Tag Archives: morne morkel

surviving Mornzilla

Short ball.

Ribs. 40.6.

Morne Morkel bowled two of his first three balls to Clarke full. He bowled all three over the wicket. That was a massive waste of time and effort. That over didn’t start when Steyn went off after one ball, and it didn’t start with Morkel’s over the wicket ball in the corridor, it started when Morkel came around the wicket and slammed the ball into Clarke’s ribs. Clarke didn’t play it, he just clutched it to himself like an injured bird. There was now little chance of Morkel coming back over the wicket. Or Clarke getting tested with the full swinging ball.

Short ball. Short ball. Elgar over.

Arm. 42.3

Morkel now had his aim right. It was somewhere between the arm pit and left nipple. Clarke was moving back and across and into the missile’s trajectory. He was a slow-moving target, and Morkel hit him right on the arm. It looked like, to paraphrase Clarke himself, “a broken f**ken arm”. Which is something that one of the South Africans might have mentioned to him. The super slow motion looked like a shock ad to teach you the lessons of not wearing arm guards. At the end of the over, when Clarke was touched by the physio, it looked like he’d rather not be.

Warner tried to protect his captain by keeping strike a couple of times. One ball that Warner called two on Clarke just jogged the one to get back on strike. Clarke had moved back to No. 4. Clarke hadn’t made any runs. Clarke would not hide at the non-strikers end.

Short ball. Short ball. Elgar over. Short ball. Short ball.

Shoulder and head. 44.3.

Clarke had had enough of standing upright and being hit, so he dropped to get under another ball on an armpit-nipple length. This time the ball didn’t quite get up, but Clarke couldn’t see as he had turned his head away, and the ball crashed into his shoulder. From there it ricocheted up into his jaw. Clarke tossed his bat, stumbled off the pitch and was surrounded by worried South Africans. None more so than Morne Morkel. Seemingly everyone within Cricket Australia with a first aid certificate came out to check on the captain. The cameras found Shane Warne looking worried on the balcony, an odd twist on the grieving wife shot. They decideed that Clarke is okay. After a few minutes, he faced up again.

Hand. 44.4.

The ball was straight back at him, Clarke flinched early, he took his eye off it, this time it hit his hand and flew straight up in the air. Clarke had no idea where the ball is. JP Duminy rushed in like a mad man from a deepish short leg, the ball beat him to the ground, but went very close to the stumps. Clarke could have been caught, Clarke could have been bowled, and Clarke could have had a broken hand. Clarke is under attack.

Gut. 44.5.

Clarke was now clearly over just being hit and decided to try the attacking option. The pull shot to get away from the short ball worked for him in Adelaide when England tried the same thing. This time he just sort of got hit around the gut as the ball ended up behind him.

When Warner faced a short ball from Morkel it ended up smashing it’s way to the fine leg boundary between two fielders. The difference was as great between Warner and Clarke as it was between Mornzilla and Elgar Smurf. Everyone at the ground wanted to fast forward the Elgar overs or any balls when Warner was facing. No one even worried much about Steyn’s injury.

Short ball. Elgar over. Short ball. Short ball. Short ball. Short ball. Elgar over. Short ball. Morne taken off.

Thumb. 86.3.

With the new ball Morkel achieved some sideways movement. And for a while, he pretended that Clarke was just another batsman. Clarke even pushed one through mid-on in what looked like very civilised cricket. More shockingly, Clarke smacked a pull through midwicket. But Clarke wasn’t just another batsman, and Morne went back to the beautiful barbaric nature of armpits around the wicket. Leg slip came back in smelling blood. And Morkel produced it with another ball that almost ripped the top of Clarke’s thumb off. Much time was taken to reattach the thumb nail. Blood was wiped away. And then Clarke took any chance he could to get off strike for the next ball, surviving a possible run-out and getting a well earned five.

Finally Clarke could rest at the non-strikers end. He had nothing left to prove, and nothing left to injure. He had survived.

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Morne the Hippo

Morne Morkel has always interested me. There’s something about him that makes me think Boris Karloff would have loved to play him in a film. There’s a large loveable flawed silent monster feel to him. Slightly doomed perhaps, but able to wreak amazing damage, even if by accident.

Even his name sounds like a made up villains name.

While Dale Steyn has a vicious face, and Vernon Philander has the cunning eyes of a man who would make a mint on Wall St, Morne looks like a friendly tourist bus driver.

Batsmen have told me it’s scary facing him. And you can certainly see why. Pace, bounce and inconsistency are about the last thing you want to see coming at you from the other end. Even if he’s got a idiosyncratic run up of a man who is less predator and more guy who checks the oven’s off three times before leaving the house.
On his official website, Morkel has a diary, in it he writes “We just had our final practice session before the series starts tomorrow! The boys are looking good and ready to go. I hope we can deliver something special this series and that we’ll get off to a winning start! Thank you so much for all of your messages!” That’s a lot of exclamation marks for a man who beat your brains in with a cricket ball. He also says that if he wasn’t playing cricket, he’d be a doctor, unlike most quicks who like to send people to the doctor.

