Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Collingwood's sock - the second test

Paul Collingwood's sock was quick to contact Fantasy Bob following the end of the second test in which England recorded thier first innings victory over Australia for 24 years. Waking FB from his slumbers, the sock was rather excited saying 'FB, I don't care if it's only 2 in the morning and the snow is still 2 feet deep outside your house, we won big time and that's all that matters.  One-nil......one-nil.........'

In a day in which the threatened rain held off, Australian selectors have been left with huge problems: out batted and out bowled their side's ability to mount a successful rain dance is also in question.  With the reliable Simon Katich out of the rest of the series, they are wondering if there is time for a quick seiries of the X-Factor to identify new blood. 

But the blue skies also contained a cloud for England with the news that Stuart Broad has torn an abdominal muscle and will return home.  Showing a slightly insensitive use of language, the sock said, 'Everyone's gutted for Broady.'

FB understands that in Ashes history only 5 batters have made double hundreds for England in Australia and 3 of them were playing in this match.  This is Andrew Strauss' first Test victory in Australia, a novel experience for the rest of the team too.  In a strange quirk for such an important player to the team, Strauss' contribution to this win was slight - indeed in each of England's 3 innings in this series he has been England's lowest run scorer despite hitting a century.  1 run and 1 catch were his small contribution in Adelaide.  The sock said, 'I don't think his place is in doubt - do you?'

Day 1

Coming into the match, all pundits agreed with Fantasy Bob’s assessment that Adelaide is a bat first pitch and that it is essential to post a big score. Australia got it half right as they batted first, but their total of 245 put them in a big hole.  This is a ground on which they have posted over 400 in each Test since 1999.  But Australia were reduced to 2 for 3 or as they put it locally 3 for 2  - either way round doesn't look good.  Perhaps they should reverse all the digits - a total of 542 might be defendable.

Only Hussey offered significant resistance but fell short of his second successive century.  And this was the man who just scraped into the selection.  Ricky Ponting joined the primary club.  FB also renewed his membership this year so he extends his sympathy.

The day finished with an altercation between Strauss and Ponting – very boringly it turns out this was about sledging by Haddin and Anderson.  This squelched the far more interesting rumour that Strauss had asked Punter whether he would be wearing his primary club tie at dinner later.

Day 2

As Cook batted serenely on, he revealed to anyone that wanted to know that he sweats so little that he wears the same pair of gloves all day, while Kevin Pietersen, who joined him shortly before tea, was changing his every other over.  Well, guys, sometimes in the information age there is just too much information.

The difference between the sides was exemplified by the luckless X Doherty’s run out attempt.  Whereas on day 1 Trott had hit with one stump to aim at, Doherty from a similar position missed by a good yard.  Some Aussies are counting this as a success since this was closer to the stumps than many of his deliveries during a fruitless bowling spell.  X seems likely to become Ex.

Day 3

As sweaty KP put a big score on the board, his alleged weakness against left-arm spin wasn’t exactly evident. No bowler leaked more runs against Pietersen than left-arm spinner Doherty, who was dispatched for nine fours and one monstrous six over the fence at long-off.
Pietersen also showed his complete rehabilitation by walking at the fast bowlers. Doug Bollinger is not a man who often gets charged, but he found a perspiring KP 3 yards nearer him on several occasions.

When dry-gloved Cook was finally out on he had the telling statistics of 450 in 3 innings, 2 completed, giving him a modest series average of 225.  But beware.  At one point in the summer Fantasy Bob had a batting average of 200 – and then it fell apart.  So Cook has no room for complacency.

Day 4

England have now scored more than 1100 runs for the loss of just six wickets over their last two innings.  Is this a record?  Who knows?  Who cares?

Another Ashes hero, Bob Willis, has suggested that a slight bend in Alistair Cook’s front knee was all the change required to produce the recent sparkling form.   As the Carlton junior section would say ‘Yeh. Like. Right. Like he knows.’  Willis’ batting average was 11.50.

As Ian Chappell says that Australia don't have a bowling attack leader, a comment so obvious that even FB might have thought twice about uttering it, a survey of Australian supporters finds that 71% of respondents want to see 41year-old Shane Warne make a comeback.  A similar proportion have voted for the return of Dennis Lillee, Richie Benaud or Bill O’Reilly.
As England struck a huge blow by getting Michael Clarke caught at the end of play, Clarke himself used Twitter to issue an apology. He tweeted, ‘Just want to apologise for not walking off the ground tonight when I hit the ball. I was just so disappointed, my emotions got best of me.’  Ponting can’t get his apology for the lacklustre performance of his team in the field down to 140 characters.

Meanwhile Geoffrey Boycott, never short of advice, was suggesting that the Australian selectors may have to look at the claims of Karen Rolton for Perth – batting average 55.66; bowling average 23.35.

Day 5

All over before lunch.  Swan's 5 for 91 wrapping the victory up in rapid fashion.  Leaving lots of tweeting time for the side.

Finally the most telling picture from the 5 days action is below.  Ricky could be praying for just about anything.  Is there not a little bit of human sympathy for him in even the most hardened anti-Australian?  
What did I do to deserve this?

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