Friday, 16 August 2013

2013 Fourth Ashes Test


England v Australia


Fourth Day (12th August 2013)

There was joke which did the rounds a couple of decades or so ago, suggesting there was a whole generation of English schoolchildren who had grown up believing the phrase “England Batting Collapse” was all one word, such was the term’s frequency of use back then.

My, but how things have changed, for I cannot imagine many English capitulations in the past could have even been as comprehensive as that suffered by Australians during the Fourth Day of the Fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street, as they crumpled from (a potentially match-winning) 147-1 to 224 all out.

England had begun Day 4 with a second innings lead of 202, which had marginally increased to 219 before Australia took the first wickets of the day.   

One aspect of cricket which I have noted TV totally fails to get across is the explosive nature of a set a wickets/bails being sent flying by a fast bowler.  I should imagine even hitting such a small target from 22 yards (is it?) is an achievement in itself, but to succeed in doing so past a chap armed with a plank of wood protecting them is impressive indeed.

Australian bowler Ryan Harris achieved two such in succession, seeing off first Ian Bell then Matt Prior; Stuart Broad being mightily relieved to deflect the hat-trick ball to safety.

England were eventually bowled out for 330, setting Australia a, perhaps just possible, target of 299 to win.  The total would have been slightly less had not Steve Smith fluffed an (admittedly tricky) catch, which would have closed off the England innings a few overs earlier.

There was no hiding place subsequently for the baby-faced Aussie, and he was mercilessly hooted each time he got near the ball for the next ten minutes or so.  It must have been agony knowing each additional run England totted-up (around a dozen or so?) was down to his error.

Australian openers Chris Rodgers and David Warner both made a decent fist of chasing down England’s score, but once these two were despatched, so commenced an inexorable lbw parade as the hosts confirmed a series win. 

England v Australia - Fourth Ashes Test 2013 - Chester le Street

The Australians await the outcome of an appeal to the DRS

I think this was Jonathan Bairstow batting.

I think this was Jonathan Bairstow batting.

 
More Bairstow?
  
Facing Ryan Harris' Hat-trick ball, Stuart Broad was relieved to defend his wicket....just 

England v Australia - Fourth Ashes Test 2013 - Chester le Street


Is this perhaps Graeme Swann?
Happy to be corrected on any of my attempts at player ID.

Steve Smith hoping the turf would open up and swallow him up.


Some repairs between innings.

Covers coming on as the heavens open.

Covers coming on as the heavens open.

England expects.............


David Warner (is it?) taking evasive action

England v Australia - Fourth Ashes Test 2013 - Chester le Street

Despite what this may look, this is not a catch
as the ball had been hit down into the ground first.

My never-to-be-used Fifth Day ticket


The Riverside Ground is only the second cricket ground I had ever visited, so when I suggest it compares favourably with The Grange in Edinburgh, I am perhaps not telling you very much. 

But it was an excellent venue.  The Park & Ride system in place was both efficient and sensibly-priced.  The ground looked around 95 % full, so clearly it was large enough to accommodate everyone who wished to attend.  And, whether by accident or design, all the more excitable chaps were corralled into one small area of the ground, so although they provided a relentless background hubbub of noise, they did not impact upon the pleasure of the Normals in the ground.


There were numerous and varied food ‘n’ drink outlets, with perhaps my one criticism being the place could probably have benefited from a few more portaloos scattered around.  A gent in the seats in front of me was away some time collecting two pints of beer, a fact commented upon by his companion.  “It’s not getting the beer that’s the trouble” he replied “It’s the getting rid of it.” 

Quite why "Plastic Snakes may dampen other peoples'
enjoyment of the day was not made clear.

Lumley Castle overlooks Durham CCC Riverside Stadium

England v Australia - Fourth Ashes Test 2013 - Chester le Street

England v Australia - Fourth Ashes Test 2013 - Durham CCC, Chester le Street

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