The Ashes: 4th Test; Boxing Day Test, Melbourne

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:21 pm

First topic message reminder :

4th Test; Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground; Dates: 26-30 December (23:30 GMT, 25 December)

Expected XIs:

Australia:
Bancroft, Warner, Khawaja, Smith *, S Marsh, M Marsh, Paine †, Bird, Cummins, Lyon, Hazelwood

England:
Cook, Stoneman, Vince, Root *, Malan, Bairstow †, Ali, Woakes, Curran, Broad, Anderson

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Post by No name Bertie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:12 am

Note that this is a slow wicket - so these conditions are more in line with what the tail is used to and bowling bouncers on this wicket rapidly exhausts the bowlers.

But certainly it helps to have a good batsman on the other side to steady them and the absence of Stoke hasn't helped nor Moeen's poor form.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:18 am

Runs flowing now. England 457 for 8. The lead now 130. Cook 221 Broad 45. Partnership now up to 80.
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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:19 am

and the seagull makes its appearance... not enough to stop this onslaught!
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Post by alfie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:19 am

Oh very true , Bertie. Also no Starc.

No guarantee things would have worked so well in the other games. But my point was that the batsmen (principally Bairstow) never gave it a chance.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:23 am

No need for any declaration. Get the runs when you can and pile the pressure onto the Australian batsmen. England 461 for 8. Lead of 134. Cook 223 Broad 47. Partnership of 84.
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Post by alfie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:26 am

The Loaded Dog wrote:and the seagull makes its appearance... not enough to stop this onslaught!

Don't suppose you can be caught off a seagull. But I guess you don't get five runs for hitting one either...

Partnership getting close to the hundred now... Lyon has his unwanted three figures. Lead a respectable 137.

Been thinking I might go tomorrow . Could be interesting : though I am not sure it won't turn into a batathon as this pitch really isn't offering anything to the bowlers...

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:28 am

Broad hits a half century. Well played. 52 not out.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:29 am

Back-to-back fours for Broad brings up a superb century partnership.
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Post by alfie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:30 am

Fifty for Broad clap

He isn't the batsman he was (and I guess most of us might have lost a bit of nerve after getting our face rearranged by a bouncer) but he has stood up today. Well played.

And Mark Taylor has won his bet with Warnie Smile

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:32 am

Cravking catch in the deep by Khawaja and Broad looks to be out. Checking replays.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:32 am

Tricky one this.
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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:32 am

He lost it... and it looks as though it touched the ground.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:33 am

Slater thinks he caught it. Boycott doesn't.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:34 am

Broad given out for 56. Great knock.
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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:35 am

I'm with Boycs on that one. Khawaja didn't look so confident... more desperation than anything.
10/10 for the face plant though!


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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:35 am

England 473 for 9. The lead now 146.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:35 am

The Loaded Dog wrote:I'm with Boycs on that one. Khawaja didn't look so confident... more desperation than anything.
10/10 for the face plant though!

Looked a sore one that.
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Post by alfie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:37 am

Khawaja has caught him at third man ! Or has he ? I think that is a fair catch...or did it spill out ?

This is like one of those rugby try TV ref checks where you can't see the ball for the bodies...tough call for the ump.

Called out. Hmm. Not sure : the onfield soft signal of out probably referred to the initial grab - which was fair. Hard to be sure it didn't touch the ground as it bobbled out though : my feeling is with the fieldsman less than sure they should have given the doubt to the batsman. But I won't die in a ditch over it.

End of fine innings thumbsup

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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:38 am

Craig, how's the road map looking?
Nearly a 150 run lead... I think it will be too much for Australia to handle. A bridge too far.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:39 am

The Loaded Dog wrote:Craig, how's the road map looking?
Nearly a 150 run lead... I think it will be too much for Australia to handle. A bridge too far.

