Two Tests down, four to go in the 2008-09 The Kepler-Wessels, the rickeyre.com BoG (best on ground) award for the reciprocal Australia v South Africa twin Test series which began in Perth last week and continued with the Feast of St Stephen (Waugh) Test in Melbourne over the past few days. Not surprisingly, South Africans dominate, with only Mark Boucher and Morne Morkel yet to register a BoG vote.
Congratulations to South Africa. Australia profoundly outplayed in this series. If SA can do a clean-sweep in Sydney they'll take number one spot on the ICC Test Rankings. Ricky Ponting is surely one Test, at most, away from retiring, or being retired, from the captaincy. Matty Hayden and Roy should start loading that fishing boat tonight.
With the early finish to the day, Graeme Smith gets two points in today's The Kepler-Wessels count, with Neil McKenzie grabbing one.
As the sun sinks on Australian Test cricket supremacy, time for me to catch up on the vote count for The Kepler-Wessels for the first four days of the Melbourne Test, which should reach its conclusion in an hour or so.
3 pts - Ricky Ponting;
2 pts - Simon Katich;
1 pt - Dale Steyn.
3 pts - Peter Siddle;
2 pts - Michael Clarke;
1 pt - Graeme Smith.
3 pts - Jean-Paul Duminy;
2 pts - Dale Steyn;
1 pt - Paul Harris.
My thoughts on South Africa's brilliant First Test victory over Australia still to come, but here are my The Kepler-Wessels BoG points for days three through five:
Day Three (Friday December 19)
3 pts: Paul Harris (South Africa)
2 pts: Dale Steyn (South Africa)
1 pt: Jason Krejza (Australia)
Day Four (Saturday December 20)
3 pts: Graeme Smith (South Africa)
2 pts: Brad Haddin (Australia)
1 pt: Hashim Amla (South Africa)
OK, maybe it's time to start taking Mitchell Johnson seriously. He even has the DKL Seal Of Approval now after taking 7/42 on Day Two of the Perth Test against South Africa. It looked like the visitors were going to amble to the upper hand (sorry about the metaphor trauma there) until Mitch started to hum.
The Kepler-Wessels BoG points for Day Two:
3 pts - Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
2 pts - AB de Villiers (South Africa)
1 pt - oh god do I have to award points to Jacques Kallis? (South Africa).
In the tradition of the Midwinter-Midwinter I today launch the rickeyre.com BoG (Best On Ground) award for the 2008-09 Australia v South Africa Test Series and its reciprocal follow-up in 2009.
How it works? On each day of each Test I award points on a 3-2-1 basis to the BoGs (Best Players on Ground). At the end of the series, the player with the most points is the winner.
The signs were ominous. Firstly, the news that Penny Wong was not going to take Australia's emissions targets to COP 14 in Poznan last week, but would announce them on December 15, after the UN meeting was over.
Secondly, on Friday, the very day that COP 14 was wrapping up in Poland, Kevin Rudd announced, as part of a $4.7 billion "nation building package", an investment of $1.2 billion in the Australian Rail Track Corporation to "more than double the amount of coal being transported to export markets".
5% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. (Maybe 15% if the rest of the world pitches in.)
$4 billion compensation package to the coal industry.
Stacks of free emissions permits on offer.
Emissions from logging/deforestation exempt.
More later. Pardon me while I take my shoes off...