Category Archives: ashes

Best Anti-Flintoff Post Of The Month

From Professor Chaos of We’ll Have a Bowl:

10927 runs at 51.06? 98 wickets at 37? That’s when you can start raising your arms like you just parted the Red Sea you fucking douche.

To be fair, Flintoff decidedly said he did not belong to the “greats” at his retirement conference. Still, that part-the-sea thing started to annoy even me, and I’ve had a soft spot for the big man for too long now.

Then again, for whatever reason, Flintoff enjoyed a visceral relationship with the crowds, both feeding off each other and, somehow, helping the team as a whole to rise as well. Don’t mean to smear God or anything, but given where England were in 2006, or even at Sabina Park, or, hell, even at the Fourth Test — well, parting the Red Sea doesn’t sound like much compared to their Ashes victory.


Stuart Broad And Malfoy

An unoriginal point, I know, one that even Shane Warne made after a Sky camera spotted Malfoy and Harry Potter at The Oval. But for kicks (and hits), here you go:


Flintoff Subtly Disses Pietersen

Nothing more than an unnecessary attempt on my part to stir trouble, but this caught my eye. Via The Guardian:

“One comforting thing is, having seen yesterday and the past five Test matches, is that I’ll disappear and the England side will be in good hands,” he said. “The likes of [Jonathan] Trott [have] come in and everybody’s forgetting about KP. Our best player has not played the bulk of this Test series. So the future of the side is in good hands.”

KP who? My former captain? Can’t be.

Ashes Predictions Results

All accounatability and transparency here at Ducking Beamers. I made some Ashes predictions, now it’s time to see the strength of my cricketing brain. Appalling, apparently. Out of 19 queries, I only got four right. In my defense, that includes the overall 2-1 result. What else matters?

Predictions are first, followed by what actually transpired:

Most Runs Overall: Simon Katich — Wrong. Andrew Strauss takes the cake.

Most Runs England: Kevin Pietersen — Wrong once more. See above.

Most Runs Australia: Simon Katich — I was obviously obsessed with Katich. He did well, but not as well as Michael Clarke, who scored 448 runs at 64.

Most Wickets Overall: Jimmy Anderson – Nope. Ben Hilfenhaus! Who?

Most Wickets England: Jimmy Anderson — Alas, no. He’s third behind Stuart “I Won The Ashes” Broad and Graeme Swann.

Most Wickets Australia: Mitchell Johnson — Gosh no! But who could have foreseen this after that marvelous South Africa series?

Best Tosser (captain who wins the most tosses):  Ricky Ponting – Strauss called right, 4-1.

Man of the Series:  Ricky Ponting — His counterpart won the title, and deservedly so.

1st Test Result: Um, a draw. No, an Australian victory! — First guess right. We’ll discount that last bit.

2nd Test Result:  Australia — England.

3rd Test Result: England (Edgbaston, no?) — Draw.

4th Test Result: Draw — Australia.

5th Test Result: England (2-1, my friends, 2-1.) — Yes!

Overall series result:  2-1 — Double yes! I got the one that counts, right?


Number of Tests that lose overs to rain (note, not bad light): Five. Can’t trust English summers. — Can’t remember, but I think the answer’s four.

Number of Tests that Flintoff will be able to manage: One, as it turns out. — He managed more than that, thank all the ECB’s commercial sponsors.

Number of Tests won by an innings: One. — Ah, that fourth Test saves my day.

Number of Tests played by McDonald: Don’t know, and don’t care.

Number of Tests played by Lee: He was only dropped from the first Test because of any injury, yes? So, let’s give him three. — No. None.

Highlights Of England’s Ashes Win

The Channel Five highlights of England’s 2005 Ashes win can be seen in all their glory here. In the last part, Mark Nicholas interviews England captain Andrew Strauss and asks him if he was worried at any point when Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey were going strong. “It didn’t look like they were going to get out,” Strauss said.

Incidentally, during lunch, Shane Warne held a seminar with two English spinners on the art of bowling. Found it mostly boring, but some people may like it. Here you go.

Ricky Ponting Should Resign

I don’t mean to be cruel, but I think this is a perfect time for Ricky Ponting to diplomatically hand over the reins to Michael Clarke and focus on his batting. Maybe he wants another victorious series to save face, but he should make his intentions clear and give the Australian team a break.

It’s not as if he had a disastrous captaincy; in fact, by most standards, he’s one of the modern game’s greatest. And it’s not as if he would leave his team in tatters; he’s done much in recent years to build a new one. His work done, he should take the final leap.

That way, he may come closer to taking on an even more lasting contribution to his cricketing legacy: Sachin Tendulkar’s record.

Stuart Broad Has Ponting’s Number

Lord’s Test, 2nd innings:

23.4 Broad to Ponting, OUT, got him – bowled him! Lord’s has erupted! That’s Anderson’s wicket as much as Broad’s – outside off, Ponting goes to cut but it’s too full and he destroys his stumps!

RT Ponting b Broad 38 (88m 69b 6×4 0x6) SR: 55.07

Oval Test, 1st innings:

26.6 Broad to Ponting, OUT, bowled him! Broad’s bowled him! Ponting goes back and chops it on, his off stump pegged back

RT Ponting b Broad 8 (15b 1×4 0x6) SR: 53.33

Two Possible Ashes Storylines

Yes, technically, there are three possible results (Ashes won, lost, or drawn), but let’s not complicate things too much for now. We’re seeing a number of plot lines converge at the Oval Test, which must now also play the decider. Let’s focus on two:

1. If England wins, we may finally see the emergence of a new post-Vaughan team. Andrew Strauss’ accidental captaincy will be forever sealed, while the team’s other icons — Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff — hobble to the sidelines. I’d like to see the English selectors go ever farther and remove Alistair Cook at the top, put in a new No. 3 and possibly give Paul Collingwood some domestic practice. But the other newbies — Trott, Onions, Broad, the new Anderson — they make a very nice team going into the future.

2. If Australia wins, however, Ricky Ponting can heave a sigh of relief that the clouds looming over his team for the last year or two were only passing through. There’s no reason to quibble with Ponting’s captaincy, which, despite some huge embarrassments, has still been better than most. But for years, the better complaint was that anyone with eyes and ears could captain the Australian team to glory, since its players were too good.  Since they moved on,  Ponting’s tactical nous has been severely tested, and victory may finally give him the validation he’s sought.

A lot at stake, obviously.

Did We All Read The Oval Pitch Wrong?

At the end of Day 1 at the Oval yesterday, a number of commentators said England had squandered a great batting pitch and posted a less-than-competitive score (350 was seen as possibly good enough). With Australia at 111/7, though, it looks like Andrew Strauss will have the last laugh.

But everyone also questioned Australia’s lack of a spinner. On Day 2, however, it’s been a fast bowler Stuart Broad who’s created the most tamasha (Graeme Swann’s not bad either, but he’s got two wickets to Broad’s five at the moment). So what exactly happened? Did the English bat better than we thought they did? Or did Broad really outshine his Australian counterparts that much more?

Brad Haddin Falls On 111

Watching Stuart Broad — of all people, Stuart Broad! — wreak havoc on the Australian line-up. Now, just before he bowled Brad Haddin, Nasser Hussain said, “111, Australia on the Nelson. Bernie Eleven.” I’ve heard that before — but who’s this Bernie fellow? (Or did I just hear him wrong?)