Cow Corner

  • 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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  • After draw, it’s advantage England

    When England fans gathered in Trafalgar Square to welcome the 2005 Ashes success, a rather dour friend of Cowers said that no one should be able to join the celebrations unless they were watching the match at Lord's in 1993 when Michael Slater, Mark Taylor and David Boon scored hundreds and Mark Waugh was on 99.

    After 17 years it felt like the wheel had come full circle as Australia's wretched bowling was carted around by Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott on their way to unbeaten scores of 235 and 135.

    Not that there were many Aussie punters in the house to see it and fewer still who will admit

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  • Haunted by ghosts of Ashes past

    Dozing off in Bay 60 the ghosts of Gabba past returned - a recurring nightmare that visits every four years.

    The standard ritual of watching England in Brisbane from the sofa involves falling asleep deep into the small hours with our boys struggling to dismiss Aussie batsmen - and waking up four hours later only to find the same batsmen are still at the crease.

    For Matt Hayden and Ricky Ponting (272) in 2002, Ponting and Mike Hussey (209) in 2006, read Hussey and Brad Haddin in 2010 - the worst of the lot, 307 runs.

    Haddin came to the crease at 2.10pm on Friday and departed at 3.25pm on

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  • Bowlers arrive but Mr Cricket masters wicket

    You wouldn't have blamed James Anderson if he spent the morning with his head out of his hotel window - like my Brisbane landlady's mutt Bluey does out of the front of her ute - hoping for any sign of humidity in the air.

    As it happens, there was none at all - but it didn't matter as Jimmy proved to himself and the Aussie naysayers that he can still be a handful in unhelpful conditions.

    Two wickets was scant reward for a fine bowling effort which left the Australian batsmen wafting at balls outside off stump like they were bad smells. Ironically his worst ball of the day, drifting down the leg

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  • How to pull an Ashes all-nighter

    If you find the idea of completing an Ashes all-nighter about as likely as Kevin Pietersen walking past a mirror without checking himself out, we might just have the solution to get you through the upcoming series in Australia.

    What follows is a comprehensive 10-point guide to staying awake for the long haul.

    1. Go Australian

    We don't mean switch your allegiances, of course, but try adopting an Aussie lifestyle during the winter. Set the alarm for 10pm and go to bed after lunch. Turn up to work in the freezing cold wearing nothing but a string vest, Bermuda shorts and flip-flops, and spend

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