Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 10, 2011

Friday, 7th January 2011 – a few notes for the end of Week 1 as the Ashes series ends!

Another warm day with promise of more to come. Called in at the radio station this morning to provide a brief local sport report [not that there was much going on in the local area at present, with most competitions having a break.   I don’t how it managed it, but the presenter on air this morning, Ron, managed to tee up a telephone interview with Victoria’s new Premier, Ted Bailleau this morning [well, in view of Ron’s professional radio background, it probably wasn’t that difficult for him to organise], certainly a scoop for our local radio station anyway. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear the complete interview – as I arrived at work before it was finished, but apart from the usual interview format, Ron had even convinced Ted to reveal three of his favourite music tracks, and played them during the interview. Well done, Ron!!

A final word on the test cricket  –  [although my various friends over in England won’t allow me to forget about the outcome too easily!!] – it finished before lunch today, as anticipated, and  this press report followed soon afterward  Australia’s defeat  –  

“In the wake of Australia’s embarrassing defeat to England in the Ashes, Michael Clarke has quit as captain of the nation’s Twenty20 side.  Clarke reportedly made the decision due to his poor form in the series, and follows Ricky Ponting in ditching the short form of cricket to focus on his Test career.  As a result, he will no longer hold any full-time captaincy positions, with Ponting expected to return to the role in both the Test and one-day sides when he returns from injury.  Clarke came under fire after a poor Ashes showing where he has failed to score a decent amount of runs since his promotion from five to four in the batting order.  Clarke took over the Twenty20 captaincy from Ponting after Australia’s last Ashes defeat in August 2009.  Reports have [correctly]  suggested Victorian Cameron White will be Clarke’s replacement as captain.

Dominant England claimed their first Ashes series in Australia for 24 years with their third innings victory over the home team in the final Sydney Test.  England [today] wrapped up an innings and 83-run victory before lunch after victory was assured when they had Australia seven wickets down at the close of play last night.  It was England’s first series victory Down Under since Mike Gatting’s team beat Australia 2-1 in 1986-87. The tourists posted their highest-ever score in Australia on 644 and dismissed the hapless hosts for 280 and 281.  It was probably England’s most comprehensive performance of the series with Alastair Cook (189), Matt Prior (118) and Ian Bell (115) all claiming centuries in an overpowering first innings lasting 177.5 overs and 758 minutes. Their bowlers, led by leading series wicket-taker James Anderson, exposed the gulf between the two attacks by dismissing Australia cheaply again. England were a potent force during the series, overpowering Australia in huge wins in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, with the Australians winning the third Perth Test. The opening Brisbane Test was drawn. Alastair Cook was the series top scorer with 766 at 127.66, second only to Wally Hammond’s 905 in 1928-29 for most runs for England in a series in Australia. Anderson finished the series with 24 wickets, the most by any England bowler since Frank Tyson took 28 in 1954-5 and wicketkeeper Matt Prior took 23 catches in the series. England were the last team to beat Australia at the SCG in 2003 when Andy Caddick claimed 7-94 after Michael Vaughan had amassed 183 in the second innings to pull off a massive 225-run triumph. England have now won 22 times in Sydney in 54 Tests.  The Ashes humiliation was Australia’s sixth defeat in their last eight Tests and comes at a time of major upheaval in all facets of the Australian game. Michael Clarke stood in for injured skipper Ricky Ponting for the Sydney Test and came away with a similar result.  Only Mike Hussey with 570 runs and two centuries at 63.33 emerged with his reputation intact as Ponting (113 runs at 16) and Clarke (193 at 21.44) failed miserably with the bat. Australia’s leading contemporary wicket-taker Mitchell Johnson also had an under-performing series — taking 15 wickets at an expensive 36.93.  Australia’s diabolical performance is expected to lead to an inquest with the administrators, selectors, coaches and players under scrutiny amid widespread public disenchantment”.

Actually there was the promise of a more interesting finish over in South Africa between the home team and India – to consolidate it’s current as the top test playing nation, India needed 340 runs, I think it was, on the final day the third and deciding test over night –  should have been a close exciting finish, and one could be forgiven for assuming that India would score those runs easily!  Not so apparently, in fact the match dwindled out to a disappointing draw when the captains apparently agreed that no result was possible late in the day, when India were just 3 for 166 runs. From a distance, it seemed like a pretty tame effort by the Indians to win that game!!

Despite the heat of the day, and this evening, I did manage to get out for a walk –  Susie was at work until 10pm, so upon returning home this evening, I cooked an evening meal for us both, and by the time that was ready, the temperature and harshness of the sun had eased a little, so before eating, I went for a late walk, and felt reasonably satisfied for having done so. Meanwhile, with my main computer still out of action, I have a little extra time at present for reading, and also a bit  of TV watching.  Apart from some sporting events, and the occasional documentary or political program, I try to avoid spending too much time in front of the TV, unless it’s something worthwhile on the ABC. Tonight, that medium had Part 1 of a mini-series called ‘Collision’ – I guess I started to watch it because it involved a car accident [involving multiple cars in fact], and those who have read my blogs over the last few years, will be aware that it is a subject that plays on my mind at regular intervals. This show dealt a situation a number of vehicles colliding in the one incident with multiple deaths and injuries resulting. The story follows a police officer with a troubled past who is brought in investigate the accident, and in so doing, he begins to untangle the secrets and lives of the various strangers who were involved in the accident.  It’s obviously a fact, that in most vehicle accidents, the people who are involved were complete strangers until they tragically come together in this fashion. The series presents the aftermath of such an accident from the point of view of the lives of the victims involved. I found it quite interesting – now all I need to do, is to remember to watch Part II next Friday night!!!


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