Recent articles by Paul Howarth
O’Grubby’s Guide To Filthy Lucre
(Lazy stereotypes and tips for the historic Ireland vs Pakistan Test, May 11-15, Malahide). Begorrah, be-Jaysus, top o' the mornin' to ya. Well Jeeesus, Mary and Joseph, who woulda thought dis day would ever come? Da first ever Test match played by Oirland. [Enough of the casual stereotypes, ya little bollix – ed. And Ed, who as you can tell by his strident English tones, is half-Irish.].
Kohli The Lonely
The cricketers-in-song-titles game that'll take over your life. Everyone needs a mate like Big Tone. A die-hard Newcastle United fan (well, no-one's perfect), a man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music and – crucially for this tale – someone who delights in childish games. Tony and I worked together back in the 90s and one day were amused by the tabloid headline Relight Ketsbaia, a reference to the Georgian Geordie plying his trade at St. James' Park at the time. And it got us thinking. How many footballers in song titles could we think of? Lots was the answer. Soon we had a ledger full of them. Do Ginola Way To San José?, Le Saux-ing The Seeds Of Love, When I'm Cleaning Windass and the hugely ambitious Incey Giggsy Tino Beeney Yellow Polka Dot Maldini were just a few.
Being at Home: Aaaaagh-delaide and the nightmare before Christmas (part two)
Sofa-dwelling Paul Howarth was forced to watch the debacle unfolding at Adelaide 2006-07 from under his duvet 10,000 miles from the action. Not that that made it any easier to bear. When was the last time you loosed off a genuine primal scream at the iniquities of the world? Perhaps a bruising day at work was followed by a nose-to-armpit commute home before, wearily, you inserted your front door key into the lock, turned and ... it snapped off. Maybe you fetched up at Dover just as the last ferry was pulling out ... and then a seagull shat on your windscreen.
The summer of '05: like a trick of the memory
It was the best of times. When England regained the Ashes after 16 long years of pain, Paul Howarth was working his way up at an advertising agency. Sometimes he actually went into the office. Mostly, though, cricket was uppermost in his mind. You could be forgiven for thinking nothing else existed in the summer of 2005. Work, school, shopping, emptying one's bowels, spending time with loved ones, hobbying, looking for a misplaced biro (how many have we had in this house?). All of these things must've happened. It's just that I can't remember any of them.
Lazy Gayle, Limp England and the Roaring Bear
West Indies won this rather pointless T20 by 21 runs. England won the toss and elected to insert Windies. Six overs later, they might have been regretting that decision as the tourists had raced to 72. Universe Boss Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis taking Willey (tee hee), Root (ho ho), Raisin CurranT and Jordan to task. Gayle ran himself out in a display of torpor unmatched since Absolutely's brilliant sketch: Slob Squad – Nobody Move. He set off for a comfortable single, stopped, ambled away again, decelerated, and was out by a foot. Classic Gayle.
Testlings shepherd England to victory after Anderson Test best
Done. Dusted. No more Test cricket on these shores until 2018. The inevitable England victory came at 4.15. Earlier, when Jimmy Anderson removed the stubborn Shai Hope shortly after lunch, he achieved a five-for of five-fors at Lord's. The milestones keep on coming. Bishoo's was an innings of two halves: 50% handsome defence, 50% being comprehensively castled. 155/8 and Jimmy had six. Could he yet achieve his best-ever figures?.
We had joy, we had sun, we had several hundred runs
On and on they marched. Messrs Brathwaite and Hope picked up in the evening where they'd left off in the afternoon. Shai reached his century, the first in his 12 Tests, and joined his partner in three figures. It's the first time West Indies have had two centurions together at the crease in a Test innings since Samuels and Brathwaite at Port Elizabeth in 2014. On the Guerilla mic, The Bear posited the theory that Chris Woakes needs a better haircut. Ye gods, it's not hair but teeth that we need. The England attack as a whole was looking as edentate as a grass carp with gingivitis.
Britsa beats Beefy, England crush Windies
137 is all the West Indies managed in their second dig. A crushing defeat by an innings and 209 runs is not in any way a flattering scoreline. History was made by Stuart Broad, the fading boy-band star surpassing IT Botham's Test wicket haul of 383. He did it in the grand manner, too, nibbling Shane Dowrich's off peg with one that nipped back. Broad's partner in crime Jimmy Anderson moved closer to his 500 when he bowled Kemar Roach and ToRoJo took the final scalp, Stokes pouching the catch offered by Alzarri Joseph at third slip. It's the first time England's top two Test wicket takers have been in the same XI since 1963. Trueman and Statham, as we're sure you know.
Yogi Bear (Stow)
Another sedentary – but entirely satisfactory – session for England. The run rate hasn't threatened 3 all day but, frankly, who gives?. Duanne 'Laurence' Olivier took the wicket of Root 66, bowling a good old-fashioned wicket-to-wicket line and trapping him LBW. Root's sheepish review was in vain. However, he had at least reached 50 for the tenth consecutive Test. More mature batting from Ben Stokes, the ginger wizard striking another half-century via a combination of solid defence and judicious stroke-play. Comparisons with Sir Garfield Sobers are not fanciful. No, really. KG Rabada had the last laugh, however, castling Stokes with a fast in-swinging yorker. Dawid Malan knows how you feel, Stokesy.