Bangladesh fail to close gap; Ratings 21st September
Russell Degnan

2 TestsWest IndiesvBangladesh
Pre-rating870.2600.6
Form-27.4-9.1
Expected MarginWest Indies by 185 runs
Actual MarginEngland by an innings and 244 runs
Post-rating874.8587.3
Series rating996.2472.9

Bangladesh were likely to battle against the West Indies regardless of their lineup, so it is worth noting that, given the value Shakib adds - as their best batsman, best bowler, and probably best fieldsman as well - the losses recorded are in line with expectations. But they were still bad.

They took only 21 wickets in the two matches, failing to dismiss Chanderpaul at all, and squandering their one decent effort in the second test, by letting the tail put on 111 for the final three wickets. Taijul Islam, on debut, took 8 of those wickets, but still conceded 309 runs, and not economically. Nor is he of much value, as the one thing Bangladesh don't need, is yet another left-arm orthodox spinner. And almost every batsman got starts, even if only Braithwaite's 212 really went big.

With the bat, only Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque and Tamin Iqbal had more than token efforts, and even then only the captain scored a century. There were no runs in the tail either, losing 4/35, 5/35 in the first test, and alarmingly, 8/34 in the second. Benn and Roach shared most of the wickets, but even without their efforts the West Indies were never under any pressure in the field, nor against the clock. Bangladesh batted at a slower rate than usual, but they still need to find a way of slowing the match, to get draws when they can't possibly win.

Rankings at 21st September 2014
1.South Africa1289.1
2.Australia1273.7
3.England1084.7
4.India1082.6
5.Pakistan1078.2
6.Sri Lanka1050.1
7.New Zealand937.8
8.West Indies870.2
11.Bangladesh587.3
12.Zimbabwe570.7

9.Ireland594.8
10.Afghanistan587.6
13.Scotland430.3
14.Namibia383.4
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.257.3
17.Netherlands182.4
18.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.

Idle Summers 21st September, 2014 00:54:02   [#] [0 comments] 

IrevSco with Subash Jayaraman, Central Europe Cup with Dan Casey; Associate and Affiliate Cricket Podcast
Russell Degnan

The European season comes to a close, and the African seasons starts in earnest. Andrew Nixon (@andrewnixon79) has two interviews: Subash Jayaraman (@thecricketcouch) of Couch Talk fame, talks about the Ireland v Scotland one-day matches, he took in on his world tour; and Dan Casey (@dancaseyCZ), manager of the Czech national cricket team, about the Central Europe Cup that took place in Prague. Russell Degnan (@idlesummers) and Andrew also discuss the ACA Cup 50 over tournament and the preceding sixes; the four-nation African women's event in Botswana; and the Jersey-Guernsey inter-insular. Before turning to previews of the men's and women's events at the Asian Games, Africa T20 Division 2, and the ICC warm-up tours of Australia and NZ by UAE and Afghanistan. There is news from the usual suspects, and some of it is even good for a change.

Direct Download Running Time 69min. Music from Martin Solveig, "Big in Japan"

The associate and affiliate cricket podcast is an attempt to expand coverage of associate tournaments by obtaining local knowledge of the relevant nations. If you have or intend to go to a tournament at associate level - men's women's, ICC, unaffiliated - then please get in touch in the comments or by email.

Idle Summers 19th September, 2014 00:47:17   [#] [0 comments] 

Monday Melbourne: CCCVIII, September 2014
Russell Degnan

Fog as a prelude to Spring. Taken September 2014

Melbourne Town 9th September, 2014 00:43:33   [#] [0 comments] 

European Women's and Global Juniors; Associate and Affiliate Cricket Podcast
Russell Degnan

After a bit of a break, Andrew Nixon (@andrewnixon79) and Russell Degnan (@idlesummers) return to the podcast to review a full month of minor tournaments, tours and news. Included are both the official and unofficial European women's T20 tournaments, Under-age qualifiers from Europe, America, Africa and Asia. Reviews of Afghanistan's tour of Zimbabwe and Scotland's hosting of New Zealand A. Shambolic governance news from our perennial favourites: Kenya and the USA. And a discussion of the rumours surrounding the future of the ICC regional offices.

Direct Download Running Time 45min. Music from Martin Solveig, "Big in Japan"

The associate and affiliate cricket podcast is an attempt to expand coverage of associate tournaments by obtaining local knowledge of the relevant nations. If you have or intend to go to a tournament at associate level - men's women's, ICC, unaffiliated - then please get in touch in the comments or by email.

