The Ashes 2015 – Fourth Test, Day 1: One crowded hour (and a half)

Stumps Day 1: Australia 60 (SCJ Broad 8/15) v England 4/274 (JE Root 124*)

“That night, the silence gave birth to a baby
They took it away to her silent dismay
And they raised it to be lady
Now she can’t keep her mouth shut”
– One Crowded Hour, Augie March


– Ahh, here we are.
– Trent Bridge.
– Love this pavilion.
– Robin Hood country.
– No Jimmy Anderson this match.

– Captain Cook has chosen to bowl though.
– And we have MR Marsh dropped for SE Marsh.
– Strengthening the batting?
– Not likely.
–Here’s yer SCJ Broad.
– On his home ground.
– He’s a fine bowler.
– Look at that late swing.
– Beaten.
– Shite.

CJL Rogers c AN Cook b SCJ Broad 0 (1/4, 0.3 overs)

– Terrible start.
– Ahh, you get those.
– Is SPD Smith the man you want at #3?
– He’s a gun.
– Shuffles around a lot.
– We need a big one from him today.
– Shite.

SPD Smith c JE Root b SCJ Broad 6 (2/10, 0.6 overs)

– That’s the first over done.
– So now it’s MA Wood in the absence of JM Anderson.
– Shite.

DA Warner c JC Buttler b MA Wood 0 (3/10, 1.2 overs)


– Three out in the first eight balls.
– All caught behind the wicket.
– Leaving a ball as a skill; it’s gone.
– Like the Thylacine.
– Like half-decent TV commentary.
– And here’s yer captain MJ Clarke, hiding down at #5.
– What’s wrong with leaving the ball?
– Jaysis, another one.
– Ill-discipline is not an excuse.
– Jaysis, SE Marsh.
– SCJ Broad with some tidy figures.

SE Marsh c IR Bell b SCJ Broad 0 (4/15, 2.4 overs)


– Are these blokes actually incapable of leaving the swinging ball?
– Where would you learn a skill like that?
– Oh, say, in Shield cricket.
– Right, or in district cricket.

– Oh, FFS.

AC Voges c BA Stokes b SCJ Broad 1 (5/21, 4.1 overs)

– That’s a brilliant catch.
– And SCJ Broad has been superb.
– Good areas?
– Cut it out.
– Twenty-five balls now, for five wickets.
– Gotta settle this down.
– The cloud will clear, gents.
– Just survive.

– Or… throw your bat ingloriously and irresponsibly at a wide one.
– Oh, FFS.

MJ Clarke c AN Cook b SCJ Broad 10 (6/29, 6.1 overs)


– Jaysis.



– The crying shame of it is that they don’t need to play at these.
– I know it.
– Test match batting is a skill.
– I know it.
– I mean, you need to handle various conditions. Situations.
– Yeah.
– Here you just survive for an hour.
– Don’t throw your bat, then?
– No. And keep your bat alongside your front pad.

– Unbelieveable.
– Shite.

PM Nevill b ST Finn 2 (7/33, 9.2 overs)


– This is one crowded hour.
– This is pretty weak.
– AC Agar and PJ Hughes rescued our first innings here last time.
– Who’s going to step in today?

– Shite.

MA Starc c JE Root b SCJ Broad 1 (8/46, 12.4 overs)


– We’re running out of options.
– FFS.

MG Johnson c JE Root b SCJ Broad 13 (9/47, 12.6 overs)

– Ahh, they’ll never get NM Lyon out.
– Good grief.

– And it’s not even lunch.

NM Lyon c BA Stokes b SCJ Broad 9 (10/60, 18.3 overs)


JR Hazlewood not out 4


SCJ Broad 9.5   5     15   8
MA Wood   3   0    13   1
ST Finn       6   0     21   1

– That’s it. I’m off. Tell me how this ends.
– You sure?
– Bye.

England 4/274 at stumps.
JE Root 124*

One Crowded Hour – Augie March

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. Yvette Wroby says

    Perfect summation as usual

  2. I have nothing Big Dave, just nothing except FFS, shite and Jaysis!

  3. Cat from the Country says

    Love your post but irritating reading all those initials.

  4. Rick Kane says

    Good stuff DW. Not to sound like I’m defending the Aussies unnecessarily but I reckon Broad would have bowled any team out the way he was going. It was his hour. That’s the real story of our sorry effort.

  5. ER – checked my calendar. I can cover day 5 of the Test.

  6. Keiran Croker says

    What Philo said!

    And from an old B Grade opener, whatever happened to getting your front foot and pad to the pitch of the ball and leaving it…. Worst that can happen is lb.

  7. Grant Fraser says

    I think we all know the problem – until there is financial reward in mastering the judicious leave or not pushing at a swinging ball, whilst there remains financial gain in the “bang, whack, whallop” approach to cricket, these arts of Test batting will be memories retreating in the distance and we will be incapable of beating the Poms in a 5 Test series in their conditions. The Ashes will be more akin to tennis and go with serve.

