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.
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!
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.
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