What can we reasonably expect from the First Test?

by Chris Riordan What are reasonable expectations for this cricket test? If Australia make 500 it is due to the visitors’ popgun attack. Windies get 300, we lack penetration. Tourists always struggle here anyway, which is why Sth Africa was such a jolt recently, as was Australia’s retaliation on their soil. Aussie supporters, despite noble [Read more]

Fifth Test: A good night spoiled as Punter’s exit sums up series

by John Harms I’m feeling really ripped off. About the cricket. Even more ripped off than I felt in 1975 when those activists dug up the pitch at Headingley and McCosker and Walters didn’t get the chance to chase the huge total England had set for them. They would have got `em. My 13-year-old mind [Read more]

Cricket: No need to panic; Australians just need to take block and start again

In an age in which media inquisitions are compulsory and reflexive, the loss of the Ashes will inevitably prompt a torrent of opinion on the source of failure, closely aligned with a rousing chorus of “What is to be done?” In this environment I am (perhaps unwisely) tempted to add some thoughts to the hubbub.

Fifth Test, Day 3: There you have it — all preconceptions blown out the window

It’s a sad reflection of my life that I offered to write this Saturday night for the cricket report.  The once youthful, bundle of energy that I was has fallen the ways of the domestic silent majority and was happily watching SBS (not the usual late night programs) through the night to see if Australia [Read more]

Fifth Test, Day 4: We’ve been stitched up

The denouement to this topsy-turvy and at times indecipherable series came at 5.48 pm on Day 4 with the dismissal of Mike Hussey for 121. Australia were bowled all out for 348 and lost the deciding fifth Test by 197 runs. England’s crew of battlers and journeymen (Strauss and Flintoff excluded) prevailed 2-1 to regain [Read more]

Fifth Test, Day 3: We’re in Big Trouble

Australia went into the third day of the Fifth Test looking down the barrel. The Poms, who cling to the weapon that can blow us away, are as surprised as anybody that they indeed hold the upper hand. As the third day begins England is 3/58 with a 230-run lead. Before this Test got under [Read more]

Cricket: My top five memories of the 1997 Ashes series

In a moment of melancholia over the recent fortunes of the Aussie XI, nostalgic reminiscences of the 1997 Ashes series have offered some solace. So, in the spirit of Hornby, I list my top five moments from the 1997 Ashes series.

Cricket: Twenty20 might just save Test cricket

Some of us fear that Twenty20 cricket might kill Test cricket. It will almost certainly kill 50-over cricket, and there is a plausible argument that it will get Tests as well. But while the last rites of ODIs are probably inevitable, twenty20 cricket might just save Test matches – and only Australia and England have [Read more]

Fifth Test, Day 2: Australia set to fall from perch

By Hamish Townsend All the talk of pitches and selection were put to bed by a spell of line and length by Stuart Broad that saw eight Australian wickets fall in the middle session and may have seen the little red urn returned to English hands with three days to play.

Fifth Test, Day 1: Gasometers and elephants make for intriguing final Test

By Andrew Gigacz The Oval is a ground that always makes me think of the North Melbourne Footy Club. It was the scene of the so-called “Battle of Britain” in 1987 when Donald McDonald, Alistair Clarkson and their North mates “went the knuckle” in the post-season exhibition match against Carlton. Ian Aitken’s jaw is still [Read more]

Cricket: Amid scandal and despair, Stephen Fry finds reason to toast England, Australia and cricket itself

This is an edited version of Stephen Fry’s speech at a dinner for Andrew Strauss at Lords before the second Test … Thank you ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much indeed.  It is an honour to stand before so many cricketing heroes from England and from Australia and at this, my favourite time of [Read more]

Fourth Test, Day 4: RavBop and The Bells: ‘Dead at Leeds’

By Tony Roberts This report on Day 4’s play at Leeds is perforce brief, on account of the match having been already concluded. (Unlike the three days of actual cricket, Monday’s weather in Yorkshire has reverted to type, from Balmy Mediterrannean to Nowth’n Grit i.e. it’s raining most of today – Eric Oldthwaite would be [Read more]

Fourth Test – Day 3: Australia home as all eyes turn to The Oval

by Peter Flynn Australia levelled the five match series one all after wiping The Old Enemy like a dirty backside in the 4th Ashes Test at Headingley. Their innings and 80 run dismantling of a largely shambolic and Flintoffless England represents one of the more extraordinary momentum shifts seen in a recent Ashes series. What [Read more]

Fourth Test, Day 2: Aussies take winning position while I have a wonderful day in the West Stand. Cheers!

Off to the cricket it was for our second day of Test cricket this season. Beautiful train ride from Edinburgh down to Leeds if you overlook the 6am start.  The vibes of Headingley were so obvious as we got close: loads of good spirit, which would have been difficult for those English folk after yesterday; [Read more]

Fourth Test: Australians dominate as ‘Marto’ has eyes only for victory

  By Andrew Gigacz   With Australia one-nil down, and two Tests to play, in preparation for day one at Headingley I asked myself what are the important issues confronting us?   I came up with four. Will it rain? Will Freddy Flintoff be fit enough to play? Will the Aussie selectors finally see the [Read more]

Cricket: It’s Headingley 1981 and I want to be sedated

By Tony Roberts The gloomiest roommate I ever endured was Bernard Disken. At the time we met in September 1983, Bernard was only 23, but he’d already mastered the full Eeyore to an extent that must have made his fellow disciples of the defunct House of York grey with envy.

Third Test, Day 5, Parts 1, 2, 3: Credit to the Australian batsmen. Now about the bowlers …

By Andrew Gigacz It’s a seemingly lost cause for Australia as Day 5 begins: 25 runs behind, 2 wickets down and 28 overs gone, which means it’s going to be Swing O’Clock for the English bowlers as soon as play gets under way. PART 1: TWELVE HOURS BEFORE STUMPS I’m writing this at 3:45 pm, [Read more]

Third Test, Day 4: Painful memories of Hollies Stand flood back on day of Rudilotto

By Peter Flynn After play was delayed by one hour due to a damp outfield, Australia finally dismissed England for 376 and were a precarious 2-88 in reply at stumps on day four. With the prospect of fine weather on day five, England will fancy their chances of going up two up with two Tests [Read more]

Third Test, Day 2: Memories of glorious day at 1975 series get crowded out by tumble of Australian wickets

By Sam Steele I chose to do the “wrap” of this day not because of any sense that this would be a particularly significant day (although more of this later).  Rather I picked it because it was 34 years ago to the day that I attended Day 1 of the Ashes Test at Lords with [Read more]

Third Test, Day 1: Watson’s prospects seems as good as the bream’s in our frypan

By Justin Kruger Some days have a surprise in the tail. It’s the same way with emails. A few days ago I  get 2 emails from John Harms about a possible roster for coverage of the third test. They are clearly the sort of emails that might have attachments. Neither does, and I don’t think too much [Read more]