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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Subject:It's funny how sometimes life just changes overnight...
Time:3:35 pm.
Mood: ecstatic.
...because I now have a son!

Jack Besley Stanford-Lyne, born 18:37, Saturday March 28th, 2009.

The reason I've not managed to post this before now is mainly that I've spent pretty much all my waking hours with him & H at the hospital, but given that they've now come home, I have time at home myself, and can make this post. There may be another (locked) post later with details, if I feel the need, but for now I'll say this. Holly went into labour early on friday morning, and friday night rates as one of the longest of my life. Things didn't exactly go according to plan, but both mother and baby are safe & healthy, which is the most important thing.

Oh, and he weight 8lb 7oz, for those who're interested in such details. :-p
Comments: Read 10 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Subject:Dare to believe you can survive...
Time:10:02 pm.
So, despite any rumours to the contrary, we've made it to Yorkshire successfully, and are not dead.

Nearly 2 weeks in, and the house is taking some semblance of shape, although this may slow down based on the ovbious fact that we now have internet at home. House-warming party will happen at some stage, I expect. Work has just started picking up for me, having spent pretty much all of last week and most of this week so far reading technical details about how tv pictures go from being picked up by cameras, to becoming pictures on the screen.

Because that's what I do now. Specifically, I work on the software inside set-top boxes. More than that I can't say, due to NDAs & more general confidentiality agreements, which will also mean any work-related rants will have to be suitably vague. Apologies in advance for that.

In baby news, shortly before we moved we had the 20-week scan (although it was actually at 21 weeks, go figure), and all was well. Baby waved for the camera too, and no, we didn't find out what we're getting (aside from a baby, obviously). I'll get both sets of photos uploaded at some point, I promise. In even bigger news, I finally felt the baby kick last night for the first time. The last month-ish has been quite frustrating for both us, with H able to feel it move quite clearly, and desperately wanting me to share in the feeling, but until last night, nada. On the other hand, it does seem like we'll have an active baby, based on the amount of movement she's feeling. :-p

Socially, we left a good group of friends behind in Bristol, some of which (the gaming group) helped me discover some extra confidence in actually running a game, thanks to their desires to keep going with the Star Wars game I was running before we left. Steps are already in motion to find new gamings here though. Slightly less geekily, I fail at getting to Wendy House this month, due to being back in Bristol getting the house sorted for letting it out. Hopefully next month.

Comments: Read 4 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Subject:When all hell's breaking loose you'll be riding the eye of the storm...
Time:9:51 am.
Mood: chipper.
So, as I've commented before, we're trying to move north so that H is near her family when our family starts to grow.

In the spring, potentially the most problematic part got sorted. We had a house to move into as soon as some (admittedly major) work was carried out. Great, no house-hunting. H was temping at the time, and admin work being what it is, we were confident that she'd pick up a job reasonably quickly once we moved. Plus she could temp in the meantime. All that was left, really, was me getting a job.

That was 6+ months ago. In the current economic climate, finding a job has not been easy, given that Manchester and Sheffield are both just that little bit too far for anyone (myself included, in all honesty) to believe I'd be willing to commute from north of Bradford every day for any significant length of time.

Agencies were proving less than helpful. Occasional jobs coming up, which they'd sometimes put me forward for, and often with little or no feedback as to why they didn't want to see me. Aside from one telephone interview a few months ago, no interviews were forthcoming.

As it turns out, the use of agencies wasn't necessary.

In the midst of all this, however, was H getting increasingly stressed out with my lack of ability to get a job, which wasn't really my fault, and then of course, she became pregnant as well, which made her tired, and even more insistant that we move as soon as possible. My mum complaining that I wasn't planning on moving closer to Essex didn't help matters either.

On the 18th, I received a phone call from a number that made no sense to me.

