Australia vs England: 1st Test, Day One – And it’s Live (ish)!

So here we are, the day has arrived and the Ashes gets underway.  And we’re going to be blogging the first day’s play, you lucky people.  Now, you should be aware there are a few house notes for this, namely:

1) We all work for a living.  So it’s entirely possible that at some point during the night the updates will stop.  This will be because we’ve fallen asleep*

2) We won’t be tweeting the hell out of this every two minutes to desperately get people to come and talk to us.  That’s because the total absence of any advertising revenue derived from clicks makes it rather pointless, and it’s also annoying enough to cause anyone with a normal patience threshold to hit the mute button.  It’s for this reason too that any references by Danny to Red Bull and hoping for supplies is sheer desperation on his part, and representative of nothing but terrible taste.

3) Any hopes for incisive over by over commentary are a complete waste of time.  The BBC is over there.

4) Page refreshes are completely manual.  To the surprise of most of you no doubt, we did actually look into this, but the plug ins looked complicated, and the suggestion of using html page coding resulted in a long silence given none of had the first idea how to do it.  So hit the F5 button, and consider yourself part of the team.

*Not together.  This needs to made clear.

2145:  TLG here, to guide you through the build up.  I saw build up, but half of you are watching The Apprentice, most of the others are watching I’m a Celebrity, and a very few are wondering how to find a decent stream.  I’ve got BT Sport, so I can be smug.

2146:  I’m a Celebrity is that programme where a bunch of nonentity Brits head down to Australia to be ritually humiliated.  Seems appropriate. Presumably when Graeme Swann goes on it he’ll be asking them to get him out of there sometime after his third miserable experience.

2148:  Are we excited?  In a funny way the bit just before the start is the best bit.  All things are possible, and neither English or Australian are wondering why on earth they’re watching this disaster.  That feeling usually starts around the third Test.  And the truth is there’s nothing quite like an Ashes series, and an away Ashes series in particular, for pushing the feelings of cynicism aside.  It’s cricket, it’s the very best type of cricket, and it’s wonderful.

Sure, England are going to miss Ben Stokes, and the top order looks brittle.  But Australia aren’t that great a team, and seem to have got themselves in a tangle over selection.  It hasn’t stopped them sledging England even before it starts, while England have pretty much kept their counsel.  And have had their team talk already done for them.  Australia have form for this kind of thing, and while some may decide take great offence at it, for me it’s simply somewhat odd, and certainly unnecessary.   Hardly a huge issue, but it keeps the press corps occupied at least.

2153:  A bit of a timetable of upcoming events.  BT Sport are currently playing their “behind the scenes” documentary, that tells us rather little, but there’s lots of bantz, while the programme properly gets under way at 11pm.  Test Match Special begins the build up a little earlier, at 10pm on Radio 5 Live.

2210:  Weather forecast for Brisbane is a little bit iffy, with the prospect of showers for the first few days.  The trouble with Brisbane is that a shower can mean a biblical deluge some of the time

2216:  Ben Stokes has issued a good luck tweet:

In his absence, and given the somewhat fragile batting, this series is a big one for Alastair Cook.  For England to have a chance, the 2011/12 Cook is going to be required.  Can he do that?

2232:  With showers around, and with a pitch looking a bit green, is anyone thinking of bowling first?

2247: Some rumours that Shaun Marsh will be in the Australian XI.  Whenever you feel like panicking about the England top order, just keep saying that to yourself.  Shaun Marsh.

2256:  Has anyone out there enjoyed BT’s No Filter Ashes?  Anyone at all?

It’s time for some Sean, while I go and make a cup of tea…

2258: Sean on the decks for the next hour, that no filter Ashes was shite wasn’t it

2302: Talking about shite, this is fairly ironic:

2305: ooh Shiny Toy, what a surprise. Haven’t heard from him for ages…

23:07: Anyone else feeling insanely negative? If we lose this Gabba Test i feel it will be at least a 3-1 job to the Aussies. Anyone else fancy making me feel more confident?

2318: BTW, we are not sponsored by any betting companies, just 4 blokes who should know better live blogging (it seemed like a great idea at the time)

2320: Still I’ve heard William Hill have cracking odds on Joe Root being top scorer *promoted post*

2323: If i were Ricky Ponting, i’d get the machine gun out now and save us all from wanting to sew our ears together

2326: TOSS COMING UP…

23:29: ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BAT

2231: Mark Nicholas is such a bore. Anyone disagree with Root’s decision to bat? I personally think its the right choice; however we could easily be 30/4

2334: Shiny Toy ‘Stoneman needs to admire Alastair Cook’ WTF??

2336: Everyone is going on about Starc as the Aussie spearhead, I still think Hazlewood is the main threat. Still think he can do a Ryan Harris job from winter of 2013….

2341: I give it 10 minutes before he starts blaming Eoin Morgan….

https://mobile.twitter.com/ollieholt22/status/933475671908802566

2349: Anyone got any money on a Cook golden duck 🦆?

2350: Annoyingly I have a work a meeting with a German chap early tomorrow morning, so can’t stay up late to watch the cricket tonight. Danny is now taking over on the decks. Night all

2351: Hello everyone, Danny here. I’ve been given the honour of hosting the first hour. Or the poisoned chalice. Depends how England bat, I suppose. Root’s obviously confident as he doesn’t have his pads on for the anthems.

England’s anthem was I think better than Australia’s, although that might be coloured by the Aussie singer murdering “You’re The Voice” earlier…

0000: Cook survives the first ball. Don’t know what I was so worried about.

0004: Cook only needed to play at two balls in the first over from Mitchell Starc. Maybe Starc has been overhyped? At this rate, England should be 180-0 at the end of the day. I’d take that.

0009: Hazlewood also offering 4 sighters to Stoneman before getting one near the wicket. Dare I say it, the Australian bowling has been underwhelming to start?

0012: I think this is my first instance of commentator’s curse. Cook edged Starc to Handscomb at first slip. Didn’t look very comfortable once Starc started aiming at the stumps, and not a lot of footwork (to my very inexpert eye).

