Saturday, 11 January 2014

Women's Ashes Test Day 2

Random thoughts, sponsored by Nescafe:
  • Katherine Brunt's dismissal for a 'second yellow card' felt desperately harsh. The rules are the rules; but they are there to prevent intimidation and KB was guilty of nothing more than trying too hard.
  • Although she bowled several maidens, I thought Jenny Gunn wasn't quite 'there', especially in the first session. Her game relies on keeping things very tight to take wickets, and it wasn't until after lunch that she found her lines at all; and even then she didn't actually look especially threatening, with the Stars happy to 'milk her for dots' knowing there was plenty of time left in the match.
  • With Australia 8-down after tea, I had half a thought that we'd be better-off holding back a bit so we wouldn't have to go out and bat again at the end of a long, hot day. In the light of what happened, it mightn't have been the worst idea in the world!
  • Lottie Edwards has long been fighting her own private Battle of Wounded Knee, so her injury is not the world's greatest surprise, unfortunately. It could be critical for the state of the series though - England need her for her captaincy as well as her batting, and every moment without her is a moment England could do without!
  • I saw a few comments on Twitter criticizing Cricket Australia's marketing efforts for the lack of local awareness in Perth, leading to empty stands at the WACA. I think this is unfair. Cricket Australia are doing a tremendous job marketing both the Southern Stars and the Women's National Cricket League, but with limited funds available you have to make some choices. Yes, we had great crowds in England last year, but it is worth bearing in mind that far more people are watching this game via the free live web feed (which is not cheap to run) than were in attendance at Wormsley or Chelmsford; and it's that kind of global awareness that women's cricket really needs.


  1. It’s not going to be too difficult to work out where things have gone wrong so far.

    Both teams have suffered from top order failures – advantage Australia who so far have only done it once ! Taylor, Greenway and Knight’s collective 43 run from 6 innings is simply not good enough in a Test match. 3 of one’s top 4 need to contribute more than this. We can only hope that Brindle, Sciver and Edwards can somehow muster enough runs to bother the Aussies. A 50+ from Jenny Gunn would help (although passing this mark only 6 times in over 150 innings for England doesn’t fill me with confidence that it will happen here).

    Knight, in particular, has missed a real opportunity. ‘Great summer but was it a one off’ is the question still left hanging out there waiting to be answered.

    Law 42.6 is pretty clear on this one - beamers are beamers. Like a tip tackle in rugby, it doesn’t matter whether you meant it or not, if you do it you pay for it. One can only hope that Brunt is sufficiently embarrassed and/or furious to take enact a wicket taking retribution in the Australia innings.

    Why on earth did anyone think it was a good idea to put Taylor in as opener. She’s spent a day in 40c wicketkeeping, is sent in to bat and surprise surprise plays a dreadful airy whoft outside the off stump. Okay so the choice was very limited but shouldn’t Brindle have been asked to take on that role ?

    I’m amazed Taylor continues to bat at No3 in Tests – surely she needs more rest time. After all, she plays too few Tests to get used to being out there keeping all day.

    Cruel irony that 2 (Winfield, Jones), maybe 3 (Elwiss) of the 4 players not selected are openers. C’est la vie.

    What odds could we have got last summer on Cross taking the new ball in an Ashes Test in Australia this winter ? All that needs to happen is that 3 quickies (Brunt, Shrubsole & Elwiss) are not fit for the WI tour, Cross gets picked, plays well, Colvin retires, Marsh is injured, Cross gets into the Ashes squad, gets picked for the Test and your main strike bowler sends down 2 beamers and can’t take the 2nd new ball.
    18-10-3-35 is an excellent debut and makes the selectors look like The Three Wise Men (even if some of the selectors are female).

  2. I have to put my hand up here: I was one of those making that criticism on Twitter. I agree that the live feed is great, and I also note that several people tweeted that they would have attended if not for the extreme heat. But there were also a sizeable number of much less sympathetic tweets along the lines of "who cares about women's cricket? Nobody goes to watch it", and from that point of view if none other, it would have been good to encourage more spectators along.

    But that aside, what a great Test match! As a neutral (NZ'er, although born in the UK), I'm loving the unpredictability of this Test - the only pattern so far has been that the morning and the evening sessions see wickets fall, while the afternoon session tends to be fairly quiet. Goodness knows how today will pan out.

  3. Law 42.7 explains the action that should be taken by the umpire in the event of dangerous and unfair bowling. First instance results in a caution (7a). Second instance results in a final warning (7b). Third instance results in suspension of the bowler for the innings (7c).

    I only remember one beamer before the one that saw Brunt suspended, so what happened? Did I miss one? Or was she actually suspended under law 42.8, which applies when the umpire considers the beamer to be intentional, and results in immediate suspension without warning? That would seem remarkably harsh. Or did the umpire get it wrong?

    If the umpire reports that Brunt bowled the second(?) beamer deliberately, I'd think she could be looking at a ban.

  4. My *UNDERSTANDING* was that the "red card" (so to speak) was invoked under a playing regulation... but...???

    What I *AM* certain of, however, that nobody thinks it was deliberate.

  5. You're right - in the playing conditions 42.4.2(b) states that the umpire should issue a first and final warning if he thinks the delivery is "likely to inflict physical injury on the batter". I think it's pushing it a bit to suggest the first one fell into that category (it was pretty tame by beamer standards, and I'd be taking it as a personal affront as a batter if the umpire felt it was likely to injure me), but at least it explains what happened.

  6. Yes - I only saw it 'live' but I did wonder, if they'd been the other way around, whether the first one would still have been called, given the implications.


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