England Settle One Day International Series Against West Indies

INTRODUCTION

England, having won the opening match of the three match series on Friday could ensure a series victory by winning again yesterday. What follows is my account of how they did this. Cricinfo’s account can be viewed here.

WEST INDIES POOR WITH THE BAT

I missed most of the West Indies innings, but caught the closing overs. Some decent bowling from England and very ordinary batting from the West Indies at that stage meant that with a total of 250-260 (which on that pitch would have been respectable) having looked possible the West Indies ended up with a mere 225, which should not have been much of challenge for England…

A GLIMPSE OF THE 1990s

Sam Billings fell without a run on the board, but then Jason Roy and Joe Root settled in. At 87-1 with Roy having just reached his 50 England looked in full control. At that point Roy was out playing a bad shot, which seemed to trigger a time machine that transported as back to the 1990s. The England middle order simply disintegrated, that high water mark of 87-1 transmuting to 124-6, at which point the West Indies were looking like favourites.

Then, came a reminder that this was 2017 and not a revisit to the 1990s, as Chris Woakes demonstrated his continuing improvement, albeit with some assistance from the Wesr Indies fielders who dropped two absolute sitters. With the imperturbable Root in the anchor role, Woakes’ aggressive 68 not out saw England home with four wickets and an over and a half to spare (Root was 90 not out at the other end). 

Here is a photographic commemoration of the England middle order yesterday…

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For the uninitiated a score of 0 in cricket is referred to as a duck. And 1990s England really were as bad as all that.

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE
PLAYER OF THE MATCH AWARD

Predictably enough the Player of the Match award yesterday went to Root for his 90 not out. However, while this decision is understandable I consider it incorrect. Although Chris Woakes was wicketless from his eight overs they only went for 26 runs (a rate of just over three an over compared to West Indies overall 4.5), which in conjunction with his 68 not out when England had got themselves into a big hole, should have secured him the award.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of today’s photographs for you:

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The recent repaired section of King’s Lynn library
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The frontage of King’s Lynn library.
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Greyfriars tower.
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St Nicholas from Chapel Court
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Another view of St Nicholas
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The Custom House from King Street

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The Red Mount Chapel through the trees.

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Artwork commemorating the voyages of Captain George Vancouver, New Conduit Street

Monday Mixture

My 1,000th post on aspiblog, a typically eclectic mix of stuff – read, enjoy and please share!

INTRODUCTION

As the title suggests this post contains a variety of different elements. There is another reason for choosing this title which will be revealed later.

MUMBAI MASSACRE

With two scheduled days to go the 4th India vs England Test Match in Mumbai seemed to be headed for a high-scoring draw, but two things happened thereafter – India got right away, pushing their first innings total up to 631, and then England fell in a heap in their second innings – all out 195, beaten by an innings and 36.

THE NAS WEST NORFOLK COMMITTEE CHRISTMAS MEAL

This took place on Thursday at Frankie and Benny’s on the Hardwick Industrial Estate. Here are some pictures…

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My chosen meal
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Rachelf (sic!) showing true Christmas spirit.
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Karan (branch chair) hold aloft her Poldark colouring book.
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Santa reveals a little secret.
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A chicken puppet – she owns some real chickens, currently confined to their run because of an avian flu alert.

THE DUKE’S HEAD HOTEL

Those familiar with my 2017 wall mounted calendars will recall that the Duke’s Head Hotel frontage featured as the April picture. Well, since then it has been done up – here are a couple of pictures…

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The calendar picture
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The Duke’s Head frontage as it looks today after being redone.

THE PUZZLE IN THE INTRODUCTION

My title for this post “Monday Mixture” is apt given its nature, but I also chose this particular title because both parts thereof begin with the letter M, the Roman numeral for 1,000, and this is my 1,000th post on aspiblog.

LINKS AND CLOSING PICS

My first link is to a petition on avaaz protesting against an Australian plan to put a toxic coal complex next to the Great Barrier Reef. Please click on the image below to sign and share the petition.

My next link, also contained within a picture is to a piece on whyevolutionistrue titled A Photobook of Biological Marvels and My Own Take on Them.

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Rachael Swindon’s new blog continues to impress and amuse. Her target in this post, struck in the bullseye as usual for her, is hard right Tory MP for Witham, Priti Patel.

I started this links section with an environment related piece and I end it with another, courtesy of the Guardian, which provides this report of a study detailing how wind power is key to curbing greenhouse emissions – click the image below to read more…

Whitelee windfarm on Eaglesham Moor in Scotland is the UK’s largest onshore windfarm.

I end this post with some more of my own pictures…

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Nonuple Nelson

My 999th post on aspiblog – an appropriately quirky melange – share if you agree!

