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Tony

The Poms getting all, sorry, almost all the luck here. Setting themselves up nicely to bowl us out on day five on a pitch that has completely fallen apart.

Still trying to work out how, in a country famed for its saturated weather, a Test pitch can be a Bombay dust bowl before a ball has been bowled.

m0nty

Tone, your humour is almost as dry as the pitch.

Tony

Lord Gower: "The crucial toss was genuinely crucial." Meanwhile, Nasser's gone loopy with the telestrater.

Nick

The pitch is not as dry as the cricket.

Tony

North on. Get Kat on from the other end. Watch the ball go sideways.

Tony

Wonder how all the knee-jerkers, who band-wagoned back onto Australia after Headingley, will re-frame their perspectives after stumps tonight.

Tony

Pies gawn, caught Hussey in gully.

Another typical Pies slash into le cordon.

Timely wicket.

m0nty

Pies fall to two pies in a row. Onya Sizzle.

Russ

Collingwood is an out and out sucker for the wide ball isn't he? Siddle doing the job again... monster stride forward from Trott first up. This next 20 minutes might get interesting... so, um, why bowl North still? He's not spinning it much. Warne is right, we need to attack.

Tony

Trotty looks a bit hyper. Love another pole before tea.

Tony

Give Studly the next over, and the Kat the one after that.

Tony

Tea.

3/180.

Better sesh from the good guys.

Sherm has weird hair. Flops down over his eyes. Reminds me of the cartoon sheepdog.

Tony

AB says he is a bit worried by the pitch. Reading his expression, though, he looks even more worried. And Junior is starting to make noises about what England have done to the pitch.

m0nty

Go Sizzle!

Just the sort of Mervesque bowler who works like a dog in these conditions and gets the results that bowlers with less heart won't.

Tony

Sizzlaaa!

Bell bowled.

Adios, Allan Sherman.

m0nty

To reference another South African war film, Sizzle applied Rule .303 to Michael Caine quite nicely there, sarmajor.

Tony

Oooo!

Stuey Clark has the ball on the swerve.

Lurker

A bad toss to lose- we'll definately want 300 more then whatever the Poms get for a first innings lead.

m0nty

Studsy gets another cheap one. England only have themselves to blame so far.

Nick

Clark doing a good job here. The other bowlers can bowl around him. England need 400...

Nick

All we are saying...is give Kat a chance....

Nick

Wish haddins keeping was as good as his appealing. We need to get the Pomd out fast or Swann is going to channel Gilo/Harris and fuck us.

m0nty

Agreed Nick. We've seen off the top order, now to battle with the REAL danger men.

Nick

It will be galling rather than gallant if they get 400 from here.

m0nty

I hear the Kiwis are having the gall bladder knocked out of them at Galle, Nick.

m0nty

That's a second lovely slower ball to get Freddie. Onya Studsy.

Nick

Gee, Broad is shit.

m0nty

Broad looked shit last test and then got 61. Danger danger.

Nick

Set a thief to catch a thief - paper cut vs broad.

Nick

61 when the game was gone....

Nick

Studs bowling for the run out here!

m0nty

Paper Cut's only thievery is of oxygen when it comes to his bowling in this series.

m0nty

Kato you CHAMP! That's a fantastic run out!

m0nty

We have manufactured wickets today, especially this session, that would do the Acme Corporation proud.

Nick

We've got the wrong blonde player playing.

Nick

Haddin you hack!

m0nty

I don't think even The Great Adolpho would have gloved that one, to be fair.

m0nty

This is what I mean Nick. Yes, Broad looks like shit, but he's still there. And he could still be there as England pass 400.

Nick

1. Haddins awful footwork makes a simple catch look good and a hard chance impossible. Just look at Manou. Didn't even notice him.
2. What is this fetish Punter has for bowling spinners when the game is there to be decided? He did it in india, and Cardiff - over rate concerns trumping game state.
3. Have we fucked up by leaving out Hauritz? The cognoscenti in the box seem to think so.

Russ

To be fair to Paper Cut, that wasn't that bad a spell. Take out the edges and late swing that confused Haddin and he did alright. What do Krab and Clarke need to do to get a bowl though. North hasn't looked terribly threatening. The other two spinners have both run through sides at this level. Would a couple of overs kill them?

m0nty

Maxwell was braying for Krabs, calling him the best spinner in Australia. Typical NSW homerism, but he would have been better than Paper Cut.

Vindicate

Great work Sids, nip one out before the close - however I'm afraid we may have the same situation as last game when it was dead and buried; the last two pommy bats hang around and chip in with a useful 40 or so.

Overall, in light of the pitch situation I'd call that honours even.

m0nty

So England shaded the first session, Australia maybe shaded the second, but Australia definitely dominated the third, capped by that Swann wicket. We had to work bloody hard but it was a consistent effort by all four front-liners. Very pleased with that.

Showers forecast tomorrow so you'd expect a bit of cloud about. But we really should post 500+ on this track. And we'll probably need to if we're going to win.

