Australia (8-497d & 6-186) defeated England (301 & 197) by 185 runs @ Old Trafford
MOTM: Steve ‘BSB’ Smith (211 & 82)
My highlight of the Test: Smithy returning to teach British people how to leave something.
The late Robert Mugabe once said at a 2013 rally, that “Britain is a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses.”
Amazing- one of the worst leaders in modern history, that died somehow receiving top medical care in Singapore, quite accurately described that tiny, windy, rainy plot of soil.
On to the test itself, and well, to the surprise of nobody, I was wrong.
I spent the best part of an evening crapping myself thinking the Aussies had learned nothing from Headingley and were going to wet the bed again, but I’m glad I was wrong.
First and foremost, because Steve Smith writes himself, Tim Paine not only stood up with the bat, he also made the step up from ‘Glorified Cheerleader’ to ‘Tactics Tim’, and thus, he’s done what the last Tasmanian to captain Australia couldn’t do (Twice), and retained the Ashes in England.
The one thing that sticks out in my mind was his declaration when the Poms were time wasting on Saturday evening, which completely blindsided them, and allowed Pat Cummins to thunder in and wipe out Burns and Root, which pretty much ended any hope they had of another Headingley.
That declaration would have to be the smartest move he’s ever made as Captain.
Then of course, as well as setting some aggressive fields on the final day, Paine rotated the bowlers and kept them fresh enough to keep the pressure on, and then made the crazy move of bringing on Marnus Legspinnershane for the struggling Gary as the final hour began, with Leach and Overton seeing off the new ball.
And wouldn’t you know it, within 5 deliveries, Loosebuschange got rid of the stubborn Poindexter, by landing an absolute pearler of a leggie in the rough.
It was like a pin met the balloon that was the crowd, and 5 minutes later, Hazlewood finished it off with the LBW of Overton.
And I didn’t even mention Tim’s biggest improvement in that fourth innings…. He only wasted one review!
On another note, good on Ben Stokes for walking (Especially given Dharmasena had no idea he’d hit it)… Although, I can think of one very good reason he walked- Denying Paine the satisfaction of getting a review right.
Pat Cummins- Best bowler in the world, that’s a damn fact, and speaking of Best in the World, it’s time for me to go to the altar and worship Smithy.
The record may show that Smudge was dismissed twice by the Poms, but I want to make it very clear and give absolutely no credit to Dudley Root or the Poindexter- Steve Smith doesn’t get dismissed, he dismisses himself.
Of course, Leach could’ve dismissed Smudge for 118 in that 1st Innings… only for his glasses to fog up before he began his run up, and misjudge where the crease was.
It was a relatively minor setback.
His disappointing knock of 82 in the 2nd Innings means The BSB has now scored 9 consecutive half-centuries against the Soap Dodgers, apparently equalling the record for most consecutive 50s against one team, alongside cricket’s least athletic captain Inzaman Ul-Haq, who apparently also made a habit of beating up on England.
Of course, Steve Harmison made a bid for relevancy by declaring that Smithy will only be remembered as a cheat, a claim which is so wide of the mark, it carried through to second slip, something Harmy has plenty of experience with.
Go and suck on a few more mints like you and your mates did back in ’05, you sanctimonious hypocrite.
Of course, this latest MOTM performance finishes any drivel about this Smith vs Jofra Archer battle, who so far in this series has only succeeded in concussing Smith, allowing Australia to bring in Labuschagne, who helped the Lord’s Test, has now scored 4 half-centuries in 5 innings, and snagged the wicket that destroyed England’s hope of saving the series last night.
The English press gave Jofra a shovel, and he was too damn happy to keep digging is own grave at every opportunity.
As for the sad sacks we call openers…. wait a minute, we have openers?
I thought we were just starting every innings 2 down.
Anyway, unlike the British public, the Urn has voted to remain, ironically by leaving, but the series obviously isn’t over with The Oval still to come, but as you can gather by these celebrations, just like me, none of the Aussies give a rat’s arse.
And of course, much to my utter delight, they ‘Chomped’ Tony Jones.
So in the wash-up, England spent 4 years figuring out how to win the World Cup, and they did… despite not technically ‘winning’ it.
Australia spent 4 years figuring out how to finally win in England, and they did.
Why was Tim Paine banned from Uber worldwide?
Because he gave too many bad reviews!