The Ashes 2015 – First Test, Day 3: Watto, Wales and Wasted Opportunities

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This was the day. Day 3, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. The stage was beautifully set for an experienced 34 year old to stamp his authority on the game and series. Shane Robert Watson resumed on 29. Uncommonly, all of Australia was behind him.

We were put out of our misery early. Watto LBW for 30 in the second over of the day. There’s no need to describe the manner of his dismissal, or to attach a clip of it. You’ve seen it before. Many times. This was the 28th LBW in Watson’s Test career. 14 of those have come on British soil. Mitch Marsh awaits.

The Australian tail didn’t wag, and the end came quickly. Haddin, another vetran in need of runs, pushed meekly at the new ball and was caught behind for 22. Anderson and Broad swung the new ball appreciably, a good sign for Australia. They’d need it, with a 122 run 1st innings deficit.

The Welsh crowds seem wonderful. Colourful, great singing and full of support for the English team. I’ve always wondered why the Welsh seem happy to align themselves with England for cricket, yet field their own rugby and soccer teams. While Scotland have always gone on their own in regards to cricket. Imagine the crowd support a Welsh team would receive in Sophia Gardens.

Early wickets to Starc and Hazelwood saw England slump to 2/22. A wonderful one-handed diving catch from Clarke to dismiss Lyth made it 3/73. In bad news for the Aussies, the previously out of form Ian Bell regained his touch and put on 97 for the fourth wicket with Joe Root. Both made 60 off 89 balls, both were a joy to watch with their exquisite driving on the off-side. The Australians bowled better on Day 3 than they did in the first innings. 4/170 became 8/245. A missed opportunity early in Stokes’ innings when Starc hit him in the pad. Despite replays showing it would have crashed into the leg stump, barely an apppeal was raised. Haddin has lost his radar, he normally would have appealed long and hard for that. Some good hitting from Wood at the end (32 off 18 balls) nudged the lead over 400. Lyon bowled well for his 4/75, and will continue to be a threat throughout the series against an English team containing so many left-handers. Starc was admirable in his efforts to battle through an ankle injury and must be in doubt for next week’s second Test.

Australia will start Day 4 in pursuit of 412, which would be an Ashes record run chase. While more probable, England have two full days in which to bowl the tourists out. Maybe one final chance for Watto? Could he lead us to a remarkable , record breaking win? Or is that as likely as one day seeing a Welsh Test team…

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. crankypete says

    the Stokes decision was a bad one, then. pineappled, a bit. not much, and we would still be down, but all the 50-50s going against us (except for one for Starc in the first dig.) reminds me of 2013. as does our batting, and their bowling : (

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Luke good summary Knackery management I no it is hard but write ups of each day’s play must go on the site earlier as each day’s play is in some regards a new game thank you

  3. John Butler says

    G’day Luke

    All eyes will be on the Australian response for Lords. Going to be a real test of leadership.

    We’re about to find out a lot.


  4. Peter Flynn says


    Most of the crowd crossed the Severn Bridge.

    A lot of stag parties. Cardiff is a renowned venue for stag and hen shindigs and shenanigans.

    Some Glamorgan members attended.

    Ben Stokes was outside Tiger Tiger at one this morning in relative anonymity.

  5. E.regnans says

    Always enjoy your thoughts, L Reynolds.

    “I’ve always wondered why the Welsh seem happy to align themselves with England for cricket, yet field their own rugby and soccer teams. While Scotland have always gone on their own in regards to cricket.”

    Me too.
    That United Kingdom really is a quirky place full of precedent and exceptions.
    If they’re gong to claim Wales, the team can’t by rights call themselves England, can they?
    Nor play under the cross of St. George. Referral to the match referee?

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