ICC World Cup 2015 – Australia v England: a Herschellean drop

Tap. Tap. Tap.

I naturally awaken from my slumber, which is a rare statement to say on a Saturday morning. As I ponder why I wasn’t woken up at the usual 6:30AM, I hear the noise that makes my heart sink. Rain. Oh God, no. Out of all of the days, it has to be on the one day I need it to be perfectly sunny. It’s bucketing down outside, like a huge giant has decided to drop a gigantic bucket of water all over the city of Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs, except the bucket must be bottomless, with the water churning down for a decent amount of time. I try to make my mind off it, but everywhere I venture in my house I can see it out of the corner of my eye. Rain. The time reaches 11:30 and I really start to worry. It can’t rain this afternoon. Not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because it’s World Cup day. Yes, World Cup day; a new public holiday that I have created, whether anybody else knows or not. Today Australia and around 90,000 supporters will meet their fate, and will find out whether Australia really has what it takes.

Even though I wasn’t alive in 1992, the sinking feeling I get from the whole tournament gives me hallucinations, as a repeat effort from that tournament would give me a temptation to never leave my bedroom again. But that’s not on my mind, because the weather is predominant. It reaches 1:00PM and I anxiously peek out the window. It’s clear. My whole body shudders in relief, as I snatch my tickets off of my bed and walk out of the door, Australian top shining in what is now a golden sunlight. That’s the magic of Melbourne; it’s as unpredictable as a part-time spinner. Will the next ball be a full toss or a jaffa? At the moment it’s a full toss, as I jump in the car, where dad drives towards Clifton Hill.

We commence our walk down the streets, past the pub and to Clifton Hill train station, where many people congregate to take the train to Jolimont Station. It’s a half hour drive from home to the station, but we reap the rewards on the way back, as we can negate the packed platform by hopping on any train and not worry about where it goes, because it always goes to Clifton Hill before branching out on to different lines. I pack my suitcase on to the train. The ten minute, five stop journey ends as the train rumbles to a halt at Jolimont. We manage to shuffle our way past a massive crowd outside Gate One, as we get into the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground and take our seats. It’s amazing. The second row from the front, with Michael Clarke, James Faulkner, Xavier Doherty and Patrick Cummins all a few metres to our left, as they are the extras for today’s game. Before long, the shadows reach over us and protect us from the sunshine, as the anthem sends chills down my spine. This has surely got to beat Boxing Day in the Ashes series last summer crowd-wise, as I have never seen so much yellow or heard so much noise in my life. Warner and Finch commence our innings, as the ‘hum’ of the crowd ceases for the first few exchanges. Warner looks in control, getting off the mark comfortably. Here’s Finch. Boy, he looks nervous, as his first ball finds a loose middle ground of playing and leaving. The next ball sees his departure, as he- wait, what? It’s gone straight through his hands! Did Chris Woakes cut out his palms before running out onto the ‘G? It’s not my side to worry about, as I give a cheeky grin to dad and laugh about how hopefully Finch goes on to make a hundred.

After the first few overs the nerves seem to go and the two pocket rockets do their job, as a glorious Finch straight drive is followed by a perfectly executed drive from Warner. The swishes are more frequent than a charms class in Harry Potter, as many balls seem to have been aided by some ‘Wingardium Leviosar’, as they fly over the fielders heads with alarming pace. A fantastic pull shot from Warner off the disliked Broad is followed by silence, before the Barmy Army look up from their beers and realise what has happened. The zing bails lay flashing on the ground, as a gem of a ball from Broad leaves Warner shaking his head. Out comes Watson. His energy is lacklustre compared to the sprightly Warner and Finch, as he trudges onto the ‘G like he is meeting the in-laws after being hounded by an angry boss. The in-laws show obvious dislike towards him, as he trudges off at an even slower pace just a ball later, with a brilliant Broad on a hat-trick. Back comes the sinking feeling, but it is put to rest slightly as the saviour comes out. He has saved us all summer, now is his time to do it again. He treats the hat-trick ball like he should before getting to work. He looks wonderful until a flowing drive deflects the ball back onto his stumps. My heart jumps as high as possible, with the zing bails shocking me before I realise that he has been bowled. Now we are in real trouble. I watch Clarke come off the ground after handing out a drink to Finch. He is laughing with Faulkner. Finch probably wishes that Clarkey could stay out and bat with him, as a little positive energy is needed in this time of crisis. All of the fantastic work done by Finch and Warner at the start is slowly unravelling, as Bailey strides out onto the turf during a pressure situation. He comes out with the prize though, as Finch and Bailey dig in for fifteen overs, before Finch launches and reaches his century not long after the thirty over mark. Bailey starts to flow, as he now knows that he can do no wrong batting-wise. The two batsmen do the job until the score is well past 200, with Finch having 135 to his name. Woakes can now admit to knowing how Herschelle Gibbs feels, as the knock from Finch appears to be match-winning. Bailey departs not long after, as the job is done, with England being cleanly humiliated by two blokes who did nothing in the recent Ashes series. Out comes Maxwell, who does the job extremely well. Marsh and Haddin also finish off proceedings well, as Finn somehow manages to pick up a hat-trick and a five for. His ten overs go for 71 though, as Australia have surely put themselves in a winning position.

I now sit comfortably, as not even the skyrocketing prices of the MCG foods can dampen my spirits. Starc gets a relatively simple wicket early on, as Mitch Marsh comes on and finishes the game with an explosive five wicket haul. Haddin and Smith take some fabulous catches. Little James Taylor comes in and shatters their run rate, collecting five off thirty balls, until he decides to go down in a blaze of glory. It works for him, as he either misses by a metre or connects in the middle of his size six bat. Woakes attempts to make up for his costly 135 run drop, as he hangs around until Johnson makes him trudge off. Broad races out to the middle, eager to avoid more insults, but it still comes when the announcer welcomes him to the crease. He gets even more boo-ing as he walks off, as Starc has made the stumps light up first ball. The win is routine from then on, but it takes a tad longer than expected. We kill them off in interesting but satisfying ways in the end, as Taylor is left two short of a century. Even the terrible scheduling efforts from Metro can’t dampen Australia’s spirits, as we all laugh at how even the Metro workers at Jolimont Station, who can’t work out which line the train is taking, are having a better night than Chris Woakes and his ten friends in the English Cricket Team. The sinking feeling has disappeared.


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Fantastic summary Sean! Would have loved to have been there. Always great to smash the Poms.

  2. Thanks! Yes it was fantastic. Seeing as the win was against England made it so much better!

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