England win The Ashes (finally.)

Why do we bother? Can’t we just give it to you lot and be done with it.

190 all out and I’m thinking we might have a chance and then you let Harmison play.

As I share a name with one of the Aussie players, my loyalties are divided this time. The world needs more famous Mike Husseys. Actually one would be nice.

I don’t think any other sport confuses me as much as cricket.

Test cricket confuses the hell out of me and I used to score the damn game at school.

I’m sure the Ashes actually stands for Austrailia Simply Humiliates England’s Sportsmen.

I’m not sure why we let them have all this time playing Twenty20 and one day games to get ready though, I suspect we might have done better if we’d gone straight into the big stuff.

Wait, there’s more than one type of cricket? Ugh.

oh yes,

Twenty20 is fairly new and is the result of someone realising you can make Cricket both short and exciting. max 20 overs (6 balls) a side, side with most runs wins. The game actively rewards scoring runs so both teams tend to emerge and do their best to smack the ball all over the place.

One day - Max 50 overs each or until it rains whichever comes first. Still pretty exciting, over in a day.

Test cricket - match can last up to six months and I’ve no idea how they decide the winner, I think it’s done alphabetically, hence Australia always wins. (I think it’s 5 days, but considering the number of innings, I’m constantly amazed at the frequency with which draws occur)

I’m constantly amazed at the frequency with which draws occur

Be sure not to confuse a draw (there has not been enough time to complete the match; this can be because of something as common as it raining for two days out of five) with a tie (the match has been completed and both sides have the same score). Ties in Test cricket are spectacularly rare.

Aha, I wasn’t especially confusing it with a tie, merely that after 5 days there isn’t a definitive winner. How come they don’t invoke that what-si-ma-call-it method in these cases to figure out who won? (and what the hell is it anyway?)

I guess you mean Duckworth-Lewis, the arcane formula that sometimes determines a result for rain-affected one-day matches. I will make no pretence at understanding DL - I know it’s not a simple pro rata job, but no more than that.

I think there would be a considerable amount of resistance to trying to apply it or a similar system to Tests, which are still seen as the ‘real’ game. Part of the attraction of Test cricket is in the fact that with three outcomes, matches often retain their interest right till the end(*). If there were only two outcomes possible, the proporotion of matches near a boundary between two outcomes would be much lower. This isn’t an issue in the one day game because the overall spread of results is so much smaller.

Wow that made sense, I’ve impressed myself :)

American: How long have they been playing?
Englishman: Oh, four and a half days now
American: Four and a half days? Who’s winning?
Englishman: Oh, it’s far to early to say

Right, I’m getting there slowly but surely.

I think it’s an age thing, but a game that takes 5 days to complete is starting to appeal a lot more than it used to. Possibly because there seem to be a majority of players who are older than me helps as well.

Except that you can draw (tie) in limited-overs (Twenty20 and ODI) cricket. It’s a lot more rare obviously. I’d imagine it’s be friggin lottery odds rare in test cricket.

Test-level cricket is a different kettle of fish however; limited-over cricket is a relatively recent invention basically meant to give people something to watch with a bit more of a limited attention span. There is some ideal to test cricket - it’s the highest level of the sport, you have very long matches where conditions change every day. You play for longevity, not for the moment, but the moment is where things happen. One partnership can change a huge loss to an amazing win in a single day on a desperate stand.

Well finally England just picked up a couple more wickets…

Against very equal teams I can see draws happening all the time, hence series are sometimes hard to define a winner… the Ashes is going to last awhile though… there are like what, six Tests this year?

— Alan

No-one, apart from Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, understands it because the formula is a trade secret. There are web-sites that claim to have worked it out by going backwards from historical scores, but as the equations they come up with look to me like they’ve just allowed an ink-soaked spider to crawl arounf the page a bit. I can’t comment.

Come on, all the players & people have the big giant chart, it shouldn’t take a few mathmaticians too long to figure it out, unless it’s totally illogical. Which it might be.

— Alan

Been an interesting second test for sure, right now in the last drinks state before the end of the second day with Australia trailing by 125 runs and 3 wickets still in hand. A lot of folks blaming Ponting for picking to field first, though he said it was a statistics based decision more than anything… oops Lee now out, 2 wickets in hand.

The 2nd innings should be very interesting if the weather holds (looks to for now).

— Alan

I am absolutely convinced that cricket is some sort of massive in-joke among the non-Canadian Commonwealth nations. It’s like watching an international version of Calvinball.

Ah but see Canada has embraced (well, sort of) baseball, which is the American version of cricket which is played as a higher-tier sport in countries that don’t have the kind of influence that the Commonwealth has had. Hence, baseball is popular all over the Caribbean except for the West Indies, which is primarily cricket… USA/Canada is baseball of course, as is Japan, Finland, South Korea, etc.

USA coincidentally has a cricket team… well sort of, there are like two cricket councils that are trying to kill the other, and despite it all USA sucks anyway and is one of the worst cricket-playing nations ever.

— Alan

Okay, will you just admit that you’re putting us all on here? You’re just making all that stuff up. That looks like a paragraph out of a Douglas Adams novel. Or Terry Pratchett.
You gave it away when one of your characters was named “Ponting.” Come on.[/size]

If you want to know how to play, you can always read The Laws of Cricket. (if you want something that’s more understandable, try this site instead)

[size=2]edit: unclosed parentheses, had to fix it[/size]

Nice stuff on Wikipedia as well.

— Alan

Hahaha. I have to wonder if that’s deliberate or not.