Him: Hi, I'm from $Company, we've seen your CV and would like to find out a little more about you before deciding whether we want to invite you for an interview.
Me: Er, sure. Out of interest, which agency gave you my CV?
Him: None, we found it online and thought we'd give you a call.

At this point, things start to go a little wierd in my head. What this guy was suggesting, was that it was entirely feasible that a job may essentially be handed to me, without much effort on my part, after all this time chasing agencies and checking job listings. We went through a few basic questions, and he said he'd speak to the development guys and let me know. Later that afternoon, I got a call back, "Could you come in for an interview next friday?" Er, yes please.

So, interview a week ago today. 2 Development managers and the head of HR. Plus me, for 2.5 hours, all in the one room. Slightly intimidating, and quite draining. "We'll try to let you know by the end of next week."

Try? End of next Week? Argh!

Monday I was as agitated as I can remember ever being. Getting this job meant a lot to me. Close to (what will be) home, easy journey in on the train, interesting work, sociable people, it's all good. But I didn't hear anything.

Tuesday lunchtime I get a call back. I miss the call. No mesasge left. Argh! Ring back! Ring back!

Me: ohai. You rang?
HR: Yus. U can haz job. U wantz?
Me: Can haz job?
HR: Yus. Can haz.
Me: Epic winz! Can Haz Cheezeburger!

So, yes, the offered me the job. I accepted on the spot. They've even said they'll give me the paternity leave that they don't legally have to give me when the baby comes in March.

It's daunting, because it's an industry sector I've not worked in before, the kind where they normally require you to have experience in that sector already, but overall, tuesday was a good day. It also helped that the car flew through the MOT on the same day.

So, full steam ahead on the move, by the start of november, I'll be living in Yorkshire.

Sometimes, my faith in the universe justifies itself in truly majestic ways. :-)

Comments: Read 3 orAdd Your Own.

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Subject:The candle on the cake is yours so take it, Make another wish it's sure to come true....
Time:10:24 am.
Dear Universe

In various forms, me and my extended family have had more than our share of crap dumped on us for the year. 3 family funerals so far, for instance.

It's monday morning, and I'm actually in a decent mood for once.

Can we try to keep it that way for at least the rest of the year please?

ktnxbai


(Brownie points for anyone who can spot the film soundtrack that the title lyric comes from)
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Subject:Growing up and getting older
Time:6:28 pm.
Mood: ecstatic.
Well, some people likely to read this already know, and some may have known that it was likely to happen in the nearish future, but to many of you, I suspect this will be a complete surprise.

My wonderful, wonderful wife is 3 months pregnant!

We're a little over 12 weeks along, had the first scan, and all is well.

We're both deliriously happy, and mother and baby are both healthy.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, and my mother being a midwife, we were also listening to the little ones heartbeat this weekend. Even more so than the scan, where we could see it, this really brought home just how real it is that I'm going to be a father.

So there you are. There's my news. Everyone's happy and healthy, and my little family is growing. :-)
Comments: Read 16 orAdd Your Own.

Subject:Websites & stuff
Time:12:10 pm.
Mood: sick.
So, over the years I've played around with my website & blog, and they've taken many forms.

The current form - Wordpress blog on my website, is the one I've been most happy with. Unfortunately, it carries with it a price. That price is that extensions don't always work, and that it's more hassle for all my reader here on livejournal to leave comments.

With the advent of Facebook, most things I would use a website for these days are catered for, through a combination of FB and its applications, and LJ. So I find myself wondering if it's worth trying to maintain the blog on my site, or just switch back to LJ full-time.

The only functionality I haven't found a replacement for is the Now Reading plugin, which allows me to track, pretty accurately, exactly what I'm reading, have read, and am going to read. It also allows me to add a book a second time, which is a stumbling block that most of the FB apps I've looked at don't do. Either a book has been read, or it hasn't. There's no way to indicate that I've re-read the book at any point. If anyone can point me in the direction of such an FB app, I'd be happy.