0021: Vince scores the first boundary of the day. Vince looks in good touch and could easily get 30-40 in this innings…

0027: Bad news for Australia’s plans for Bodyline 2: The Revenge. The pitch does not seem to be conducive to short bowling, with the ball not getting high and slightly slow bounce. I guess they’ll just have to rely on Plan B, England’s batsmen getting themselves out.

0035: First change for Australia as Cummins begins bowling in his first home Test, taking over from Hazlewood. Neither of them seem that threatening so far.

0050: A boring few overs, which is good news for England fans. Vince hitting the last two balls from Hazlewood for four, he might make it into the 40s today!

0100: TMS stalwarts Alison Mitchell and Geoffrey Boycott have taken over on BT Sport, and they’re talking a little less than the last two pairs. Still a little too chatty for my liking, but a definite improvement I think.

0105: As I metaphorically boot Danny off the keyboard, even though he’s nearly 200 miles away, England reach the first drinks session at 39 for 1. Dmitri taking you through to lunch and then we’ll see who remains in the land of the living. Feel like Smashy and Nicey on Radio Quiet.

01:10: Remains 39 for 1. Australia’s bowling certainly not giving off the aura of four years ago, but, and it is a big but, we were 80 for 2 in that first innings at Brisbane.

01:13: Boycott doesn’t do it for me. We have a big appeal on Stoneman, but they don’t choose to review. Back to Boycott – it’s a bit stating of the obvious, combined with a bit of mouth and not a lot else. He’s had his day, but I can see why BT Sport have gone for him. Alison Mitchell always impresses me and in a day and age when you have to be an ex-pro to get a gig, it’s welcome to see a professional broadcaster doing great work.

0119: 44 for 1 and things are quite quiet. When I was at Brisbane in 2002 they weren’t that noisy throughout the game, as I recall. Maybe the Aussies thought it was a matter of showing up, but they didn’t strike me as being particularly intimidating. Even the goon who just shouted abuse at Hoggard day was to be pitied, not to be intimidated by. Anyway, here comes Lyon. Where’s me man, Pontiac?

0123: One off that Lyon over with a hint of turn.

0125: Ponting and Fleming on commentary. Not sure many other countries would have two commentators from the opposition on at the same time, but definitely not a problem for me. BT Sport got off to a bad start, with Vaughan and Ponting telling us what we’d seen and not shutting up. But Punter is a good commentator, and Fleming is also no-one’s fool. Put it this way, I’d rather these two than Bumble and Botham.

0130: Two off Lyon’s second over. Stoneman giving us some cause for hope as an opener, and yes, I’m probably cursing him. Carberry made 40 at the Gabba first time up.

0133: This looks like a pudding of a pitch, relatively speaking. A real pudding. Malcolm Conn hasn’t tweeted yet.

0136: Lyon gets one to bounce a little and the Aussies have an appeal. No joy. Lyon exerting some pressure. A maiden.

0140: 50 up and a 50 partnership too between Stoneman and Vince. We’d take that given the bad start.

0144: Spared the Shiny Toy/Lovejoy partnership. For now.

0146: Hell on Earth. Holt and Samuel are both out there.

0148: Vaughan rabbiting on about football. As if we haven’t had enough of that. 55 for 1 at the end of the 25th over.

0153: Starc coming around the wicket to Stoneman. Vaughan mentions Mitchell Johnson. Over ends up being utterly underwhelming. And judging by the ebbing away of our visitor count, it might be time to head off to bed!

0159: Not quite lunch. An edgy, but safe, boundary from Vince, the first for 17 overs takes England to 59/1. Last over before lunch to be bowled by Starc.

0203: LUNCH. 59 for 1. Last April I went to the Oval to watch the post-tea session and a certain Mark Stoneman was the star of the show. I don’t think anyone thought he’d be the opener to go out at the Gabba with Cook to start the Ashes. He’s 25 not out. James Vince has been very solid, in his 32 after England lost Cook early on for 2. We could point out that hoping for Cook to come good in the Ashes is something we’ve been doing since 2010/11, but this is not a Gabba wicket to provide terrors in English hearts. Cook is one man we need to come through, or so received wisdom says.

BT Sport got off to a shocker, with Vaughan and Ponting acting as if they were radio commentators on speed. Things went further downhill when Lovejoy took the mic, and that’s something BT will really have to answer for. It’s calmed down with experienced TV and radio broadcasters in the chair, and I’m not in paroxysms of rage. They just need to get into the flow.

I’m having a nap, and might be back a little later. Chris and Danny will be taking you in their loving arms. England have had a pretty good morning. They do need to back this up. Thanks for the support on here for our first live blog….   Dmitri

0212: TLG back for the graveyard shift.

Let’s be honest here, we feared being five down at lunch, so this represents a mini-triumph.  Of course, it can all go hideously wrong in the afternoon, but for now that isn’t so bad at all.  The key for England is to be in the game, and in the series.  Personally, I’d happily take a draw from the first Test, given the Australian record at the Gabba.  It hasn’t been thrilling cricket, but so what?  It’s been tense, and it’s been hard work.  A teeny tiny thing that Stoneman did that got a nod of approval from me was one where he edged the ball into his pads and it dropped by his foot.  No knocking the ball to the Australian fielders for him, he just stood there and waited for them to come in and pick it up. Good.

As for the commentary, it did get better as the session went on, a little more silence, a little less gabbing at the Gabba.  Let’s see how it goes from now on.

0238:  Been a bit of drizzle at the Gabba, but the covers are back off and we should be under way shortly.  Lots of discussion about the pitch being a bit slow and pudding-like – for Australia anyway.  But also that it should quicken up on day two.  It’d be hilarious if it turned out to be perfect for Broad and Anderson though.

0242:  Nope, the covers are back on.  I am cursed to never write anything on this blog when there’s any actual bloody cricket happening.

0257:  Raining quite heavily.  Now the dilemma of any Ashes watcher – is it heavy enough to say sod it and go to bed?

0332: Well, there it is.  It’s all my fault, so I think I’ll try and get some sleep – that’ll do the trick and stop the rain.

0336: Danny here, taking over from thelegglance on rainwatching duties. I think I might be the only member of the BOC team still awake, so you’re stuck with me for the duration.

