I am watching the test with a great feeling of appreciation towards our batsmen and the display they have shown!
Brad Haddin and Marcus North have just taken our lead past 100! So, this almost certainly makes the match standing with two possible outcomes; a draw or an Australian victory!
As always a reminder for you to head on over to Chris Stocks’ site, where he is covering the series from an English supporter’s perspective, with more in-depth articles such as interviews!
The wicket seems to have changed a considerably, and no doubt Nathan Hauritz will be anxious to get out and have a bowl in further attempts to prove his worth of a Baggy Green, since receiving it in 2004!
Ricky Ponting’s 150 was a sensational innings, showing our Skipper’s true class and the excellence he articulates in pressure situations on the big stage! I would strongly suggest you catch any highlights you can of his innings. Punter may still be a nervous starter but when he gets going you can be certain the way to dismiss him is through creating your own luck, and a thick inside edge of Moty Panesar’s bowling justified that!
Simon Katich played a terrific role in his first Ashes century, and it was great to see the trademark Katto, with some slightly more aggressive intentions as he neared his hundred and plodded along on the 3rd day’s morning session. Together Katto and Punter were the men who set us up to give the host team a bit of early concerns. Maybe they are worried about leaving out Onions and Harmisson?
Michael Clarke was highly unfortunate to be dismissed 2 overs before the close of day 3. His inning’s deserved more than 83, and I really do believe he played one of his best innings’.
His cover drives were powerful, his straight drives were demanding and his attitude showed leadership and responsibility. This early statement, alongside Punter’s innings, was something we all needed to see from our team leaders. Well done to the top order. Michael Hussey only contributed 3 runs before getting an outside edge being lured into a cover drive, but after the runs he made against the Lion’s, he is bound to cash in sometime soon!
Brad Haddin and Marcus North are powering along, with caution but are just keeping that lead on the rise!
Marcus has played a typical innings by his standards. Slow, steady, assertive, cautious and happy to let a couple go on by as he readies his sense for either a powerful slash sweep to the spinner’s, or a hard cut to the pace men.
His century has set him up nicely following 191* vs the Lions! I have just witnessed him make his ton, sliding in, and feeling his relief as he lifted his head from the Sophia Gardens turf, as he raises his bat on a debut Ashes ton, in his debut Ashes series! Good on ya' Marcus!
He was under question, and a couple people forgot his abilities and experience. It can get the best Australian cricketer’s through some very rough patches! Marcus is showing his value to our middle order, and as an Australian supporter it is very encouraging to see this!
As for Hads, who has partnered Marcus excellently, he is continuing his run grabbing, and I am sure many are wandering when he will get himself out! Subtle jokes aside, the man is dangerous if given the nod to attack! Don’t be surprised if you forget about Gilly in this Ashes series at the most of times!
He has just made his 50, and it has come in Haddin like fashion, and I am pleased to see Had’s settle so comfortably into the conditions in his first Ashes series!
Still, as well as every single bloke is making an early impact, this is the 1st of 5 intense Test matches, the consistency needs to continue onwards!
I think the writing is on the wall, that the order has been for our batsmen to keep the scoreboard ticking, and when that lead is well and truely putting England against a draw or loss, we will be taking the field to get the wickets, in a desperate attempt to win the 1st Test!
By the way, Sparrow, you keep waving the flag for us at the game mate!