Friday, July 07, 2017

First Day Of The Test Summer.

Sheffield's Joe Root began his captaincy career at a packed Lords yesterday, with an outstanding big hundred. Unimpressive displays by the S. African bowlers with very costly no balls - along with three exceedingly poor umpiring decisions, some mediocre captaincy in the field - all left a sour taste.
Jennings was perplexingly given out LBW to a ball that was missing big-style as well as pitching outside leg stump. Ravi, that decision was a stinker! - Almost as bad, was Gary Ballance telling his batting partner not to review the crazy decision.
Having won the toss on a an excellent batting track - Joe came in with the score at a disgraceful 17 for 2. Once he was at the crease, he saw two more batsmen disappear before lunch! England were in desperate trouble at 76 for 4.
Enter stage right, Ben Stokes, and finally, Joe had a partner. Ben made a good 56 and England were back in action.
Now, it was the time for Mo Ali to join his skipper and they batted out the day.
South Africa took two wickets from no balls. I do not think I have ever seen such a disaster take place twice in the same day!
At 357 for 5, England are in a strong position but if they can bat out the morning and take England's innings into the afternoon - the position, on Day Two, would be close to impregnable.
Let us hope that both can see off the nearly new ball and that Mo advances to his century - and Joe to his double. 39 needed for Mo and just 16 for Joe!
Can South Africa be as bad again two days on the trot? - I doubt it. I'll wager that they are desperate to see De Plessis and AB de Villiers back in their team as soon as possible, though!