All posts by sophiajuliet

One Day Internationals are for Making Money

by sophiajuliet 29. January 2011 14:30
Brisbane. Remember that place? Where England’s victorious campaign to retain the Ashes began. Where the “Should Be Dropped” Alistair Cook scored the runs required for all of Cricket Bet Live’s punters to get their money back on his series runs. So – this is a batting track, right?

Well... kind of. 

11 out of the last 21 first innings here have been between 241 and 274 – With teams not bowled out averaging 259 and winning 8 times out of 11 finished games. It seems like if you bat through your innings and get a total on the board then you’re most likely to win.

Bet Tip #1: 
If you want a middle on England/Australia’s first innings; Go for 225-289. Both teams have a fairly gritty batting line-up that will most likely last the innings (Perhaps England’s being a bit more fragile with Anderson back in the mix) and get over 225.

However, be warned. The Average score for a team bowled out is only 214 with only one out of 6 finished games ending in the score being defended. So if England bat first, feel free (If you’re Australian) to shove your money on England being bowled out under 230 and losing – if you’re that deluded.
As for the players, Trott is the only batsmen I’d back. He has performed time and time again this series – so if you want to back an English batsman go for him. But you’re all intelligent people (as you follow Test Match Sofa) so you knew that one. 

Betting Tip #2 (And #2.5): 
Cricket Bet Live have decided to pair him against Shaun Marsh – who has failed a few times more this series than Trott has – so that batsman match bet is a good one to pick, potentially along with Trott’s player performance of over 38.5.

As for the Bowlers... 

In the last 10 years at Brisbane: 
Pace Bowlers have taken 211 wickets. 
Spin bowlers? Well... only 40.   
More interestingly; Jimmy Anderson’s last two games here have given him 4 wickets in total. Put into Cricket Bet Live Player Performance words, he averages 40 points without any extra runs or catches (which we know he can do!). So...

Betting Tip #3: 
Jimmy Anderson Player Performance – Going Over on him on 32.5 is a bet in your favour as 2 wickets is a doddle for this man!

Betting Tip #4: 
Brett Lee Player Performance – Going Over on him on 37.5 is also a bet in your favour as he gets a few runs along with wickets.

The reason for this is Lee has 11 wickets at Brisbane, and along with his Points Average of 49.75 in the series so far, everything seems to make me think he’ll make the points comfortably.

Backing the bits and pieces bowlers like Smith and Yardy could backfire on you on this pitch. Alright, Smith Averages 49.25 points this series but as I said Spin Bowlers (Or Slow Bowlers in this case) have barely taken wickets here – with the top two being the great Murali and, funnily enough, Clarke. 

Betting Tip #5: 
If you feel gutsy and want to back an all-rounder then back David Hussey, even on over 40.5. Averaging 61 points this series he has been a stand out player for me (and has made me some money too).

Betting Tip #6: 
England to Win. England has better pace bowlers and Colly. It’s a pace man’s pitch. However; take into account Cricket Bet Live is ran by Aussies. Wait until the England line creeps up near 2.7 after Prior gets out cheaply and then profit out of it.
However I do have one final word of warning, kind of a disclaimer. This pitch might not be the same due to the recent disaster in Australia. So don’t get mad at my interpretations of the stats if all goes wrong; as I most likely myself will be down a few quid.

Statistics provided by the Test Match Sofa wizard @howe_zat (Jake Howe) and Advice/Tips provided by @Cerebz (Steven Ellans) and website used for betting is sponsor – what I find to be the best cricket betting website out there and what this article is based upon.

*Player Performance Points are based upon the following scoring:   
20 points per wicket, 1/run, 10/catch, 25/stumping and nothing for run-outs.

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How to pick an Australian Ashes XI - a new approach

by sophiajuliet 13. December 2010 15:18

Australia have tried a couple of different methods of picking eleven players to face England so far in this Ashes.

