Cow Corner

  • Super Shah stars to stun South Africa

    Owais Shah banished memories of shoddy run-outs and sloppy dismissals with an audacious 98 to send hosts South Africa crashing out of the Champions Trophy.

    Awarding a man-of-the-match proved to be an arduous task as the Proteas skipper Graeme Smith produced a typically savage innings of 141 as his side fell 22 runs short of England's 323.

    England's batsmen have often been criticised for adopting the burglar's approach to batting of 'get in, get out', but this time Shah and Paul Collingwood kicked on.

    Indeed Shah narrowly missed out on becoming a centurion at Centurion as he was dismissed two

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  • Exemplary Elliott embarrasses England

    England made New Zealand's quartet of seamers look like a pack of West Indies pacemen circa 1984 on an eccentric pitch at the Wanderers to squander top spot in Group B.

    The Black Caps not only pipped Sri Lanka to a semi-final spot but usurped England in the group as Grant 'Magic' Elliott, who was born near the ground in Johannesburg, unexpectedly ran riot with his usually innocuous brand of bowling.

    Just one of England's top-five reached double figures as Ryan Sidebottom and James Anderson were left to exploit the entirety of their side's batting powerplay in farcical fashion as the Kiwi

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  • Don’t look back in anger at Trott

    Animosity and anger have been the words associated with Jonathan Trott's return to South Africa, but apathy may well best describe the reception which greets the quiet man following in Kevin Pietersen's footsteps.

    While Pietersen's brash demeanour in 2004 - with his skunk haircut and haughty swagger - infuriated the local crowd, Trott is less a preened peacock and more an unassuming adopted Brummie. Less Tony Greig, and more Basil D'Oliveira if you will.

    Trott is understated and undramatic; he does not endorse Brylcreem or possess a collection of Chelsea flats furnished with flamboyant self

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  • Mad Fish finally freed

    The news of Marcus Trescothick's return home after suffering a recurrence of his stress-related illness in India was as predictable as it was tragic.

    With disarming honesty in assessing his performances, Trescothick judged that he was 'firing at just 60 to 70 per cent'. Jesse Ryder's personal analysis has often seen him playing in the same ball park in terms of figures, but his illness has usually been merely that of a violent and repetitive yeast infection.

    In a typically insightful and revealing 60 seconds with Marcus, Cowers was treated to an explanation as to why the hefty opener is

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  • Peeved Ponting faces harsh reality

    Two scratchy runs, a dropped catch, a missed run-out and a dubious dismissal left Ricky Ponting reflecting on three torrid days at Lord's as England established a lead of 521 runs.

    If Ponting was livid at being dismissed by umpire Rudi Koertzen on Friday for something vaguely between LBW and a catch, he was simply incandescent at the South African after another miserable day for the tourists.

    Nathan Hauritz's poorly finger didn't stop him from taking and claiming a highly controversial catch to dismiss Ravi Bopara, but Koertzen had other ideas and overruled it to prompt a raucous response from

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  • England on the up, maybe

     What a difference a week makes. Last weekend England were down and out, the doom mongers were talking of a 7-0 whitewash by Australia in the one-day series.

    Graeme Swann bowled England to victory to save some face against Australia and they duly carried that form on to the Champions Trophy with what was quite simply a thrashing of Sri Lanka.

    There's no doubt that Andrew Strauss winning yet another toss played a key part, as the conditions were well in England's favour when they bowled and there was no turn for Sri Lanka's star spinners.

    But advantageous conditions or not, England still had to

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  • A world of Paine for England

    England were thrashed again at Trent Bridge and it's becoming a familiar theme. They are sinking so fast in the rankings that the rickety ship that is the West Indies is making up ground on the rails.

    The last rites will be administered on Sunday and only those booked in for a spell at the funny farm will be putting their hard-earned cash on an England win.

    And while England have gone backwards since the Ashes, Australia have found their stride and seemingly a wicket-keeper batsman to act as cover, and rival, to Brad Haddin.

    Tim Paine plundered a powerful century before falling for a Nelson

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  • Elementary for Watson

    Prior to the third Ashes Test, Andrew Strauss used the terms 'aura' and 'presence' more often than an end-of-the-pier medium pretending to talk to Grandma - but by the end of the first day it was Australia who were back from the grave as a session of belligerent batting put them on the front foot at Edgbaston.

    The signs hadn't been promising: when Australia captain Ricky Ponting elected to bat first and handed the umpires a team-sheet with Shane Watson's name at number two, an element of farce surrounded the decision.

    The blond beach-bum has never opened the batting for Australia in a Test

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  • England, but with Bells on

    England enjoyed a momentous morning session on the second day at Edgbaston, with Graham Onions and James Anderson sharing seven wickets to leave Australia in disarray at lunch.

    An inspired Anderson took four wickets for four runs off 13 deliveries, while Onions applied such concerted pressure in taking four for 58 that even the desperately obdurate and attritional Marcus North was beginning to become agitated at one point.

    When Onions clutched the ball at the City End, you could have been forgiven for thinking you were watching a highlights package as he sent first Shane Watson, then Mike

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  • Sorry England skittled and Siddled

    If there is one thing worse than winning the toss and being promptly skittled for a paltry 102, it is seeing your opponents breezily surpass your effort for the loss of just one wicket.

    That was the ignominious situation England captain Andrew Strauss encountered on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley, after which Australia led by 94 runs while the hosts were left cursing their profligacy.

    Strauss, after declaring with relish that his side would make first use of a 'good' wicket, was left to assure his bowlers that actually the pitch was in their favour after his side

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