2015 Ashes – 5th Test, Day 4

Just for our special, favourite, lovely fan of this blog

We enter Day 4 and I’m taken back to another Day 4 at which I was present back in 2002. At that stage the score was 1-0, and after a decent 1st day’s play, when Vaughan scored 177, we thought we might have a contest. Sadly Australia ground us into the dirt on a sweltering Saturday and we lost key wickets in the late evening session.

However in Adelaide there was a weather forecast to give all England fans hope. Sunday was due to see a rain band move in and then the Monday forecast was for heavy rain all day. So if England could just make it to the rain, we’d be in with a shout of a draw.

I’ll do the rest when I do my Memories of Adelaide 2002…..

England find themselves requiring the weather forecast to be deadly accurate. There is a rain band, and as I look it is approaching the south coast, which will mean a stoppage in play. It doesn’t look a particularly wide band, so it may not cause the whole day to be lost.

@ 9:45
@ 9:45

This is where we are at. Hoping for rain. It happens. While I’m not taking the casual Oliver Holt approach to this defeat, the main task has been completed and it is understandable, given our sporting mentality (in my view) that there is a let down. We’ve never been great winners, resting on the laurels of a win for too long. This victory has been a surprise, and all this is proving to me is that they cannot slip even a miniscule amount before finding themselves in trouble. You just need to look at Bridgetown, and two recent Leeds tests to prove that.

Anyway, all comments on today’s play below. Once the Ashes are over, we’ll need to consider what we do. It’s been a busy, fractious, at times unpleasant, at times exhilirating, but rarely dull. There’s a busy winter coming up. Filling in time is going to be a challenge. Hope you stick with us.

Finally, best wishes to the TFT. I hope they get their hacking issue sorted a.s.a.p. It’s something I live in fear of with the blog, and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Good luck in sorting it chaps.

49 thoughts on “2015 Ashes – 5th Test, Day 4

  1. Boz Aug 23, 2015 / 9:23 am

    There’s dark skies here and a mini tornado on the ridge opposite,Visibility is very limited and one or two local farms have had their orchards ruined.

    I found this interesting this morning:

    Ashes 2015: England and Australia have been poor and everyone has had enough
    This has not been a vintage Ashes series as both teams have swung from good to awful with alarming alacrity

    By Jonathan Liew, The Oval
    8:56PM BST 22 Aug 2015

    Now, half an hour before tea, with two men waiting for the hook, Root played the hook. As Root walked off, Cook turned his back. Cook looked fed up.

    All Angela wanted was to know whether she would be working tomorrow. Angela was serving drinks in the hospitality section, and like almost all catering staff at sporting events, she is on a zero-hours contract. If you get 24 hours’ notice before a shift, you can consider yourself fortunate

    The players are tired of the Ashes. The spectators are tired of being asked to fork out £90 for sub-standard cricket. Everywhere you look, people are thoroughly fed up of the Ashes.


    Which prompted me to write this:

    In my neck of the woods the town council are under pressure to build houses on what is currently the last remaining piece of green land in the town, the cricket field. Due process was undertaken whereby the developers agreed to include re-siting the cricket pitch as part of the deal, if they won the contract. It appears the developers have won the contract for house building so all that remained was the cricket pitch. The town council held a meeting and although there was not a quorum to vote on the plan, and no public presence because the meeting wasn’t announced, the council leader agreed on the plan to re-site the cricket pitch without due process anyway. The deputy leader of the council is chairman of the cricket club. Democracy and due process is regularly ignored at this level and nothing has happened since in the year that this ‘plan’ was put into action, no homes, no cricket pitch.

    It’s interesting to contrast the different levels of operation of cricket in this country. People on zero hours contracts serving the rich and mighty whilst local shenanigans is also order of the day. Nobody can divorce cricket from politics at any stage, just like nobody can divorce TeamECBWaitrose from the ECB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 23, 2015 / 9:43 am

      “Ashes 2015: England and Australia have been poor and everyone has had enough”

      Not according to Swann. Who yesterday informed us that the cricket this series had not been sub standard but top draw.

      This is why the matches have been so one sided , not because of poor quality but of great quality that the opposition can’t deal with. England didn’t lose at Lords because they batted badly but because Australia were fantastic. Like wise When Australia were bowled out for 60 this was because of great bowling.

      This apparanntly passes as serious analysis. And it is from a recent former player.


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 9:58 am

        Without additional comment, I give you Matt Prior’s fifth point in his Independent column:

        5 road to the next ashes starts here

        Firstly, of course, we’ve got the one-day series and England should definitely see this as the perfect opportunity to finish the summer with a bang – and cause the Aussies a little bit more pain.

