Ashes 2005: First Test Lord’s

England v Australia, First Test, Lord’s, 21-24 July 2005:
Austraiia 190 and 384, England 155 and 180.
Australia won by 239 runs.


Day One:

Australia 190

Nice call, Ricky.

To be fair, 190 all out is an improvement on 87 for 5. But still not anywhere near good enough. Some great bowling by Harmison (5/43), and a little too much gay abandon from the Aussies. Justin Langer seems to play three types of innings – a first-over duck, a double ton, or a quickfire 40-odd-and-out. Today it was the latter. Nice symmetry from the middle order – Gilchrist 26, Katich 27, Warne 28.

All interest now falls to Glenn McGrath, whose next wicket will be his 500th.

It was Trescothick it was

Number 500 for Glenn McGrath!

First ball after tea, no less. Trescothick tried to push away a ball going down leg side, he got a leading edge, which was taken by Langer in the slips.

Oh, make that 501. Strauss caught by Warnie at first slip.

Are we heading for an Australian first innings lead here?

Sledging by Media 3: More on Shane

There he is again. Right underneath the masthead subheading “We will hold firm” is the headline “Shane Warne loses control of his googlies AGAIN”.

Inside the front pages of feral random word generator the Daily Mirror is the whole lurid story. Now I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for the Bill Clinton Of World Cricket except to say that if his testosterone really is so far out of control, then he really does require professional medical assistance.

But getting back to the feral fish wrapper, apart from asking the obvious question – Is it really in the public’s interest to know this? – there comes the other obvious question – Why does this story happen to come out on the opening day of the First Test?

At stumps on Day One, Warne was 2-1-2-0 after scoring 28 from 29 deliveries.

Lord’s Day one wrap

Seventeen wickets on the opening day of an Ashes Test at Lord’s. That hasn’t happened since the century before last.

The unforgettable images of Day One will be those of Glenn McGrath’s devastating five-fer, which started off with his 500th Test career wicket. He has been such a champion at this ground. 8/38 in 1997, then 5/54 and 3/60 in 2001.

Steve Harmison’s bowling against Australia earlier in the day was also memorable, but found itself upstaged for historical importance.

On a bizarre day when the scoring was brisk – 282 runs from 77.2 overs – but the batsmen’s concentration poor, it seemed fitting that the day should end on an odd moment with Wheelie bin Giles brushing the stumps with his glove, out hit wicket to become Brett Lee’s 140th Test victim. Fat chance of Blee ever getting within cooee of Pigeon McGrath’s 504-and-counting.

My 3-2-1 for the day: 3 pts, Glenn McGrath; 2 pts, Steve Harmison; 1 pt, Geraint Jones.

Day Two:

And an unforgettable, er… 91

There’s probably nothing that gives me more pleasure in following cricket these days than charting the rise and rise of Michael Clarke. Friday, he breathed life into an Australian side that had been struggling to get on top of the First Test, and then looked set to add a debut Ashes century at Lord’s to his CV.

Then came one shot too reckless, and he chopped a Matthew Hoggard delivery into his stumps. Clarke was gone for 91 from just 106 deliveries. Although Clarke’s departure started an Australian collapse – 4/22 in the last eight-and-a-bit overs of the day – he and Damien Martyn had put their team 290 runs in front of England. That should be enough to win this Test.

It’s a wonderfully versatile word, “should”, isn’t it?

Friday was also a defining moment in the international career of Kevin Pietersen. As well as top scoring for England in his first Test innings, 58 out of 155, his long-term place in the team became more secure with the news from Guildford that Graham Thorpe was retiring from international cricket.

My partner is having a baby in the next couple of weeks and I have decided that I want to concentrate on my family life.

GPT putting as gracious a face as possible onto the fact that the selectors had, just a few days earlier, given him the shaft.

There’s another English name we should remember from Friday’s play in the First Test – especially in case we don’t happen to hear much from him again. Somerset batsman James Hildreth took the catch that removed Ricky Ponting in Australia’s second innings. It’s always been a bugbear of mine… why aren’t stats on substitute fielder catches consistently kept in Test cricket?

My 3-2-1 for Friday: 3 pts, Michael Clarke; 2 pts, Damien Martyn; 1 pt (despite his dropsy in the field) Kevin Pietersen.

I’m going to put all these 3-2-1’s together towards my own player of the series title. (Name to be decided but I should have one ready by tomorrow. “Compton-Miller” is a hard act to follow.)

