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  • Great to see Pietersen score some runs even though he was dropped twice

    Posted on December 26, 2013 by Selby

    Kevin Pietersen produced a fighting knock on Boxing Day as England laboured to 226-6 after being put into bat by Australia in the fourth Ashes Test in front of a world record crowd of 91,092 at the MCG.

    A becalmed Pietersen made the most of being dropped twice to reach the close on 67 not out, his highest score of the series to date, after seeing several of his team-mates fail to kick on after making solid starts.

    Ian Bell was one of those to get out when well set; the Warwickshire batsman helped add 67 for the fourth wicket before becoming the second of two victims for the excellent Ryan Harris.

    Alastair Cook (27), Michael Carberry (38) and Joe Root (24) also gave it away when well set, meaning Australia's decision to stick their opponents in was just about vindicated.

    Home captain Michael Clarke had rather reluctantly decided to put his bowlers to work in the morning, a choice he admitted at the toss wasn't easy to make having batted first in convincing wins in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

    England - without the now retired Graeme Swann and the axed Matt Prior as they sought to win back some pride now the Ashes are out of their grasp - were perhaps grateful the option of what to do was taken out of their hands.

    Skipper Cook (27) helped put on 48 for the first wicket before falling in rather disappointing fashion, prodding indeterminately at a wide delivery from Peter Siddle to provide his opposite number with a simple catch at second slip.

    Opening partner Carberry could have gone too in the first session, Steve Smith unable to cling on to a tough chance diving to his right at third slip. He was also extremely fortunate to survive an lbw appeal when he padded up to a delivery from the excellent Ryan Harris.

    However the left-handed batsman did not learn his lesson, shouldering arms to Shane Watson in the afternoon and seeing his off stump pegged back. Once again he had fallen when seemingly well set.

    Root found life a lot tougher in his 88-ball knock; he suffered a nasty blow to the shoulder early on and played-and-missed at a number of deliveries, suggesting it was only a matter of time until he was caught behind the wicket.

    Sure enough, the Yorkshireman pushed forward outside off stump to edge Harris through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, leaving the score then at 106-3.

    Pietersen enjoyed his first reprieve not long after when on six, substitute Nathan Coulter-Nile catching a pull shot at long leg only to then step back over the boundary rope. George Bailey also put him down when he had 41 to his name, though his opportunity was a much tougher one at mid-wicket.

    Bell was not so fortunate when he nibbled outside off stump to Harris, providing a simple catch to Haddin just as the second new ball was looming large and the scoring rate was almost at a standstill.

    Ben Stokes (14) and Jonny Bairstow (10) both perished before stumps, the latter cleaned up on his return to Test cricket having been named as one of two changes to the XI that lost at the WACA, the other being the recall of Monty Panesar to win his 50th Test cap.

    Tim Bresnan, who finished up one not out, kept Pietersen company through to the close, meaning England survived the late onslaught but once again found themselves reeling on the ropes.

    for more info see skysports

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook

  • Monty Panesar Cricket Memorabilia looking good if he spins well at the MCG!!

    Posted on December 24, 2013 by Selby

    James Tredwell of England celebrates with Jos Buttler during the ICC Champions Trophy Semi-Final match between England and South Africa at The Kia Oval in June

    England call up Scott Borthwick & James Tredwell

    England have called Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick and Kent off-spinner James Tredwell into their Ashes squad following Graeme Swann's retirement.

    Borthwick, 23, could win his first Test cap on Boxing Day, though slow left-armer Monty Panesar is favourite to replace Swann for that game.

    Tredwell, 31, has one Test appearance and will not arrive in time to play.

    Two spinners are unlikely to play in Melbourne, but could feature in the fifth and final encounter in Sydney.

    England have already surrendered the Ashes after losing the first three Tests.

    Swann announced his shock retirement on Sunday after taking only seven wickets so far in the series.

    The 34-year-old former Nottinghamshire player is sixth on the list of England wicket-takers with 255 in 60 Tests.

    Tredwell  took 6-181 in his solitary Test match appearance, in Bangladesh three years ago, but has also played in 24 one-day internationals and seven Twenty20 internationals.

    He was travelling to Australia for the ODI series, starting on 12 January, and has moved his flight forward to join the Test squad.