So, thoughts from whatever reader base I have? Would you comment more frequently (on the admittedly infrequent posts) if it was less hassle? Does anyone ever look at the "Library" section of my blog? Does anything I'm being a tart, and should just make a decision? Tell me what you think.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Subject:OMFGOW!
Time:8:15 am.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Ok, for a slightly less melodramatic summary of the weekend that was Infest 2008, read on.

For someone who doesn’t like EBM in general too much, this weekend was never going to be all about the music. Instead, it was going to be socialising, with the occasional bit of decent music.

On the music front, Tyske Ludder were great, SkinjoB were suprisingly good, and Coreline rickrolling a room full of goths was something never to be missed. Plus the Djing in the bar area late in the evenings was monumental. Again, goths performing a conga line around the dance floor is something that has to be seen to be believed.

So then, to the real business. Being a socialite. As a rule, I’m not. I’m not sure whether it was the Infest ambience, or the amount of alcohol being consumed, or something else entirely, but I definitely came out of my shell this time. Met up with lovely people who I already knew, some of whom I didn’t spend nearly enough time with, but such is the way of things. Was introduced to some of the same people on multiple occasions, usually people who only know each other through me, but sometimes by the same person. I think one person, who shall remain nameless for the protection of her dignity, introduced me to the same person 3 times. :-)

I drank far more than is really good for me, slept far less than was clever, given the impending drive home to Bristol, but can’t recall a single waking moment of fail (aside from my port-fuelled emofail late on sunday night) and met some truly fabulous people. To all those I met for the first time: Thank you for helping to make this weekend the epic bag of win that it was. To all those I already knew: Let’s really not make it such a damned long time before doing this again, please?

More of the same soon please?

Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Subject:Another one leaves us.
Time:2:50 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Earlier this year, Gary Gygax passed on.

He was mourned greatly by the role-playing community, as without him, there would have been no Dungeons and Dragons, and as such, role-playing as we know it may well not exist. Certainly, it’s very small percentage of role-players who haven’t played D&D at some point, in some form.

Yesterday, we also lost Erick Wujick to cancer. While not as well known, he will be missed more by me, as he wrote the first true RPG I ever played: TMNT and Other Strangeness. He also wrote the Amber Diceless RPG, which I have spent a large amount of time playing over the years. So you see, his works had a more direct impact on my life than Gygax’s did.

RIP Erick.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Subject:Wordz, I hatez you.
Time:7:14 am.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Bah.

It’s been pointed out to me that my last post could very easily be read as implying that Holly is pregnant. I hadn’t thought so, but since a few people have done so, I’ve changed the wording slightly.

To be perfectly clear: Holly isn’t pregnant. Nor are we trying, but we plan to be so in the not too distant future.

And now I return you to my usual ranting.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Subject:… and where am I going?
Time:12:48 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Well, the obvious answer, is Bradford.

For the first time in 6 years, I’m moving house. I’m also looking for a new job.

The big difference today, is that I’m not leaving the job because I want to, I’m leaving it because I have to. We’re planning to start a family in the next year or so, and understandably Holly wants to be near her parents during and after the pregnancy, so off to Yorkshire we go. There are other reasons as well, but this is the most significant.

For me, this is very much the end of an era. I’ve lived in Bristol in 2 stints, for a total of 10 years, and I know that when I leave this time, I won’t be coming back, except as a visitor. I consider myself lucky to have had more good times than bad while I’ve been here, and have made some really good friends, all of whom will be missed when we’ve gone, some of whom even got out of Bristol before we did.

But Yorkshire has a lot to offer us. For starters, there’s Holly’s family. Then there’s all the friends that we know in the north and rarely get to see, who we’ll now be able to meet up with far more frequently. We’ll make more friends once we’re there, I’m sure, and there’ll be more times when we’re out & about in Leeds - Wendy House, for instance.

