Second Test, Day 5 – England v India: Burgestede burston

“Burgstede burston” I learned today means “the stonghold burst” in the language of Anglo-Saxon times.

Dear, oh dear.

Last night we watched the highlights of Day 4 from Lord’s “On Demand” here in Portsmouth.

It was all set up at stumps.

England 4/105 overnight, chasing 310 to win. Root and Moeen not out.

Fourth innings run chases are notoriously difficult, and so it proved today.

We considered catching trains to St. John’s Wood this morning, but opted for a walk around historic Winchester instead.

Good call.

Root and Moeen dealt comfortably and without aggression with the predominatly spin attack employed by MS Dhoni before lunch.

It was a meandering tourist pedestrian of a first session, as mirrored by our calling into the Winchester playground before setting up the High Street.

Immediately before lunch, the pace bowling change brought on by MS Dhoni did the trick.

Ishant Sharma bounced Moeen who fended, ducking his head and taking his eyes from the ball, coughing it up to short leg.

Moeen c Pujara b Ishant 39 (Eng 173-5)

An unedifying dismissal.

Root 52*

As the players took lunch we cashed in on a Boots meal deal under the shade in the grounds of Winchester cathedral.

It was hot.

Not fry-an-egg-on-the-paint-tin hot. More suffocate in your airless slow-cooker hot.

St. George’s Cross fluttering against the blue sky. Was the English past brighter than its future?

After lunch, we took in Winchester Anglo-Saxon history, the Romans, King Alfred, sanitation.

In 1066, Winchester surrendered without fight to the forces of William the Conqueror.

Also after lunch, England played Winchester to India’s William the Conqueror.

Inconceivably, irresponsibly, caught attempting to whack a boundary, were:

Prior c Vijay b Ishant 12 (Eng 198-6)

Stokes c Pujara b Ishant 0 (Eng 201-7)

Root c Binny b Ishant 66 (Eng 201-8)

Bounced out was

Broad c Dhoni b Ishant 8 (Eng 216-9)

And then

Anderson run out 2 (Eng 223 all out)

India win by 95 runs and now lead the series 0-1.

Man of the match Ishant Sharma’s second innings figures an astonishing: 23-6-74-7

Well bowled him. And well captained MS Dhoni.

Well played India, in fact, to win away from home after being sent in on a green-top.

But what on Earth were the England tactics today?

Talk of A Cook’s immediate future is loud.

The third Test begins this week, just down the road in Southampton.

In a woeful piece of holiday scheduling, we’ll be heading to London for a few days on Wednesday.

Ahh, well.

I’d much rather see centuries-old ruins of English pride than those of this very week.

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a hydrologist, climate reporter and writer of fiction & observational stories. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    OBP The England’s team collapse has been remarkable from beating India in India
    ( something we always struggle doing ) yes the ashes series in the old dart scoreline flattered them but still a reasonably convincing win , to the complete collapse here in what was obviously a unhappy dressing room . Trott , Swan and then the sacking of
    Pieterson . With Cooks captaincy tactically incompetent , Priors keeping and game overall unravelling and now from all reports in this test match that who ever won the toss should win the game ending up with the majority of the pomms trying to copy
    Andrew Hilditsc has there ever been such a free fall in any team ? Thanks OBP

  2. Lovely touches, as always DW. I particularly like the description of the English heat. I was always baffled as to why I was stuffed when it was 28 degrees.
    Your piece made me reflect that in the standard mundanity of our daily lives sport is an exciting escape.
    When there are so many different experiences crowding in, it is background noise.
    Go well.

  3. E.regnans says

    Thanks OBP. I think the next game starts Sunday. Could be a few changes made to the home team.

    Thanks PB. Yep, I agree that the watching of sport plays a role easily usurped when times are tough/ weird/ otherwise exciting. Top level sport as entertainment is background noise to many (all of the time). And others of us take our social bearings from the movements of those stars.
    All forms of entertainment are in competition with each other, to some extent.
    “What do you want to watch tonight?”

    Prioritising Winchester and King Alfred over Lord’s and Ishant Sharma was easy and is an example of decisions made every day/night.
    Worth the AFL thinking about what differentiates their “product”, as they risk becoming “just another option”.

    I reckon the playing of sport is very different.

  4. matt watson says

    Pietersen must be giggling…

  5. E.regnans- excellent work; Boots do a good lunch as do M&S. I urge you to sample one. Cook must be, er, cooked as a captain. He seems to be out of imagination and all strategic insight.

    Ah, English summer afternoons.

  6. E.regnans says

    Yep Matt – you may be right. I wonder what the direction of English cricket will be?

    Mickey – cheers.
    The text from which that heading comes was an Anglo-Saxon poem known as “The Ruin.” Part of it appeared on the wall of the Winchester museum:

    Wrætlic is þes wealstan; wyrde gebræcon,
    burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.
    Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
    hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,
    scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedorene,
    Aeldo undereotone.

    Well-wrought this wall: Wierds broke it.
    The stronghold burst…
    Snapped rooftrees, towers fallen,
    the work of the Giants, the stonesmiths,
    Rime scoureth gatetowers
    rime on mortar.
    Shattered the showershields, roofs ruined,
    age under-ate them.

    Ahh, language.

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