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  1. Congratulations to England my nerves are now shreadded - There will almost certainly never be another ODI game like that. Congratulations also to Trevor Bayliss brought in with a specific brief to win the world cup - Mission accomplished. I am off to lie down...
  2. Time for the big one, I got the four semi-finalists right and one finalist at the start of thr thread so 66% success tipping. Well played England on Thursday a comprehensive thrashing that will have an impact on the Ashes Series no matter what is said publicly due to ithe size and nature of the victory. Both sides probably unchanged for the final and in New Zealand's case I will maintain not their strongest XI. That said there is an uncomfortable air of triumphalism in the Press. The games not won yet and there is a lot of disrespect being shown to New Zealand. As I have posted its hard to say the Kiwis are punching above their weight if you compare their eight semi-final appearances to England's six in the world cup. Some points to note: New Zealand's highest total was 291-8 v West Indies and they almost lost that. The next highest score 248-8 v Bangladesh. The Kiwis have made a virtue of defending and chasing scores under 250 so it remains to be seen how the Kiwis would react to a 300 plus score. Martin Guptill has yet to fire, but Kane Richardson and Ross Taylor have. On the last tour I was on England put up 335-9 and had New Zealand 2-2 in the second Innings before Ross Taylor blasted 181 not out to take them to 339-5 in 49.3 overs. The game is not over till the last wicket falls. One area England do have a big advantage is that Lords is Eoin Morgan's home ground- Knowledge of conditions and how to pace your innings is going to be vital. I expect a close game with the winner being the side that copes with the pressure the most. Being favourites and playing at home can cut both ways for England. New Zealand can play with a lot of freedom but England with momentum can get a roll on. All to play for,. Here's a photo about Cricket in Tauranga, from the last tour Idyllic no.
  3. I love it when people say a Kiwi win is a big shock to them because eight semi-finals since 1975 kinda indicates that ODI cricket is a Kiwi speciality. On to the big one, I have tipped Australia to beat New Zealand in the final I am sticking to that. despite the BS in the media Australia are favourites and should feel that pressure. Will this game matter psychologically for the Ashes, the group game No, this semi-final - of course, Yes it's a different format, but the bulk of the players in both sides will be the same and the winner will have the edge having knocked out the opposition. I have Australia as favourites but they are not unbeatable and here's how England can take the advantage. Their batting line up like India's seems one paced and unlikely to bat a side out of the game by getting 340 plus in the first innings. . Australia's fifth bowlers a combo of Maxwell, Stoinis, Finch and even Smith is very clubbable if you have wickets in hand. If Usman Khawaja had been replaced by Matthew Wade then that would be an upgrade. However if not being spun a yarn, Peter Handscombe is playing, someone without a solid technique which is why his career varies from feast to famine. The rumour is that Mitchell Starc the standout left arm quick is less than 100% fit. As he is the best bowler in ODI cricket that could be huge and a key for England is not losing too many wickets first up to him and Behrendorff. Final point, I said England should dread having to win 2 of out their last three games. they had to and they did, so fair play England have been playing uinder pressure. Australia , like St Helens last year, qualified early and have been playing pressure free cricket. Sometimes it's a bit of a disadvantage to be dominant early on in that you lose that mental edge . It's easier in sport if you have been playing under pressure to retain that edge and not so easy to regain it when suddenly confronted with a loser goes home scenario when you have been playing pressure free . Just ask any Indian fan.... You could say I know quite a bit more about Cricket than RL and my predictions on Cricket are not the reverse malachi efforts seen on the General Rugby League forum about the Broncos . As a patriot I crertainly hope that Australia in the final is one prediction of mine that turns out to be a compete dud.
  4. This game depends on which Hull FC turns up. A bit like the Pakistan cricket team they very from sublime to excremental and back again within a fortnight. With London you know what you will get from Danny Ward's try hard's, in schoolmasterly terms A for Effort and E for Execution. Jordan Abdull can also expect to be reminded about his alleged patronage of Hull Kebab eateries. Certainly one hopes London's week has been spent on DEFENCE on the training paddock. Much as I have always said the FC should be the big club east of the pennines, here's hoping the FC revival is postponed for just one more game. Hull by 16
