Opening fixture of Ashes tour now going swimmingly

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It’s okay. Panic over. England are once again the greatest team in history. That whole ‘going for five an over’ bowling performance is over and the England batting machine is running perfectly.

The second day’s play saw England intimidate the Western Australia Chairman’s XI into declaring at 451-5, batsmen eight, nine, 10 and 11 quaking in their boots. The openers then saw off none other than Burt Cockley, who is now injured after delivering just 15 balls at the impenetrable defences of Root and Carberry.

While both Root’s and Carberry’s defences were later penetrated, it was only because they wanted to allow Trott and Bell to hit fifties.

Fifties, you hear – fifties! Carberry got one too and he isn’t even in England’s Test team. Root didn’t get one. Among the bowlers was Test quality Michael Beer who was plundered for 58 runs in 20 overs – a rate of almost three an over.

This is definitely not a case of ropey bowling all round on an unhelpful pitch.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Onions would have scored 150.

    The last Ashes tour, which admittedly had some reasonably exciting early games, had clouded my judgement – 99% of the time, warm up games are so mind-numbingly dull that I can see why Duncan Fletcher couldnt be arsed with them.

  2. Woha, Jonathan Trott on the verge of beating his T20 Highscore in a First-Class match, a rare feature this year.

    And even if he does not, the last time he came close, England won the series.

  3. Any game in which batsmen retire or throw away their wickets to allow others a go is meaningless.

  4. Rich with foreshadowing, symbolism, “battles within battles” and subtext, this warm up match is turning into an absolute classic.

    I hope many of you will join me, sitting at your screens in the early hours, commenting, chatting and generally getting into the Ashes spirit for the grand finale of this enthralling match.

    I most certainly intend to be telling my grandchildren about this one.

    1. Oh, for an edit button.

      Who cares, anyway? Ian Bell scored a century. Nothing else matters. This is all England games are for.

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