Cow Corner

  • Allegations, appeals and one arduous task

    If it was ever a run-chase England were confronted with on the fourth day at Newlands then it certainly wasn't one by the close as South Africa had the last say with three wickets.

    The Proteas also had the first say of the day in the form of a statement to declare their decision not to lodge an appeal over what they described as 'suggestions of ball-tampering and malpractice'.

    The hysterical furore over England's alleged ball tampering was frankly tedious and untimely; the last thing such an enthralling, combative series needs being an injection of unnecessary and facetious mind-games and

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  • Shoddy England looted by slogger

    The Twenty20 series between England and South Africa may have been tied, but Duckworth-Lewis could do little to paper over the Antigua-esque cracks in the tourists' side.

    Eoin Morgan's belligerent and exhilarating 85 in the first match at the Wanderers was the solitary positive for England with a typically hefty dose of D/L responsible for their slender victory in the opener.

    It is common knowledge in international cricket that South African players simply cannot crack the code devised by Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, but it should not hide the fact that England were bulldozed by a man named

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  • T&T set the example

    Beaten but unbowed, that is what the local press should be writing about a Trinidad & Tobago team who went so close to Champions League glory.

    T&T travelled to India for the Champions League Twenty20 and they were accompanied by all the baggage of the shambles that is West Indies cricket.

    Politics is a murky world and Cow Corner has no intention of digging into the row between the West Indies board and their star names.

    But it cannot go unnoticed that T&T performed above expectations shortly after West Indies sent a reserve side to the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

    The West Indies game may

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  • England lose their sting

    The Champions Trophy is not a tournament that deserves a great semi-final - and it didn't get one.

    A quick glance at the Top 100 list that the football bods are doing on the site shows that often semi-finals are the greatest games: the drama, the tension, the 'what if' we miss the showpiece finale.

    And few would argue that the greatest one-day international of all-time was the 1999 World Cup semi-final where Lance Klusener's brawn had powered South Africa to the brink of the final before his brain let him down.

    But - unless you are a keen entomologist - proceedings at Centurion were extremely

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  • England stutter at the Swalec

    Pundits, players and supporters left the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff united in wondering whether Australia or England had finished the opening day of the first Ashes Test in the ascendancy.

    The hosts stuttered to 336-7, and with Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen contriving to get themselves out after reaching half centuries, it was an uncertain crowd which left the ground.

    After the talking - or rather the opera singing, balloons and tardy fireworks - had abated, the first delivery was finally bowled, and it turned out to be quite an anti-climax.

    Mitchell Johnson, lacking a sense

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  • South Africa, leave it…out

    Short of waving a white handkerchief or doffing their helmets at the England bowlers in Derek Randall-esque fashion, South Africa contrived to collapse while barely offering a shot on the fourth day at Kingsmead.

    For many years it was the sight of Ray 'sack the lot of 'em' Illingworth thumping his fists against a table which marked a middle-order capitulation, but at Kingsmead it was Mickey Arthur hiding forlornly under the peak of his baseball cap which was the enduring image.

    Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad were given the kind of free rein normally afforded only to opposing bowlers against

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  • England go rope-a-dope

    It is very surprising that seven of the last eight Tests in Durban have ended in a positive result.

    Kingsmead's easterly location means it is prone to bad light and the fact that less than 90 overs were played on the first day of the second Test was about as predictable as the queue of losers outside Marks & Spencer at half six this morning.

    The fact that only 61 overs were possible, that it has rained every day in the city for about a week and that the floodlights only prolong the day for an extra 20 minutes, mean when the majority of the Barmy Army arrive in Cape Town for the third Test,

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  • Minimal cooking

    The old cricket adage 'he knows where his off-stump is' was the key to Alastair Cook's Test renaissance at Kingsmead on day three of the second Test.

    If the ball is not hitting either the stumps or your bat it is very hard to get out in this game and Cook's 10th Test century was a masterclass in self restraint.

    Cook - predictably known as Chef - pricked most people's consciousness when aged 20 he took 214 off the touring Australians in a day four years ago, described by a national newspaper as batting with "a freedom gifted to the few".

    But after a bad trot that has seen him make just one

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  • Dude, Where’s Makhaya?

    Not just an excuse to crowbar a nice pun into a headline but the second day of the second Test in Durban was most notable for the rapid acceleration of the end of Makhaya Ntini's international career.

    Give him credit with 101 Tests and 173 one-day internationals under his belt, he has got a few miles on the clock.

    But with Friedel de Wet breathing down his neck and Wayne Parnell's time surely not too far away, Kingsmead could be a swansong for the man known as George.

    You've got a feeling that when Graeme Smith brought back Ntini for the last over at Centurion after De Wet had ripped the

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  • Swann sublime as tourists toil

    Graeme Swann was the golden boy as Andrew Strauss's tourists finally overcame an obdurate South Africa batting display and set about chipping away at their total.

    England endured a frustrating second afternoon at Centurion as South Africa's lower order proved harder to dislodge than Ian Chappell's hairpiece.

    Jacques 'no-double-hundred' Kallis again failed to kick on as Paul Collingwood took his fourth catch to send the rotund batsman on his way back to the marquee.

    If that were not enough to cause Graeme Smith to slip on his Lonsdale vest and boxing mitts in disgust, JP Duminy departed as he

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