44-2: How England Could Have Avoided Ashes Whitewash

4th February 2014

Around the World in 2 – a few occasional off-breaks

Each week for Mason & Guests I compile and broadcast a brief summary of cricket events outside the Caribbean, with a few “Did You Know, Andrew?” facts thrown in. Here’s this week’s round-up:

“England have won the Ashes! Yes, England’s women’s team successfully defended the urn they won in the British summer, by winning the multi-format contest 10-8. England’s women had won the sole Test Match by 61 runs, which was worth 6 points, and with 2-1 defeats in each of the 3-match ODI & T20 series, where each victory was worth 2 points, it was enough to win the Ashes overall. But, did you know, Andrew? that if the men’s teams had employed this system, then Australia would have beaten England not 5-0, but 44-2?

“England’s men’s team completed the ‘Tour From Hell’ by losing all 3 T20s, to finish with series defeats in the 3 formats of 5-0, 4-1 & 3-0. In the last few days, Andy Flower has stood down as England’s Head Coach, and Ashley Giles is the early favourite to succeed him; and now, just before we’ve gone on air, we’ve heard that England have also sacked their best batsman, Kevin Pietersen.

“Hovering in Australia for a moment longer, in the 1st semi-final of the Big Bash last night there was a major upset as the Hobart Hurricanes beat the previously undefeated Melbourne Stars by 7 wickets. The 2nd semi-final is between the Sydney Sixers & the Perth Scorchers from 4.45am tomorrow morning, and the final is on Friday.

“Australia’s Test team has arrived in South Africa for their 3-Test tour, and have been met with heavy rain which hasn’t allowed them any match practice yet. World number 1s, SA are favourites, but did you know, Andrew that they haven’t beaten Australia at home since 1970? The 1st Test at Centurion starts in the early hours of next Wednesday.”

This week’s question: Barbados haven’t won the regional 50-over tournament outright since 2002, when they beat Jamaica in the final by 33 runs. Wavel Hinds scored 103 for Jamaica, but who was Barbados’ Man of the Match? And who is the only member of the current Barbados squad who played in that final?

“New Zealand won the 5th & final ODI v India to complete a 4-0 series win. Ross Taylor scored his 2nd successive century, as NZ won comfortably by 87 runs. The 1st of 2 Tests begins tomorrow evening at 6pm ECT.

“The 2nd of 2 Tests between Bangladesh & Sri Lanka is underway: SL have amassed 314-5 on the 1st day, with Kumar Sangakkara finishing the day 160no, his 34th Test century. This takes him one past his fellow countryman, Mahela Jayawardene whose 203no in the 1st Test was his 33rd Test century, helping SL to thrash Bangladesh by an innings and 248 runs.

“Scotland and the United Arab Emirates have qualified for the 2015 World Cup. Scotland will be in Group A with England, Australia, SL, Bangladesh, NZ & Afghanistan. The UAE will be in Group B with West Indies, SA, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe & Ireland.

“And finally, did you know, Andrew that an English pair of batsmen in Sleaford, Lincolnshire have smashed the world record for the longest net session? Dave Newman & Richard Wells netted for 48 hours, passing the previous record of 26 hours with ease. The marathon was raising funds for the Brain Tumour Research Trust, and the 1st ball of the session was bowled by former England bowler, Matthew Hoggard.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

“On Thursday, Fidel Edwards will be 32. He took 5-36 v SL on his Test debut at Sabina Park in 2003, & in 55 Tests has taken 165 wickets at 37.87; but did you know, Andrew that since his last Test for WI in November 2012, he has only played 1 subsequent 1st-class match?

“Thursday will also be the 45th birthday of Rajindra Dhanraj, who played 4 Tests for WI in the 1990s, taking 8 wickets at the huge cost of 74.37 each.

“Also enjoying a birthday on Thursday is Kerry Jeremy, the Antiguan who played 6 ODIs for WI in 2000 & 2001, who will be 34.

“Saturday is the 44th birthday of Cameron Cuffy, who took 43 wickets in 15 Tests for the WI between 1994 & 2002, without ever truly establishing himself in the side.

“And Monday will be the 52nd birthday of Clayton Lambert, who played his 1st international match for the WI in 1990, & his last in 2004, for the USA. His only Test century came against England in Antigua in 1998, & 17 days later he hit his only ODI century in Trinidad against the same opposition.”

The answer to this week’s quiz question: Floyd Reifer, who made 86no. And Sulieman Benn.

The Mason & Guests show is broadcast live on Tuesday’s from 6.15-8pm ECT (10.15-midnight GMT)  on Voice of Barbados 92.9fm and can be heard via numerous internet tune-in services.

David Oram

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