  8. Last night was the first time I can remember being ANGRY about cricket. All those years of lies about “Test Cricket will always be the Apex of our Game, but……………”
    Abbott, Gillard, Goebells, Sutherland, Argus, ICC, IPL, KFCBB, dogshit.
    Behaviour follows incentive.
    Rod Marsh looking like Mick Malthouse in the “coach’s box”. Where was Geoffrey Edelsten.
    How could you leave Mitch Marsh out? His batting technique is shit away from true wickets and benign conditions. But he’s got a half dozen mates in the batting lineup, and he bowled better than Hazelwood and Starc at Edgbaston and he swings the ball. What about picking a team for the conditions?
    Do you have to be over 30 to be considered as a batsman? If anyone calls them batters, I’ll batter him.
    And final disgrace of disgraces – MJ Clarke.
    I’m sitting there willing him on. “Come on Clarkey. Graft a 30 or 40. Lead from the front. Set an example. A hard fought half century will get us to 120 and show your mettle.”
    I spent the rest of my night racking my brains about whether I had ever seen a worse shot by an Australian captain.
    Simpson, Lawry, IM Chappell, GS Chappell, Border, Taylor, S Waugh, Ponting – never, never, never. They all had bad trots, but they never said “this is too hard, I’m out of here”.
    Maybe only KHughes when he was mentally fried by the West Indies quicks. Excusable shell shock.
    Broad, Wood and Finn? Pop gun shock.
    Then to wake up this morning and hear Clarke bleating about the difficult batting conditions. And I think back to Mike Hendrick and Peter Lever and Bob Willis bending the ball at right angles; seaming it like SK Warne spun it; and making it jump off a length. IM Chappell’s sides made 180 in that situation, then hung their heads in disappointment.
    T Bayliss for Australian of the Year. The Australia I remember and value.
    Boof was right. Lords was a hiccup. This was barfing on your shoes and shitting your pants.
    Flogs. The lot of them. Good word that.
    Ch7 and the AFL must be laughing like drains.

  9. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Well played ER
    It was the most enthralling hour of cricket I’ve seen in ages. I didn’t wanna look, yet I couldn’t look away.Is this the consequence of too much IPL ? Decline in England has been steep since 2005. Is it simply a question of technique or a lack of exposure to English conditions?

    Peter B, good to see that you didn’t blame the ‘flogettes’ for that abysmal effort.

  10. No excuses. Head should roll for this disgrace.
    If they treat it as an aberration, I will spew up.

    I have it on very good authority that the atmosphere in the dressing is poisonous.
    I am working with my high-placed contact for him to decide what I can write and
    what I cannot. Stay tuned.

  11. Andrew Starkie says

    Doesn’t matter, Aussies will beat NZ and WI at home and all will be forgiven. Carry on.

  12. Peter Flynn says

    Private emails re poison Old Smoke.

    Where there’s smoke there’s blue cod.

  13. E.regnans says

    As pointed out by Russell Jackson today, IA Healy has form in WAG relations.

  14. Grant Fraser says

    Just saw the footage (pardon the pun) of the MJ Clarke dismissal for the first time. I am unsure if the front metatarsals were 12 or 18 inches away from where they should have been.

  15. Grant Fraser says

    ….even if the shot selection had been correct for the time and place

  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Poor leadership by MJ Clarke to drop himself back down to no.5. As well as playing that shot….
    What a horrible, embarrassing performance by the entire team.

  17. matt watson says

    I was going to watch the first session before going to bed.
    The wickets fell madly. It reminded me of the day Oak Park under 12s were bowled out for 25.
    Highest score 5, from the captain.
    I made one.
    As the calamity progressed, I changed my mind and decided to watch the cricket until our innings ended.
    It reminded me of training, when we’d gather around for slips practice.
    It made me angry. It demoralised me. I was disgusted.
    And when I went to bed, I hoped Johnson would get 7/40 and we’d bowl them out for 120…

  18. bob utber says

    Ahh! How we love to bring the tall poppies down and I plead guilty. I also plead guilty to writing three weeks ago about why are the WAGS on tour with the boys before The Ashes series opened. Sorry IA Healey I got in first.
    Not new though, DG Bradman insisted his wife toured on one occasion. I believe the ACB said “no”. That is what is wrong with our cricket today. The tail is wagging the horse. If Cricket Oz took control of cricket this would not happen. SK Warne (often wrong) is right on this occasion.
    Oh for KR Miller and SG Barnes (love those initials!).
    PDF and JTH what about PMD?

  19. geoff wooly says

    One pearl amongst the swine was the peerless Greg Baum’s “Nearly every batsman was classically squared up, and Steve Smith cubed”

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