The website also states that his favourite animal is the Hippo. Whether by accident or design (like his bowling) he’s picked the animal that is most like him. It looks cute and cuddly, is a favourite of those who liked stuffed toys and isn’t the sort of animal you’d think would want to kill you. But they do, oh how they do. They were actually built with massive canine teeth and razor sharp incisors just to cut you open and kill you. Much like Morne with his height and pace.

Even with all these natural attributes, Morne struggled for a few years to become a regular for South Africa. He’s currently ranked 9th in the world in the Test bowling rankings. And despite all this natural talent he’s only got a bowling average of 30. Which for a normal bowler is quite decent, but if you’re Morne it seems under par.

Recently I was trying to find a match where I thought saw Morne have a break down mid over and let go about 20 runs including wides and no balls against Bangladesh. I was convinced that I’d seen it, so I went through the ESPNcricinfo archives looking for it. I found the Test, but instead of the car crash I expected to find, he’d taken 4/73.

Then I kept looking through his figures, and to my mathematical challenged mind I started seeing a pattern, no matter what the circumstances, or seemingly how good or bad he’d bowled, Morne often ended up with roughly 4/80.

Now I say roughly, because it’s not an exact science. But in his first Test he took 3/86, and today he took 4/80, in between other innings have happened that occasionally prove my point, and sometimes do anything but. It’s not scientific, or even that often an occurrence, but there is something about Morne that just screams he’s going to take 4/80.

The day I looked up the Bangladesh match was during the first Test at the Oval, where he finished with 4/72. At the time I wrote, “If I survive the apocalypse, I bet I’ll check the scores and Morne Morkel will still have 4/80.” Yesterday on twitter and the Two Chucks I said Morne Morkel continues his trudge towards a 4/80. And he did. Now, I’m not saying I’m an oracle (I am), I’m saying Morne Morkel is a hippopotamus with a statistical anomaly that doesn’t happen that often.

Morne has all the skills of a brilliant hunter that could travel the world and devour the weak, but something isn’t quite right. At the moment he is the hippopotamus that waits for someone to fall out the boat, and then kills them, rather the kind who tip them out of the boat in the first place. 4/80, rather than 4/40, if you will.

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balls profile: Morne Morkel

There was a time when Morne Morkel was thought of as a potential all rounder, now he bats at 11.  He reminds me of a German shepherd I once owned.  It was a big strong animal that would scare anyone who saw it, but it was also afraid of butterflies.  Is proper scary on a good day, pace and bounce both come out of his large featureless appearance.  Of all modern test bowlers with any real skill, he is the most likely to bowl an over that would embarrass someone bowling for the first time.  Says he wants to model himself on Glenn McGrath, only recently has that become clear that he meant with his batting.

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Mittens in charge

That isn’t a typo, or a hallucination from too much licking cricket pads, Ashwell ‘Mittens’ Prince is back, and captain.

Neil McKenzie dropped.

Morne Morkel dropped.

Graeme Smith Johnsoned.

Albie Morkel and Wayne Parnell via for Morne’s slot.

And Imran Khan, no not him, is in.

So Mittens has been rushed back in, the only vice captain in world cricket who isn’t selected in his sides best XI.

That is forgotten now.

He is captain, and perhaps opening batsman or number 3.

McKenzie has found runs hard to find since England, during that tour he was talked up alot, and obviously he thinks this is bad luck.

The way Smith is talking this is the end for McKenzie.

Morne’s head fuck overs, which have been reported on here for quite some time, have finally got the better of him.

He has too much natural ability not be given a reprieve shortly.

South Africa have looked flat in this part of the series, and Morkel and McKenzie are both contributing reasons.

McKenzie spends alot of time at the crease, but he doesn’t score much, and he hardly rotates the strike, Australian bowlers love this. They simply worked him over, and they know that eventually he will give a chance.

With him at the wicket the Aussies always thought they had a chance of getting him, and this lifts them, you can see the difference when Kallis and AB put on even a 20 run partnership.

Morkel was a pressure release valve, sure he bowls some balls that make the mothers of cricketers wince, but he bowled so many overs that gave Australia the momentum.

At the same time though, they are two risky decisions, McKenzie may have always looked like going out, but he took the shine off the new ball practically everytime he batted.

Morkel may have let the pressure off, but will Parnell or Albie (?) really instil the fear into Australia like Morne could.

Plus Graeme is out.

That is a huge whole (cheap laughs).

Two new opening batsmen, a captain who isn’t good enough to play in the side, and a bloke named Albie.

It could work, but you’d doubt it.

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Snape takes stock

“When I speak to a player – Morne Morkel, say – I tell him that he is the managing director of Morne Morkel Limited, and that everything he does, whether it be training, nutrition, or mental preparation, will affect his share price.”

Jeremy Snape, SA sports psychologist

An anonymous friend put this up recently.

And it’s deadly scary.

Cricketers are now having to compare themselves to stocks in front of quacks, that is where our game is headed.

But this is perhaps scarier.

Thanks to Ceci of Ceci & Mel fame, for the photo.

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supervillian drops the white cat on its head

Morne has done it again.