They went for the hackneyed tack of picking their best XI* players for the first test. With hindsight, I'm pretty sure they'll agree that they didn't do too badly with this approach, but at the time they thought they'd been a bit shit, so they decided to take a different approach next time.

At Adelaide, they took the "who's been taking first class wickets" approach to selection for the bowlers, and ignored the obvious holes in their batting. This brought them Ryan Harris and Doug Bollinger, in place of the hapless yet historically successful Johnson, and the bland yet basically competent Hilfenhaus.

So what's next? Pretty much everyone from Shane Warne to my dead grandma - via the likes of Nathan Hauritz for heaven's sake - has been touted to play as a batsman, bowler, wicket keeper or physiotherapist for Australia in the next test.

I'd like to recommend a much simpler method for picking the next Australian side. Twitter. Out of the best Australian players on Twitter who are still at least theoretically playing cricket, I reckon I can make an XI that might just stand a chance of beating England (who have lost stuart Broad after all). Here's how it goes:

  1. Phil Hughes (@ph08) - he may have been pants against England on tour, but even with that on board he averages 50+ in test matches and first class cricket. Plus he's young enough to recover from the mental scars of being found out again by England's bowlers.
  2. Ed Cowan (@eddiecowan) - I like him mostly because of the way he says "fucken unbelievable" and I've never seen him bat, but he's pretty cool, avergaes in the 50s in the last two years in Shield cricket and Jarrod says he's brilliant.
  3. Damien Martyn (@dmartyn30) - this is bloody tenuous because he has pretty much retired, but he was decent enough in his time, has kept his hand in with IPL, and is as far as I'm aware the only Australian player who listens to the Sofa.
  4. Uzman Khawaja (@uz_khawaja) - everyone says he's brilliant, and he seems a cheery sort. He's in
  5. Geraint Jones+ (@gojones623) - I actually don't think there is a single decent, uninjured keeper in Australia, so I'm going for Aussie raised Geraint Jones. Let's face it, the guy gave the Aussies a fair amount of help last time he played down under, so maybe he can do a bit of magic for them again.
  6. Steven Smith (@stevesmith49) - I genuinely think Steve Smith is an extremely talented cricketer with a good eye and an even better attitude, and after 2 tests his bowling average of just over 27 compares pretty favourably with that of a certain SK Warne at the same stage in his career.
  7. Shane Warne* (@warne888) - the second of my three man leg spin attack. If Warne's fit enough to spend a night with the allegedly insatiable Madame Hurley, he's fit enough to bowl more than four overs on the trot. End of.
  8. Bryce McGain (@brycemcgain18) - this guy should play just because you know he'd never give up. And because it would be cool to field a team with three leg spinners.
  9. Nathan Bracken (@nbracken142) - he swings the ball and wears an alice band. These are two things I need in my Asutralian XI and if I have Bracken I get both in one player. Awesome. He hasn't played for ages but he is still only 33, and we'll ignore the fact that he's injured.
  10. Trent Copeland (@copes9) - no, me neither. Suffice to say he's 24, he averages 18 in his 10 first class matches. Sadly, his season playing for Shepley CC in the 2007 Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League was distinguished by him not being among the top 20 bowlers in the league.
  11. Dirk Nannes (@dirk_nannes) - don't make me justify Dirty Dirk.

Now, try and tell me that isn't the Asutralian XI you want to see on Thursday morning.

*Minus Hauritz of course; for the purposes of this post, let's just imagine Xavier Doherty is the best slow bowler in Australia because I can't be arsed trying to work out who might actually be a half decent spinner.

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The Cricket Sadists’ Quarterly

by sophiajuliet 2. December 2010 10:27

I’d like to tell you a little bit about the Cricket Sadists’ Quarterly (CSQ). This is a relatively new (and almost certainly unique) periodical produced by the Sofa’s favourite testicular arthropod, Jarrod Kimber.

