Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whoever thinks Test cricket is dead...

Watch England. Just watch England bat for a draw. You know there'll be excitement, maybe even tears. There'll be a run rate of less than 2, but my word, is it worth it in the end.

Paul Collingwood does it again. Many raised eyebrows when he got an MBE in 2005. To be honest, he warrants that now. He's dug England out of more holes recently than games Pablo has played since that miss against Bristol City.

Ian Bell, now there's something that nobody expected. Ian Bell faced 200+ balls today, and got 70-odd. Yeah, he got out, but so did Colly here and in Cardiff. But they're still the heroes.

And the tailenders, Graeme Swann and Graham Onions. Even Stuart Broad. It's nice for England to actually have a tail that'll give you confidence, that you know won't buckle and continue where the batsmen have left off.

What is it about England and the last hour? They never do things easily, do they? And that's why Test cricket isn't dead. Because England have given their all here, at Newlands and back at Centurion, to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Here's to Colly, Bell, Swanny and Onions. I'm having a J2O and a lie down. Bring on Jo'burg.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Top 5 Worst Sporting Moments I've Seen This Year

The second part of my blog about 2009 sporting moments that I've sat (or stood) in a stadium and watched.
So here they are. The worst sporting moment that I have witnessed in this great 2009. 

5. England vs Australia - 15th September
It wasn't exactly a bad match, over 600 runs were scored, but it was the way England lost. I saw Ricky Ponting score a century. No matter what I say about him, he's a bloody good player, and I won't have many opportunities to see such a great player again. He hit a superb six off of Ryan Sidebottom.
Anyway, it's in my top 5 because the next day was my 18th birthday. Not the best present, as England went 5-0 down. Ha. 

4. Middlesbrough 3-1 Ipswich - 12th September
As you probably know, Ipswich didn't start the 2009/10 season very well. This was my second away match of the season, and boy, what a long old journey that was. We had to spend an hour at a petrol station waiting for the police that never came. When we finally got to the stadium, our team didn't even turn up. The way our defence just laid down and died as Aliadiere skipped through and scored two second half goals to crush our crowd. Walters scored a penalty in the dying seconds of a match to nab a consolation. 

3. Ipswich 1-3 Doncaster - 11th April
This match was one of those forgetable matches of the Jim Magilton era. Unfortunately, I remember it because I was sat in the stand watching, slowly getting more and more seething as Ipswich just laid down and died to a team of Where's Wally look-a-likes. This match was only a month after the capitulation to Southampton which, incidentally, is number 2.

2. Ipswich 0-3 Southampton - 3rd March
We were just crap. If a person who knew nothing about the Football League had been in the ground that night, they would've thought that we were the relegation candidates, not the spirited Southampton side that licked their lips at such a hapless and dire performance. And another team that did that is my number one...

 1. Ipswich 0-4 Newcastle - 26th September
We were bloody awful, on the day that the North Stand was renamed the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, and Sir Bobby's wife and children were in the ground. I'm fairly sure everyone in the ground didn't want the spineless and awful performance that my football team gave. Within a crazy five minutes, we were 3-0 down and Kevin Nolan was on a hat-trick. I can't even remember if we had a shot that game. If we did, it was probably off target.  It was very much a match of men against boys. Or toddlers.

Happy New Year. Here's to Ipswich Town, Essex and England in 2010!