on the trail of what remains to this day from corse178's blog

Pakistanis 359 for 8 dec (Younis 104, Shafiq 80, Masood 62, van Meekeren 3-78) and 140 for 4 (Azhar 50*) lead Somerset 128 (Hildreth 47, Sohail 3-26, Amir 3-36) by 371 runs ScorecardIf there were any doubts about Mohammad Amirs preparedness for a return to Test cricket, he has gone a long way towards dispelling them in Taunton with an incisive spell of top-class swing bowling. Denard Span Jersey .Amir claimed three top-order wickets in a performance that demonstrated sharp pace, even sharper movement and impressive control to suggest that, whatever else has happened since the last time we saw him bowl in England, his extravagant skills remain undimmed.Such is notoriety surrounding Amir - his talent as much as his fall from grace - that it might be forgotten that he goes into this tour with much to prove. This was his first first-class game of the year and only his fifth in almost six years. The last time he played at the top level he was just 18. Amir child, if you will. He has questions to answer, to himself as much as anyone, about his stamina, fitness and ability to block out the distractions and overcome the challenges that await.And it is true he may face tougher opposition and more hostile environments than he faced here. At Taunton he was greeted with warm applause when it was announced he was to bowl - it was never likely to be any other way - and then confronted by two top-order batsmen as green as The Quantocks and one who seems to have been around as long as them.But it is doubtful it would have mattered who was at the other end. The delivery that accounted for Marcus Trescothick, a beauty on off stump that demanded a stroke before swinging away late to take the edge of his bat, would have troubled any left-handed batsman in any era. Alastair Cook faces quite a challenge this summer.And while the doubters might suggest a more experienced player than Adam Hose - on first-class debut - might have kept out the ball that brought Amir his next wicket, its worth noting that Hose is only a year younger than Amir. Having played pretty well for half-an-hour, Hose saw Amir go round the wicket and swing one back in sharply to take his off stump. He will never have faced bowing of such quality and he may never again after this match. This was a desperately tough baptism.But the best delivery of the lot was reserved for Peter Trego. Back over the wicket, Amir pitched the ball just outside off stump and persuaded it to swing back, through the gate and send Tregos middle stump cartwheeling. It was, by any standards, beautiful bowling. And, on a benign pitch offering him little, suggested he could prove devastating if England gamble with the sort of surfaces they utilised so effectively against Australia last year.He swung the ball really late, Trescothick said. You get a lot of bowlers who swing it quite early but he was swinging it late. That bit of extra pace is the thing. He hasnt played international cricket for a number of years so theres probably an extra bit of zip that he has that makes him hard work. As it was coming down the pitch you were almost guessing whether it was an inswinger or whether it was one of the straight ones.On that performance, yes, he will cause problems for England.Amirs day had started less happily. His first delivery as a batsman was called as a no-ball, the cue for somewhat awkward laughter on and off the pitch, while the next took his edge on the way to the keeper.But it is not his batting that will decide the Test series. It is Amir detail, if you like. It is his bowling. And on the evidence of this performance, it is in fine shape.He bowled an incredible spell, his team-mate Shan Massod said. We have no doubts about his talent. Weve seen it before and were seeing it again. He hasnt lost it. If anything, he has just got better.Massod was also keen to point out the ability of the rest of this Pakistan attack. And it is true that Sohail Khan, in particular, impressed with a three-wicket haul of his own. With an action just a little reminiscent of Waqar Younis, he had Tim Rouse - another Somerset debutant - edging one that left him, while Yasir Shah proved too good for the tail. Dominic Bess, the 18-year-old first-class debut, left a straight one that hit his off stump.James Hildreth, undefeated on 47, offered the only meaningful resistance. While he was reprieved on 13, he did show the resolve and technique to justify the locals argument that he should be featuring strongly in national selection meetings at present. The counter argument suggests he is not comfortable against the short ball and has an average artificially boosted by playing his home games on Tauntons batting-friendly surface. But 38 first-class centuries and an average of nearly 45 makes a compelling case. Had he been given a little more support here, he might have made an even stronger one. The fact that no selectors were in evidence does not bode well for him.It all meant Pakistan took a first innings lead of 231. But there was no thought of enforcing the follow-on. This game is about gaining the maximum amount of practice rather than the result. Besides, with Azhar Ali stretching the lead close to 400 by the close, they may well still have time to wrap-up victory on the final day. You might even call it Amir formality.The only cloud on Pakistans horizon concerns the form of their captain. After his second ball duck in the first innings, Misbah-ul-Haq fell for 19 in the second innings and dropped a tough chance off Hildreth in the slips. It is too early to read much into