Thursday, 11 July 2013

Ashes, heaven and hell

I let the Ashes series creep up on me quietly.  I tried to ignore it, not get too excited and I couldn’t work out why?  Now I know.  I’ve remembered what it’s like to live through an Ashes series, it’s emotional and it takes its toll.  So two days into the series and I’m a nervous wreck already.  Two days of highs and lows, elation, bewilderment and even despair.  This affliction isn’t going to go away any time soon, even if one side gets an early upper hand in this series it will only be a temporary respite.  It will all start again at 0-0 in the winter.  We won’t be free of the Ashes affliction until next year!

So the first day and the radio was tuned in on the work balcony. England win the toss and bat, a nervous start but by lunch we’re 98-2 and things are looking good.  We’ll take that thanks!  Then the Aussies mostly Siddle, roar back wickets fall in clusters and England are all out for 215, disaster!  That’s not enough runs, England have batted poorly.  It was really painful listening to those wickets fall.  First Finn while I was listening on the car journey home and then Anderson on TV at home bring England into the match with four quick wickets and that ball from Jimmy to Clarke…WOW!  An even game at the end of day one.

Day two starts slowly, Australia begin to edge away but back come England, Jimmy leads the way to finish with five wickets!  At 117-9 the game is virtually over and we’re very happy at work.  Then comes Ashton Agar and that amazing innings, it began with controversy, (let’s face it he was out) but he did play a great knock. 280 all out, the Aussies edge ahead, you could argue Agar was unlucky to finish 2 short of a century but you could also say he scored 96 runs more than he should! The Aussies are ahead in the match and then pull away with two quick wickets.  Another shocking decision from the 3rd umpire and we English fans are deflated, it’s agony!  Cook and Pietersen steady the ship but bat very slowly and it makes nervous listening, at the close England are 15 runs ahead with eight wickets left.  Still an even game.  If Pietersen makes a ton tomorrow then I’ll drop the KPego tag…  Seriously we need a big score from someone…

Talking points; two very bad decisions by the third umpire really helped the Australians and could ultimately be the difference between winning and losing.  However we have to remember that there have always been bad umpiring decisions in cricket and these things will even themselves out over the series, we hope.

Another day tomorrow and I daren’t even think about it…

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