Russ

Siddle, you spectacular bastard. Swann gone to end the day. Four-for for the Vic. Nice.

Good day in the end. Yeah, 307 is an alright score if this pitch deteriorates, but we'll see how it plays for us before I panic. I'm pretty happy to have them eight-down.

Nick, Haddin = rubbish. But that isn't news to anyone here. Ponting likes meandering to the new ball. I don't get it - remember Melbourne against RSA - but the spinners are a chance here. And Ritz, maybe, but the question with Ritz is always: is he actually that good, even on a turner? Where would we be if we'd left out Siddle?

The Don has risen

you know the poms cannot bat when siddle takes wickets.

I do note that the team batting last at the oval (If it does go to a fourth innings gets dismissed for very low totals).

If the ball swings we will get not a lot. If it doesn't we will get well over 400.

Also Anderson and co are due to bowl a good length this time

Yobbo

"Have we fucked up by leaving out Hauritz? The cognoscenti in the box seem to think so. "

We leave Hauritz out because we have 3 other spinners, all of whom are actually just as good as him.

Where we're fucking up is that Ponting never bowls them. Bowling Watson ahead of them is just ridiculous.

RT

Intriguing first day for sure. Nice call on the toss Ricky you tosser, 1-4 for the series. At 2/175 it was looking very dodgy but the last session was all Oz thankfully. Siddle got his 150km pace up and bowled some pearlers at times. A few shit shots by the Poms helped enormously, thank you Pies and Flinty.

2 quick wickets required then it's all about the wicket and conditions. If like Day 1 where it looked a hard grind for the likes of Hilf and Stu, a very good score is in the offing. Still happy with the decision to leave Hauritz out but we really need to capitalise on the pitch. Let us pray the loose shot / bad umpiring decision meter is on low.

Tony

Absolutely no point playing Hauritz. Yobbo is spot on. Ritz adds nothing that we don't already have in the line-up. Bowl 'em, Punter.

We must get through these last two quick stix, then get several hundred in front or we are fvcked.

Stinkin' pitch fixers!

Bruce

And just a bit of praise for Krab for his sharp work in running out Trott.

Exactly the kind of separation between levels of professionalism. Trott not quite aware enough of what was happening while Krab seized the opportunity and made it stick. He's had a good series.

Adsy

In a series with a heap of pivotal moments, the first half hour this morning will probably be the biggest. Anything under 330 is advantage Oz, 330-360 is game on but if the Poms managed to get anywhere up towards 400 they would give themselves a big show, exactly the sniff we can't afford to give them.

Hangover Black

Tone commented earlier that the outfield was billiard table fast. Don't be too frightened of a 400 total to the Poms. Batting time is the key here. Bat long enough and the runs'll take care of themselves. Still want to roll 'em in the first half hour though......

Tony

I stick by what I wrote last night: the pitch will fall apart and make our second innings batting a nightmare.

Our first innings batting will be no doddle, either.

The current conditions, and the deteriorating conditions, mean we won't be able to get enough of a lead to put the heat on England. That's if we can even get a lead.

England are in front at the moment.

England to win.

Australia to lose... to the worst side we've lost to since the 1980s.

Tony

Cardiff. Fvcken Cardiff. I will never, ever go to Wales. I might never, ever again go to New South Wales.

Lurker

Yes, I'm overwhelmed by feelings of despair too. A late order rally will take England around 400 and Australia just won't get anyone to dig in enough and we'll be left chasing on day 5 a target that is just too much on a dustbowl.

Tony

Since you ask: cricket toss win ratio ponting. Fvck-all vs. fvcken-heaps.

Tony

Jimmy gawn LB to the Haus.

About time Eyebrows made a duck.

That's what they call an understatement.

This, too: good start to the day.

Now, round up the last wicket.

Tony

Skier from Broad. Johnson looks at Haddin. Haddin looks at Johnson. Ball hits the turf. Unlike Haddin to be involved in a stuff up.

nick

So Haddin's even managed to fuck up outfielders...is there no end to his lack of talent with the gloves?

Tony

The, or rather one of the, banes of my life: runs to third man. I've got a lot of banes.

Lurker

Like sands through the hourglass,
These are the banes of our lives.

Adsy

Runs to No.11 banes up well too. Runs to a player who should be an extra in the new Harry Potter movie tops it off.

Lurker

Nice work, Haus.

332. Not great, but not as much as I feared.

m0nty

That's it Malfoy, fvck off back to Hogwarts.

Tony

Broad caught Ponting, bowled Hilf.

Good to keep that to a reasonably painless half hour.

Now comes the real pain.

Grubbers. Poppers. Right-anglers.

Unlike Engerland, all mis-hits straight down the fielders' throats.

Tony

Oh. And shocking decisions, too.

Lurker

Ruin and woe. Sackcloth and Ashes (lost).

Tony

"Easy as shelling peas."

