Cow Corner

  • England wellied at the WACA

    The clearest sign of a shift in the momentum of the series was patently clear for all observers. England's 310 total runs scored at the WACA was 19 less than Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott's second-innings partnership in the first Test.

    England crumbled to defeat by 267 runs in less than an hour in Perth on day four, and it felt just like a revisit from the ghosts of Christmas Past.

    Excluding the Test against a second-string Australia side in 1978, England have not won a Test match in Perth, and in eight of the 11 Tests they have been destroyed at that.

    But there are reasons to be cheerful

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  • Fredalo, Let’s Go!

    South Africa 256-6 (75 overs) It's all got a bit Ken Loach - too dark - and the players have gone off for the day. That was an exciting hour, some wickets for Flintoff and England have a sniff of getting back in this game. In sniff terms - it's a Michael sized nose rather than a Pete Townshend's sized jumbo conk - but a sniff nonetheless. Join us at 10am tomorrow when we will adapt our nose analogy throughout the day.

    Scorecard  

    South Africa 255-6 (75 overs) Mark Boucher could have an argument in an empty room. This time he's got some England fielders to join in his favourite pasttime...he

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  • Johnson finds his mojo

    There
    hasn't been a sportsman who had such variants of form as Mitchell Johnson since
    Billy Dane, hero of Roy of the Rovers' comic strip story Billy's Boots.

    After
    his sub-Steve Harmison display at Brisbane, on Friday at Perth Johnson bowled
    one of the great Ashes spells ending with 6-38 as England fell to 187 all out.

    For
    Dane, the key to transferring from being the worst footballer in his school to
    the best striker was wearing a pair of old, battered football boots which
    belonged to legendary goalscorer Jimmy 'Dead Shot' Keen. There would be drama
    on a fortnightly basis as he would contrive

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  • Hussey the hero again

    Another Mike Hussey masterclass and a glut of late England wickets has it looking a certainty that the Ashes will be level at Christmas.

    Disappointingly, unlike yesterday when superb bowling brought about England's demise, on this occasion, poor shots from the middle order was to blame as they were left sprawling at 81 for five.

    A target of 391 on a pitch that isn't a road always seemed a big ask but this England team earned the right to be believed in, especially after South Africa made 414 to win here - admittedly on an easier wicket - in 2008.

    England were always going to need a big opening

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  • England power past Australia’s Perth panic

    The build-up to this Perth Test saw Australia clutching at Beer, straws and
    anything else they could get their hands on.

    Jimmy
    Anderson would be too jet-lagged to bowl, they hoped... Stuart Broad with his 0
    runs and 2 wickets at 80 would be missed... A green-top would favour Australia...
    Another spinner from St Kilda would recreate the Warne magic.

    But
    though everything indicated that he would play, in the end Beer was put on ice
    - as were a multitude of puns.

    Australia
    seem desperate. The selection policy is inconsistent and incoherent.

    Two
    bowlers - Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus -

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  • Rain fails to save character-less Aussies

    At 2.05 local time in Adelaide, a biblical rainstorm hit the Adelaide Oval answering Australian cricket fans' prayers. Unfortunately, two and a half hours previously their side left the field almost as swiftly.

    In under an hour and a half, six wickets fell for 66 runs on Tuesday morning - seven if you include Kevin Pietersen's wicket of Michael Clarke with Monday's last ball.

    Graeme Swann cleaned up the tail but James Anderson's two wickets in as many deliveries may have been the most memorable moments. Ryan Harris's padding up to receive a king pair suggests that while he marginally improves

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  • Swaggering KP won’t be denied

    Australia
    were desperate to get Kevin Pietersen out on Monday morning in Adelaide, but
    flicking to an image of Shane Warne on the sidescreen he was facing seemed a
    step too far.

    The
    score standing at 551 in the morning, the same total England declared on before
    losing four years ago, may have been enough to give KP the shivers but the
    sight of the legend who memorably bowled him around his legs to set up
    Australia's famous win as he was taking strike four years later, might have
    sent a mere mortal over the edge.

    Rather
    than the red ball, though, Warne was holding the apparently sensational

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  • Australian week gets worse and worse

    Three days, three wickets, one World Cup vote... stick 834 runs into the mix as well, and it's been a miserable seven days for Australia.

    Today their bowlers must have felt like a heavyweight sparring partner in the 1980s getting paid to take a beating before Mike Tyson walked into the gym as, after being bludgeoned with a soft hammer - not quite Timmy Mallet's Mallet, but getting there - by Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott for over two days going back to the Gabba, Kevin Pietersen then came to the wicket to give them a more brutal kicking.

    Peter Siddle had a golden arm in the first Test. It

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  • England feast on pie chuckers

    Before Australia's 1993 tour of England, Rod Marsh referred to England's bowlers as 'pie chuckers'.

    On the evidence of day three at Adelaide, with the notable exception of Ryan Harris and maybe Shane Watson, it would be difficult to label Australia's attack as anything else.

    Marsh's description proved pretty apt back then. England may have lost the series 4-1 but, of the seam bowlers who played in more than one of the six Tests, the Aussies' top performer was Mark Illott who took eight wickets at 51.50. England's best bowler in the series was Peter Such who took 16 wickets at 34.

    Dark, dark

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  • Openers banish Gabba ghosts

    I felt the same way about England's impressive survival on day four as I do about getting a bad tooth removed. I wanted it to happen but it would have been considerably less painful being anaesthetised throughout.

    With little threat of further pain being inflicted, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook's centuries set up a first Test stalemate on an occasion that had a lazy Sunday morning feel to it. 

    There was none of the festival atmosphere that was present for the first three days. Gone were the marquees, virtual cricket nets and DJs outside the Gabba, which itself was never more than half full.

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