Sniper Shrubsole pulls trigger to halt India's charge to house of victory
Hendo 23rd July 2017
There are many paths to the Home of Victory, but India were unfortunate to choose the one guarded by Anya Shrubsole. Like a sniper in the bushes who finds some extra bullets after fearing she has run out of ammunition, the England medium pace bowler, who was named (wo)man of the match, picked off five of her opponents in a stunning 3.2-over spell. An Indian victory, which looked a nailed-on certainty an hour earlier, was snatched from their grasp. Shrubsole, whose figures at one point were 6.2-0-34-1, finished with 9.4-0-46-6.
Sorry, but like England, we couldn't be bothered
Hendo 17th July 2017
Second Test Day 4 England 133 all out: South Africa win by 340 runs. Because England couldn't be bothered to turn up today, Guerilla Cricket has decided we can't be bothered to write a report on a shambolic performance. If and when England decide to put their heart and soul back into their Test cricket, we will put our heart and soul back into our writing. We may write a review of this Test match in the coming days...if we can be arsed.
ENG v SA 2nd Test day 3: England face a long climb with no oxygen
Alec Paton 16th July 2017
ENG v SA 2nd Test day 3 Trent Bridge. Morning session. The morning started with both teams knowing what was needed. England needed to induce a catastrophic collapse from the visitors in the mold of the 2015 Ashes test. South Africa needed only to prevent that happening. Of the two, du Plessis' boys were likely the happier by lunch. Anderson and Broad opened the bowling and in spite of a few moments of concern, the two overnight batsmen continued more or less untroubled, save a snorting ball from the home-town boy, who induced a nick from Amla that was heard by the keepers and the slips, but crucially neither the bowler nor the umpire noticed it and Root continued his indifferent form with the DRS by failing to review.
Less Rourke's drift, more Isandlwana? England capitulate on day two
Will Cockerell 15th July 2017
Morning session. The first session was one of the most bonkers and barnstorming sequences of Test Match play you'll ever see – a superb advert for the finest format of the game. The swings in fortune, the drama and daredevilry were quite dazzling, none more so than Jimmy's astonishing figures of 4 for 4 in 3.2, quite simply Nobody Does It Better. After Philander failed to add to his overnight 54 with a soft spoon to Dawson, Maharaj was at least one too high up the batting order as Root dove for a super catch to send the confidence pumping through his already gung-ho veins. Chris Morris faffed around rather as his scratchy strike rate of 43 belied that of one of the world's great stroke-makers, and Morkel after driving Broad twice for four was out flashing.
Philander ensures honours are even after see-saw day
Hendo 14th July 2017
Second Test: close of play score: (day one): South Africa 309-6. Stuart Broad dragged England back into a game that was getting away from them with the crucial wickets of Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla shortly after tea on the first day of the second Test. With Ben Stokes chipping in with the scalps of Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma the hosts appeared to have taken control by midway through an elongated final session. But the game swung again in the last hour or so as Chris Morris and Vernon Philander, with his second fifty of the series, prevented England making further inroads with an unbroken stand of 74 that could yet have a crucial affect on the final outcome.
If you don't like Moeen Ali, you don't like cricket
Nakul Pande 9th July 2017
Final report: England (458 & 233) beat South Africa (361 & 119) by 211 runs. Moeen Ali is only one bad spell or loose shot from people who are wrong to call for him to be dropped. But even they can only rise, along with all of Lord's and all here at GC Towers, to salute England's bearded wonder, who was deservedly named man of the match. The 87 runs in the first innings were compiled in classically beautiful, at times breathtaking fashion. But it was his 10-112, dismissing all of South Africa's frontline batsmen bar Duminy at least once, that not just underlined but writ large across the cloudless London sky his all-round value to this England team - he bowled with turn, bounce, accuracy, and subtle variation in pace, making him a joy to watch with ball in hand.
England in driving seat after Philander injury adds to tourists' bowling woes
Hendo 8th July 2017
Close of play report (Day 3) England 458 & 119-1; South Africa 351. England had moved into a commanding position by the end of the third day at Lord's as South African's bowling woes deepened after a nasty injury to strike bowler Vernon Philander. The tourists' options for the next Test at Trent Bridge had already been affected by the suspension of Kagiso Rabada, who was sanctioned for swearing at Ben Stokes after he dismissed him in the first innings (combined with a previous offence), but they were left a bowler short as England batted for a second time.
Middle order steadies tourists after Moeen wins battle of the bewhiskered
Hendo 7th July 2017
Close of play report (day two) South Africa 214-5; England 458 all out. Moeen Ali's capacity for getting crucial wickets helped give England the advantage on the second day of the first Test at Lord's. The off spinner has often been derided for his unimpressive average but his knack for picking up big players at important moments mitigates in his favour as far as his admirers are concerned.
Brilliant Root in dreamland on captaincy debut
Hendo 6th July 2017
Close of play report: England 357-5. Many of the 80 men who have captained England in Test cricket have performed as if restrained in a straitjacket. Not Joe Root. The man elected to succeed Alastair Cook when the Essex opener decided he'd had enough five months ago found the position a perfect fit and records tumbled as England made a superb start to the four-match series. Root batted most of the day for an excellent undefeated 184, becoming the fourth highest scorer in history on Test captaincy debut and the highest scorer among new England skippers. He hit 21 fours, complemented by a beautifully driven six down the ground towards the pavilion, and if he rode his luck at times - he was dropped twice and stumped off a no-ball - his brazenness and impish grin meant few could resent him.