        We played superbly in the one-dayers against New Zealand after a dismal World Cup and we now have to build on that because the T20 World Cup isn’t far off.

        Looking a bit further into the future, we need to start building for the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia now. It’s two years off but, trust me, two years in sport goes by in a flash.

        When we get to that next Ashes series Down Under we want to take a very experienced, very stable England cricket team.

        We need to keep this side together, perhaps with a few additions, and if we can do that while continuing the play the same sort of exciting cricket that the England team have shown this summer then I think we can go there and retain Ashes.


      • Mark Aug 23, 2015 / 10:21 am

        “we need to start building for the 2017-18 Ashes series in Australia now.”

        Don’t you just love a bit of Strauss bingo? “Building” always building.

        But wait…..

        “we want to take a very experienced, very stable England cricket team. We need to keep this side together.”

        Right, so not so much building as restoration work?

        Because taking a very experienced side to Aus last time or indeed Aus taking a very experienced side to England this year has worked out so well.


      • dlpthomas Aug 23, 2015 / 11:10 am

        Serious analysis – a combination of cheerleading and stating the bleeding obvious.

        I miss Ritchie.


  2. BoerInAustria Aug 23, 2015 / 9:35 am

    We might get a pre-view how Moeen would look like a Test opener soon – new ball, fresh day.


    • metatone Aug 23, 2015 / 9:41 am

      Will be interesting…


  3. SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 10:00 am

    India nearly 400 ahead with four wickets and a day and a session left. Fine century by Rahane, batting out of position to accommodate others.

    All results still possible (although SL win very much the outlier) and Sanga’s farewell coming up.

    The pitch is difficult to read – it looked like it was deteriorating rapidly when SL lost 6 for 50 yesterday but there had just been a heavy shower so maybe it had more been juiced up by the rain.


    • d'Arthez Aug 23, 2015 / 10:51 am

      India batted for time. Which Sri Lanka were quite happy with. Since they only have to survive about 120 overs (depending on the overrate on Day 5).

      Silva played a ridiculously bad shot int he third over, so Sanga is in. Last Test innings for him. Watch it while it lasts.


      • SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 10:52 am


      • SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 11:28 am

        Ashwin gets Sanga for the fourth time this series and there’s no fairy tale farewell.

        Final Test tally: 12 400 (5th) at 57.41.

        (Stats off TV – not had a chance to check them yet).


      • SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 11:59 am

        Sanga finishes with the fifth highest average in Test history (min. 5000 runs):


        Between Sobers and Hobbs.


      • SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 12:28 pm

        SL look like they are going to have to hold out for 111 overs to save this one although they’ve scored quickly enough that a win isn’t totally impossible (just massively improbable) and they could get some help with the weather tomorrow (showers are forecast – although they were today and none arrived).

        SL have three times batted longer to save a game at home – they survived 134 overs to draw against Pakistan in 2009 and 113 twice, once in 2006 against SA and once in 1997/98 against Zimbabwe.


  4. Mark Aug 23, 2015 / 10:09 am

    At what point does the greatest ever 95, and the greatest ever 96, and the greatest ever 85 become……….

    Why is this bloke unable to make them 100s? And has this bloke got a mental weakness? Does he tire too quickly, both mentally and physically?

    These and other similar questions will be completely ignored by the pro Cook in house ECB media….available at all good news agents.


    • BoerInAustria Aug 23, 2015 / 10:19 am

      Greatest Beard Ever

      “The Beard Liberation Front have announced that the ‘Beard of the Ashes’ title has been shared between Alastair Cook and Mark Wood.”

      The full citation from the BLF reads: “While Cook does not always have a beard his proto-beard, hipsterish in style, has been a sustainable feature of his captaincy throughout the 2015 Ashes series. Mark Wood has made a big impact in the series not least with his stylish beard although his bowling was also important. Early front runner Moeen Ali had the best beard on either side but his impact on the game was variable after Cardiff.”


  5. SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 10:26 am

    Is that the third Dharmasena decision overturned this match?


    • d'Arthez Aug 23, 2015 / 11:11 am

      Yes, and that is not counting the no-ball dismissals. The two no-ball wickets are shared between the umpires.

      That is 4 howlers to Dharmasena, 1 to Dar (the massive overstepping by Finn). Add to those the countless no-balls that have not even been called.

      Seriously, solve the no-ball issue by technical means, so the umpires can focus on the batsman on strike. Really not that complicated to solve, and the third umpire can provide the feedback to the standing umpire so that no time is lost on these deliberations.


  6. SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Rain’s got to Bracknell/Dorking. Looks like about 45 mins away at current rate of progress.

    Just the time to drive a catch to mid-off…..


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 11:04 am

      Steady rain in the Socialist Nirvana of Lewisham. Can’t be far away now.