    Borthwick & Tredwell in focus

    • Scott Borthwick
    • Age: 23
    • England and Durham
    • Tests: 0
    • ODIs: 2
    • T20s: 1
    • First-class matches: 59
    • Has 110 first-class wickets at an average of 31.29
    • James Tredwell
    • Age: 31
    • England and Kent
    • Tests: 1
    • ODIs: 24
    • T20s: 7
    • First-class matches: 140
    • Has 352 first-class wickets at an average of 35.75

    "I'm cover for that final Test in Sydney where it has been known to turn," said Tredwell. "The way I'm looking at it is potentially they may play two spinners."

    Tredwell said Swann's retirement had caught him by surprise but saw it as an opportunity to press his own claims.

    "It does open your eyes a little bit that obviously there may be some opportunities for some people along the way," he said. "Whether it's me or not, we'll wait and see. In a way, it's an exciting time."

    Borthwick,  meanwhile, has played for England just three times, twice in one-day internationals and once in Twenty20 cricket. All three appearances were in 2011.

    He is currently playing grade cricket in Australia and scored 1,000 runs last season to help Durham win the County Championship.

    In 59 first-class matches for Durham, Borthwick has taken 110 wickets at an average of 31.29, while Kent bowler Tredwell has 352 wickets from 140 outings at an average of 35.75.

    Essex spinner Panesar remains the most likely replacement for Swann for the final two matches of the series.

    The 31-year-old has played in 49 Tests for England, taking 166 wickets at 34.56 runs each, following his debut in India in 2006.

    He is confident he can raise his game, despite his own mediocre performance as second spinner in the second Test defeat in Adelaide.

    "I definitely feel ready coming into this Test," he said. "I'm really excited. The Boxing Day Test in Australia is a huge occasion and excites all of us."

    Play media

    England players back Swann - Panesar

    Panesar left the England squad temporarily at the weekend to bowl in a grade match in Sydney.

    He added: "Opportunities that come my way, I've got to grab them. I know my strengths as a bowler and try and make the most of the opportunity and be ready for it.

    "There are improvements I need to make in my game. As part of that, I've made a decision to play grade cricket after the Ashes because I want to improve."

    Former England captain Geoffrey Boycotthas backed Panesar to become England's main spin bowler, but Swann talked up Borthwick's credentials as he bowed out of the game.

    "I think Monty's going to come in and do a great job in this game coming up this week and whoever ends up taking the role full time will do a great job as well," said Swann.

    "Personally, I hope little Scotty Borthwick gets the chance before long. He's a leg-spinner, he's got a bit of X-factor and he can bat as well."

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, Ashes Memorabilia, bodyline series, australian cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook, don bradman

  • England falter after good start

    Posted on December 15, 2013 by Selby

    Peter Siddle dismisses Kevin Pietersen

    Ashes 2013-14: England falter after good start


    Third Ashes Test, Perth (day two):
    Australia 385 v England 180-4
    Match scorecard

    England's grip on the Ashes slipped still further as Australia refused to relinquish control of the third Test in Perth.

    Setting out to overhaul Australia's first innings 385, they lost the key wickets of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen in a dramatic three-over spell late in the day to close on 180-4, still 205 runs adrift.

    And with the Waca pitch showing sign of wear and Australia's attack offering a threat with both pace and spin, England face a struggle to achieve parity, let alone a position where they can push for more.

    Play media

    England still in the hunt - Carberry

    In contrast to the unhappy collapses in the first two Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide,the tourists' batsmen showed better application and discipline for much of another blisteringly hot day.

    Yet relentlessly tight bowling brought its reward as Australia chased the victory that would win them back the Ashes for the first time in seven years.

    England had prospered in the first half of the day until a significant chunk of those foundations came crashing down in the gripping exchanges that followed in an enthralling afternoon and evening.

    While much of the damage was done by Australia's probing five-man attack, there was also controversy in the pivotal moments.

    With the score on 90-1 10 minutes before tea, umpire Marais Erasmus initially gave Joe Root out caught behind off Shane Watson, and although the review requested by the batsman produced no clear evidence of an edge, third umpire Tony Hill decided that neither had he seen enough to overturn the decision, and Root was gone for four.

    Test Match Special analysis

    "This is England's opportunity to make sure they have learnt from the last two games. They just need to look to get close to this 385. If they could do that, they might just get that buzz in the dressing-room thinking they can win the game. They haven't had that in the first two Tests. They are in the game.

    "Pietersen deserves the criticism. He is a senior player and his five dismissals have not been good enough. With the level of performance we have seen from him, he is too good a player to be playing shots like he has in this series."

    The match and thus the series hung in the balance, and Cook reacted with characteristic determination even as Pietersen was forced to play with unusual defensiveness.