0351: thelegglance must be asleep now, since the rain has stopped and the covers are coming off.

0357: Looks like George was a little optimistic, the official announcement is that play will resume at 0415 GMT.

0405: Details of the new times for Tea and the end of the day:

0415: Play finally resumes, with Lyon bowling a tight over and Vince scoring a single from the last ball of the over.

0422: Cummins bowling from the other end. It looks like the rain hasn’t slowed the outfield down at all, as Vince runs three and Stoneman strokes one along the ground to the boundary.

0430: After 18 consecutive dot balls, Vince steps down the wicket and drives Lyon for four. I’m not necessarily a fan of England’s batsmen taking that risk, but I guess it paid off.

0433: As Vince runs another three off Cummins, that brings him to a career milestone:

0445: Geoffrey Boycott just said “wank” on BT Sport. In happier news, Vince has just sliced a drive for four behind point and that brings up his first ever Test 50. Fair play to him, I’ve been attacking his selection since this summer but so far he’s looking good.

0507: Halfway through the day’s play, England are 101/1 at drinks with Vince and Stoneman sharing a partnership of 99. Apart from the rain shower, it’s been a pretty good night for England fans.

0510: And two balls after the break, Stoneman runs two and takes the partnership to 101. To put that in context, in 2013/14 England only managed one century partnership in the whole series.

0522: Steady progress by England, with nothing particularly threatening from the Starc and Hazlewood. With this in mind, Lyon returns to the attack…

0525: Lyon seems like the most threatening of Australia’s bowlers. Vince edges one past short leg, but drives the next one for four.

0534: Cummins is also challenging the England batsmen, although still no clear chances. Vince did just completely miss a wide drive though, so that’s a slight worry.

0542: And with an edge through the slips, Stonaman brings up his fifty. Not the most confident shot in the world, but they all count. He gets a single the ball after, so he’s currently just one run short of matching his highest Test score of 52.

0546: DROP James Vince gets a second life as the Aussie wicketkeeper drops an edge from Lyon’s bowling. Not necessarily an easy chance, but with Tim Paine being picked as a specialist wicketkeeper that’s got to hurt his chances of playing all 5 Tests in this series.

0556: And here it is if you want to enjoy it over and over again:

0557: WICKET Cummins bowls Stoneman through the gate, with a fast ball swinging into him. Stoneman increased his highest Test score by just 1 run in the end, and brings the partnership to an end at 125. Root comes in with just a few minutes left before Tea, and having to face Cummins who’s getting some reverse swing with the old ball.

0601: Root survives the last 4 balls of the over and that’s TEA.

129/2. England will be the happier of the two teams, but England’s slow scoring and the rain break mean that they aren’t as far ahead as you might think if you were waking up and seeing England only two wickets down. With a wicket and a missed chance just before Tea, Australia’s tails will be up and they’ll be eager to make inroads in the evening session.

On a personal note, it’s the first time I’ve ever stayed up all night to watch an overseas Ashes and I’m struggling a little. I’m pretty sure my blood is 50% sugar right now.

0621: The final session of the day begins with Hazlewood taking over from Lyon, no doubt hoping to get some reverse swing like Cummins managed before the break.

0626: Geoffrey Boycott just talked about being naked in the England dressing room. When he was a player, but still. In better news, Starc is bowling from the other end. With Cummins having got the wicket and swinging the ball before Tea, he’d feel hard done by to not get the ball back after the break.

0631: A boundary from Vince managed to land the ball in a puddle, which likely puts an end to the reverse swing. The Aussies are therefore trying to persuade the umpires to switch to a new ball. For a nation which refers to us as “whinging poms”, they sure do complain a lot if anything goes against them.

0643: WICKET And there goes James Vince’s chance for a first England century. Lyon takes the wicket, but from the field rather than bowling. Vince hit the ball into the covers, where Lyon picked it up and scored a direct hit at the bowler’s end. Disappointing for England, and 143/3 is basically a par score for a team batting first in good conditions.

0705: A few tight overs after the wicket, Root scores a four from Starc to release a bit of the pressure. Lyon has a good over straight after though, beating the edge a few times.

0717: Lyon bowling to Root after the last drinks break of the day, and Root does not look comfortable. An edge drops to the floor off his pade, a reverse sweep was mis-hit and a chance almost carries to short leg. Shaky times for England with two new batsmen at the crease, even if one of them is the #2 ranked Test batsman in the world.

0722: Malan doesn’t look any better against Cummins, with Malan taking one full in the box and a mistimed pull. England need to ride this session out, if they can.

0736: WICKET And that’s the big one for Australia. Cummins bowls one full and straight and it hits Root on the pad as he tries to flick it to the leg side. Given not out by the umpire. Australia use their first DRS referral of the game and it pays off. That brings in Moeen Ali, who has been promoted to #6 for this game.

0754: After a slow start, Moeen slog sweeps Nathan Lyon for 6. Malan’s starting to hit a few now as well. There’s just 5 overs left until the new ball, and 7 overs left in the day.

0800: Anderson is padded up, so Bairstow won’t be batting is a wicket falls in the remaining 5 overs. Australia have tightened up their bowling again after a few loose overs.

0810: Australia’s keeper Tim Paine has been appealing for anything that he manages to catch, but who can blame him after his drop (see 0556). Australia take the new ball with 2 overs left in the day.

0815: REVIEW Starc bowls a full, fast ball on the third ball of the over, hitting Malan on the pad. The umpire gives it not out, and Australia eventually decide to review (probably after checking with the dressing room). Hawkeye suggests it was sliding down the leg side, and Australia lose a review.

0817: BAD LIGHT ENDS PLAY 196/4 With 9 balls left in the day, and just after Australia almost took a wicket with the new ball, the umpires called both teams off. An odd decision, since it seems unlikely that the light will have diminished significantly in the two minutes from the start of the over. This is the kind of umpiring decision which really frustrates a lot of fans.

