Cow Corner

  • Harris and Swann on song at Centurion

    The two spinners were the big winners with Paul Harris and Graeme Swann igniting an otherwise drab third day of the first Test between South Africa and England at Centurion.

    Prior to the match, England toyed with the idea of omitting Swann on the basis that the spinner had just recovered from injury and the pitch looked like the groundstaff had been drafted in from their 2010 football World Cup preparations.

    But a blistering 85 proved that team director Andy Flower would have been orchestrating all but a farce without his presence - a kaleidoscopic innings with shades of Mark Waugh, Clive

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  • Kallis imperious on cabbage patch

    All the talk in the build up to the first Test between South Africa and England was centred around the tourists playing to their strengths, and they duly did: Andrew Strauss won the toss, but Jacques Kallis did his best to make the England skipper look foolish thereafter.

    A pitch which leading up to the first day resembled a neglected cabbage patch was thought to offer the kind of assistance to England's bowlers that Mike Atherton was hoping for when he soiled his trousers against the Proteas back in 1994.

    But Kallis's imperious century gave the scoreboard - itself a series of Castle Lager

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  • Hawkeye ‘howler’ overshadows Amla ton

    The ICC has always been extremely trusting of individuals, but in the first Test at Centurion it proved that umpire Steve Davis's judgement is so impeccable as to render Hawkeye fallible.

    Hashim Amla compiled a composed century to leave England under the cosh on day four, but the incident which overshadowed the day had very little to do with his bat or his beard, and more to do with whether Hawkeye is a bare-faced liar.

    The sport's authorities have a long and chequered history of dubiously delegating power: Allen Stanford was given his proverbial head; Duckworth and Lewis decide any match

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  • The one where Goochy took nets

    It is fair to say that Graham Gooch has always enjoyed training: doing it, preparing it, leading it and even dreaming about it. Hence, why England team director Andy Flower ushered in the former tache-wearing burly batsman ahead of his side's Test series against South Africa.

    The following is a transcript of a tape recording of their pre-net session meeting made by a private detective.

    START OF TRANSCRIPT

    We can hear talking, laughing and a stray football being hastily booted over a nearby fence as Gooch, with his pal Flower in close attendance, stride out to meet the players.

    Gooch: Excuse me

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  • Watson wellies Australia to Trophy triumph

    Shane Watson's second successive century gave Australia back-to-back victories in the Champions Trophy as the burly all-rounder bludgeoned two huge sixes to finish with a flourish.

    It would be easy to be flippant and describe Australia's victory in the Champions Trophy as irrelevant, but there was a faint slice of importance attached to their comprehensive victory over New Zealand at Centurion.

    In regaining the Trophy, Ricky Ponting's side have demonstrated that having two of the leading runscorers in a competition (Ponting and Watson) can be helpful, and that a few potent bowlers do not do

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  • England clinch series at Kingsmead quagmire

    It could barely have been easier for England had South Africa sent Nantie Hayward and Brian McMillan out to open the bowling with Paul Adams coming on first change, but instead a swamp at Durban handed Andrew Strauss's side a series victory.

    In so doing, England became only the second team after Australia to beat the Proteas in a one-day international series in South Africa, even if Strauss was denied the opportunity to claim his century of ODI caps.

    The tourists pipped a fragmented series 2-1, and the washout handed them their first series victory in four visits to South Africa, but Strauss

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  • The series nobody wants to win

    England's one-day series in South Africa might well go down in history as the most one-sided in the history of the limited overs game; and yet, unbelievably, it may well end up in a draw.

    That is because we are witnessing a display of cricketing gentlemanliness that goes beyond all known precedent, with the two teams are taking it in turns to dish out thumping defeats of each other.

    England were seemingly so embarrassed to have meted out a seven-wicket obliteration of their hosts last Sunday that they obligingly rolled out the red carpet at Newlands on Friday, giving the Proteas' batsmen free

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  • De Villiers flattens flaccid England

    England looked to protect a slender 1-0 series lead in the third one-day international at Newlands, but AB de Villiers duly demolished their hopes with a dashing and destructive 85-ball 121.

    Andrew Strauss has spent the past week extolling the values of consistency and efficiency, but the only thing consistent about his side was their bowling of utter tripe, and the humiliating manner of their defeat.

    But before we begin to sound like Bob Willis, we must acknowledge the staggeringly belligerent bulldozer of an innings by de Villiers (pictured), who wielded his willow like a man with wasps

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  • Captain Cook lacks no haste

    Barely had Andrew Strauss left the interview room after suggesting that he may wish to take a break in Bangladesh, than Alastair Cook began practising his coin-tossing technique and handing the selectors his business card.

    England have long been accused of treating every young talented batsman as though they were David Gower minus the plums in the mouth, and a case in point was Cook's hugely premature awarding of the vice-captaincy.

    Cook did become the only man to score seven centuries before his 23rd birthday, but he appears to have been handed a lifetime pass for an opening batting berth

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  • Saj returns to lift the mood

    To say that Sajid Mahmood was raw when he was introduced to international cricket in spectacularly premature fashion back in 2006 would be an understatement, but 'King' is back, and faster than ever.

    Big Saj was a bewildered member of Duncan Fletcher's 'keep playing them till they get good' development model, but that should not be held against him as he gingerly makes his way back into the international fold.

    On Saturday, Mahmood boarded a plane for Johannesburg with England's one-day squad and, just like Jesse Ryder looking back on another day/nighter out at Infernos, adamantly declared that

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