Notch up 100 for the Taffies

Sophia Gardens has become the 100th Test cricket venue. Which is roughly the number of pitches that can fit on that massive pitch square. Have you ever seen such a large square? Unusually, it features practice strips at either extremity of the square. But enough on the ground – I don’t think that the bowlers are in love with it.

I won’t go on too much about the match but speaking of hundreds…. I won’t gloat. There’s been something in it for everyone and it is just lovely to have cricket on the TV (free to air and pay) and radio. England will have been happy with their first innings total, especially after a rocky start. However, Australia is closing in (19 runs to go) with six wickets in hand. Clarke is putting on a master class against spin bowling. Even the British commentators have declared him a fine player of spin. He has just thumped Monty for a couple of fours through and over cover, and is into the fifties. It’s pretty good viewing – Pup still has delightful footwork.

We are now 3/4 of the way through the session now and just one wicket has fallen in that session in the whole match. Hussey failed again and I can’t believe that there is not a single other batsman in the squad. It defies belief. It’s sad for Mr Cricket but I don’t care how many runs he has scored in warm-up matches – he has made 50 (exactly 50) just once in the past six Tests. What is more worrying is the three ducks in that time and the nine scores under nine. I’m not saying that Mr Cricket must be immediately dropped but fancy the selectors leaving themselves with no option! And if anyone suggests Watson, this laptop is going out the window.

The sun is in the Welsh sky (for now) and all is well with the cricket world. Except in the West Indies. The West Indies Players Association has called a strike over a lack of contracts. The first Test against Bangladesh has started with nine new caps for the Windies. Mercifully, God intervened and sent rain for almost all of the first day.

I have to go. Freddie is warming up.

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