England ends on a high as 1st Ashes Test drawn

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

It was a record breaking day at the Gabba. Alastair Cook continued from his overnight score of 132* and scored his first double hundred. Till his 173 against Bangladesh, he used to get out soon after completing his ton but when he got out against Bangladesh, he was in distraught. Alastair Cook is liked by most. England have wanted him to be the permanent opener. He has never been dropped in Tests. He is the king on flat pitches and his concentration is hard to match. In this Test, he stayed on the field for 1705 minutes (over 28 hours), 1302 runs, 402.1 overs. Whoa! Not many players must have spent so much time on the field in a match. In England's 1st innings, it took him 168 balls to score 67, when he got out, England were 197 and were bowled out for 260. He stayed on the field for Australia's 481. Opened in England's innings, England declared on 517/1. And lastly, stayed on the field for Australia's 107/1. Alastair Cook's 235* is the 2nd highest by an Englishman in the last 30 years.

When Strauss declared, I didn't think he did the right thing. The pitch was flat and he posed a target of 297 in 40+ overs. But England's attitude assured me that from no way would England lose from such a situation. Throughout the Test, England did well, whether they were fielding, batting or bowling. Though 260 in the 1st innings was below par, a catch was dropped, overthrows were given during Australia's 2nd innings. England have certainly never been so good in Australia. They dominated the warm-ups, bowled superbly and came back after being 200-odd behind. Though the pitch should take most of the credit. Strauss, Cook (235*) and Trott (135*), Ponting (51* off 43) cashed in.

Man of the Match: Alastair Cook

You would rarely see such a Test where: the pitch helps bowling in the start and slowly becomes flat, one team rattles behind by 221, then declares at 517/1. By the way, this was only the 6th time in history when a team reached 500 with only one wicket down. The instances of 500/1 are listed below.
  • West Indies against Pakistan, 1958
  • Australia against West Indies, 1965
  • Sri Lanka against India, 1997
  • Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe, 2004
  • South Africa against Bangladesh, 2008
  • England against Australia, 2010
But these kinds of records don't help the team much. It may help in managing to draw but usually, when one team scores so many, so does the other, unless it's a minnow side.

The 2nd Ashes Test starts on December 3 at Adelaide Oval at 00:00 GMT. Until next time, take care. Cheers.

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Centurians Cook, Strauss and flat pitch get England out of trouble

Posted: Sunday, November 28, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

England vs Australia 1st Ashes Test: 25-29 November
Day 4
After surviving the last hour on Day 3, England started Day 4 on 19/0. Andrew Strauss smacked the ball all around the park and Alastair Cook batted with such determination as if he would never get out. His place was under scrutiny against Pakistan where he scored a ton to retain his place. But I, and many experts, doubted if he would succumb against Australia. England have been a good team for long, they have had the good players, they have been hard working. But now, they are also finding winning ways and are more consistent. There have been quite a few series in which all Ali Cook did was scoring a ton. In the 1st innings of this Test, he made 67 and is not out on 132 in the 2nd. That's a total of 199 runs. On his previous Ashes tour, he made 276 runs, though he still struck a ton at Perth. I reckon times are changing because of his determination and 67. The pitch was flat and on top of that, Australia dropped a few catches. Mitchell Johnson dropped Andrew Strauss when he was on 69. Siddle, Clarke also dropped catches. Clarke dived and almost caught it but couldn't hold on, Trott was the batsman.

It's probably going to be a draw but a result is possible. Australia would need to get England out very early and England would need to get to 500 quickly, declare and get Australia out in about 50 overs. Both are unlikely though. The highest successful chase at this ground is 236. The pitch helped the bowlers on Day 1 and slowly became flat.

Brief scores:
  • Eng 260 (Bell 76, Cook 67, Pietersen 43, Siddle 6/54, Doherty 2/41)
  • Aus 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Katich 50, Finn 6/125, Anderson 2/99, Swann 2/128)
  • Eng 309/1 (Cook 132*, Strauss 110)

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Aleem Dar and Hussey leave England wrecked

Posted: Saturday, November 27, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,

