This, that and the other

Some short thoughts on the various matches I’ve been watching.

South Africa v Australia: First ODI
As I type this South Africa are 84-6 after sixteen overs needing 223 to win off 29 overs. Australia were marginally on top at the interval and Cummins put them firmly on top with two wickets in the eighth over. They haven’t looked back since. The rain was disappointing but Duckworth-Lewis gave a fair target. It’s also been really nice to see the lack of adverts on the ground. There is a plain rope around the ground and the bowlers run ups are marked with CSA’s facebook and twitter sites. Hopefully in the second ODI they will find a way to project their status updates and tweets on to the pitch. I know the technology exists.

Pakistan v Sri Lanka: First Test
Pakistan are in absolute control of this match after losing only one wicket on the second day. Sri Lanka bowled loosely at the start and it doesn’t look like they ever really recovered. (Though I could be wrong, I went to bed after about an hour. In my defence it was 02.00 in my time zone.) We saw in England that Sri Lanka no longer have any bowlers of note. Unless they can find someone to do what Stuart Broad did at Trent Bridge last summer it’s just a matter of hoping that they can hold on for a draw. Unfortunately for them, I believe it rains slightly less in the UAE than it does in England.

Marsielle v Arsenal
I have no idea how this match is going because Fox prefer to show matches between continental sides about whom I care little. (Not so little that I’m not watching between overs, mind.) So I get to watch Barcelona play Czech champions Viktoria instead. Yesterday I got to watch Inter Milan play Lille instead of either match involving a Manchester based side. Even more infuriatingly the Arsenal match is being shown on a delay, so they refused to even tell me the halftime score or show highlights. I would, of course, just watch the match later, except they’re showing it at the same time as the World Series. And it’s not like they don’t know. It’s the same broadcaster. They had an advert for the World Series at halftime. It’s times like this that I’m kind of glad that Liverpool did not make Europe, because if I’d had to miss the Reds in favour of some continental side I would be be very cross instead of just mildly irritated.

Rangers v Cardinals: Game One
Both sides have had very good offensive performances and won their respective Championship Series in six games. They scored a lot of their runs at opposite ends of their matches though, with St Louis consistently jumping out in front early and the Rangers blowing games open with late home runs. The big story for their Cardinals has been their bullpen performing brilliantly after some shaky starting pitching. They might have some trouble getting away with that against the powerful Rangers offence however. The Cardinals have home field advantage which may be important as the Rangers will definitely fancy their chances in their very small park. (They were 4-1 at home in the first two rounds.) I am tipping the Rangers to win, as unless the Cardinals’ starters improve they will find themselves in big holes early on.

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