Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Nick to Nick in nick of time earns Vics victory
Victoria deservedly defeated SA outright today after a rearguard action led by Mark Cosgrove seemed likely to squeeze a draw.
After Victoria moved quickly from their overnight 4/201 to declare at 6/246 the rest of the day's batting moved at a funereal pace as the top part of the Redback innings came apart. Cosgrove played doggedly out of and Gillespie doggedly in character to offer their team some hope that they could hang on for a draw. The field was generally attacking: for a short time towards the end we saw a classic umbrella field (see photo). When Gillespie was lbw to Moss the last three followed in quick succession, with Cosgrove unable to keep the strike for the penultimate over, bowled by Gerard Denton, who had removed Bailey and Rofe (caught behind playing at a ball he could have left alone) in his previous one. then administered the coup de grace with his sixth wicket of the innings as Tait nicked a ball to Jewell at leg slip.
Denton had by far the best figures but he was well supported, as the scorecard attests by all the other bowlers, especially Shane Warne who bowled extremely well for his 1/42.
Victoria deserved to win and after an indifferent performance against WA will be full of confidence for the rest of the season.
SA carried too many passengers and will need to regroup before meeting NSW later this week. The batting, apart from Lehmann, Cosgrove and to some degree Borgas, is thin, and the attack, which looks good on paper, in this game lacked the sharp edge required to gain and the retain the ascendancy.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I wasn't able to get to the match today, but the Cricinfo bulletin (with link to scorecard) seems to be a good succinct summary, and much better than the Cricket Australia report, much of which just repeats the scores . I agree with Cricinfo that SA will find it hard to keep Shane Warne at bay in the fourth innings .
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Victoria surges ahead: SA v Victoria day 2
I've started this blog to let me post while I can't, for reasons I can't fathom, access my beta blogger one.
On day 2 of the game Victoria turned a fairly even position into a dominant one. In the first session they held off and later dominated the SA attack. Declaring at lunch at 6/385 (after being 5/244 at stumps) , they had the brittle SA batting lineup 4/70 at tea before Darren Lehmann energised Borgas and the pair put on a century partnership. This was still not enough to leave the Redbacks , 5/197 at stumps, with much of a chance. Shane Warne, after some rougher than usual handling by Brogas and Lehmann, by the end of the day was making the ball bounce and turn considerably and troubling Manou, who came in for the last few overs when the situation seemed right for Gillespie . The lower photo shows the last ball of the day (and the last ball before daylight saving - note shadow encroaching on pitch).
Lehmann, 75 no at stumps, is as usual SA's main hope. The Victorian quick bowlers were steady rather than menacing, but this brought them rewards. The fields were mostly defensive: the top photo shows that for Moss, who bowled military medium with the keeper standing up, no slip (Warne is at third man) and two on the leg side boundary.
It's hard to see SA getting back into the match from here. If they're to do so the lower order will need to support Lehmann's attempt to double his stumps score.