So the day ends with England marginally on top, although Australia have done well to get themselves back in the game after a strong start by Stoneman and Vince. England’s “world class” batsmen both failed, with Cook and Root scoring only 17 between them, whilst the more questionable Stoneman, Vince and Malan have amassed 164 so far. The scoring was pretty slow, with a run rate of 2.43, and Australia did well to contain England even when they weren’t threatening the wicket.

England will hope to bat through most of tomorrow if they can, although without Stokes there’s only two strong batsmen left in the lineup. 400 is a possible total to aim for, but equally you could see Australia rolling out the tail for less than 300. At the very least, the game is still in the balance going into the second day which exceeds my very low expectations for this game.

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125 thoughts on “Australia vs England: 1st Test, Day One – And it’s Live (ish)!

  1. LordCanisLupus November 22, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    Toying with the idea of a 50/50 competition. You have an either / or. You get it right, you continue, you get it wrong, it’s all over.

    So for the 1st Test, who makes more 1st innings runs. Alastair Cook or Joe Root.

    Dmitri says Root.

    Like

    • Mark November 22, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Without wanting to get off on the wrong foot……..Who knows between those two who will score the most runs? Flip of a coin. I will go for Bairstow.

      Sky have a good interview with Mike Atherton interviewing Mike Brearley at the moment. Been on before but quite good. If you want something a bit more soothing to ease you into the fray.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus November 22, 2017 / 10:17 pm

        That’s not the game, Mark. Either/or. C’mon, give it a go.

        Like

        • Mark November 22, 2017 / 10:32 pm

          Cook says the Aussie attack pose no threat out of the ordinary.

          So I will go with Cook.

          Like

  2. dannycricket November 22, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    I just woke up from my pre-Ashes nap. I’ve subscribed to BT, got Red Bull in the fridge, and hidden all sharp blades just in case England bat first. I’m ready.

    Like

  3. Silk November 22, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    I’ve got a new job and it’s a busy one, so off to bed.

    Insane prediction. The side that bats first will be bowled out for less than 250.

    Like

    • dannycricket November 22, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      Not that insane, both teams’ batting is capable of that, if not worse.

      Like

  4. Mark November 22, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    The Aussies are either very condfident or they have lost their minds, and are bluffing. We will soon know.

    Like

  5. LordCanisLupus November 22, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    No Filter Ashes and it’s all Shiny Toy, Shiny Toy, Shiny Toy.

    Like

  6. dannycricket November 22, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    “2232: With showers around, and with a pitch looking a bit green, is anyone thinking of bowling first?”

    Apart from Nasser Hussain, you mean?

    In some good news for England, Shaun Marsh appears to be starting. Warner will be as well, but you can’t have everything.

    Like

  7. LordCanisLupus November 22, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    No Filter Ashes. As good as you’d expect from a programme depending on Lovejoy and Shiny Toy.

    Like

  8. Mark November 22, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    The ground at Brisbane looks just like Melbourne these days. Giant concrete stadiums. The only differnece is a lot more yellow seats.

    Like

    • thelegglance November 22, 2017 / 11:14 pm

      The Gabba has been an ugly concrete bowl for decades hasn’t it?

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus November 22, 2017 / 11:19 pm

        I disagreed. I quite liked it.

        The MCG? That’s a concrete bowl. The WACA was a dump. Adelaide Oval lovely. SCG, a great mix of the old and the new.

        Like

        • thelegglance November 22, 2017 / 11:20 pm

          Did you? I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t pretty. Adelaide WAS lovely, but they’ve ruined it.

          Like

  9. dannycricket November 22, 2017 / 11:17 pm

    “23:07: Anyone else feeling insanely negative? If we lose this Gabba Test i feel it will be at least a 3-1 job to the Aussies. Anyone else fancy making me feel more confident?”

    Nope.

    Swann’s been on TV for less than a minute, already slammed his mate Anderson. I hope no one has that in a drinking game, people could die from alcohol poisonng.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mark November 22, 2017 / 11:22 pm

    Ah great….Lovejoy…..and some bird with a stupid hat. She looks like she should be at Ascot. British sports broadcasters are required to have the token female for all menns sport now.

    It’s govt policy by all accounts. Why do woman have to push their way into men’s sports? Isn’t there some haven we can have from them? Everything has to be politically correct now with endless gender politics.

    Tokenism pure and simple.

    Like

    • thelegglance November 22, 2017 / 11:23 pm

      Alison Mitchell is hardly a cricket novice Mark.

      Like

      • Mark November 22, 2017 / 11:32 pm

        I don’t care who she is. I resent what is quite obviously top down gender politics. It is in all male sports, The BBC are prime offenders.

        It is being pushed by people who have an agenda to feminise every aspect of our lives. I have nothing against the lady herself but the elite who push this crap. It’s quite political and being pushed for cynicsl reasons.

        Like

        • Mark November 22, 2017 / 11:35 pm

          I will shut up about it now. Nothing I can do anyway.

          Like

        • Sophie November 22, 2017 / 11:53 pm

          Ah well, I was going to follow this blog, but now I feel bad and I don’t even care who comments on the cricket as long as it’s not Flintoff. Thanks muchly.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Sean B November 23, 2017 / 12:09 am

            Hi Sophie,

            It would be a shame to lose you.

            We try not to moderate unless we are likely to be sued for libel.

            Everyone is entitled to an opinion even if we don’t agree with it.

            FWIW, I think Alison Mitchell is pretty good.

            Sean

            Like

          • quebecer November 23, 2017 / 1:03 am

            Got to tell you, Sophie, I’m with you. It’s early evening where I am and I was all set up to follow here, but I think I’ll take this first night off somewhere else.

            Not with you on this one Mark, not at all. Except for the shut up now part.

            Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 1:07 am

            What would you have us do? Moderate comments that we might not agree with? We try really hard not to do that, and try equally hard not to take issue with individual comments because it looks like us shouting people down.

            Like

          • quebecer November 23, 2017 / 1:34 am

            Not asking for anything at all. Mark can say what he likes. Just made me not want tp chat.

            Like

          • Mark November 23, 2017 / 11:17 am

            Sophie, if you leave this site for what I have said you are I’m afraid proving my point.

