March 15, 2013
Normal service has been resumed in the on-going skirmishes between South Africa and Pakistan. In the first ODI in Bloemfontein, South Africa, with their all-dominant attack, recorded a comprehensive victory by 125 runs, leaving skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and his men seemingly bereft of ideas on how to cope with the home side’s battery of seamers.
Australia’s ‘homework’ saga rumbles on in the world’s media. Not slow to put the boot in, a raft of former players have ridiculed the coach Mickey Arthur’s strategy of asking for written feedback from his players on how to turn round a series deficit and handing out one-match suspensions handed out to four players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, who failed to do so. Comments included: “You’ve got to treat the players like adults” (Geoff Boycott), “Mickey Arthur’s assignment task was stupid” (Stuart MacGill), “I do feel the decision to drop the players is just too harsh” (Nasser Hussain) and “Punishing four Australian players for not doing their homework is just petty” (Shane Warne). Support for Arthur is thin on the ground, but he can take some solace from certain quarters: “It is a bold move, but if the tough decision hadn’t been taken, things may have got a lot worse before they got better” (Greg Chappell), “This offence shows a lack of commitment to the cause and respect for those in authority” (Angus Fraser) and “In the long run, this could be viewed as the right decision for Australian cricket” (Alex Stewart). As for Arthur? Under heavy fire, he lurches from calling the saga a “line in the sand moment” to “nothing more than a “miniscule event”. Watson, currently back in Australia for the birth of his child, may or may not return for the final test.
England have made an impressive start in the second test against New Zealand in Wellington. A first innings total of 465 included centuries from Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott; at stumps on Day 2 New Zealand stand on 66 – 3. Encouraging news of Graeme Swann will buoy England; his elbow operation in the USA has apparently been completed without complications.
It was stalemate in Galle in the first test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; over 1600 runs (including 8 individual centuries) were amassed in the game for the loss of just 19 wickets. All parties are hoping for an even contest between bat and ball on a more sporting track next time round in Colombo.
West Indies have placed a spoiler on UK’s Sky Sports’ plan to bring viewers ’39 hours of continuous live international cricket coverage’ by crushing Zimbabwe by 9 wickets in just three days in the first test in Barbados. One more hiding to come and then sorry Zimbabwe will be heading home.
The Scoop 15/03/13