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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:19   #161
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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:28   #162
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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.

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.
Cape Town is great. Assume you're at all five days, so you'll do pretty well.

Big partnership for England, Stokes and Bairstow, yes. Both really can bat, neither has yet done so often enough for long enough for England yet.

We're very lucky with exceptional young test batsmen at the moment with Williamson, Root and Smith. On the whole I think AB is probably better than any of them but it's awfully close.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:47   #163
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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.
Haven't read the article yet, but it was exactly what I was thinking. Based on Bayliss's comments about wanting a more aggressive approach, it seemed that some of the batsmen thought they ought to get their skates on. But there's a way of doing so in a less frenetic way, i.e. get yourself in and expand as things get easier. Compton had a game of two halves. By lunch he had made 3 from 32 balls. After lunch he looked determined to score and took 11 in one over off Piedt including a six. He did calm down a bit, but not enough to see himself through to tea. I thought Hales played well and now has the boost of his first test 50.

I liked Dobell's description yesterday of Bayliss's misguided (in Dobell's opinion and also mine) commitment to aggressive batting as the way forward in test cricket:
driving as fast as possible to the garage before the petrol runs out

As I said, I haven't read today's article but have just had a quick glance at it and see Dobell is continuing the motoring metaphor. Let's hope Bayliss reads it. He needs to remember that test matches last five days and the old saying that you can't win the match on day one but you can go a long way to losing it. Luckily, today, we had Stokes and Bairstow to retrieve a tricky situation with a committed assault against tired bowlers.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 00:06   #164
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He also said England got away with it because of an inexperienced bowling attack. A better one would have punished them. Also an inexperienced attack would give enough bad balls to score off at a good rate anyway without any need to force it.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 00:57   #165
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SA continue to be outplayed though the selection of Morris didn't bode well for a good day at the office with the ball. Bits and pieces players just don't work. They've been unlucky with injuries to Steyn, Philander and Abbott with Philander usually a force at his home venue but they've looked pedestrian and always giving Root early lives doesn't help.

England seems a bit workmanlike, though Stokes made merry against the hapless Morris when the new ball was taken. Amla's woeful captaincy didn't help matters though. One suspects things can't get that much worse for a dispirited and impotent looking SA team.

England could well be on the rise but it's hard to judge them against this shambolic SA outfit. The only bright spot for them is that Cook has had a horror series to date against a greenish attack when he might have presented as a potential thorn in their side.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 01:13   #166
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SA continue to be outplayed though the selection of Morris didn't bode well for a good day at the office with the ball. Bits and pieces players just don't work. They've been unlucky with injuries to Steyn, Philander and Abbott with Philander usually a force at his home venue but they've looked pedestrian and always giving Root early lives doesn't help.

England seems a bit workmanlike, though Stokes made merry against the hapless Morris when the new ball was taken. Amla's woeful captaincy didn't help matters though. One suspects things can't get that much worse for a dispirited and impotent looking SA team.

England could well be on the rise but it's hard to judge them against this shambolic SA outfit. The only bright spot for them is that Cook has had a horror series to date against a greenish attack when he might have presented as a potential thorn in their side.
I've been quite amused by the way Cook's lack of runs has been viewed by the pundits as a "good thing" and something that Cook himself will be pleased about since it gave opportunities for other batsmen to prove that England was not totally dependent on him and Root. But it's only three innings. Not sure how soon Cook's unselfishness in making way for others will start to cause concern.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 07:30   #167
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proper opener instant solution for Southafrica

Hales and cook are as good opener as Bavuma and Elgar.During Delhi test T.Bavuma open innings and batted well in both innings.

Eventually SA will drops Faf and van zyl.Faf do not deserved in test team with batting average of 11 ( 119 test runs in last 10 innings ) Riley r should take over from him.

I do not think Rabada ready yet for test cricket, he is still ODI bowler(even he took 3 yesterday) I think DS done now physically.

I would like philander / morkal and Viljoen plus Abbott as stand by for future test series.viljoen is under-rated 20 wits in last 2 game.295 wits in FC.Chris moris more fits in limited overs cricket.Stephen Cook also rated good who scored 10,000FC runs with century vs England few weeks ago, cook can bats at number 2 or number 3.SA need someone who stays at wicket and removes cherry (shines) off the ball for first 15/24 overs so number 3/4/5 just plays their natural positives games
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:40   #168
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Great start for England. They've just bowled badly to Stokes again this morning so far, although in this mood he gives you little room for error. If he gets to a ton he'll probably open up even more and either get out or score so fast that he's effectively putting time back in the game for England.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:43   #169
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Caaaaarrrnaaaaaaaage!
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:44   #170
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Great start for England. They've just bowled badly to Stokes again this morning so far, although in this mood he gives you little room for error. If he gets to a ton he'll probably open up even more and either get out or score so fast that he's effectively putting time back in the game for England.
The pie-truck seems to have made an appearance this morning and I'd say that at not far short of 4 an over they're doing more than fine in that regard. They just have to keep going.

Oh brilliant stuff. Stokes has got to his ton this morning in no time at all!
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:45   #171
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Sounds like a bargain to me



You also said that England would get 350 minimum by implying Piedt would go for loads (he was pretty economical, at least compared to what one might expect from a wicket-threatening legspinner in the UAE).

Stokes and Johnny B have regained the initiative in that last hour, albeit helped by some wayward bowling at the end. England should look to push to 450 but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up less than 400. Might still be enough in the blistering heat at Newlands.
After 90 overs 349. Told you.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:46   #172
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Nice one Stokes.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:47   #173
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Stokes playing out of his skin but there is no leadership out there and the SA bowling is dreadful. The white flag is up already.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:47   #174
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Wonderful to see from Stokes. When I heard him hit that first four of the day it was a race to get downstairs...
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:49   #175
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great to see a special innings from stokes making essentially a run a ball century. Well played.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:51   #176
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It is embarrassingly amusing from a neutral point of view. One knew that SA was in decline but they really have fallen hard. Well done Stokes!! Eight plus an over since the new cherry.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:56   #177
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After 90 overs 349. Told you.
No, you told us "at the end of the day"...

Finally a non Cook-Root century. Well done Stokes.

And another fifty for the protected Bairstow.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:56   #178
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Wonderful to see from Stokes. When I heard him hit that first four of the day it was a race to get downstairs...
Same here! Was going to have a lie-in and just listen to TMS, but had to get up quickly so I didn't miss his hundred.

And now a 50 for Bairstow
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Old 3rd January 2016, 09:02   #179
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Thought I'd switched on the Big Bash for a few minutes there - Ben Stokes playing a Gilchrist-like knock by taking the game away from the opposition just when they thought they had a sniff at 5 wickets down.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 09:11   #180
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Stokes 57 from 28 balls this morning
Speaks for itself.
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