articles and blog
2009 Ashes - Third Test at Edgbaston
Category: Cricket. Published: 11 Aug 2009 (first published 4 Aug 2009)
Rain ruined most of the first day's play. I gave up sometime after midnight and it appears play started around 2 am Australian eastern time. Eventually 30 overs were bowled and Australia finished 1 down for 126 with Watson on 62. I only saw the highlights and it appears Watson was a tad lucky, playing some streaky shots and could have been LBW on 37.
The second day started with Watson LBW to the first ball of the day, followed by Hussey not playing a shot and being bowled by the second. Onions on a hat trick. The first session contained some of the best swing bowling you're ever likely to see, in particular from Anderson (5 wickets -- for the first time against Australia) and Onions (4 wickets). Australia's batsmen again demonstrated that they don't play top quality swing bowling particularly well, luckily the tail managed to add a few runs to end up with a slightly respectable total of 263.
The only highlight for Australia was Ponting breaking Allan Border's record for the most Test runs scored by an Australian.
The ball didn't swing when Australia started bowling, but Siddle, taking the new ball in place of Johnson for the first time in the series, found the edge of Cook's bat and presented Manou with a relatively straightforward catch. This might be a bit premature but Manou looks a lot more polished with the gloves than Haddin. Hilfenhaus took the only other wicket, bowling Bopara, but Hauritz, again, was by far the best of Australia's bowlers, challenging both Strauss and Bell.
No play due to rain.
Australia bowled well early, with Hilfenhaus swinging the ball and getting Strauss early. Johnson finally looking somewhere near his best. Siddle bowled inconsistently; at times threatening with well directed short balls, but at other times giving the batsmen easy boundaries. Hauritz bowled tightly and Watson bowled three overs of absolute rubbish. England eventually out for 376, a lead of just over 100. The highlight of the innings being the partnership between Flintoff and Prior.
Australia finished the day on 2 for 88, needing to bat well (or pray for rain) to avoid another defeat.
A very good partnership of 185 between Clarke (103*) and North (96) ensured a draw. Hussey made a half-century and may be coming back into form. Watson justified his selection with a half-century in each innings. Strange decision by Strauss not to bowl Anderson in the first hour. If you're trying to win a Test I would have thought that you'd have your best bowler bowling first up -- he did take 5 wickets in the first innings, he's been swinging the ball all over the place, has generally looked to be England's best bowler through the series and you've got one batsman out of form and one who's never opened before -- and Anderson does take a wicket in his first over of the day.