Lucky escape

I know I said don’t mention the cricket a few posts ago, but I just had to put in my 2p worth. Bleeding neck! What’s wrong with Australia?! For that matter, what the [bleep] is wrong with England?!

When I first woke up at 6am US Pacific time, Australia was all out for 196. First thought: blimey, should be a walk over. Second thought: it’s a bowler’s wicket today. Third thought: blimey, England are going to suffer.

And suffer they did. It was a little too early in the morning to scream over here, but my BBC RealPlayer got a few choice words when first Trescothick, then Strauss went too cheaply. I could hardly believe Vaughn’s loud quacking, and almost cried when both Flintoff and Pietersen walked for virtually nothing. All I could see was a complete collapse, nay, a whitewash. Oh ye of little faith!

I could never have predicted that Collingwood and (Geraint) Jones would be the level-headed saviours of England. And when they faltered, good old Giles and Gough gave their very best to scrape a lucky draw for England. Oh that final nail-biting over! Such is the pleasure of one-day internationals! Down to the very last ball (and maybe an iffy decision). I wish I could have seen it.

With only 18 days to go to the first Test, England have a lot of work to do, psychology-wise. The top order came in today expecting an easy victory. They’d just dismissed Australia for a not-too-good 196 after all. King of the world! But they apparently fell in a VERY predictable fashion. Every batsman has his little Achilles heel. Without it, they’d all be perfect automatons, and we might as well watch Men’s Wimbledon instead. But, come on guys! Did you all have to fail on the same day? You fell into a massive Aussie billabong, lulled in, suckered in, waltzing with Miss Matilda. You were John Buchanan’s dream team to play: predictable, ill-disciplined, hungry for boundaries.

I don’t want to take anything away from the fantastic four who saved the day. They did better than could be expected, given the early collapse. But if the top order batsmen had done their jobs instead of going for glory, England would have won the game and the series. I’ll settle for a draw now, but only because that was the most exciting thing I’ve ever heard on radio.

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