07 January 2007

The most worthless paper in the Southern Hemisphere

The main purpose of our trip to Melbourne was to go to Day Four of the Fourth Test of the Ashes Series. I have been looking forward to this since we bought the tickets last June. I watched the first three tests with great interest and anticipation, and Heather was actually disappointed when Australia took a 3-0 lead after the Third Test, hoping we would see the clincher in Melbourne. We made our plans for Day Four: I would go to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia's Yankee Stadium) in the morning for the start, and Heather would meet me there later in the afternoon to watch the last few hours.
England batted first on Day One, and were all out for 159 by the end of the day. Australia began their first innings late in the afternoon, then batted all Day Two, ending that day 7/372. That evening, I was grateful we had tickets for Day Four and not Day Five, because it was looking like there wouldn't be a Day Five. I have my mobile set up to receive text message updates of the series, including each wicket fall. As Day Three began, I got three early buzzes, telling me that Australia was all out for 419. England began their second innings well, getting 41 runs before their first wicket. Three quick buzzes later, they were 3/49. I told Heather she should probably come to the cricket in the morning, because Day Four was looking like it might end early. She agreed. But my phone wouldn't stop buzzing--England was losing wickets at an alarming rate. By mid afternoon, I had given up hope. England was in total collapse, and each buzz from my mobile was a nail in my Ashes coffin, or urn as it were. A few minutes after the message announcing the ninth wicket, my phone buzzed again. I said, 'that's game,' but was relieved to see it was a message from a friend in Sydney. It read, 'Hope you like Melbourne sans cricket.' A few minutes later, it was over. England was all out for 161, giving Australia the win by an innings and 99 runs. Day Four never happened.
The Fifth Test here in Sydney ended on Friday, a day early, Australia taking another victory, this one by ten wickets. They reclaimed the Ashes, sweeping the series 5-0, the second five test sweep in the series, and first since Australia did it 86 years ago. Total domination by the number one ranked side in the world. But this wasn't a poor English side that opposed them--they are ranked number two. But my unused Day Four ticket is a testament to the vast gap between them.


Heather said...

England 2008 here we come!

Heather said...

sorry - I mean England 2009 here we come!

ECB announced June-July 2009 Ashes venues:
Brit Oval