A season Later playing Pakistan. They have massive bowling advantage with their fve star bowling attack and a slight batting advantage. The computer selects a good team for me so not to many changes to be made, include an extra spinner so my squad has 3 seamers and 2 spinnners. On match day the pitch is even for seamers and average for spinners so I include my second spinner which decreases the bowling but also adds a bit to batting. So my plan is to bat first and then try to survive up to day five when I will win the match. Everything goes according to plan as I win the toss but after day 1 I am already thinking about the second test.
Time for damage control, minimise their lead. This works well but now its time to bat again. Another shaky start before Hansen and Bell dig in and try to bat for as long as possible. Both get centuries and then Hansen chips the ball to midoff off the Pakistan spinner and Bell soon follows him back to the pavillion.
So I managed to make it to day 5 and set a target of about 200. Now all that is needed is some luck to get another 10 wickets. Well the comp thinks it is winning and plays right into my plan. 1-0.
It's the summer of 2045, sixteen years on from my last entry in the annals of ICC's greatest Test matches. Two players remain from the England XI that squeezed victory from the jaws of defeat in Pakistan, off-spinner David Mutch and Jeff Sked - then a teenage middle order batsman, now captain. The two players now had 426 Test caps between them, 40-year-old Mutch with 1154 Test wickets and Sked, 35, the small matter of 55 Test centuries.
Australia had made a depressing start to their Ashes tour - forty years on from the 2005 series when England wrested a possession of the urn that they were yet to relinquish. One-day defeats at Chelmsford, Northampton and Hove were followed by NatWest Series disappointment and a comprehensive nine-wicket reverse against Glamorgan in their only first-class practice fixture. The skies above London were leaden black as Aussie skipper Baz Stafford lost the toss and saw Jeff Sked opt for first use of a well-prepared Lord's wicket.
England's confidence soon looked misplaced, however, as Andy Miller and Larry Shone both perished to Paul Cullin. It was Jack Osmond, whose first-innings hundred had been instrumental in Glamorgan's win the week before, who again frustrated the Aussies. Finding an able ally in Sked, whose experience aided him in negotiating the conditions on his way to his 141st score of fifty or more in Test cricket. Yet when Cullin returned in the afternoon, Sked and Andy Walcott fell inside an over, and England's middle order couldn't handle the pace of Cullin and Tim Hitchens. 181/2 rapidly became 252 all out, and only England's 10 and 11, Mutch and Bill Maloney, scraped into the start of day two.
England struck early, Kurt Astwood and Michael Parris reducing the tourists to 29/3, but as the clouds cleared to reveal baking July heat, the new ball quickly lost its shine and captain Stafford (90), with the support of George Hansen (66) rebuilt the Australian innings. Neither were able to go on to three figures however, and it was only 20s from keeper David Ready and veteran seamer Charlie Wingfield that saw to a first-innings lead.
A watchful start to England's reply saw Miller and Shone add 75 for the first wicket, but they fell in quick succession and when Sked followed, England were 92/3 and one again in difficulties. This left Andy Walcott, a comparative youngster at 26, but with 35 Test matches and 10 centuries behind him, to join Osmond's second rescue mission of the Test. The two men added 179 for the fourth wicket before Osmond flicked Kurt Vincent to midwicket for a round 100. If Walcott then expected some aid from the English middle order, he was to be mistaken. Larry Lyman, whose Test average has plummetted from 170 after two gentle warm-ups against Zimbabwe to just 49.25, fell for nine, whilst out-of-form keeper Adrian Griffith added one less. Astwood and Parris were unable to repeat their bowling efforts with the willow, and England stood 306/8.
David Mutch needed to show all of his 232 Tests' experience in resisting the Australian seam attack, but almost 4,000 Test runs don't come by accident, and he settled down to join Walcott in a liaison that lasted almost an hour and a half and yielded 81 runs before Cullin's yorker trapped Mutch LBW for 26. Bill Maloney fell for 7 soon after, and England were all out for 399 with Walcott unbeaten on 143.