All in all, Bristol’s been good to me, and it’s with sadness and reluctance that I leave, but if I’m honest, I don’t see any reason why Yorkshire can’t be just as good.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Where have I been …
Time:10:46 am.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Well, clearly it’s been a long time since I posted anything here, and with some fairly significant changes coming up, I thought it might be worth making some comment as to what I’ve been doing recently.

Infest 2007 was fun, and made a new friend, who I expect to see more of at Infest 2008.

The winter was quiet, plenty of work stresses, but nothing new there. Christmas was spent quietly at home, just me, Holly, and the cats.

Holly’s grandfather passed away near the start of the year, which hit both of us pretty hard. Jack was 99, and had been ill for some time, and we knew it was only a matter of time, but he’d seemed comparatively healthy in the recent weeks.

In late April, we went on holiday (our first since the honeymoon) with 3 of our local gaming buddies, to Fuertaventura, in the Canary Islands. It was a much needed holiday, good fun, and just after we got back, we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.

A further note on the gaming. In February 2007, we both started playing in a Werewolf: The Forsaken game, since then, we’ve added a Vampire: The Requiem game, and for me, a 3.5e D&D game, using the story of the Baldur’s Gate computer games as a plotline. All of which have been weekly games. In the meantime, I’ve also run a little Star Wars (Saga Edition), and played in a Warcraft d20 game which unfortunately fell by the wayside. I’ve done well for gaming in the last 18 months. I’ll miss it.

Also, until last weekend, we’d been watching I’d do Anything, looking to see who would get the role of Nancy. One of the hopefuls, who eventually came 3rd, was a 17 year old lass by the name of Samantha Barks. In week 8, she performed a song from a musical I knew of, but only because of having seen posters for it on the London Underground, and the fact that the book the musical was based on was sitting, unread, on Holly’s bookshelf. The musical: Wicked. The song: Defying Gravity.

Sam performing Defying Gravity

Without putting too fine a point on it, we were both blown away by the performance, and decided to make it a point of seeing the musical sooner rather than later. I, of course, promptly read the book, and when I was done, went out, bought the sequel, and devoured it within 24 hours. I’ve also been listening to the cast recording CD a lot as well. Not that I expect her to ever read this, but if she does: Sam - Well done for getting as far as you did, good luck for the future, and both Holly and myself would be happy to watch you performing in the West End. Personally, I think you’d make a great Elphie.

Finally, in late may this year, my good friends Ian & Sadie were blessed with their first child. Welcome to the world Erik, congratulations guys.

So, that’s us up to date, albeit in quickfire fashion.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, April 16th, 2007

Subject:Infest
Time:2:00 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

After years of getting nagged by such people as Kat, it looks like we’re finally going to make it this year.

Anyone else going?

Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Subject:Throwing it all away.
Time:2:03 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Super 8s: Sri Lanka vs England

Great start to the match, with Vaughan winning the toss, and putting Sri Lanka in to bat.

We then gave a surprisingly disciplined bowling & fielding effort, with a great run-out from Bell, a magnificent catch from Collingwood, and only a couple of extras conceded in the entire innings, and we also managed to get them all-out, even if it did take the full 50 overs to do so. At the break, Sri Lanka were 235 all out, on a pitch that should have presented 260+.

After the break, it all fell apart. As usual, our openers did nothing. Vaughan was admittedly unlucky to be given out caught behind, as replays clearly show he didn’t get any where near it, but at 11-2 after 6 overs, things couldn’t have looked much worse. Pietersen & Bell put on a decent 4th wicket partnership until Bell was unfortunately run out. Shortly afterwards, Jayawardene took his final powerplay, during which Pietersen, Collingwood & Flintoff all gave away their wickets. 134-6 after 34 overs, with Nixon & Bopara new at the crease. Not looking good. Except, somehow, the pair of them kept the scoreboard ticking over, keeping the target always just within reach.