INTRODUCTION

The title of this post comes from a cricket related quirk, explained by the image below, which is an extract from Mike Brearley and Dudley Doust’s book about the 1978-9 ashes series (six matches, Australia 1 England 5):

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The ‘nonuple’ part of the title comes from the fact that this is my 999th post on aspiblog, and like the old Gloucestershire spinner Bomber Wells who deliberately retired on 999 first class wickets I have decided the commemorate 999 rather than the more conventional 1,000. By the way, although 999 is indubitably part of the ‘Nelson’ sequence I suspect that never mind me as someone immune to woo in all its forms even the late legendary David Shepherd might have considered that at 999 there was little to worry about (in point of fact it is 0% success rate as a score at which wickets fall – twice in first class cricket a team has scored that many – Victoria both times, against Tasmania in 1922 and New South Wales in 1926 and both times they reached the 1,000 safely and won the matches by monster margins – an innings and 666 and an innings and 656 runs respectively).

SOME RECENT FINDS

First a story which I reblogged from Why Evolution Is True yesterday, but which is so spectacular and so well presented that I am sharing a link to it today as well – click the picture below to visit:

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Second, a suggestion that London should take its cue from Paris and make public transport free of charge (what are you waiting for, Sadiq?). I have already shared this on my London transport themed website, and now take the opportunity to promote it here – via two pictures, the first of which contains a link to the original article on www.independent.co.uk:

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The image in the http://www.independent.co.uk article.
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The image in the twitter link that put me on to the story.

Still on the transport theme is this piece in The Guardian about how Uber are (mis)treating their drivers.

My next link concerns libraries, and the fact that they are being hit by huge funding cuts. At the bottom of the article mention is made of the library from which the most items have been borrowed this year – Norwich Millennium Library (and although that is the library I use least frequently of my three regulars my visits there are not entirely unconnected to the large number of items borrowed there!). Click here to see the original piece.

My final link in this section is appropriately cricket themed. Before getting on to it I note by way of observation that as the third day draws to a close the current test match between India and England seems to be capsizing under an overload of runs (Eng 400, Ind currently 445-7). A new cricket blog has appeared on my radar, and I introduce it to my readers by way of a link to a review of Steve James’ book The Art of Centuries.

PICTURES

To end this post here are some coin images from yesterday at work (on this occasion high-res scans rather than photographs as these were small lots):

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This is lot 122 (all lots featured here have three images – a composite and close-ups of each face). These lots will be going under the hammer in mid January.

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Lot 132

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Lot 134

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Lot 136

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Lot 137

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Lot 138

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Lot 140

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Lot 141

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Lot 143

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Lot 145

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Lot 157 – note the alteration to the obverse face of this coin.

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Congratulations to England Women’s XI

INTRODUCTION

While Alastair Cook and his team are fighting hard in Visakhapatnam, the women have recorded a tremendous victory in Colombo.

A SPECTACULAR RECOVERY

You may recall that in my last post I detailed the recovery of the England Women’s innings from 58-6 20 241-9 in their 50 overs. Rain then intervened, so the players reconvened today for the Sri Lankan response. Natalie Sciver, whose 77 dug England out of trouble followed up by accounting for both Sri Lankan openers. Danielle Hazell and Laura Marsh who had continued to Sciver inspired batting recovery then cashed in on the early breakthroughs , Marsh taking 4-21 from her full ten overs and Hazell finishing with 3-21 from 8.1 overs.

While all three of the young women mentioned above performed outstandingly I would say that Sciver who played the major innings and then made the early breakthroughs that the other two capitalised on was the key to this astonishing turnaround. The cricinfo scorecard makes no mention of a Player of the Match award, but if there was one it should have gone to Sciver with honourable mentions for Hazell and Marsh.

THE SOLUTION TO THE MATHS TEASER

Below is the pair of simultaneous equations from my last post – the challenge was to pick and solve one of these pairs:

73X + 43y = 211                     685,463X + 314,537Y = 2,685,463
31x + 83y = 199                     314,537X + 685,463Y = 2,314,537

If you did the non-mathematicians thing of selecting the pair of equations featuring smaller numbers you get zero credit. If however you managed to avoid being scared by the large numbers in the second pair you might have noticed that the number of Xs in the first pair equals the number of Ys in the second and vice versa, or in other words, temporarily removing the numbers we have:

aX + bY = c
bX + aY = d

This gives us options for possibly simplifying the equations. First up let us look at adding the two initial equations together which gives us:

(a+b)X + (a+b)Y = c+d

Feeding the numbers back in, we get:

1,000,000X + 1,000,000Y = 5,000,000 which simplifies nicely to X + Y = 5

we can also subtract the bottom equation from the top one, giving us:

aX – bY = c-d

Feeding the numbers back in gives us 370,926X – 370,926Y = 370,926, which at first glance may not look terribly pleasant, but a second glance shows that the number of Xs and Ys are equal and that that number appears on the other side of the new equation, so in other words it simplifies to X – Y = 1.

