Which was the purest awful dismissal in England’s 67 all out?

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Jonny Bairstow (all images via BBC video)

England v Australia, third Test, day two

For a proper explanation of why batsmen so often play mental shots when you want them to dig in, see this piece about the psychology of stonewalling.

But it’s Friday and you’ve no time for that right now, so here instead is our top three awful dismissals from England’s Ashes-losing 67 all out.

(And look on the bright side: at least you don’t have to spend an hour sitting indoors watching the Channel 5 highlights show on what is after all a beautiful sunny evening.)

Number 3: Jofra Archer’s periscope

This one was great because GET YOUR BAT OUT OF THE WAY.

Number 2: Ben Stokes’ stretchy waft

This one was great because HOW DID YOU EVEN REACH THAT?

Number 1: Jason Roy’s Jason Roy shot

This one was great because YES THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT WE EXPECTED.

Unlike Archer and Stokes, Roy had laid the groundwork for his awful dismissal by getting out to pointless drives several times previously.

That meant that this awful dismissal wasn’t just annoying, it was predictably annoying, which is of course a higher echelon of annoying altogether.

Roy is now basically James Vince, only without 27 runs of preamble leading up to each dismissal.

Top work, Jason Roy.


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  1. Approximately how many percentage points are added to the Joe Root burnout statistic to account for the dropped/juggled miss of Lamborghini this afternoon.

    I would suggest an additional 9.83%, making the current Joe Root Burnout Statistic approximately 68.83%, before accounting for additional burnout factors arising from the current dismal test match.

  2. The Stokes one elicited the strongest “what the $&#@ was he doing?” reaction from me when I saw it. Just look how far he’s stretching when HIS TEAM ARE ALREADY 34 FOR %?!€-ing THREE and he needs to settle things down.

    1. I think Stokes was the worst looking in a spectacular way but Buttler’s probably the dumbest. Those ‘sucked in’ traps always make the batsman look like an idiot. What is clear that if both teams had been good at catching, both previous tests would have probably been done and dusted in 2 and a half days. I’ve not seen such crud catching by Aus and England for some time, apart from the Aus team this morning.

      1. It’s probably just the sheer volume of potential catches. About a quarter of Test catch chances go down. These batting line-ups are giving us, what, 15 wickets a day, so you could expect to see five drops a day too.

        That said, a couple of them have been atrocious.

  3. Anyone still feeling that losing the Ashes was worth winning the World Cup for?

    Because I surely don’t.

    1. Yes actually. Winning the World Cup was up there with the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had in 30 years as a cricket fan. It had never happened before and it will never happen again. Ashes series come along every two years. Another one will be along soon.

      1. Agree. Although we do feel like they could have won the World Cup and also not been bowled out for 67 in a Test match. Lots of other countries have managed that.

      2. And while winning the World Cup was fun enough, it lost its glow about an hour after the game was over. 2005 it wasn’t.

        I’m just really hacked off by how little the ECB cares about Test or FC cricket (or even 50 over cricket now). The last few years (and probably several of the next ones) were all sacrificed for the first half of this summer and it wasn’t worth it.

      3. The 2005 team didn’t have to play another game just two weeks after their victory. We – players and fans – didn’t have enough time to enjoy and absorb the WC win.

  4. I think Jofra Archer’s periscope must be a strong contender for top spot in this match’s Ridiculous Ashes, not least because Jofra was seen mimicking the Steve Smith exaggerated leave in the nets.

    But of course, there’s plenty of time left in this match for ridiculous moments and Headingley is well known for springing ridiculousness at the 59th minute of the 11th hour.

  5. For those of us who have attempted to avoid the inevitability of our team facing defeat by adopting a new one instead, bad news. Thailand only lost one match as they won the quadrangular series against Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands – a last-ball defeat to Scotland that ended their world-record T20I winning streak (a record they snatched from Australia). But now in the T20 World Cup Qualifying warm-ups, they’ve just lost to Bangladesh – by six wickets with three balls remaining.