4 overs to go, 39 runs needed…

With 8 balls left, we needed 16 runs, Bopara & Nixon still at the crease. Nixon got a slower ball, which he skied, and was safely caught by Jayawardene. Sajid Mahmood comes out, 7 balls left, 16 needed. The only bright side was that the batsmen had crossed, so Bopara would be on strike, and he leathered it for 4. This did leave Mahmood on strike for the start of the last over though, with 12 runs needed to win. Quick single brings Bopara back on strike. 4, 2 (bringing up Bopara’s maiden ODI 50 in only his 5th match), 1. Mahmood on strike. 4 needed, 2 balls left. Mahmood gets the bat on it, and they scamper through for a single, to bring Bopara back on strike for the final delivery.

2 to tie, 3 to win.

Fernando runs up, and fails to let go of the ball, so has to start again. He releases it on the second time of asking, Bopara swipes at it, bound to go for 4, except he missed, and the ball takes out the top of off stump. England lose by 2 runs.

Realistically speaking, after that bowling performance, England should have won that match. There was the usual batting collapse, and that cost the match. Pietersen didn’t give any reason in his performance as to why he couldn’t come in at #3, and provide some hitting in the top order. Vaughan may do well as a captain, but his ODI form is horrific.

2 points well saved for Sri Lanka, 2 points thrown away fro England, leaving them needing to beat Australia on sunday to retain a realistic hope of progressing to the semi-finals.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Subject:Group A: Australia v Scotland
Time:2:15 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Well, very much a David & Goliath match this, but in this case, David wasn’t up to the task.

Ponting lost the toss, and was put into bat, which ensured that we’d get to see the full potential of the Aussie batsmen. As expected, Gilchrist & Hayden got off to a decent start, putting on 91 for the first wicket. Then Ponting came in, and scored his 23rd ODI ton. Clarke threw away his wicket trying to hammer the ball through the off-side, and an impressive piece of keeping had Hussey out, stumped for 4. Aside form that, the Aussie never looked in particular trouble, and the final score of 341-6 illustrates that. However, credit should be given to the Scottish bowlers, as 341 is a score that Australia are perfectly capable of achieving against some of the best bowling attacks in the world, and if they hadn’t conceded 60+ runs off the last 5 overs, the situation would have been all the better for them, possibly even restricting Australia to under 300.

After the shortened innings break, due to rain, the Scots had their chance to show their batting ability. After a good start, Haq was out attempting a suicidal 3rd run off a mis-field, and aside from a solid 50 for Smith, the rest of the batsmen barely turned up, the end result being that Scotland were bowled out while still 200 runs short of a target no-one expected them to achieve. One other bright spot to the batting was that they managed to last 40 overs, and would have lasted longer still if Blain had been able to come out to bat.

Scotland would have liked to have gotten 150, or possibly even 200 runs, but against the Australian bowling attack, I think they can still be fairly proud of themselves, particularly the bowlers.

Of note for the Aussies was McGrath, with a magnificent 3-14 off 6 overs. 7 more wickets to reach Wasim Akram’s record of 55 World Cup wickets. Ponting is also just 31 runs short of 10000 ODI runs. I expect both milestones to go in this cup.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Group D: West Indies v Pakistan
Time:1:23 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Well, the WIndies, as host nation, had a point to prove in this match, following the stuffing they took at the hands of India in the last warm-up match. I think they proved it.

Put in to bat first by Pakistan after Inzi won the toss, WI got off to a horrific start, losing Gayle for 2 in the 3rd over. After that, the run rate was kept down to a fairly pedestrian level by some quality bowling from the Pakistani spinners, but eventually, as we knew they would, someone picked up the pace. That someone was Marlon Samuels, who finished on 63 from 70 balls. When he got out in the 44th over, the score on 181-5, they were looking at a total of around 220. Dwayne Smith decided that wasn’t good enough though, and smashed an impressive 32 off just 15 balls, to give them the chance to get up to 241-9 after 50 overs, polished off by Corey Collymore’s first 6 in international cricket, struck beautifully off the last ball of the innings.

