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Old 2nd January 2016, 18:21   #141
blackeyedangles
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Unless this test sees a sparkling return to form of an SA middle-order batsman like Faf or Amla, I can't see how they can win it. England's seam and even spin look stronger with no Steyn, they bat deeper and they've got more players in form...

Just for fun, some absolutely baseless predictions:

Debut test hundred for Taylor
Five-fors for Finn and Piedt, the latter far more expensive
Hales to make 30 and next to nothing again
Cook and Root and Amla and Faf all to fail again
At least two run-outs in the match

I'll gloat ridiculously if any of these happen
Okay, so Taylor has royally screwed me by getting a golden duck... Always the second dig.

Piedt still has a chance!

Hales did well.

Root didn't fail and neither did Cook, really. Failure to convert, yes.

Bad day in the office for prognostications.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 18:31   #142
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What was JT doing?!!

Hales did well, scored more than the other (experienced) opener for the third innings in succession. Laid a good platform. Needs to sort those nerves out and attack okie he can once in.

Root fails to go on once more. Best batsman in the world? Kane Williamson is better IMHO. Needs to deliver what the team wants, a big score not a cameo. He's in his 37th Test, he's not a newcomer now.

South Africa suits Stokes. He'll score runs whenever he goes there. I seem to recall him battering their A Team last winter didn't he?

Has Cook scored many against decent seam attacks recently? (last yea or so). Did OK in the UAE against spin attacks but appears to be chasing the ball at the moment .

Jonny B looks good when there's a platform laid, given the confidence could settle well at seven, especially if CompDog and the top order bat carefully for them.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 18:41   #143
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A good days work but against a severely depleted South Africa attack without Steyn and Morkel seemingly only half fit. In the first two sessions the replacements brought in never really threatened. Hales got out to just about the first good ball he received. Valuable runs, though, if a little streaky. The same goes for Stokes but long may it continue.

Opportunity tomorrow for Stokes and Bairstow to make up for slow progress against a weak attack in the first two sessions and really pile on the agony.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:02   #144
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To be fair to them they bowled in good areas with the new ball. Cook and Hales both left it well, you do wonder how long Hales will continue in that vein though. Piedt started well but wilted under pressure, there's enough there for Moeen to be interested if England get 400+ on the board.

On the fitness front: I'm not going to feel sorry for anyone. We've suffered more than our fair share of injuries in the past so it's about time we saw the other side of that coin.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:06   #145
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Watching the highlights now. I did not realise how many edgy fours hales got. When Compton attacks his cover drive is a thing of beauty isn't it? The swipe At morris less so.

Why on earth did sky not include compton's six in the highlights? What is that all about?
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:13   #146
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A smart 50 then out, looks like 2016 is business as usual for Joe Root.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:14   #147
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Watching the highlights now. I did not realise how many edgy fours hales got. When Compton attacks his cover drive is a thing of beauty isn't it?
A couple of those from CompDog went through AG a catchable height too but that wouldn't suit the narrative would it? Unlike Root and CompDog, Hales hasn't befitted from any drops yet. He's in for the series anyway so we'll be able to make a better call then. I'd expect that unless he fails massively now he's done enough to be opening against Sri Lanka back in Blighty.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:14   #148
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Prove we would not have got 350 if saffers bowled all their overs

Although I did not expect hales to score at the same speed as compo once in. Three innings and compo not scored slower yet!
Thought we'd get 250/4 if Compton stayed in or 300/6 if he got out relatively cheap. Glad we slightly exceeded the latter.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:25   #149
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What was JT doing?!!

Hales did well, scored more than the other (experienced) opener for the third innings in succession. Laid a good platform. Needs to sort those nerves out and attack okie he can once in.

Root fails to go on once more. Best batsman in the world? Kane Williamson is better IMHO. Needs to deliver what the team wants, a big score not a cameo. He's in his 37th Test, he's not a newcomer now.

South Africa suits Stokes. He'll score runs whenever he goes there. I seem to recall him battering their A Team last winter didn't he?

Has Cook scored many against decent seam attacks recently? (last yea or so). Did OK in the UAE against spin attacks but appears to be chasing the ball at the moment .

Jonny B looks good when there's a platform laid, given the confidence could settle well at seven, especially if CompDog and the top order bat carefully for them.
Not sure Cook has ever looked that good against strong seam attacks, as his record against Australia suggests.

