Cricket Club Issue 42 - Page 5

The Ashes experienced international batsmen, with the exception of Adam Voges, a late pick, he’s made his mark in English cricket. Which of the stars would break England’s hearts? Would it be Chris Rogers, David Warner, Steve Smith or Michael Clarke? All men capable of hitting up a storm. The two openers are surprisingly small in stature, a real sign that technique not strength is the key factor when we look at class batsmen. Unlike England they got to 52 before the first wicket fell, Captain Cook, a more than handy fielder caught Warner from the bowling of Jimmy Anderson, he’d scored only 17 runs. Steve Smith, number 1 in the world before this test joined Rogers, he befell a similar fate, with Cook as the catcher, but this time Moeen Ali was the bowler. The Australians showed an intent to go after Ali in this test, I have to say they didn’t learn as they went along on that one. In the meantime Rogers was piling up the runs, could he make his elusive first test century? Clarke was at the other end, the pair put on 51 before Rogers was, heartbreakingly caught on 95 by Buttler, Wood was the bowler. He now has an unenviable record of the most unconverted 50’s in test cricket. I was listening in the car at this point and heard the next two wickets described - punching the air as I drove. Clarke was caught and bowled by Ali for 38 and new man Voges was caught by Anderson with Ben Stokes bowling. Australia finished on 264-5 - I was by now at the game as Day 3 ‘kicked off’ Australia went from a fairly decent score to 308 All Out - I‘ve written that quickly - because it all happened rather quickly! The most notable wicket was that of Shane Watson, out LBW to Broad. He was very unhappy with the decision, but it really is becoming a habit! I’m running out of words so am going to be equally as brief when it comes to England’s second innings - A bit like TMS’s Pint Sized Ashes if you like. Lyth and Cook opened and both looked confident, Cook however was caught by a superb effort from Lyon for a mere 12. Disappointing but the catch really was a great one! Ballance went back to the pavilion with a duck to his name sending Ian Bell out in his stead. England were 22 for 2. Bell and Lyth added 51 before Lyth departed on 37, and in came the hero of the first innings Joe Root. In a strange coincidence both Root and Bell put on 60 runs from 89 balls setting England on the way to a decent lead. Stokes did well again and Wood - not out again scored a very useful 32. The others weren’t much to write home about - but the England lead was 412! That was a huge run chase for Australia - could they do it? Could England bowl them out and beat the rain? My money was on England, again I’m going to rush through the Australian innings. There were 2 ‘batsmen’ of note - Warner scored 52 from 86 balls, his running between the wickets made the match look like a T20, which in a way I suppose it was. He was joined in the ‘good effort’ stakes by none other than Mitchell Johnson, of bowling figures of 180 for 2 over both innings, he showed his batting colleagues how to do it with an admirable total of 77 - he was entertaining to watch and deserved the top scorer label for the second innings. His team went from 207 for 5 to 289 All Out, I’m not sure I’ve ever jumped up in excitement so many times at cricket as England propelled themselves to a big win - a 169 runs win in fact. Australia had miscalculated and underestimated - Alastair Cook was transformed as captain, unrecognisable from the man I watched last summer, hopefully his batting form will follow. Australia will not be repeating their 5 nil series win - I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the odds shift somewhat after what was a great all round team performance by ‘New England’. 5