            I do not like gender politics, and SJW ideology. And I see it being pushed on society in every aspect of our culture. An attempt to femismise video games ended in disaster for the gaming industry, and caused “gamer gate.” The attempt by Hollywood to push an SJW agenda into almost every Hollywood movie has caused a drop in movie attendence, and a back lash against the Hollywood elite. (You think it’s an accident all these sex scandals are coming out now?) ESPN has turned it’s sports coverage into a vehicle to push a social agenda and has blown up in its face with a big reduction in viewership. The latest attempt to push this agenda is in the comic book erra with the same disastrous results.

            I see it as a creeping way of censoring views certain people don’t like. It has become common throughout modern society from broadcasting dramas and soaps to university campuses where safe spaces are used to censor and shut down (sometimes violently) people whoose opinions don’t fit the pre decided narrative. So called hate speech has become a way of stoping debate and removing anyone who doesn’t agree with the top down view. And then people wonder why there has been a backlash through Brexit, and the rise of Trump. A lot of people are sick and tired of top down, failed solutions by elites , and being told what they can and can’t say.

            I have no problem with you disagreeing with me, but please don’t make veiled threats to walk away unless im not censored. This has become too much of a tactic used to stifle free speech.

            This site tries to encourage free speech and not to moderate very much. It is what makes it so refeshing in the sea of political correctness.

            I said I would not comment on this topic again, but you forced me to return to this subject. Let’s encourage differnet views, and lets have strong debate. (Real diversity, not fake diversity)

            Like

          • Sophie November 23, 2017 / 11:24 am

            Thanks, Sean. By ‘this blog’, I meant last night’s live blog. I’m not going to stop reading this forum just because Mark feels he needs to go on a rant every time he sees a female sports commentator. For some reason, that makes my blood boil. My rant was only directed at Mark, really, and if I could have told him in private, I would.

            Anyway, Cook, eh?

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus November 23, 2017 / 11:35 am

            I get confused.

            Lots of people refer to an individual post as a blog. That would be the same as calling a chapter of a book, a book. I call individual entries on a blog “posts”. Hence when people refer to a blog I get concerned they mean the whole thing.

            We don’t generally moderate, and while it isn’t faultless, it is better than us imposing our views. I hope you can join in when we do this next (tonight might be too soon. I’ve work tomorrow!)

            Like

          • Sophie November 23, 2017 / 6:34 pm

            Hi Mark, I’m sorry, I didn’t see your post before I posted mine and then I had to run off to work. I never even thought about moderation or censorship and I didn’t mean to make any threats, veiled or not. I simply wanted you to know that what you said makes me feel bad, nothing more, nothing less. Anyway, I’m mainly here for the cricket, too, and oftentimes this seems to be the only place where people have any sense left.

            Like

        • Sri. Grins November 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

          Disagree on this with you Q. It is an opinion and we can’t really shut up opinion. People are different and the idea is to celebrate that isn’t it, unless it is an obviously in bad taste comment? Shouldn’t really take you off the blog especially when I am hoping to increase your optimism.

          Like

          • quebecer November 23, 2017 / 2:24 pm

            Hi Sri. The shut up part was only because mark had said that about himself. I’m not going to stop coming to this blog, obviously – I just didn’t want to hang around last night. This place is, in my opinion, the best place to read about and discuss cricket.

            To Everyone: Look, it’s great that you don’t mod. The problem for me was last night I wanted to hang here and chat and Mark’s rant soured my mood. Of course, I have the right to reply, but I chose not to for several reasons: there’s no positive discussion to be had over such things; it wasn’t the time or place to try; I wanted to follow the cricket. So I decided on self-censorship (the only kind I believe it), and much like when you suddenly find yourself trapped at the bar with someone who starts off on such things, the best course is often to simply go and stand somewhere else.
            We’re all grown ups here and there’s no need for anything other than calmly making our own decisions about things. My only point is that perhaps just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean to say you should. A rule of thumb in some situations might be to read over one’s own rant and replace the subject with the word ‘jew’ or ‘judaism’. If it then reads like something out of Mine Kampf, it’s a bit of a red flag.

            Like

    • LordCanisLupus November 22, 2017 / 11:25 pm

      I’d rather 10 Alison Mitchell’s than 1 Graeme Swann. Or the other way around. She’s a pro broadcaster. Lovejoy is a tosser. She’ll put the viewer first. Lovejoy won’t.

      Like

    • Mark November 22, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      It gets worse and worse. There are more people out there being paid than real supporters.

      Like

    • man in a barrel November 22, 2017 / 11:53 pm

      I’m searching around for a stream and I came across a review of the 2010 series, with Mike Selvey telling everybody the background

      Like

  11. dannycricket November 22, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    “23:29: ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BAT”

    Good news for England.

    “2231: Mark Nicholas is such a bore. Anyone disagree with Root’s decision to bat? I personally think its the right choice; however we could easily be 30/4”

    I bet Root will have his pads on by the start of play. Maybe Malan too…

    Like

  12. dlpthomas November 22, 2017 / 11:38 pm

    It took nearly 25 minutes for Warne to mention “the ball of the century” – Australia off to a slow start!

    Like

  13. Mark November 22, 2017 / 11:46 pm

    We could have the whole 5 test series in the first two hours this morning. If it goes horribly wrong no need to watch the rest of the series..

    On the other hand……..If we don’t lose just the odd wicket wicket by lunch the Aussies may have played their joker.

    Like

  14. thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 12:00 am

    Vaughan saying “The Gabbattoir” every two minutes. Do shut up.

    Like

  15. LordCanisLupus November 23, 2017 / 12:03 am

    Ricky Ponting needs to boot Shiny Toy in the ‘nads and shut him up. Punter is a terrific commentator.

    Like

  16. LordCanisLupus November 23, 2017 / 12:09 am

    2 overs and it’s gone from terrifying opening attack to lunch without any wickets down.

    ADHD commentary. Punter is better than this.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus November 23, 2017 / 12:16 am

      And then a couple in the right place and Cook is out.

      This can happen. I’m going to be fair.

      Like

  17. Mark November 23, 2017 / 12:11 am

    That’s it…..I’m already begging for channel 9. Shinny toy hasn’t shut up for a single minute.