    In a low-scoring game, Thailand made 68/5. So at least it wasn’t as bad at England, and they did have five wickets in hand at the end of the allocated 20 overs…

    On reflection I suppose this is good news for anyone who adopted Bangladesh as their replacement team.

    1. Fun fact – Thailand are 12th in the ICC T20 rankings for women’s teams, the highest associate member, but only 62nd in the men’s rankings. A quite remarkable discrepancy. The only gap I can see that’s more extraordinary than that is Afghanistan, lying 7th in the men’s rankings, but who simply have no women’s team at all – it was abolished in 2014 without playing a single international match.

  6. For those who are following the progress of Ged’s “doing-arm”, I have good news to report. It came through a game of lawners with flying colours this morning.

    Acid test will be how it plays tomorrow and Monday, but the signs are very encouraging.

    In other news, how many times are England going to drop Lamborghini’s catches or catch him off a no-ball in each match? Hats off to the lad for bravery but his 80 in this innings was, in truth, 80/4 or 80/5, which is not that special.

    1. Do you play lawners every day?

      Also, was BC Lara’s 501 not that special because he was dropped twice and bowled off a no ball?

      1. Lawners with Daisy most Saturdays, Sundays and occasionally on other days (e.g. Bank Holiday Monday). Realers normally a couple of times a week, midweek.

        501/2 or 3 is still a special score. Whereas 80/4 or 5 is less than special.

  7. England might end up regretting not scoring, say, 117 in the first innings, just to have put a bit more pressure on…

  8. JOE HOPE: Root and Denners battle back in Ashes showdown

    STARTER FOR DEN: Kent veteran leads Leeds revival

    Etc and so forth

  9. That Roy dismissal in the 2nd innings was ‘pure awful’. That was neck and crop.

    Good luck for these 359! I’m Roooooooting for you guys!

  10. I’m at Headingley. I can’t spake. None of us can spake. England are the best team in the world! (Well one of the team is anyway).

  11. (1) Stokes has, arguably, redeemed himself for that awful shot in the first innings

    (2) Cricket!

      1. Bert- what are your considered thoughts? For me it must be in the pantheon – certainly of the last 40/50 years and if someone like Boycott says it then i’m inclined to trust his judgement.

    1. Unfortunately once again everyone else is pretending they do too.

      I’m looking at you, Gary Lineker and Nick Robinson off of BBC News.

  12. On reflection I reckon England could have scored minus twelve in their first innings and still won. Just.

    After that dodgy lbw not-out a part of me was rooting for a tie…

  13. Just watching the last half hour on Sky, and I still have a dry mouth. Even knowing the result, it is still almost unbearable.

  14. When the 9th wicket went down I couldn’t bear to watch for quite a while and sat stewing in the garden.

    Daisy kept the faith and kept watching. I returned to the living room when Stokes was on the verge of his ton.

    A truly remarkable ending to yet another topsy-turvy match.

    Test cricket.

    1. Double the score plus one – Ben Stokes’s second innings score compared with England’s entire first innings score.



  15. This wasn’t a ridiculous Ashes Test. It was preposterous. And Ben Stokes has been participating fully. Phew!

    I missed the World Cup final live. I watched the last 37 runs of this and was shaking like a leaf. Was the World Cup final worse to watch live or this? Test is best. Even though I like all of the crickets.

    1. About the same. I watched the WC final and listened to this one. Both unbearable.

      Towards the end today I couldn’t move but I couldn’t sit still.

  16. And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

    And I was.

    1. Is it possible that one amongst us was actually there today?

      That would be fabulous.

      It would also require at least one match report. Possibly more than one.

      It would also have been good if one of us had actually been there when the Aussies were rolled for 60 at Trent Bridge in 2015. Is that possible too? I can’t remember whether anyone around here owned up to that one or not.

