Second Test – Day 2: One hundred and twenty bloody eight!

One Hundred and Twenty Eight.

ONE hundred and twenty eight.

One HUNDRED and twenty eight.

One hundred and TWENTY EIGHT.

One Hundred and twenty eight is quite a high number if you are counting jelly beans. It’s a huge number if you are eating them. It’s also a massive number if you’re counting the stings on your body after disturbing a wasp nest whilst stealing copper pipe from a local building site. It’s a monumental number if you hold your breath for 128 seconds. (Perhaps Shane Watson should try it).

But one hundred and twenty eight can also be considered quite a small number too. For example, it’s a tiny number if you’re counting the money in your bank when the rego on the car is due. It’s a little number if it’s the total number of grapes you can harvest for your wine making enterprise. It’s positively diminutive if you only have 128 screws left over after constructing an IKEA kids’ bed unit. It’s also teensy weensy if it is the total number of runs that your country’s cricket team can accumulate on a fairly benign batting pitch.

That’s all our boys could muster at Lords overnight. One hundred and twenty bloody eight runs.

It’s completely exasperating. I refuse to believe that in this wide, brown land of ours, this land of sweeping plains, that we can’t find a group of grown men who can make more than 128 runs in a cricket inning.

We have much to be proud of in this land of ours. We dragged ourselves up from a rebellious and bedraggled colony in the backside end of the earth, to one of the most modern economies in the world. We battled and defeated the rapacious English squatters (thanks Ned) who stole land from hard working colonists, (aided by corrupt and disturbed Irish police – go figure), we’ve used sheep, of all things, to build prosperity! I mean how clever is that? We have the ingenuity to tame one of the toughest landscapes on the globe and prosper by selling our rich resources to the Chinese (wait until they find out they paid too much – gulp). Is there nothing we can’t do? Well yes. We can’t make more than 128 on a ripper pitch at Lords. Please!

I knew the day was starting badly when Graeme Swann was batting like Graeme Pollock. He was swatting boundaries and chewing gum and looking very bloody smug. Not good. And his batting partner, Stuart Broad, had a very proud look on his face. Very please he was. He was so pleased with himself that he wasn’t looking sulky for once. He was swaggering. There are few more obnoxious things in the world than a swaggering Pom. I can only think of one; two swaggering Poms.

But the Aussies started well in their chase of the English 361 total. Watson looked particularly comfortable until he plonked his big stupid foot down the crease, played across the line, and was given out. Plumb LBW. Again! Could hardly have been more plumb. But what does he do? He challenges the decision! The third umpire was heard giggling as he reviewed the decision. After the review Watson was even more out than the first time. I truly believe that Watson carries more Neanderthal genes than the homo sapien variety.

But all was not lost. Khawaja came to the crease. He’s a beautiful looking cricketer. I noticed as he strode to the wicket after lunch how clean and crisp the collar on his shirt looked. His Mum must have used extra Fabulon when she ironed it last night. It was white and gleaming and flicked up around the neck. He looked like a stock broker doing the deal of a lifetime. All he needs to do now is learn how to bat. Out for 14.

But before Khawaja plopped one to mid-off, Hughes was caught behind for one. Hughes certainly has improved. These days he can hang around for eight balls.

And before Hughes was sent packing Rogers was NOT out but was given out, which, I guess, makes him out. His decision was a howler because the ball was missing leg stump when it pummelled into his pads by the distance between Watson’s ears. But he didn’t review!  So let me get this straight, our tactics are to confuse. Is that it? Let’s review when we shouldn’t and don’t review when we should. Yep, that’ll set the cat amongst the pigeons.

And poor old Michael Clarke. He’s been shuffled that often between coming in at four and five that he must be dizzy. When Broad caught him leg before I bet he went back to the rooms for a Bex and a lie down. He second top scored with 28 (where have I heard 28 before?).

4 for 69 became 5 for 86, 6 for 91 and 7 for 96. Not even Ashton Agar could breathe new life into the Australian corpse. He tried. As did Siddle, Pattinson, and Harris. But the cause was lost. All out. All out for one bloody hundred and twenty bloody eight.

