky in Beijing
Collingwood comes through and The Internet is a hat trick
Twenty20 cricket on Sky TV
“The air is apparently not getting better …”
Everything changes today
Posting at Michael’s
Pietersen not humbled
Seven Napiers – three Ansaris - Gilchrist
More Beijing smog-blogging
Bird’s Nest in smog
I predict that Germany will win
I’d be cheering
152 not out in a Twenty20
Guido Fawkes gets Douglas Jardine wrong
New Zealand crumple at Trent Bridge
Bowlers who look like actors
Avoiding barbarism in the street
Bowled Harmison bowled Harmison
Cozier cheers up
First Jaques – then Ponting – then Katich – then Hussey cleaned up
Giant table football table and hamster powered cars
They play a lot of snooker in China – and in Essex
The IPL is a new face for India but Harbhajan slapping Sreesanth is no big deal
Head Men need to be a bit wrong in the head
Slow day here
News Media Coalition versus Indian Premier League
Ramps carries on where he left off last autumn
Fourth innings heroics
Meltdown in Russia … and New Zealand
Ed Smith on how baseball defeated cricket in America
Thank you very much Ambrose and Collingwood
It really is about bloody time Jonathan Davies learned how to pronounce Jauzion
Watching paint dry at the end of a Six Nations game
Me talking about the great twentieth century musical divide
Lucky I don’t take cricket seriously
Flat horse pictures
Billion Monkey Maria Sharapova lookalikes!!!
The Lord is watching
Democracy for sale – starting with football and beer
Weather to go out
Rain stops Murali
Probably not right - but definitely written
I hope I’m wrong about this
More rugby talk
Ramprakash at his level of competence
Australia out! – New Zealand out! – pass forward!
The blue and gray men are slaughtering the gray and blue men
Nine points better than last time!
Alisher Usmanov is now better known for being nasty
When inimitable means very imitable
Lots of links
Cricket lovely cricket
Test match special
Depressed about the Windies
Bicycling Billion Monkeys!
Surrey crash to earth
Maybe not quite so amazing after all
“A fitting end to a very badly organised tournament …”
A double cricket surprise
Old gits at the Oval – and Shane Warne
Cricket blogging by me elsewhere
He’s for ever blowing bubbles
Cricket is ruining the youth of India!
Footbridge in the dark and cricket
Four Nations still in it!
Clever old Catt
An improbable England win in the Six Nations
Tall chess men and tall buildings in the evening
“You will struggle to ever see a better caught and bowled than that!”
Displacement photo of Billion Monkey!
That Rooney goal
Empty football stadiums on TV
Pictures of the world for the world
Ashes 2005 to Ashes 2006/7
Alice in Texas on form - England in Australia not
In a bad way - but recovering
They are only games
Foreigners on film
Not much here today
“Are you telling me I don’t know my own brother?”
Podcasting with Adriana tomorrow
Lords pictures from last Monday
Something to bore everyone
England versus Pakistan – first test – final morning
“We are looking for a Cricket obsessive . . .”
Antoine gets Mexican election right
I’m hot and I’m happy
Twenty20 Sri Lanka and World Cup ejection
Quota photo and Surrey weirdness
Ethereal India photo
Cricket with landmark
Big Media crap and football cock-ups
County cricket - great and not so great - and what to do about that
It is very hot
Dnalgne no emoc! - Billion Monkey snaps mental Maradona!
Latest Brian and Antoine elections around the world mp3
Wisden on the back foot
Zooming in on the Wembley Arch
Chinamen playing cricket
So does Flintoff really look like Jessop?
The latest Brian and Antoine mp3
Lightning strikes twice
Disaster in Paris
Unplugged and writing about sport because sport Doesn’t Matter
Blogging takes a back seat
Only a game
More ancient rock and rollers photographed from off of the telly
What it was only better
The father of invention
The Superbowl is live on the telly!
The animal spirits of Six Nations
Organised games as a way to control boys
I will never flirt with religion again
I am now thinking of abandoning atheism
Vive le rugby
The new stand at the Oval
Pictures I took of yesterday’s Ashes celebrations in Trafalgar Square
Douglas Jardine and Spike Milligan