As part of my neverending quest to not do as much work as I should be doing, I took today off to go and watch the final day of the final England vs South Africa test match. I headed down to the Oval with a couple of friends, paid a very respectable £15 for getting on for four hours of pretty decent cricket. Not at all bad. In fact it was very cheering to see the Oval getting on for being full today. Test Match cricket generally remains well supported in this country, despite the ECB/Sky TVs insistence on buggering around with the schedules (test matches do not start on Wednesday!).
England knocked off the runs fairly comfortably, although with an obligatory wobble. The first half an hour was fairly hard graft, but overall the South African bowlers didn't look especially threatening. Indeed, despite being informed before the series that the Saffer pace attack was the best evaaah, they haven't been all that impressive. Done a good job yes (and Steyn was only fit for two games), but not quite the epoch shaking line up we were led to believe.
It has been Englands' flaky batting that has been really significant and in direct contrast to South Africas extremely solid and admirable displays. I'm not convinced that SA batsmen are all that more talented, but they can certainly apply themselves. If we don't buck up our ideas on the batting front, we can kiss goodbye to any hopes of regaining the Ashes, let alone doing well in the subcontinent this winter. It is especially important that the batsmen find some consistency as a 5 man bowling attack is probably going to be necessary against the Aussies.
Once again, I played around with my new(ish) camera. I'm not entirely satisfied with the results; for one, he light wasn't great. Also, I'm really struggling to hold zoom lenses still in my old age and so the images aren't nearly as sharp as I would have liked. Still, they aren't a total disaster.