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Day five at the first Test

by Pranav Soneji (U5268639) 20 December 2009
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If anyone knows any exorcists, one Andrew Strauss would like their number because there is a beast of a job in Centurion to banish Supersport Park of the demons which await England's batsmen on the fifth day of the first Test against South Africa.

Compare and contrast Hashim Amla's dismissal with Andrew Strauss' - all within the space of 30 minutes. Set a highly unlikely target of 364 to win, England will need to summon the rearguard spirit of Cardiff 09 as well as Johannesburg 95 if they are to remain level in this series.

Sunday could be the defining day in one Ian Ronald Bell's career - a belligerent innings here and all could almost be forgiven. Collingwood, another Cardiff hero, can block until the hippos come home while Pietersen will entertain no matter what the match situation is. A swift 50 from the former England captain and anything is possible.

But realistically, South Africa expect nothing less than a victory. Morne Morkel's late spell on Saturday was nothing short of vicious while Makhaya Ntini and Friedel de Wet will bother England's batsmen with a barrage of the short stuff.

Throw in the grenades of Paul Harris and it's a huge ask for England. But it's not impossible, is it?

Let's have your thoughts...

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comment by phillip (U2615853)

posted Dec 20, 2009

I think SMith should have declared earlier and had 45 minutes at the England but still a postive start for him. Considering RSA havent drawn a home test for 3 years this was a great result for England. All thoise referals may have cost him the extra overs he needed.

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posted Dec 20, 2009

Bell out, Wright in - and roll on Saturday.

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posted Dec 20, 2009

fihisteriaboff: "patriotism is the last resort of scoundrels", Shaw said. Especially your kind sunshine.

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posted Dec 20, 2009

Bell and Cook to be dropped.
Cook needs to learn to stay in longer and Bell needs to work on his shots which have been terrible.
Why are so many people bashing KP?
Without KP and Trott, we would have lost, lay off KP he has not played Test Cricket since the 2nd Ashes Test.
Bring on Boxing Day, hopefully without Cook and Bell.

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posted Dec 21, 2009

Close but yet so far for SA.Exciting stuff indeed.Smith should of given the last over to de Wet or Harris instead of Ntini who looked really flat through out the match.

I will be very surprise if ntini gets the nod instead of de Wet for the next match.Ntini days are over for me,he's lost his sting and pace and struggles to take wickets on regular basis.

Give de Wet another game,he deserves it and really it's time to bring on the young lad parnell.

The future of SA fast bowling looks good.What a dangerous trio they can be,steyn,morkel,parnell that is.

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posted Dec 21, 2009

That's a "Get out of Jail Free" card for Strauss.

Maybe next time he wins the toss, he should follow the sentiments of Sir Geoff Boycott:

If it's a good pitch - Bat
If it's a bad pitch, think about it - then Bat.

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posted Dec 21, 2009

Foxes... drop Cook and play... who would you like to bring in?

Bell for Wright?

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posted Dec 21, 2009

"This is the final call for passengers Mahmood and Bell on LoserAir flight 000 to London..."

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comment by gower (U13967381)

posted Dec 21, 2009

Yes, Jolly well done to Pietersen. Not for 81 runs, or even 121, but for occupying the crease for three hours and creating an exciting draw,the run tally is irrelevant.

Of course if he had not had his moment of aberration and scored a hundred, then it wouldn't have been Onions desperately blocking the last over and the draw would have been less exciting. Same as if he had scored 150 then it may have been an exciting win?
All of which is irrelevant 'might have beens' and goes with the knocks of being potentially a great batsman.

As for the team, nobody in their right mind is going to select Mahmood (unless desperate). He might bat a little, but not nearly well enough to recover the wides and no-balls. Better off with Sidebottom, Bresnan even Wright. At least Wright can be counted on to score as many runs as Bell

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posted Dec 21, 2009

Well done lads for holding on for a draw - just typical that they had to do it the hard way!

Again, both the batting and bowling were shown to be lacking something. Bell has again shown a lack of the qualities required at test level. Cook is still a good prospect and hopefully will improve a bit. Would have liked England to take one more batsmen on this tour, so i suppose Wright should be given a go instead of Bell, and he could chip in with the odd 50 and a couple of wickets, which is more than Bell offers....although i wouldn't be suprised to see Bell given one LAST test. I reckon Swann should bat ahead of Broad as Swann seems far more capable of staying in (he's got a double ton at county level).

If more Batsmen were in good form then Sidebottom for Bell could be a good option, but with Cook and Prior not doing the business i'd say that's a risky option. Hmmm.....

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