England retain the Ashes in style

Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,

So, this is a special day for England cricket fraternity. England have taken an unbeatable 2-1 lead in Ashes 2010. It's special because it's Ashes but even more special because it's in the land of the rivals, the kangaroos. It's been 24 years since England retained the Ashes last time. This is the first time Australia have lost twice by an innings in a home series. Quite remarkable. It's only the third occasion that a visiting team has averaged over 45 in a series (minimum three matches) in Australia. I'd say England has had it easy. It seems like they have won easily I mean even though Australia won at Perth (3rd Test). In the other 3 matches, the kangaroos have looked like chickens. Picking Bresnan has worked. But I didn't quite enjoy this Test. At times, I switched on the TV but got bored. Thus, did other things while watching it. Both the batsmen and the bowlers did their job. But not all. Paul Collingwood has averaged 28.55 this year with one ton, against Bangladesh. He is a fighter but needs a break. The Aussies must be tired of Shane Watson's starts, who has only scored 2 centuries in his 26 matches. He has 15 half-centuries by the way.

Brief scores:

  • Aus 98 in 42.5 overs
  • Eng 513 in 159.1 overs (Trott 168, Prior 85, Cook 82, Strauss 69, Pietersen 51, Siddle 6/75, Hilfenhaus 2/83, Johnson 2/134)
  •  Aus 258 (Haddin 55*, Watson 54, Bresnan 4/50, Swann 2/59)
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KO: England hammers Australia, gone in 2 sessions

Posted: Sunday, December 26, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

England vs Australia 4th Test: 26-30 December
Day 1
England continued Christmas celebrations by crushing the Aussies at Melbourne on Day 1. I, surprised by the selection of Tim Bresnan, wasn't expecting this. England for Bressie over Finn, a mistake in my book. Prompted by the dismal performance of English batsmen, Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss picked Bresnan for a longer batting order. The batting should be stronger, not longer. When they fall, they do. True, the batsmen are good but falter under pressure. So work needs to be done on their mental attitude rather than tail-enders' batting. England already has Swann, Tremlett, no need for another bowler who can bat a bit. Tail-enders' usually only contribute when there is no pressure. And it isn't Finn's job to take wickets and score runs too. And my mates, you shall remember, Finn was the leading wicket-taker of the series before this Test.

Nevertheless, England seamers knocked up old rivals at the MCG in front of a near 90,000 witnesses on the Boxing Day. Jimmy Anderson, Chris Tremlett with assistance from Tim Bresnan have set the path for a 2-1 lead in the Ashes with one Test to go. Australia's 98 is their 2nd lowest total on this ground. Their lowest being 83 against India. This is also Australia's 4th score below 120 since 1990 in home Tests. Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss are now 4th on the list of opening pair with most century stands. They have had 10 so far. The ones above them are the pairs of Greenidge and Haynes, Hobbs and Sutcliffe, Hayden and Langer. They are tied with Chauhan and Gavaskar, Gambhir and Sehwag, Slater and Taylor for the 4th position. James Anderson is now the leading wicket-taker in the series with 16 wickets.

Paul Collingwood has saved England quite a few times but he also goes on a spree of runless matches. And England cannot afford that. However, finding a replacement isn't easy. Carberry and Morgan are in reckoning. I'd go for Carberry, looks determined.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 98 in 42.5 overs
  • Eng 157/0 in 47 overs (Cook 80, Strauss 64)

Australia on the way to leveling the Ashes

Posted: Saturday, December 18, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,

England vs Australia 3rd Test: 16-20 December
Day 3
This Test has been exciting. 35 wickets have fallen in 3 days. Tremlett has been a real star, he has taken 8 wickets in the match, all of which were among the top 7. There is been a bit of drama. Collingwood was given out on a referral, overturning the decision of the on-field umpire in the 1st innings. I didn't watch it live, though it looked out in the replay much later. It was unexpected. The height and whether it was struck outside off were in question. To me, height didn't seem a problem though. There have also been word exchanges. Johnson and Anderson have liked chirping up. Today, Watson, on 95, was given out and he referred it straight away. He was stunned when the 3rd umpire too, gave it out. Showed his bat to the umpire. We have seen naked pitch invaders in the past and it happened today as well. The second time at WACA in 2 years. He only started to undress after invading the pitch and was carried off by authorities. The Aussies were busy laughing, didn't mind the delay!

