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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Morkel looks perfectly in synch today, like a recently serviced grandfather clock, just tick-tocking away at the batsmen outside off-stump.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the movie "Avatar" and the invented Na’vi language. Seems that "Avatar" writer-director James Cameron brought in a USC professor named Paul R. Frommer to create an entire functioning language for the tribe of 10-foot-tall blue aliens who inhabit Pandora, the setting for the film's conflict.

Now, fans are working hard to bend their tongues around the invented vocabulary and syntax.

I was reminded of this when Sir Hook sent me a link to the live text commentary from the cricket match between South Africa v England -- 4th Test day three.

I laughed as it brought back some great memories of the two of us (with our wives off to the side rolling their eyes at us) reading the sports page in London and trying to figure out exactly what Cricket is, how it's played, the rules, and terms. We really got a kick out of the colorful -- though incomprehensible to us -- reporting of the action. Sir Dayvd tried and tried to help us, but what read like a elementary "Dick and Jane" book to him...

was to us, well, like reading Na'vi.

Here are just a few examples (the numbers are GMT Time):

0758: This first session could be key for the entire series - England are teetering on the brink here, they must be hoping Kallis will weigh anchor and play one of those innings of his where he acquires barnacles. Here come Kallis (7) and Amla (73), we'll have play in a couple of minutes.

0802: Sidebottom bowls the first ball of the day - plenty of shape, Kallis right behind it. A short-leg and two slips in for Kallis, it's Cook under the lid. Bit of extra bounce for Sidebottom and Kallis takes his right hand off the handle, and that's a maiden.

0840 - 235-4 Dumniy stands on tippy-toes and crunches Sidebottom through mid-wicket for a couple. That's some super-charged fielding off his own bowling from Sidebottom, preventing a single before flicking the ball towards the non-striker's end while still prone. England full of beans this morning... shouldn't have said that, beans make me feel a little bit sick... and sweetcorn...

0922 - 269-5 New ball, and England take it immediately, Jimmy Anderson with the shiny one in his hand. Just three slips and a gully in for Boucher, as Anderson gets a bit of late away-swing. Sharp single from Boucher courtesy of a drop into the leg-side. Little short from Anderson in that first over.

1438 - 21-1 Trott whips off his legs for four - you have to say there's been a lot of questionable behaviour in this Test, that ball ended up resting on the boundary rope, yet Parnell didn't own up to it. "There'll be eye-gouging on the cricket field next," roars the chap sitting next me, who tends to exaggerate. That's a diabolical stroke from Trott, in any circumstances, a nervy, swordsman's twirl outside off-stump, before he picks up four off the back of his bat, Trott ducking a bouncer but leaving his periscope up. One for Trott with a deflection to third-man, before the crowd get on Strauss's back as he goes for a gentle spot of gardening.

1508 - 31-2 A watery, Turner-esque sunlight over the ground now, and we've got shadows for the first time in some time.

1523 - 44-2 That's a horrible delivery from Strauss - the ball reared up off just short of a length and struck the England captain on the bat handle, like opening a letter bomb.

1600: That's all for the day, it's officially stumps. Thanks for the chat, join us again tomorrow...

For the complete play-by-play transcript:

Oh, and if you really want to learn the Na’vi language, you might want to check out one of the dozens of on-line "courses." Here's one that will have you speaking fluent Na’vi language in just a few months:

Sir Bowie "Sure, I can learn to speak a complex, made-up language in just months; however, I'm convinced speaking Cricket is next to impossible" of Greenbriar


  1. Thanks for that Bowie.. made me smile here late in the evening.

    Youre right, that read perfectly to me :)

    "Doing a spot of gardening" is when the batsmen,( usually when the ball is being thrown back to the bowler and he is walking back to his run up point ) goes a few steps down the wicket ( pitch ) and with the end of his bat..knocks flat any divots and craters that the bowler will aim for to make the ball veer after bouncing.

    Bowling a Maiden Over", is when, in the six balls that are bowled from one end ( as an Over,) the bowler does it so well that the batsmen doesn't score any runs in that Over.

    There that made perfect sense didn't it.

    Believe me I have sat through many a Harrisburg Senetors Baseball game on a hot evening, and have ended up with not the foggiest of what is going on, and just about who actually won. At least you get the odd brawl in Baseball.

    Probably the bizarrest thing that often happens in a Five Day Test Cricket Match is it will end up a Draw. This is why the game never really took off in America.

    Sir Dayvd ( who is aiming to knock your bails off with his shiny new ball ) of oxford.

  2. Let me preface this by saying that I haven't used my secret decoder ring for quite some time, but I think this might be code for a plot by Australia to overthrow the New Zealand government and establish a prison colony in the plains between Christchurch and Queenstown.

    Sir Lance, who sees a conspiracy in most things.

  3. This is a bit of a sticky wicket. I understood the word "ball." I think.

    This might help, or not:

  4. I came away from England with the belief that reading commentary on Cricket is like watching Swiss Tony reading a script for a Porn Movie. You see when your ball rears up off just short of a length and strikes your bat handle, like opening a letter bomb, is really like "making love to a beautiful woman!"

    Sir Hook the Swiss Tony of Warrick