Evil v Good, day 2: Australia capitalise

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3 minute read

We’re pitting an England XI comprising the players we invested in the most against an Antagonists XI using International Cricket Captain’s ‘All Time Greats’ mode.

Day one was a colossal and predictable catastrophe for England.

Australia resume on 50-1.

Morning session

Jimmy Anderson opens the bowling and Matthew Hayden hits him for four.

Steve Harmison bowls to Ricky Ponting at the other end.

Harmy appeals for LBW against Hayden but it pitched about a foot outside leg. That pretty much sums up where we are with his game.

After a flurry of fours from the batsmen, Ponting nicks Jimmy to slip.

Steve Smith is next man in and HARMISON KNOCKS OUT HIS MIDDLE STUMP FOR 1.

There’s something about being really, really, incredibly defeatist about a cricket match that makes the exciting moments 100 per cent more exciting.

Steve Waugh is next man in. This is an okay batting line-up.

Harmison appeals for LBW against him, but it’s missing leg by plenty. Think Steve’s a bit giddy.

Hayden pummels five fours in two overs but then Jimmy swings one through the gate. Middle stump again!

Look how sad he is.

Jimmy Anderson clean bowling Matthew Hayden and Matthew Hayden looking all downbeat and despondent about it. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. [Continues laughing until the autumn of 2026.]

That was a good start to the day.

Damien Martyn comes in.

Darren Gough replaces Harmison and then a couple of overs later, Monty Panesar comes on for Jimmy.

The rest of the session goes less brilliantly and at lunch, the scores are level.

Afternoon session

With two right-handers at the crease, Panesar continues, but neither he nor Anderson threaten.

Time for some reverse swing. Gough comes on to bowl at the base of the stumps. He gets Martyn caught and bowled for 47.

Reverse swing? Adam Gilchrist? Flintoff comes back on. Second ball is a thick edge, but safe.

Gilchrist hits Gough for three fours in an over. Oh yeah, this is how it goes, isn’t it? We’d sort of forgotten.

Flintoff and Gilchrist continue to trade blows. Mike Atherton brings Graeme Hick on at the other end, which maybe isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Flintoff has conceded a few and he’s getting tired. With seven overs to go until the new ball, Panesar comes back on.

Gilchrist reaches his 50 off 49 balls.

The new ball becomes available in the final over before tea. Harmison takes it and gets Gilly LBW for 62.

Evening session

Jimmy’s back. Again. He bowls Mitchell Johnson.

Shane Warne flays a bunch of fours. Steve Waugh reaches his hundred.

Fred bowls some short stuff and then slips in a full one to get Waugh for 112.

Jason Gillespie tries to loft Panesar to the boundary and somehow inside-edges him for six.

Flintoff bowls Warne and then gets Glenn McGrath LBW next ball.

England trail by 227. In the unlikely event they can get past that, Fred’ll be on a hat-trick.

Change of innings

There’s 20-odd minutes to go.

Mike Atherton and Marcus Trescothick are the openers.

Three fours are hit and England end the day 19-0.

Join us tomorrow for day three.


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  1. Yesss, 19 for none. All the problems have gone away now. I know we’ll have lost a wicket or two before we get the lead, but that’s not a big deal. I wouldn’t fancy batting last on this pitch needing 250 to win.

  2. I’m no grammar expert, but I find it unnerving that ‘capitalise’ in the title is not capitalised.

    I’m also strangely optimistic about the match. A couple of proper dig in innings and England may well have only lost 6-7 wickets by the time they catch up

  3. This is the ‘maybe, just maybe’ phase. Don’t fall into the trap, people.

    1. It’s weird how you find yourself basing a more emotional assessment of how things are going on an ever-changing span of play.

      Terrible day and things are terrible. Good couple of overs and you start feeling like things have evened up.

      1. I don’t think they’ve levelled up. I’d still put the Evil Ones ahead by a neck. 55/45 in their favour, maybe 60/40. But with the pitch likely to deteriorate on day 4, and England having wisely played to avoid batting on day 4, that means we are just ahead in the match.

  4. When I first read the headline I thought it said “Australia capitulate”. I have only just worked out why the headline and story seemed so incongruous. Thought you were just toying with our fragile hopes!

  5. It’s a weird bowling line up, in that I don’t remember any of them tearing apart an Australian innings in Australia, but it doesn’t seem impossible that they might do so.

    Sorry, it’s 7am, it’s cold and horrible, and I’m back in my early twenties with no idea what I’m doing and a constant sense of creeping dread. Hope is just another way for my subconscious to torment me.

    1. It wasn’t picked to be a good team.

      Also, Darren Gough took a hat-trick in Sydney.

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