    BT should give us the option.

    Like

  18. sadcowblog November 23, 2017 / 12:14 am

    Good God, bring back Sky!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mark November 23, 2017 / 12:15 am

    Poor shot from Cook. That looked gun barrell straight.,He just played down the wrong line.

    Like

  20. Mark November 23, 2017 / 12:20 am

    It’s six for one with just 18 mins gone, and Shinny toy is complaining about Englamd are just tying to hang in there.

    Wtf does he expect?

    Like

  21. "IronBalls" McGinty November 23, 2017 / 12:20 am

    I got BT Sport, just switched on…Cook gone..switched off…night night!

    Like

  22. Mark November 23, 2017 / 12:29 am

    Oh great it’s Lovejoy…….

    This could be a half hour to remember……

    Like

  23. Benny November 23, 2017 / 12:29 am

    Damn. Too late for the Cook wicket. Thank goodness for replays

    Like

  24. LordCanisLupus November 23, 2017 / 12:30 am

    Lovejoy at the Ashes. What the world has wanted. Will he pack it in half way through his commentary stint?

    Like

    • Mark November 23, 2017 / 12:44 am

      Lovejoy is a sort of accidental international sportsman. A painter and decorator type who by some odd quirk of nature could bowl spin. So he wound up as a professional sportsman but without really understanding anything about it.

      He sounds like a village green player who woke up one day and was playing for England.

      Like

  25. Mark November 23, 2017 / 12:55 am

    Lovejoy…..”the last thing you want is 34 for 1.”

    It’s not John Arlott is it?

    Like

  26. Benny November 23, 2017 / 1:09 am

    One hour gone and neither side on top. Still, only 14 overs gone so just the beginning. Good for England there’s nothing scary coming down at them

    Like

  27. Mark November 23, 2017 / 1:13 am

    The only slight problem is how the hell are we going to take 20 wickets on this?

    Like

      • Mark November 23, 2017 / 1:35 am

        I would be happy to take a draw here.

        But that assumes we will score enough runs.

        Like

    • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 1:22 am

      I think the pitch might be speeding up a little, so it could be the best time for England to bat right now. Not that I think the Australian batsmen will fear batting on a hard, bouncy pitch.

      Like

  28. Benny November 23, 2017 / 2:07 am

    Lunch break. Not edge of the seat but good to watch Test cricket again. That’s my lot.

    Like

  29. Miami Dad's 6 November 23, 2017 / 2:32 am

    This might sound jingoistic and small minded, and hypocritical to a tee – given my love for KP and my peculiar obsession with Graeme Hick – but it is quite nice that this England side are full of “English” players. Admittedly I dont know the full back story of Malan, but he has been with Middlesex for donkeys years, at least.

    At one point it looked as though we’d have a very Jennings, Robson type look to it. Not that I have anything against individuals (and I pointedly refuse to comment on it when the side does look more like an Empire XI), but in an international sport struggling in all but a couple of countries, a weight imbalance where young players will opt for playing for a conglomerate like the ECB, just doesnt strike me as healthy…

    I have watched 10 minutes thus far and it was Vince blocking Lyon and Stoneman swaying Starc. The scorecard looks absolutely fine at this point. Scoring looks tough.

    Like

  30. dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 4:50 am

    Anyone still up, or am I just writing the updates for people to read in the morning at this point?

    Like

    • mdpayne87 November 23, 2017 / 5:04 am

      I’ve woken up early so will be following for a while…

      Like

        • mdpayne87 November 23, 2017 / 5:17 am

          I note many saying on Twitter that this century partnership means we have already had more in the first innings than the entire 2013-14 series. Emphasises what a shocker that series was.

          Like

          • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 5:20 am

            Not only that, it’s their first century partnership in a first innings since 2007 (Bell & KP at Sydney).

            Like

  31. Sri. Grins November 23, 2017 / 5:45 am

    Q, Danny, Lord,

    ☺☺. Optimism is the right path

    Like

    • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 5:50 am

      I’ll agree that it’s better than my wildest dreams so far, but it is a little early to get too optimistic yet. They’ve burned me before…

      Like

  32. northernlight71 November 23, 2017 / 6:50 am

    Ouch. Run out. Colonel Flower won’t be pleased with that.

    Like

  33. Silk November 23, 2017 / 7:26 am

    Bugger me. James Vince. (This is not a request or instruction).

    Like

  34. nonoxcol November 23, 2017 / 7:57 am

    Gratifying to see how well Lovejoy’s commentary is going down on the old social media. I managed an hour this morning with only Agnew, Norcross, Mann, Tufnell and McGrath… and Vaughan turned up just as I started work.

    Not sure that kind of luck can hold.

    Like

  35. dlpthomas November 23, 2017 / 8:15 am

    I’m impressed that you guys are still up. If you’d offered me 4 for 200-ish this morning I’d have taken it.

    Like

  36. jomesy November 23, 2017 / 8:29 am

    Gentlemen, I have to say that was a Herculean effort on your part to do a full all-nighter. Fantastic!

    My only complaint, and it is a bid one (😉) is you simply cannot say:

    “0445: Geoffrey Boycott just said “wank” on BT Sport”

    And not provide further details!

    Like

    • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 8:40 am

      From memory (which is pretty shaky, sleep deprivation and all that) he was sharing an anecdote with an Aussie commentator about a bowler who used to say it all the time.

      Like

    • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Talking about Jeff Thomson. The Aussie asked “Didn’t he describe his bowling as just running in and going ‘wank’?” to which Boycott said “Yeah, it was bit quick wank.”

      Being Outside Cricket. We tell you the stories other cricket websites refuse to share with the public.

      Like

      • jomesy November 23, 2017 / 9:02 am

        You’ve made my morning Danny! Thank you

        Like

      • dlpthomas November 23, 2017 / 11:47 am

        I think Thommo actually said “whang” as in “whang it down” though I do prefer your version.

        Liked by 1 person

        • BobW November 23, 2017 / 12:41 pm

          Yes it is Wang but if Boycott is like my 84 year old mother, she would have used the word wank without a thought… That is hilarious.
          My mate said his mum asked for VD player one Christmas years back. No mum, it’s DVD player…

          Liked by 1 person

      • oreston November 23, 2017 / 10:22 pm

        I always thought Shane Warne was the one who was most into (ahem) “wrist action.”

