Welcome to Day 4. Australia lead by 34 with 3 wickets down and one of them isn’t Steve Smith. England fans are in panic mode, Smith having taken on the cricketing form of Thanos, turning English bowlers to dust by his very presence. His immortality at the crease threatening to conquer England singlehandedly and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
I don’t think we’ll be live blogging today’s play, as we do have lives, but we will do what we can.
1. Moeen Ali had one of those dismissals that gets people talking. What should be done?
2. Australia playing just four bowlers looks a mistake in hindsight. How would you change the team for Lord’s?
3. How many is too many to chase in the final innings?
I did most of the StatWatch for Burns’ century yesterday in the live blog. Rory made the 35th score of 133 in test matches. The previous 133 was by Cheteshwar Pujara in 2017 against Sri Lanka, the last one for England was by Alastair Cook, also against Sri Lanka, but in Cardiff back in 2011. The last 133 in an Ashes test was scored by Adam Gilchrist in the 5th Test at Sydney in 2003, while the last one for England in an Ashes test was by Mark Ramprakash at The Oval in 2001. It is the first 133 in tests at Birmingham. The first 133 in test matches was scored by Monty Noble in 1903.
Well you lot put him through it with your piety and need to be seen to be above questioning. Oh well. If it makes the press happy.
Mike was (rightly in my view) defending the umpire over the Warner dismissal – a wicket that Stuart Broad, that well known shrinking violet, did not appeal for. He got a little flustered in his responses..
I Can See You Paul…
Well, actually not. It appears he does not write for the Mail on Sunday. Lawrence Booth and Richard Gibson get the honours. We are also spared Martin Samuel, but instead we get Oliver “Olly” Holt, the King of Sanctimony himself, shinning up to a world class sporting gig he thinks he’s entitled to comment upon. His piece, I’m not linking to it is a comment on crowd reaction and song, more than a cricket report. It’s the sort of stuff we could churn out in our sleep, but we aren’t revered for it. I wonder what justifies the Mail employing about 7 different people to comment on the same event. Did Paul Newman have to pay to get in for his day off work?
Or was he watching in a Birmingham hotel?
Sorry it is a bit shorter this morning. But life and all that, and the start of the football season is going to hit resources even more. We will try to live blog some of the play, but I’ve promised to take Teddy for a long walk this morning, and I know TLG is at another sporting venue today. Let’s see what we can do. This is a very good test match, and the stakes ride on whether we will see Smith fail to convert this start, and how well his team-mates support him. I think Australia fancy this position. 200 will be a lot too many in front for this exceptionally flaky England batting line-up. It will take something special for England to win, in my opinion.
UPDATE – I missed Shiny Toy Watch. Here’s a gobshite classic from this sherbert dip.
Let me tell you the reasons I despise this tweet.
1, If Australia are bowled all out for 220, and Smith is 100 not out, are you saying England will lose?
2. If Steve Smith is out at 12:10 for 60, and Australia finish 180 all out, are you saying we will lose?
3. If Steve Smith gets out, and the rest of the Australian batsmen stick on another 200, are England still dead certs?
4. You are employed as an analyst, a pundit, a man with insight – not as some carnival barker shouting out the first thing that comes into your head?
5. It’s Shiny Toy.