      1. That was then, Ged. This is now, and is superior in every regard. Smudge and Essie are the new holders of the King Cricket “I Was There” award for best being there performance.

  17. Just watching that lbw again. It’s not a bad decision from the umpire. Bear with me Australians.

    Before DRS it would never have been given out. To give it out the umpire would need to have judged that it turned a long way, and since Stokes had a decent stride he had almost no post-spin flight to judge from. With no spin it’s missing leg stump by a distance.

    Based on what the umpire saw, he made the right decision. It’s only a wicket with DRS.

    1. Agreed.

      It also makes the referral that they well and truly wasted a few balls earlier (the pitched some distance outside leg stump one) especially meaningful.

      At the time Daisy said, “yeh, but it doesn’t make much difference because there’s only one wicket to go anyway”, to which I retorted, “but it might make all the difference if Nathan Lyon has an edge or an LBW turned down in the next over”.

      KC has a massive call to make in the matter of that useless Aussie referral as to whether or not it qualifies for the ridiculous Ashes. In some ways, it was, of course, a ridiculous referral. But it was so manifestly result-defining that it might have to be deemed as serious. Rather you than me, KC.

    2. Just watched the lbw on the Channel 5 highlights and came on here to post the same thing, but it’s already been said three times now.

      One point I’ll add: something I like about DRS is how it deflects some of the criticism from the umpire. Now we have the TV technology, we have moved away from the era of the “controversial” decision, disputed sometimes for decades by players, commentators and spectators who can truly say “I was there”, to the point where people can state definitively from their living rooms hundreds of miles away “he made a bad decision there” and feel they have concrete evidence to back it up.

      In reality, many of those cases would only been “wrong” decisions with the benefit of technology, so “bad” is pejorative to the umpire and they seldom deserve it. I’d not want to have to be the final arbiter of the calls they make in real time, day in, day out, when the whole point of spin and swing is the way their path is intended to deceive, while the speed of a top-class fast bowler is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stuff.

      But with DRS, Mr Satonda Sofar can – and frequently will – seamlessly move on to excoriating the players who failed to reverse the umpire’s decision, or those who incompetently wasted all the earlier reviews. If an umpire’s incorrect-to-the-point-of-potentially-overturnable call affects the outcome of the match, then it is those players who deserve, and generally receive, a greater share of the flak.

    3. Really? I haven’t watched the lbw again, but watching it when it happened in real time I thought it was out straight away – off-spinners like Swann and Lyon, on a fourth day pitch, you can assume turn and there was evidence that Lyon was getting it consistently. Hit him in front of the stumps.

      Alas, poor Joel seems to have escaped most of the Australians’ fury by not being Tim Paine.

      1. I didn’t watch the replay, or in fact even the match and have come here to vehemently disagree with everything’s that’s written. Seriously people? That wasn’t out? What kind of a world do we live in? It was clear to everyone who cared to look that that was out. What? No, not that one, the other one. Shit.

  18. Another side note – Jonathan Agnew goes on and on about how Jim Maxwell was on the mic for the climax of Edgbaston 2005. JA was clearly disappointed to have not called the World Cup final better. His view of the winning moment was obscured so there was a delay as he wondered whether the run out had been effected. That was meant to be his ‘They think it’s all over’ moment. Instead, Ian Smith’s TV commentary went around the world.

    Today may serve as some sort of vindication for Aggers. His description of the final moments at Headingley was top class.

    But he did repeatedly call Jonathan Liew a cunt.

    1. He did a really good job. For boiling a situation down to its essence, it’s hard to beat:

      “It’s six or out…

      “It’s six!”

  19. Best stat so far – most number of balls to reach double-figures by an Englishman for 25 years.

  20. Well, I’m off to watch some rubbish baseballists. I don’t expect anything as exciting this afternoon.

    And bizarrely, thanks to an idle tweet, I’m now aware of Hameed’s optimistic sounding salary demands.