Australia's target to take the series lead was 369, and when Astwood bowled Rob Moore in his second over, this seemed even further away. The Northamptonshire bowler's early success was, however, no sign of any prolonged English success. Adam Hanger and Derek Tennison took the tourists' tally beyond three figures before Hanger top-edged a cut shot off legspinner Maloney for 51, but Aussie skipper Stafford had no intention of allowing England to seize the momentum. He and Tennison (93) added 95 for the third wicket before his partner fell, inside-edging onto his stumps off the veteran Mutch. Phil Jewell ensured there was no let-up for the English, joining his captain in a fourth-wicket stand of 127 that took the tourists to 326/3 before Stafford limply fell, skewing Parris to Astwood at midwicket.
The captain's soft dismissal didn't seem to matter as Hansen eased in to join Jewell, but as Bill Maloney marked out his run at the Nursery End, England had one last throw of their dice. First Jewell fell, cutting to Parris at point, and two balls later a leg-break fizzed down the slope and into David Ready's off stump. Australia were 338/6 - needing 31 to win with four wickets in hand. England could sense an opening, and quickly Jeff Sked threw the ball to Kurt Astwood, his most incisive-looking seamer, who responded by beating the edge of new man Wingfield.
Yet try as Astwood and Maloney might, Australia limped forward, reaching 357 before the game turned again. A top-spinner from Maloney caught a top edge as Wingfield looked to cut, and Adrian Griffith delightedly took his chance behind the stumps. Paul Cullin only added one to the Australian total from number nine, before Astwood pinned him leg-before to make the score 358/8, the requirement to win just eleven. George Hansen, the number six batsman, was Australia's insurance against disaster - and when Sked spilled him at second slip off Astwood, letting the ball through him for a single, it seemed as if England's chance had gone.
Bill Maloney didn't believe it. The first ball of the 113th over of the Australian run chase bounced and spun off the Lord's wicket, fizzing past Hansen's cut shot, but keeper Griffith's boisterous appeal met with a grim shake of the head from Kiwi umpire Colin Papplewick. Unbowed, Maloney returned to his mark, and his googly trapped Hansen tight on the crease, prompting Papplewick's finger upwards and England within one run of glory. Number eleven Kurt Vincent, entering the innings averaging just 3.38, bottom-edged his first-ball sweep, fine of keeper Griffith, and Australia were 363/9, needing just six.
Two balls later, Maloney dropped short outside leg stump, and Tim Hitchens threw all his weight into a grotesque pull shot that somehow found the middle of the bat and swirled, bouncing just once, over the midwicket boundary and towards a scoreboard that now read just two to win. Hitchens defended the final ball of Maloney's over to cover, and Kurt Astwood took the mantle of bowling to his namesake. Sixteen years ago, it had been a Northamptonshire seamer with a Test century to his name who castled Hasan Kundi to seal a one-run triumph. Sixteen years on, Astwood had a chance to repeat Charles Patrick's feat. His first ball was full, angling back in to Vincent who shuffled on his feet, aiming to squeeze his toes away and jam his blade down: but his quickstep was too slow, and the ball thudded into the base of leg stump to grant England a one-run victory every bit as remarkable as that of those sixteen years ago.
"I had thought I'd had my fill of those for my lifetime," the England captain Sked grinned in relief as he talked to Cricket Web after the match. "It's a long time since that incredible win in Lahore - one that saved our unbeaten run, I think, and I thought that the next time I saw one of these I would be happily in front of the videowall, rather than doing my best to foul it up at slip! All credit to Bill and Kurt, though, that's serious guts to bowl that well in a situation like that - and a word too for Jacko [Osmond], that's three straight tons against the Aussies, and that's special."
