Johnson has been a less-expensive play and has shown signs

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Its easy to dismiss complaints about slow over rates as the grumblings of a few non-representative malcontents. Its probably also true that many spectators are not bothered - at least not beyond brief shoulder-shrugging. Corruption, dead pitches, and (mis-) governance are certainly more pressing issues. Yet that isnt to say its not a problem that shouldnt be fixed.The way Tests are marketed works against spectators realising their loss. One is encouraged to buy a ticket for a day, not for the minimum number of overs scheduled for the day. The overs lost are almost imperceptible, unless one is keeping an eye on the progress. Even when overs are lost, the percentage of cricket reduced seems trivial. Three overs out of 90, the number that England failed to bowl on the first day at Lords against Pakistan, is a mere 3.33%. Much ado about nothing?A moments consideration will, however, reveal the unacceptability of such short-changing. Would, for example, all in attendance at a football match be content if the players downed tools after 87 minutes? Would cinema-goers put up with the last four minutes of a two-hour film being chopped off? Would the audience applaud were an orchestra to pack up without playing the last few bars of the symphony?Officially, 90 overs is a minimum, albeit more of a theoretical, aspirational minimum than a literal minimum. That it is well within the realms of possibility is highlighted by the fact that not only do recreational cricketers regularly fit 90 overs into an afternoon but also that it isnt completely unheard of for international teams to meet the target.Six hours of 15 overs each should therefore not be viewed as too taxing, even without making use of the extra half-hour, which is supposedly a reserve, only to be used if needed. Unfortunately, it now appears that the extra time is viewed as an entitlement rather than an option to be used only in extremis. To run past the official close time may be regarded as a misfortune; to fail to complete the overs in the extra time should be regarded as carelessness.Worse, it smacks of discourtesy. In much the same way that certain tins of chocolates appear to have quietly scaled down over the years, over rates are another example of almost invisible under-provision: the amount paid for the product stays the same, but less of the product is handed over.To put some figures on this, take the example of Englands 87 for 90 at Lords. A top-price ticket cost £90, meaning one over held a value of £1. Therefore a ticket holder would have failed to see anything for three of the pounds that he or she handed over. Three pounds may not seem like a great deal, but its not nothing. Not everyone at Lords is a London high-flyer awash with cash.Now bear in mind 29,000 were at Lords that day. Not all would have paid £90 - some tickets were down at £60, while some will have enjoyed hospitality in private boxes - so for purposes of argument, assume that the average ticket cost was £75, meaning the average loss would have equated to £2.50.Naturally, no refund was offered; none is given if even a mere 25 overs have been bowled, 27.78% of the supposed minimum, yet again highlighting the flexible nature of the word minimum. Twenty-nine thousand multiplied by £2.50 yields a collective loss of £72,500.So much for the financial element. However, more is at stake. On the last ball of the 87th over, Pakistan had lost their sixth wicket. Three further overs, including one from the on-song Chris Woakes, would have been engrossing watching. Of course, its not entirely correct to imagine the hypothetical overs as being added on to the end of the day; still, the more overs bowled during the day, the more chance of action for the spectators.It would be impractical to force players to complete the overs regardless of conditions - playing in darkness would unfairly penalise the batting side - but if players are not going to be required to complete the scheduled overs even when conditions are suitable, then an effective way of policing it needs to be found, one that stands a chance of benefiting paying viewers.The current system of policing over rates via the threats of forfeiting match fees, or in extreme cases, banning captains, leaves much to be desired. Suspending captains, while obviously more likely to concentrate the minds of the players, is liable to be gamed. During the World T20 in 2012, when Mahela Jayawardene was in danger of incurring a suspension, Kumar Sangakkara was named as the official captain against England. Yet it quickly became apparent that Jayawardene was still in command on the field.Furthermore, suspending the captain perversely punishes the spectators at the next game, depriving them of seeing one of the teams best players, a point that has been made before. As far as match-fee fines go, while the threat of losing 20% of a £12,000 fee might be a significant restraint for mortals, its hard to see how it would be anything but water off an England captains back (water down the back being a common experience in that climate), and does nothing to compensate the ticket holders. In-game penalties, with immediate application, are the way forward. It is curious that in England the form of the game that least suffers from running slightly overtime - T20 - is the one where teams incur the heaviest immediate penalty: six runs if the 20th over has not commenced after 75 minutes. This is despite the fact that, arguably, neither the batting side nor the spectators miss out. All the necessary overs will still be bowled. If only 114 balls are delivered before the 75-minute cut-off, rather than the required 115, the net effect is only to increase the average time taken for each delivery from 39.13 seconds to 39.47. Its hard to justify a claim that the intensity would appreciably suffer without such a constraint, although, in fairness, the introduction of the countdown clock adds an extra element of tension to a crowd-pleasing format.Test match cricket needs such an in-game penalty much more than T20 does. A five-run penalty would be an obvious first step, but since five runs rarely makes much of a difference in a Test match, that appears too minor. Another possible approach would be to inflict a ten-over delay for the new ball - or, should the umpires determine that that would unduly benefit the fielding side, grant the batsmen ten overs with a ball of their choice: the old ball, a new ball, or an un-shined ball of comparable wear.A more radical solution would be that should the over rate in one session drop below the threshold, one fielder is suspended for the following session, forcing the team to make do with ten men. Such a penalty would wonderfully focus the minds of the fielding