Everytime I watch him bowl of late he is in the middle of the worst over ever.

Today his over had a happy ending.

But before that it went for 3 fours and a no ball before some nameless little kitten played on.

1/13 in one over.

That’s a spell.

I don’t know what is going on in that head of his, but it isn’t line or length.

According to the commentators he was trying to bowl 6 different kind of deliveries an over.

I disagree, he bowled two kinds, shit and lucky.

He seems to try too hard to do everything right.

He is an earnest quick.

They are a rare breed, Mitchell Johnson was the last one.

And soon they will go head to head.

Perhaps which ever one keeps his head out of his own ass will help his team to victory.

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Morne Morkel loses his superpower

In England Dale Steyn didn’t fire.

And the press didn’t seem to care.

They had Morne Morkel, the commentators were madly in love with him.

There was alot to like, tall, fast, and hard to play.

But somewhere the supervillain sounding Morkel lost it.

Almost every time i see him play he seems to break down.

The latest one was against the Kittens.

Now if you can’t handle the pressure when playing the kittnes, your first trip to Australia is going to be hell.

This was an over by Morkel.

33.1 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, FOUR, full and too straight, flicked away with ease.
33.2 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, no run, no shot offered.
33.3 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, FOUR, full and wide, beautiful cover drive.
33.4 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, FOUR, too straight from Morkel and flicked down fine.
33.5 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, 1 no ball
33.5 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, 1 no ball, another no-all, backward defence.
33.5 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, 1 wide, very wide outside off. Morkel struggling.
33.5 Morkel to Mushfiqur Rahim, 1 run, driven to Smith at mid-off.
33.6 Morkel to Shahadat Hossain, no run

The score before the over was 8/132 in the first innings.

That is some break down.

And in the second innings he wasn’t much better.

This has been happening alot, something in Morkel’s skull is disconnected.

Apparently the boy is a bit of a thinker, and that can often lead towards head fucks.

Morkel seems to be dealing with them alot.

Usually this wouldn’t be a huge problem, Morkel could completely collapse and the worlds favourite serial killer Andre Nel could come in.

But his knee is gone, and he isn’t even travelling to Australia.

Instead Zondeki and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are the back ups.

Morkel’s head is never going to be tested more than in Australia.

This is something to keep an eye on.

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the plot thickens

The Evil Morne Morkel charges in, while his white cat is being held by his equally evil non Albino twin brother Albie.

He strikes three times at the jugular, cutting India down and ending the innings of the polite almost doctor Laxman whilst he was trying to resuscitate a shaky beginning.

Now the final show, in oen corner is Morne Morkel, and in the other isIndia’s enigmatic gun slinger Yuvraj, with the comic relief provided by the giant alien lizard Ganguly.

Who will win, who will lose, who will stroke the white cat last…..

Stay tuned to another confusing cross film related load of rubbish from cricket with balls…

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India served like a japanese turkey

This is my kind of test match.

Destruction.

Carnage.

Ganguly facing two balls.

India’s top orders being sliced open like an anime character on Christmas morning, whatever that means.

This is test cricket, India humiliated for 76.

Only Irfan Pathan is left alive, and at better than a run a ball. Well done.

Dale Steyn the over excitable Chris Gayle hating fast bowler picked up what his Rainbow Coalition fast bowling partner started, and finished with 5 for 23.

The evil supervillain Morne Morkel took two wickets whilst stroking his white cat, and old man Ntini started it all off with 3 wickets.

India didn’t make it to lunch.

According to Homer’s sources, Anil wanted the pitch shaved and the groundsman said “No, No, No”.

That grounds man may be lynched by parochial Indians, but in my eyes, he is a legend, and probably soon to be a martyr.

Now if South Africa get bowled out for 33 I will be glowing.

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Amla attack

South Africa have turned up in India with a plethora of players who are simply not that good.

Not all of them are quota selections.

The Dean Jones suspected terrorist Amla is chief in point.

The dude is a grafter playing one level beyond his capabilities.

He is the sort of batsmen you would expect in a Minnow 7 years after their admission.

If the man payed two attacking shots in a row he would spontaneously combust.

My thoughts on Ashwell Prince are well known, I think he plays test cricket like the little kid in the play ground with mittens on.

AB DeVilliers and Neil MacKenzie remind me of many of the young South African batsmen of recent times.

They come into the side with pure techniques, good eyes and cocky attitudes.

3 or 4 years later they all average in their 30’s and commentators are at pains to mention how good their fielding is.

Graeme Smith is a batsmen who averages 22 against Australia, and over 50 against all the minnows and England. So he’s irrelevant.

Jacques Kallis is the only full on ridgy didge a ok test batsmen in heir side, and well he is Jacques Kallis.

Why am I writing all this, because at stumps today of the 1st test between South Africa and India, South Africa are 4 for 304.

Ouch.

Imagine what score they would be if anyone of them were any good.

And is Ishant Sharma having his adams apple removed, because that is the only excuse that is valid to not have him in ahead of Sreesanth.

Day One to South Africa in a canter.

Oh and Morne Morkel is playing, he shall henceforth be known as the Evil Morne Morkel.

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