Sledge-hammer wit

THERE appears to be some conflicting opinions on what constitutes sledging.

Quick Singles received a very interesting letter from former player and now administrator and junior coach Paul Trimble.

Trimbo is quite right to point out that sledging is totally inappropriate for junior cricketers.

For a start it distracts them from mastering techniques of a notoriously difficult game.

But when it comes to seniors ? sledging, friendly banter, gamesmanship, call it what you will ? some competitive repartee between the players is damned hard to avoid.

Unfortunately this can descend into some crude and uninformed insults that reflect more on the perpetrator than his or her target.

Quick Singles' recommendation to players intent on sledging is to think up something witty and amusing before you even think about opening your mouth. And even then think twice.

Big Brother wasn't watching

THE outcome of Sunday's thrilling tie between Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League teams Westlawn and Brothers no doubt came down to any number of tiny factors that could have cost or gained that vital run or wicket.

For example Brothers batted one of their senior players with family commitments up the order so he could get away early. The move worked a treat and he appeared to be handling the Westlawn attack well enough until the time for departure arrived.

A wild swing, a catch. No-one knowing at the time that just one more run could be so vital.

Deserved favourites

SUNDAY'S results at the half-way point of the season leave Harwood as clear favourite to take this year's minor premiership,Despite copping a flogging from the South batting lineup, Harwood chased down a commanding target with ease.

Geoff Simmons showed what a vital recruit he has become with a solid 53, which allowed the others to chip in with valuable contributions.

It is this team play which makes Harwood such a consistent performer and deserved competition leaders.

The OC is back

QUICK Singles is becoming aware that there are people in the world whose opinion matters ? but for all the wrong reasons.

On Tuesday as Australia and South Africa embarked on what became a tense final day of Test cricket, my opinionated colleague ? hereafter to be known as The OC ? wrote them off.

On the face of it, a no-brainer.

Two wickets down, Warney spinning it a foot and Glenn McGrath on a fifth day pitch. What could go wrong?

It all came down to the weight of opinion it seems.

Credit where it's due

THE reality of the drawn first Test is that South Africa's batsmen displayed great skill and application to escape defeat.

Jacques Rudolph played the innings of his life and the other Proteas refused to wilt in the face of the attack of Warne, McGrath et al.

Australia played its way into an invulnerable position in this match, but couldn't win it.

The irony is that after outplaying South Africa for most of the game, it is the visitors who have gained momentum from the game.

Too harsh by far

CLAIMS that Ricky Ponting cost his team the Test by declaring too late on day four are way off the mark.

With the attack at its disposal Australia four sessions was plenty on a last-day wicket.

However, Quick Singles did have a few quibbles about the Ponting captaincy on that last day.

From the outset he did not attack enough.

Two slips to Brett Lee at the outset was not the statement he needed to make about Australia's intent.

His failure to bowl Andrew Symonds' off-breaks at the left-hander until after 100 overs was another mystery.

And thirdly Nathan Bracken's ability to bowl left-arm cutters around the wicket should also have been exploited more to the right handers.

Cricket jihad

IT seems the Ashes-winning English have been the victim of a crioket jihad.

Flogged 2-0 in the Tests and comprehensively outplayed in the one-dayers, they have been unable to come to grips with an increasingly disciplined Pakistan playing on their home pitches.

There are reasons behind this.

First the outstanding batsman Yousuf Youhana, the only Christian in the team converted to Islam, changing his name to Mohamed Yousuf.

Secondly captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been leading the team in prayer meetings as they prepare for each day's play.

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