Night Shift Logic: The Ashes Day One, 2013

Posted on July 10, 2013

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So as we’ve come to expect now, the Ashes began today with high drama and thrills and spills and everything else in between. Before the internal dialogue begins, you can definitely have high drama, thrills and indeed spills in cricket. Henry Hawke lookalike Cook won the toss, and as overwhelming favourites for the series his Lions were expected to bat long. As much as I would like to say they didn’t reckon on a hungry young Aussie pace attack, the truth is they didn’t reckon on their own poor shot selection. The Australian bowling was often wayward, often all over the place and infrequently inspired, with Peter Siddle continuing his first Ashes day specials taking 5-50. The whole top 6 all made double figures, but Jonathan Trott top scored with 48. A worrying trend of starts but not much more continues. What will be more worrying is the dramatic collapse, as James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc claimed 4 wickets for 2 runs in the space of 3 overs. England were shot out for 215, and what do we have here? Writing the Aussies off has always been a fools game.

After 38 balls of the Australian innings however, the crows were back in full voice. Steve Finn removed Shane Watson and Ed Cowan in successive balls, before Jimmy Anderson produced the definition of unplayable to disrupt the stumps of Michael Clarke and the hopes of an entire nation. 6 overs gone, 22-3. This became 53-4 when Chris Rodgers, playing his 2nd test after a 5 year gap, had his stoic resistance ended by King Jimmy. 37 balls might not seem stoic, but in this context it was downright curmudgeonly. The counter attack was provided by Steve Smith, who was either making it look easy or making smash and grab look easy. With Phil Hughes joining him, previously considered a walking wicket, Australia will face day 2 with trepidation, but I’m pretty sure that word doesn’t exist in the country. Heck, I’m facing day 2 with trepidation. Roll on.

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