A little bit about me and my little blog

This is by far not the first cricket blog to be written and it certainly won't be the last (or necessarily the best). But it's mine.

This is mainly an excuse for me to carry on about a sport that has been something of an obsession since I was knee high to a middle stump. An obsession which has never left throughout the many highs (behave, there have been some) and lows (and boy have there been many of those…..) of being and England cricket fan in the years since.

The views and opinions in this blog are entirely my own. Sometimes light-hearted, occasionally irreverent, hopefully never offensive.

What gives this fool the right to have an opinion on this great sport? Where are his credentials I hear you ask? Well I think my catch at mid-on in the inter-house final at Heath Grammar school in 1981 speaks for itself…..

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Natwest T20 Blast - Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning; the game of the competition so far:

I know what you're thinking - that my game of the week is going to be some sort of manufactured attempt to include god's own county cricket team, Yorkshire, into another article. I resent any sort of insinuation of the kind, I'm almost offended at the thought. I say, almost offended because I do freely admit to occasionally (some would say often) erring on the side of self indulgence and self absorption - but these are my articles which will will appear in my column and also on my blog. So it's my rules, so there.

The fact that the game of the week, and indeed the competition so far, DOES include Yorkshire is pure coincidence, cross my heart and hope to die. The match on Friday night between the Yorkshire Vikings and the Lancashire Lightning was always going to be a cracker, it's a roses encounter after all. Add to the mix some extra spice of a possible return by a certain Mr Flintoff and the first TV appearance in the Blast of the number one T20 player in the world, Aaron Finch, then it always promised to be good. However, it's safe to say that the match contained far more than it's share of excitement (including THAT catch) and more than a healthy dose of controversy, just to add a little more spice to the proceedings.

The fact that Freddie Flintoff wasn't selected after a less than auspicious appearance for the Lancashire second eleven was something of a disappointment, however the feeling didn't last long. Some big hitting towards the end of the Lancs inning saw them reach a very healthy 179-6, with Tom Smith (55) and Paul Horton (60) their main scorers. However, the innings will probably be remembered more for one of the dismissals.............

That catch

It was all going swimmingly well for Lancashire batsman Tom Smith as he bludgeoned 55 runs off 28 balls. At this point he produced another big badda boom hit down the ground to make us all believe that he had beaten the field and gone for six, that was until Yorkshire’s Lyth pulled off a simply stunning act of fielding to send a disbelieving Smith back to the Pavilion. Lyth, charging backwards towards the boundary quickly realised that any attempt at catching the ball would see him to fall over the boundary rope, palmed the ball back to the waiting Aaron Finch and the Aussie, perhaps as surprised as the rest of us watching, had the where with all to hold onto to the rebounding ball.
It was quite simply fielding of a nature that arguably would never have existed pre-limited overs. It was genius.

Aaron Finch then goes mental with the bat
Not content with his involvement in the catch of the season Aaron Finch proceeded to show why Yorkshire had paid the big bucks for the leading world T20 batsman by doing most of the damage with a blistering 88 from 55 balls including four sixes. One of the sixes in particular was perhaps the biggest hit seen at the ground since the big red pillar box was constructed four years ago as the smacked ball hit the concrete above the massive windows on The Point. It was an innings of shear brute force and more than a healthy dose of skill before being dismissed by Tom Smith’s slower ball towards the end of the innings.
Tim, Tim, Tim..........
The controversy
Poor old Jos Buttler, he hasn't had the happiest of weeks. First he was on the receiving end of a seriously controversial case of Sri Lankan Mankading in the 5th and final ODI in which England lost. I won't go into the details of the dismissal, for a start I've already written about it in my blog this week  - the link for which can be found HERE
If that wasn't enough he was then left fuming at the end of this pulsating encounter as Lancashire became the favourites to win as Yorkshire started to well and truly stutter after the dismissal of Finch. It seemed that the final nail in the Vikings coffin had been hammered when Tim Bresnan did his best impression of a lumbering oil tanker when he was run out whilst trying to steal a second run. At this point Yorkshire needed 17 runs from the final eight balls - not necessarily an insurmountable amount in modern T20, but the momentum by this stage was defiantly Lancashire's.
That was until the Lancs captain was informed by the umpires that Yorks would be handed an extra six runs due the the slow over rate. CUE much head shaking, hand gesticulating by both the players in red the the majority of the near sell-out crowd. It's safe to say that the locals were revolting, as it were, when the revised score appeared on the big screen.
The 11 now needed were knocked off in quick fashion, so much so that we, I mean they, won with three balls to spare when Richard Pyrah launched Kabir Ali over cover for six.
I tell you something - if more games are like this one I may yet become a fully fledged convert to the format......but lets keep that between you and me just for the moment, eh?

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