    The number four managed only three singles from the first 38 balls he faced - his slowest start in Test cricket - as Watson and Ryan Harris both found movement through the air and off the parched deck.

    Cook's second half-century of the series came up off 127 balls, but both batsmen were increasingly bogged down against the seamers, and when Nathan Lyon came on the tourniquet had its reward.

    Cook cut a short ball that bounced a little straight to David Warner at point to fall for 72, and when Pietersen survived an adrenalised battle with Mitchell Johnson only to slap a mistimed pull off Peter Siddle to the resting bowler at mid-on for 19, Australia celebrated as if the Ashes were won.

    It was the 10th time Siddle has dismissed Pietersen in Tests, and a sad waste of all that diligence against the higher-profile members of the attack.

    England had earlier cleaned up the remaining four Australian wickets for the addition of just 59 runs to their overnight 326, with Stuart Broad removing Johnson for 39 and James Anderson having centurion Steve Smith caught behind in the first 20 minutes.

    Play media

    The Analyst: Root's dismissal upheld

    Anderson also had Harris caught in the slips before the last-wicket pair of Nathan Lyon and Siddle added a frustrating 31.

    Cook and Michael Carberry then looked relatively serene as they compiled only England's second half-century opening partnership in 15 innings against Australia this calendar year.

    Smith missed the sharpest of chances full length to his left at third slip off Carberry but the pair continued to flourish after lunch until Carberry played on to Harris for 43, pulling away his bat too late after initially poking at a ball wide of off stump.

    It brought back memories of three years ago, when England progressed to 78-0 in their first innings here before Johnson and Harris ran through the team to leave them 187 all out.


    Cricket Memorabilia

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, Ashes Memorabilia, bodyline series, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook, don bradman

  • Australia to reach 161 without loss of 4th wicket- time to speculate 5/4

    Posted on December 7, 2013 by Selby

    With Australia on 132 for 3, great bet available can they reach 161 without losing the 4th wicket, with Warner on 83 and Smith on 23, looks a great chance -  I hope so 5/4 looks like easy money????

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, ashes cricket memorabilia

  • Mitchell Johnson once again ripped through England's line-up, taking seven for 40

    Posted on December 7, 2013 by Selby

    With the batsman already under serious scrutiny after a woeful performance in Brisbane, the tourists were all out for a paltry 172 on day three in response to Australia's 570 for nine declared.

    Cricket memorabilia signings are taking place throughout the series and so far Cricket Collectables have secured a number of team signed cricket bats

    Mitchell Johnson once again ripped through England's line-up, taking seven for 40, while the only England batsmen to emerge with any credit were Michael Carberry and Bell, who both contributed half-centuries.

    Bell looked in splendid touch in his 72 not out, but despite his best efforts, England will have to dig deep to avoid falling 2-0 down in the five-match series, with the hosts extending their lead to 530 after closing on 132 for three in their second innings.

    "It was thoroughly disappointing," Bell told Sky Sports 2 "A very good wicket here and we haven't given our bowlers any opportunity to get back in the game.

    "It's disappointing, the guys are hurting but I can reassure you they are training and doing everything they possibly can to put this right in the second innings."

    England's fighting spirit has been questioned in some quarters after their third collapse of the series.

    However, Bell said: "As a group over a number of years, we've shown the amount of fight we have in that dressing room.

    "We haven't put it quite right so far on this trip but there's a lot of guys in there with a lot of cricket still to go in this series that will show people that we have got the fight.

    "It starts tomorrow and the last day so we certainly have to fight hard.

    "As an England team, we haven't done anything close to what we're capable of doing and what we should do for everyone else watching."

    Bell's ability to handle Australia's bowlers, and Johnson in particular, has led to renewed calls for the Warwickshire man to move up the order to number three.

    Joe Root was given the nod after Jonathan Trott returned home, and although the 22-year-old appeared comfortable in the role, he was one of seven batsmen guilty of giving their wicket away on Saturday when he swept the first ball he faced from off-spinner Nathan Lyon to deep square-leg.

    Bell added: "We'll see, it's not my decision really.

    "I've just got to go and do what I can for the team. I'm happy to bat anywhere for the team but I thought Rooty played very, very well until that dismissal.

    "I thought he shaped up brilliantly against the new ball."

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook

  • England need to fight back on day 3 at the Adelaide Oval

    Posted on December 6, 2013 by Selby

    The Aussies are back in control at the Oval, which is great news for them as they, have lost the last 3 Ashes series, anyway now they find themselves holding a commanding 535 run lead.

