IT’S CRICKET, MATE
I had to ask, “Excuse me, how long does the season last in Australia?”
Aussies always seem to be polite, especially to this dumb Yank. “We play all year round, mate. The sun always shines somewhere.”
“Oh, well, that explains it. I heard you talking about someone scoring 206 runs. So how many games did he play that season to do that?”
“We call ‘em matches, mate. He did that in one match.”
I suddenly realized we weren’t talking about baseball here. “One match?”
They laughed at my surprise. “One inning, really,” the other guy added.
I could only echo, “One inning?”
“Yeah,” the other Aussie added, “But the inning lasted three days, mate.”
I regained my composure enough to say, “Well, that explains it.”
“Here,” the first Aussie said, handing me a newspaper, “you can read all about it here, mate.”
I thanked him and started to learn all about cricket. Here are some of the highlights from the news reports:
When Collingwood was out a ball before tea for 206, having borne England's innings for more than 6 1-2 hours, he had become the first English batsman to record a double century in Australia for 70 years.
After a momentary slip when three wickets fell for 23 runs, England was able to declare at 551 for six, with the match under its control and the series balanced.
There was further joy for the visitors when a pumped-up Flintoff took first test centurion Justin Langer's wicket for four in a fiery spell just before stumps.
Australia ended the day on 28-1, with Matthew Hayden on 12 and dangerman Ricky Ponting on 11.
Flintoff (38 not out) smashed McGrath over mid-wicket for six and a few minutes later, McGrath was given a huge Bronx cheer by England's supporters when the veteran quick conceded his 100th run.
I did understand “Bronx cheer” but it was hard to believe the rest was in English. They even printed a box score on the match:
A Straussc Martyn b Clark 14
A Cookc Gilchrist b Clark27
I Bellc and b Lee60
P C'woodc Gilchrist b Clark206
K Pietersenrun out158
A Flintoffnot out38
G Jonesc Martyn b Warne1
A Gilesnot out 27
Extras (10lb, 2w, 8nb) 20
Total (6 wickets dec, 168 overs)551
Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-45, 3-158, 4-468, 5-489, 6-491
Bowling: B Lee 34-1-139-1 (8nb, 1w),
G McGrath 30-5-107-0, S Clark 34-6-75-3, S Warne 53-9-167-1 (1w),
J Langerc Pietersen b Flintoff4
M Haydennot out12R Pontingnot out11
Extras (1nb) 1
Total (1 wickets, 9 overs)28
Fall of wickets: 1-8
Bowling: M Hoggard 5-1-14-0,
A Flintoff 4-0-14-1 (1nb).
Australia trail by by 523 runs.
It all looks like a fun game. I wonder why it never caught on in America. You can learn more about it *HERE* and *HERE*.
UPDATE: England, it turned out, lost that match. I thought the thing was over but it seems a cricket match lasts five days and the Aussies came back and won it. I saw no hint that the match was going on. Here’s a report:
LANCASHIRE cricket manager Mike Watkinson admitted he was surprised to see England lose the Second Test match after such a strong start.You can read the summation *HERE*.