Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When is a draw not a draw?

The Surrey vs. Middlesex game in the latest round of the County Championship was always going to be an interesting one, pitting one of the greatest Surrey batsmen of all time, Mark Ramprakash, against the prodigal son of Australian cricket, Philip Hughes.

Neither man disappointed, with Ramps making yet another century against his former employers, followed by Hughes falling just short of a double century in his first effort. But this was just the appetizer.

Surrey began their second innings 57 runs behind, and with Michael Brown and Ramps looking in complete control and scoring at nearly 4 an over, would have been entertaining thoughts of some great average-boosting batting practice. Enter the 40-year old slow bowler, Shaun Udal. He took 6, as Surrey were dismissed for 242.

All of a sudden, Middlesex had 25 overs to score 186 to win, or 185 to tie the game. They got off to an absolute flyer. At the 10 over mark, they were 93 for no loss. So ten wickets in hand, 93 runs required, and 15 overs to get them. I'd imagine the bookies stopped offering odds at that point, with Hughes in full cry, and the Irish Englishman Eoin Morgan in next.

Compton and Hughes fell in quick succession, but Morgan took Middlesex to 169-3 in 22 overs. Three overs remaining, 16 to tie, 17 to win.

Then Morgan got out, and Chris Schofield and Murtaza Hussain spun their way through the rest of the batting in the space of 9 deliveries, to leave Middlesex on a quite incredible 184-9 at the end of the 25 overs.

One more wicket, and Surrey win by a run. One more run, and it's a tie. Two more runs, and Middlesex win by a wicket. But the overs are up, and it's a draw.

When people come back to CricInfo or CricketArchive years from now, they'll see a drab listing in the headline for this scorecard. It will say something like


Surrey vs Middlesex, Match Drawn.

My question is -- is that a fair description of a game that winds up this close? Heck, it almost seems worthy of being called a tie! It reminds me of GCSE and O and A-level days, when you could actually get a grade that signified a "Near Miss". If I recall correctly, we had A, B, C, D, E, N (Near Miss), F (Fail), and U (unclassified - i.e. so bad that we can't even state it). Perhaps cricket needs a "Near Miss" type result.

2 comments:

s.oates said...

Hi, great article - I like the idea of a near miss result!
With the ashes coming up I've got an offer I would like to make you. Would you mind sending me an e-mail (stefoates.omr@googlemail.com) so I can fill you in on the details?
Thanks
Stef

Chintan Brahmbhatt said...

Nice Post...!!

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