An amazing night of cricket… again!

Andrew Strauss passing 6,000 test runs during the 4th test against Australia
England captain Andrew Strauss passing 6,000 test runs at the MCG (photo taken from ECB TV video highlights)

When I went to sleep last night England had just opened the bowling against Australia in the fourth test at the infamous MCG, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  I was nervous but hopeful that England’s performance in Perth was just a temporary blip in what has been a dominating visit to Australia to battle to retain The Ashes.

During the night I drifted in and out of sleep.  Always waking a little too late (or early) the hear the next wicket fall.  Oh, and how they fell: FOW 15, 37, 37, 58, 66, 77, 77, 77, 92, 98.

Ninety-eight?!

I woke shortly after 5am and lay in bed listening to my DAB radio. It didn’t make sense. It sounded as though Australia were bowling.

I checked Twitter.

And then the commentator on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra confirmed it: Australia had been bowled out for 98.

Excuse me?! Did you just say ninety-eight?

Selkirk Cricket Club scored 98 against Galashiels Cricket Club on 10 May 2009. At home. Fenton scored 23. That’s three runs more than Aussie #4 batsman Michael Clarke scored. Admittedly, Selkirk vs Gala wasn’t an international test… but come on Australia, that’s the score of amateurs!

Discipline

I was interested to read on the Melbourne and Victoria newspaper Herald Sun website an article entitled Strauss a Christmas grinch:

England captain Andrew Strauss yesterday morphed into a Christmas Scrooge unashamedly ordering his men to jettison all frivolity.

Strauss’ firm stance came as he ordered his troops to focus on breaking resurgent Australia in Melbourne’s Boxing Day blockbuster […]

It’s one of the highlights of your career, being able to play at the MCG in a Boxing Day Test. We intend to take the most of that.

I think Strauss was quite right. In many ways Christmas Day just “just another day”, and they had a job to do. I really do admire their discipline.

There are four days to go, I’m not celebrating quite yet but that was a very, very impressive performance from England.  I eagerly await this evening’s broadcast.

You can watch highlights on the English Cricket Board website.

Tweets

A few of my favourite Tweets:

  • Aus 98 [all out] thank you Santa. #Ashes – @gedrobinson
  • Lovely ground the MCG… Even when it’s half full… Must have all gone home to watch Neighbours… – VaughanCricket
  • The great Boxing Day Sale of Aussie wickets! Take 1, get 9 free! That’s an unmissable offer even for a cricket hater! #theashes, #ashes – @Bonhomie13
  • #ashes Quote of the Day: Geoff Boycott after 15 minutes: “I can’t see how England are going to win this … That’s why I’m an expert.” – @PatrickNeylan

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

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