I was surprised and distressed at how quickly and completely England lost the Ashes. They lost the first three tests and that was it. From then on, the important thing was for them to stop 3-0 turning into 5-0.
Why is that when we beat Australia, it ends something like 2-1 or 3-1 or 3-2, but never 5-0? But when Australia beats us, as often as not it is 5-0. So, good that this has not happened this time around. Dead rubber? Bollocks. 5-0 is a hell of a lot worse than 3-0 or (I can hope) 3-1.
Judging by previous 5-0s down under, England might still have lost game four, after Cook had scored his double hundred and given England a first innings lead of 160 odd. Australia have a very good spinner, and England do not.
Warne of Australia. Swann of England. Now: Lyon of Australia. A good spinner sustains pressure all the way through to the next new ball, and can win the match on the final day. Without a good spinner, you get those easy overs, when a bit of slogging can swing the match decisively in favour of the batting side, and you don’t get to win on the last day nearly so much.
In this latest Melbourne game, what if Australia had got themselves a lead of 150 and then bowled England out on the last afternoon? It could have happened. But luckily for England, it rained on day four, and England were able to save the game. All the commentators said that the rain spoiled England’s chance of a win, but what do they know? They were there, and were obviously getting caught up in it all, failing to see the wood for the trees. Trees: England might have won. Wood: England did not lose! Hurrah!
But from where I lie, in my bed but not sleeping because there were England doing so well on the radio, not losing, the important issue was: I wasn’t sleeping. And I am now suffering from serious Ashes Lag.
This afternoon, Chelsea thrashed Stoke at football, and according to the BBC Premier League update feed (which I had been keeping half an eye on), Stoke supporters, despite having journeyed to Chelsea all the way from darkest Stoke, were leaving after twenty minutes, because their team were such rubbish. I’m like that. If my team is getting hammered, I don’t want to be obsessing about that. I have a life, and I welcome the chance to ignore sport and get on with it. But if my team are doing okay, I’m all over it. So Ashes Lag has only now struck.
I mentioned yesterday that I was knackered, but too knackered to explain why I was knackered, and that I might (or might not) explain why I was knackered, later. The above was why I was knackered.
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