Steven Finn is teacher's pet in England's end-of-term report

时间:2019-11-16 责任编辑:苌蟑刑 来源:pk10官网计划 点击:248 次


Teacher's pet

Steve Finn: 15 wickets at 17, three runs at three

Not since the spry 19-year-old James Anderson delivered a spell of 10-6-12-1 against Australia has an English bowler caused so much hype so early in his international career. He had enough nous to admit he had "bowled too many four balls" after taking 5-42 in the second innings at Old Trafford, which suggests he will be able to keep his feet on the ground. Except, that is, in his follow-through. "Pace is overrated," Glenn McGrath has said, "any bowler will tell you that bounce means more." Finn gets that, and his action means the ball moves just a touch away from the right-hander. Hopefully the strength and conditioning regime he is about to undertake do not spoil his natural attributes.

Top of the class

Andrew Strauss: 186 runs at 62

If he had failed, critics would have been sniffing around his hide in search of a whiff of "dressing-room disharmony" after his prolonged absence as captain. His twin 80s at Lord's soon settled concerns over his rusty form for Middlesex, although it would have been a stronger statement still to turn one or the other into a hundred. He was allowed to coast as captain, although he did well to change his mind about not enforcing the follow-on after seeing the conditions on the Sunday of the second Test.

Jonathan Trott: 265 runs at 132

Like Strauss, he had a point to prove. For Trott there was even more at stake as failure could have cost him his spot in the side. Chanceless as his 226 may have been at Lord's, at Old Trafford Shafiul Islam figured out that the best way to bowl to Trott was to refuse to allow him time to go through his elaborate routines and rituals. Better bowlers will be a lot quicker to cotton on. So his intensity seems to be both a source of strength and a weakness waiting to be exposed.

Ian Bell: 145 runs at 72

Had been struggling in the County Championship, where he has averaged just 30 in 10 innings, and he carried that scratchy form into the first Test. At Old Trafford though he looked the calm, self-collected player he had seemed to be in South Africa last winter. Coming to the crease at 83 for three, he played with a content restfulness, taking his own sweet time about scoring his runs. His first 50 took 97 balls, his second 96, and his final 28 runs another 62, suggesting he has finally shaken off the urge to attack that used to overcome him when he had settled in.

The middle rank

Matt Prior: 109 runs at 54, 10 catches

Dropped from the Twenty20 team and the ODI team, Prior can feel Craig Kieswetter's breath on his neck. A skittish 16 at Lord's betrayed his nerves, and he made a similarly uncertain start at Old Trafford before settling into a sedate 93. Looked like a man determined to prove he could bat in a fashion befitting a Test match. The flip side was that a finger injury meant his wicketkeeping was as poor as it has been in a long while. His form is one of the keys to the single biggest question facing England – whether they play four bowlers or five.

Kevin Pietersen: 92 runs at 46

He had seemingly earned enough credit in the Caribbean to be excused dual dismissals to Shakib. To a degree he beat himself on both occasions, stepping too far to leg at Lord's and skipping down the pitch at Old Trafford. The punters and pundits will be less forgiving if he makes similar mistakes against Pakistan. And Australia will surely be combing the land for a left-arm-spinner.

Ajmal Shahzad: Four wickets at 15, five runs at five

The delivery that did for Shafiul Islam was as good a ball as any Englishman can have produced on their Test debut, curving in towards middle stump then biting back the other way off the pitch. His pace was quicker than his reputation suggested, regularly up above 90mph. Canny enough to figure that his best chance of securing a place in the attack is as a reverse-swing merchant later in the innings.

Skulking near the back

James Anderson: Nine wickets at 24, 15 runs at 15

Squandered the new ball in his first three innings, and at Lord's he looked a long way short of being the senior strike bowler England needed him to be in such a callow attack. And then, just when his series average was starting to drift north of 35 runs per wicket, the clouds came out and he found his finest form. Strauss could not get the ball off him – not that he would have wanted to – on that final afternoon, when he bowled 10 overs straight through and looked as good as any bowler in the game today.

