The Reuters global sports blog
In the end, few would have missed the irony. England, their feeble limited overs credentials torn apart after their opening defeat against Netherlands, knocking out holders India from the World Twenty20 with a brilliant execution of strategy.
India were pipped by three runs as England handed them their second defeat in the Super Eights on Sunday, eliminating them from the race for a semi-final berth.
West Indies, another team usually on the receiving end for their inconsistency, had caught the top order batsmen napping with short-pitched bowling to defeat India in their opening Super Eights fixture.
England proved they were quick learners with a near-perfect execution of a similar drill, leaving India struggling as they began chasing what appeared an achievable target of 154.
When England nightwatchman James Anderson smashed West Indies seamer Lionel Baker for four late on the first day of the second test he extended one of the more surprising records in test cricket.
The fast bowler has now played 48 test innings without being dismissed for a duck, three more than his nearest rival Yasir Hameed of Pakistan.
The first day of the second test between England and West Indies unfolded meekly in front of a sparse crowd in Chester Le Street on Thursday.
England made smooth but cautious progress towards what they hope will be a match and series-winning first-innings score.
At 30 years old England spinner Graeme Swann is no spring chicken, but since his first taste of international cricket ended up with him oversleeping and missing the bus this story could have a bit of a fairytale feel about it if things continue to go well … Not so much Swann Lake as The Ugly Duckling, perhaps?
The focus heading in to England’s second Test has been on local hero Graham Onions, and latterly the West Indies captain Chris Gayle, after he said he would “not be so sad” if Test cricket were to disappear.
Bright spring sunshine hit Lord’s on Saturday but with England’s first Test against West Indies having finished inside three days there was no one there to enjoy it.
Instead, the England and Wales Cricket Board were left gloomily counting the lost gate receipts for the final two days of the earliest Test yet staged in England.
We speculated here last week how Fleet Street’s finest headline writers would be sharpening their pencils in glee at the prospect of the splendidly named Graham Onions playing for the England cricket team.
True to form, Britain’s newspapers have gorged themselves in a veritable feeding frenzy after the Durham seamer marked his debut with five wickets in his debut test match at Lord’s on Thursday.
There was much tut-tutting* when we heard there were still 19,000 tickets available for the first cricket Test at Lord’s — officially the first day of summer for those of us brought up in the UK.
So only 15,000 or so were brave enough to book a day off work and pay a small fortune for a ticket to watch today’s first day — at best around a fifth of the first of two matches between two teams who only finished playing each other in the Caribbean a couple of months ago — and that if the weather holds.
Sporting the maniacal grin of a Bond villain caressing his favourite pet, Australia coach Tim Nielsen must have held England’s teamsheet for the series against West Indies this month comfortable in the knowledge that world domination is around the corner once again.
England’s decision to omit Ian Bell, Steve Harmison and, most significantly, Michael Vaughan goes against one of Australia’s most successful adages — always do what your opponent would least like you to do.
Freddie Flintoff breaks down playing IPL cricket and needs an operation on his knee, news that comes as no great surprise to cricket fans, at least if twitterers on the subject are a good guide.
“Flintoff crocked again. Honestly, I’ve won more robust things at the fairground,” said theskiver in a fairly typical comment.
England and their captain Andrew Strauss were slammed from every direction for their safety-first declaration on the final day of the last test against the West Indies – which merely spared them the criticism they should have got for their performance on the first two days.
Strauss said it was a match he was prepared to lose to give himself the chance to win it and square the series, yet from the toss he went about his task as if he was facing the Windies of old rather than the nervy side desperate to secure a draw any way they could.