English pride took a real beating yesterday, not because of some firecrackers being let off in the tube, but because of the first Ashes test against Australia. Norm of that that blog was there and makes the point nicely. First there was the triumph noted in the Evening standard:
England made a start beyond their wildest dreams today as they bowled Australia out for 190 in a sensational opening to the Ashes series at Lord's
Then after all that hope came the depression as Australia not only fought back but in the shape of McGrath produced even more destructive bowling, leaving England at the end of the day looking like they would be lucky to get much more than 100 in their first innings. After the one day matches England was looking like it had a chance to do well in the Ashes. At lunchtime yesterday that promise looked to being fulfilled in the first test yet by yesterday eveing those chances looked about as likely as Zarqawi renouncing violence. This is a cruel mental torture far more acute than any at invented by those devious baseballer at Guantanamo bay.
I am not, by any means, a cricket fan - I have been heard to claim that it ties with baseball and paint drying for most boring spectator sport in the world - yet I would have loved to have seen yesterday's cricket. Test matches usually last 5 days, with it being common for one innings to last two days. Yesterday we nearly had two innings in one day and from the accounts they were sensational.