Has any modern cricket commentator ever shelled peas?

Russ

That extras column is horrendous. It takes a supreme effort to outscore Haddin's byes column with no-balls. Some rubbish bowling to Harmison aside, can't be too unhappy with 332. Might change that opinion in four hours though.

Tony

Awful.

Extras (b 12, lb 5, w 3, nb 18)

18 noeys, excluding the no balls that weren't called.

Lurker

Bowling O M R W Econ
BW Hilfenhaus 21.5 5 71 3 3.25 (5nb)
PM Siddle 21 6 75 4 3.57 (4nb)
SR Clark 14 5 41 0 2.92
MG Johnson 15 0 69 2 4.60 (8nb, 3w)
MJ North 14 3 33 0 2.35 (1nb)
SR Watson 5 0 26 0 5.20

Tony

Lurkey, witness the magic of "pre".

Tony

Question.

How come not one of the commentators, either on radio or on the electric television box, has criticised the condition of a pitch that is usually a wonderful track?

Call it as it is: doctoring.

Tony

Ummmm... until now. Good stuff, Mikey. Similar good stuff, Shane. Get stuck in, lads.

Lurker

The Doctor is: In.

Sorry about the dodgy formatting.

Russ

Apropos of nothing: the oval is a lovely looking ground these days, modern one side, traditional the other. Even the gas towers look classy and historic, instead of squalid.

We'll be right on this wicket Tony. Check the way the ball goes through the top on the milo cricket ad. Clearly we are well practiced at playing on these decks.

Tony

Must be our slowest start in a while.

Lurker

Slow and steady. As long as we don't lose wickets, I don't care. But one of these LBW shouts have to go against us sooner or later.

Tony

Paper Cut needs to start using his bat. Lucky Rauf Mauf is in a forgiving mood.

nick

Watto = Bell.

Lurker

There's laws against slander, nick.

Tony

I said "bat" not "back".

nick

It's libel in print, is it not? 8-)

nick

And if it's something libellous you want, what about Bell and Broad batting together? 8-)

Lurker

"And if it's something libellous you want, what about Bell and Broad batting together?"

I think that falls foul of obscenity laws!

Tony

That's four, isn't it? Athers is a bit blithe with his "that's ok".

Lurker

Rain? That's no good. We are 0 for 61 and just getting some momentum up. I was enjoying that. Bloody English!

Tony

Warnie and Athers are good together.

Shane: "Good whippage. That's a word, isn't it, Athers?"

Athers: "Just about."

Yeah, alright, you had to hear there.

Lurker

Good game at Docklands tonight to keep us going during the lunch break.

It's getting harder to back the Cats for the flag, win or lose tonight.

nick

St Kilda have got the cup already haven't they? Can anything derail them? Geelong were apparently a great side, playing their total football...but the only times they've had a serious challenge - the Saints and the Hawks have stuffed them. Compare this to the great Brisbane and North Melbourne teams - and of course, the Crows in 97/98 - who would never have lost 4 out of 5 tosses 8-)

Tony

Alex Brown at Crooky:

Perhaps the weather got the better of them in the preparation stage. Scyld Berry, the Wisden editor, suspects more sinister factors are at play, however.

The Berry article is in the Tele.

m0nty

I've been concentrating on the footy, but I see from the replays several comical shots of Freddie in utter disbelief that Rolf hasn't given him any elbees for balls that were missing leg and going six inches over.

Tony

Good result at the toofy. I went double bubble on the Dogs.

Adsy

I had Dogs under 39.5 into Man City to win tomorrow night against Wolves into Marcus North to top score in Australia's first innings to win 280 bucks.

Go "Peter" North!

Tony

Interesting about the missing bail when Broad got out.

Russ

Interesting but pretty irrelevant. Reminds me of Italian football coverage. They spend most of their time looking at replays of penalty and off-side decisions trying to decide how one side or another was "robbed". (Alright, they had a point, what with the officials being corrupt BUT...) No mater how many decisions go against us either side this series, if they lose, it will be because they weren't good enough when it mattered.

And it mattered, a LOT, before lunch. Paper Cut and Krab weren't always pretty, but that's a hell of a good start.

nick

http://blogs.cricinfo.com/thebuzz/archives/2009/08/victory_despite_no_balls.php

Bell and Broad heading up the Eunuch's XI?

m0nty

If I've ever heard a rallying cry for this Test, nick, that's it.

Russ

Pity Paper Cut again. Seems to have Cook's disease, getting going then getting out. I'll take a start every time though.

m0nty

Both Sky and Crock taking pains to say about ten times in a row that there was absolutely no questions about that elbee, nope, no sirree, not on your nelly, etc etc. Wasn't all that plumb. Deserved more respect to the umpire than Malfoy gave it.

Russ

Quite right m0nt, and Holding made the same point. He's bowling well for some reason now, is Broad, which is as troubling as it is surprising. He's helped that Ponting is pretty much certain to look like rubbish when he first comes in these days.

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