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Friday, January 05, 2007

For a while it looked as if England wouldn't add another run: Fifth Test Day 4

First Kevin Pietersen out without addition to his and the team's score. Then Monty Panesar foolishly, needlessly run out for a 19 ball duck, just as the Channel 9 commentators were drawing the longest of bows and talking up his batting ability. Come on guys, why couldn't you have just reverted to type and reminisce about the old days? You might also, to put Australia's margin of victory into a broader test cricket perspective, have mentioned the near and actual "blackwashes" (as they were called at the time) achieved by the great West Indies teams of the 1980s.

Back to the present. Sajjid Mahmood scored the first runs of the day with a boundary off McGrath. 7/114 became 8/122, 9/123 and, thanks to some biffing from Harmison, all out 147, which left Australia to make 46 to win. The batting order did not change, despite some loopy suggestions from the blogosphere that McGrath and Warne should be promoted, and the mission was duly accomplished without loss and without sentimentality, as Matthew Hayden, not Justin Langer, hit the winning single.

And then the presentation ceremony, at which the speakers generally avoided any reference to the drubbing which England had received.

So, a series that was disappointing for its lopsidedness comes to an end. I'll have some other things to say about it anon, so please watch this space.

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