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“THWACK”

By Pete Moore On August 25th, 2019

It’s the sound that will always stay with me. Some sporting moments, just a very few, are remembered forever. To Headingley 1981 and Edgbaston 2005, add Headingley 2019.

England couldn’t win this, the Third Test. After being skittled for 67 in the first innings, during which Ben Stokes played the worst shot I’ve ever seen, a win was as good as impossible. No greater than a 5 per cent chance this morning, and those odds went down during the day as wickets fell. Except for Ben Stokes’ wicket. He resisted all day and then opened up, making 135 not out, winning the Test and saving The Ashes. It’s the greatest Ashes innings by an Englishman.

The thwack is the noise of his final shot, a cover drive which clinched the Test. That’s possibly the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.

12 Responses to ““THWACK””

  1. Yes Pete, an amazing test match. I thought the drama of the World Cup final at Lords last month could not be bettered but I was wrong. Here are some of the salient points:

    1. Most test matches are won by much bigger margins than one wicket. If the winning side bats last the margin is usually at least five wickets. The last time England won by one wicket was in 1922.

    2. England were bowled out for 67 on Friday. Today, the last wicket made 76 to win the match. The winningh total of 359 was the biggest ever by England and the second biggest in test history.

    3. Australia disintegrated in the field in the last hour. They dropped two easy catches and missed an incredibly easy run out. They also wasted their last review on a hopeless cause, which meant that they were unable to overturn a huge umpire error when Stokes was plumb LBW but given not out with ten or so runs still needed.

    I can remember Headingley 1981 but I have no doubt that Headingley 2019 will surpass it in the memory.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44040

  2. The winning total of 359 was the biggest ever by England and the second biggest in test history.

    That, and that England’s upper order has no concept of leaving a delivery, reveals how unlikely it was. Stokes scored two runs from his first 42 deliveries. It’s difficult to describe to a non-cricket fan the vital beauty in that. He scored 74 from his last 42 deliveries.

    Tim Paine won’t sleep tonight over that review. Nathan Lyon will spend the rest of his life thinking about that fluffed run out.

    Archer is firing. Steve Smith will be back at Old Trafford. It’s a 50:50 series now.

  3. Carli Lloyd hits 55-yard FG after Eagles-Ravens joint practice

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KW_QjfbiqA

  4. Yes, these two sides are very evenly matched. There have been better Ashes teams in the past but rarely has it been as close. Lets hope that the last two tests live up to the first three. History is also being made with two tests in September. Usually the last test is at the end of August.

    There is a theme of redemption emerging. Steve Smith has come back from a one year ban for cheating to bat brilliantly for Australia and Ben Stokes has come back from a shorter ban for a drunken assault conviction in Bristol. This is human drama as well as cricket drama. Compelling stuff.

  5. Well done Stokes the Kiwi (leading run scorer) and Archer the West Indian (leading wicket taker)

  6. There’s no-one so racist or nationalist as a commie met with a bit of English success.

  7. Thank god that with all this excitement Pete seems to have forgotten what happened at Twickenham yesterday and we Irish are spared all that jubilation.

  8. I’ve been tempted to pack the whole sports thing in this weekend. Man Utd lose against a team that hasn’t won at Old Trafford in 21 attempts. Ireland get thumped by the English (almost an understatement). The Colts 29 year old Quarterback retires because Ryan fucking Grigson didn’t build him an offensive line the first five years of his career (his injury list over the last 6 years reads like a car crash). England win an unwinnable cricket match to keep the Ashes alive.

  9. I didn’t forget, Noel 😉

  10. Cheers Seamus. I was like you two weeks ago when Newton Heath beat Chelsea 4 nil and all the other results were hateful as well (wins for the Arse and Sperz and Liverpool and Citeh).

    But results have improved since then and I have enjoyed both Match of the Days this weekend 🙂 The Geordies beating the Sperz today was especially enjoyable, as I’m sure it was for Gooner Pete Moore, consolation for yesterday.

  11. Indeed. Its an interesting one for Arsenal. They played well in parts but still could have conceded a load more. So, from a performance point of view, and also to only lose by two, they’d probably be happy with a 3-1 loss.

  12. As an Arsenal supporter, I was a bit disappointed, naturally, at the final score, but overall, Liverpool deserved their win. We had our chances in the game, and we seem to be actually pulling a half decent team together, for the first time in years. Whatever it was Emery said to the board to convince them to spend as much as we have so far, I hope he keeps pouring those honeyed words in their collective shell-likes. I suspect the players bought will be balanced by the players sold between now and January. We may see Ozil head stateside then, where someone else can cheers at his brilliance every 7-8 matches or so, when he can be bothered to show up.
    Emery is now building his own team, and fans of the club need to give him a bit of time to do that. His speciality is the Europa League, but he cocked that up rightly last season, although he did get to the final. I think he’ll need at least another season after this to get to grips with the Premier League, but so far, he seems to be heading in the right direction. He needs to guide the team to a stuffing of Spuds next weekend though 🙂

    Oh! On topic: Jolly good! Top hole, and all that, don’t you know? What? 🙂