The West Indies have scored an expected win in the second Test in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Well, I didn’t expected. In a lowish scoring match, that ran for just four days, the West Indies polished off the 254 runs required, while losing only four wickets. The main contributors to the cause were Sarwan (102) and the ever faithful Chanderpaul (86 not out). Australia should be worried.
It’s old news now but following the 1st Test run fest in India, South Africa has steam rolled India in the 2nd Test. Slightly misjudging the start of the Twenty20 festivities, India were dismissed in exactly 20 overs for a rather dismal (even for T20) 76 runs. South Africa realised it was actually a Test and piled on 494 before declaring at the end of day 2 (they must have wanted to play golf or something). After some resistance from India, South Africa prevailed by an innings and 90 runs.
While on the subject of South Africa, let me say that I think that the Australian and South African authorities have it way wrong with the scheduling. South Africa must be real pretenders to the throne. In fact, I think they would give Australia a real touch up if they played now. The trouble is, we’ll have to wait until the end of 2009 (almost two years) for a Test match. As you all know, countries are supposed to play each other in a Test series (minimum 2 matches) at home and away, every four years. When South Africa came back into the fold in 1992, back to back three match series were scheduled in Australia and South Africa in 1993/1994. It is understandable that all concerned were keen to play Test cricket in both nations as soon as possible. The trouble is that they have stayed on that cycle. There are two problems. Firstly, whereas Australia plays England in 10 Tests in any given four year period, and India in 8 Tests, there are just six matches between South Africa and Australia. Secondly, the matches all fall in a period of about four months. It’s a long time between hostilities. Last time the two teams met (2005/06), Australia still sported McGrath and Warne and was as powerful as ever and was smarting from the loss of the Ashes. Next time the two meet, the Ashes will have been contested twice, McGrath and Warne (not to mention Langer, Martyn and Gillie) will be forgotten and Dale Steyn will be an old man. It is disappointing.