Sunday, 8 September 2019

Ashes gone.

Back to work today but I had a lot of office based stuff to do which meant I was parked next to the radio for most of the day.  Things started off OK with Denly and Roy nudging along quite nicely and together these two most unlikeliest of batsmen put together a fifty partnership.  We knew it couldn't last and sure enough Roy was bowled again, and at lunch we were 66/3.  In came Stokes but even he couldn't hang around for long, at lunch we were 87/4. 

The afternoon session started, would the innings last longer than my shift at work?  Denly managed to compile a fifty which was bloody good work under the circumstances but he was out soon after.  Likewise Bairstow who scored a few before falling LBW, makes a change from bowled I suppose.  For some reason TMS softens the blow when England are doing badly, the whit and whimsy is a great distraction and I don't have to endure replays from every angle.  By now Buttler and Overton were at the crease and they managed to hold off the Aussies until I left work.  This is typical England, a partnership holds together for just long enough to have me believing we can do it, hope builds and then gets smashed away as the wicket falls.

Back home in the armchair and almost as soon as my arse touched down Buttler was out, quickly followed by Archer who never looked likely to block for long.  This brought Leach together with Overton and the two of them dug in, defended well and wore a few too.  I won't say I began to believe we could draw this game but I did begin to think if they stayed together a while longer then we might have a chance...

Then Leach was out and the game folded up pretty quickly.  Australia won by 185 runs but it was good to see England show some fight and take it into the final session.  Defeat was inevitable but still it was an enjoyable day of tough test cricket.

Fair play to Australia, they got a hell of a lot right this summer.  They had players like Siddle, Pattinson and Funnyname who'd been playing county cricket and were in good form.  They planned very well unlike England who just turned up at the end of the world cup.  They have an excellent bowling attack which they rotated sensibly.  There are similarities here with the England team led by Strauss that won down under a few years ago. 

It seems strange that Tim Paine is the captain to take the Ashes home when the likes of Ponting and Clarke failed to do so.  Paine is a good keeper when stood up to the spinners but dodgy when stood back.  He is not a test class batsman and I don't rate his captaincy, in fact it's a wonder he's in the team at all.

Most of all they have Steve Smith who is in a different league to any batsman currently playing.  Based on the four tests we've seen 2-1 is a fair reflection but England still have a chance to square the series even though the Ashes are gone.

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