The grass is always greener

I’m not sure that tomorrow’s second Test between the West Indies and Australia warrants much of a preview. Best approach this one with little expectation, I think. Many may be distracted by another sport even – at Telstra stadium, Australia has scored just this minute. And around the world there is much splendid cricket taking played. Not least, the exciting conclusion of the first Test between Pakistan and England at Multan.

Less than an hour ago, Pakistan (274 & 341) sealed a thrilling fight back, defeating England (418 & 175) by just 22 runs. In a match reminiscent of England’s last summer, they dominated on the first innings and wobbled in the second – only on this case the wobbles lead to a fall. There was a last rally as England recovered from 7/117 to 7/166, needing just 32 runs for victory. But Shoaib Akhtar and Danish Kaneria put paid to that. Shoaib took three of the last four wickets, spectacularly bowling Jones and Giles. What a mess. Star performers:

1 point – Freddie Flintoff (4-68 & 4-88 and 44 first innings runs)
2 points – Trescothick (193 in the first innings and 4 catches)
3 points and MOTM – Salman Butt (74 & 122)

In Hyderabad, South Africa has started its Indian campaign. India recovered from 3 for 5 and then 4 for 34 to post 9/249 on the back of 103 from Yuvraj Singh. After 48 off from 36 by Smith, the Boks have stumbled to 3/140.

And let’s hear if for Boof Lehmann. 301 big ones for the Redbacks against the Sand Gropers. Not out. Not bad for an old man. South Australia is poised to overcome the Western Australians. For those of you who are interested in the progress of Dizzie Gillespie (I am), he took one first innings wicket to Paul Rofe’s six! He started the second innings with a bang, trapping Murray Goodwin lbw with the first ball of the innings.

For the record, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s Test in Hobart. I think this might be the first time the Windies have played at the home ground of DC Boon. The West Indies have five very well credentialed batsmen. Surely a couple can get some runs.

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