24 November 2013

The Ashes: 1st Test, day 4 - victory to Australia


Australia 1st innings: 295 all out from 97.1 overs
Brad Haddin 94, David Warner 49
Stuart Broad 6-81

England 1st innings:
136 all out from 52.4 overs
Michael Carberry 40
Mitchell Johnson 4-61, Ryan Harris 3-28, Nathan Lyon 2-17

Australia 2nd innings:
7/401 dec. from 94 overs
David Warner 124, Michael Clarke 113, Brad Haddin 53, Mitchell Johnson 39*
Chris Tremlett 3-69

England 2nd innings:
179 all out from 81.1 overs
Alastair Cook 65, Joe Root 26*
Mitchell Johnson 5-42, Nathan Lyon 2-46, Ryan Harris 2-49

Result: 381 run victory to Australia (1-0)

Day 1 report, day 2 report, day 3 report.

The rain came down over the Gabbatoir and washed away enough play to frustrate us. However, with patience, frustration, amusement, good fight and lots of positive weather reports from my Brisbane Baggy Green fanatics (playing weathermen) we bagged the final two wickets after some English resistance. Plenty of tension out there at the end with James Anderson in the middle of it all, but we have a Test victory, our first since January and we have taken the opening Ashes Test. 1-0 to Australia. YES!

The man of the match award has been a hard tag to hand out, but despite Nathan Lyon's beautiful spells of spin bowling, Michal Clarke's scintillating century and tactical delivery for his troops, and David Warner's emotional ton, it was a toss up between Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson.

Hads was playing his 50th Test (a proud achievement given his challenges in recent years on and off the field) and scored two half-centuries, the first being a dog fighting effort from him to pull us out of turmoil and then his keeping standards were first class. He pushed the troops forward with high energy.

Meanwhile, Mitch was playing his return match for the Baggy Greens against a side he's had a troublesome time against. He's taken a long time to get into the previous contests and he's endured some disgusting criticism. Yet, he is already in this contest, made a frightening impact and delivered a spell of bowling during England's first innings which lead to their almighty collapse for 136 runs. He initiated it with scary speed and a cocky attitude, while his batting in the first dig with Brad Haddin set in motion a confident return, that confidence which makes him a deadly cricketer on his day. He also played a key role in the collapses England endured. In the second innings he was asked to try his best and he gave his best with some huge wickets. I think the write up between Hads and Mitch alone shows it was Mighty Mitch who just edged ahead to take the award. It was fitting he had a caught and bowled to end the match.

He took 9 wickets for the match, as well as 103 runs combining both his innings.

Despite England's efforts to keep us at bay, essentially it was the rain that caused the frustration more so than their defense. It did give our bowlers chance to re-energise though.

Mitchell Johnson's explosive spells have been a telling tale, but more so Michael Clarke's tactical execution for his men. The bowlers have bowled to the required line and lengths, while Clarke has ensured his fieldsmen were in their rightful places to capitalise upon England's mental short circuits. The removal of Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior were the perfect examples, one for both Lyon and Johnson.

There's still a lot of cricket ahead. We all know how Mitchell is "fragile" come his confidence, but coupled with his batting he is reminding everyone of the 2008/09 run, while Nathan Lyon has just delivered the goods for his team. He's had enough time to understand what is required and the analysis provided by Shane Warne come his bowling has been insightful.

Nathan would have sunk a bit after blundering a run out chance by smacking his elbow onto the stumps for what would have probably been a direct hit thrown from David Warner in any case, but fortunately we wrapped it up this evening. Tension.

England will feel the heat after this and mentally it will hit the camp hard. Our boys came hard at them, far more so than even I anticipated but I am going to enjoy this victorious feeling, the positive emotions this Test and the eagerly awaited home Ashes series where we have taken first blood. Above all, the team has set high standards and the brotherhood out there has been gripping, as well as the aggressive attitudes we've missed.

Our first win in 10 Tests, our first Ashes win in 8 Tests. It was also England's sixth heaviest defeat in terms of runs. Another four games to go with conditions that will better suit England in some cases, otherwise playing into our advantage. Hard cricket ahead, tough challenges ahead but I am going to soak up this one.