Given up on the roadmaps due to requests from posters here.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:43 am

Australia, for the first time, have a big first innings deficit to overcome in this series.By the time they reach parity it will be around tea tomorrow. It doesn't give them the time to build a lead and bowl England out in my opinion. For me only and England win or a draw are the posdible results. And do belueve rain is forecast tomorrow.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:44 am

England piling on the agony. 483 for 9. The lead 156. Cook 236 Anderson 0.
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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:45 am

I actually prefer watching Cook's massive innings to Smith's 239 (soon to be surpassed) although in the context of the series Smith's contribution was certainly more timely.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:50 am

So Australia won't be batting today. If a wicket falls it will be close of play.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:53 am

Seems like another great day for England - big first innings lead, another day in the field for the Aussies.

Has the pitch done much? Assuming as Broad scored a 50, it’s as dead as a dodo still?!
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:54 am

The lead at 160. England 487 for 9. Cook 240 Anderson 0.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:56 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:

Has the pitch done much? Assuming as Broad scored a 50, it’s as dead as a dodo still?!

Pitch playing very docile. Not really changed much at all throughout. I have seen one or two balls disturb the top of the surface but that is it.


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Post by alfie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:58 am

The Loaded Dog wrote:I actually prefer watching Cook's massive innings to Smith's 239 (soon to be surpassed) although in the context of the series Smith's contribution was certainly more timely.

Smith's innings in Brisbane was the one that really counted. It was forged in adversity with not much help until Cummins arrived ; it set up an Australian win when without it they might have trailed by a significant amount on first innings. Who knows what would have happened then ?

I didn't see much of the WA innings ; but I can't see past that Gabba knock for innings of the series...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:00 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:

Has the pitch done much? Assuming as Broad scored a 50, it’s as dead as a dodo still?!

Pitch playing very focile. Not really changed much at all throughout. I have seen one or two balls disturb the top of the surface but that is at.

Seems like a nailed on draw to me then.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:01 am

England close on 491 for 9. Alastair Cook 244 not out. Spectacular knock that has given England a lead of 164. England now in firm control of this test.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:04 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:

Has the pitch done much? Assuming as Broad scored a 50, it’s as dead as a dodo still?!

Pitch playing very focile. Not really changed much at all throughout. I have seen one or two balls disturb the top of the surface but that is at.

Seems like a nailed on draw to me then.

Good chance of that but I will stick my neck out and say England won't lose it.
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Post by alfie on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:04 am

Cook's day Bubbly

A wonderful epic of concentration - and plenty of pleasant strokes...and still there at the close , 244 not out. England lead by 164.

Draw looks likely from here but I've seen too much cricket to assume anything. Think I'll go along and see what happens anyway...

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Post by eirebilly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:52 am

Really not happy with the way Broad was given out, that looked dropped to me.

I honestly cannot see how that could have been claimed, you know as a player that you have dropped that. Very poor and pure desperation to claim that. Cant understand how the 3rd Umpire gave him out as well.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:57 am

Amazing how the Aussie fans on twitter have gone from gloating about a “5-0” to this match being a “dead rubber” as soon as England took those wickets on early day two...
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:01 am

Such a turnaround for Broad and Cook...in contrast to the newer players who have all struggled.
Australia have been hit by the loss of starc ...but England started this series missing at least two seamers (Stokes and Wood) and are playing their 8th choice in this game.

Anything but a win here woukd surely be a huge disappointment. If Aus somehow bat 3 and a half sessions for 350 that still leaves England time spare and a moderate target.
Yes its a flat pitch but England have shown their length and subtlety can work, if anything its arguably australias obsession with targeting the body thsts stopped them exploiting the variable low bounce which gave England wickets.
Aus do have batsmen capable of saving the game, but it is going to take another epic batting performance to save this for them. After day 1 they havent really looked like they are collectively bothered enough to do that.
Its not dead yet bit even someone as scathing as me regarding englands quality sees them as streets ahead in this. If Broad and Anderson turn up again then surely they have to win.

Do they declare overnight? Seems a bit pointless not to ...but it would leave Cook stranded with never having carried his bat in a first class game. Personal records shouldnt come into it but it would be a huge shame if he missed out by Anderson having blocked out a bunch of deliveries he couldve swung for the fences with.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:04 am

Matt Smith, interviewing Cook, on a day he has become the 6th highest test run scorer of all time, and has scored 244*, asks him if he "had fun" steam
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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:05 am

Ignore them Olly... they're not proper sporting fans.