When Australia posed a target of 391, I thought both teams have an equal chance of winning since the highest successful run chase at Perth is 414/4 by South Africa against Australia in December '08. Last time England toured Australia, England managed 350 in the 4th innings but lost. But now that England have lost 5 wickets for 81, it's needless to say who has a better chance. The icing on the cake for Australia was getting Collingwood out on the last ball of the day. England sent Jimmy Anderson when the 4th wicket fell. Why do they always send a nightwatchman? Now with Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, Trott, Collingwood back in the dressing room, England are in trouble. And Australia couldn't ask for a better chance to level the series. And remember, there are still 2 days to go.

Until next time, take care. Cheers.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 268 (Johnson 62, Hussey 61, Haddin 53, Anderson 3/61, Tremlett 3/63)
  • Eng 187 (Bell 53, Strauss 52, Johnson 6/38, Harris 3/59)
  • Aus 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95, Tremlett 5/87, Finn 3/97)
  • Eng 81/5 (Harris 2/22, Johnson 2/28)

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Tremlett & co make Australia falter

Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

England vs Australia 3rd Test: 16-20 December 2010
Day 1, just before tea
England won the toss and elected to field first at WACA, Perth. Despite Stuart Broad's injury, Finn didn't get the new ball. Thankfully, England went for Tremlett. The other options were Shahzad and Bresnan. Though they probably didn't consider Shahzad. I have heard writers and commentators describe Twenty20 as 'blink-and-miss'. Well it has just been like that today at Perth. The pitch was bouncy, as usual and made use of it. There was also just a little bit of movement. There are talks of England being the new Australia. Well, England is certainly winning more than they have in a lot of years and even dominating down under. The UDRS actually helped today, in two decisions, it saved Watson in the very first over of the match, bowled by Anderson. It got England the important wicket of Hussey. Australia made quite a few changes to the side. Katich (injured), North, Doherty and Bollinger made way for Hughes, Smith, Johnson and Hilfenhaus. North wasn't scoring runs and I think Hilfenhaus is good. Johnson has the power to swing the match either side. The Aussies were aggressive today but that didn't help as they lost their 5 wickets for 69. Currently, they are 163/6. Cheers.


Australia butchered by England!

Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

It's the best day for England. They came out like tigers and crushed Australia. It took England 20.1 overs to take 6 Australian wickets. There is a storm of anger, criticism and sadness in Australia. This is Australia's biggest defeat to England at the Adelaide Oval in 118 years. Also, England's 100th Test win over Australia. The last time Australia was beaten by an innings was in 1993, by West Indies. It has been 24 years since England took the lead in an Ashes series in Australia. Before the series, former cricketers had regarded this Ashes as the best chance to beat Kangaroos at home and that seems true. Ricky Ponting has lost 2 Ashes already, will this be the third? Not many Aussie captains have achieved that! I don't expect Australia to bounce back. Kevin Pietersen may have observed Australia as wounded animals before the Ashes but they are not rebels, not revenge-takers, they are like those fast bowlers, who become losers once they go for runs. Australia were on a  winning streak for a long time. It's time for the reverse. Since England arrived in Australia, everything have gone their way. The media reckons Stuart Broad's injury as the only loss in this Test, but it may be a blessing in disguise. Sure, Broady was bowling well but not taking wickets. Bring Tremlett or Shahzad and please, no Bresnan this time!

I'm sure more records were broken and I'll take a look at them later. For now, let me sink in the victory. Big cheers to England fans!

