Thursday, July 21

The Ashes Day 1

ho hum. the poll is over, and a measly 95.2% of the votes say Australia will take that litte urn thing all over again (well, the Crystal cup, at any rate).

Australia wins 3-1 52.4%
Australia wins 3-2 19.0%
Australia wins 3-0 19.0%
England wins 4.8%

(total) Australia wins 95.2%

And as I write this, Australia have won the toss and will bat first. There's a kitty coming up at work for the score at lunch today- am not sure am a part of it. Let's see- the talk is over, and it finally begins. England are already up against it, then, though Vaughan seemed unperturbed. Here's wishing them well. ( a little 'weller' than Australia, cause they need it...and so do we!)

19 for no loss, 5 overs. A couple of knocks fo the openers from the tall bloke from Durham. Hoggard is looking a little patchy right now- and there, another no ball just smashed for four.There is a kitty at work for the scoreline at lunch. I'm in- going for 90/2. There is even a 150-0 there somewhere!

43-1, and Kevin Pietersen just had a horrible start to his career. Dropping the Australian captain on a duck in your first test, the first morning of an Ashes series. That has got to hurt, KP old chap. Great ball to dismiss Hayden, though- and coming after the didgy start Hoggard had. Admittedly, he had a good shape going since morning, except he was a little off the mark. But there's Harmison's hardwork paying off as well. Langer is going for his shots, carrying none of the baggage others possibly may be from being in England for over a month. I'd back hi m to be unbeaten at lunch, and England must hope they have not lost the chance to pick up Ponting- weak starter that he is.
And there- Ponting just got the nastiest one of them all on his cheek. This is seriosu stuff, and people are bandying the world that ends in '....line' around the office.

66-2, in 16 overs, and Harmison just goes off to make way for Flintoff bowling his first Test over against the Aussies. It has been a splendid spell from the premier bowler- he came hard at the Aussies, but did not get carried away. England will be glad they did not let Ponting make the most of the retrieve he got from KP.
This has been a cracker of a first session, and irrespective of where Australia go from here (they are still entirely likely to be 300 odd at the end of the day), this has been a exhilirating show of intent from England.
And I say that, Flintoff gets his first Ashes wicket in his first Ashes over- the dangerous and gritty Langer is gone! It is 66-3, and Flintoff gets a rousing round of applause- the first maiden of the day, and Flintoff has a dream start to his first Ashes.
Ah, I am loathe to, but I must leave now-back home-

-and my word! I just can't seem to hit 'publish' here, as Martyn plays a rank bad shot to give Jones a wicket off his first ball! this has gone from exciting to shocking. Can the other Ashes debutant, Clarke, pull his team out from here? It is 66-4...

The second session is about to begin, and this has been one of the most exhilirating starts to a test match in a long time. Of course, there is much cricket that remains to be played, but it has been an inspired start from the home team. A gilly century, though, would make this the most astonishingly special day of Test cricket. Mouth watering, and since I languish without a laptop, I shall have to run to the computer for comments on Will's blog or updates, and with a sprained foot that's going to be dodgy...

6 down! Just when Gilchrist looked like he was settling in for a Gilly classic, Flintoff has gone and done it. Incredibly pumped, and fiery despite being carted for a few, Flintoff has got the big big wicket, which will bring The Warne in, fresh from marital discord and hundreds for Hampshire.

Final session: 32 overs, 82 runs, 7 wickets.
What a day it has been. 17 wickets have fallen as I write this, with the last recognised pair in the England lineup just being separated. England might have had the better of the three sessions in the game, but Australia are going to lounge in the hotel pool less in need of a relaxing jacuzzi than England, you'd think. Suddenly Ponting's scar might just be a symbol of hard fought victory rather than an ambush he did not survive.

So much for all the "long in tooth", " ageing", "not quite spring chickens" and "over the hills" we read about McGrath off late. Wicket number 500 was Trescothick, and soon he had the entire top 5. One might not like it, but this man is probably going to be a force to be reckoned with till the day he hangs up his newly acquired gold Pony 500 boots.

Meanwhile, it does not look like Australia's record at Lord's is under threat. See, this is it- this is why you can never lie back and say-"oh, they're screwed now." Nope, not about them Aussies.

And on that note, me and my horribly sprained right foot shall retire for the night.


Scott said...

Handy toss to win, that.

shakester said...

you can say that again...all the best mate!

Anonymous said...

I think Ponting will be happy with that ... gives Australia the chance to get off to a good start on a decent batting strip.

Darryl said...

Oops ... the above post was from me.

Scott said...


Pfft, this is nothing. Harmison's not over-doing it, but when he does do it, he's bowling fast and straight. He's bowling sensationally well, lets be fair. He's got the Australians in two minds, and that is why he's hitting them.

shakester said...

Oh, I agree. Its just fun for people to say Bodyline 2005, but He has bowled really well. What an absolute cracker of a first it was, and now, with Ponting gone- if nothing else, this has justified the preceding weeks of hype.

worma said...

Looks like its going to be a bowling shoot-out of a series. I expect Aus bowlers also to hit hard.

Time for gritty batting. Lets see if its Gilchrist style that comes up winner again. I have a feeling it won't.

Scott said...

With Gilly, you never know. But after Hobart in 1999 when he tore Pakistan to pieces, we've learned to never give up hope while Gilly is still there.

And there's always a second innings.

shakester said...

give up hope? no way!
and a gilly century here would make this the most special day

worma said...

Ok, so he is gone. And I'm happy 'only' for the sake of an interesting match and series ;-)

Raka said...

Well England may be wishing they had kept Thorpe instead of Pietersen, 2 dropped catches and no one like to make a test debut with the score 18-3. Nice blog, I'll be back.

shakester said...

welcome here, raka.
well Mr KP has remained not out and is their only hope- either way he shall come out ok from this inning. His team- that's another story...

Nandu said...

So I was reading a couple of other blogs on cricket and came across yours, and was like 'arre, I know this dude!!'. What a bloody awesome day of cricket. Both Harmison and McGrath, IMO, made compelling arguments for proving that Test cricket is the future of the game, and this Twenty20 stuff is all fine, but not the real thing.

shakester said...

hello, nandu. Did you not know about this blog already?
But yup- what a day- are you getting to see any of it in NYC?

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