Monday, 20 July 2009

Second Ashes Test, Lord's, Day Five

Sports - Cricket- Ashes

My picks of the fifth day:

Andrew Flintoff and Graeme Swann wrapped up the second Ashes test for England just before lunch on the final day to take a 1-0 lead in the series and end a 75-year wait for a win against Australia at Lord's. In his last match at the famous old ground, Flintoff got his first five-wicket haul there completing ten extraordinary overs in the session. A day he and England will certainly never forget.

1st session, Australia 406 all out, England win by 115 runs just before lunch: England's bowlers were hungry, on fire and ended the only worrying partnership nice and quickly with the rest following shortly and in regular intervals after.

Partnership: 43 runs between Michael Clarke (11) and Mitchell Johnson (26): The longest and biggest partnership of the day lasted just under an hour with a lot of close shaves and short edges. That says a lot about the run of play today much in contrast to the last session yesterday with Clarke and Brad Haddin batting it out for over three hours giving Australia a tiny glimmer of hope.

Bowlers: There were no question marks on any of the wickets today. The day could not have started better for England: Freddie Flintoff was ruthless, stayed hostile and bowled fast and nasty - never under the 90mph-mark. After getting his fourth wicket Haddin (80) caught at slip by Paul Collingwood in his first over of the day, nobody would have dared to take the ball off him after that, even with all the injury worries. James Anderson opened the bowling for England just as dangerous and explosive with a close chance and appeal every other ball. Flintoff continued throughout the morning hungry for his first five-wicket haul at Lord's in his last test match at the old ground before he retires. It took another perfect bowling change by captain Andrew Strauss to break the Aussies again though - Graeme Swann, on for Stuart Broad, took off the top of the stumps and Clarke out, he reached 136 off 227. Flintoff finally got his name on the Lord's honor's board shortly afterwards, nipping out Nathan Hauritz for 1 who misjudged and left the ball and wacking out Peter Siddle middle stump for 7. Swann completed the victory flattening Johnson's middle stump as he went for the hit. What was all the worry about yesterday???

Ups: Freddie, Freddie, Freddie! What a perfect farewell for him from Lord's, man of the match, legendary wickets, innings, match, win! Anderson's, Swann's and Strauss's crucial contributions of four wickets in each innings and 161 runs in the first innings respectively are not allowed to be forgotten in all the Flintoff cheers though. What a team effort!

Downs: God knows where England would be and how and where they are going to go without Freddie! Unimaginable! Unthinkable!

Hero to zero: The Aussies will think they switched roles with England after the first test, what a contrast! They had total control in Cardiff but somehow did not get the win, lucky England. England maybe had a couple of seconds of worry about this test match, got the luck when they needed it on a couple of occasions but you cannot say they did not outplay Australia. Somethin for them to chew on...

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