  5. I wondr if Dan Sarginson could be available now, and if so, would heading back to London...
  6. I take it all of TRL will be barracking for New Zealand. the downunder dogs tomorrow. It may look on paper all black for the Kiws but here are some positives that could change the dynamic in their favour. Get Tom Latham to open if batting first.. When he was with Kent he played as an opener both Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls have been tried and failed up front bringing Kane Williamson in against the hard new ball. The knock is always that wicketkeepers should be opening the batting but that really only applies if you bat second. Anyway what this world cup has proved is that successful sides are the ones not losing wickets in the first 10 overs. A steady start is required and NZ have the firepower later on. especialy if Munro moves down the order. Pick Ish Sodhi instead of Mitchell Santner. The legguie gives the ball a rip Santner is basically a nodescript bits & pieces all rounder. If your reliant on runs from Number 8. it says little for numbers 1 to 7. Kane Williamson can contribute his off breaks if Sodhi gets collared by the Indian Batsmen Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor need to come to the party. there has only been one knock of note from each of the other clas bats in the side and while Kane Williamson is the polished batsman in the Kiwi side. He cannot do it all alone. Pick Tim Southee as the third seamer now he has game under his belt. it grieves me to write this after what Matt Henry did for Kent but Southee has the big game experience and can spell Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson and it will be important to have overs in the bank from your main strike bowlers throughout the innings. Hold your catches, England almost paid dearly for Joe Root dropping Rohit Sharma. New Zealand's fielding has been pretty ordinary in the games I have seen it cannot be tomorrow. If only to spere us the expeletives clearly audible on SKY from Jimmy Neesham when the ball was thrown to the wrong end and the wheels were coming off for NZ under assualt from Carlos Brathwaite. Bring Boult on when Kohli comes in with a wide slip, backward point and extra cover slanding the ball across him. it's yet to be seen how the indian middle order responds if their big guns are out relatively cheaply and you have to get Sharma and Kohli early that's why as I wrote earlier you have to have overs from yor best bowlers in hand Remember the pressure is on India, who play under the weight of expectation from their fans. NZ are under no pressure and have a punchers chance, conditions will be overcast just like in New Zealand's south island . Game on. https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/forecast/gcw25uekz#?date=2019-07-09
  7. When they put the" highlights" video on the club website, you will see SIX really soft tries conceded by London. From Kieran Dixon deflecting a high ball to Lineham for the fist try onwards. It was Under 19 stuff, not that Warrington did not try to keep London in the game knocking on at the kick off after both of the first two tries. Notb that London could do anything with the possession. In fact if anyone has the statistics, you wil see never has so much possession in the opponents half been had by a side losing 0-36 at the break. Danny Ward must have given them a coating at half time but in truth much as there was a lot of justfied comment about the referree allowing Warrington (and in particular Blake Austin) to be offside at the PTB. Not even the most one eyed observer could fail to note that Warrington were the superior side who never seemed to get out of third gear in what, at times, appeared a training exercise for them. As explained to some pro London Wire fans at the game it all boils down to Money, Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Hull KR all have gone out and bought. London without the proverbioal brass razoo have not. It's easy to be critical of our benefactor but whenever I have been in earshot of David Hughes, I have never been left with the impression that should the right investors come along Mr Hughes would not gladly step aside. Nothing else left to do but roll up the sleeves put in a shift and continue to try to defy the odds for the Broncos.
  8. Sticking with Australia to win the tournament, but i can sniff an upset tomorrow with SA turning Australia over at Old Trafford. I think Faf Du Pleassis, Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir and JP Duminy (if he plays) are all going to want to play a statement game in their last appearances in a world cup which will apply balm to Protea angst about this tournament. SA looking a better side with Pretorius playing and Australia with a few batting issues following injuries to Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell. Got to agree with Melissa Farrell, it is a scandal that England do not have Bangladesh over for a series in the current Future Tours Programme. They have proved their worth in this world cup.
  9. Suffice to say from a neutral perspective Leeds wanted it more, the stats will be massively in Castleford's favour but its not how long you have the ball it's what you do with it. A point no doubt being made in the Castleford dressing room as I type by Daryl Powell...
