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It's one thing for us armchair nincompoops to take the piss whenever a bowler concedes his hundred runs for the innings. For the bowlers themselves to make light of the occasion with the full complicity of the captain, as we saw at the Gerddi Soffia on Saturday, was ridiculous.
It was a day that saw Simon Katich become the first player to score a Test hundred in Cymru. Ricky Ponting notched his 38th Test hundred, and inflatable kangaroos were held aloft everywhere when he passed 11,000 Test career runs. (Except, of course, that exactly 100 of those runs were scored against the ICC World XI in that ghastly Super Series aberration of October 2005.)
Your team is 241 for 4, twenty overs till stumps on the first day. You are one of the senior players in your team. You are 69 not out. The opposition bowler pitches a slow ball short and about two metres wide of off stump. Do you:
- Leave it alone?
- Take two steps down to the pitch of the ball and smash it to the cover fence for four?
- Keep your feet still, stretch as far as you can to pull the ball off the cue-end of the bat lofting it to the on-side?