Thus the solution to the original pair of equations with those huge numbers is the solution to this pair of equations:

X + Y = 5
X – Y = 1

Thus X = 3 and Y = 2.

SOME PICTURES TO FINISH

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These images are all of lots in our December auction (takes place on the 14th), starting with some coins

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Lot 556 (4 images)

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Lot 557 (2 images)

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Lot 593, four images. This is a particularly fine specimen of the Kukri or Khukuri, the knife carried by Gurkha warriors.

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A New Venue With Old Connections

The start of my personal coverage of the second Test Match between India and England at Visakhapatnam, with a mention of some old connections of this new venue, also a mention of Sri Lanka Women v England Women in Colombo, and a little mathematical teaser.

INTRODUCTION

Just like the first match of the India v England series at Rajkot, this match is happening at a new Test Match venue, Visakhapatnam. This is the 111th test match venue overall and the 24th such in India (more than any other country).

OLD CONNECTIONS AT A NEW VENUE

One of the two ends at this ground is called the “Dr Vizzy End”. The Dr Vizzy of that designation was the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, captain, administrator and briefly late in his life a Test Match Special summariser. He also ran a private team for which he got both Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe to play, which led to a bit of controversy over statistics.

WISDEN VERSUS THE
ASSOCIATION OF CRICKET STATISTICIANS

When Jack Hobbs retired at the end of the 1934 season his record stood at 61,237 first class runs with 197 centuries, although in some sources you will see him credited with 61,760 runs and 199 centuries. The Vizianagram XI matches and a desire to get Hobbs to 200 centuries are the reason for this. Hobbs himself was deeply opposed to any retrospective alteration of players records, and rightly so in my opinion. In 1925 Hobbs had had a nervous period when he had 125 centuries to his credit, with W G Grace according to his official record having 126 which at that time was the record. It was against Somerset at Taunton (a frequent combination for the setting of new batting records over the years) that Hobbs equalled the old record in the first innings and then beat it in the second. However, the revisionists in the ACS camp who have revised Hobbs’ record upwards, have revised W G Grace’s downwards, from 54,896 runs and 126 centuries to 54,211 runs and 124 centuries. This makes a mockery of the events of 1925 described above and the celebrations that accompanied the Taunton match.

My own view is this: Players records should be given as they were recognised at the time, but if you are so inclined certain records of those who played long ago can be footnoted to the effect that “if current definitions of first class status had prevailed when X played their record would have read Y”. This acknowledges the problems with some of the old records without changing them.

BACK TO THE PRESENT

India having won the toss and chosen to bat are 134-2 in the current game, with Jimmy Anderson in the England side after injury. For India Gambhir and Mishra have been dropped, replaced by Rahul and Jayant Yadav (there was already one Yadav, Umesh, in their squad). Meanwhile, in Colombo the England Women have staged a remarkable recovery in the final match of their ODI series against Sri Lanka from a low water mark of 58-6 to a current position of 218-8, Natalie Sciver making 77 off 74 balls and Danielle Hazell a career best 45 off 64 balls. Laura Marsh is on 29 and Beth Langston on 6.

A TEASER TO FINISH

I have recently acquired a mathematically minded follower of this blog, and being mathematically minded myself this seems a good moment to set a problem which consist of two parts:

I am going to set out two pairs of simultaneous equations, and your task is first to select one and then to solve it (nb, both parts of this teaser have clear cut right and wrong answers):

73X + 43y = 211                                                                 685,463X + 314,537Y = 2,685,463
31x + 83y = 199                                                                  314,537X + 685,463Y = 2,314,537

I will provide the answer in my next post.

The England Women have just finished their 50 overs in Colombo at 240-9, Laura Marsh ending on 36 not out, Beth Langston being run out for 21, and number 11 Alex Hartley being at the on-striker’s end for the last ball of the innings.

Cricket, Photos and Links

Some thoughts on the recently concluded England v West Indies women’s series and the match in progress between England and Bangladesh, some links and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I will start with the cricket related stuff before moving on to some other stuff later on. Without further ado I will move on to…

CRICKET

Before moving on the match in Chittagong which is superbly poised at the moment a few words on…

ENGLAND WOMEN’S SERIES WIN IN WEST INDIES

Having surrendered tamely in the fourth match to bring the series back to 2-2 the England Women played superbly to win the fifth match and with it the series. Highlights were the bowling of Alex Hartley and a unbeaten half-century from Natalie Sciver (to date the only international cricketer to have been born in Tokyo).