Moeen copping some criticism for his innings I see. Surely Bayliss wouldn't have told him to get out there and try to start swinging when they were still trailing Australia's total? The only thing I can think of is that he has been totally frustrated with his performances and injured finger and he felt that he might be able to wing it.

Not sure Cook would have been too thrilled with Ali's short knock.

Broad, on the other hand came out in a totally different situation... and it certainly paid off.
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Post by eirebilly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:06 am

Why declare over night? There is a lot to making the Aussies field tomorrow, even if for 5-6 overs. Making the Aussies field will just bring that little bit of disruption to them.
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:08 am

Billy ...third umpire was correct.
The onfield umpires had ruled it out and gave a soft signal to check if their was conclusive evidence he wasnt. Theres no angle that shows kwjahahjaha droppednit to the turf...nothing that shows it must have or did hit the ground.
Now we can all extrapolate what actually happened and his own reaction seems to make it clear what he thought ...but thats not the protocol the umpires follow. No guessing ir assuming ....base it on what you can actually objectively see.
The error may have been in giving it from 50 yards plus away but its hardly a howler.
Broad hit it in the air and a fielder got to it ...the rest is tiny margins.

That and the two non lbws though...it makes englands dominance these last two days stand out even more. Three wickets that maybe werent earned.

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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:09 am

Yeah, squeeze them a bit more... a 200 run lead would add some more pressure.
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Post by eirebilly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:10 am

I may be the only one who saw nothing wrong with Ali's innings. It was what you expect and what you get from him. He is a counter attacker who lives by the sword and dies by the sword. When it pays off you think he is brilliant and when it does not you think the opposite.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:11 am

The Loaded Dog wrote:Ignore them Olly... they're not proper sporting fans.

Moeen copping some criticism for his innings I see. Surely Bayliss wouldn't have told him to get out there and try to start swinging when they were still trailing Australia's total? The only thing I can think of is that he has been totally frustrated with his performances and injured finger and he felt that he might be able to wing it.

Not sure Cook would have been too thrilled with Ali's short knock.

Broad, on the other hand came out in a totally different situation... and it certainly paid off.

I think he's come out showing some positive intent, at least trying something different than what clearly hasn't worked so far (when he's just been trying to dig out Lyon) - didn't come off (to be fair, it was a cracking catch from Marsh to get him out - consider the luck Cook got on 66 with an easy drop by Smith, to that for Moeen there - it's a game of fine margins!) - but that's his role. As Billy points out, when it comes off everybody loves it, when it doesn't, everyone is on his back. Similar to the way people used to feel about KP's batting!
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Post by eirebilly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:15 am

Goose, I think it was a howler myself. You can see that the ball is dislodged from his hands and bounces. He, himself, certainly did not look confident in his appeal for the catch. I would rather that the player put his hand up and say 'not sure sir, can we have a look' instead the umpires directly giving it out only to ask the 3rd umpire. The rules left the umpires no room to change their minds even though I suspect they knew they were wrong here.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:17 am

eirebilly wrote:Why declare over night? There is a lot to making the Aussies field tomorrow, even if for 5-6 overs. Making the Aussies field will just bring that little bit of disruption to them.

Agree here Billy - if we can put on another 20-30 runs in the first 20-30 minutes tomorrow morning, we should. As I am sure Guildford will point out ( Wink ), always best to keep the opening batsmen waiting and wondering when the declaration will come, and a quick change around to get ready rather than a whole morning of nets etc.
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Post by eirebilly on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:26 am

I remember, years ago, in an Ashes test when and England batsman (cant remember who) edged a ball through to Ian Healy. The ball seemed to be just short, Healy claimed the catch but didn't seem super confident that the ball carried. Dicky Bird looked squarely at Healy and asked him if he was certain, Healy said no, don't think it carried and the batsman was given not out. Replays later showed that the ball had indeed not carried to Healy. I would like that approach, ask the fielder directly prior to making a decision if there is an element of doubt. 9 times out of 10 you will probably get a correct answer from the fielders.
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Post by guildfordbat on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:37 am

alfie wrote:England take the lead angel

As the sun is well over the yardarm I will open the Scotch.

Guildford should be at least partly happy when he wakes up as Cook is past 160
Smile

Not half! Very Happy

clap clap clap to Cook.