It was a bit short of where they’d been aiming, but time would tell as to whether it would be enough. The batsmen had done their job. Down to the bowlers now.

The Pakistan innings started in a similar way to the Windies, with Imran Nazir hitting the 2nd ball for 6, and then getting out the following delivery. Younis Khan followed shortly after. When Mohammed Hafeez was out in the 11th over, and Inzi strode out to join Mohammed Yousuf at the crease, any Windies supporters had to fear for the chances of their team. However, in spectacular fashion, far from wrenching the game away from them, the Pakistani powerhouses proceeded to gift wrap it to their opponents. Despite needing an innings average of 4.8/over, and the fact that the previous overs had averaged merely 4/over, Yousuf & Inzi proceeded to amble along at 3 runs per over. To be fair to them, this was in no small part down to some very controlled bowling from the West Indian bowlers, but both batsmen are more than capable of batting quicker than that in those conditions. When they were both out, either side of the 30th over, Pakistan had barely managed to score 100 runs. With 5 wickets down, and the power of the batting attack out of the way, no-one could really have expected them to get the 7 runs/over that they required for the remaining 20 overs. Shoaib Malik was the only remaining batsman to put up a fight, top scoring for Pakistan with 62 off 54 balls, and the last man out. Unfortunately, he was batting with the tail, and no-one was able to stay with him for long, let alone match his scoring rate, and Pakistan were all out in the 48th over, falling short by over 50 runs.

All told, a good all-round performance from the West Indies, although there were still some concerns in the batting, and the younger members of the team took a lot a responsiblity, rather than leaving it to the likes of Lara & Chanderpaul. A respectable performance with the ball for Pakistan, but there are some serious questions to be answered before they play their next match, most notably yet another failure from either opener to get any significant runs.

After their performance against South Africa in the warm-ups, Ireland have to be hopeful of an upset, and possibly Super 8 place when they play Pakistan themselves next week.

As a little side note, this was the first ODI in which both captains had scored over 10000 ODI runs.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Subject:Well, it’s here.
Time:9:54 am.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. Please leave any comments there.

So, today marks the first match of the World Cup.

Many people would suggest that it isn’t Proper Cricket. In general, I agree, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch anyway.

Our chances of winning are pretty slim, but we’re playing better at the moment that we have in a long time, so maybe, just maybe, we can get out of the group stage, and possibly even the Super8 stage.

We’ll see…


Friday, January 19th, 2007

Subject:At least we competed this time…
Time:2:46 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

So, we got bowled out cheaply. Again.

At least this time we contributed something with the ball, such that it was at least a contest for the first 20 or so overs of the Australian innings. The decision not to give Hussey out when replays showed he’d clearly nicked it was obviously a key moment, but we can’t blame the loss on that moment alone.

One of the major decisions was made in the wrong direction before the match even started. As much as I admire Flintoff as a cricketer, he’s proven that he’s really not captain material. If nothing else, his own performance suffers, with both bat and ball, when he’s the captain.

Mal Loye did well on debut though, and I can only hope that when Vaughan comes back, presumably for the next match, he’ll keep his place, with Joyce missing out, and Vaughan and Bell dropping to 3 & 4 respectively.

I still think we need Flintoff at 5, particularly with Pietersen out, but things look to be improving.

Still haven’t beaten an Australian side on this tour though. :-/

Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Subject:It’s about time…
Time:1:31 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

So, we finally managed to win a match on this tour, beating New Zealand this morning.

We even did it with Pietersen out injured, which has to be a result of sorts.

However, we still have a very serious problem with the batting lineup. In this match, we had one man who we could realistically expect to get plenty of runs, and to do it quickly - Flintoff. Now, this wouldn’t be too serious a problem, if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s batting at #6. Today, he came in around the 30th over. If the top order bat well, and don’t give away their wickets, he might not bat at all, from #6.

