Sunday, 28 August 2016

Things that piss me off part 1

It's good to rant.  I do it a lot, it's one of my hobbies.  Don't worry I'm not that miserable, I actually derive a great deal of pleasure from venting to my nearest and dearest so i thought I'd share this with anyone who is bored enough to read this crap.

So here we go...

Personalised number plates.

A car is essential for most of us but for some it is also a way of showing the world how cool and successful they are, even if it is mostly owned by the bank.  Personally, I don't care what I drive as long as it is reliable and will carry everything I need it to (i.e. family and fishing gear, not necessarily together).

All cars come complete with a registration plate but for some the fancy car is not enough and they have to extend their penis further by forking out more cash for a personalised plate.  These plates are supposed to represent the name of the owner but in reality it rarely comes close, even with the addition of an over sized black bolt or even a strip of tape.  In my opinion these people are C1_1NT5.  If these PR1CK5 really have cash to burn then why not give it to charity?  Why?  Because they are self obsessed AR50LE5 and the silly reg plate makes them look like 1D10T5.  When I pass one of these on the road I'm not impressed, I just think D1CKH34D!

Staying with cars I'm not a fan of convertibles, they seem pointless in a climate such as ours when the opportunity to drive with the top down are so rare.  I'll let them off a little because they make me laugh when I see them struggling in a sudden summer shower and on the first sunny spring day in March when they sit behind the wheel shivering in about six layers of clothes, complete with hat and gloves.

Queuing traffic is just a part of life these days, we all have to put up with it because, well we're part of the cause!  I really get the hump with people on dual carriageways who think its acceptable to nip into the inside lane and 'undertake' a few cars before nipping back into the outside lane.  This is also illegal, as far as I know, not that its my job to enforce the law...  A warning to anyone considering this maneuver on East Anglian roads, if you see a black Seat, it might be me and I ain't going to let you in.  As the pompous twat in the silver Mercedes on the M11 found out earlier this week.

Finally for now; I'd like to thank all the many businesses out there who choose to advertise themselves on the sides of their vehicles.  This is very useful as when their drivers behave like fuckwitts I can then make a mental note of which businesses to avoid in future.  If I ever need drainage or sewage consultancy I won't be contacting Binder of Claydon.  Should I get a flat I won't be calling GW Tyres.

I've been doing a lot of driving of late, does it show?

Friday, 26 August 2016


Joseph Conrad wrote the following in "The Secret Agent" over a hundred years ago.  It's still true today.

“The imbecile bourgeoise of this country make themselves the accomplices of the very people whose aim is to drive them out of their houses to starve in ditches.  And they have the political power still, if only they had the sense to use it for their preservation… the middle classes are stupid… they have no imagination.  They are blinded by idiotic vanity…”

“He saw capitalism doomed in its cradle, born with the poison of the principle of competition in it’s system.  The great capitalists devouring the little capitalists, concentrating the power and the tools of production in great masses, perfecting industrial processes and in the madness of self aggrandisement only preparing, organising, enriching, making ready the lawful inheritance of the suffering proletariat.”

“The future is as certain as the past, slavery, feudalism, individualism, collectivism…”

“Do you know how I would call the nature of the present economic conditions?  I would call it cannibalistic.  That’s what its is!  They are nourishing their greed on the quivering flesh and the warm blood of the people, nothing else.”

Monday, 15 August 2016

Fourth test. One step forward...

England were supposed to win the fourth test as a demoralised Pakistan team crumbled under pressure, except no one told Pakistan!  In the end England were well beaten, we didn't bat, bowl or field anywhere near the level we've become used to.  For Pakistan, key players re-found form, notably Younis Khan with a brilliant 218 and Yasir Shah with five wickets in the second innings.

It's been a really good series between two well matched teams and 2-2 is probably a fair result.  England would have expected to win this series but in truth, positions 2,4 and 5 have not contributed anywhere near enough runs.  Pakistan have been really impressive in both the cricket they've played and the way they've played it.  Misbah ul Haq is a really good captain and a tough competitor.  Recent Pakistan tours of England have finished with controversy and bad blood, not so this time.

For England its another case of one step forward and two back.  There was a chance of us going to No.1 in the world rankings but this would have been undeserved.  This side is nowhere near as good as the one led by Andrew Strauss a few years ago.  We have a team full of star players but we are lacking key components for a truly world class side.

I think everyone likes Alex Hales at the top of the order, he looks so good but just hasn't made enough runs to make that position his own.  Perhaps sir Geoffrey Boycott is right when he says he would be better off in the middle order?  But who will open??  Maybe Ballance is better suited to playing up front or should Someone like Sam Robson get another chance?  Since dropping Ian Bell England have tried Compton, Ballance, Vince and the unfortunate James Taylor in the middle order but none of whom have contributed to the team in the way Bell would have.  Will he be given another chance?