Graeme Swann: Six wickets at 35, 42 runs at 22

After reaching such peaks he was due a trough before too long, and duly went without a wicket at Lord's, that despite Bangladesh having four left-handed batsmen – Swann's preferred opposition – in their top six. It took him 11 overs of the second Test to open the chink that turned into his seventh Test five-for. At risk of developing bad habits with his breezy approach to batting. He has passed 20 six times in his last 10 innings, but 30 only once. A man who has made fifties against Australia and South Africa has too much talent to keep tossing innings away.

Eoin Morgan: 81 runs at 40

For the time being his opportunity in Test cricket has come and gone. With Paul Collingwood bound to come back into the side Morgan lost a three-way shoot-out for a slot in the middle-order with Trott and Bell. He showed some quality, but as Trott proved it was quantity that was needed. Two loose dismissals, playing away from his body, did not help. He remains next in line though and is only an injury away from another shot.

In detention

Alastair Cook: 59 runs at 19

Curiously Cook has scored just one century in 19 home Test matches since July 2007, his 160 against West Indies. In that time his average in England is 37, and his average abroad 48. This statistical quirk was exacerbated when he got two tough LBW decisions at Lord's, and then edged meekly to slip at Old Trafford. Only two months ago he was striking successive Test centuries against this same opposition in much tougher conditions.

Tim Bresnan: Four wickets at 42, 25 runs at 25

He was hampered by his foot injury and struggled to readjust to his stock line and length after the World Twenty20, but you still imagine it will be a long while until England use him in a three-man seam attack again given that he was leapfrogged by Finn and Shahzad.


The best match of the week was not played in Manchester, Port-of-Spain, or Bulawayo, but in Pembroke, Bermuda, at the Western Stars Sports Club. The Bahamas were taking on Argentina in division one of the World League's Americas region.

Argentina, without a win in their previous four games in the competition, won the toss and chose to bat. That decision was vindicated when 28-year-old Lucas Paterlini scored 138 at just over a run-a-ball, the key contribution to a formidable total of 333-5 from 50 overs. More like 54 overs actually, as the Bahamas bowled 23 wides. Things got better still for Argentina's when their opening bowlers reduced Bahamas to 16-2.

And then No3 Rohan Parkes went berserk. He hit 133 from 59 balls (14 fours, 11 sixes), an innings of such startling ferocity that his partner's 93 from 57 (six fours and eight sixes) "seemed sedate in comparison", as one reporter put it. Parkes was particularly severe on the off-spin of the Argentina captain Esteban MacDermott, who wisely decided to withdraw himself from the attack with figures of 4-0-72-0.

Parkes was stumped in the 20th over, with Bahamas needing another 121 runs and with seven wickets in hand. They lost four of those in getting to 332-7 in the 32nd over. Two runs needed then, from 18 overs and with three wickets in hand. Two of those duly fell in the next two balls. No10 Jonathan Barry scraped a single to tie the scores, and then, with all of 105 balls to find the winning run, ran himself out off the next delivery. Rarely before in the field of human conflict can so many runs have been scored so quickly to such little effect.

Argentina 333-5 (50 overs); Bahamas 333 (33.3 overs). Match tied.


The Guardian's cricket community has now paid for its first concrete cricket pitch at a new school in Afghanistan. Few things have made me as proud as what we have done these past few weeks. Not even the article I wrote tipping England to win the 2006-07 Ashes. Forget the rhetoric about how "sport can make a real difference", all you need to know is that this money is going to give a lot of Afghan children an opportunity to do something they would not have been able to do otherwise: enjoy playing cricket.

We have now raised £2,852.50. Each new pitch costs £2,000, so we are well on the way to being able to build a second. If you haven't donated yet, here are , and if I have convinced you.

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