Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Kent CCC early season summary

As T20 World Cup fever sweeps the nation, it’s the domestic form which has seen Kent County Cricket Club’s most success in the opening months of the season writes Matthew Kiernan.

Thanks to seven wins out of a possible ten, Kent topped the Southern division and booked their place in the quarterfinals, with guaranteed home advantage.

The 2007 winners and last year’s runner’s up, racked up home and away victories against Hampshire, Middlesex and local rivals Surrey as they cruised into the knockout phase.

Their latest victory came at Beckenham, where got the better of a beleaguered Surrey side by 16 runs.

Meanwhile in the four day format, it was fundamental for Kent to get off to a good start, with the heartache of relegation from the LV County Championship top flight last year undoubtedly still in their minds.

And that’s exactly what they did, thanks to two victories and two draws in their first four encounters.

The pick of their wins came at Chelmsford with a crushing defeat of Essex by 192 runs.

But when Essex made the return trip to Beckenham they would exact revenge and inflict upon Kent their first defeat of their 2009 division two campaign. They currently lie in fourth position with a game in hand.

However, in the Friends Provident Trophy, a fifty over competition, Kent were to enjoy less success after being eliminated in the group stages.

After opening the tournament with a heavy defeat at the hands of Somerset, the Spitfires then set themselves up nicely with three victories in a row.

Off spinner James Tredwell took 6-27 as Kent overcame Middlesex by six wickets, before opener Joe Denly amassed an unbeaten 97 to record an impressive win over Scotland.

Their third victory was largely thanks to former South African International Justin Kemp who’s quick-fire 45 from 52 balls guided Kent home against Warwickshire.

From thereon, the Spitfires couldn’t live up to their high standards and suffered three losses and a draw to miss out on qualification for the knockout stages.

Published in Bromley Life Magazine

Surrey CCC early season summary

Surrey County Cricket Club have endured a torrid start to the 2009 season, winning just six matches out of a possible 24 in all competitions writes Matthew Kiernan.

The Brown Caps, who currently hold a mix of youth and experience within their squad, have enjoyed their most success in the four-day LV County Championship, where they currently lie 2nd in Division two.

After opening with a rain-affected draw against Gloucestershire at The Brit Oval and a disappointing loss to Derbyshire, Mark Butcher’s side have since remained on a four match unbeaten run.

The highlight of their season came in the form of an away win against Northamptonshire.

Surrey won by an innings and 95 runs after racking up a formidable total of 530, largely thanks to ex-England international Usman Afzaal’s 204 not out.

But despite being well placed for promotion back to the top tier, Surrey’s one-day form has been far from encouraging by comparison.

In the Friends Provident Trophy, a 50 Over competition, they slumped to five defeats in their eight group matches.

Flashes of brilliance were present though, especially in their emphatic 164 run win over Gloucestershire, which included a century from Mark Ramprakash.

But the consistency required to qualify for the knockout stages ultimately eluded them, unceremoniously finishing last in their division.

Their 20/20 campaign has been similarly tough, with only three wins from their ten matches in the southern division.

The inaugural 20/20 champions in 2003, the Brown Caps lost their final group game in a local derby against Kent at Beckenham.

They will be hoping their one-day form improves significantly ahead of the Natwest Pro40 competition, which begins later this month.

Published in Croydon Life Magazine

Thursday, 9 July 2009

News: The heart of detection

A Bournemouth lecturer has discovered a new method of detecting heart defects, by using planet formation-modelling software.

The new technique has already helped surgeons at Bournemouth hospital to identify a potentially life threatening blood clot in a patient.

Geologist Nick Petford came across the idea when analysing how meteorites formed and the way in which liquid metal flowed within them.

Using image based modelling the meteorite was replaced by the heart, while the small cracks in the rock were replaced by the veins. Human blood then took the form of the liquid metal.

"If you have an image and you know fluid flows in it, you can solve the fluid flow for that specific geometry," said pro vice-chancellor Petford.

An MRI scan at Bournemouth hospital revealed a trapped flow of blood within the patient’s heart, but surgeons were unclear as to its whereabouts.

When the modelling software was implemented, led by Petford, the method correctly identified the location of the blood clot.

Although the technique is still in it’s formative stages, it could become commonplace within the industry in the future.

"The next step is to get funding to expand on the project. It could be good for a PHD student to take on."