Yesterday, Michael Clarke was out, caught behind off Finny Steve. Aleem Dar didn't give it out. England referred but to no avail. Snicko suggested there was a nick, hot spot didn't agree. Finn and Prior were in dismay. I do remember English commentators talking about hot spot against Pakistan this summer. They did say that it works better in cold conditions. As far as I know, Australia is a hot place. Also, it can be deceived to a degree by stickers, Vaseline and even by keeping your bat in the fridge before you come out to bat. I have seen it working well at times but doesn't always work, right? Snicko works quite well I think. Even though the information to judge a decision is double this time, because of new technique of cameras, it still doesn't help much. I've said it before and I'd say it again, UDRS only helps when a blunder has been made, not close calls. And now, it can't even overturn the decision when there is an edge. It's a waste of time and reduces excitement. When Siddle got a hat-trick, Broad referred it and it looked out but we still had to wait. Teams also consider a lot of times whether to refer or not. The on-field umpires need to improve in their job. Umpiring standards must be raised. And if an umpire wants, he can check with the 3rd umpire or the 3rd umpire can interfere when he thinks the on-field umpire has made a mistake.

Day 3 has left England in a turmoil. Australia started Day 3 at 220/5. The first session was very frustrating. Actually, the whole day.Early today, before Hussey reached 100, he was plumb lbw off Jimmy the hottie. The ball flicked both of his pads. The double noise is the only thing Dar can say in his defence. Despite the English putting in a superb effort together, Australia finished on 481. Now, that's a lot really. When Australia were 248/5, I was wondering what Hussey and Haddin are still doing there. Haddin was struggling like a tail-ender and the ball was zipping around their stumps. The man in black pants changed the game. James Anderson was superb all throughout the innings and Finny, on his Ashes debut grabbed 6. After bowling so well, England are in such a position that winning seems like a distant dream. England can just hope that the sun will be shining bright till tea, Day 5 and the pitch would help bowling afterwards. England have managed to draw a few times since Ashes '09. It started at Cardiff, when Collingwood, Jimmy and Monty showed their resilience. Happened again against South Africa, twice. They must have learnt from it but in all those times, they were not required to survive so much of time. Rain and bad light are wanted.

Brief scores:
Eng 260 (Bell 76, Cook 67, Pietersen 43, Siddle 6/54, Doherty 2/41)
Aus 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Katich 50, Finn 6/125, Anderson 2/99, Swann 2/128)
Eng 19/0

Other posts:
Ashes 2010 gets underaway: England thumped on Day 1
England fights back on Day 2: The game is on!
England on top as Ashes about to roll
Anderson And Panesar Save The Day!

England fights back on Day 2: The game is on!

Posted: Friday, November 26, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Day 2 turned out to be wonderful for England. At the start of the day, the battle was on, the bowlers won some, lost some. Jimmy Anderson was amazing. Early on, Alastair Cook missed a run out chance. But things turned around after lunch. Jimmy Anderson grabbed 2, Finny 2, Swann 1. Yesterday, I was worried Jimmy's bowling may be a hindrance to winning Ashes. I wanted him to perform for my personal liking over him but most importantly, for England. I'm most interested in Finn at the moment but the bowling and looks of 'The Burnley darling' (as Ian Chappel remarked today) have stimulated me for years. I expected Stuart Broad to take 1 or 2 wickets, Finn to perform and didn't expect Swann to excel today. Broad didn't take any wicket but bowled well, Finn was good and Swann took one but not many. After Day 1, I had suggested that England and especially Broad must bowl more at stumps. Not like my idea couldn't work, but Broad did well even with those predictable short balls. This tells us that he is really good at it. Finn didn't fall during his follow through today and caught a good one of his own bowling.

England's plans worked and the discipline showed. This was great. England's bowling is becoming more consistent, Ian Bell is finally getting out of the classy 40 mode and England have the potential to be the best now. It's our time now. Australia will bat last, which is a good thing. Though England need to set a target of at least 300. If they get Oz all out for 300, they'll need to score 339 at least. Looking forward to Day 3.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 220/5 in 80 overs (Hussey 81, Katich 50, Anderson 2/40, Finn 2/61)
Goodbye from jimmymycrushie for now, post your comments below and hope you enjoy the Ashes!

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Ashes 2010 gets underaway: England thumped on Day 1

Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 1 belonged to Australia. When Straussy got out, I thought Cooky would score because usually he does if Strauss goes before him. I fell asleep at lunch and woke up after about 2 and a half hours only to find Bell and Cook batting. I had seen KP reach 23 and heard he went for 43 and was in a good flow. Belly and Cooky looked good at the crease. Cook played patiently and his pulls were as good as ever. Until Cook got out, things were looking good for England. Siddle changed the course of the game by taking a hat-trick - Cook, Prior, Broad. Bell was looking to score big but was running out of partners, ended up landing a catch to Watson. Doherty got his first wicket in Test cricket as Ian Bell and his dad was rather overjoyed, he must have been waiting for this moment. Jimmy Anderson didn't show any faith in No.11 Steven Finn which I didn't appreciate. He played sweeps and reverse sweeps and got out for 11, 4 balls after Ian Bell went. Siddle, the birthday boy, was the man of the day, taking 6 wickets. If Australia wins, lots of credit goes to him.