Australian captain Baz Stafford had little to say. "I'm gutted. Absolutely gutted. The way me and Jeweller chucked it away when we were set. It's not Kurt's fault, no way, the job of the batters is to finish a game off when we get the chance. We've shown that we can beat the English; it's been a damn long time since we had that urn, and we're going to go to Edgbaston now and show them that this isn't just a one-off, and the Ashes is a contest this year."
For all Stafford's bravery, England's Test side is not one to allow challengers a second shot at glory. The Australian chance at ending forty years of Ashes hurt may well have just passed in the space of one Kurt Astwood yorker.
Jack Osmond 113, Jeff Sked 66
Paul Cullin 5/69, Tim Hitchens 3/52
Baz Stafford 90, George Hanson 66
Malcolm Parris 5/78, Kurt Astwood 4/95
Andy Walcott 143*, Jack Osmond 100
Paul Cullin 4/124, Kurt Vincent 2/126
Baz Stafford 112, Derek Tennison 93
Bill Maloney 5/71, Kurt Astwood 3/103
Man of the Match
Jack Osmond (England) - 113 and 100
England win by 1 run and lead the four-Test series 1-0
Last edited by Neil Pickup; 22-12-2007 at 11:53 AM.
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2 years on from a dissapointing World Cup performance the focus in some quarters had switched to the 2011 World Cup, but for the Indian Test squad, all eyes were on Eden Gardens for the third and deciding match of the Test Series between India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had won the opening match in Mumbai by 66 runs, with India collapsing to 174 all out in the fourth innings. India had replied strongly in the next test though, at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, destroying Sri Lanka in the third innings, with 6 wickets for Munaf Patel, bowling them out for 83 and setting up a 10 wicket victory.
So the circus moved to Eden Gardens, Kolkata where the winner of the Test would be victorious in the series. Captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat on the pitch, which already looked very tricky to bat on. The Indian opening bowlers, Munaf Patel and Inesh Raul got stuck in early, Patel's opening maiden to Sangakkara was followed up by Raul trapping Marvan Atapattu in front of the stumps for a duck, placing Sri Lanka on the back foot early on. Jayawardene was attacking from Number Three, but Raul removed his off-stump, bringing Chamara Silva to the crease.
Silva and Sangakkara made a nice little partnership, but Sangakkara was removed for 24 off 99 balls by the slow left arm bowling of Madhusudan Acharya. This just started the punishment for India though, as Michael Vandort linked up with Silva. It took over 40 overs to break them up, as they both amassed fifties before part-time Yuvraj Singh managed to decieve Vandort. Thilan Samaraweera added a quick 28, and Silva passed 100, before Munaf dismissed him. In the end, Raul made Silva play on after he had reached 177, and then combined with Munaf to rip through the tail, bowling Sri Lanka out for 385.
The Indian reply did not go well, as they fell quickly to 125 for 5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrived at the crease, to partner the Number Six batsman, 20 year old Tahir Gandhi, in his fith Test match. The two batted very well, and restored a chance of India winning the match, as well as proving there's life beyond India's top four (Sehwag, Yuvraj, Dravid, Tendulkar). Gandhi and Dhoni put on 166 together for the sixth wicket, taking India to 291/6, but the momentum couldn't be pressed home, and India finished their innings on 308 all out.
India started their reply well, as Raul removed Atapattu for single figures again, but the score passed 50 before Raul bowled Sangakkara, and allthough Acharya got Jayawardene soon after, this re-united Chamara Silva and Michael Vandort at the crease. The two piled up 124 for the fourth wicket (to follow 146 in the first innings) and took the score to 199/4. Vandort was the first of the two to go - for 55 - but then Yuvraj dismissed Silva - on 99, just one run away from twin centuries, and he was dismissed by a part-timer!
The Sri Lankan tail agin showed very little resistance, and they were bowled out for 302, with Raul taking 5 wickets. It looked like an impossible task for India, set three-hundred and eighty runs to win in just under two days on a pitch that a spinner would happily set up camp on.
