Cow Corner

  • 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

    Read More »from Watson wellies Australia to Trophy triumph
  • 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

    Read More »from England clinch series at Kingsmead quagmire
  • 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

    Read More »from The series nobody wants to win
  • 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

    Read More »from De Villiers flattens flaccid England
  • 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

    Read More »from Captain Cook lacks no haste
  • 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

    Read More »from Saj returns to lift the mood
  • The victory England Haddin the bag

    An unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 185 runs from the elegant Michael Clarke and the eccentric Brad Haddin gave Australia a sniff of a sensational victory, but England still have their opponents in a nelson hold at Lord's.

    The fourth day of the second Ashes Test was predictable only in the sense that there was drama, tension, a few dubious dismissals, niggles sustained by Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff - and numerous gripes from Ricky Ponting. It was as utterly spellbinding as the stuff that had preceded it.

    After building the suspense like Monty Panesar taking an off-stump guard, Andrew

    Read More »from The victory England Haddin the bag
  • Snarling Siddle scythes through hosts

    England, for only the third time in cricket's oldest and most cherished rivalry, went into the final Test at The Oval needing a win to regain the Ashes but the snarling Peter Siddle had other ideas.

    The coin toss may as well have been bypassed during Nasser Hussain's unlucky tenure as England captain, but Andrew Strauss delivered the goods once again to execute the crucial win-toss-bat-first maxim.

    Alastair Cook and Strauss strode purposefully out to the middle before Cook strode purposefully back to the pavilion after 12 balls, with Peter Siddle's face transforming seamlessly from the usual

    Read More »from Snarling Siddle scythes through hosts
  • Fitting farewell for Freddie the batsman

    It's hard to think of a more fitting swansong for Andrew Flintoff the batsman than the swashbuckling 18-ball cameo that invigorated a subdued Oval crowd early on Saturday afternoon.

    It was full-blooded, frivolous and fleeting. It was unmistakably Flintoff. 

    For the all the criticism levelled at his failure to convert god-given talent into statistical achievement, England's larger-than-life all-rounder has never failed to entertain.

    When Flintoff walked to the crease, the masses rose to their feet. They did so to pay homage to a colossus who has performed with an honesty and integrity that

    Read More »from Fitting farewell for Freddie the batsman
  • Key Ramps up selection quandary

    After England's capitulation at Headingley in the fourth Ashes Test, the pressure now weighs on national selector Geoffrey 'Dusty' Miller like the heavy roller at The Oval.

    The dour Yorkshireman could be forgiven for ripping apart the entire batting line up and wiping the slate clean, but where then: Robert Key, Jonathan Trott, or for that matter a return for the ever-dependable David Steele?

    When unfavourable comparisons are made with England's regular batting collapses in the Nineties, what next? A clamber for the recall of Mark Ramprakash.

    In the Ashes series of 1993, England used 24

    Read More »from Key Ramps up selection quandary