The only glimmer of hope that prevailed at stumps was that the Poms had limped to 3 for 31. And the only smile I could muster was when Alistair Cook got out for 8. Can’t stand him. Perhaps the Poms have a greater sense of theatre than we do. Or maybe they got a threatening phone call from the major sponsors who are insisting that this Test last at least 4 days. Either way, they were almost as bad as the Aussies at throwing away second inning wickets. If we can roll them for less than 100 we would only be chasing about 370 odd to win. The way we are batting we might make 370 by the second inning of the third Test.

Yes the British and South African Lions have us on the ropes. We, collectively as a nation, have kissed the Ashes goodbye. Smack!

About Damian O'Donnell

OK - which is the odd one out: Love the Cats and flannelette shirts, especially in winter. I get on extremely well with red wine. We just seem to hit it off. Love horse racing in Spring. Used to love cricket. Go to Stawell every Easter and contemplate life around the fire. Love water skiing, especially in summer. Love a great oil painting. Will read most things put in front of me. Thought 'The Sorpranos' was the best TV show ever made - by miles. Run an accounting practice in Melbourne's suburbs.

Comments

  1. The Wrap says:

    Dips, where do we go from here? Those To & Froms aren’t that bloody good.

    I can tell you one thing, we’re not going to win back the Ashes with a tem that lists Shane Watson in it. I mean, just how precious is he? And Clarke’s another one. Not sure who we’ve got coming through, but remember how invincible the Windies were? Maybe it’s our turn to fall through the cracks.

    To be honest I only watched the tail of the England innings. That was enough. They looked like they had our measure, and so it proved. I think I dozed off soon after the resumption after lunch. We were looking shaky then, but to collapse the way we did was unthinkable. Dare I say it — un-Australian.

    Let’s see if we can’t turn Lords into the Kokoda Track, Tobruk & Long Tan all rolled into one.

  2. Wrap we could call on K Rudd for inspiration. He’s a Kokoda survivor isn’t he?

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    Great stuff Dips. Yet horribly depressing at the same time. Spot on about Watson’s genes, though I don’t think he could count to 128 and hold his breath at the same time!

  4. Peter Schumacher says:

    Could have been worse;127

  5. Peter Flynn says:

    Great read about a debacle Old Mate.

    128 is 2 to the power of 7.

    We needed to score 2 to the power of 9.

  6. Really funny Mr O’Donnell. Choc full of great lines

  7. Peter_B says:

    Great stuff Dips. Here is my Third Test Team:
    Border (saves on flying someone in – values his wicket)
    Siddle (bit of G&D at the top of the order)
    Lehmann (must be some reason for paying him – obviously not coaching)
    Pattinson (record indicates he is one of best batsmen in the side)]
    Clarke (averages 62 at 5; Nasser Hussein told me 27 times)
    Hughes (Merv not Phil – see Border comment)
    Hartley (got to spend the travel money somewhere. How about a keeper who catches even the half chances, and has a ton in a Shield Final???)
    Cummins (too good for Zimbabwe is a good sign)
    Harris (hope those hammies can hang on a bit longer)
    Ahmed (Fahwaz, Mustaq – whoever is fresh off the boat and can bowl leggies to help KRudd out)
    Agar (must have best bat at 11)
    Good mix of youth and experience; stability and innovation – would give Watto, Usmaaan etc etc a towelling. Our bowlers bat better than our batters bat, so why waste space.

  8. Is there any possibility that we could get a few of the Pond .naturalized before the next test? Watson must be the most self centred git in Australia.

  9. Bloody predictive text! Pond = Poms.

  10. Andrew Starkie says:

    feeling your pain, loving your fury, Dips. Can’t decide which of the Poms shits me the most. Broad, Swann, Anderson, the South Africans, Cook? It’s tough.

  11. Marcus Holt says:

    Very funny read, despite the pain and shame.
    I scoffed when Beefy predicted 10-0 to the Poms. I’m now admiring his prescience.

Leave a Comment

*