Sunday, August 07, 2005

It's just not cricket

A game that ebbed and flowed, we were up, then down, but mostly up, and deserving of our victory. What a spectacle, I’ve not been that tense and nervous watching sport since the now long gone Euro 2004 match against Portugal.

I'm not a huge cricket fan, but i always try and watch the England test matches, and channel 4's coverage is excellent.

Flintoff was Bothamesque, as everyone has noted. After our collapse in the second innings he came in and whacked us back into a commanding position. His six onto the roof was spectacular.
The atmosphere was more akin to an England football match, than the supposed genteel atmosphere that cricket usually inspires. Day 4 was incredible, as the target continued to slowly shrink, and yet it wasn’t possible for the Aussies to come back, was it? They can't. 30,20,10 oh shit; they are going to get away with it. Well they didn’t, for once we did it, it happened to us. The expected disappointment that we’ve become so use to (Penalty shoot outs!) didn’t rear its ugly head. So many times during the match I was resigned to defeat, that’s it, it’s not going to happen. Why does it always go wrong, why? We’ve thrown the match away again! The second inning collapse, the inability to remove the tail.

The second closest test match of all time, England’s winning margin 2 runs. That's a wide ball and 4 leg byes, or a glancing edge over everyone’s outstretched hands.

You have to credit Lee and Warne, they batted brilliantly for tail enders, no one expected them to stick around as long as they did. It just shows that the Aussies can always come back, do what other teams can't, due to their supreme confidence in being better than all. But this time not quite.

This match showed how nothing can beat sport for pure visceral drama and theatre. Nothing scripted can compare to it. That’s the beauty of sport.

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