Idle Summers 4th September, 2014 23:31:37   [#] [0 comments] 

Losses don't always matter; Ratings 4th September
Russell Degnan

5th TestEnglandvIndia
Pre-rating1068.11112.0
Form+28.4-63.8
Expected MarginEngland by 28 runs
Actual MarginEngland by an innings and 244 runs
Post-rating1084.71082.6
Series rating1293.7906.8

It is hard to know quite what to make of India's capitulation at the tail-end of this series. Any team can have a once-off, but the last three tests saw increasingly pathetic efforts, with a first innings of 148 in 61 overs, seemingly inevitably followed by a 29 over second innings of 94. The shots weren't always terrible, but the ease with which the English bowlers found the edge of the bat was alarming. That England could make 486, even helped by some poor fielding, showed there was nothing untoward in the pitch.

India, plainly talented, and as seen in the one-day series, capable of much better, just didn't seem to mind if they lost. In a dead-test, in a long but condensed series, perhaps that is understandable. Nor is it the first time they've seemingly quit. Shipped around the world to pay back political favours on the ICC board; loved for their boost to the hip-pocket, but not their play; and adored at home regardless of what happens on foreign soil. A loss without consequence, a win without meaning. At least it didn't take long to play out.

England's efforts in the last three test restored them to third in the rankings, but by a miniscule margin over India and Pakistan, with Sri Lanka lurking. With something to play for, and a little grit to go with the angst, we might have seen some interesting cricket these past few months. In the end though, we had some excellent games, but a bit of a blur. For England too, unfortunately, everything remains geared to next summer.


2nd TestSri LankavPakistan
Pre-rating1043.81086.8
Form+14.6-19.0
Expected MarginSri Lanka by 29 runs
Actual MarginSri Lanka by 105 runs
Post-rating1050.11078.2
Series rating1152.3979.1

Pace bowlers like to play off at being big dogs, snarling and menacing, apparently capable of ripping out a throat. Rangana Herath is a short-legged terrier, seemingly harmless, but relentlessly aggressive, letting go only when his opponent is subdued. It earned him 14 wickets in this match, 9/127 in the first innings and 5/57 in the second, as he bowled Sri Lanka to a series victory. It was a hard-fought win, grinding out 320 in the first innings; over-coming a 12 runs deficit to post a defendable target in the third. Sri Lanka didn't dominate with the bat, but they nullified Saeed Ajmal, who bowled 79 overs for only 4 wickets and 166 runs. That was sufficient to give Herath something to bowl to, and he did the job.

Sri Lanka have held off the post-Murali decline for several years now, and Herath is a major reason why. They might be mildly concerned, that with Jayawardene retired, and the most substantial contributions apart from Mathews, coming from Sangakarra and their portly spinner, that their youth hasn't flourished. But they aren't the only side with that predicament. There could be no more appropriate send-off for Mahela than a victory at home, led by his old mates.


Only Women's TestEnglandvIndia
MarginIndia by 6 wickets

When so few tests are played, it is hard to know how a team will perform when placed in one. England ought to have won comfortably; they are better resourced, better trained, more experienced, fully professional, and with a significantly better record in global events, playing at home. They didn't though. Perhaps the focused training on limited over cricket is part of the reason, as neither they nor Australia looked comfortable in the test format in the televised match in Perth.

Either way, on a more lively pitch than the one served up 12 months ago, India rolled the home team on the opening morning. While the efforts of Gunn kept them pegged back, England were unable to set a large enough target in the fourth innings, and Raj and Pandey were able to close out the game. Reports almost universally lauded India's feat as if England had won every other test encounter against the tourists, not just the one (and that by only two runs). They might as easily praise India for their unbroken run of victories, dating back 8 years. Limited overs results are a good proxy for test results, but they aren't perfect, and India might rightly feel that they deserve to be lauded the better test nation.


2 TestsWest IndiesvBangladesh
Pre-rating870.2600.6
Form-27.4-9.1
Expected MarginWest Indies by 185 runs

A very unpredictable fixture. The West Indies turned out some dross on their last two test tours, and don't seem terribly committed to a home fixture against Bangladesh. But the tourists are hardly plain-sailing, with Shakib under a misguided ban, and recent results being pretty miserable. The ratings suggest the West India will win comfortably. Fortunately, for both teams, noone really cares.


Rankings at 4th September 2014
1.South Africa1289.1
2.Australia1273.7
3.England1084.7
4.India1082.6
5.Pakistan1078.2
6.Sri Lanka1050.1
7.New Zealand937.8
8.West Indies870.2
9.Bangladesh600.6
12.Zimbabwe570.7

10.Ireland594.8
11.Afghanistan587.6
13.Scotland430.3
14.Namibia383.4
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.257.3
17.Netherlands182.4
18.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.

Idle Summers 4th September, 2014 23:28:41   [#] [1 comment]