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The Ashes

What a first day of the first test.

Seriously I don't think anyone would have imagined Stokes would declare on the first day after England had made 393 for 8. During the dya most commentators felt England needed to get well in the 400's but once again Stokes & Baz shock us with their decision.



  • The only thing I don't understand is in that spot, why not go full kamikaze for a couple more overs if you are near declaring anyway? England had just walloped 20 off an over! Do that again, even over 2 overs, and you are at 413 instead of 393, with still time to put the Aussies in that little awkward spot.

  • Tbf he has done loads of things over the last year that have had me wondering why, but seeing as they have won 11 out of 13 tests I'm starting to think I'm just going to trust him to do whatever he wants as it seems to work out more than not.

  • I'm a badly lapsed cricket fan and even I managed to watch an hour of play today

  • Got tickets for Sunday, hopefully the game will last that long!

  • Pretty sure it will when the Aussies are 350-2 tomorrow evening

  • Fair point - I just think we are playing the Test Champions, the big daddy of them all, whereas most of the other tests were weaker sides (India are more or less at the Aussie level).

    I'll happily eat my hat when we win within four days, though!

  • Hopefully it’ll turn out ok.

    The way Root was batting and Robinson was supporting, it feels we could have missed out on 50-100 runs for the sake of trying to take 1 wicket.

  • Getting two out was a bonus.

    Dismiss Khawaja early tomorrow and England could be batting again before tea. A fourth day is guaranteed and it might be one of those Test Matches where there is enough to play for on Tuesday for £20 or whatever. But I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

    The weather could still play a part.

  • Absurd to have a jobbing wicket keeper in a series like this.

  • YJB 78 in the first innings was brilliant but two regulation chances at this level missed and it’s probably cost us 80+ runs now.

    Broads dismissal of Kawaja the following over after Bairstow second howler could be a big turning point in the match.

  • edited June 2023

    If only Broad had dismissed Khawaja ! But I know what you mean, I think. Not sure if B-road was the main guilty party but 13 no-balls is obviously too many. The Aussies only bowled three.

    To be fair to Bairstow, I don’t recall him committing too many howlers in previous matches but Foakes is clearly a superior ‘keeper. At the end of the day, though, I suppose Bairstow’s ability to score a lot of runs very quickly must have swung it in his favour.

  • I'll see you there @Lloyd2084 hopefully the storms & showers will stay away!

  • Just setting off. Trains are knackered so having to drive unfortunately.

  • Mentally/psychologically this England side are fine. Great combination of youth and experience. But physically there is far too much vulnerability.

    Stokes’ left knee, Moeen’s spinning finger, Bairstow’s fallibility behind the stumps and two fast bowlers not exactly in the first flush of youth. Can’t really afford to have virtually half the side being vulnerable.

    Lack of recent first class, let alone Test Match, experience is also a major factor but that probably applies equally to Australia.

    Fingers crossed that my concern proves unfounded.

  • Australian commentator sounding disturbingly upbeat!

  • I’m really struggling with the NY Times Wordle today and the interminable torrent of pro Australian verbosity is driving me mad!

  • I’m rocking a JP Pittman era black away shirt today and have already had ‘c’mon the Chairboys’ shouted at me.

    Hopefully there aren’t many Derby fans around!

  • There are worrying rumours that Dom Bess may be recalled from the Cricket wilderness. I'm sure the Aussie batsmen will be rubbing their hands at the shed load of full tosses he will float down.

  • edited June 2023

    It's a tricky one, as I think Bairstow should be in the team for his batting but he shouldn't be keeper, which has been proved yesterday and this morning ! The thing is Foakes, who should be keeper can bat, and is a good bat, just not as flamboyant. Not sure who you'd leave out for Bairstow. I don't think it was the right call to bring Ali back into the team, was a bit of a kick in the teeth to the other spinners that have played the last couple of years other than Leach, personally I'd have given the young leg spinner a go. Ali hasn't exactly covered himself in glory either, smashed a couple of 6's and got out early, got a couple of wickets but gone for a load of runs, and now injured, also been fined this morning for breaking the rules

    Also think it was a mistake to leave our one true quick bowler Wood out. Anderson, Broad and Robinson although all really good bowlers are all a bit the same. Mind you the aussies did the same there, was amazed they left Starc out !

