Cow Corner

Rapid Roach the real deal

Cow Corner

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Michael
Holding, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Colin Croft, Wes Hall, Andy Roberts,
Charlie Griffith, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose: Kemar Roach may not be at home
in the pantheon of great West Indies bowlers, but the Barbadian has an obscene
amount of potential.

What
appeared to be an incessant and unwavering proverbial conveyor belt of
terrifyingly quick West Indian pacemen seemed to be switched off at the plug after
Ambrose and Walsh hung up their sweat bands and slipped on the flip-flops.

But
at just 22-years-old, there is no limit to what Roach can achieve in the game
with his searing pace, natural athleticism and aggressive approach.

Roach
recorded the eighth best figures in World Cup history
as he obliterated the
Netherlands with six for 27 from eight overs, and in so doing became only the
fifth bowler to take a hat-trick in the tournament.

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Former
West Indies wicketkeeper Jeff Dujon has described Roach as "the most
genuine of genuine fast bowlers" and anyone who can send down six
consecutive 150kph rockets has to be hugely respected.

Indeed,
from the moment that Roach introduced himself to international cricket by
dismantling Ricky Ponting's left elbow with a 146-kph snorter of a delivery and
followed it with a vicious and even quicker inswinging yorker, batsmen across
the world were all too aware of his presence.

Roach
has excelled for Barbados, West Indies and the Deccan Chargers in his rapidly
burgeoning career and from two World Cup matches possesses a fearsome strike
rate of 14.1.

The
fast bowler from St Lucy is positively brimming with confidence, and his
staggeringly assured post-match interview while nonchalantly accepting the
man-of-the-match accolades will have been music to West Indies fans' ears.

"Lots of confidence, happy with the performance," Roach
roared with a big smile. "The ability to keep my pace up and be accurate
is the biggest positive and I was very good.

"The surface was slow, so our plan was to bowl straight and
fast and I did that. There is still a job to be done, and I am very ready for
it!" As bullish an assessment as you will hear, and you'd be
a brave man to doubt Roach's abilities - he's got plenty of lick left in his
locker.

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From a thrilling, very fast and exciting star performer with the
ball, to a turgid, very slow and uninspiring one: Zimbabwe spinner Ray Price
never fails to impress
with his left-arm twirlers as he took three for 16 to
ravage Canada's top order.

One of the most aggressive and engaging spinners to have ever
played pyjama cricket, Price is peaking at the end of his career and, at the
age of 34, continues to add substance to his ever-burgeoning reputation.

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Price was originally cruelly bracketed as a five-day specialist
only, and was confined to the Test scene alone (Alastair Cook will empathise
will shearing sheep on his farm) but has since emerged as a canny, calculated
and uncompromising one-day bowler.

In addition to 'loving a good sledge', Price has the best
economical analyses of any Zimbabwean, giving runs away at a meagre 3.88 in
ODIs, and exploits unfavourable conditions with his mastery of flight and
guile.

The colourful veteran is the master of the metronome, and is to
unerring lines what Piyush Chawla is to disguised googlies: as the late, great
Freddy Trueman used to say, 'all you can ask of a spinner is that he puts the
ball on a sixpence all day'. That is exactly what Price does, and he's the best
in the business at doing so.

Price was until very recently the second best bowler in the world,
according to the ICC one-day rankings, and presently assumes third spot on the
list: whatever one thinks about the value of such statistics, it cannot be
argued that there is plenty of substance to back up his chat in the middle.

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SHOT OF THE DAY: Of Kieron Pollard's four biblical
sixes it is incredibly hard to pick the best, but the absurdly casual flick off
his toes to launch a perfectly credible delivery from Pieter Seelaar into the
top tier of the grandstand has to take it.

STAT OF THE DAY: Pollard's 50
off 23 balls was the third fastest half-century in World Cup history.

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TWEETS OF THE DAY: "It's Big Tim Bresnan's birthday
today. He got a Geoffrey Boycott book, a Michael Parkinson DVD and a picture of
some whippets," (Graeme Swann).

"Not sure if Bres' was disappointed or happy with with his
birthday presents from me... I got him some toothpaste, deodorant
and the Kerry Katona fitness DVD he's been banging on about," (Jimmy
Anderson).

USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: "What is the big issue with
Steve Davies announcing he is gay, does it affect his cricket, what has it got
to do with cricket? Concentrate on important issues not someone's personal life.
(Keith from Kenya gets all het up about the fuss surrounding the England
wicket-keeper's much-publicised 'revelations'.)

COMING UP: Sri Lanka
entertain Kenya in their Group A clash at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo
from 09:00 UK time, with Kumar Sangakkara's side looking to bounce back from
their defeat to Pakistan at the same ground.

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