Sehwag started off the innings aggresively, and got to 31 before Thilan Samaraweera turned one on to his stumps. The next partnership was slower, the two defensive batsmen of India, Yuvraj and Captain Dravid combined, putting on 41 for the second wicket before Samaraweera decieved Yuvraj in to edging the ball to Fernando in the outfield. Tendulkar made a quick 23 before edging to the slips, and when Ganguly and night-watchman Harbhajan fell before the close, India were back in trouble at 134/5, needing over 200 more to win the match. But this brought back young star Tahir Gandhi back to the crease...
Gandhi and Dravid grafted out the runs, were happy to block out maidens from the spinners, time seemed like no obstacle to the pair, who ground out run after run, pushing past their individual fifties, and the century partnership, until Dravid edged Samaraweera to Sangakkara on 96, and left the ground with India 106 runs short of their target. However, due to the use of a nightwatchman, this meant that MS Dhoni was in at eight, and (realising the fact that they could run out of time, as Dravid and Gandhi had batted negatively through out the day, in an effort to stay in) took to the crease more aggressively, hitting at a strike rate of around 60. Gandhi was not deterred by this, however, and he brought up his century with little fuss, and even less celebration, as he felt that one raise of the bat to the pavillion was enough for his third Test century. It was a clear message to Sri Lanka: his job was not done yet.
Gandhi scored sixteen more runs before he was caught at slip by Vandort, even though he wanted to see it through to the end, there was an air of Pietersen 2005 in the young man, he'd done the job, he'd won the series for his country. Dhoni and Acharya kept calm though, and with a crashing off-drive through the covers, Dhoni scored the winning runs, and fell to his knees with joy.
It was the fourth highest total in the fourth innings ever to win a test, and in the post-match interview, captain Rahul Dravid talked about his delight. "This result today just shows the great belief that this team has, and the great players that this country can produce. It was unpopular in some circles to drop VVS [Laxman] for the young, untested Tahir Gandhi, but I think that his performance today, and in the first innings, shows that by throwing him in at the deep end, we made the right choice."
Sri Lanka 385
Chamara Silva 177, Michael Vandort 74
Munaf Patel 4/74, Inesh Raul 4/148
Mahendra Dhoni 86, Tahir Gandhi 80
Nishan Komaseru 3/37, Thilan Samaraweera 3/88
Sri Lanka 302
Chamara Silva 99, Michael Vandort 55
Inesh Raul 5/103, Madhusudan Acharya 3/69
India 380 for 7
Tahir Gandhi 116, Rahul Dravid 94
Thilan Samaraweera 4/140, Singakutti Indrasiri 2/95
Man of the Match
Chamara Silva 177 and 99
India win by 8 wickets and win the series 2 tests to 1
Last edited by Jamee999; 24-12-2007 at 03:18 AM. Reason: Spelling Gandhi right...
RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990 - 15/4/2006
Had a ripper test tonight as Australia - probably one of my best wins in ICC games. Even better that it was against the old enemy!
2ND TEST - ASHES 2009 - ENGLAND V AUSTRALIA @ LORD'S
1st Test at SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
Australia 339 all out (Ponting 103, Clarke 74, Hoggard 4-80) and 443 all out (Hussey 103, Haddin 62, Panesar 5-94) drew with England 252 all out (Prior 55, Casson 4-48, Noffke 2-42) and 272 for 7 (Flintoff 70*, Noffke 3-95, Lee 3-102)
Australia came into the second test at Lord's firm favourites after being denied only by rain in the first test to fall just short of victory. They made just the one forced change - Beau Casson's injury forcing him out for left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken who makes his first appearance since 2005 against South Africa. Meanwhile, England rang in the changes as Owais Shah, James Hildreth and Monty Panesar were all omitted for debutant Mark Davies and the men who debuted against Zimbabwe earlier in the summer - Peter Horton and Adam Shantry.
