When every run matters

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< 1 minute read

We’ve almost certainly written about this 12 times before, but cricket is at its best when the value of a run is greatest. A drop of rain is more gratefully received in the Outback than in the Lake District.

It’s hard to judge what would be a decisive lead going into the final innings at Chester-le-Street, but it feels like every edge and every leg-bye are crucial.

The new ball seems disproportionately important too. In its youth, the ball is zesty and enthusiastic and pings about in all sorts of weird and threatening ways, while middle-age appears to bring only pudding-y predictability.

When England bowl, it will surely be a case of how much damage they can do and how quickly. Once the ball has been subdued by the realisation that life is pointless and infuriating, they won’t get much more out of it and will instead have to wait until they’re allowed to trade it in for a new baby (analogy implodes).


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. Love matches like this. As long as we win in the end. 299 should be enough. But it might not be.

    1. Only 13 overs until the wicket-taking window closes and England have made NO PROGRESS.

  2. We decided to commence worrying at about 30-0. This should ensure we attain a rare pitch of stomach-knotted anxiety well before the Aussies have reached 200.

  3. Thing is, it’s going to be 2-1, and for a bit of luck, could have been 1-3.

    England shouldn’t need a collective kick up the arse, they are the better side, but perhaps they do.

    1. How can you say with such certainty it’s going to be 2-1? All you can say is that you don’t know who’s going to win.

      Yesterday Mike Selvey tweeted that if England batted until lunch they would win. Like it was a fact.

  4. It’s all I can do right now not to scream COME OOOOON and punch my desk.

    But I don’t think my colleagues would appreciate it.

    Expect lots of comments from me on here over the next two hours. It’s my only outlet. Aside from going to toilets and watching Sky Go on my phone. Which I actually did earlier in the summer.

  5. I liked this series better when Australia had no clue how to bat and compounded this inability with amusing reviews.

    1. Halcyon. Noun.
      a mythical bird, usually identified with the kingfisher, said to breed about the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, and to have the power of charming winds and waves into calmness.

  6. I can’t decide if that final session shows that momentum is not all it’s cracked up to be, or whether once we got one wicket momentum made the win inevitable.

    Suppose it doesn’t really matter. We’ve been a bit crap and we’re 3-0 up. Think I’d have settled for that in the 90s.

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