  10. Another tough day at the office against the one of the challenger sides to St Helens. You can expect Broncos to have a crack and in the position the clubs in every game has to be treated as winnable. Cashed up Warrington should win though - what's impressive about this side is that when a man (or at KR two) down with a yellow card they can kill the powerplay in Ice Hockey parlance. Blake Austin playing a key role in organising the side much as Jackson Hastings does at Salford That said Blake Austin is a British as vegemite and if Benny selects him for GB ..... Warrington by 20
  11. Back on the World Cup and the big game tomorrow which some are overconfidently predicting an England win. UIt's a test of nerve again will the champions elect arrive or the big game bottlers. It's still win or bust England should be same again and while Adil Rashid has been taking some flack his figures do not suggest a bowler being taken to the cleaners. If conditions are dry in the North East then its win the toss and bat. Of course had England already qualified then Tom Curran would have played by now and possibly Liam Dawson but as it is questions will be asked about selection if England crash out especially if 2 of the 15 never got a game. New Zealand ave a few issues at present, Neither Martin Guptill nor Ross Taylor (apart from the Bangladesh game) have truly fired. Colin Munro has been replaced by the more conventional Henry Nicholls and they are heavily reliant on Kane Williamson batting through the innings and the others playing around him. Left armer Trent Boult is one of the world's best and Lockie Ferguson one of the fastest but then it's Jimmy Neesham and Colin De Grandhomme's medium pace and a pair of spinners in Mitchell Sanner and Ish Sodhi whose performance in favourable condtons at Lords on Saturday was such that Kane Williamson ended up bowling five overs himself. Tim Southee is tipped for a return but a) has not played any tournament cricket and b) can go round the park in much the same way as Matt Henry has. So Kiwi selection headaches. The bold option would be to bring back Colin Munro and Matt Henry / Tim Southee and use Kane Williamson as the spin option or is that all just a bit too part time. You can always find 11 Kiwis who can give England a competitive game but the key for England is not losing wickets up front to Boult and Ferguson and taking early wickets themselves notably Williamson. Bowlers win 50 overs matches as much as in Red Ball Cricket The press are indeed to blame for English complacency, after the consecutive losses we only have to win the ONE game eh. But from a Kiwi perspective there is the subconscious thought that the net run rate is in their favour if they finish level with Pakistan. Of course you play to win but if England do take the early initiative will New Zealand try not to lose too heavily
  12. Win or bust for England today. It's also a win the toss and bat day given the WC is going chasing anything north of 250 will be a problem. One disturbing factor from Tuesday was that Eoin Morgan was out captained by Arron Finch not bowling Jofra out for his full quota and using Ben Stokes in the last over..never a good move. Good captaincy on show yesterday, He bowled Steve Smith for one over which consisted of four full tosses and takes him off, a Kiwi Wicket falls and in comes Colin De Grandhomme. Now in cricket circles, its known that De Grandhomme is a bit of a slogger who hits very straight. So the minute he comes in Finch sets a deep long off and a deep long on and brings Smith back on to bowl his "leg breaks" to challenge De Grandhommes ego, Lo and behold he tries to smack Smith out of the ground and finds deep Long Off. Great Captaincy. Another seven wickets for Australian Left arm Bowlers and Trent Boult from New Zealand including a hat trick. - Man you on about left armers again.. I will leave it there. I like the Kiwis so the less sad about yesterday the better. Some Pics from Lords 1 Practicing hard in the nets 2 Michael Clarke Looking Chipper 3 Time runnng out for England.... 4 Finch on the drive in his brief stay 5 Khawaja Cuts Santner 6 Guptill "plays with the makers name" 7 Ross Taylor Gets out the Sweep against Lyon
  13. Castleford by 12 . IMO the only two teams that I have seen in with a shout against St Helens are Castleford and Warrington. London will scrap as always but only one outcome for me.
  14. West Indies crash out and who knows what South Africa may turn up to play Sri Lanka tomorrow. Some positives for England facing India The Indian batsmen batting first seem to be operating with a 300 run ceiling on their innings batting first, anything south of 330 on a good pitch can be chased. The Indians may rotate the side having ensured qualification - anyone coming in will be short on Cricket. The Australian attack is far superior to the Indian one. You can score heavily against India and their left arm leggie was hit out of the bilateral series last year. We have yet to see how India react when Rohit and Kohli go early. The rest are not so accomplished. England are now discounted by all and sundry, including myself, that should free them from the burden of being favourites which they have laboured under. Faced with a pro-India crowd maybe that's the key to unlocking a good performance. England will make changes for this match and hopefully put together an opening stand that does not mean that Root comes in when the new ball is at its hardest and swinging. He needs to come in with a platform set to bat the majority of the rest of the innings allowing the batters around him to up the tempo. losing early wickets puts England on the back foot to begin with. Tom Curran it's being rumoured wil play, and while he has had a lack of cricket, a slow two paced wicket for a bowler who has the confidence to bowl his variations on it might just be the key. Instead of trying to bang it into the wicket pitch it up and bowl a few slower balls. As Vincent Jones esq would have put it "It's s**t or bust" for England. Soon we will find out if England are men of Iron or straw on Sunday. Some Pix from Lords 1 Grey Nicholls have produced a bat suitable for James Vince... 2 "I have my eyes on your Rooster" - misery guts Justin Langer 3 Miked up Mike arrives - Note the wiring. 4 Warner square cuts Adil Rashid 5 Eoin Morgan leg glances 6 The end for Johnny B....
  15. Australia for me all along in the final against New Zealand. Other Semi-Finalists India and Pakistan.....
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