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    (Original post by Mackay)
    I think you're right - especially with the number one Test team up for grabs now. You can't upset a winning formula, though I'd like Rashid to get some red-ball overs for England before the winter. That said, you could argue the Bangladesh tour (if it goes ahead) won't be the most testing, so that serves as a warm-up for India, who will be much trickier to navigate.

    Australia, England, India and Pakistan... any of those four could be the number one ranked Test side in the world by the end of next week.
    Think Pakistan are too good a side to experiment with selection tbh. Just pick the 11 who'll win us the series. Rashid's in the squad as a net bowler for practice against Yasir, but Bayliss has to talk him up for his confidence.

    Think the no.1 spot should just be vacated until someone pulls their **** together.
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    Nottinghamshire book their place at finals day, becoming the first of the semi finalists to be confirmed. They posted 162 for 7 at home to Essex tonight, despite ten Doeschate claiming impressive figures of 3-19.

    Essex just couldn't compare to the hosts with the bat, though. Credit to Patel, who spearheaded the Nottinghamshire attack and claimed four wickets as Notts won by 39 runs.
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    Off to watch Glamorgan against Yorkshire on Thursday, should be a cracker.
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    (Original post by The Wavefunction)
    Off to watch Glamorgan against Yorkshire on Thursday, should be a cracker.
    I'm going to finals day! Just a shame the Bears aren't involved...
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    Seems to me Ashwin batting at 6 is a brilliant position for him, seeing as he is able to deal with the new ball better than no-hit Sharma (only in tests, odi + t20 he's good) dunno why he is in the test squad tbh
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    Awesome to see Northants go through to finals day last night, considering their continuing (and unfair) reputation as minnows. Ben Duckett is a really special player, despite that drop on the boundary.

    Tonight was a night to forget for Gloucestershire, I think it's fair to say. Dismissed some 19 runs short of the target set by Durham. Opener Stoneman hit 61, and Gloucs didn't help themselves by having no less than FOUR batsmen run out.

    Notts, Northants and Durham already through - and Glamorgan host Yorkshire on Thursday.
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    Final test of the tour today! Hopefully it's a cracker Selectors need to grow a pair and replace Hafeez.

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    Well, the interesting thing is that Pakistan enjoy playing at The Oval so much. And, of course, last time they were in London they emerged victorious.

    Pakistan's win-loss record in Tests at The Oval is 4-3. Since 1970, Pakistan have won three Tests, drawn two, and lost one (in 2006) in six matches there.

    England obviously have all the Test trophies up for grabs, not to mention the number one ranking, but I think Cook is right in sticking with the right team. You have a duty to select a side to win a Test match TODAY, rather than having an eye on the future with the subcontinent tours. So, for that reason, I expect Rashid won't be deployed.

    I hope we're talking about cricket at the end of the five days. The accusations that Root has tampered with a ball have left a sour taste in the mouth after this Tour has given us so many memories and so many days of great cricket.

    Pakistan have been so refreshing - they are so different to the Pakistan sides I grew up watching - and I hope that carries on, rather than some unneeded controversy arising.

    Micky Arthur has confirmed Pakistan need a fifth member of the bowling attack, so it'll be interesting to see their XI. Iftikhar Ahmed can bowl a bit, so you may see him get a debut.
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    Interesting first day's play at The Oval - and very nicely poised going into the next four days.

    The only real negative from the day's play, which again gave us fantastic, enthralling and entertaining cricket from two great sides, was the over rate. Again, it was short. We really can't keep on treating the paying public like this - otherwise, Test cricket will dwindle in popularity even more so than it currently has. The fans deserve a full quota of overs, because attending red-ball cricket is expensive.

    Still, it was a fantastic day's play. England and Pakistan have a canny knack of bringing the most entertaining out of each other. Cook made absolutely the right decision by batting - though, you must admit, he'll be disappointed with his innings. He played onto one and was duly punished, but I feel Hales should be granted more sympathy. There was no way on Earth that the umpire should have given that decision - the camera angles were shoddy, considering the extensiveness of Sky's coverage, and the decision was ambiguous. The benefit of the doubt - always - should go to the batsmen. And, in my mind at least, there was considerable doubt.

    Root should be very disappointed with the way he batted. He and Vince's dismissals - both to Wahab - were basically identical, though you can argue the latter's dismissal came courtesy of a fiercer ball from the Pakistani seamer. When Ballance was caught, I feared the worst for England, but Bairstow continued his excellent form which has seen him become the highest scoring wicket keeper in a calendar year with a fine, fine knock of 55.

    Full credit to Wahab, by the way. He responded to being dropped in the last Test in magnificent style, with a fierce spell which really got it up the England batsmen. I felt Mohammad Amir enjoyed probably the finest spell of his Test comeback, too.

    The day belongs to Moeen, though, of course. He took the game away from Pakistan. He had a lovely range of shots, and completed a well-deserved 140-ball hundred in style, hitting a six off Yasir. I felt that Moeen should have had a century in the last Test, and was unlucky not to chalk one up when Cook (correctly) decided to declare so they could bowl the tourists out, and I was chuffed to see him get his name on The Oval honours board today.

    Again, you have to worry about Pakistan's fielding. Moeen was dropped on 9 - and he punished them in style - and some of the fielding, especially the catching in the cordon, was just laughable. I think a couple of Sky pundits labelled it "embarrassing", and it was. Pakistan just don't seem to help themselves - and England, really, should never have made 320+. I actually don't think England's score was high enough, but they may come away unpunished as a result of Broad's early breakthrough, dismissing Aslam for a paltry 3.