To quote Michael Clarke's closing words at the post match presentation, "Fantastic start, there were some fantastic individual perfofmances, Mitchell Johnson in particular. The Brisbane crowd have been great, all the boys are grateful and I really hope this bodes well for the summer. England will come back, it's only one Test but I'm really pleased. We didn't start too well with the bat but credit to the boys for coming back. England have shown they are a quality team and we have to do it again in the next match."

Bring on Adelaide where all involved at The Baggy Green Blog in some way over the last six years will unite.

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Sylvester said...

Been awhile since we have seen hostile bowling like that. Hope Starc can follow his lead now.

Anonymous said...

Nice write-up Ian. What a thrilling end to the match, fitting that Mitch got a five for. I've stayed up so much these last four days to watch the test and it's been well worth it. Need some sleep badly now!


Ian said...

Thanks Lou and thank you for your dedication in supporting the boys. I know what the sleep deprivation is like so kudos!

Next Test Sylvester, Dan and I will watch a Test together for the first time which will be great. Hoping for a big fight again. The energy will be carried from QLD to SA no doubt.

Anonymous said...

I managed to stay up half the night for day one and then again day three, but having to work all day first caught up with me. I had poor sleep last night, convinced I was going to wake up to a KP double century and only 3 wickets down or something. Thank Nate I was wrong.

Can I ask a question, slightly off topic, because I've only seen this from an England fan so far (and that's saying a lot in itself, being as I llive in England). Was there some nastiness from the Aussie players toward the end of the match today? I'm being told there was an altercation between Cook, Clarke and Bailey or something?

Ian said...

Hi Kirby.

You had good reason to fret. For me I wasn't worried about them getting the runs, but rather the rain and their stickability (to use my father in laws word). However, we rolled em.

Yes, I don't know how it started but the whole day Mitch was pushing for a wicket and had plenty to say to the English batsmen. It didn't look harsh or anything, rather things like "get out already", "you not watching it, watch it".

However, when Anderson was in George Bailey and him were exchanging words with George at short leg. It seemed more amusing as George was laughing, as usual. Umpires broke it up and then Clarkey said something along the lines of "be ready to get your f***in arm broken" to Anderson, who was dishing it out too.

When they got him out Siddle roared a few things at Anderson. Was just some good, heated Ashes cricket. England been dishing it out to us on the winning front, nice we could do so from our side.

There you go, my observations. Now, get a good sleep tonight Kirby

Ian said...

The stump mics picked up a bit

Anonymous said...

George Bailey was grinning the whole time, Jimmy was very narked. I suspect that Clarke and Anderson don't like each other one bit outside the match.

Beggyg said...

That'll do pig.

It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Put to one side the standard sports fan fact that it's a little sad to have my happiness tied up with a bunch of people who have no idea I exist :-), I've been yearning for this day to arrive for about, oh, 3 years... I believe we've passed rock bottom and are well on the way back up now.

Anonymous said...

Fair play to Aussies for winning but do the ignorant twats have to act like brainless morons with regards to mental illness. I am glad I ain't a cricketer out there I think I would have smacked a few Aussie heads with my bat. I understand their ancestors went there in hand cuffs but I didn't realise the brainless genes got passed down.

Ian said...

Beggyg (John I assume), long time man. Judging by the number of Shield centuries it would seem something is beginning to take shape, but as for the Ashes itself, still four Tests to go, but it was a great feeling to win so convincingly!

Anonymous, you have lost me.

Trott's mental illness has not been directly mocked or belittled by our players. Yes, they gave him a hard time on the field but that's cricket mate. You can't handle the heat of verbals and high intensity fast bowling, don't play the game at the elite level and expect it to be a tea party.

As for people in the media mocking Trott's ordeal, it's disgraceful but if anything I question the ECB for allowing him to play this series. One bad Test and he is on his way out. That's a sign of a guy who quickly hit rock bottom and something they should have handled with greater responsibility. Poor from his camp if you ask me. This is touring in Australia, it's not easy going.

Hope that sheds some perspective.