      1. Ah, nothing to see. Paul Nixon slid into my DMs (for some inexplicable reason, he follows me).

    1. I can hardly believe that I am typing this, but for once I pretty much agree with everything Chappelli is saying in this article.

      I am delighted to say that he has good reason to whine.

      But more importantly, I think his analysis of England’s batting flaws are spot on. Unless England changes something in the top seven, we are more likely to come unstuck in the next two matches than the Aussies.

      Hopefully we’ll have Jimmy back but, if traded for Woakes, that makes 8, 9, 10, Jack unusually weak with the bat.

      I saw the Colville/Willis/Alec show last night. Are the only batsmen in England eligible as replacements current or former Surrey players? Is there no-one capable of facing a bouncer without turning away?

      1. Steve “Not Playing” Smith currently tops the Australian averages for this series, followed by Marnus “That’s Not A Real Name” Labuschagne. For England it is their How To Keep A Fire Going double-act of Stokes and Burns. As far as reasonable (over 40) averages go, that’s it – two from each team.

        After these four, the order is Australia, England, England, England, Australia (a bowler). Chappelli alludes to Jason Roy, but unaccountably fails to mention David Warner. He mocks our wicket-keeper who’s averaging only 27, but seemingly thinks a series average of 12 for theirs isn’t worth commenting on.

        He is right that England’s problems shouldn’t be whitewashed by a piece of one-off brilliance, but I’m not sure his own team is in particularly excellent nick either. In two innings here, on a pitch that yielded 350 fourth innings runs, Australia’s batsmen failed to get to 300 twice.

  21. Headingly 1981
    Edgbaston 2005
    Headingly 2019

    I think that’s a reasonable top three, in whatever order you choose, of England’s greatest test matches. All in the Ashes, all with the series on the line, all involving a turn-round of some sort. But the weird thing is that in each case, the hero of the day was cut from exactly the same cloth – a physically intimidating all-rounder with a penchant for hitting sixes, a man who likes a pint and who dislikes authority. And, if you are somewhat flexible with which period of childhood counts most for defining you, all northerners. All anti-Cooks, if you will.

    As far as I can remember, no other team in the world has ever had this sort of player. The nearest I can think of is Andrew Symonds.

    Surely there is a lesson here for the ECB. The place to find your next superstar isn’t the choir of St Pauls or the playing fields of Eton, it is the nightclubs of some provincial town at 4am. Selectors should be sent there immediately. The list of stylish English batsmen is as long as your arm, but none of these have ever done with their classy cover drives what Botham, Flintoff and Stokes have done with their mow over square leg after a few pints.

    And the other lesson is that under no circumstances should Ben Stokes be made captain.

      1. Very good Bert, but I think I’d flip ’81 and ’19 in order of brilliance.

        Incidentally, I was driving back to North Wales from Scotland yesterday morning and had serious thoughts about cutting across to Headingley/Headingly to see if I could wind my way into the ground. I was about to turn off the M6 when Jonny got out and I thought ‘ah bugger it’ and carried on….so I wasn’t there.

    1. Isn’t Beefy from Yeovil?

      Your point stands but I would add that another thing they all have in common is being involved in youth football. If we want to get the best atheletes out of comprehensives to take cricket seriously we need to ban football.

      1. Yes, Beefy is from Yeovil, but he was born in Cheshire. Stokes, on the other hand, was born in NZ but went to school in Cumbria.

        It’s all a question of flexible definitions.

    2. I’m not sure I agree with your trail of logic here, Bert, but I absolutely love the idea of Ed Smith and James Taylor trawling the very dingiest nightclubs of the sinkiest provincial towns in the wee small hours, in search of tomorrow’s cricketing superstars.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. There’s nothing wrong with the logic, Ged. You’re just upset (*) because you are a stylish batsman in the classic style (*), all silky cover drives and elegant cuts backward of point (*), very much in the manner of David Gower (*). I’ll bet your bat weighed no more than 2lb 6oz (*). And as such you’ve never won an Ashes match single-handedly (**). Go on, admit it, you haven’t. No, because to win an Ashes match single-handed you have to be Beefy Fred Stokes and your favourite food has to be beefy fried yolks, which doesn’t exist but if it did would comprise beef, beer and cholesterol in equal measure.