    Cricket memorabilia is as usual highly sought after and none more so on the 2nd day of the series than collectables associated with skipper Michael Clarke, who scored 148 runs caught by Anderson off Stokes and Brad Hadden 118 caught behind off Broad.

    The tourists need to put up a good show on day 3 and make a lot of runs. I think that the first hour will be crucial and essential not to lose any more wickets, if they can get through that unscathed on the predominantly flat wicket they could go for a high score

    It is encouraging to remember Kevin Pietersen batting at no 4 has scored centuries in both his Tests at the Adelaide Oval let's hope he does it again this time

    Of particular interest to collectors during an Ashes series down under is a signed cricket bat, autographed by both teams and management we hope to procure several of these over the series

    Tony Selby


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, Ashes Memorabilia, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, the ashes series, Alastair Cook, joe root, Adelaide Oval

  • England looking good for a match win and still available at 11/4 with the draw, Adelaide Oval

    Posted on November 30, 2013 by Selby

    Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar gave England something to be cheerful about in their drawn match against the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI.



    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with Ashes Memorabilia, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook

  • F1 season ends on a familiar note

    Posted on November 25, 2013 by Selby

    Red Bull has been weakened, and Ferrari and McLaren strengthened, by F1's latest personnel moves.

    That is the claim of Mercedes boss Ross Brawn, who said the dominant champions will miss the input of aerodynamics chief Peter Prodromou, who has been signed by McLaren

    Motor report

    This post was posted in Motor racing memorabilia

  • The tourists were dismissed for 136 and 179 in their two innings and Cook knows that must improve if they are to have any chance of retaining the urn.

    Posted on November 25, 2013 by Selby

    The Australian left-armer finished the 381-run win with nine wickets as players at both ends of England’s order struggled to deal with his pace and bounce.

    The tourists were dismissed for 136 and 179 in their two innings and Cook knows that must improve if they are to have any chance of retaining the urn.

    “Obviously he’s bowled very well and put us under some pressure which is something that we need to work on as a side going into the Adelaide game,” he said in the post-match presentation televised on Sky Sports 2.

    “We’ve faced a lot of him in the past and been successful as well.

    “There are times when he’s got on top of us and there are times when we’ve certainly had good times against him as well and we’re going to have to look to that for stuff to build on for Adelaide.”

    Johnson, who became a figure of fun for England supporters in the last two series, also contributed with the bat as Australia recovered from 132 for six in their first innings, and Cook was left to rue letting the home side off the hook.

    “Obviously it’s been a tough couple of days for us,” he said. “We got ourselves in a really good position there in that first innings.

    “Credit to the way that (Brad) Haddin and Johnson played, they got Australia to a fairly competitive total but I thought it was still short (of par) on that wicket.

    “We got off to a reasonable start with the batting and that collapse really put us behind.

    “You always talk about trying to not lose wickets in clusters. You talk about it a lot of the time but sometimes that doesn’t really help you to do that out in the middle.

    “Credit to Australia. They put us under pressure in there and we couldn’t respond.”

    Australia’s David Warner was amongst those to question England’s mentality as they lost six wickets for nine runs in the first innings but Cook is certain his team can bounce back.

    “This side has got plenty of character,” he said. “We’ve fought back in the past as well. Obviously it’s going to hurt us, this game.

    “But there’s plenty of character in the side and we’re going to show that again.”

    Yorkshire post

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • 6 wickets lost for 9 runs have England selectors got it wrong???

    Posted on November 22, 2013 by Selby

    Australia's sense of invulnerability at the Gabba has been underlined for a quarter of a century. It is the ground at which they feel all things are possible, all ailments can be cured. But even Australia, vigorously rediscovering their belief on the ground where they have long reigned supreme, must have reflected that England's traumatised batting provided a helping hand

    England's ability to micro-manage every aspect of their preparation has been well chronicled, but they have yet to fathom why their batsmen repeatedly perform so inadequately at the start of overseas series. Once again, they succumbed according to tradition, in perfectly good batting conditions, too, as Australia wrested a first-innings lead of 159 that at the start of the day must have been beyond their wildest dreams.

    If Australia's batting was flaky, England's calamitous afternoon was something to behold. Six England wickets fell after lunch for nine runs in a startling 58-ball phase as Australia, who were seemingly under pressure after lodging a none-too-impressive 295 on first innings, inspired a feverish response from a Brisbane crowd suddenly convinced that they can claim victory in the opening Test.