Man of the Match: Kevin Pietersen

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 620/5 dec (Cook 148, Pietersen 227,Trott 78, Bell 68*, Collingwood 42, Harris 2/84)
  • 304 (Clarke 80, Watson 57, Hussey 52, Katich 43, Swann 5/91, Finn 2/60 Anderson 2/90)
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Rain a concern as England aim to take lead in Ashes

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thanks to Kevin Pietersen, England are much ahead in the game after Day 4. The entertainer didn't only hit a double ton but also took the crucial wicket of Michael Clarke on what turned out to be the last bowl of the day. It's been 4, no, I shall say just over 3 days because many overs on Day 3 and 4 were washed out. And Australia's over rate doesn't help either. I'm certainly very pleased with KP's success, I was even against it when he was dropped from one-dayers against Pakistan in summer. I said it out loud here, I'm with KP, are you? He's massive, so is his ego and ambitions. The guy rises against challenges, like playing against South Africa, who didn't pick him over racial quota or rivals, Australia. Most of this series so far, things have gone England's way. Now, after declaring on a massive 620/5, England need to get 6 Australian wickets for less than 136 more runs.

Steven Finn is the leading wicket-taker in the series but I don't think Strauss knows it. Or does he know it and believes in saving runs? With such a huge lead in the kitty, I don't think Strauss needs to worry about that and when the wickets fall, no one gets going! Finny has taken 8 wickets in the series, followed by Anderson, Siddle, Swann (6 each). With 2 wickets, Stuart Broad is the lowest wicket-taker among the main bowlers who have played in both the Tests. Shane Watson has also taken 2 wickets and bowled 46 overs but he is the opener. Mitchell Johnson has been the biggest disappointment but wasn't picked for the ongoing Test.

Only Sachin Tendulkar has hit more centuries (19) than Alastair Cook before the age of 26. Don Bradman struck as many centuries as Cook has hit (15). Also, Sachin hit 21 50s before turning 26, while Alastair has already struck 23. Bradman lags behind with six 50s before 26. But Cook still has the chance. He'll turn 26 on December 25. The 3rd Test will begin on December 16, Perth.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 620/5 dec (Cook 148, Pietersen 227,Trott 78, Bell 68*, Collingwood 42, Harris 2/84)
  • Aus 238/4 (Clarke 80, Watson 57, Hussey 44*, Katich 43, Swann 2/72)
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Another ton by Alastair Cook puts England on top!

Posted: Saturday, December 4, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

England vs Australia 2nd Test: 3-7 December
Day 2
Seems like England carried the momentum of the Gabba to Adelaide. After getting Australia out for 245, Alastair Cook continued his innings of 235*. At the end of Day 2, he is on 129*, along with star batsman Kevin Pietersen. There were question marks over the places of both before the Ashes began. Day 2 started in a dramatic fashion with the wicket of Andrew Strauss. But that was all for Australia. Australia bowled 88 overs after that and could only take one wicket - Trott (78). Alastair Cook is having a great series. He was under pressure when it began and the action has been around him. If Day 4 of the 1st Test was about his and Strauss' ton, Day 5 was about his double ton. He has been on the field for most of the series so far. In my post, England ends on a high as 1st Ashes Test drawn I've mentioned exactly how much time he spent on the field. He is young, he is sexy and he is selectors' favourite. Ali Cook will turn 26 this Christmas. He has struck 15 centuries so far.

The weather forecast says it will remain mostly cloudy at Adelaide with chances of shower at times. But then, it predicted thunderstorm for today as well. Rain has the best chance of saving Australia, followed by Hussey, Ponting and Clarke. England shall declare at 600 and aim for an innings defeat. Lastly, I would like to congratulate Ricky Ponting for his 150th Test. What a game it's turning out to be for him.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 317/2 (Cook 136, Pietersen 85,Trott 78)
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Australia tumbles as Anderson rumbles!