team, especially if the suspended fielder turned out to be their strike bowler. While spectators would be momentarily deprived of seeing that player perform, they would be treated to the extra intrigue of the batting side attempting to capitalise on their temporary significant advantage - an 11.11% reduction in fielders, excluding the keeper and bowler - as they saw fit, quite possibly through higher scoring for that session.Something similar could be arranged if the side at fault is batting in the next session. A player could be prevented from batting during that session, thus forcing a rejig of the batting order. If nine wickets were lost and one player was currently suspended, the team would be all out.Whichever approach is considered preferable, it is time to make over rates an in-game rather than post-game issue, for the sake of the spectators. As a noted England skipper, of sorts, was once said to say after a humbling defeat: I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. Were a few more captains to experience such sentiments, over rates and their associated debates might be relegated to the past. Clearance Soccer Jerseys Online . As the crowd erupted, Davis knocked the ball off the glass and back into his hands. With 1:14 to go in overtime, Davis sixth block also became his 17th rebound. That, along with his 32 points -- which tied a career high -- proved too much for Denver to overcome, and the Pelicans held on for their third straight victory, 111-107 on Sunday night. Wholesale Soccer Jerseys . That gave fans outside Joe Louis Arena another chance to ask for autographs from the 19-year-old whose stardom in the NHL has arrived earlier than most expected. .ca! Kerry, Two nights after the Scott-Eriksson incident in Buffalo, the Bruins returned home to play San Jose. In that game, Zdeno Chara put a check on Tommy Wingels that clearly targeted his head. Wholesale Soccer Jerseys For Sale . 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But I made Martin Truex Jr. my second pick.I kept the same order for my weekend picks, with the advice that if you could get both into your lineup, do it. I hope you could have worked it, because the 134.75 points for Truex in his victory was probably enough to overcome the -18.5 by Kevin Harvick, who had a track bar issue early in the race.Truex Jr. showed no signs of stopping his incredible run. He has averaged 106.9 DraftKings points per race over the past five weeks, going over 80 each week. He has finished as one of the top-two fantasy options each time out over that span.His recent performance is even more impressive when you consider that he, frankly, didnt enter the Chase that hot. In the four races before that run, Truex averaged 15.8 fantasy points per race, only once ranking better than 20th in fantasy points in a single event.How good has Truex been recently? Over just the past five weeks, he has raised his seasonlong fantasy points average from 48.0 to 58.2.Meanwhile, the only driver he trails in fantasy points average this season, Harvick, has gone the other way, dropping from 68.1 to 63.2 over the past four races, capped off by last weekends negative effort.Of course, we cant hold finishes solely against Harvick. One poor race was due to an unlucky pit road occurrence. Then the mechanical issue on Sunday led to another poor score. The other two of his past four starts were top-five finishes, although he only led eight laps combined in those four races.After a couple of weeks at one-mile tracks, were heading to a Saturday night race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile track. This is the most common track type on the schedule, and its especially common down the stretch this season, as four of the final seven races are on this sort of course.The spring race at the track is a 400-lap, 600-mile affair, which plays like a short track, in terms of playing for the laps led. Saturdays race will be 100 miles shorter, but you still get 334 laps for bonus points purposes.So lets crunch the numbers and figure out some early-week fantasy plays for Charlotte. Remember to check back in over the weekend for my final picks and fades.Im starting my team with:Im not here to shake up the world and surprise you with my picks. Im all about providing solid fantasy plays. Therefore, my top pick this week is Martin Truex Jr. All you need to know abbout Truex this season is that hes averaging 94.dddddddddddd1 fantasy points per race on the 1.5-mile tracks. The second best is 61.9 points.Oh, you want another stat? The last time the Cup Series ran at Charlotte, Truex led 392 of 400 laps and won from the pole for 197 DraftKings fantasy points. Since 2005, when NASCAR began tracking all the stats used in DFS NASCAR, thats the highest-scoring day at a track measuring more than a mile.Keep an eye on these four:Kevin Harvick: Im sticking with Harvick despite the 15.5-point day in the last 1.5-mile track race, because it came due to unfortunate timing on pit road and not anything performance-related. In fact, Harvick kept pace with the leaders at Chicago but could just never get his lap back. Before that race, Harvick had finished in the top 10 at eight straight 1.5-mile tracks. He has also finished second in the past two Charlotte races, with five top-two finishes in the past seven races there.Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has been a less-expensive play and has shown signs of regaining his past form. After leading 95 laps combined in a 21-race span, Johnson has led at least 90 in two of the past three races, finishing in the top three in fantasy points in both of those starts. Sure, Truex dominated at Charlotte earlier this season, but he had 106 fastest laps, and Johnson, who finished third, had 72.Kasey Kahne: Im going out on a limb with Kahne, who has finished 10th or worse in the past five Charlotte races (28.5 DraftKings points per race) after finishing eighth or better in the previous five there (96.1 points per race). In his past five races overall, regardless of track type, Kahne seems to be starting to figure it out, with an 8.2 average finish and 44 points per race, ninth among all drivers but best among those whose average cost is under $8,500.Jamie McMurray: Im not sure where McMurray will be in salary, but chances are hell be a little lower than he was before his technical issues at Dover. McMurray has been a start/finish differential monster at Charlotte over the past three seasons, moving up a combined 61 positions from his start in the five races combined, good for 49.8 points per race. That point average places him fifth among all drivers from 2014-16 at Charlotte.Thats all I have for you for now. Go enjoy some Carolina-style barbecue and some seasonally appropriate pumpkin-flavored food. ' ' '

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