      • escort Aug 23, 2015 / 11:55 am

        Rain stopped in Dorsetshire half an hour ago. Looks to be brightening up now


      • SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 12:06 pm

        Back edge of the rain up to the Sussex-Surrey border. Not many showers after the solid rain at the moment.

        How’s the Oval’s drainage system?

        Weather forecast tomorrow awful (solid rain until early afternoon then heavy showers) so must be doubtful there would be any play if it goes that far.


  7. jomesy Aug 23, 2015 / 10:39 am

    Anyone know why TFT is down?


    • Mark Aug 23, 2015 / 10:47 am

      They have been hacked….

      Seeing as our fans are so obsessed about our identities they have probably hired someone or got GCHQ to hack the sites. Then they can send round some thugs.

      Because nicesness and decency, and standards is their stock in trade. (Snark)


      • jomesy Aug 23, 2015 / 10:49 am

        Have they really been hacked Mark?

        Why would you hack a cricket website?


      • d'Arthez Aug 23, 2015 / 10:53 am

        Because freedom of speech does not apply to “bilious inadequates”, and there are people out there who are happy to use some hacking skills to drive home their point.


      • jomesy Aug 23, 2015 / 11:07 am

        Good grief


      • Benny Aug 23, 2015 / 1:09 pm

        Wouldn’t leap to conclusions. There are a lot of wicked people around the world, whose hobby is hacking websites, usually known as “script kiddies”. It’s vandalism pure and simple. Our son’s cartoon website suffered. Preventing it is difficult


      • Mark Aug 23, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        I was being a little sarcastic.

        Hence the (snark)


  8. Rohan Aug 23, 2015 / 11:09 am

    They have stopped for drinks. Why on earth do this! Surely with rain imminent, a result very close, coolish weather and drinks available on the boundary rope, common sense could have prevailed. Can’t they use their discretion/initiative in situations like this and keep playing! Just another foolish silly rule, they slavishly follow……


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 11:11 am

      It’s stuff all to do with refreshment and more a commercial break for the TV companies. These things cannot be moved, because they pay the bills.


      • Mark Aug 23, 2015 / 11:32 am

        The breaks at cricket matches are ludicrous, and completely driven by comercial events. Sometimes you have an hours play washed out at the begining of the day, with more rain forecast for the afternoon. They play an hour between 12 and 1pm and then troop off for the lunch break, at 1pm only to return and find it’s raining at 2.30 and so they have to go off again.

        If they have lost play in the morning but it’s playable at lunch time they should stay out there. If people want to go and have their lunch so be it.


      • Rohan Aug 23, 2015 / 12:41 pm

        Never put the two together (drinks and commercial breaks), but should have realised really, it’s all about the dollar! I agree Mark. I have never understood why, if play starts late due to rain, they can’t play through lunch and take it later. It’s all due to SKY, stuff the punter, as long as they get their ad time, it’s all rosy.


  9. Arron Wright Aug 23, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Can I just say how much I agree with Dmitri Old’s last tweet (if I am inferring correctly). Best moment in sport this year. Missed it live, only realised when I logged on here.

    Meanwhile TMS attempting to discuss the ICC, Harrison, Big 3 etc. Dear oh dear.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 2:15 pm

      Just driving back from dropping the beloved off, and I caught the FICJAM/Lovejoy double act. Smug-tastic.


      • Arron Wright Aug 23, 2015 / 2:24 pm

        I chose to watch several replays of Steve Cram’s shameless and entirely forgivable bias and then play with the dog.


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 2:29 pm

          The speech after the Jessica Ennis-Hill win and then the reaction to Bolt was aimed, in my mind, at Oliver Holt. I’m still recovering from the fact that Holt called someone else sanctimonious.


      • Arron Wright Aug 23, 2015 / 2:36 pm

        Jessica is literally my favourite British sports person of the last 10 years. It’s been a grand day.


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 2:43 pm

          The sad thing about sport, and it’s not just athletics, is that because she’s come back so quickly and in such style, if this were other nations there’d be nudge-nudge, wink-wink. That’s where the poison of drugs really does its damage. Holt is sniping not because he cares, but because someone went up against him and his line of thinking.

          Can you imagine the utter carnage to athletics if Bolt was ever found to have doped?

          However, Ennis-Hill’s class in that 800m. Just majestic. She could have settled in behind and not put the hammer down in the finishing straight. Oh no. Let ’em know who’s boss.

          If you are weak of constitution, you could listen to Deniece Lewis on Kat’s 800m. Don’t let her near our athletes with a mental approach like that.


