I thoroughly recommend the regular reader who is not sports minded to skip the next two days. The entries will be all about the battle between England and Australia for the cricket Ashes with a smattering of rugby union and the APT tennis Masters in the O2 Stadium in London. Instead, I recommend those readers to take time to look at some of the very beautiful photographs and videos embedded in the diary. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet cracked how to ensure that they all appear in their own sections as well as in the body of the diary but I will hopefully do so in the near future. Many of these photographs and videos are truly inspirational and make you feel good just by looking at them. So, to the sport.
Yesterday saw the beginning of the much anticipated Ashes cricket series against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane. England had itâ€™s, now almost to be expected, shaky start with Capt Strauss being out third ball. There was a minor recovery to 197 Â for 5 before Â the new young Australian bowler, Siddle, achieved a rare test hat-trick dismissing three of the English team for no score. Siddle went on to take one further wicket giving him a grand total for his debut of six wickets for 54 and leaving England with a rather poor 260 all out.
Australia survived, was left of the day, without losing a wicket and went on, in the early hours of this morning (UK time) getting to 167 for four which was all very encouraging for England. Then Hussey and Haddin put on 307 (Hussey195 and Haddin 136) Once Haddin was caught in the slips off Swann, Australia lost its last five wickets for 31 runs..
England,, in fact, bowled extremely well, particularly Anderson, who was unrewarded. The star of the show was young Finn, who notched up six wickets. Late afternoon, Australia was all out for 481, a lead of 221. England survived the last half hour or so of the day without loss scoring 19 runs but not before Strauss alarmed us all by being appealed lbw on the first ball which fortunately was turned down on review.. It would be Â an escape worthy of Houdini if England managed to achieve a draw which is the best they can hope for. This is all very disappointing as, on their recent performance, England looked as though they had a very good chance of retaining the Ashes by winning, or at least drawing this series. It’s early days yet, and there are four more Test matches in this series to go, but this is not a good start
With a dusting of snow seen through the window it was a good day to closet oneself in the study with the television and watch Wales against New Zealand in the Rugby Union (Wales being beatenÂ comprehensively). In the tennis Â England’s tennis hope Murray (he is actually Scottish) played a fantastic game against the world number one, Rafa Nadal. .
It was probably one of the best matches ever and there was absolutely nothing between the players that but Nadal triumphed in three sets. Tomorrow he will play Federer in the final which again should be a superb match.