such issues, but Misbah is asking a great deal of himself to negate a skilful England bowling attack on their own surfaces at the age of 42.Perhaps he was a little unfortunate here. He made decent contact on a reverse sweep only to see the slip fielder Trescothick, only two years younger than Misbah, anticipate the stroke, move to his right and take a fine catch.Mohammad Hafeez also delayed his departure just a little too long after he was given out caught behind. It makes no difference whether Hafeez edged the ball or not - replays were inconclusive - as a senior player, he must know there is no benefit in head-shaking, shrugging or complaining. It wasnt by any means a serious incident - and certainly no worse than a few we have seen involving Englands seamers in recent years - but, on a tour that will be scrutinised closely, it was the sort of moment Pakistan could do without.Such is the trepidation in the Pakistan camp about what this tour may bring, they have hired a PR consultant from the world of politics to accompany them and largely protect Amir from the media. But, even if there are those who begrudge Amir his chance to make amends - those who, presumably, have never made a mistake in their lives - there will surely be very few true cricket lovers who can remain hard-hearted in the face of such precious skills. Bowlers so gifted appear rarely; Test cricket can only be enhanced by his return.The vast majority of England spectators will surely recognise both the rare skill and the fact that he has served his punishment. This has been a pleasing few days for Pakistan and for cricket. We could well be in for a cracking Test series. Theres no down side to that. Wade Boggs Jersey .C. United of Major League Soccer. United chose the defender in the second round of the 2013 MLS re-entry draft. Matt Duffy Jersey . Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored 20 seconds apart a few minutes after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a broken right leg, and the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-0 on Monday afternoon. http://www.raysjerseyscheap.com/?tag=kevin-kiermaier-jersey . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season. While distance lends perspective, it can also lead to the growth of myths - and the 25 years since Western Samoa beat Wales in the 1991 World Cup in Cardiff seem to have done more of the latter.It was much invoked last year when Japan beat South Africa in the World Cup. There are clear parallels, since both involve an emerging rugby nation defeating an established one. And theres no doubt Samoas achievement was momentous.?They were the 1991 tournaments only rookies, playing in their first World Cup finals match, and on their opponents home ground. But was it, as Japans feat undoubtedly was, a shock ?Hardly so when one considers Wales at the time. Defeat by a previously unconsidered group of islanders was not even a low point.That had come earlier in the year when 134 points were conceded over two weekends - 71 to New South Wales and 63 to Australia - and Welsh players had brawled among themselves at the dinner following the international.Those punch-ups were the culmination of the ill-feeling which had built over coach Ron Waldrons en masse importation of both the methods and personnel which had made his Neath team hugely successful at club level.Hugely effective in driving club players into the errors which come when they have been run to exhaustion, they were predictably much less successful against the fitter, more skillful adversaries encountered at international level.Waldron had resigned, citing ill-health, so Wales went into the 1991 World Cup (as it would again in 1995) with a new coach - Alan Davies, who came from Ynysybwl via a highly successful stint in England with the upwardly mobile Nottingham club.There was also a new captain. Full-back Paul Thorburn had quit at the end of the Australian tour and was replaced by wing Ieuan Evans. They had had only one match to prepare, played against France on 4th September at the National Stadium to mark the installation of floodlights.Wales lost 22-9 in a match probably now most remembered by Luc Evans, who enjoyed one of the shortest of all Welsh international careers as a replacement for captain Ieuan. But Wales still were not too concerned about the Samoans.As scrum-half Robert Jones recalled We had played them a couple of times before, beating them without too much trouble.In an age where rugby news travelled infinitely less quickly than it does now, and even the most famed visitors arrived with a certain air of mystery, they had little idea what was about to hit them. Peter Fatialofa did.The Samoan captain had told his team The Welsh have never seen tackling like Samoan tackling. Well smash the crap out of them.A prop who would have played for the All Blacks if the selectors had been more convinced by his scrummaging, Fatialofa ran a piano-moving business in Auckland and certainly gave the impression that he was capable of lifting a baby grand one-handed.A stalwart of the Auckland team which was putting together an unprecedented seven-year run in the Ranfurly Shield, he had persuaded colleagues with island heritage to join him in playing for Samoa.This made the 1991 team a very different proposition to those beaten in 1986 and 1988, which had conformed to the islander stereotype of being terrific with the ball in hand but less convincing in tighter and more technical aspects.Frank Bunce, one of those recruits, recalled:?We never had much as a team. We didnt have any money or any gear. We just had a lot