13 July 2009

All to play for

I wonder how many people across the land were, as I was, pacing around their living rooms as James Anderson and Monty Panesar defied the Australian bowlers for what seemed like hours!

When Pietersen's wicket fell at the start of the final day, I was predicting the collapse of England's middle order, and a victory lap for Ponting's men. Thanks to Paul Collingwood, this wasn't to be! His amazing innings (74 runs from 245 balls) gave the lower order some hope that they could resist the Aussies, and James Anderson proved again that he is no mug with the bat (21 not out from 53 balls)!

All in all, it was a shocking performance by England. They came out to bowl thinking that 435 was a good score, but not one of the top-order batsmen exerted any authority on what seems to have been a good batting wicket (look at the Australian batting stats).

Having said that, I feel we deserved the draw, which has set up the rest of the series beautifully.

I'll make no comment on the 'timewasting' tactics, apart from that it reminds me of the use (by England) of substitute fielders in the 2005 Ashes.

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