Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Phew......I know we all thought this Ashes series would be dramatic but this is getting stupid. For the first test in a row there was hardly anything between the two teams. England once again got themselves into a winning position only for the Aussies to fight themselves back into the game. We made the best team in the world follow-on for the first time in 17 years.

Unlike the last two matches this time it was England batting for a result and depaite only needing 129 to win it was left to Hoggard and Giles to scrape and claw the winning runs...it's a close run thing (understatment of the epoch). When Australia looked dead and bured the England fielders were tearing round the ground chasing the ball for all they were worth...I lost count of the times they turned 4s and 3s into 2s and singles...it seemed needless at the time but it made all the difference. The team are giving everything every single time a ball is bowled...they know they are good enough to match the Australians and they know their efforts can make all the difference. England just need to avoid defeat in the final test at The Oval (a few good knocks or one bloody good rain storm) and the urn is ours.

The way this series is going it is going to go down as one of the greatest sporting contests in history. You've got the two best teams in the world taking each other all the way week in, week out.

Ponting is rather spoiling things by complaining about England's use of subsititute fielders (a trick the Aussies first used back in the days of Dennis Lillie) because he was run out by an amazing piece of fielding by Pratt, our 12th man, whilst Simon Jones was in hospital recieving treatment. It's rather undignified and does kind of smack of being a bad loser.

Everton lost again this weekend...we seem to be doing a lot of late shopping too. I wonder whether we had a bunch of players in mind and we were wating to see how our qualifier went before working out how much we can spend...either way I hope we can sort ourselves out. WE aren't playing badly but perceptions are important at this stage of a season. If we get that smell of relegation aorund us then it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In other news Pierluigi Collina has retired...virtually his last action as a ref was to disallow our equaliser. Baldy Italian wanker.


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