Cow Corner

  • Broad the toast of Nottingham after hat-trick

    England did not have things their own way on day two of the Trent Bridge Test against India, but a quite stunning hat-trick from Stuart Broad dramatically changed the complexion of the match.

    It had been an arduous day of slogging it out in the field for England before India sensationally imploded from 273 for five to 288 all out with Broad's three scalps in successive deliveries sending the Nottingham crowd into raptures.

    The hat-trick was set in motion by none other than India skipper MS Dhoni, who flashed wildly at a widish outswinger with his feet apparently stuck in cement at the crease,

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  • Slogging in Tests grossly underrated

    Why did the frontline England batsmen play score so
    slowly? Why did Stuart Broad look so confident and so prolific? Why was even
    Graeme Swann able to take the India attack to the cleaners for a fleeting
    spell?

    All legitimate questions, and all answered by the
    simple maxim: play with freedom and runs will come, and come fast.

    After MS Dhoni again called the ICC coin correctly -
    again proving Andrew Strauss to be a poor tosser, just like predecessors
    Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain - England's batsmen appeared utterly
    paralysed with negativity.

    Indeed, England's approach was nothing short of

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  • What the 2,000th Test match showed us

    It was fitting for the 2,000th encounter of cricket's greatest format to be such a classic, titanic clash between the world's two best sides.

    England clinched a 196-run victory in the historic Test to move one step closer to fulfilling their stated ambition of becoming the number one side in the world.

    Oh, and anyone doubting the popularity of the format on the world stage should have got themselves down to St John's Wood at around 03:00 in the morning where a long snake of fans had already formed, clutching coffees and Wisden Almanacks in hand.

    The atmosphere was absolutely immense at Lord's

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  • Prior ‘The Brave’ does it again for England

    It looked to be going so horribly
    awry for England as Ishant Sharma suddenly saw through his vision-obscuring
    fringe and claimed four quick wickets to leave England reeling, but once again
    there was a man in their way.

    Matt Prior 'The Brave' - as he
    should now be known - simply refused to be dictated to by the floppy-haired
    India seamer and his accomplices, wielding the bat without fear, playing his
    shots undeterred, and ending with a sensational century.

    England lost three wickets for
    the cost of just one run from 10 balls in a period of staggering drama as the
    Sharma police nicked the hosts

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  • Broad full of it after penny finally drops

    The penny has finally dropped for
    Stuart Broad, and boy did he come good: bowl a full length, draw the batsmen
    forward, and rewards will follow.

    Broad has long been maligned for
    his seeming incapability to bowl in the batsman's half of the wicket, coupled
    with England's defensive deployment of his talents.

    Indeed, given the apparent
    predictability of the lanky seamer's length, Cowers was among the many people
    pacing around in frustration as Broad was once again preferred to the
    blisteringly in-form Timmy Bresnan on Thursday.

    The agitation grew further when
    England were batting as Broad, who

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  • Patience proves a productive virtue for KP

    There are many superlatives which
    do justice to Kevin Pietersen's batting when the preening peacock is in good
    nick, but the virtue of patience was most impressively apparent in his quite
    epic 202 at Lord's.

    Pietersen
    had gone 20 innings since his last home Test century: it was almost three years
    ago that he hit a ton against South Africa at The Oval back in 2008.

    There
    was no doubt about it: Pietersen found himself very much under pressure ahead
    of this, the 2,000th Test match in the history of the game.

    KP's
    approach to batting has long been maligned, lamented and publicly criticised -
    and

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  • Cricket still looks resplendent in hardback

    How did you come to love the game?
    Personal encounters of cricket come in many forms: from fierce backyard
    rivalries; to village green heroics; to the deeply professional sport we find
    ourselves utterly engrossed in.

    Perhaps no sport is so suitably
    and gloriously captured and enjoyed on the page, and it is not only Wisden
    Almanacks and prematurely published autobiographies of fledgling international
    careers which can be pored over.

    Cowers has been asked to review
    many cricketing titles over the years - including Ian Botham's inauspicious
    dabbling into the world of carp fishing - but few have

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  • Zaheer blow could leave India hamstrung

    When five esteemed cricket experts were asked who was India's key player ahead of the series with England, two said Sachin Tendulkar, while three believed it was fast bowler Zaheer Khan.

    It may seem surprising, indeed staggering, that the best batsman since the great Sir Donald Bradman is not considered the indispenable part of the Indian machine by the overwhelming majority.

    But that would be to neglect the influence held by India's one truly world class paceman, and the man who has proved himself a consummate exponent of swing bowling in English conditions.

    On a day of drab batting, dank

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  • What have mercurial England learnt?

    You can look at it two ways: England shaded a
    typically topsy-turvy series in characteristically mercurial fashion; but
    equally, they showed a newfound ruthless edge to clinch a tight challenge.

    Sri Lanka are officially (well, according to those ICC
    rankings) the fourth best side in pyjama cricket, while England are one place
    lower: it was always supposed to be a finely balanced series, and so it proved.

    The hosts showed their composure in the final
    encounter of a five-match money-spinner which failed on the most part to seize
    the public's imagination, but which ended with an engrossing finale

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  • Snicko’ seen but never heard

    Batsman nicks it behind... Vociferous appeal goes up... White coat
    says 'not out'... Decision is referred... Snicko' shouts 'out'... Big Snicko'
    graph proves the contact with the outside edge... TV white coat says 'no'... Punters and pundits utterly dumbfounded.

    James Anderson takes a wicket, except that he doesn't. That's the wacky world of cricket we love watching.

    It was one of those regular occurences in international cricket
    when the entire ground, all the players, and every spectator is busy
    celebrating or bemoaning a wicket - but the white coats disagree.

    It was a farcical situation

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