Ashes to Ashes

And so it begins in sunny Brisbane three hours ahead of sunny Bangkok. I’ll make no predictions of the 5-0 variety (though wouldn’t that be nice?) but I will say that you’re barking mad if you think England has a chance in hell of keeping the Ashes.

Flintoff consoles Lee

Yes, I know I said that last time too. And frankly if it hadn’t been for some shocking lapses by the captain we woulda won that and all.

Here’s to the next few weeks of battle. May it be as awesome as four two years fifteen months ago, except with the proper ending this time.

Oh, and check out the English Ashes cricket blog (via Alison). Fabulous!


  1. jonathan on #

    it’s lunch and langer’s done quite well. a good start! wish i could see it, but that might be asking a bit much of the day job. still, streaming commentary is some consolation. looks like punter might be in a bit of a mood too.

  2. lili on #

    i have a widget that gives me live updates…

  3. Cheryl on #

    No online commentary in the US. I’m climbing the walls. Maybe I need to cash in some of my QANTAS points.

    Langer did seem to be enjoying himself. Amazing what a few weeks playing for Somerset can do for you. Better remind him that test matches last more than 20 overs though.

  4. jonathan on #

    looks like punter’s having some fun.

  5. parker on #

    four years ago? are you thinking in some kind of magic years?

  6. Justine on #

    Parker: Nah, I’m just addled and confused.

  7. jonathan on #

    well, four years ago hayden had some fun in brisbane. it might be echoes of that. and there’s still the second innings…

  8. Cheryl on #

    Happy now. I have video. I have Richie Benaud.

  9. Penni on #

    I love that pic. They look so sweet and concerned for each other. in a manly, cricket way of course.

  10. Ez on #

    Did you order Boony and Beefy dolls through Victoria Bitter? The ones my brother got have engaged in some good-natured sledging, apparently. (Something about the English liking warm beer – fools! 😉 )

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  11. Justine on #

    Ez: I’m not really into things even Boony doll things. They just sit around and collect dust.

    Ponting seems to be making a bit of a chore of things 🙂

    When do we think the declaration’ll come?

  12. jonathan on #

    given ponting going and then gilly for a duck, i’d say an hour after tea, if they last that long.

  13. Justine on #

    I’d be very surprised if there’s a declaration now. But yeah it would be smart to have a go at the poms at the end of the day when they’re knackered.

  14. Justine on #

    That Hoggard and Harmison are getting so much out of the wicket bodes well for Warney, I reckon.

  15. jonathan on #

    i think the poms would have been happier if the pitch was holding up. my guess is that if they get 550 the australians will be very happy. i think we’re doing well, but the real test will be the first ten overs of the poms first innings. if lee and mcgrath run through the top three or four, it’s going to be a short game.

  16. jonathan on #

    oh, and harmison’s been a bit of a dead loss. you think the poms would like their own dad’s army 🙂 maybe they need to bring back boycott.

  17. Justine on #

    Harmison’s last few overs have been lovely. But, yes, it’s all a bit too late.

    I cannot wait to see what Warne will do.

    I reckon it’s the selection of Giles that’s been the biggest disaster for England. I wanted to see that Monty lad that there’s been such great press about.

  18. jonathan on #

    you may be right. it certainly makes the team look less attacking. looks like 550 is the goal.

  19. Justine on #

    I take it back about Harmison and all. Hoggard and Flintoff have been the pick of the Pommie bowlers. But two stike bowlers ain’t enough.

    If I were captain I’d keep ’em batting until an hour before the end of play and then send the Poms in.

  20. jonathan on #

    that’s pretty close. see lee and clarke are slogging. i think if they get to 600 they’ll declare no matter what. agree about the bowlers. unless *something* changes, the poms are in for a short, brutal summer. they just don’t seem to have a bowling line-up that, on a decent strip, can take 10 australian wickets.

  21. Justine on #

    Agreed. It’s going to be very interesting to see how our quicks do.

    I do hope England gets their shit together for the Sydney test. I’ve got tickets for the fourth day, I have. I want there to be a fourth day!

