1. Allen Stanford
2. The Goddess Apate
3. Robert Maxwell (L-H bat)
4. Frank Abagnale
5. Charles Ponzi
6. The Talented Mr. Ripley
7. Richard Nixon
8. Ronnie Biggs (Wk)
9. Victor Lustig
10. JT LeRoy
13. Allen Stanford
1. Allen Stanford
Wicket, wicket, take a wicket.
Make them play and soon they’ll snick it.
360 still to make,
Seven wickets still to take.
Eye of hawk and leg before,
Splice of bat and knowledge of law,
Dubious pitch, with lack of zing,
Flintoff’s hip and Swanny’s spin,
For the series soon to level,
Like a hell broth, be spicy and dry!
– Hamlet (The Antiguan Folio)
This may have been a blessing in disguise for England. A very good disguise.
A bit like Manchester City, we are a team that has a damagingly disparate complexion and no clear identity or philosophy at the moment. No-one is sure about the selection policy or the leadership, and no-one is certain that we will win against any opposition. This makes it hard to establish any real belief in what we are doing.
If we had lost the first test against the Windies in mediocre fashion – by fifty runs or so – then the usual, tedious explantations and solutions would have been trotted out. As it is, it can be written off as a freakish anomaly, too unlikely to take seriously. It is, at the very least, a refreshing way to lose. It was further buried out of sight in the sandpit farce, and now we are building a healthy lead on the fourth day of the ‘third’ test in the sunshine. If only we could deal with all our losses like this!
“India triumph despite Murali feat,”
the Beeb have misleadingly reported. What they mean is that India went over Sri Lanka with the heavy roller before peeling them off the outfield, propping them up with protective equipment and steamrollering them all over again. There was no ‘despite’ about it.
We are invited to believe that Murali achieved a superhuman feat of wicket taking, against which the Indians epically prevailed. Murali’s return of 1 for 60 in his ten overs was average, to say the most. To say the least, it was poor. To say less than that, it was below par.
Sehwag and Yuvraj were magnificent. Above par, even at the height they set the par. It was another smash and grab run raid from the top order, and another alarmingly mature display from Dhoni. In the one day game, at least, the heart of the Indian innings is being transplanted to him. He more than anyone is the difference between Australia and India – a leader cut from the same cloth as the rest of the side. And Indian tailoring is much better than Australian.
Zimbabwe are hammering Kenya into the ground like a stump right now, with Elton Chigumbura the hardened steel face.
But the thing that I find most overwhelming is not the dizzy totals being posted by Chig and his mates. It’s the number of O’s in the Kenyan team.
Look at them all: O, O, o, O, O, o, o, O, O, O, O, o, O, o, o!
Pietersen has just hit 103 in England’s first warm up match against the West Indies, but there was a bigger story to be found just one place further down the order. Pietersen scores runs with the same unrelenting predictability that he makes his ‘word-strings’. Owais Shah’s inclusion in the England test team is as predictable as chaos itself.
Like Joe Pasquale in a bar during a powercut, he has been flashing his credentials in vain for a long time. He has just top-scored with a ‘fluent’ 125 not out before retiring hurt with a scratched cornea.
“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?”
– Jesus: ‘The parable of the Miller’.
Jesus went on to say: “Pick Owais Shah over Collingwood and Bell. Then we will win at cricket. This is the word of Boycott.”
Amen to that.
Like a viking god, Murali entered the mortal fray and wielded his willowy hammer. In a blaze of sponsors logo’s, surplus joints and eyeballs, he bent fate to his will and salvaged an incredible victory for the Lions, who for the second time looked to have been tamed by the Tigers.
Credit to the Wizard of the Willow, but also to the losing side (just).
Zimbabwe have just beaten Bangladesh in the first ODI. The power struggles continue in Bangladesh, but at least the Shak put in another hearty display! 3 wickets for 11 runs in 10 overs, and the only six of the match before he was caught for a disappointing 15.
I’m considering signing him for the Hawk-Mouth invitational XI, to be based on nothing but whimsy and personal preference…
“Shakib returns, there are fielders in the deep.” – J.R.R. Tolkein writes for Cricinfo.
And the very next ball Sanga’s caught and bowled! A huge moment in the match after the Lawyer’s anchoring 50.
And the next ball but one, Kulasekara’s out too!
Unbelievable, and they’re now odds-on favourites to win the game!