Fifth Test – Day 4: Rain

England v Australia. Fifth Test at The Oval, Day 4.

Australia: 9(dec)/492. England 4/247.


“Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun,

If the sun don’t come you get your tan from standing in the English rain.”

The Beatles “I Am The Walrus”.


“If the rain comes, they run and hide their heads,

They might as well be dead.

If the rain comes, if the rain comes.”

The Beatles “Rain”.


The incessant rain on day 4 was depressing. There is no other word for it. At 9-30pm, when I switched channels to watch the Fulham v Arsenal match and saw that it was absolutely teeming down at Craven Cottage, I knew that it would be an early night for me. For some reason, the rain infuriated me, just like it did on the last day at Old Trafford when Australia was all over England. I could not help myself – I began to think negative thoughts – and came up with ten things about the English team which annoy the hell out of me (and without even mentioning KP!).

1. Alastair Cook’s negative captaincy. From negative field settings to unimaginative bowling changes, Cook is England’s most uninspired skipper in ages. He is fortunate that he leads such a strong team.

2. Time wasting tactics. Stuart Broad having trouble with his boot. Reserve players running out onto the field with drinks after every over. Taking ages to decide whether to review a decision. Dawdling between overs. Complaining about the shape of the ball after ten overs. All, I suspect, straight from the Andy Flower Playbook.

3. Graham Gooch’s 10-day growth. Seriously, dude, 5-o’clock shadows went out when “Miami Vice” was cancelled.

4. Phil Tufnell’s voice. There are plenty of things about Tuffers that annoy me. None more so than that Middlesex baritone.

5. Matt Prior’s appeals. He is getting to the stage where he thinks every ball bowled by Graeme Swann should be a wicket, and appeals or “oohs and ahhs” like he thinks it was. I know the Australian batsmen have struggled against Swann, but every single ball?

6. The Barmy Army Trumpeter. Your bugle has lost its novelty, mate. Once it was slightly amusing, but now it’s just painful to listen to.

7. Floodlights. The irony of these is just laughable. Don’t bother spending millions of pounds installing huge light towers at your grounds, when you continually go off for bad light anyway. With said lights blazing away in the back-ground. At least they help the punters to find the exit.

8. Jerusalem. I understand it being sung at the rugby. But how and why has English cricket been allowed to hijack it? And it gets sung before play every single morning! What’s it all about, Alfie?

9. Graeme Swann’s collar. Sally Field called. She wants her “Flying Nun” outfit back.

10. The rain. Being from Liverpool, the Beatles sure knew plenty about the English weather. The consolation is that Arsenal won 3-1.


About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Great work again Smokie. Big laugh on the Sally Field line.

  2. Spot on Smokie, rain leaves us too much time to lay back and think of England. I reckon the Poms question the shape of the ball every time an Aussie scores a boundary.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Loved the Sally Field line what really posses me off is over rates and it is so easily fixed every over under the 90 ten run penalty would make teams get on with it and they will bowl 90 Penalty would never be needed Geez I wish there was a Jeff Thompson to unleash on the Pomms back here !

  4. Ken Richards says

    Nice list Smokie. But I thing you did mention KP ((by mentioning that you’d not mentioned him). He must be #0 on any list.
    Malcolm, re over rates, everyone has given up on this – we now accept that fewer that 90 overs will be bowled in 6 and a half hours.
    My solution is like yours. Teams must have bowled 90 legal deliveries between each break (drinks, lunch & tea). Every delivery short of the required 90 will be bowled after the break, will accrue a one run penalty, and be a free hit (out only if run out).
    Then teams can start to bowl the next 90 deliveries and try to catch up. I also do not think there’d be many times the actual penalty would be applied.

  5. Andrew Starkie says

    What, only 10? You can do better than that, Smoke.

    Great Test cricket this morning. All credit to Clarke for bringing test alive. Capt Cook seemed to miss the point in his victory speech. All praise to England, apparently.

    Disappointing 3-0 result, but there were some positives.

  6. Really tiring of Graeme Swann’s “aren’t I a bit all of the left-of-centre humurous one”. No. No. And, no. You’re as humourless and vapid as the rest of them.


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