The Ashes 2015 – First Test, Day 1: No more pasties, plenty of pies

DAY 1 AT SOPHIA GARDENS

A fine opening day to the 2015 Ashes series saw the home team finish on top. The only downer on the day was the late arrival of the Cornish Pasties for lunch

Back to the cricket

It was obvious from the start that the Lions where going to attack and they did with captain Cook looking in fine touch right from the start. Not so Messrs Lyth (6) and Bell (1)

 

Cook (20) tried his aggression on Lyon and was neatly taken by Haddin. At 3/43 Australia was playing confidently, although the length and direction of their trio of quicks was deplorable.

 

Joe Root, the man who plays much like Derek Randall of old came to the rescue along with a defiant Gary Ballance. Ballance who moves across his wicket before the bowler delivers was sound but treated the bad deliveries with disdain. At the other end of the pitch Root treated them all with disdain.

He was particularly ruthless on the fast bowlers who kept bowling short and wide. His cover driving and hooking were a joy to behold. Here was a young player taking the game to the brash Australians and demolishing them with panache.

England through Root and Ballance batted beautifully through the second stanza and did not lose a wicket with the batsmen taking the score to 196 for 3 at tea.

As usual the break took a wicket and Ballance (61) was plumb to Hazlewood. Shortly afterwards Root reached his century with another four. There were 14 of them as he blundered the Aussies to all corners of the ground. Where was Harris when we needed him to steady the ship and survive the cannon balls being fired by Root?

As expected Sauce Stokes was given the treatment but like his team mates he counter-attacked in style despite skying a six over the keeper. Johnson was out of sorts and bowled like a man on the edge and he never troubled the batsmen through the day much to the delight of the parochial crowd. Mark my words this could be his last test or near to last.

I like Root. There is something about him that reminds me of every mother’s son. He looks awkward at times but when he stands tall and drives me of a Matt Suckling shot at goal. The ball goes like a shot.

It came as a surprise when he tried to force Hazlewood and mistimed for Watson to take him comfortably at slip for 134. At 5/280 the home side had played aggressive attacking cricket and were clearly on top.

Stokes, after a belligerent knock of 52, got a good one from Starc. Probably the best ball of the day. A not so generous send-off from the bowler was not in the best interests of the game. At 6/293 a mini collapse was discussed by many around the ground. It had been England’s Achilles heel in recent times.

It did not happen as Moeen or Ali (what does he prefer to be called?) and Jos Buttler steadied the ship. It came as a surprise when Buttler spooned one to Johnson of Hazlewood just before stumps. At stumps after a fine day of cricket England was 6/343 with Ali looking good on 26

I thought Lyon was the best of the bowlers even though Starc and Hazlewood took multiple wickets. Captain Clarke would be concerned as the attack was far from “attacking”.

Sophia Gardens turned on ordinary day weather wise but the pre-match entertainment (for cricket) was some of the best I have seen. Great singing, a Welsh tradition, and fireworks all brightened a dull start to the day.

When it came to lunch that was a different story. Beers were $9.45; chicken rolls $9.00 and the ubiquitous Cornish pasties $11.76. That’s when the day became sour for many Aussies including me. It was cold and we wanted something hot and naturally we went for the local Cornish pasties. Upon getting to the head of the queue we were told cheerfully that the pasties had run out! With Captain Jack Sparrow as the company’s logo we should have known better.

Run out! On a cold summer’s day in Cardiff they had run out. Told to wait 10 minutes Diane and Karl from WA and Denise from the beautifully named SA town of Nuriootpa and yours truly decided we would wait the 10 minutes. The 10 minutes became half an hour and then 45 minutes but the wait was worth it. Not so much for the pasties but what we talked about and naturally that turned to footy. Strange when you are overseas in our winter the main topic of conversation inevitably turns to the AFL.

Let’s face it what else is there.

If the cricket remains like today sans food then we can look forward to a great Test Match. With or without the Cornish Pasties.

Talking of Cornish Pasties I found one named PJ Flynn without sauce. Fortunately that was before the day’s play commenced.

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.

Leave a Comment

*