Pakistan's attack is as good as any in the world so for me, Moeen Ali has proved he is good enough to bat in the top five for England.  This frees up a place in the team for a PROPER SPINNER!!!  Adil Rashid or ???  English cricket is seriously lacking in this department at the moment.  When it comes to pace/seam bowling we seem to have players to spare.  Chris Woakes has had a great series and looks like he could be a star of the future, he has the third seamer's berth nailed down for now.  Waiting in the wings we have Finn and Wood to name but two.

This winter we have two tough tours against Bangladesh and India where the ball will turn and we don't seem to have the bowlers to exploit this.  Last time we played in India we won a hard series but had Swann and Panesar in top form and we beat the home side at their own game.  We don't have the spin bowlers to pose that kind of threat at the moment.

At the moment some players are guaranteed to make the winter tour, assuming they are fit enough;  Cook, Root, Stokes, Ali, Bairstow, Woakes, Broad and Anderson.  The selectors will meet at the end of the county season and another eight tour places will be up for grabs.  Who gets them is anyone's guess at the moment.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Third test, a classic!

Day one.  Pakistan won the toss and put England in...  A surprise that they'd pass up on the first use of the wicket and the opportunity to let Shah bowl on a fourth innings track...
England bat and seem to be making headway but wickets fall regularly.  Cook makes 45, Ballance a patient 70 and Moeen a fluent 63.  At the end of the day England are all out for 297, Sir Geoffery reckons it's a decent score... time will tell.

There are definite problems with the top order.  Hales looks to be going backwards against world class bowlers and Vince has to go, even second innings runs won't ease the doubts.  For Pakistan Sohail Khan takes 5 wickets.  A great day of test cricket!!

Day two.  Time for England's bowlers to turn the screw.  Four balls into the day and Jimmy strikes!!!  Here we go!!  Or not.  After that Pakistan's batsmen dig in and give us a batting lesson and it's painful listening for the England fan.  A great partnership between Azhar and Aslam with the former making a century and the latter unlucky to be run out in the eighties.  Woakes strikes on the last ball of the day but at 257-3, Pakistan are in control.

Day three.  Can Pakistan build a match winning lead?  England's bowlers retain control and chip away with wickets but the lead builds slowly.  When Misbah is out for a half century one end is open and wickets fall more regularly, still the lead is 103 and Michael Vaughan on TMS has researched the stats which say England only have a 3% chance of winning from here.  Also Jimmy has to be taken out of the attack for the innings for following through onto the wicket once too often.

The pressure is on England's openers but they start well and build their way to an unbeaten opening stand of 120 and the deficit is wiped out, both Cook and Hales have half centuries, the latter reaching the milestone from the last ball of the day.  At the end of the day the match is even, if anything England are slightly ahead.  This is turning into a great test match!

Day four.
Pakistan struck early removing both openers and it was game on again!  If wickets tumbled England would be in trouble but we managed to keep putting partnerships together with all of the top order contributing.  Work was busy which prevented me from following too closely or getting too nervous.  At 282-5 with a lead of just 179 the match was in the balance but a great partnership from Bairstow and Ali, battering a tiring attack swung the game.  Only one team could win from here.

Day five.
I was sitting by a windswept lake in rural Suffolk when play commenced for the fifth and final day.  First Moeen battered the Pakistan bowlers for a bit before the declaration then England picked up a wicket early with the hapless Hafeez playing another poor shot.  When I tidied up the fishing gear at lunch time Pakistan had cruised to lunch and a draw was on the cards.

I settled in front of the tele just after Ali had removed Azhar, does that give us a chance?  Jimmy bowled a great spell removing Younis, reversing the ball and creating pressure.  Finn and Woakes followed and between them took four wickets for one run, the win was on now!  England clinched it after tea, despite a last wicket partnership which threatened to embarrass for a while. The wickets were shared with each bowler picking up two apiece.  Moeen Ali took the final one and with two half centuries in the picked up the man of the match award.

From being a hundred runs adrift on first innings England have played brilliantly to fight back and win this match.  Every one of the eleven players has contributed to this win yet we STILL don't know what our best XI is!  Also, I wonder how the match would have progressed had Azhar Ali survived the final ball of day two?

Monday, 1 August 2016

Third test approaching...

In a couple of days the test series will resume at Edgbaston, a ground where England have a pretty good record in recent years.  So far this series has been a good one, I missed the first test which was competitive and won by Pakistan but England dominated the second to leave it 1-1 with two to play.  It seems the series is being played in an excellent spirit, which has not always been the case when these two sides meet.

England will be without Ben Stokes who is likely to be replaced by Finn or Ball, though I hope Rashid gets a game.

Pakistan have a very good bowling attack which will give England's top order just the test they need.  By the end of the series we'll know how good they are, or not.

I think England will go on to win from here but it won't be easy.