of belief, support, faith and talent.They also launched the debate, which lasts to this day, about New Zealands relationship with the islands.In this the refusal of kiwi critics to acknowledge that New Zealand rugby has played fast and loose with islander talent has its mirror image in a British inability to recognise that, like the large number of Jamaican-descended men who have played football for England, the phenomenon also reflects population flows which have nothing to do with rugby.The number of male Samoans living in Auckland is greater than the entire population of Samoa. Bunce, who would shortly afterwards begin a highly distinguished All Black career, is a case in point.His qualification to play for New Zealand, where he was born, raised and educated, was impeccable. But his island heritage was from Niue, where his great uncle, Sir Robert Rex, was Prime Minister. As a descendant of George III - hence the Rex surname - Bunce arguably also qualified to play for, or even rule, England.On a grey auutumnal Sunday afternoon it was clear from the start that this tough, battle hardened and highly motivated group - also including back rower Pat Lam and wing Brian Lima - were more than capable of coping with a Wales team still recuperating from the traumas of Australia and fielding the brilliant but half-fit Mark Ring at outside-half. Wilson Ramos Jersey. That was some of the hardest tackling I have ever seen, reflected coach Davies afterwards. The 20 year old Scott Gibbs, not yet the formidably powerful figure he became, came in for a ferocious battering by Bunce. Full-back Tony Clement had a bruise extending from the top of his leg to his ribcage.We never got into our stride, recalled Robert Jones. Yet the decisive moment of the match would not have been allowed under modern TMO rules. It came directly after half-time, with the score at 3-3.In Joness words :I touched the ball down behind the line, getting my body right over the ball. A Samoan came in straight afterwards and touched down and the French referee, who was a fair way behind play, gave the try.I know for a fact that I touched down first, and the television pictures backed me up. Wales battled on, scoring tries through their wings, Arthur Emyr and Ieuan Evans. But they never really recovered from that early second-half score, awarded by referee Patrick Robin to centre Toa Vaega.A second try from back rower Sila Vaifale and eight points from the boot of scrum-half Matthew Vaea sealed a 16-13 win for the Samoans. At one level Wales had been, as the Telegraphs John Mason wrote hellishly unlucky.But there was little of the anger which has accompanied some other contentious Wales defeats.As well as recognition of what it meant to Samoa, there was also acceptance, as the following seasons Welsh Brewers Rugby Annual for Wales would put it, that the better team won. It is hard to summon up much sense of injustice when that happens.Yet the implications for Wales, with Australia to come in their group, were stark. Argentina were beaten 16-7 to keep hope alive, but the Wallabies, en route to the trophy, ejected Wales from the tournament - and into the qualifying competition for 1995 - with crushing efficiency.That a 36-3 defeat in which Wales lost the lines-out by 28-2 could be correctly described as an improvement shows how low they had fallen a few months earlier. Samoa went on to show their defeat of Wales was no fluke.On a Pontypool afternoon so wet that it was possible to believe a tide might start coming down the slope they held the Australians to 9-3 in one of the lowest scoring World Cup matches of all time, then sealed their quarter-final place by beating Argentina 35-12 at Pontypridd.The end came in the quarter-final at Murrayfield when they ran into a tough, accomplished Scottish team on the trail of what remains to this day their best shot at reaching the final.The Scots won 28-6 and their scrum-half Gary Armstrong recalled a superb game to play in which our pack played some of the best rugby I have ever seen. Samoa were given a standing ovation by the Murrayfield crowd.Bunce did not play for them again, but Lima would still be there in 2007, four World Cups on. Fatialofa died early, suddenly and much mourned in 2013. They have qualified for every World Cup since, making the quarter-finals again in 1995 and the preliminary playoff stage in 1999, but have not made it out of their pool this century.A tipping point appears to have been in 1999 - not their second victory over Wales, but defeat, in a little-remembered World Cup classic played at Stradey Park, Llanelli, by Argentina, who had been beaten in 1991 and 1995 and trailed by 14 points at Stradey.You can blame New Zealand depredations, and in particular the betrayal of the islanders as a whole when Super Rugby was launched in 1995, or point to the ruthlessness of numbers as it affects a nation which, even if you include every Samoan living in New Zealand, is still much smaller than Fiji.And no sensible opponent ever takes Samoa lightly, which may be part of the problem - they are unlikely ever again to catch somebody unawares.But perhaps the saddest fact about that memorable victory at the National Stadium in 1991 is that, a quarter of a century on, it remains a high point rather than the prelude to greater things to come. NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale China NFL Jerseys Stitched Jerseys China Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China ' ' '

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By corse178
Added Apr 17


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