Could the Black Caps Run a Four Man Pace Battery?

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With the Black Caps to begin their South Africa leg of their tour of Africa with the first Test on 19 AUG, attention turns to the composition of the team ahead of the main challenge of this tour.

Three of the positions in the batting order are as certain as they have ever been. There is no doubt about Tom Latham opening, about Kane Williamson at 3 and Ross Taylor at 4.

With the bowlers there is no doubt about Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and the middle order is certain to feature both Mitchell Santner and wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

Regarding the second opener’s position, Martin Guptill probably did enough to retain his incumbency as an opener, and is therefore expected to start over Jeet Raval. The 27-year old Raval, who is yet to play a Test, has a first-class average of 44 and is probably the strongest first-class opener yet to play Test cricket since Mark Richardson.

Henry Nicholls will probably continue to bat at 5, with New Zealand unlikely to put Luke Ronchi in the position. Nicholls might have the most tenuous claim to a place in the team, but the Black Caps management seem willing to give him a decent run in the side because he is only 24.

Regarding the bowling options, New Zealand might find itself in a good position to gamble on a four man pace battery, on account of that the spin doesn’t look threatening enough to help take 20 South African wickets.

Ish Sodhi took eight wickets at 25 on the Zimbabwe leg of the tour but was far from convincing. Although he occasionally bowled a dangerous ball, he put down a haul of full tosses and long hops that even Zimbabwe’s batsmen could easily put away. His economy rate of 3.29, compared to Mitchell Santner’s 2.15, is evidence that he does not yet have the control to tie down an end.

Santner, for his part, seems to be improving as a bowler. His economy rate reflects that his bowling was tight against Zimbabwe, rarely straying away from an off stump line, even if the spin was gentle.

Given that Santner will almost certainly be chosen for his all-round value, and that Martin Guptill has shown himself capable of tidy spin bowling should the need arise, it may be that Sodhi is deemed to have very little value to the team for the South Africa leg.

Neil Wagner has become indispensable as the Black Caps’ third seamer. His Test bowling average has come down to 30.43, which is lower than that of Tim Southee. Wagner also has the quality of being able to pose a threat with the old ball, which gives him value in the same conditions that Southee and Boult are less dangerous in.

This leaves a fourth seamer spot open for either Matt Henry or Doug Bracewell. This column believes that Bracewell is unlikely to possess the application to develop much further as either a bowler or a batsman, and that neither is true of Henry. Although Henry is yet to impress in his four Test career, he has 51 ODI wickets at a world-class average of 22.17, and so his potential appears much higher.

If Guptill is capable of bowling in the case we need two spinners, and if Santner is capable of bowling a large number of tidy overs as he did against Zimbabwe, the best team choice for the Black Caps might be to drop Sodhi and go with a four man pace attack.

This would give us a Black Caps side of:

1. Martin Guptill (6)
2. Tom Latham
3. Kane Williamson (c)
4. Ross Taylor
5. Henry Nicholls
6. Mitchell Santner (5)
7. BJ Watling (wk)
8. Matt Henry (3)
9. Neil Wagner (4)
10. Trent Boult (1)
11. Tim Southee (2)

– DAN McGLASHAN

Weekend at Hillary’s

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The black comedy Weekend at Bernie’s was the story of two young insurance agents whose boss dies. For a variety of reasons, all related to the agents’ short-sightedness, stupidity or naked opportunism, they have to pretend he is alive, at a party hosted by him, for the rest of the weekend.

The outcome of the current political shitshow in the USA, to be decided in November, may be that Hillary Clinton becomes President. If this happens – and at the moment the outcome is only paying $1.31 on BetFair – then she will assume the Presidency at the age of 69. In all of American history, only Ronald Reagan was that old when he became the President.

This is bad because Ronald Reagan was crippled by Alzheimer’s by the middle of his tenure, and was basically brain dead by the end of it.

Hillary Clinton’s physical health is not believed to be the best, as is suggested by the attached image of Clinton’s assistants helping her stand and negotiate a set of stairs. She is widely thought to be an alcoholic, which, to be fair, is common of political types.

As for Clinton’s mental health, let the following clip – in which she talks about the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was sodomised to death with a knife after a US-led invasion not long after announcing plans to expand a billion-dollar national engineering project that was not funded by borrowing from international banks – summarise her personality.

Hillary is clearly not a woman in good health. 69-year old alcoholics don’t tend to live much longer, and there is a very real chance that Hillary will die on the job.

Would the Establishment let Hillary simply die? Or would they, in preference to the instability created by a change in leader, keep Hillary Clinton’s body alive?

It ought to be possible to hollow a person’s body out and replace the bones and muscles with a robotic endoskeleton, which, when combined with modern audio technology and AI controlling for realistic facial expressions, could create a realistic imitation of a human being, especially when viewed through a television.

Those of us out here in meatspace now have to contend with the very real possibility that the US President is some kind of android, and will simply do and say what it is programmed to do by unseen handlers. The suppliant mainstream media will naturally go along with this, as the few of them with the wit to see through it will be paid off like the whores they are.