That Day Two stumps score: Australia 190 all out and 279 for 7, England 155.

Day Three:

On yer bike, England

My question du jour involves Le tour: Can Australia wrap up the First Test before Lance begins his final pedal up the Champs-Elysees?

Australian free-to-air broadcasters SBS juggling cricket coverage with their pre-existing committment to the Tour de France – something Murdoch operatives have been gloating about as jointly owned Fairfax-Packer pay TV channel Fox Sports has complete ball-by-ball coverage to itself. On the other hand, it has the Sky Sports commentators all to itself…

Before doing the Day Three Paper Rout in my next message, my 3-2-1 for Saturday’s play: 3, Shane Warne; 2, Kevin Pietersen; 1, Simon Katich.

Live coverage of the Corbeil-Essonnes to Paris pedal on from 1340 CET. His Lanceness should be wheeling under L’Arc shortly after 1700 CET.

Day Three paper rout

Before sifting through the Sunday papers, this from the website posted on Friday:

‘Daily Mail’ apologises to ticket staff at Lord’s

The ‘Daily Mail’ today (Friday 22nd July) contains the following apology to MCC’s Ticket Office staff: “On May 24, ‘Sports Agenda’ by Charles Sale reported claims by ticket touts that their supply line for Test tickets included the MCC ticket office at Lord’s. We wish to emphasise that there is no truth in their claims and sincerely apologise to the MCC ticket office staff that our story did not make this clear.”

MCC has accepted this apology and will therefore withdraw the case that it put, earlier this week, to the Press Complaints Commission.

Moving right along from the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Telegraph gives us columns from Scyld BerryMike AthertonIan Chappell, and the riveting Andrew Strauss’ Test Diary.

The Independent on Sunday gives us items from Nick TownsendStephen BrenkleyStephen Fay and Mark Butcher (who compares the Test match to Coldplay’s performance at Glastonbury), while Steve Bloomfield and Andrew Johnson report on the ticket touts, and not in the same manner as did the Daily Mail.

The Sunday Mirror gives us “The Alec Stewart Interview” and a hagiography of Shane Warne in which the word “bonkers” refers to a state of mental health and not participants in one of his nights out.

The Observer gives us Kevin MitchellVic MarksWill BuckleyMike Brearley and Geoff Lawson, plus a collaborative effort by eight writers (unbylined on the website) depicting what it was like to be a Lord’s on Thursday.

The Sunday Times: Simon WildeLawrence BoothIvo TennantDavid GowerAndrew LongmoreJohn SternSteve Waugh, and Justin Langer, who begins with a quote from John Buchanan’s favourite author, Sun Tzu.

Day Four:

One-nil, one-nil, bla bla bla…

It took just 10.1 overs on Sunday once play actually began. Like so many Australian victories over the past decade, a game that was neck-and-neck through the first innings ended up a decisive victory. Two bowlers with a combined age of 70 and a combined career haul of 1097 Test wickets finished off England, as they have done so many times before.

Pietermartizberg’s very own Kevin Pietersen can be pleased with his Test debut for his new country of residence, and currently boasts a batting average of 121.00.

Seeing as only ten overs were bowled on Day Four, I am only awarding one point in my players of the day voting, which will go towards my Player of the Ashes award, the name of which I shall announce within the next 24 hours 🙂 1 point to Glenn McGrath, who claimed four points for the match.

I’ll link to just a few of the Australian viewpoints on the victory: Chloe Saltau for the Sydney Morning Herald, former England B captain PW Roebuck for the same Australian rag, and Gideon Haigh, in Tuesday’s Guardian, invokes not just the names of Sun Tzu and M Scott Peck, but Spencer Johnson’s book “Who Moved My Cheese?”.

BBC Online has a good summary of reaction from both sides of the fence (although Jon Pierik writes for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, not the SMH).

For blog coverage of the final day’s play, I direct you to the Corridor of UncertaintyUbersportingpundit (despite Scott seeing just as much live TV of Day Four as I did, ie, none), Nick Whittock’s Ashes, and indeed the ABC’s Jim Maxwell.

Finally, Tuesday’s Guardian also has the viewpoint of celebrity columnist Wheelie bin Giles. He begins:

One Test has been lost against Australia and already we are reading that we are “a bunch of drips”.

Can someone shut that lid properly so that the bin doesn’t fill up with water?

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