    This Ashes series is well and truly alive. The opposite may have been intimated 24 hours ago. It is good news for those hoping for a compelling series. In Ryan Harris, Australia have a bullish fast bowler full of late-career wisdom, capable if his fitness holds of troubling England throughout the series; his 3 for 28 dried up England like a desert wind. In Mitchell Johnson, currently sporting a Movember moustache that gives him the look of an Italian artist, they have a flighty fast-bowling talent who is no longer living on the dark side of the moon; four wickets and plenty of hostility testified to that.

    England made only 39 runs in the session: the nine runs they scrambled from fourth to eighth wicket down representing their second-lowest return, outdone only by the six runs they scored against West Indies in 1954. Beyond Michael Carberry's 40, a sound innings which ran out of steam, and a few late blows by Stuart Broad, they could show little of merit.

    The last time Australia lost at the Gabba was against a fearsome West Indies pace attack 25 years ago, when Brisbane was still not much more than a sub-tropical outpost rather than the cosmopolitan river city it is today, and they defended that record with passion as the first Test swung dramatically in their favour.

    Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott were dismissed before lunch. Cook built his Ashes reputation in Brisbane three years ago. He made more than 300 runs in the match and England's second-innings score of 517 for 1, the harbinger of their series victory, remains seared in Australia's consciousness. There was to be no great statement, though, for England's captain on his return as he edged a challenging delivery around off stump from Harris to the wicketkeeper.


    Mitchell Johnson went round the wicket to have Michael Carberry caught at slip, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd day, November 22, 2013

    Mitchell Johnson took 4 for 61 to leave England reeling © Getty Images 


    Johnson was brought back to test Trott against the short stuff, just as Broad had been lined up for Michael Clarke on the first day. It gave him a simple purpose and with that purpose came a self-belief that was lacking in a ropey new-ball spell. Trott was immediately struck on the glove by a searing short ball, his imperturbable expression just holding. Australia squeezed in another over for Johnson before lunch and it paid off as Trott, getting across his stumps in anticipation of another short one, glanced a relatively nondescript delivery to the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

    There was no joy in his 100th Test for Kevin Pietersen, who batted with more composure than most for an hour but was controlled by Australia's persistent line about six inches outside off stump and eventually clipped Harris to short midwicket. Pietersen had earlier been dropped on 8, a return catch to Peter Siddle, who adopted the brace position too early.

    Pietersen's departure was the start of a calamitous collapse. Carberry had batted with great discernment in only his second Test, at 33 years of age, leaving much outside off stump and picking the ball off his pads, but he made only a single from his last 39 balls as his strokeplay dried as the sight of England wickets falling loaded up his responsibilities. Johnson went round the wicket to have him caught at slip on 40, accentuating the feeling that Australia's plans were coming together.

    Carberry might also have been run out on the same score when he bounced his bat carelessly into the crease and only just made his ground, with some Australia fielders incensed that the umpires did not turn to the TV umpire for confirmation.

    Ian Bell and Matt Prior then fell in consecutive balls, both caught at short leg off the offspinner Nathan Lyon. Bell was undone by a bit of extra bounce, Prior by an inside edge on to his pad which required an Australian review to overturn umpire Aleem Dar's decision. Australia were even getting their reviews right.

    Worse was to follow in the next over when Joe Root's brief and nervy innings ended with a push at a fullish delivery from Johnson and the third catch in nine balls for Steve Smith, this time at third slip. Even then the agony was not over for England as Graeme Swann was caught at short leg off an inside edge, bringing Johnson his fourth wicket. H

    Broad mustered a few lusty blows after tea as England at least avoided the ignominy of the follow-on, but when Broad fell at deep midwicket attempting to pull Harris, there were no doubts about Australia's sizeable advantage

    Earlier, Haddin was run out six runs short of what would have been a thoroughly deserved Ashes hundred - he said afterwards he regarded the innings among his best - as England required only 7.1 overs to wrap up Australia's first innings. Haddin fell attempting a second run into the off side, with Australia's last pair together. Carberry's retrieval was slick and Prior did the rest by collecting an awkward take and breaking the stumps.

    Broad, who had 5 for 65 overnight, struck with the sixth ball of his second over as Harris, intending to leave a length delivery, only managed to guide it to the wicketkeeper. Broad walked off with 6 for 81 to some full-throated boos. Australia's total seemed shy, but that reckoned without the energising effect of Brisbane on an Australian bowling attack and the fallibility of an England batting side - an England side, too, troubled by a bad-weather build-up - when battle has only just been joined. David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfoRSS Feeds: David Hopps© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

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