England's captain Kevin Pietersen won the toss and elected to bat first on a good track but the hosts struggled early as Andrew Strauss fell for just four as Brett Lee seared a good length ball off his outside edge into the paws of Michael Hussey at first slip. The hosts slumped further as Pietersen himself was trapped LBW by Stuart Clark for 15 - the metronomal line-and-length of Clark claiming Ian Bell for 23. Matt Prior was promoted to five and made a promising 26 from 39 balls before he was done in by a beauty from Ashley Noffke to reduce the hosts to 4-119. But Alistair Cook produced a sensational knock to bring up his eleventh test ton as he played a patient innings of 137 from 323 balls before finally shouldering arms to a good length ball from Clark. Clark seemed to play a lone hand for the hosts as the other seamers struggled - Nathan Bracken's return to test cricket ahead of squad members Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle looking a bit daft as he struggled to even threaten. An amazing 145-run stand between Andrew Flintoff and youngster Adam Shantry frustrating the Aussies before Clark finally god rid of Flintoff for 105 en route to a career best 7-144.
Australia started strongly with a century stand between openers Phil Jaques and Matthew Hayden as both cruised to half-centuries. But a promising start soon faltered as Matthew Hoggard snared Hayden for 58 whilst Mark Davies claimed his first test scalp by finding the outside edge of captain Ricky Ponting for just five. Michael Clarke looked positive early but was felled by a cutter from Ian Bell of all people to reduce Australia to 3-135. Jaques looked good for his seventh test ton but faltered on 75 to Shantry and was soon followed by Andrew Symonds (18), Brad Haddin (12) and Ashley Noffke (2). Needing support from the tail to avoid the follow on, Mike Hussey found support in Brett Lee (11*) but he too was done in by debutant Davies who had him chop on for a marathon 53 in 190 deliveries. The tail folded and Australia were staring down the barrel of a 1-0 series deficit as Pietersen enforced the follow on.
But keen to rectify the wrongs of 2005, Australia was led confidently by its senior brigade as Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting punished the inexperienced English attack and helped create the possibility of an exceptional victory. After losing Jaques for 33 to Davies, Ponting and Hayden combined for a 113-run second wicket stand which saw Hayden fall just seven runs short of his 39th test ton as he edged a full ball from Ryan Sidebottom. But Ponting would have no such problems as he waltzed to a record-equalling 42nd test century as he composed a delightful 132 in 263 deliveries. Ponting's stand finally ended at the hands of Davies who made it two-from-two by this time trapping him LBW. Australia managed to creep the target above 240 thanks to Hussey (42), Symonds (50) and the impressive Ashley Noffke (41) despite Sidebottom and Davies claimed five wickets a piece - Davies finishing up with Noffke to complete an exceptional debut.
Chasing a stiff target of 245 in 62 overs, England started steadily for four overs before Lee removed the sturdy Cook for just six. Kevin Pietersen's poor series continued as he was struck on the elbow by a short ball for Stuart Clark - a fracture that will keep him on the sidelines for three weeks. The captain retired hurt without making a run to back up his scores of 12, 0 and 15 so far which exposed Ian Bell to a new ball which proved beyond him as he was trapped plumb LBW by Brett Lee for three. 2-24 became 3-58 as Matt Prior fell for 17 after another confident start to Noffke whilst Strauss looked to play aggressively and had little trouble in negotiating Nathan Bracken on his way to 87. But Bracken would finally pick up his first wicket back in the test team as he removed Peter Horton for ten whilst Lee snared an in form and ominous looking Andrew Flintoff for 32 in 40 balls as he did him in with a bouncer. Any chance of an English victory crumbled as Lee dismissed Strauss thirteen short of a century after just 128 balls - the English nearly holding on for a draw before Hoggard was trapped LBW by Noffke for one after a defiant 49 run stand between Sidebottom and Davies. With just three overs left in the day, broken bones kept Pietersen from even attempting to see out the day to complete a historic victory for Australia.
LOL @ this thread....
Love You India
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