The Ashes 2015 – Fifth Test Day Three: Siddling into action

After a series full of inconsistent patches, with amazing spells of fearsome pace and swing being followed by dismal displays of wides and erratic deliveries, it is all but refreshing to see the automatic consistency that a quality bowler can bring to the table.

The loss of Ryan Harris has downgraded the quality of not just the Australian cricket team, but also the quality and standard of the whole test series, as the aspect that is missed the most from his departure is his unerring and often boring accuracy.

No matter how tame you found his consistent line and length, using hindsight from our current position will show only a fond recognition of a master of his craft, as the sprayed spells from many an English and Aussie bowler reminding us of just how thrilling an accurate and controlled pace bowler can be.

Now, with a downcast series for Australia coming to a conclusion, a new and rejuvenated prospect has shown us cricketing fans what we have all been craving throughout the rollercoaster ride that has been the series.

A fresh and confidence boosted Siddle has strolled back into the landscape of Australian pace bowling after all but being dismissed because of his docile pace and advancing age. His accuracy and patience could not be respected any more than it is now, as he is finally giving us all the sustenance that we have been craving; accuracy and consistency.

With the final test beginning to fall into the laps of the Australians, Siddle tied up an end with grace, yet grit to open up the wicket tumbling flood. The Poms started the third day teetering on a nasty and uncomfortable 8/107, as all hopes of avoiding the follow on were diminished by a brutal Johnson, who used fieriness and sharp pace to unsettle the last two wickets, with the short wag of the tail ending with a total of 149.

Clarke finally used his captaincy powers to enforce the follow on, as he thrust the new Duke into the hands of Johnson to wrap up a consolation test match victory.

The two Mitches worked in good tandem, keeping the scoring low to allow Siddle to out think a flowing Lyth, removing him for a measly yet pacy 10. Bell arrived and decided to crawl along at snail’s pace with Cook, with a yawn inducing innings from the former ending on just a disappointing 13.

Root came up with the genius idea of slowly edging along as well, with Cook’s marathon being backed up by a careful and cautious Root, who continued the trend of edging to 11 before being deftly sent back to the dressing rooms with an air of disappointment.

With Bairstow putting on a strong partnership with Cook before leaving with much more authority and slightly more dignity, England’s measured approach was still being stunted, as the scoreboard still read a concerning 5/140 after Stokes was dispatched for a quick-fire and entertaining 0.

The end of the day slowly approached, as Buttler and Cook put their own spin on the ‘game of attrition’, with more blocks being accumulated than a record breaking game of Jenga. Even Buttler appeared to be restraining himself, as the resistance of the captain finally ended after 234 long deliveries, with Smith being the unlikely recipient of the wicket.

Cook departed just 15 runs short of a grueling century, as his attitude to blocking surely frustrated even the most biased of English fans.

The departure of Cook all but ended the day’s play, with all of the hard work by the Poms being stunted by that last momentum shifting wicket, as they sat on a meagre 6/203, still miles behind the Aussies follow on target.

Will day four mark the end of the series, or can England use the weather and patient tactics to lengthen the duration of an intriguing series?

Stumps- Day Three
England 149 all out (48.4 overs)
Ali 30
Wood 24
Cook 22

Johnson- 3/21 (8.4)
Lyon- 3/30 (9)

England 6/203 (79 overs)
Cook 85
Buttler 33*
Bairstow 26

Lyon- 2 wickets

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