The Brits are thinking of changing the nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is falling down' to 'Sydney Harbour came crashing down'. If England does not lose the battle in the last test, they will seriously consider that change.
- For the first time in16 years they became the first team to enforce a follow-on on the Aussies
- For the first time in 8 years they are leading the Ashes.
- For the first time in 16 years they look good enough to win the Ashes.
This series is not for the weak-hearted. Just when you thought England had it all easy when they kept the target to 129, the Aussie bowling lead by Warne produced a fantastic effort. His yesterday’s spell was another proof of the great bowler he is!
I missed Flintoff’s century, the innings that probably swung the match England’s way. At 229-4 it was anyone’s game. Jones produced another fiver. Aus’s batting order has never looked so vulnerable before. 4 LBWs in first innings among top 5! Hayden, Martyn and Gilchrist’s sorry run continued into the second innings, just when you hoped they would produce something magical. Alas , it was not to be! It will be sad if this fantastic hard fought series goes away without an attacking trademark Gilchrist innings.
Ponting, Langer, Katich and Clarke all played well but none held out to produce a long knock. It is extremely tough to do that when you are following on. Just about why Laxman’s 281 @ Kolkatta Vs Aus 2001 and Botham’s 149* @ Headingley, Ashes ’81 will always be on the top of every list. Only three teams have won following on, all victories have come against Aus, sadly yesterday Australia could not change the history their way.
The chase was tense very tense, and I think England lost the wickets they did due to nervousness. At 57-4 when Pietersen and Flinotff came together they took the attack to the Aussies. When in Rome do as the Romans do, when playing against Aus, attack the way the Aussies do. Simple rule! The duo was going well till one over from Warne had Pietersen playing all over and in a horrible mess, and he got out to Brett Lee the very next over.
Flintoff looked still good to take England home, when Brett Lee’s place had his stumps rattled. It was sheer pace! Geraint Jones’s shot reminded me of the one Mongia had played against Pak in ’99 in Chennai after Sachin had got out. We had gone on to lose that match. Oh, that defeat still hurts! Over here though, the England tail was much more determined than we were and they did not let go of their chance.
Hoggard played a gem of an innings, only 8 but they were worth a hundred! He tackled Lee’s yorkers pretty well and when one was over pitched, he was quick to pounce on the full-toss opportunity and slam it on the off-side for four. Giles too hung around and did not panic. It was a fine effort in the end.
We are not celebrating Australia’s loss we are simply celebrating cricket’s victory. Truly none can be greater than the game, it is indeed a great leveler!!
What a setting for the final test! All that England has to do is NOT LOSE. All that Australia has to do is to GO ALL OUT AND WIN. It cannot get better than this!
You cannot afford to miss the FINAL BATTLE. Prepare yourself as the WAR nears its end!!!