1990s Ashes Rematch: England middle-order dawdles on day 2

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Last month we pitted a 90s England XI against a 90s Australia XI using International Cricket Captain’s ‘All Time Greats’ mode and the Aussies won. This is the rematch Down Under.

Day one ended with England 205-3.

Nasser Hussain was cautious and intense in yesterday’s evening session, while Graham Thorpe was cautious and determined. Will they look to press on a bit on day two? And will Mark Taylor ever give Michael Bevan a bowl?

Morning session

After 13 overs of intense singles and even more intense dot balls, Hussain shows increased intensity and pulls a four off Brendon Julian.

Julian’s only bowled 11 overs compared to 28 from Damien Fleming and 31 from Paul Reiffel. He’s barely conceded a run, so that seems weird.

Graham Thorpe has 19 off 111 balls.

Hussain reaches 50. He raises his bat. He looks intense.

It was another session for that purely theoretical group of people, “the purists”.

Afternoon session

After facing 188 deliveries, Thorpe lets his hair down with an efficient cut for four off Colin Miller.

Two overs later, he hits another. In the air.

The two batsmen start to look a little less robotic and with 25 minutes left to go in the session, Hussain canes two fours in an over off Miller to reach his hundred.

It’s been an intense innings. The Australian crowd goes wild with indifference.

Two overs later, Thorpe reaches fifty with his third four. This sudden recent surge in strokeplay means he’s now averaging slightly less than a boundary an hour.

Hussain is batting positively though, hitting fours semi-regularly. A run-out chance is the best Australia can muster and the bowlers are starting to look tired.

Tea can’t come soon enough.

Soon enough, tea comes.

Evening session

There must have been espresso available during the break because Thorpe lollops a trio of fours after the players re-emerge.

Then he lobs Fleming to Julian at long-off for 71.

Robin Smith will surely up the run-rate. He gets a very quick sighter before Australia take the new ball. It’s 371-4.

Hussain’s playing beautifully now, but Smith seems to have been infected with Thorpe-itis. Is this pitch tougher than it looks? We definitely feel like an “it’s a bit two-paced” comment is on the cards in one of the close of play interviews.

Proving that he is actually who he claims to be, Smith hits a thundering square drive. England pass 400.

Stumps

England have now devoted two full days to platform-building.

Join us tomorrow for day three.

12 comments

  1. I think another 200 runs (even if that’s most of another day) to ensure that England won’t lose this game. I’m worried that we’re looking at England’s limited attack conceding 600+ runs in two days and then collapsing on day 5 to lose by an innings and 15 runs or something like that.

    1. Yes, “scoreboard pressure” was not a common ploy from England in the 90s. Maybe they could give it a whirl.

  2. Strangely reminiscent of the Pakistan v England series in 2000 – an intense snail-paced hundred from Nasser, tremendously slow scoring in general, and Ian Salisbury.

  3. In these unprecedented times I detect an unprecedented and intense usage of the word “intense”.

    I found myself furrowing my brow in an intense manner just typing the word “intense” there, that’s how very, very intense this all is.

  4. This has Adelaide 2006 written all over it. By which I mean you can just delete the whole thing when we lose by an innings.

    1. The 2006/7 Ashes were only four Tests, played at Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. What are you even talking about? You’re going mad again Bert. We need to send you to the memory-hole machine again to clarify things a little.

  5. Bert, I’m glad you reminded me about the Adelaide Test because I was beginning to raise hopes. I don’t know what 1990’s fans were like but I’m sure we should emulate them. If they have half as much faith in the players that the selectors do then we are being very optimistic here.

  6. Do these virtual matches have injuries?
    Because if so, one of Fleming and Reiffel if not both should pull their hamstring soon.

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