It may help you get your head around the thing if I briefly define “Cricket Sadist”. In the words of Jarrod, the cricket sadist is one “who spends much of their time inflicting pain on their family's and friends' lives with talking about cricket, thinking about cricket, watching cricket and reading about cricket”.

The cricket sadist is not a fan in the traditional sense, for he or she is the game’s harshest critic as well as its most faithful supporter. The sadist is the one who throws the first stone when the game is found at fault, but when the onslaught is over will tenderly bandage the wounds inflicted, in a desperate attempt to nurse it back to health.

CSQ is a collaborative effort, featuring articles submitted by a disparate group of writers, both professional and amateur, with “No agendas or quotas, just people writing about cricket”. Much like the Sofa, no subject is taboo, no language censored and no hero above disdain. The current CSQ features no fewer than two tongue-in-cheek critiques of the mighty Sachin Tendulkar.

November’s Ashes Edition, which was sponsored by Test Match Sofa, includes articles written by many names that will be familiar to Sofa listeners: Daniel, Soph, Iain O’Brien and Jarrod himself muse on things as disparate as the Aussie’s determination to be fit and Kiwi’s determination to be fit.

As an example of the sort of thing you might find in CSQ, Lizzy Ammon provides a witty guide to being a county tragic – this behaviour is of course not something that the Sadist usually engages in, so Lizzy’s tips may well prove handy should he need to camouflage himself at a Somerset committee meeting.

Oh, and it has photos by Sarah Ansell and funny cartoons too.

To cut to the chase, if you like Test Match Sofa, you’ll like CSQ. If you didn’t like Test Match Sofa, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Ergo, since you are reading this blog, you should be buying the magazine.

Get it from online publisher Lulu, where you can either order a hard copy to be delivered (handy tip – it makes a great Christmas gift for a curmudgeonly uncle) or you can download it in pdf format, which is cheaper.

PS If you’d like to submit something for the next edition, have a look at the guidelines, and then send your piece to


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Our favourite cricketers. Episode 20: The Short Midwicket

by sophiajuliet 17. August 2010 09:09

Graeme Swann first came to my attention as a happy-go-lucky county pro who got on the radio just for being funny. He’d also played once for England, but overslept and missed the team bus. With blonde highlights in his hair and a spring in his step, he was a breath of fresh air when recalled to the England ODI team in 2007, and two wickets in his first over of test cricket also helped. Swann’s off-spin currently rivals anyone in world cricket, and he’s taken crucial wickets at crucial times (including an Ashes winning one). Now rated as the number three bowler in the world, Swanny is my ideal teammate; he’d win the game single-handedly on the pitch before having a great time in the bar afterwards. Which makes him my favourite cricket in the world.


Will Atkins blogs, podcasts, and dresses up as a panther at The Short Midwicket

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Our favourite cricketers. Episode 19: Dutch Bird

by sophiajuliet 16. August 2010 12:44

What is there to not like or admire about Kevin Pietersen? He must be the most charasmatic cricketer since Donald Bradman graced the crease. The humble South African is a substantial addition to any side both on the pitch and especially in the dressing room where his popularity is considered his team's 12th man. One of Pietersen's greatest attributes is to be the ultimate team man and opposition bowlers know perfectly well that they have to earn his wicket which he hasn't thrown away since playing for the Pietermaritzburg U12s in 1991. He can hit any shot in the book which makes setting a field for him ever more difficult. His propensity to hit anything bowled wide outside the off stump into the legside can only be applauded instead of attempting anything resembling a boring cover drive, a shot he doesn't rate over the mis-timed top-edge to mid on. Finally his work-rate and dedication (especially to his county) is revered in all echelons of the sport, he will drive all day (in his tasteful, understated, child-friendly car) to the other end of the country just for a nets session with his county's 2nd XI. Kevin Pietersen is the ultimate idol for English cricket - a true English gentleman.

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