Act III, Scenes II-IV

This weekend was my wedding anniversary, hence the low blogging profile.

Rain did its best to ruin our wedding day many years ago, but it has thankfully steered clear of England and the Ashes this summer – up until today in fact we had not lost a single over due to weather.

Today was a different story – fortunately for England; unfortunately for Australia and the neutrals. We probably lost about 40 overs worth of play due to a slow over rate, rain, and bad light. And it’s too bad, because it would have been helpful for Australia to declare at Drinks during the final session and make England bat in the tricky Manchester gloaming. Instead their openers will have a full night’s rest and good batting conditions.

Still, the fifth and final day is set up nicely. Australia HAVE to win. England are fine with a draw. Australia need 10 wickets. England need to bat all day long. A win for Australia and they head to Chester le-Street with the wind at their backs. A draw for England and the ashes stay in England. Intruiging through and through.

But…

Screen shot 2013-08-04 at 4.13.58 PMLet’s hope their wrong. Otherwise this series is going to fizzle out like a doused campfire. And it would be a shame for this series, for all intents and purposed, to be decided by the weather.

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This was a Tweet from Andrew Miller after day one:

I think that might be my favorite cricket Tweet ever. 18 characters and the entire story is told and perfectly summarized. Such brilliant economy.

It’s not bulletproof, of course, because there are no draws in tennis, but I still love it.

Today I think it is something like this: 7-6 6-0 5-3. England are up a break and cruising. The light is fading. Australia has a dodgy hammy but plenty of fight left. England have the crowd though, and the better ranking, and it’s at Centre Courte Wimbledon not the Rod Laver Arena. Australia are on the ropes but still punching.

Wait. I think I am starting to mix my metaphors. Best to call it a day.

Until tomorrow.

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Act III, Scene I

And we’re back…

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Australia has come back from being two Tests down to win the Ashes exactly once: 1936-37 in Australia.

That summer they lost the first Test by a comprehensive 322 runs at Brisbane and lost the second Test by an even more comprehensive innings and 22 runs at Sydney.

After which they came back and won by 365 runs at Melbourne, won by 148 runs at Adelaide, and an innings and 28 runs again at Melbourne.

Now, while that might give Australian supporters a wee bit of hope, it’s right to remember that Australia in the 1930s had the greatest Test batsman (arguably) of all time batting at number three for them, Donald Bradman, while Australia today have Usman Khwaja in the third position.

No offense intended, Usman, but you are no Sir Donald.

But all of that said, Australia are off to a flying start today against England in the third Test at Old Trafford. Clarke’s 125* has put them in a good spot at 303/3. England surely have a bit of a hangover and all they need from this Test, or the next Test, or the next Test, is a draw and the Ashes stay in England. But still – good to see some fight from Clarke and from Australia. Come out firing tomorrow, fellas, get that lead to 450 before lunch, then we’ll have a match on our hands.

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Short post but feels good to be back. See everyone tomorrow.