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

England vs Australia 2nd Ashes Test: 3-7 December
Day 1
I woke up when England had already taken 5 Australian wickets. Though later, I did see the wickets. Their celebration made me as jubilant as the score did. Actually, more. They were running all across the ground. The wonderful thing was taking 3 Australian wickets for just 2 runs. How often do you see any team at 2/3? And that too, Kangaroos at home? Can it get any better?

The Australians brought Harris and Bollinger in place of Johnson and Hilfenhaus. I would have kept Hilfenhaus, by dropping Doherty. It's not a rule to have a spinner, is it? So, when your faster men are way better than your spinner, why keep him?

The star again was Jimmy Anderson. He did not take as many wickets as Finn in the 1st Test but he was equally good. Today, he must have been tremendous. Stuart Broad has struggled for wickets in the Ashes so far. This is not something new, I expected this to happen until he took wickets against Pakistan and in the warm-ups. Broad and Finn picked up one wicket each today. Graeme Swann is going to take some wickets, as he is a spinner, bowls a lot of overs and he's good, especially against  left handers. But I don't expect him to do what he has been doing since he debuted - rip off the opposition. The UDRS brought controversies today as well. It may fail to serve justice but it sure brings the drama. The man at stake was Ryan Harris and he kept referring from the dressing room after been given out.

I was unsure about writing this post, not having watched most of the day's play so I kept it nice and short rather than stretching it out. Hope you are enjoying the Ashes as much as me. Until next time, take care. Goodbye from jimmymycrushie.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 1/0
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England vs Australia 2nd Ashes Test: The Preview

Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

Kevin Pietersen is furious at the pitch curator of Adelaide Oval, Damian Hough. He expressed it in person and then on twitter. England were forced to practice indoors due to rain which frustrated KP. He tweeted when it was about 4pm in Adelaide (5:30 am GMT):

What should a groundsmen make sure he does 2days out from a test match????
Cover the nets when it rains maybe???

To which, Cricket Australia replied,
SACA has put out a statement re rain 2day, 1st priority was to protect Test track, practice wix [wickets] then covered, normal practice 2moro.

Guess where they replied? Twitter of course. Soon, it will replace media conferences too.That time is not far away when team will be announced via twitter.

The England team will probably be unchanged unless there are last minute injuries. The Australian media suggests it's almost finalised that Johnson will miss the 2nd Test. It doesn't come as a surprise, since he got for duck, didn't take any wicket and dropped a catch too, at the Gabba. Reports say that Johnson missed Australia's practice session following a brawl with Aussie selectors who told him he wouldn't be playing at Adelaide. Though no wonder Michael Clarke denied it. Bollinger is likely to replace him. And Ryan Harris, notched his pace up during the practice session to impress the keen-eyed selectors.

Although Johnson was the highest wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs last year, has a good record in Australia, I personally don't believe in him. His bowling is many times wayward and either he gets 5 or none. Johnson averages 27.61 in Australia, with a strike rate of 52.7. The only places he fares up better in, are New Zealand and South Africa. His worst average is against England, 41.05 while his career average is 30.08. That is an enough reason to drop him. During the 1st Test, we could see how sunken his body language can get.

I received a tweet from Adrian Duell (@RedL1on), an Australian, which said:
@shadds_criclova @Jimmymycrushie only England would be happy and upbeat because they didn't loose.

To which I'd like to say that the one who comes out of a hole is victorious. Sometimes, a draw is like a win. Obviously, this wasn't as much of a triumph as the Cardiff Test (Ashes '09) was but it proved to be quite a thumping for the Aussies. Most of the Aussie side and fans looked mashed. Aussie fans were a rare sight on Day 5 and the Australian team was down in the dumps in the field. Except, a few, like Ponting.

An English journalist, reports from down under, how the Austrlian media and fans are keeping up and it's a must read, Interview with the man down under: 1st Test


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