Sunday, 26 May 2013

Second test and stuff

England have pretty much carried on at Headingly where they left off at Lords and at the end of the third day are in a dominant position, despite the first day being a wash out.  We haven’t had it all our own way though.  New Zealand have bowled well and took wickets in clusters but a century stand from Yorkies; Root and Bairstow, pushed England towards a respectable total.  Joe Root scored his maiden test ton on his home ground and Bairstow made 60+.  I missed most of the play on Saturday, the curse of work but listened the final session on TMS while not catching Carp.  Another quick partnership from Prior and Swann rubbed salt inHowever NZ polished off the tail quickly, Boult taking five wickets, England finishing on 354. 

How would New Zealand’s batsmen face up to England’s bowlers this time?  I settled down in front of the tele to find out.  Well the openers looked OK and raced to a fifty opening stand.  Then Finn found some rhythm and blew the top order away.  Swann destroyed the middle order and finished with four then Broad and Anderson finished the tail, apart from an annoying 50+ stand from Boult and Wagner.  England could have enforced the follow on but for some reason declined, maybe resting the bowlers with one eye on the Aussies later in the summer?

England's batsmen had one innings to cement an Ashes place and there are several with something to prove.  Poor Compton was on a hiding to nothing and hardly troubled the scorers but Cook seems to have found his best form again and was unbeaten on 88 at the close.  With two days remaining England lead by 296 and NZ will be hoping for rain. 

Ian Rankin and John Rebus.
Mr Rankin is a very good storyteller and DCI Rebus is one of his most loved characters and together they’ve taken me on some really enjoyable reading journeys. Rebus is your classic maverick copper who bends the rules to get the job done.  His heavy drinking/smoking character is almost a cliché but that doesn’t matter one little bit because he’s great.  I’ve recently finished reading “Standing in another man’s grave”, Rankin’s most recent Rebus adventure and like all the others I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Another Rankin character, detective Malcolm Fox also crops up in the fringes.  Other Rebus books I’ve enjoyed include; Fleshmarket close and Resurrection Men and in truth I haven’t read an Ian Rankin book that I haven’t enjoyed.

P.D. James is another one of my favourite crime writers whose main protagonist is often Adam Dalgleish.  In her most recent book James is still mostly concentrating on murder but Dalgleish is sadly not present.  If fact she is exploring her obvious love for Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice and taking those familiar characters off in a new direction with “Death at Pemberley”.  P&P is not my sort of thing and I have managed to avoid reading it but despite this I still know the story backwards thanks to all the dramatisations. For me the class divide of those times seemed almost farcical and I wondered if P.D. James intended this?  The story wasn’t up to the mark, too much Austin and not enough James for me.

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