They are ours again

the Ashes that is.

Finally after 16 years an England captain got his hands on that 2 inch trophy when the umpires lifted the bails at 6:15pm to declare game over and England had the series won 2-1. Yup no 5-0 whitewash as a number of the Aussie players had confidently predicted at the beginning of the summer and were well and truly reminded of yesterday, thanks Glen.

What a performance in the last 2 days starting with Mathew Hoggard & “Freddie” Flintoff’s bowling to skittle the Aussies out on Sunday who would have thought cruising along at 275 for 2 they would be all out 6 runs behind England’s total.

And who would have thought England could bat most of the last day of a test match get 335 against the mighty spinner Shane Warne, well I along with many didn’t when Vaughan & Bell were out to successive balls and Freddie fell cheaply not long after.

But during this series, after the first test at Lord’s, every time Australia got their noses in front one of England’s players stood up and was counted, yesterday it was Pietersen. After the stick he got for the hair, ear rings, dropped catches and the awful shot to get out in the first innings he had a little to prove and he did so with his first test match century.

It would have to take something outstanding to deprive Freddie of the Man Of The Match award and that 158 the way it was played and in the context of the game it was that outstanding act. Just a shame he wasn’t still in at the end instead of joining the list of players who lost their wicket while there was some mention on scoreboards, loudspeakers or the TV of Richie Benaud leaving the game in England.

How different it would have been if Shane Warne hadn’t dropped that dolly of a catch when KP was on 15. Warne was briliant throughout with bat, catches and of course the ball 40 wickets at less than 20 is amazing, especially in a losing effort, where would Austrailia have been without him, where would they have been with him as captain instead of the useless Ponting.

But he dropped that catch and that as the crowd were happy to tell him cost them the Ashes.

Warney dropped the Ashes Barmy Army

Though in fairness he took it in good spirit, as fitting for the best cricket series ever.

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff on the celebration bus ride

And so it’s goodbye to free to air test match cricket on British TV, thanks to Channel 4 who weren’t as committed to cricket as they kept saying they were. Thankfully no more of that preening prat Mark Nicholas on “Yesterday At The Test” as it should have been called, why when you’ve only got a half hour show do you need 15 minutes taken up of said prat talking to camera outside the ground or slow mo shots of the crowd ?

Goodbye also to Richie Benaud who unlike the prat will be missed, at least with RB you know he had a distinguished international career.

And good to see the victorious England team get the same open top bus celebrations that the World Cup winning rugby side got, how else would we have seen the state of Freddie Flintoff the day after the night before.

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