    Credit, too, should go to Woakes, who stuck around long enough for Moeen to strike that potentially match-winning hundred. As I've mentioned, Moeen took the game away from Pakistan on a day which threatened to hamper England's chances of winning. Succumbing to 110-5, I feared the worst, but England recovered magnificently.

    You should think England are on top now - given that wicket before the close and the fact Pakistan's batting, up until now since the opening Test at Lord's, has been underwhelming.
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    Well, that was disappointing. Cracking innings from Willey.
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    Not for the first time in the series and having got into a good position, Pakistan failed to take full advantage and allowed England to fight back thanks to an excellent, and well deserved century, by Moeen. He survived some hairy moments but once he gets into his groove, he plays beautifully that belies his position in the batting order and the footwork to reach his century shows his confidence levels. Delighted to see him performing and getting the plaudits he deserves.

    Wahab steaming in with pace and precision was wonderful to see however Woakes took full advantage when he bowled in similiar areas. Hales' dismissal got a talking point, Yasir jumped as he genuinely believed he'd taken a catch but ultimately, third umpire's call.

    328 isn't a bad score but I don't expect Pakistan's batting to perform. Not fully sure if Iftikhar is supposed to be primarily a batter but his off-spin got a brief outing. Losing Sami is a blow but maybe Younus will deliver a big innings on what will be his last tour to England?

    Sad news on a Pakistan legend Hanif Mohammed passing away - one of Pakistan's earliest cricketing legends.
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    (Original post by The Wavefunction)
    Well, that was disappointing. Cracking innings from Willey.
    Yeah it was grim. Willey was great but was really helped by bowlers who couldn't find their lengths. Did well to come back into the game but to chase 180 at the Swalec you need a flying start, otherwise it's so easy for scoreboard pressure to kill you.

    Glamorgan just seemed to lose form towards the end of the season which is really frustrating. Takes away from what was a good and unexpected campaign.
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    (Original post by Aky786UK)
    Not for the first time in the series and having got into a good position, Pakistan failed to take full advantage and allowed England to fight back thanks to an excellent, and well deserved century, by Moeen. He survived some hairy moments but once he gets into his groove, he plays beautifully that belies his position in the batting order and the footwork to reach his century shows his confidence levels. Delighted to see him performing and getting the plaudits he deserves.

    Wahab steaming in with pace and precision was wonderful to see however Woakes took full advantage when he bowled in similiar areas. Hales' dismissal got a talking point, Yasir jumped as he genuinely believed he'd taken a catch but ultimately, third umpire's call.

    328 isn't a bad score but I don't expect Pakistan's batting to perform. Not fully sure if Iftikhar is supposed to be primarily a batter but his off-spin got a brief outing. Losing Sami is a blow but maybe Younus will deliver a big innings on what will be his last tour to England?

    Sad news on a Pakistan legend Hanif Mohammed passing away - one of Pakistan's earliest cricketing legends.
    greatest batsmen pakistan ever produced
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    Glamorgan absolutely thrashed, so Yorkshire join Notts, Durham and Northants at Finals Day later this month.

    Rashid posted very good figures - 4-26 - after Willey's match-winning knock of 79 off 38 balls.

    It'll be interesting to see Willey go up against Northants, if it happens. I'd love to see him against his old side, because he left to further his red-ball ambitions but it seems his white-ball career is something which the England set-up will look to capitalise on. With the quality England possess in red-ball cricket, it seems unlikely Willey will break through, regardless of Sidebottom mentoring him.

    It'll also be interesting to see what comes of the likes of Duckett at Northants. Typically, they've been unable to hang onto their best players, due to financial restraints, and Duckett is destined for the England ODI/T20 side by the end of the year in my view.
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    David Willey has already played against Northants this year. He got beer thrown over him when he was fielding on the boundary. Took it well to be fair to him.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    Yeah it was grim. Willey was great but was really helped by bowlers who couldn't find their lengths. Did well to come back into the game but to chase 180 at the Swalec you need a flying start, otherwise it's so easy for scoreboard pressure to kill you.

    Glamorgan just seemed to lose form towards the end of the season which is really frustrating. Takes away from what was a good and unexpected campaign.
    I found it hard to judge the bowling, you don't appreciate how quick these bowlers are until you see it live. Plunkett looked absolute express pace, significantly faster than Tait.

    Yeah it would be wonderful to see them get success, there hasn't been much to smile about in recent years.
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    (Original post by The Wavefunction)
    I found it hard to judge the bowling, you don't appreciate how quick these bowlers are until you see it live. Plunkett looked absolute express pace, significantly faster than Tait.

    Yeah it would be wonderful to see them get success, there hasn't been much to smile about in recent years.
    Did you watch any of Dale Steyn earlier in the year? He looked proper quick live. A real aura about him too.

    Wagg and particularly Hogan just bowled too full to Willey. Van Der Gugten got it right by banging it in back of a length and came out with good figures but the rest of the seamers were disappointing.
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    (Original post by tazza ma razza)
    Seems to me Ashwin batting at 6 is a brilliant position for him, seeing as he is able to deal with the new ball better than no-hit Sharma (only in tests, odi + t20 he's good) dunno why he is in the test squad tbh
    yep little do ppl know ashwin started career as an opening batsmen
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    Did you watch any of Dale Steyn earlier in the year? He looked proper quick live. A real aura about him too.

    Wagg and particularly Hogan just bowled too full to Willey. Van Der Gugten got it right by banging it in back of a length and came out with good figures but the rest of the seamers were disappointing.
    Nah, didn't see Steyn unfortunately.
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    (Original post by Chakede)
    yep little do ppl know ashwin started career as an opening batsmen
    Yh he opened for TN youth team - you can tell he's an opener, his ability to deal with the new ball is as good if not better than Shikhar Dhawans, the most over played and over hyped opening bat
 
 
 
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