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To be fair to them they bowled in good areas with the new ball. Cook and Hales both left it well, you do wonder how long Hales will continue in that vein though. Piedt started well but wilted under pressure, there's enough there for Moeen to be interested if England get 400+ on the board.

On the fitness front: I'm not going to feel sorry for anyone. We've suffered more than our fair share of injuries in the past so it's about time we saw the other side of that coin.
It strikes me that Hales, had he stuck around another hour, would've cashed in. His problem is that he scores strongly in a couple of areas but struggles elsewhere, so can be easily contained. This has affected him a little in ODIs too and he will need to learn how to overcome this if he is to be a success.

Compton, it would seem, has more scoring shots in his game but is adverse to using them for whatever reason.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:30   #150
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A couple of those from CompDog went through AG a catchable height too but that wouldn't suit the narrative would it? Unlike Root and CompDog, Hales hasn't befitted from any drops yet. He's in for the series anyway so we'll be able to make a better call then. I'd expect that unless he fails massively now he's done enough to be opening against Sri Lanka back in Blighty.
I had not got that far in the highlights. He was driving on the up way too much and missing (I mentioned one that had happened as I typed but many more followed). I don't have a narrative re compo. He does score slowly but we knew that. What I didn't like is compo getting grief for slow scoring when others are as if not slower.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:45   #151
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A good days work but against a severely depleted South Africa attack without Steyn and Morkel seemingly only half fit.
Whilst its true that SA have been unlucky with injuries recently (Steyn and Philander particularly, though Philander's record in the last 2 years has been pretty ordinary), their struggles are symptomatic of wider issues in their game, having lost two legendary players recently and several of their key players entering or already in their early thirties.

All teams go through this (difficult) phase at some point - India, Aus, England themselves have gone through it recently, SL are going through it and Pakistan will be faced with it soon when Misbah and Younis retire.

SA still have a number of proven players in their Test XI and are playing at home - if England win this series it will be a superb achievement and don't think a couple of injuries to SA players (no matter how good) should detract from England's efforts.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:47   #152
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Whilst its true that SA have been unlucky with injuries recently (Steyn and Philander particularly, though Philander's record in the last 2 years has been pretty ordinary), their struggles are symptomatic of wider issues in their game, having lost two legendary players recently and several of their key players entering or already in their early thirties.

All teams go through this (difficult) phase at some point - India, Aus, England themselves have gone through it recently, SL are going through it and Pakistan will be faced with it soon when Misbah and Younis retire.

SA still have a number of proven players in their Test XI and are playing at home - if England win this series it will be a superb achievement and don't think a couple of injuries to SA players (no matter how good) should detract from England's efforts.
Quite. And don't forget Jimmy missed the first match and three of our top seven have never scored a test ton and one hasn't scored one for a few years.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 19:52   #153
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I like butcher and think he is a good pundit but...what is this "hales has done well, he has come in and done what we wanted and put bat to ball"

I am sure he will but let's not pretend he has yet!
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Old 2nd January 2016, 20:39   #154
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Another pretty despondent day for South Africa.

Confidence is clearly very limited, there were chances there today to force home the initiative but on several occasions South Africa let England off the hook relatively easily. I like Amla - I'd suggest he had been SA's best batsmen for a considerable period prior to the captaincy - but as a captain he just offered nothing. I know it can be difficult to stop a player like Stokes in full flow particularly with his an attack but he appeared pretty lost out there during that partnership. In many ways the departure of Smith is hurting South Africa more than that of Kallis.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 20:41   #155
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I think if it's there to hit, he will hit it. He is a very impressive cricketer.
I like Stokes and this is a good innings but given that he came into it averaging 27 or so despite mostly batting at 6, I think he and England need not just this one but quite a few more like it.

Very good position to be in match wise anyway, with some batting to come and already enough on the board to be competitive plus a really juicy looking attack. I know the same five bowlers took the field at Edgbaston only as recently as the third Ashes test but it feels to me that Anderson and Broad have remained excellent while the others have gained a few extra tests of key experience for youngsters. They bowled pretty well at Edgbaston of course, barring Ali's nonesense of a first innings efforts.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 21:16   #156
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Expect low scores from Compton after being damned with such faint praise by Bayliss. The man was a favourite for Man of the Match and practically all the pundits agree that he played very important knocks at Durban. Just the time then for the coach to come out and say he's 'ultimately' looking for a more attacking no.3. Personally I think a consistent opening partner for Cook is a more pressing need. Let's hope Hales manages to fulfil it. I thought the point of Hales was that he was going to be a more attacking foil for Cook's steadier pace?
Hasn't Hales out scored Cook every innings this series?

