Stuart George

Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust: England vs. Australia at Lord’s

In Cricket on July 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Lucky me to have been at Lord’s on Sunday and Monday to see England’s first win against Australia at this ground since 1934 (sic). Having waited from 1989 to 2005 for England to regain the Ashes visibly aged me; probably there is 100+ year old MCC member that has waited 75 years for today’s triumph.

And guess who made it possible more than anyone? That man Flintoff. He bowled a magnificent ten over spell this morning, taking 3-43 and winning the match for England before lunchtime. He was rightly made Man of the Match. It wasn’t quite as intense as his 14 over spell at The Oval in 2005 – the Lord’s pitch saw to that – but it was an outstanding display of fast, aggressive and hostile bowling. Let’s hope his ankle holds out for the rest of the series.

So England are 1-0 up with three matches to play. Next stop is Edgbaston, where England have such a good record – better than any other Test venue in this country, apparently – and where I misspent most of my youth. Although I am Worcestershire born and bred, I grew up just that bit closer to Birmingham than Worcester, so Warwickshire it was.

I am increasingly minded towards England winning this series…This is not a great Australian side, and certainly it is a shadow of its pre-2005 self. The bowling attack is weak even if the batting remains relatively strong – Michael Clarke played some superb shots through cover during his innings of 136, only to have a rush of blood to the head and end up being bowled by Graeme Swann.

SDG at Lord's 19 July 2009, England vs. Australia

But whatever might happen in the next three Tests, it was a famous victory at Lord’s today and a privilege to have been there.

The privilege was even more profound because I was meant to have attended on Sunday with my friend Steve Evans, who is suffering terribly with lung cancer at the moment. I thought we might have lost him at the weekend when my phone calls were not returned but I saw him this morning and he is steadily recuperating from an emergency operation. Please get better – Lord’s and The Oval are not as much fun without you.

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