Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It's not over 'til the fat bowler spins

And spin he did yesterday, perhaps for the last time in a Test match in England.

As all Brits and Aussies will have worked out (and probably no-one else), this is a post about cricket, which has always been my favourite sport (probably because it's the only one I was any good at when I was at school). After an epic battle between the two best sides in world cricket (which you can read all about here), England have won the Ashes for the first time in 16 years. The past two months have seen a gripping contest between the long-time champions of Australia, and a resurgent England team who have swept all before them over the past couple of years. And I've spent many long evenings listening to the commentary on TMS. After losing the first Test match to go 0-1 down, England fought back brilliantly to a 2-1 lead (including one of the best test matches ever), and so were left only needing a draw in the final Test. For the past 5 days they have been doing their best to withstand everthing the Aussies could throw at them, and eventually the whole summer rested on the final day's play. Nervously at first, then with increasing confidence and finally with exuberance (Kevin Pietersen's 7 sixes being the most in an innings in any Ashes Test), they weathered the storm and battled to safety and the series win.

Most of the Australian team looked a bit past their best, and their two star bowlers (including the fat spinner featured in the title, Shane Warne) are in the twilight of their careers. England, on the other hand, are young and several of them should have their best years yet to come. It would be foolish to predict a decade of world domination, but they certainly have no-one to fear.

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