Cow Corner

  • He’s Peter Moores, but with added Zyl

    Okay, so a successful and experienced coach is at the helm for a long
    period of time, only to resign disillusioned and pave the way for a
    young coach apparently "working wonders" in the national academy. Does
    anyone spot the similarities?

    After beating England away from home for the first time in 40 years and securing a maiden series win in Australia, it is fair to say that Mickey Arthur had achieved the equivalent of leading a side containing Geraint Jones and Ashley Giles to an Ashes success.

    But it is one thing to note the obvious similarities between Arthur and his close friend, former

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  • Ashes fever hits new low

    The World Twenty20 is now a distant memory, it's Ashes, Ashes, Ashes.

    Australia are in action at Hove, England are at some camp before their match with Warwickshire, you can't go more than 10 minutes without some minority TV channel telling you that you can watch every ball in HD and, worst of all, someone has brought out an Ashes record.

    Sadly this song, and we quote the PR guff that accompanies it, features former England cricketer and current TV personality Phil 'The Cat' Tufnell (pictured). Here is the video for the song that he has produced which is designed to help cheer England on

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  • The 2009 Ashes are on fire

    After a slow start, the 2009
    Ashes series came to life on Sunday, delivering a dramatic finish to rank
    alongside the nerve-jangling conclusions to the Edgbaston and Old Trafford
    Tests of 2005.

    Nobody expected England to hold
    on. Andrew Strauss's men had been so comprehensively outplayed in the first
    four days in Cardiff
    that you almost felt sorry for them.

    And Australia don't
    do sympathy.

    When Kevin Pietersen and
    Andrew Strauss resumed at 20-2, England
    still had a glimmer of hope, but you felt at least one of the partnership had
    to make a big century to keep it alive.

    Both fell, committing

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  • Harper Howler Daily: Pump up the volume

    Umpire Daryl Harper is fast becoming the Paul Burrell of cricket: largely inept, hard of hearing, and seemingly entrenched in the news for the wrong reasons.

    'Harper's howler', now a daily feature expected to be acknowledged in the latest edition of Wisden, involved a comical sequence of events which included the umpire not adjusting the volume of his stump microphone to discover the rather distinctive sound of willow on leather.

    On a day of toil for the tourists, South Africa skipper Graeme Smith survived a moment of huge controversy while on 15 as he middled the ball behind to Matt Prior,

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  • ‘That’s just how I play’ syndrome takes hold

    England endured a torrid first day of the fourth Test, with the techniques of the tourists' batsmen possessing as many cracks as the green-tinged 'result pitch' unveiled by the Wanderers groundstaff.

    Andrew Strauss's side have been rightly lauded for their efforts in having preserved a 1-0 series lead upon arrival at the Bullring, but a frenetic opening session threatened to undo all of the hard work which preceded it as a rampant Dale Steyn ran riot.

    All the talk before the fourth Test, apart from Paul Collingwood describing Kevin Pietersen as a 'modern-day genius', centred around an

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  • England saved by the Bell

    Cardiff, Centurion, and now Cape Town: England once again proved that they have character in spades as they held a rampant South Africa at bay on the final day at Newlands.

    Paul Collingwood was again a cross between Mike Atherton and David Steele as his ever-elusive outside edge became a celebrity in itself during a four-and-a-half hour vigil at the crease.

    Praise for Ian Bell has always been tempered with the widespread assumption that he only performs in cushy circumstances, but England's number six shattered that suggestion with a dogged 78 off 213 balls.

    Bell, who occasionally has been

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  • Swanning along in South Africa

    The world's third best bowler Graeme Swann ripped and twirled his way merrily through South Africa's second innings with a smile as broad as his blond bowling partner.

    Not since 1964 have England won at Kingsmead - and that too by an innings - as the irrepressible Swann ensured that the tourists closed out the final match of the decade with as much haste as a Darrell Hair email.

    As a result of his nine wickets in the match, Swann strides above Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, and South Africa's own 'straight spinner' Paul Harris into third spot in the official ICC Test rankings.

    The

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  • Ball bosses bat in Newlands battle

    All the talk going into day two at Newlands was that the batsmen would flourish in favourable conditions, but it was the bowlers who ensured that the pavilion gate was like the proverbial swinging door.

    In glorious sunshine and in front of a crowd not remotely lacking in liquid refreshment, the bowlers from both sides left the third Test intriguingly poised while making the willow-wielders arrive and depart the middle in an ordered procession.

    England have been criticised heavily in certain quarters (well, by Bob Willis) for not having the gumption to skittle out the tail, but Jimmy Anderson

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  • Kallis covers cracks at the Cape

    Jacques Kallis was again the immovable presence to thwart England's charge at Cape Town with an unbeaten 108 which frustrated the bowlers as much as the umpires' light-meters at the close.

    Newlands is comfortably England's least favourite venue in South Africa historically, but some fine bowling and coin-tossing saw Andrew Strauss's side seize the initiative early on until Kallis set up camp at the crease and refused to budge.

    The festively plump all-rounder has feasted at Newlands many times in the past with 1,556 runs at his home ground, including six centuries. Kallis's fluent batting

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  • Steely Smith seizes the initiative

    If there is one thing Graeme Smith loves more than bludgeoning a belligerent century against England, it is grinding them into the dust.

    The tourists toiled away in searing heat at Newlands and Smith was ruthless as he became only the second skipper to amass 6,000 Test runs.

    The other Test captain to achieve the landmark was Allan Border, who famously treasured his wicket like a crate of stubbies in his kitbag.

    Similarly, Smith had all the adhesive qualities of a Cape Point limpet as he left England's attack blunted and thoroughly disheartened.

    Even first-over specialist Graeme Swann could

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