Bonus:

Soccer and Test Match Cricket Draw Odds Calculator and Strategy

The purpose of this program is to calculate the fair return on a soccer or Test cricket match, given that you know what the odds of both teams winning are (or at least what’s being offered on those sides).

You would use this program if you were a BetFair user and wanted to find an opportunity for arbitrage on a soccer or Test cricket match.

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Soccer Odds of Draw Calculator

Instructions

The program starts with all values at 3 00. This represents $3.00 in the decimal system of odds measurement. To change the odds for either Team One or Team Two, click on the green or red buttons next to the starting values. The green buttons increase the value and the red ones decrease it. The number (-1 or -10) represents by how many cents the value will change when you press that button.

When you change the values for either Team One or Team Two, the fair odds of a Draw will change. They are calculated on the fly so that the odds for Team One, Team Two and the Draw all add up to 100% exactly. In other words, as the odds for either team go up, the odds for the draw will go down, and vice-versa.

The most obvious use for this program is to calculate the arbitrage points for betting on the draw.

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Using the above as an example (screenshot taken at Lunch on the first day of the Black Caps vs. South Africa Test in Durban, 2016), you can enter 2.16 for Team One and 5.9 for Team Two.

Basic Strategy

The most basic way to use this program is to calculate if the draw if overvalued or undervalued, and, if either, to lay or back it respectively.

The Right is Surging Because Authority Has Failed the People of the West

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Doom and gloom abounds in the public consciousness. A popular line of reasoning at the moment is to follow the parallels between the rise of totalitarianism in the early 20th century and the current global political situation. Predictably, fingers are being pointed, but those of us with an understanding of history are reluctant to do so just yet.

A currently popular NZ Herald article outlines the reasoning. In short, “there are chilling similarities between the terrifying dictators who led us into WWI and WWII and modern politicians such as Vladimir Putin, Robert Mugabe and US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump”.

Apparently our world is in an especially precarious place right now because of countries like Russia, which is “a dictatorship with a charismatic leader using fear and passion to establish a cult around himself”. The article goes on to predict that a great war is coming because politicians are running for power based on a platform of division and scaremongering.

The joke is that every authority figure does this – setting the people against each other is simply the only way to stay in authority! It isn’t limited to Hitler and Trump – every king, every prime minister, every president, ever, has always stoked fear and chaos for the simple reason that only scared people will give their power away to authority figures.

If you disagree, try to name a single politician who has ever been voted to power on a platform that stoked up no hate against anyone. It’s impossible! At the very minimum, the left always stokes hatred against the rich and established and the right always stokes hatred against the poor and disenfranchised. The libertarians have created a niche by stoking hatred against both the right and the left, and the Greens have found a niche stoking up passive-aggressive hatred against the working classes. In wartime the enemy is some foreign tribe, and in the absence of anything else politicians can always stoke hatred against the Jew.

The problem is not that Trump and Putin are shamelessly taking advantage of a “perfect storm” of adverse factors. The problem is that authority figures have consistently failed us – every time we have given them our power, they have used it against us to control us, to steal money from us, to send us to die on military adventures or to put us in cages.

It’s time to realise that this is the very nature of authority, and that crime is what we will get by continuing to submit to it.

George W Bush and Tony Blair have not faced prosecution for their illegal invasion of Iraq that killed over a million people. Hillary Clinton blatantly broke the law and was nominated for President anyway. Barack Obama has committed war crimes with the US drone program and will not be prosecuted. All authority figures in the West have persecuted their own people with the War on Drugs, and no-one has been held to account. It seems that once a person achieves a certain level of authority, we are happy to let them be above the law.

This problem cannot be solved by voting for a different authority figure! The constant use of bait-and-switch, in which the ruling class gives us all manner of choice for leader but only within a very narrow, controlled band, guarantees that we will never get an authority figure in power who actually cares about the people. And if anyone stands up who does, the media will tell us that he is a populist and therefore the next Hitler!

We, the people of the West, need to take back our power from the authority figures that have failed us.

Do not give your power to politicians by voting.

Do not give your power to the Police by dobbing in your neighbours for victimless crimes.

Do not give your power to the media by giving your attention to their squawkings and hatemongering.

Do not give your power to the corporate machine by buying things you don’t need.

Do not give your power to religions that claim God has declared another group of people to be inferior. It doesn’t matter if it’s gays, women, or outsiders – do not give your power to any priest that tries to divide you against others.

Do not give your power to the usurers by borrowing money for short term pleasure.

Do not give your power away to anyone claiming to be an ‘expert’ who cannot demonstrate a superior capacity for reasoning and honesty.

Do not give your power away by believing anything you are told, including this article.

If we, the people of the West, do not give our authority away to incompetent bullshitters and swindlers, we will be able to build a decent world from the ashes of what’s coming.

The West is awake!

The West is awake!