        Like

  37. Silk November 23, 2017 / 9:43 am

    I think that was a very good day for England. I was listening to TMS at around 7am and Lyon was turning it square. We could have lost a couple more wickets. Tomorrow will be the best day to bat, I reckon.

    Australia really need wickets in the first hour. If England can see off the new ball, a big score beckons. Then the pressure is really on.

    Like

  38. Mark November 23, 2017 / 10:14 am

    I stayed up until just after 3.45am. The sight of Lovejoy Poncing around on the outfield talking about cumulus clouds was too much. (They even zoomed in on his dancing shoes.) And then Gilchrist said there was some more bad weather coming up so I went to bed. Well done boys for keep going through the night.

    What to make of the day? Better than we feared? The pitch wasn’t as fast as we had expected, and that took a little sting out of the Aussie attack. However, England being England can never just stamp their authority on a situation. Our two top players failed and our rookies stepped up. Who would have thought it? Cook as any opener is always vulnerable early on to the new ball. Yet there was little or no movement, and he just played at one he shouldn’t of. It was disappointing because after the first two overs there were already mumblings about how this isn’t as fast and dangerous as we thought. Then nick, and he gone.

    The day belonged to Stoneman and Vince. Fair play to them. They have been criticised heavily. Always nice to see Stoneman succeed because it is one in the eye for Selvey. Vince played well, and was probably the star of the morning and yet he managed to get himself run out. So frustrating when he had passed 50.

    This could have been 200/2 odd, and England in complete command. Can England’s last 6 batsman somehow scrape another 200 and get England up to 400 odd? Keeping the Aussies quicks in the field is important. Let’s hope England can bat to tea tomorrow.

    As for the coverage of BT. They should NEVER be forgiven for hiring Lovejoy. His half hour stint forced me to mute the sound, and I would have happily taken the one eyed channel 9 for mercy. Shinny toy has become a non stop talker. He never shuts up. Boycott gave the proceedings some gravitas, and a connection with the past. They did give the Aussies two places in their team. One more than Channel 9 gives Englishmen.

    I still have a dread this will all go horribly wrong tomorrow. I think Lyon will be a problem especially in the second innings. How may did we score in the ……How did we lose at Adelaide test match? 500 odd? and we still lost!!

    Rashid might have been very dangerous on here on days 4 and 5. Ali may have a big role to play with both bat and ball. See you all tonight.

    Like

    • Silk November 23, 2017 / 10:32 am

      I think another 200 runs, with Malan and Ali in, and Bairstow and Woakes to come, is more than on.

      Like

      • Mark November 23, 2017 / 10:35 am

        Hope so!

        Like

    • Scrim November 23, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Wasn’t it 3 Australians? Ponting, Gilchrist and Fleming? Or did I imagine one of them in my tiredness. I think Fleming is great. A bit cheesy sometimes, but great insights into fast bowling.

      You’ve obviously never been subjected to Heals, Slats and Brayshaw commentate before. You might not even realised there is a cricket match going on when they get going. Thankfully, Brayshaw was taken out the back and shot before last summer, but it still the worst.

      First time I’ve heard much of Alison Mitchell – I thought she was really good.

      Like

      • Riverman21 November 23, 2017 / 12:03 pm

        Agree with you on Fleming. Thought he was concise and knowledgeable. Just hoping he doesn’t get drawn into bantz with Lovejoy as we go on.

        Like

  39. Scrim November 23, 2017 / 10:39 am

    Went to bed early, woke up and caught the first 90 minutes of the first session, went back to bed, and was up 20 minutes before the late tea. I had a BT sports stream. Even with Boycott, Swann and Vaughan, it is preferable to channel 9. Most annoying piece of commentary was Boycott repeating that he didn’t think Cummins had the fitness to bowl 20+ overs a day. Yet here he was up around 90mph late in the day, best of the fast bowlers, producing a couple of peaches to get Stoneman and Root. Today was nothing compared to his efforts in far tougher conditions in India and Bangladesh. I’m pretty sure Boycott had never watched him before.

    There was also a bizarre comment after stumps from KP, where he said (from an English point of view I assume) that he would rather that they attacked Lyon and he had 3-70 rather than 0-40. What? Maybe they’d like a few more runs on the board, but can’t be too disappointed with how they handled Lyon, he bowled really well.

    I don’t know how they ended up with a pitch like this. Probably the slowest Gabba pitch I’ve ever witnessed for a test. We’ll see what happens when Australia gets a bat, but at this stage it seems like a good toss to win. England batted well, without ever really dominating. Happy with the bowlers, very disciplined and I don’t think they could have done much more – maybe Hazlewood was a bit off. Disappointing for Paine to drop that catch, it wasn’t that difficult. That bit of fielding from Lyon made up for it and was probably the highlight of the day for me.

    I haven’t seen much of Vince, but I was promised it would be catching practice for the slips. What happened?

    Will Stoneman get dropped for Compton-esque scoring rates? 😉

    A slow day, but an interesting one and very delicately balanced. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

    Like

    • BobW November 23, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      Scrim, I thought he said Lyon would be happier with 3-70 rather than 0-40. Meaning wickets matter.
      KP did look scruffy though. There also didn’t seem much love lost between those two (Swann and KP).

      Like

      • Scrim November 23, 2017 / 1:26 pm

        Ah. I was only watching with half an eye while I worked in the lab with a noisy fan, that makes more sense. Thanks.

        Like

    • Miami Dad's 6 November 23, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      No gloveman is perfect, but to bring in a “specialist” keeper who feasibly doesn’t bat at all, only to see him drop a catch like that on the first day – ouch!

      I was thinking during the bits of play I saw (10-15 mins before lunch, then a decent chunk of the final session) – who I don’t expect to still be standing come Sydney. I’d simply be amazed if Paine was there. He was a one Test pick, two at most. Ball, Vince, Stoneman and Malan are obvious candidates from England, whereas on the other hand I’d expect Australia to give Bancroft and Handscomb a decent run. It’ll be interesting to see which of Broad, Woakes, Anderson, Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood have the legs and bodies to last the end. If Broad or Anderson go down, would that signal the end?