        When Flintoff came along, people said he might be the new Botham. But I don’t think anyone realised at the time that there was literally a conveyor belt of Bothams just waiting to be de-belted into the fiery cauldron of international cricket. They’re probably Replicants or something. Nexus 12, I reckon, the ones with added oven chips.

        (*) There is a certain amount of guesswork here, but I’ve read your match reports. Not all of them, obviously, nobody has that amount of time. But most of them.
        (**) I’m less uncertain about this one.

      2. Mercifully for connoisseurs of pure cricket, moving pictures (at least the smart phone variety) had yet to be invented when I played most of my matches.

        But this match report should answer most of your questions, Bert.


        Please note the trade mark hoick to the leg side.

        I did once win the Ashes single-handed (as you suspected) but modesty has, until now, prevented me from writing that one up. But given your polite enquiry, Bert, I think I might owe it to the King Cricket public to write that one up some time soon.

  22. Can somebody be awarded LMoG on moments and context?

    I’m pretty sure that there will be many people with better batting averages, in red and white ball, this year than Ben Stokes (and let’s not even talk about bowling averages). But he dragged England over the line in the World Cup final, dragged them over the line today, did so in a way that was dramatic and fun, and if England win the Ashes I don’t think it’ll matter if he averages three for the rest of the year.

    1. LMCoG, a Knighthood, an MBE, a seat in the House of Lord’s, a Grade 5 piano certificate and a pink ‘I used the potty’ sticker.

  23. I have now gone full circle from England Are Doomed to We Have The Momentum to England Are Doomed (Because The Aussies Will Bounce Back From This).

    At this rate I’m going to have a dissociative event at Old Trafford.

    1. Are you attending OT in person, AP? If so, I wonder what events we will be party to, that will enable further I-was-there-ing on these pages. I’m expecting a weather-ruined draw with frequent passages of on/off play and occasional sheltering under the stand to avoid further diluting the already weak beer.

      1. I am, Mike – Day 2 and Day 4 (if there is a Day 4, although the weather is likely to intervene enough to keep things alive that long even if the two teams’ batsmen aren’t able to do so).

        It’s my first time at an Ashes test since the Saturday in 2005, when it rained almost all day.

        Something amazing is guaranteed to happen on Day 3.

    2. I’m going to Old Trafford. I had a ticket for Day 1 at Lord’s, but I couldn’t go because I was working abroad. Fortunately, it rained all day.

      So now I’ve got a ticket for Day 4 at Old Trafford instead. On Friday, we were concerned that the match might not get that far.

  24. I have finally recovered the ability to spake.

    I’m afraid to say I must relate a shameful piece of Australian behaviour. While discussing the prospects for the remaining two tests, an Australian acquaintance was seen to utter the phrase ‘we’ll be fine with Smithy back’.


    A term of affection for this scoundrel, not the neutral, cold ‘Smith’.

    I think this tells you all you need to know about that nation and its people.

  25. From KC’s excellent twitter feed:

    “It’s six or out…

    “It’s six!”

    Aggers’ cracking voice on ‘It’s six!’ was the champagne moment for me. That was proper magic. I had just completed mowing the lawn and was sitting with a G&T on the only proper hot day of the year in Glasgow, almost in tears by this point, knowing one more run would breathe life into what I’d long accepted was a dead rubber at Old Trafford next week.

    Throughout the mowing process I was preparing to add this drudgery to ‘Beach cricket at Freycinet national park’ and countless insomniac nights to my list of experiences in the ‘what I was doing when the Ashes were lost’ folder.

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