July 09, 2015

The Ashes. Explained.: England and Australia resume their 148 year old cricket rivalry.

posted by owlhouse to other at 12:30 PM - 6 comments

Enjoyed this. Thanks!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:49 PM on July 10, 2015

Speaking as someone filled with bias, that documentary looking back on the 2005 series is great. I still remember the enormous heart attack I was having at the end of the second test.

Meanwhile, this first test has been very good, in spite of a pitch that has been roundly described as pretty terrible.

I thought the first day was probably a draw, that would be decided by how well the English tail batted through the morning of day two. The 80 runs they added was enough to tip the scales to England, especially when the Aussie tail couldn't match it at the start of day 3.

Mark Wood's cameo at the end of England's second innings was glorious, as the Aussies had worked so hard to get an opening. Mitchell Starc rolling in to bowl at 90mph on one good ankle was also impressive.

The straight six Wood hit out of the ground was great and it's a shame they found the ball, as I always like to see the box of balls come out and everyone argue about which replacement to agree on. Wood's 32 runs probably pushed the game beyond Australia. They have plenty of time, but the bounce is becoming increasingly inconsistent, so you have to think 412 is a very big target and two days to play means it's practically impossible to bat through.

Just don't let the Aussies sneak Lee and Warne out to bat at the end.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:13 PM on July 10, 2015

Yeah, I think the odds are against any chase over 300 on that pitch. Let's hope it's a close series - the 2005 one in England stands out because of this, as well as being England's first win since 1986-87.

posted by owlhouse at 01:08 AM on July 11, 2015

Turns out we didn't need the pitch. Once they reached 97-1 the Aussies remembered they had somewhere to be tomorrow and fell apart.

The Mitchells did ok, which should embarrass the proper batsmen, but having to play defensively, Johnson had a face on like someone had punched his dog.

There has to be a question over whether Starc can go again, with his ankle, and can we just start printing "Watson lbw" on the scorecards to save time? Will he get picked again for the next one?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:16 PM on July 11, 2015

I've never understood the Watson thing. It may have had something to do with searching for an all rounder following Flintoff's performances in 2005. But he's past his use by date.

It's always good to win the toss on a pitch like that. Remember that it it is a five test series, and England were beaten in the first one in 2005!

posted by owlhouse at 01:21 AM on July 12, 2015

Remember that it it is a five test series, and England were beaten in the first one in 2005!

You're right. There's not any bombast in my post, I know no one follows up a good performance with a laugher like the English cricket team. We'll see how Thursday goes.

I presume if Starc can't go, we'll see Siddle. Which is a test late, as he would have been the better choice in Cardiff, I think.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:46 AM on July 12, 2015

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