Watched until lunch and headed to bed hoping for a first innings total of 400. Just going from the scoreboard, that looked as if it was going to be very tight when we were 373/8. Very valuable knock from Broad and partnership with Cook to get there and then well exceed it. Alfie makes an extremely good point [he often does, LD  Wink ] that the likes of Bairstow and Woakes need to be sticking it out and scoring a few if we are to expect anything from the likes of Broad, Ball and Anderson.

A tiny ripple of applause to Jimmy as well for staying with Cook at the end. Once the declaration didn't come, it was important to bat out the session. I would bat another 15 minutes in the morning if we can. Not nearly so much for the runs but to keep their openers, especially Bancroft who looked so scratchy first dig, wondering and waiting.

I also agree with Alfie's earlier comment about how well Lyon's bowled in this series - I almost said that at lunch but was timed and tired out! Smile  Another 3 wickets here but by some way the most economical of the Australian bowlers enabling their 3 fast men to be rotated and keep going. If he had been going at 4 or 5 an over like Moeen, then the hosts would really have been in proper trouble.

Finally, hard to decide who is worse - flintoff01 with his wind up draw strategy or Vaughan (as relayed by Bertie) about the need to replace Moeen. I'm going to say that flintoff is marginally less worse - at least he suggests some names whilst Vaughan just moans and comes up with nothing.

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Post by Pal Joey on Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:08 am

guildfordbat wrote: Alfie makes an extremely good point [he often does, LD  Wink ] that the likes of Bairstow and Woakes need to be sticking it out and scoring a few if we are to expect anything from the likes of Broad, Ball and Anderson. Smile

Good morning gb. I'm not disputing that point from Alfie. I totally agree.

However Bairstow's 119 runs in Perth was better than only 19.  Wink
Sure... he needed to hang in a bit longer with Malan but no shame in slightly misjudging a fiery Starc delivery.
Woakes, on the hand, has been rather disappointing with the bat despite his little cameo with Cook today.
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Post by guildfordbat on Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:17 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Why declare over night? There is a lot to making the Aussies field tomorrow, even if for 5-6 overs. Making the Aussies field will just bring that little bit of disruption to them.

Agree here Billy - if we can put on another 20-30 runs in the first 20-30 minutes tomorrow morning, we should. As I am sure Guildford will point out ( Wink ), always best to keep the opening batsmen waiting and wondering when the declaration will come, and a quick change around to get ready rather than a whole morning of nets etc.

And, yes, I've said it again - before I saw your post, Olly! Very Happy

If that approach is good enough for our man Stewart, it'll do me. Wink

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Post by Duty281 on Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:24 am

I knew dropping Cook from the predictor game would reap dividends...

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:31 am

The Loaded Dog wrote:
guildfordbat wrote: Alfie makes an extremely good point [he often does, LD  Wink ] that the likes of Bairstow and Woakes need to be sticking it out and scoring a few if we are to expect anything from the likes of Broad, Ball and Anderson. Smile

Good morning gb. I'm not disputing that point from Alfie. I totally agree.

However Bairstow's 119 runs in Perth was better than only 19.  Wink
Sure... he needed to hang in a bit longer with Malan but no shame in slightly misjudging a fiery Starc delivery.
Woakes, on the hand, has been rather disappointing with the bat despite his little cameo with Cook today.

Hi LD - the mention of Bairstow was referring to earlier in the series when he was batting at 7 (or even on one occasion at 8 when a daft decision was made to use Woakes as a night watchman), falling cheaply and generally making a right pig's ear of batting with the tail. His ton in partnership with Malan showed what he can achieve and why up to that point we had been so frustrated.

I know a couple of keen and knowledgeable Warwickshire followers - Woakes' English county - who about 4 years ago spoke extremely highly of his batting ability and further potential with the willow. A few glimpses have been seen since then but generally it hasn't developed anything like as much as hoped or expected.

I was banging on in Tests 2 and 3 how good and valuable Starc is to your side. Sure, he goes for a few at times but that goes with the territory for a truly fast bowler and, importantly, it's not too often he ends up with a blob in the end column of his analysis. You are always a better side with him in it.

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