Sunday, August 28

Howzat

England wobbled before holding their nerve at Trent Bridge to beat Australia by three wickets and lead an Ashes series for the first time since 1997.

England, 2-1 ahead, need only to draw the final Test at The Oval to win the Ashes for the first time since 1986/7.

Warne had England stuttering early in their chase with three quick wickets before Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen looked to have done enough with a 46-run stand for the fifth wicket.

But a withering burst of speed bowling from Lee accounted for both, and England were sweating profusely when Geraint Jones threw his bat - and his wicket away - when holing out in the deep.

It was yet another nail-biting finale to a Test between these two sides, but such an outcome was not on the cards at the start of the day with Australia 222-4 and following on in their second innings.

Simon Katich and Michael Clarke struck fifties in a stand of 100 for the fifth wicket and Warne hit a brisk 45, but nobody could produce the big innings Australia required.

The pair were largely untroubled at the start of the day, Clarke registering his fourth Test fifty - and second of the series - with a leg-side push for two off Ian Bell.
The new ball was tossed to Steve Harmison two overs after it was due, with Hoggard operating at the other end.

Neither looked threatening until Hoggard nipped one back onto Clarke's pads and launched a huge appeal, which umpire Steve Bucknor turned down after a long look.

But England's disappointment soon turned to joy when Clarke (56) fished outside the off-stump and feathered Hoggard to Geraint Jones.

Adam Gilchrist wasted no time settling in, crashing Flintoff for successive fours in the last over of the session, but England went to lunch buoyed by the belated reward for their morning's toil.
Hoggard was again to the fore after the break, targeting Gilchrist's leg stump and trapping the out-of-sorts left-hander lbw for 11.

The obdurate Katich brought up his eighth Test fifty soon after, but his 183-ball 59 came to an end in contentious circumstances when Harmison's lbw appeal was upheld despite the ball pitching well outside leg-stump and looking too high.

England deserved to win, their first at Trent Bridge over Australia since 1977.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Editor,
Can the football fans among us expect such a full and detailled review of the forthcoming international matches, featuring teams from the home nations?
Yours hopefully
Soccer Mom

Peter Troy said...

The answer 'Socer Mom' is no !

This blog covers British political issues, not sporting events. The posting on the 4 th test was an exception since the test series has not like all other sporting events been corporatised.

So there !

Editor.

Soccer Mom said...

Editor,
So are you saying that sports and politics don't necessarily mix?
1980 Olympics? Cricket tour of Zimbabwe? Mr Blair's persistent Downing Street photo opportunities for any Brit with the smallest modicum of sporting success - I'll wager the invitations to the English cricket team are being written as we speak.
Remember David Beckham being wheeled out to meet Nelson Mandela - or was it the other way around?! More football please!