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Stunning Mcgrath-Australia vs SA 2nd semifinal St Lucia WC 2007
St Lucia is a delightful island of Caribbean vibes. At night the liming strip in Rodney Bay has come alive for comers from all over the world. Beres Hammond, Sean Paul and David Rudder have performed. Shaggy and Maxi Priest will tonight. But Lucians don't much talk about cricket - or listen to it, as Tuesday's Jamaica semi-final did not come over the radio. There has never been a Test cricketer out of here and the few locals who were at Beausejour will not have been bowled over by what they saw.
This was a less than rousing affair. The trouble with Australian professionalism is that it has become such a cliche that even watching it at its calibrated best can be numbing. Glory be flaws.
Yet, with a little filter of nostalgia even these hours of unremitting lopsided excellence are able to take on some warmth. To watch the chuntering maestro Glenn McGrath at work was to see an entire era of wicket-to-wicket back-of-length menace flash before the eyes, the eternal hypnosis of it. We will get to see it once more on Saturday. Once more only.
Few cricketers have been at once so level as McGrath and yet able to find another one. In an over, in a spell, in a day, in a series, in a season, he seems always to be operating at his peak. Still he is continually rising to occasions. Remember his ball to Sachin at the '99 World Cup? The one to Lara?
Admittedly Ashwell Prince played the stroke of a paralysed man and Jacques Kallis' foolishness brought the best out of a fine yorker. The touch of the master was in the Mark Boucher dismissal. It was the classic McGrath incision, Halal if you will. Off stump and just outside, a bit of wobble and bounce, caught first slip. Equally McGrathian was the impact: big semi-final, opening spell, six overs, 3 for 14, South Africa 27 for 5. The man is two months after 37. He looks it too. Australians were asking for him to be put to pasture before the World Cup. There you go.
"The fact that I'm going to retire is probably one of the reasons I'm bowling so well," he said, "because I'm just going out there, trying to enjoy it, make the most of it, make the most of every game I play. There's no pressure, no fear, no anything.
"I've probably bowled a little differently this tournament. Probably bowled a little more aggressively than I have done in the past. That's the reason I've got a few more wickets, I've probably gone for a few more runs than I normally do. It's worked out with 25 wickets; Tait has 23 wickets, Brad Hogg has 20 and Bracks [Nathan Bracken] is doing well too. The fact that we've bowled every team out is a huge lift for us, bar Bangladesh who we only got 20 overs with."
Those last two sentences draw out an essence of the McGrath personality. To observe him at a press conference is to appreciate that his renowned trick of knowing each one of his dismissals cannot be idle exaggeration.
There was something like the Dustin Hoffman character in Rain Man about the scene at the dais. Every time Ponting needed a figure, he'd look to McGrath, who would oblige. Sometimes he did not need to ask. When Ponting said Australia had done well to restrict Sri Lanka to 226 in 50 overs the other day, McGrath intervened to say that they had in fact bowled them out (they had, in 49.4 overs). When Ponting mentioned Shaun Tait had done very well to get 22 wickets in the tournament, McGrath interrupted to say that it was in fact 23. When a journalist asked him about his four Man-of-the-Match awards in the tournament, he quipped: "Hopefully if it's four it will mean we've won the final. I've only really got three."
"They talk about batsmen batting in partnerships," McGrath said, "I think it's even more so with bowlers. With Nathan Bracken and Shaun Tait bowling the way they are, Punter asks me to come on generally with one or two wickets down. Bracks always keeps it tight, puts batsmen under pressure, and the way Taity's been bowling they just want to get down to the other end and face me!
"We're all different bowlers but complement each other. You've got an old bloke running in and hitting the deck top of off, Bracks swinging it up front and then he's back with old ball at the end, Taity who can come in and just blast guys out, and Hoggy has had an exceptional tour, he played a big part in 2003 and is again now. And you've got guys like Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson dying to get out for a game, and Brett Lee is at home."
There was pride in the words of the oldie. With the departure of McGrath, shortly after Shane Warne, an epoch in cricket will have been completed. Expertly, precisely, and more humorously than given credit, the job has been done. McGrath leaves Australian cricket in a better shape than he found it in and Australia, as ever, are ready to make the most of it.
Tree Frog "Agalychinis callidryas"
Male- 2.2 inches
Females- 2.5 inches
From Southern Mexico south to eastern Panama.
Captive Care: housed in nothing smaller than a tall 20 gallon terrarium
frogs need space, especially vertical space
optimal temps range between 60F - 85F
constant exposure to the extremes of this range may cause health problems, can keep room temperature within this range-only if room temperature doesn’t fluctuate greatly, can use low wattage incandescent light bulbs or under the tank heat elements work very well, do not allow for any temperature extremes- cause health problems.
maintain vivarium’s humidity level between 30 and 50% during the dry cycle (when breeding is not being induced) constant humidity levels higher than 80% ca cause health problems in the frogs, always make clean water available to this species use filtered water not tap water (potentially toxic to frogs) water must be decholorinated and dechloramined vivarium is best landscaped with broad leafed plants can mount slabs of cork bark on side of vivarium, the more you understand about the habitat from which the red eyed tree frog originates, the better you can you meet its needs in captivity, should be given a light cycle of 12 hours on and 12 hours off
Foods: the staple diet are crickets
feed insects a high nutrient load
best to feed them 2-3x a day, supplying them with only enough food for a couple of days at each feeding
Breeding: best to avoid any breeding or tadpole rearing activity during cold winter months
red eyes are a bit more listless and fed less during the cooler winter months
warm temps, spring rains and changes in barometric pressure induce breeding activity but without simulated rain the frogs will not breed.
References: de Vosjoli, Philippe; Mailloux, and Ready. 1996. Care and Breeding of Popular Tree Frogs. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc. Santee, CA. (49-64 pp).
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