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    International Cricket Thread

    So day two over and Australia have a lead of 298 with six second-hand wickets in hand. Hard to see an Indian comeback from here. O'Keeffe went from pretty ordinary to a spinning machine, taking six for 35 - including 3 in one over - after a change of ends.

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      International Cricket Thread

      While India losing is obviously pleasing I really wish it didn't have to be to them

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        International Cricket Thread

        Just to top and tail this, O'Keefe takes 6-35 again and Lyon takes the other four. Australia win by over 300 runs. Carnage.

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          International Cricket Thread

          Jack Hampshire has died. Jackie to his friends, John to the kids on the news desks who don't remember him.

          One of those players I always picked during maths class selection meetings, while my mate Chris insisted on John Jameson or one of the boring Smiths.

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            International Cricket Thread

            He went to my school; the only sportsperson of any note it's ever produced. Our cricket teacher would occasionally remind us that "John Hampshire started here and he played for England" which would be met with polite nods as none of us had the foggiest who John Hampshire was, except that he'd been to our school and played for England.

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              International Cricket Thread

              He came back to the school on the last day of term in 1969. It was of such interest that there were cameras from either Look North or Calendar. The trick was to try and be filmed near him. Something which I totally failed to do...

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                International Cricket Thread

                It's not been mentioned on here - and I've been away from here for a few days - but that second test was absolutely fucking mint. Four hard days of proper, gritty cricket and every single session had something in it. Pity the scores were a bit low for a fifth day, but it was riveting viewing. And yes I know that it's impossible to root for a winner in a test between these two sides but blimey - fantastic stuff.

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                  International Cricket Thread

                  What VT said.

                  Shame that it all happened in the middle of the night over here.

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                    International Cricket Thread

                    Excellent start by NZ v SA. 22-3.

                    They can't get Jiten Patel off the square. Wagner good pace. Cleaned up Duminy with a bouncer.

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                      International Cricket Thread

                      Typically idyllic New Zealand test ground, too

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                        International Cricket Thread

                        Hard nosed stuff from Elgar and du Plessis edging SA away from crisis as the pitch starts to flatten.

                        As UA says, like so many in New Zealand, it's a lovely ground.

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                          International Cricket Thread

                          Elgar and Du Plessis put on 124 for the fourth wicket before Faf falls.

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                            International Cricket Thread

                            Don't tell Lang Spoon about this thread. He'll have a pop at me for calling things wrong.

                            Great fight back. Dean Elgar apparently surprised that Southee didn't play.

                            Lovely NZ test ground indeed. Looks about as big time as Gloucestershire playing at Moreton-in-Marsh.

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                              International Cricket Thread

                              Only the eighth test to be played at the University Oval.

                              One against Pakistan was the first to ever to use DRS.

                              Dunedin is a university town, and looks pretty idyllic all 'round

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                                International Cricket Thread

                                Dunedin, like many NZ cities/towns, has a lovely location filled with unlovely housing stock. The students shiver from March to November, and then have their vacation when Dunedin is at its best.

                                The one glaring exception to NZ's boutique test venues is Auckland: every local election (3 years) there are proposals to create one, an alternative to soulless, shapeless Eden Park, but it's hard to justify spending large for a few weather-dependent days every year.

                                The smaller centres can do it on the cheap if you're happy with a grass bank instead of a grandstand.

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                                  International Cricket Thread

                                  Here's an update on Auckland's future test ground: probably not coming to a TV screen near you, for a few years yet.

                                  Note the usual "artist impression" rule applies: it's full, and sunny. Also the crowd looks like Auckland 1970: no South Asians, who would make up half the attendance at any cricket match today.

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                                    International Cricket Thread

                                    I don't think I'll ever get used to the idea of summer and winter being the other way round down there.

                                    I am very much in favour of grassy banks.

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                                      International Cricket Thread

                                      A promising final day in Dunedin was washed out, so match drawn. Ross Taylor is out of the next Test with a calf injury.

                                      Afghanistan have just made 233-8 against Ireland. In a T20 match. Mohammad Nabi 89 from 30 balls, he only came in at the end of the 13th over!

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                                        International Cricket Thread

                                        Herath is now the leading left arm wicket taker in test cricket. Some achievement for the portly figure of a cricketer.

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                                          International Cricket Thread

                                          Antepli Ejderha wrote: Herath is now the leading left arm wicket taker in test cricket. Some achievement for the portly figure of a cricketer.
                                          Left arm spinners AE. Wasim Akram still has more wickets than Herath (414 - 316).

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                                            International Cricket Thread

                                            Thanks Foxy. It's still an impressive stat for the guy. I'm guessing he didn't start test cricket until late in his career.

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                                              International Cricket Thread

                                              He actually made his debut in 1999 but has only played 80 Tests because SL are not given as many Tests per year as the big three TV market countries.

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                                                International Cricket Thread

                                                Steve Smith is now averaging over 60 in Test cricket. He's got to 5000 runs in fewer innings than Lara or Tendulkar.

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                                                  International Cricket Thread

                                                  If I ever decide that I want to quit modern life, I'll just go and spend my days watching Test cricket in New Zealand. Dunedin looked stunning last week, Wellington looks lovely today.

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                                                    International Cricket Thread

                                                    Not sure there is enough of it to occupy one, but it does strike me a pretty perfect sabbatical plan.

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