Posted by: tootingtrumpet | August 17, 2019

Second Ashes Test Day Three – The Final Over of the Day

Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad

Ball One – Archer has the fans aquiver

Fast bowling is hard work. It breaks bodies with shin splints and hairline fractures early on, then bad backs and side strains later. Propelling a ball at 90mph is not something that sits well with human physiology and all those niggles are the body’s way of making its point. But sometimes, and it’s not often, fast bowling looks like the easiest thing in the world. Yesterday, Patrick Cummins threw himself into every delivery, fingers scraping the ground in the follow through, every muscle (and there are a few) employed to its fullest. Jofra Archer sends the ball down at roughly the same speed, but – seemingly – with barely any of the effort. From the same Pavilion End, he cruises in as if on rails and rocks back and then forward as a very quick arm releases the ball. Maybe it’s because everything is pointing in the same direction, maybe it’s because he’s close in to the stumps, maybe it’s just a gift from the gods, but he really does make his most demanding of trades look far too easy.

Ball Two – Dead Right Sir!

DRS will excite few comments but it had an excellent session overturning a poor decision from each umpire. First Aleem Dar can only have thought that one of the two noises he heard was bat, but both were pad, and the ball was hitting Travis Head’s middle stump halfway up. Shortly after, Chris Gaffney answered Ben Stokes’ appeal in the positive, but it didn’t shape right for the right arm over bowler to the left hand bat and, sure enough, it may have been hitting, but it pitched outside leg. It’s not been a good series so far for the umpires, but DRS is playing a blinder.

Ball Three – Taking a rain check

The Lord’s crowd can be hard to love – there’s all those champagne corks on the outfield for a start – but, with a weather forecast little short of apocalyptical, they turned up in huge numbers to see the morning session. They were rewarded with a fine display from England’s bowlers, who asked a lot of questions of the Australian batsmen, enough to flummox Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head. And, if no further play is possible, they’ll also be rewarded with a 50% refund on their ticket price. It seems hard to believe that until relatively recently, you just had to shrug your shoulders and write the day off without recourse to a rebate. Of course, the tickets cost a lot less back then.

Rain stopped play

Ball Four –

Ball Five –

Ball Six –


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