  22. jonathan on #

    i’m torn. for your sake, i hope there is a fourth day in sydney. i think there probably will, but don’t know how much of one. also depends on how well they can either re-jig or reinvigorate the english team. still, i love a bloodbath 🙂

  23. jonathan on #

    can’t help but think, btw, if they could just clone flintoff they might have a chance. the real problem the poms have is that they have no champion players. not one. a couple of promising ones, like flintoff and pietersen, but no-one with the runs on the board to deserve being labelled that way. i think the last series in the uk is going to look more like an aberration than ever.

  24. Justine on #

    I totally agree.

    On the Sydney test—we do have a history of losing energy when it’s a dead rubber. Most of the tests we’ve lost in the last twenty years have been after we’d already won the series. So I have high hopes of that fourth day.

  25. jonathan on #

    first wicket down! lee injured? gah.

  26. Justine on #

    And I was just about to say wouldn’t it be funny if our bowlers sucked as bad as theirs?

    I hope Lee’s injury is nothing!

  27. Justine on #

    And now Cook’s gone . . .

  28. jonathan on #

    second wicket! dang. we better drop these old guys. they just don’t perform.

  29. Justine on #

    Yeah, clearly time for McGrath to retire—only two wickets?!

  30. jonathan on #

    seems that way to me give the youngsters a go.

  31. Justine on #

    If McGrath wasn’t so old he woulda gotten the hat trick.

  32. jonathan on #

    it’s true. and warnie’s older. we’re stuffed.

  33. Justine on #

    Wash your mouth out! Not even in jest can you say such a thing! Warnie’s a spin bowler. He can stay forever. Remember Bobbie Holland!

  34. jonathan on #

    you’re not a fan of ‘show bags’ are you?

  35. Justine on #

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  36. jonathan on #

    warne = ‘show bags’. you know. you go to the royal show. you buy a show bag. looks great on the outside, full of sh*t on the inside . he is a genuinely great player though.

  37. Justine on #

    I see that sarcasm does not translate. Perhaps I should have used a smiley. Sigh.

    In all seriousness I think Warnie is the greatest bowler we’ve ever had. And top five for all bowlers ever. I think he’d make a great captain. I am not sold on his potential as a human being, however.

  38. jonathan on #

    i would agree. 3/50. poms are doing well.

  39. Justine on #

    Yes, indeed. They must be thrilled with these first two days of play. They managed to restrict Australia to 600 and now are only 350 behind the follow on with 7 wickets to spare. Victory is almost theirs!

    Before we get too smug, we should remember that we also thrashed them in the first test last Ashes . . . and look how that turned out. (Brilliant cricket, best Ashes in ages, but, well, we lost!)

  40. jonathan on #

    this is true. i know. i do remind myself that cricket is a game where you can always lose. still, it’s fun when it’s like this.

  41. jonathan on #

    they’re gonna bat again? i don’t believe it. i don’t understand it. weird.

  42. Justine on #

    Madness! I really really really don’t understand why he won’t enforce it. England are stuffed. The pitch is a series of craters. McGrath is on a major roll. We were 445 runs ahead! No way was England ever going to get that. What’s the point other than to completely demoralise them? And, frankly, they’re already there.

  43. jonathan on #

    i know. i agree. it’s a bizarre decision. i can’t fathom it. and, of course, the only time it’s ever happened before in test history, the game ended in a draw. hmmm.

  44. Justine on #

    Really? Why do I feel like Ponting never enforces the follow on? I know I could google it but I’m about to run out the door.

    I love Australia winning and yet once England were all out I found today’s play dismal.

  45. jonathan on #

    once australia decided to bat again i went out and did something else. there was no point. this game should be almost over. now it’s probably going to make stumps on day 4. nonsense. i will look up about punter and the follow on.

  46. jonathan on #

    this from cricinfo: “There have been five opportunities to enforce the follow-on in Ponting’s 31 games since taking over from Steve Waugh and he has taken the option once.” that game was drawn. no side has ever scored the score australia is now setting england to win a game.

  47. Justine on #

    Thanks for the research.

    Ha! I knew he was follow on averse. So from that one freak event he is now deathly afriad of the follow on. That was not the lesson he needed to take. Gah!

  48. jonathan on #

    and consider: the first innings in brisbane is the highest score by australa under his captaincy. also, australia have not lost any of the tests under his captaincy where they have scored 500 or more in any innings. no good reason to be follow-on averse.

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