The Ashes 2015 – Second Test, Day 1: Australia in Complete Control

A funny thing happened today on the way to Lord’s. I was confronted by thousands of men wearing pseudo Hawthorn ties. The old poo and wee.

Then I ran into Campbell Brown and started talking his latest epic. His cross channel swim. “Mate (a football word) I was terribly disappointed. If we had not been hit with a huge wave we would have made it” he said.

In fact it was his support crew in the boat who were in more trouble than the Ancient Mariner. James, his support crew Manager said” the waves were unbelievable and I think I was sea sick for most of the aborted trip. Campbell did a fantastic job and we were unlucky.”

Today 7 boats have left Calais and they have all made it to Dover.  Campbell Brown was a bit stiff.

As expected the teams where predictable. Mitch Marsh and Peter Neville for Haddin and Watson. England no change.

Was it a good toss to win?  Only time will tell.  Both Anderson and Broad where probably getting to much swing early on the day. Both openers look comfortable playing the ball late.Rogers in particular was in good touch with some beautifully struck fours.  He should be in good touch he probably knows this ground better than anyone playing.

From the space ship it is easy to understand why the real estate in St.John’s Wood Road is the “top” banana” in London.  One group of flats contiguous to the ground is presently building up to get the prestige view.

One unfortunate part of the space box is the sound system. The sound of ball hitting bat comes across like chopping wood.  Just not cricket MCC. Why do we need a microphone behind the wicket anyway?

To the left of the press box the bank of yellow hats look ridiculous. Reminds me of a field of daisies.  Remember when we joined them together as a daisy chain as young kids. Wonder if it is part of the Tour that they must wear the uniform cap?  Very primary school.

Warner moves into full stride and he is imperious against Wood in particular.

No sooner said than Warner (38) is out charging at Moeen and Anderson takes an easy catch 1/78.  Already in the series we have seen the Australian batsmen getting themselves out far too often.

It’s fine to go on the attack but indiscretion – NO!  Arrogance according to the commentators. Another innings cut short in the thirties.

England’s bowlers all of a sudden start to bowl a better line as Smith and Rogers consolidate in the period before lunch.

At lunch Australia 1/104.  Went for the compulsory walk around the ground at lunch time. Could not believe the number of people who walked clockwise.  In Melbourne along with our horses we always walk anti-clockwise.

I’m positive it must be a Hawthorn home game. The number of those poo and wee ties choking men’s necks dominate the bonbomerie of the gentlemen.  It’s a day for dress ups..

Smith & Rogers are now playing some hot s hots. Just  like the weather we have been waiting for. The lack of pace in the wicket is not helping the bowler’s one iota.

By 2.30pm Root and Ali are on together and many members have still not returned to their seats. Both batsmen were very circumspect but punished the loose ball. They look to be in complete control.

Half way through the day and the visitors are 1/151 and in complete control.

The Poms continue to bowl wide of the off stump and the batsmen, more composed than they were in Wales, continually leave the balls alone.

Smith reached his slowest 50 for the year. After Cardiff it was easy to see that the lessons had been learned by the batsmen except Warner. It has taken him 111 balls with six fours. No sooner written than Smith is dropped by Bell of Stokes.  Things going Australia’s way this test.

It’s nearly tea time and at last every seat is full.  It must have been hard yakka out the back (a) getting something to eat (b) finding a spot to eat the food.  Nothing as grand as seats like the Adelaide Oval. Need a bit of grass for your arse.

Cook brings on Lyth for the last over before tea.  No action 1/191  Rogers (81) and Smith (62) The Aussies grinding the Poms into the ground.

Oh, oh Rogers (87) is starting to dither and dather as he approaches his century. I’ll back Smith to get there first.  For a man who has made 72 first class centuries with many on this ground he is very jittery.

Eat your heart out Tom Waterhouse – show me the money!  A lovely pull shout brings up Smith’s 100 ( 9 4’s and 1 six) a very controlled knock from the Australian vice-captain.

Rogers hits a splendid straight drive of Anderson to reach a great century with 17 fours of 209 balls.

What’s with Jimmy Anderson? He must not be fit given the short spells he is bowling.

The two batsmen are now completely dominating and at drinks Smith (109) and Rogers (131) have given Australia a Royal Flush and I suggest cannot be beaten from here. 1/289.  Splendid and committed batting by both.

The periscopes go up just as the new ball is due. The day has become duller and Cook’s dilemma now is whether he takes the new ball or not. Reminds of the attempt in Adelaide with their periscopes so we could still see the hills in the distance.  They came tumbling down unlike the Australian batsmen who continue along their merry way. The lights look like egg-beaters.

Rogers reached his 150 with a late cut. A splendid innings without a chance. 269 balls. 357 minutes and 24 4’s.

It has been a wonderful comeback by Australia from their insipid performance in Cardiff. Rogers and Smith’s batting has been of the highest order

Rogers  158 and Smith 129 have left no prisoners.  Australia 1/337

Boquets to the two Australians and brickbats to the ECB and the curator for preparing such a docile pitch. They may have prepared it to counteract the Australian bowlers but the batsmen have had a picnic.  The chickens have come home to roost.

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.


  1. John Butler says

    Onya Bob.

    After all the talk about Starc’s fitness, it was Anderson who looked ginger. Meanwhile, Starc has a couple of extra days rehab. Fortunes turn quickly.

    But it will be a job to take 20 wickets on that particular piece of tarmac.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Citrus Bob yes a day which could have changed dramatically 3rd ball,can we take 20 wickets on a shocking flat boring deck

  3. Comprehensive as always CB. Poor sound system in the space station/press box? My heart goes out to you.
    Draw $1.05? Yawn.

  4. E.regnans says

    How do you see the wickets, CB?
    Who’s the joker in the pack?

    Great to read of your observations from the ground once again.

  5. Bob Utber says

    The wicket is atrocious.
    My joker in the pack is SPD. I reckon he can turn the game with the Duke. Pardon the pun
    Sorry PEter B about sound system. Watch the golf as well while having lunch.
    Anderson should not be playing but they are short of his type. Any suggestions?

  6. Kevan Carroll says

    Bob – if your poo is red you need to seek medical attention immediately. As for Hawthorn’s colors (brown and gold, not red and yellow) being poo and pee – seriously, is that the best non-Hawk Almanac writers can come up with…? And – it is hardly surprising for MCC members to wear the club tie to a Test. I believe there are hundreds and hundreds of red white and blue ties at the Boxing day Test…K.I.Carroll

  7. Bob Utber says

    K Carroll
    If you are looking from a distance the MCC colours look ( let me be precise) look brown and gold. I guess they wear them to the Test because you wouldn’t,t wear them anywhere else.
    Your point that there are ” hundreds and hundreds of red,white and blue” is questionable. I wll wager there are not hundreds and hundreds. I think Australians have given the tie the flick

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