I thought the situation was bad enough even when we had Pietersen at #4, but now…

It’s well established that to get a big score in one-day cricket, you need to hit big during the opening overs. This is in direct contrast to Test cricket, where you generally aren’t concerned with scoring quickly, and want to settle into your innings. Every other major Test-playing country has someone in the opening ODI partnership who’ll go for the big runs, even though they bat much lower down the order in a Test. The most extreme example I can think of right now is Gilchrist, who opens for Australia in ODIs, but bats at #7 in Tests. I can’t help but think that this single fact, more than any other reason, is why we’ve barely won a one-day match in the last few years. It was less of an issue when Trescothick was around, and in form, because he could, and would, hit some big runs, but now we’ve got a fairly inexperienced side, and most of our batting lineup are touch players, much happier working the ball through the gaps in the field for ones and twos, than smashing it away to the boundary. In Test matches, that’s great. In ODIs, not so much.

With the current regulations, you’ll often have the fielding restrictions in place for the first 20 overs of the match. Getting ones & twos isn’t easy in those circumstances, so the easiest way to get runs is to go over the top. We can’t afford to continue going at around 3 runs per over while the fielding restrictions are in place, and then hope to get the runs required later. Certainly not while most of the other sides are going at 5 or more per over in the same time. The statistics show that when we’ve lost a match in the last year or so, the other team have pretty much universally scored faster than us. If we bat first, it takes them less overs to reach the score, whether we’re bowled out, or bat the full 50 overs. If we bat second, we’re either bowled out, or run out of overs. When we win, it’s usually because we’ve bowled the other side out, so have had more overs to work with.

The simple fact is that we don’t score fast enough. Flintoff was still there at the close today. Who knows how many more runs he may have scored, at a similar rate, if he’d come in 5 overs earlier, or 10 overs. This time, it was enough. Just. Next time, it probably won’t be. He was left stranded against Australia in the previous match as well, scoring 47 after coming out in the 38th over. That gave him 12 overs or so. If he’d been moved just one place up the batting order, he’d have come in a full 20 overs earlier. Who knows what he might have achieved with those extra overs to play with. Would he have scored enough extra runs to have won the match? Probably not, but Australia would have had to work harder for it.

Simply put, we can’t afford to have our destructive batsmen in a position where they’re left stranded at the end of 50 overs. Flintoff, and Pietersen, need to be moved higher up the order in ODIs (and especially Twenty20, hell, I’d be tempted to open with those two in the Twenty20 World Cup in the autumn), if we’re to entertain the idea that we can compete with the best sides in the world.

Oh, and Vaughan appears to be injured again. The only ray of hope we have, is that it’s not the same knee, and they claim he’ll be fit to play in friday’s match against Australia.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Subject:Importing old entries
Time:8:56 pm.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

So, having spent a large chunk of yesterday working on this, I have it looking nearly exactly how I want it, with a few tweaks still to come, but generally, this is how it should be.

However, I’m now left with a 2 year gap in my posts, where I’d used LJ exclusively. Obviously, with my crosspost of old entries from here to there, it’s all on LJ now, but it leaves a gaping hole on here, so I’m thinking about importing my LJ entries to here too, to keep everything together. What does anyone else think?

Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

Subject:New stuff
Time:11:46 am.

Originally published at The Phoenix Nest. You can comment here or there.

Ok, so I’ve finally done some work on my website, and as of now, all my blog entries will be written from there.

Unlike the previous change, all entries will automatically appear here too, and it’ll be a single set of comments.

I’m sure you’re all overjoyed by this.

Next tasks:

  • Import my v1 & v2 blogs into here, hopefully retaining comments Done
  • edit the stylesheet, so the blog looks like the rest of my website. Done
  • Blog more…
Comments: Add Your Own.

LiveJournal for Phoenix.

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