Saturday, July 18, 2009

England making history

England haven't beaten Australia at Thomas Lord's old ground in 75 years. The last time this happened was in 1934 when Bradman and O'Reilly and McCabe faced Hammond and co. In this game, England were greatly assisted by the rain. They batted first and reached 440, after being reduced to 5/182, thanks to centuries by Maurice Leyland and Leslie Ames, two of the best post war batsmen. By the end of Day 2, the game was in the balance. Australia had replied to England's 440 with 2/192. Bradman was gone, but much batting still remained. Then, on the Sunday, it rained. With the wickets uncovered, as was the custom in those days, Australia were left with almost no hope of survival. Hedley Verity destroyed the Australians in a single day, taking 14 wickets in the day. Australia were beaten by an innings.

It looks very likely that in 2009, England will beat Australia at Lord's. It's only Day 3 and England are already 521 ahead. What's more, it is the manner in which England have built this lead which is significant. 181 runs came in the final session of play in 31 overs. This has significance beyond this game. This is the sort of batting performance, which breaks shackles in players minds. England's batting line up will now be confident that they can match Australia with the bat in any situation. This has tremendous implications for how England will approach their upcoming Tests with Australia.

If England do go on to win at Lord's, it will change the complexion of the next three Ashes Tests. Much is at stake in the next two days. Australia will know this too. Im not at all sure what they can do about it.

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