  • @micra It was a toughy!

    Wordle 729 5/6






  • edited June 2023

    @HolmerBlue I agree it was a bad choice & even worse message to send in picking Ali. I would have gone with either will Jacks or Rehan Ahmed, as they are the future (hopefully) rather than the past with Ali.

    As for the keeper debate, I would always opt for the best keeper, namely Foakes rather than a batsman who can do the job. The added bonus is Foakes is a decent bat albeit not quite in the swashbuckling mould of Bairstow. Of course you then have the debate about who you drop to accomodate Bairstow but I personally think that is a false premise, if he isnt good enough to oust the current 3 players occupying 3-5 then he doesnt get in. For me he is not an opener & isnt better than Pope, Root or Brook in the way Engalnd have got those 3 playing.

    Thankfully, it is all a little academic as England managed to get the Aussies out for a 7 run lead though if Bairstow had made the regulation catch & stumping that he fluffed we would probably have had a much bigger lead.

  • i got accosted by an admittedly pleasant PNL fan at lunch.

  • Oh me of little faith! Turning the TV off did the trick. Five wickets for ? 48 runs and youth clearly had its say. Well done, Ollie. Hope he didn’t overdo his celebrations.

    Hope the plastic surgeon will work miracles on Moeen’s index finger before tomorrow afternoon, assuming Stokes will declare soon after lunch.

    @bookertease : toughest since tryst apparently. Last time there was a word without a single vowel, perhaps.

    I started with the American word for sea!

    Have tried but unable to copy grid to this box. I managed 4/6 after a total blank with the first guess. At least Raise, a regular starter for me, would only have given me one letter.

  • Yep agree with all of that. The only thing they possibly could do perhaps, if they think any of the next pitches won't spin as much, drop Ali, keep Bairstow in for his batting only and use Root, who I think is a perfectly good spinner and under used as the main spinner ?

  • This wind coming in is getting us in big bother

  • Bugger this, I’m soaked through and heading home.

  • Accosted (albeit pleasantly), both England openers quickly out and soaked to the skin. Brief joy with the Aussie collapse totally dashed. An altogether unforgettable day. Hope you arrived home safely and will be able to watch some of today’s play in comfort.

    The only comparable experience I’ve had in a sporting context was that biblical scale thunderstorm at Fratton Park about a decade ago. Pitch flooded, match abandoned at half time and soaked to the skin (including feet) walking anti-clockwise (instead of clockwise, the much shorter route) through torrential rain back to the coach. A night to remember!

  • edited June 2023

    That Fratton Park rain dwarfed anything I’ve seen on my various travels. It really was something else.

  • Evidently a strong Chairboy presence there yesterday as I was also in attendance with another, accompanied by fans of Brighton, Leicester Middlesbrough and Newcastle! The rain allowed us time to compare notes on seasons of contrasting fortunes...

    Big morning coming up. We can't win the test this morning, but we can potentially lose it. Fingers crossed these two can dig in for the majority if not all of the opening session.

    I understand and agree with bringing Mo back for this series in the circumstances. Rehan is the only other fully fit option (which obviously Mo no longer is) and he is extremely young and inexperienced. The Aussies will attack whichever spinner we select, so I think experience is absolutely key. I'm annoyed we didn't pick Foakes, it felt very clear that we would end up regretting that through missed chances. Fair play, the Labuschagne catch was outstanding and he did some other tidy work, but the stumping and the two nicks were regulation at the highest level. I'd be more than happy to give Jonny opening duties myself, probably for Crawley. However, this may not be the series for Duckett, so I wouldn't mind us going that way either.

  • If we can just bat sensibly for an hour and get to 270ish...

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