      This is a low, flat, “subcontinental” wicket. Shaun Marsh might score big.

      Like

      • Scrim November 23, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        Ouch indeed.

        I note that Jake Doran (who took over from Paine as Tasmania keeper last season before being replaced when Wade returned to Tasmania this winter) is 100* today as a specialist batsman in the Shield match vs SA at Adelaide Oval. Using current selection logic, he might be next in line!

        Like

  40. SimonH November 23, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    I watched the first session live (sound muted) and then abandoned my intention of watching it all and turned in because the pitch is so turgid. Did the groundsman open last year’s “Chief Executive’s pitch” email by mistake? He certainly doesn’t seem to have seen Sutherland’s recent call for more bowler-friendly pitches. 1-0 to Strauss in the battle of the CEOs. Maybe it’ll quicken up but so far it’s made the SWALEC look like 1970s’ Perth.

    We’ve been so hypnotized by Australia’s Gabba record and past Ashes that a probably more important pattern has been forgotten. This England team tend to start series strongly. Since the last Ashes. their away record is: DDWWD. Their record in all Tests is: DDDWWDWWLWDWW. The record is even more pronounced if you consider 1) the results under Bayliss alone and 2) that England were on top in nearly all the draws. FTR these first tests have tended to be followed by something not so good, respectively WLDLL and LLWLLLDWWLLLL. It’s tended to be the third Test of a series that has decided how a series has turned out. In those England have either got back on top (against India at home, against Australia at home, against SA home and away and against WI at home) or collapsed in a heap (against WI away, against Pakistan away, against India away).

    It’s weird how we’ve been lulled into thinking that performances four or eight years ago with a two-thirds’ different team matter more than performances by these players in recent years against other teams. I guess this English attitude that playing Australia is somehow unique is very difficult to shake. Perhaps it made sense at times in the past when Australia were so much better than other teams or conditions were much more alien but it would be a struggle to argue either of those now.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    I can’t decide if I had the easy shift or the frustrating shift. Absolutely zero cricket occurred while I was on duty, so at about 3:45 I gave up and went to sleep – and Danny was our (knackered) saviour.

    Don’t expect this every day. I got woken up by a work call this morning and I’m short on sleep to say the least.

    England have done ok. If it went horribly wrong from here they’d end up with 250, and that wasn’t the “horribly wrong” of my thoughts when they started batting. 300+ and they’re properly in the game, more than that and they’ve done very well. It isn’t the normal Gabba pitch, and the amount of spin it’s taking will have Moeen very interested, because whatever his limitations, he is a wicket-taking threat.

    They’ll be fairly content overnight I would think.

    Like

    • BobW November 23, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      It is a cliché but it is all about tomorrow morning. I think England need 400 to be competitive. A couple of quick wickets and I think the Aussies will be expecting England to fold.

      Like

      • thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 1:07 pm

        I hope they are expecting that. It would show a degree of cockiness that might come back to bite them.

        Like

    • SimonH November 23, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      Was the spin because of some first day damp (which would also help explain why the pitch was so slow)? If so, it’s not inevitable that it’ll turn later on. A damp pitch can get indented and those can lead to uneven bounce making batting last very tricky. That could be as much or more of a factor.

      I didn’t see a pitch analysis or know enough of Brisbane’s pre-match weather to know the answers to these. It’s probably not down to Adele though!

      Like

      • thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 1:20 pm

        Possibly a bit damp, but would you expect a damp one to offer turn like that? I’m not sure. Usually if it’s a bit damp it skids on rather than biting – if it’s sodden, then yes it does bite and turn slowly. Agree with you that it doesn’t mean it will carry on necessarily, but having spun on the first morning, and quite appreciably at that, I suspect it is going to take spin for the rest of the match, albeit I’m not sure it’ll be a full on bunsen at any point. If it is damp, and hardens up, then there may be a bit more bounce, and that really would get the spinners interested.

        It’s quite intriguing, it’s not the surface anyone was expecting. I’ve not seen a Gabba pitch turn this much since Warne was playing.

        Like

      • thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 1:37 pm

        It’s also just occurred to me that Australia got some reverse swing, which seems unlikely if the pitch was damp.

        Like

        • SimonH November 23, 2017 / 1:49 pm

          All fair points and you may well be right – but if it wasn’t damp, then it must be a crumbly surface or that the pitch is cracked which would both be highly unusual for both the first day of a Test or the Gabba.

          Bring back Greigy and his keys – then we’d know!

          Like

          • thelegglance November 23, 2017 / 1:51 pm

            Definitely unusual. Something of a headscratcher really. I’m drafting up the preview for tonight, and to be honest, I’m clueless about what the pitch is going to do and what a good score might be. Come to think of it, I might as well admit that. 😉

            Like

        • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 3:39 pm

          Apparently the outfield has a lot of sand in it which aids drainage, so it didn’t retain any water. They also managed to switch balls after the first one landed in a puddle at the boundary.

          Like

      • dannycricket November 23, 2017 / 3:36 pm

        They said on commentary that it had been a bit cool and wet in the days before the game started, so the pitch didn’t get ‘baked’ as it normally does.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus November 23, 2017 / 4:37 pm

          Just re-reading the Ashes 1982-3 book by the Daily Telegraph (when it was a serious newspaper) and the description of Day 1 indicated a very similar wicket (England made 219 for 9 in the day) due to very similar weather. It’s not unprecedented. We barely had a drop of rain in 2002 for the week we were there (Sir Peter?). It’s not always a rocket fast surface.

          Brisbane has become the stuff of mythology within the media. The Gabbatoir. Give me a break…

          Like

  42. Zephirine November 23, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    Very impressive all night coverage!! Not sure how much I’ll be participating owing to ludicrous amounts of work – this looks like being yet another catch-up and highlights series for me.

    I must admit to a Maxie moment when somebody was out for 2. Unworthy, I know, but hey.

    Liked by 3 people

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