CHITTAGONG CRACKER

With two days to play the first Test Match between Bangladesh and England at Chittagong is superbly poised. England are 228-8 in their second innings, leading overall by 273. A six wicket haul on debut for 18 year old Hasan Mehedi Miraz, runs for Tamim Iqbal and a second innings five for for Shakib feature among the highlights, but the starring role thus far has belonged to…

BEN STOKES

Having started the third day by taking 3-2 for give him overall innings figures of 4-26, Stokes came in to bat in the second innings with England rocking at 46-4, which soon became 62-5. He proceeded to produce the highest individual score of the game so far, with 85.

PHOTOGRAPHS

LINKS

We start with a couple of petitions:

First, from Norfolk’s only current Labour MP, Clive Lewis:

Defend NHS Services for Older People

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Tory NHS cuts are heaping yet more pressure on an Adult Social Care system already being cut to shreds. This is exemplified by the proposed closure of the 24-bed Henderson unit at the Julian Hospital due to lack of funds. Cuts like these are a false economy and make no sense in the long run. This government is squeezing the life out of our NHS by demand huge so-called savings at the same time as demand is soaring. Sign my petition to help us defend NHS services for older people.

Sign my petition to help us defend NHS services for old people.

My second petition comes from Hope Not Hate and is in support of of Gary Lineker and Fatima Manji who have both been subjected to a a barrage of bigotry in the last few days. Please sign here.

My next link is to the Mirror website by way of my own London transport themed website for a story about a London bus crashing into a bridge.

I now have two links to cricinfo in connection with first section of this post:

  • The current state of play in the test match at Chittagong.
  • Cricinfo’s official report on the third day’s play in Chittagong.

I end this section with a link which segues in to some more photographs. Having described and imaged huge numbers of posters for James and Sons’ October auction I was given a similar task for the November auction, this time involving lobby posters and brochures. It was while scouting for information on the set of three lobby posters that will be lot 689 in that auction that I noted the IMDB did not have an image for the movie this posters were advertising (it is an obscure film that was made in 1966), so I submitted my image, which you can see here.

SOME FINAL PHOTOGRAPHS

These photographs are all from work…

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Lot 689 – if you want the posters that feature as IMDBs official image bid for them on November 30!

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This brochure should find a buyer.

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This composite image was for a poster advertising our November auction which will be on show at a collector’s fair in Newmarket tomorrow.

poster – this is the link to the complete poster.

Championships and Contrivances

Some thoughts on the closing stages of this years County Championship, as it goes into its final day with three potential winners.

INTRODUCTION

Somerset are within touching distance of their first ever County Cricket Championship, but the situation is complicated by the fact that their only two rivals are in direct opposition.

THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY

Courtesy of cricinfo, here is the situation in the key matches:

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The situation is that a draw in the Middlesex v Yorkshire game is not enough for either side – the five points they would each gain from that would still leave them adrift of Somerset. Tomorrow is the last day of the match, which means that time constraints are well and truly in play. Clearly, with a draw rendered worthless by the situation both sides will do all in their power to win the game, which leads given time limitations to the question of just what would be acceptable in the way of a third innings declaration by Middlesex. It is possible that Yorkshire could win the match in the most satisfactory way, by taking the remaining eight Middlesex wickets early enough to give themselves an easy fourth innings target. For Middlesex the question would be how much risk could they take in setting a target bearing in mind that they have to have a legitimate chance of taking 10 wickets to do so?

ACCEPTABLE VS UNACCEPTABLE

Given that Middlesex are still 39 runs behind, unless Yorkshire deliberately concede runs to hasten a declaration (which would certainly cause raised eyebrows in Taunton) it is unlikely that Middlesex would be in a position to consider a declaration much before teatime. My own rough and ready view is that if come the tea break tomorrow Middlesex have a lead of somewhere in the region of 170 that in the circumstances would be an acceptable risk – Yorkshire would have to go for the target, and an asking rate of approximately 5.5 an over with no fielding restrictions would introduce enough risks that Middlesex could hope for the 10 wickets they need. A declaration giving Yorkshire 120 or so to chase in that final session would definitely (albeit actuated by very different motives) be verging on ‘Cronje’ territory, and almost regardless of when it was made, a declaration giving a target of under 100 should be considered as out and out match fixing.

Although I have indicated previously that as an underdog supporter I would like to see Somerset win, the key thing here is that any victory for Middlesex or Yorkshire should be seen to have been won out on the field, and not in the dressing rooms.