The Ashes 2015 – Third Test, Day 1: The Poms are Flying

In these current times of Ashes cricket, a subscription to the Australian fan base is all but an opportunity to sign yourself up for a torrent and turbulent ride.

First comes the success, where a golden era of players dominate for a farcical amount of time, with some amazing people never before seen reaching their peaks at the same time.

Next to arrive is the low, as the stars of yesterday are all cleared out and hung up on the shelves to collect dust. Suddenly the mighty occurrences of victory that one takes for granted have been taken away so soon that it hurts bitterly.

Out of the rubble emerges a fightback, as an older generation of players rise from the dust to quench the nation’s thirst for some sweet redemption. With some youngsters pitching in a helpful hand, the veterans that mix with them create an amazing patch of cricket that toys with the elder statesman’s mind into thinking that the wonder generation is back.

Sadly enough, just as the newly poured concrete that is Australian domination is ready to set, a foot stamps in and wrecks the mould, which is what is currently occurring in the 2015 Ashes series.

With Australia looking dominant before the series, an unexpected masterful England pulled off an epic smashing of giant proportions, only for the favoured Aussies to power home in the second test in a rampant manner.

But, unfortunately enough for Australian supporters in these rollercoaster times, the pendulum swings again in the series after the first day of the third test between the two fierce rivals.

No longer is Australia’s dominance from 10 days ago being maintained, as a superb Jimmy Anderson fightback shelved the talk of a rejuvenated Aussie outfit, with the Poms shooting back into surprise calculations.

Under withering grey skies came the change of call for Australia in the toss, with Captain Clarke mixing up his calls for heads or tails in what must be a hindrance for Cook. Oddly enough, the change from heads to tails worked, with the Aussies getting first use of a track that certainly seemed spicier than the previous two decks.

Anderson extracted the spice like a skilled chef from the first over, as he set the tone for a day of swing and edges with a ripper of a first delivery that took off past the side of Rodgers’ bat.

The returning Rodgers then settled down, as no dizzy spells halted his peerless momentum. Nothing perhaps, except for the removal of many a teammate, with Warner falling shortly into the day, courtesy of a right angle bend by Anderson.

From then on, Smith the saviour was expected to yet again pick up his New Balance shovel and dig the Aussies out of a tricky hole, but it didn’t eventuate, as a returned and fresher Finn finding another 10 km’s plus accuracy to stifle the free flowing Australian style.

Soon enough, Finn had claimed the prized double scalp of both Smith and Clarke. Throughout all of this time, Rodgers’ ploughed along like a Sherpa in the Himalayas, as if he was fazed by the avalanche of wickets then it didn’t show, such was the concentration that was on display.

A solid partnership of 43 with Voges was ended by a cheap dismissal to the hands of Anderson, as Voges couldn’t quite decide whether to tickle the swinging Duke or let it fly into the hands of Buttler, as both happened in a sickening collision for Australian fans.

From that point onwards the situation only declined for the Aussies, as the downhill occurrence being marked by the weak and cheap dismissals of Marsh, Nevill and Johnson, with the bottom three bowlers managing to reach double figures in a plucky yet all but useless display of grit.

In that time, the pack on top of Rodgers’ shoulders finally became too much, as he sat down and relinquished his role as the mainstay of the batting line up, such was the enormous English pressure being forced upon him. But, he can’t be blamed, as his half century was full of determination and steadiness.

With only three bowlers being used in the rout of Australia for 136, Lyth and Cook strolled out to enjoy what was expected to be a glorious end of the day’s play, as they had plenty of time to reign in the short tether that was the Aussie first innings total.

The sailing wasn’t too smooth though, as the earlier rain halting play seeming to give the pitch more spice, with some wasabi from an otherwise inconsistent Hazlewood proving too hot for the loose Lyth.

After that point, the wise heads of England got together and plodded onwards, with a steady half century from Bell being backed up by a solid 34 from Cook. Unfortunately for both, their hard work was unravelled in the dying moments of the day by a teasing Lyon, who forced Bell to sky the Duke into the hands of Warner ten overs after removing Cook in a fluky fashion, as the catch by Voges at short leg being collected by a combination of elbows, knees and guts.

But for England, the late departure of Bell didn’t affect proceedings too much, with Root rollicking to a smooth 30 by the end of the day’s play. With the lead of Australia being a measly three, the alarms have yet again been raised by the men from down under, as panic is seeping in to the sinking ship for a second time this series.

We can only hope for Johnson and Rodgers, as well as a cheeky Lyon, to pick up the buckets and throw us out of this situation before we collapse into a sinking heap.

Stumps- Day One
Australia 136 all out (36.4 overs)
Rodgers 52
Voges 16
Anderson 6/47 (14.4)
Finn 2/38 (10)
Broad 2/44 (12)

England 3/133 (29 overs)
Bell 53
Cook 34
Root 30*

Lyon 2/3 (2)

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