      • Arron Wright Aug 23, 2015 / 4:18 pm

        In answer to your question: no. That could finish me and sport. Football is all but dead to me, cricket dying, and athletics is my first love (the 1980 Olympics being the first sporting event I followed).


    • BoerInAustria Aug 23, 2015 / 2:37 pm



  10. SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    Play’s restarted.


    • SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 2:07 pm

      Broad’s off-peg uprooted by Siddle.


  11. BoerInAustria Aug 23, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Astonishing: Most p’ship runs for Eng in series :

    Runs /Partners / Inns / Ave / 100 / 50

    270 – MM Ali, SCJ Broad 7 38.57 0 3
    246 – JE Root, IR Bell 5 61.50 0 3
    187 – JE Root, JM Bairstow 3 62.33 1 0
    153 – JE Root, GS Ballance 1 153.00 1 0
    147 – AN Cook, A Lyth 9 16.33 0 0
    145 – AN Cook, BA Stokes 2 72.50 1 0
    125 – JE Root, BA Stokes 4 31.25 0 1
    124 – MM Ali, MA Wood 3 41.33 0 1
    107 – IR Bell, A Lyth 3 35.66 0 1
    103 – IR Bell, AN Cook, 4 25.75 0 1



  12. SimonH Aug 23, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Good luck to anyone brave enough to watch/listen to the post-match nonsense.


    • Zephirine Aug 23, 2015 / 3:59 pm

      I managed most of it, and can report that Clarke was rousingly ovationed and spoke very well as usual, Cook repeated the script he’s had for the last few games*, Anderson got silly with the champagne, Broad almost concealed his disappointment at not being England man of the series (but then analysed it all quite well, future Sky pundit there) and Stokes has a small thug of a 2-year-old son who has scribbled in felt-tip all over his Dad’s sacred England shirt.

      Oh, and Steve Finn leaning down to high-five a Bell toddler was ridiculously cute.

      * memo from PR department: AC must thank the audience effusively, we are trying to reconnect.


  13. Gonthaar Aug 23, 2015 / 3:21 pm

    I have only one doubt why is Cook not at all letting og of the trophy to the other kids in the game, easily that’s what a humble captain does right ? wait


  14. man in a barrel Aug 23, 2015 / 5:34 pm

    If some moronic cricketer sprayed champagne over me, I think I might have go hold of a bottle and tried to do serious damage to his idiotic face. Well done to Ward for realising he is dealing with emotional toddlers rather than serious human beings.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 23, 2015 / 5:35 pm

      Careful now. We’ve been in trouble with you already this week, MiaB!!!!


  15. SaxophoneAlex Aug 24, 2015 / 10:55 am

    Cook is not a great captain, and putting Australia in to bat on Thursday morning was never going to be a good idea. He is not the most articulate of men and often comes out with certain stock phrases. However, he clearly inspires loyalty in the players. His series average of 36.6 is lower than one would like, but then he’s never done that well against Australia apart from 2010/2011. Still, you wouldn’t want Root to be given the captaincy too soon, his form would probably plummet. At just 24, Root has already become England’s key batsman and his series average of 57.5 towers above those of his colleagues.
    I have a feeling Ian Bell might well call it a day. He told Jonathan Agnew that he was feeling very tired and you just sense that the Warwickshire man has lost his appetite for test cricket. He has had a poor series, apart from Edgbaston and one innings at Cardiff, ending up with a modest average of 26 and a bit. He is not that ancient, at just 33, and you wish he could rediscover his form but I am not so sure now. If he does go, then that is another middle order place to be filled. Would Ballance perhaps be brought back in ? I certainly don’t think Bell will be around for the next Ashes series.
    Trevor Bayliss is said to be keen to include Adil Rashid in the side and I do wish the young Yorkshire leggie and batsman had been given a chance in the WI, where the pitches actually favour wrist spinners and where Bishoo had troubled the Aussies recently. Leg spin bowling always looks like the hardest technique to perfect in cricket and you have to be patient with a leg spinner. If Rashid could bamboozle a few batsmen, take a few 3 fors and 4 fors at 4 to 5 runs an over, then surely he is worth his chance. He can certainly bat a bit too. However, I am yet to be convinced that moving Moeen up to open is the right way to fit Rashid in the side, because Moeen looks rather insecure against pace and swing. Others have been talking about dropping Buttler, making Bairstow the wicketkeeper and dropping him down to six or seven in the order, thus making room for Rashid. Not sure I agree with this. Buttler’s batting was a disappointment but he did a good enough job behind the stumps and he is still young enough to work on any technical issues with his batting. He did seem caught in two minds about whether to play his natural attacking game or whether to take a more defensive, occupy the crease approach. I feel Bairstow deserves a few more chances, even if he does look to be a very bottom-handed batsman.


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