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Not just you. Now that Bell has been dropped I have nothing more to say about him on here and will not be provoked. If he never plays for England again I hope he eventually gets a more balanced appraisal.

I tend to share your scepticism about Cricinfo, but not sure that Dobell would be putting words in Bayliss's mouth that he didn't say.
Let's hope he gets a more balanced appraisal and shots straight to fielders are ignored when judging him.

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Is that the same smith who tweeted how excited the saffers were that compo was going to play rather than Kp? How did that first test go smithy?
Not as good as if Capey was playing.

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Stokes is itching to deposit van Zyl somewhere far away.

And I'm itching for him to do it. Can't stand floaty medium pace.


That was a dire passage of play. Not just him but Pie-dt and Duminy. If England win I think it's because we have a better balanced team. Huge passage of play.

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Nope. After two balls I wrote on here that this pitch and attack are perfect for a stokes special.
Tbf I thought that at about 120-1

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What was JT doing?!!

Hales did well, scored more than the other (experienced) opener for the third innings in succession. Laid a good platform. Needs to sort those nerves out and attack okie he can once in.

Root fails to go on once more. Best batsman in the world? Kane Williamson is better IMHO. Needs to deliver what the team wants, a big score not a cameo. He's in his 37th Test, he's not a newcomer now.

South Africa suits Stokes. He'll score runs whenever he goes there. I seem to recall him battering their A Team last winter didn't he?

Has Cook scored many against decent seam attacks recently? (last yea or so). Did OK in the UAE against spin attacks but appears to be chasing the ball at the moment .

Jonny B looks good when there's a platform laid, given the confidence could settle well at seven, especially if CompDog and the top order bat carefully for them.
Bloody hell, I'd take second best to Kane in a heartbeat. He's a great player. And if that's better than AB even better. Three absolute class players but yeah he needs to push on.

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Whilst its true that SA have been unlucky with injuries recently (Steyn and Philander particularly, though Philander's record in the last 2 years has been pretty ordinary), their struggles are symptomatic of wider issues in their game, having lost two legendary players recently and several of their key players entering or already in their early thirties.

All teams go through this (difficult) phase at some point - India, Aus, England themselves have gone through it recently, SL are going through it and Pakistan will be faced with it soon when Misbah and Younis retire.

SA still have a number of proven players in their Test XI and are playing at home - if England win this series it will be a superb achievement and don't think a couple of injuries to SA players (no matter how good) should detract from England's efforts.
Not that unlucky when you consider their ages. But would be a huge feather in their cap.

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I like Stokes and this is a good innings but given that he came into it averaging 27 or so despite mostly batting at 6, I think he and England need not just this one but quite a few more like it.

Very good position to be in match wise anyway, with some batting to come and already enough on the board to be competitive plus a really juicy looking attack. I know the same five bowlers took the field at Edgbaston only as recently as the third Ashes test but it feels to me that Anderson and Broad have remained excellent while the others have gained a few extra tests of key experience for youngsters. They bowled pretty well at Edgbaston of course, barring Ali's nonesense of a first innings efforts.
Both Bairstiw and Stokes averaged in the 20s. Both got 1000 test runs this match as well. Absolutely critical passage. Yeah SA being a bowler short cost them but they cashed in. Do that tomorrow as well...

Ps Cape Town's ****ing amazing. God I love test cricket.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 22:30   #157
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good article by George Dobell in Cricinfo. He thinks England were reckless but got away with it. To concerned about the scoring rate with several batsmen getting out to balls the should have left, like Taylor trying to trash the first ball he received. They gave the opposition a chance, which good teams don't do. He blames Bayliss for preaching a gung ho approach which has affected the players even subconsciously. England have to dare to be boring.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 22:59   #158
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Taylor's dismissal struck of someone who'd built up too much nervous energy sat over tea waiting to go out. Once again a wicket that can be placed on Compton's shoulders for his own wasteful and untimely dismissal.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:01   #159
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Why on earth did sky not include compton's six in the highlights? What is that all about?
They didn't show Stokes' either. Very odd. Something else that was odd was the third umpire not calling a no ball for Taylor's wicket.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:13   #160
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Taylor's dismissal struck of someone who'd built up too much nervous energy sat over tea waiting to go out. Once again a wicket that can be placed on Compton's shoulders for his own wasteful and untimely dismissal.
Don't be ridiculous.
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