England didn't do much with the ball. James Anderson and Stuart Broad shared the new ball while Steven Finn waited on the boundary, but wasn't given a chance. Whenever I had thought about how good England would be down under, I worried about Jimmy Anderson who may bring back memories of Ashes 2006. His 3 overs went for only 5 runs but the bowling wasn't impressive and obviously, Australia wasn't thinking about banging Jim straight up, they were just looking to survive the remaining overs of the day. Stuart Broad did have 1 or 2 chances of taking a wicket but as expected, most of his deliveries were short. I don't except Aussies to fall in his trap, being so predictable won't work . And if you don't ball at stumps, you take out 2 ways of taking a wicket - bowled and lbw. Swanny bowled the last over and this time, he couldn't get a wicket first up. I'd say they must have tried Finn. He is awesome and the Australians have never faced him. He is attacking, doesn't rely on swing like Jimmy Anderson and doesn't bowl short like Stuart Broad. True, it would have been risky, but then, playing him in Australia is risky enough. If you give someone the chance to play for England, you also have to give him enough chances to excel.

Being bowled out for 260 wasn't exactly the start England was hoping for, but the Aussie batsmen aren't in their best form. So England stand a chance, given Jimmy doesn't bowl crap and Finn is supported enough. When I had heard the probable Aussie squad many days ago, I was surprised to hear that Siddle might not play. Both Hilfenhaus and Siddle bowled well in Ashes 2009 and Siddle proved his mettle today.

Brief scores:
  • Eng 260 in 76.5 overs (Bell 76, Cook 67, Pietersen 43, Siddle 6/54, Doherty 2/41)
  • Aus 25/0 in 7 overs
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England on top as Ashes about to roll

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

England began their Ashes tour with grandeur by beating Western Australia by 6 wickets. England winning their 1st tour game in Australia is a rarity so this was an absolute delight, which Andrew Strauss expressed as well. England's mainstream bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn were impressive in the first 2 tour matches, against Western Australia and South Australia. The 2nd tour match was drawn.
Here is how these fared in the 2 matches:

James Anderson (58 overs)
6 wickets
All batsmen

Stuart Broad (49 overs)
6 wickets
5 batsmen

Steven Finn (53 overs)
5 wickets
3 batsmen

Graeme Swann (71.3 overs)
9 wickets
3 batsmen

In the 3rd tour match, England gave Tremlett, Shahzad, Bresnan, Panesar a chance while the best bowlers practised in Brisbane, the venue of the 1st Ashes Test. Australia A batted first, were bowled out for 230 which set the foundation for victory. All bowlers did well with Monty being the least successful. Tremlett flourished the most, followed by Bressie lad. Though I strongly recommend not playing Bresnan except perhaps when England plays 5 bowlers. The batsmen were the same and batted superbly except Trott I guess. Every England batsmen averaged above 50 except KP and Trott (excluding Prior). Bell is still in the form of his life whose 192 against Australia A was among his best for sure. Collingwood and Bell got England out of trouble who were struggling at 137/5. The bowlers finished their job by routing Australia A for 301.

Alastair Cook coming out for good was a an important positive for England, who have shown complete faith in him. He scored 111* against South Australia. A special mention of Paul Collingwood, who not only scored runs but also provided the breakthrough and broke a partnership of 87 runs, produced a run out against Western Australia (1st innings) and substitute Eoin Morgan (run out, Western Australia 2nd innings).

So, England have done quite well so far but the real test lies ahead.

The highlights of the tour games are available on skysports.com. The Ashes begins on November 25, The Gabba, Brisbane at 00:00 GMT. Until next time, take care. Cheers.

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Wallpaper: Sexy England Cricketers!

Posted: Friday, November 5, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Click on the image for the 1024x768 size view. Ah, I'm knackered, never spent so much time on a wallpaper!

Currently, I'm reading Coming Back To Me: The Autobiography of Marcus Trescothick. The best thing is that he has been totally frank and honest while writing the book. Unlike Gibbs, he has not tried to make it dramatic. It's just dramatic because of how his life has been. He has mentioned a lot of cricketers but Jimmy Anderson has been mentioned the most!

Other Wallpapers: