For the first time since 1994/95 have all five Ashes tests gone to five days, so I’ve really got my money’s worth! Add in the three days of the WI test at Lords in September and I’ve seen the last 28 days of test cricket England have played. Lords in May against Pakistan seems a long way off!
The statistical forecast is for today is for England to survive until lunch or thereabouts; there’s 34 overs to the new ball if needed and that would be early afternoon but I fear it may all be done and dusted by then, Lyon making most of the dust!
Today will not be as hot as yesterday – the low 30s and clouds so a fine day overall. Yesterday Sydney was the hottest place on the planet and the temperatures in the middle of the SCG reached the mid 50s, so well done to everyone – players officials camera crews etc.
Root is showing determination and true Yorkshire grit in this innings but it’s far too late; this example should have been set week’s ago but there we are. Forecast for drinks is 6/135.
Drinks taken at the fall of Ali’s wicket 5/121 Bairstow 31. Root has been in hospital overnight with severe dehydration/heatstroke and will bat at the fall of the wicket. Dour stuff for the past hour with only 28 runs scored. One more wicket and the tail gets exposed…forecast for lunch 7/146.
Unexpectedly we get to lunch at 5/144 Bairstow 38 and Root 58 – clearly Root is not well but he’s showing true courage when perhaps common sense suggests otherwise. He was out in the sun and heat all day yesterday except for 35 minutes play so it’s not surprising that he’s been ill. Bairstow is plodding along with only 7 runs in the last hour but he’s not letting Australia pass. This match depends on these two batting for long parts of the day – can they do so? Only time will tell. My fear is that when one of these goes, the rest will follow and it will be relatively painless. Forecast runs total for drinks is 170 but cannot forecast the number of wickets for once as the new ball is due soon and this is really a new ball type wicket!
Drinks but no lorry England’s reached 8/180 Curran 28 Anderson 2. Joe is ill again and did not resume after lunch. Bairstow fell quickly and Broad didn’t waste anyone’s time, so it’s when not if. And another first – 5 penalty runs for England as the ball hit the helmet on the field; never seen that before nor the unusual signal from the umpire
And then the end…painless, swift and surgical. Celebrations seem muted but I suppose the reality is that the Ashes were won in Perth which seems so long ago but weren’t!
So, the dream fulfilled but I’m not stopping now! I’ll be back to Oz to soak some more of their weirdness and madness (and wine) and the blog continues when the English county season starts but the frequency will be less than now! Thanks for reading and commenting, well over 1000 visits and I’m amazed and flattered that anyone could be interested in my musings and thoughts on cricket.
Some final thoughts on the series and Australia to follow (after all I’ve got 24 hours on a plane and time to think).
And the unusual field placings continue to the very end!