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12 September 2005 @ 01:21 pm
It's Official  
I poke my head in to mention that after a magnificent day of batting England regains the Ashes with a Test series score of 2-1.

Have I mentioned how much I love DirecTV?

Wish I could be at fleetfootmike's BBQ tonight to join the celebration.
Current Mood: giddygiddy
Current Music: Interviews preceding the awards ceremony
Keriskeristor on September 12th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
Me too...
Phil Parkertigertoy on September 12th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm happy for you but I don't get it
I heard the story on the radio, and it mainly served to increase my confusion about cricket, which despite having heard scores and commentary on the game on a nearly daily basis for many years remains near total.

How can a game with scores in the hundreds have two games out of 5 end in draws?
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on September 12th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm happy for you but I don't get it
Because a Draw is not the same as a Tie.

In cricket, the game must be complete to be either a win or a loss or a tie. To be complete, both sides have to be finished with their second turn at bat - either because the final batting side scores enough runs to win or because the final batting side is completely out without scoring enough runs to win. There are some other ways where one side doesn't have to bat in order to win, but it is something like the home team not needing to bat in the bottom of the ninth in baseball if they are already ahead when it is their turn. In one-day and 20/20 cricket, the completion of the specific number of overs is considered to be the completion of the innings even if all batsmen aren't out, but in test cricket this is not the case.

In the test ending today, Australia was not going to ever get enough runs in the time remaining, nor was England ever going to get all 10 wickets needed to win in that time. So, Australia "accepted the light" (agreed with the umpires that it was too dark to play) and painlessly allowed the day to end (and therefore the allotted time to run out) without all the batsmen being put out. Since all the batsmen were not put out, the game was not complete and therefore was a draw.

In the test I was present for (the Old Trafford test that ended August 15th), on the last ball of the last day England needed only to get one more Australian batsman out to win the game. Unfortunately, the last ball did not result in an out - therefore, the test was drawn.

In my opinion, the two fundamental concepts that Americans have to overcome to begin to comprehend cricket are the concept of the draw (which adds to the strategy by forcing a team to score enough to win but not so much that the other team doesn't think they have a chance and therefore don't give you chances to get them out), and the actions of the batsmen (to protect the stumps without getting out, to get runs by hitting the ball anywhere in the 360-degrees around himself but not getting the ball caught or unfairly blocking the stumps, and exchanging places with the other batsman in the course of said running). Fielding and bowling proceed from the requirement to get the ball past the batsmen and/or force them into making an out (though learning all the names for all the general fielding positions is a real pain in the silly point).

To me, international test cricket and county cricket are the sports equivalent of chess, with a need to watch long-term goals as well as short-term and a real punishment for getting too greedy. I suppose that's why it seems to reflect the traditional stereotype of the British Way Of Life - Win, But Not By Too Much Lest You Make The Other Fellow Look Bad.

Hope this isn't too confusing. In reality, you need to actually sit with someone who knows what is going on during an active match (the last day of a contested test is the best) and have it translated. It's easier after that.

fleetfootmike was my pusher mentor...
Phil Parkertigertoy on September 13th, 2005 05:32 am (UTC)
Re: I'm happy for you but I don't get it
I was under the mistaken impression that because test cricket matches went on for days, they went on until the game was actually over -- I didn't know there was a time limit. Given the time limit, what you just said there makes sense, if I assume that a wicket is the same thing as an out. If it's not, then "Australia was not going to ever get enough runs in the time remaining, nor was England ever going to get all 10 wickets needed to win in that time" still leaves me scratching my head...
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on September 13th, 2005 11:03 am (UTC)
Re: I'm happy for you but I don't get it
Yes, a 5-day test lasts 5 days, and rained-out days are not replaced (though the playing time on subsequent days will be extended).

The word "wicket" can mean:

- the portion of the field between the stumps where most of the action takes place
- the stumps themselves
- the result of putting someone out by hitting the stumps, catching the ball after being hit, or other means.

In the specified sentence it takes on the last meaning.