Friday 25 May 2012

Mini-session Analysis 2nd test Eng WI Trent Bridge 12

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the second test between England and the West Indies at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, England.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aWest Indies 42/3 off 14.3England
1-1bWest Indies 41/1 off 12.3West Indies
1-2aWest Indies 33/0 off 17draw
1-2bWest Indies 38/2 off 13England
1-3aWest Indies 70/0 off 16West Indies
1-3bWest Indies 80/0 off 17West Indies
2-1aWest Indies 37/2 off 12.2England
2-1bWest Indies 29/2 off 7West Indies
England 8/0 off 5
2-2aEngland 43/1 off 14draw
2-2bEngland 72/0 off 15England
2-3aEngland 67/1 off 14England
2-3bEngland 69/0 off 20England
3-1aEngland 41/2 off 14West Indies
3-3bEngland 40/2 off 12West Indies
3-2aEngland 33/1 off 15West Indies
3-2bEngland 55/3 off 14.4England
3-3aWest Indies 42/3 off 14England
3-3bWest Indies 19/3 off 12England
4-1aWest Indies 49/0 off 15West Indies
4-1bWest Indies 31/2 off 12England
4-2aWest Indies 20/2 off 7.1England
4-2bEngland 74/0 off 21England
4-3aEngland 37/1 off 9.4England

Final Summary: West Indies lose the mini-session count 13-8, and lose the match comprehensively too. England outplayed West Indies for the majority of the match, and (while there were three particular hours that were particularly decisive) deserved their win.

Marlon Samuels played what was possibly the match of his life, but it was to no avail. He top scored in both innings, and had the best match figures of the West Indians with the ball. It's not often that a player scores 193 runs for only one dismissal, and takes 3/32, and doesn't win man of the match. It's arguable that Bresnan's 8/140 was a better performance, but it's not arguable that he was decisive in winning the match for England.

England's bowlers again took the pace off the ball to good effect, generally making their breakthroughs with slower deliveries. People often say there's no substitute for pace. However I believe that pace is over-rated. You don't need to be break-neck speed, you just need to be fast enough. England have shown us this again.

Stumps, day 3: England lead 9-7. And they are well in the lead in the match too. West Indies are effectively 3/6, but they have the two heroes of the first innings at the crease. However there are a couple of things in their favour.

Firstly Kemar Roach seemed to rediscover his touch (and run up), and the pitch is starting to get a bit two paced, which could make Shillingford a real handful. If West Indies can manage to get another 170, we could be in for a great day 5 finish. Sammy himself could be a dangerous bowler, given that 14 of the 26 wickets to have fallen so far in this test have been to deliveries bowled slower than 130km/h (80.77mph for those of you who still use a measurement system based on the width of a horse's backside)

But before they get to have a crack at the English batsmen, they need to survive the English bowlers. Anderson is doing what Steyn has done very well recently: changing his pace to find the pace where the ball moves the most. He is capable of bowling over 140km/h, but all his wickets today were less than 130km/h. Likewise Bresnan was significantly down on pace, but was more dangerous than ever. Ian Chappell once said that he was always worried playing against a bowler who he felt was holding back his pace. Akram, Hadlee, McGrath and Pollock all became much better bowlers once they dropped their pace a bit, and reserved the quicker ball for once every couple of overs. However it seems that bowlers that get the most benefit out of it are ones who start off with a reputation for pace or bounce, and that's probably where the English trio are at now in their careers. This could be another step along the road of them becoming one of the all time great bowling attacks, or it could just be a good session, where they took wickets despite not having their normal zip.

It's a normal cliche, but the morning session is huge for the West Indies. They probably need to get to drinks after lunch tomorrow one or none down. If they do then they have given themselves a chance to get back into the test. However I feel that them doing that is somewhat unlikely, and we are more likely to see a fairly comprehensive English victory.

Lunch, day 3: All tied up 6-6. And that really tells the story. West Indies have stormed back into the game. The pitch seems to have freshened up over night, and now West Indies have the chance to clean up the tail and take the lead in the match.

Stumps, day 2: England lead the count 6-4. They also are ahead in the match. West Indies are paying the price for missing the two chances earlier.

The battle between Trott and Sammy continued, with this round going to Trott, who scored at better than a run a ball against him. But the highlights were another magnificent hundred from Strauss and an attacking innings of true class from Pietersen. They have taken back any initiative that West Indies had, and left England in a commanding position. For all my complaints about Sammy being too eager to defend the boundaries, today England found the boundary often. However, that was largely due to the wider lines that West Indies bowled. Captaining a team who are not bowling well is a difficult task.

West Indies will want to remove at least one of these before drinks tomorrow, then have another go with the new ball, and hope that this time Roach can get his run up sorted out.

Middle drinks, day 2: West Indies still lead the count 4-3. They again gave Cook a life, but it was 3rd time a charm and Rampaul has his first wicket of the series. West Indies have bowled a very good containing line, keeping the ball outside the off stump and making the English chase the ball if they want to score.

Lunch, day 2: West Indies leads the count 4-3. West Indies managed to just sneak that hour, however they made what could turn out to be a very costly mistake when Roach had Cook caught off a no ball. It will be interesting to see if England make the West Indies pay for their mistake.

First drinks break, day 2: The mini-session count is tied up 3-3. West Indies started well, but then in a couple of overs lost both established batsmen, and England are back. Sammy has got his hundred, and will be happy about that, but a really big score was probably on offer here.

Stumps, day 1: West Indies lead 3-2. It appears that the job of West Indies top 4 is to see off the shine, so that the next 4 can score the runs. Sammy is in uncharted territory here. Despite being thought of as an all-rounder, he has never scored more than 75 runs in a test match before, let alone a test innings. In fact he is only 7 runs short of his second highest score in first class cricket. He survived a few wobbles, particularly against Anderson, but he has made it to stumps. If he continues to bat like this he could easily take the game away from England. The most impressive thing about his innings was the patient start. He commented in the post match interview from the last test that he felt that he wasn't patient enough, and her certainly learned from that in this test.

A nice little sidelight has been the battle of the medium pacers. In the last test Trott faced 52 balls from Sammy, and scored 24 before getting out to him. This test Sammy has faced 16 balls so far from Trott and scored 19. It's like Sammy rises to the occasion when he is facing another medium pacer, with the bat or ball.

West Indies are in a very strong position. This is the 29th time a team has scored over 300 batting first at Trent Bridge. Of those 29 matches, the team batting first has won 12, drawn 15 and lost just 2. The first session tomorrow will be incredibly important. If West Indies manages to see off the new ball and fresh pitch, England could be in for a morale-sapping day. If, however, they make an early break-through there is not a great deal of batting left, and England could be batting before lunch.

Lunch, day 1: The mini-sessions are all tied up, but England are well in control. The Samuels-Chanderpaul combination are back together again, but a lot earlier than West Indies would have wanted.

First drinks break, day 1: England will be thoroughly pleased with this start. The West Indies will not be. Chanderpaul is not keen on batting before lunch, but he has had to again.

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