Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Test Match Special

Given my complete lack of sporting ability and my pretty much minimal interest in spectating, which in any case is more in the way of just looking at the results in the paper, it might seem passing strange that I'm posting about sport for the second consecutive day.

It must have been back three weeks or more that I mentioned the Ashes, the name given to international cricket matches (test matches) between England and Australia.  I suppose to be completely accurate, the Ashes is not the name given to the matches but is the name of the trophy.

(It wasn't three weeks, it was a month ago that I posted about the Ashes.)

OK, if you followed the link you now know all about it.  If you didn't, you might not.

England won the first two matches in the five-game series very convincingly and seemed well on course for a series win and the retention of the Ashes.  Then came the third test, the weekend before last.  This game looked to be going Australia's way with them staying on top for the first four days.  On the fifth day it rained and the match was declared a draw.  As Australia could no longer win the series, England got to retain the Ashes anhd great was the jubilation across the world.  Well, across the world of English cricket anyway.

There was no disputing the fact that the best Australia could hope for was to draw the series 2-2, an overall result that would satisfy England.  All the same, if Australia did win the 4th and 5th tests to claim a series draw, the fact that they had been on course to win the 3rd test would have left a slightly sour taste in the mouth; two matches won by each side with Australia the better team in the drawn match.  They could, I would suggest, claim quite justifiably that they had been robbed by rain.

The 4th test was played over the last weekend.  On Friday (day one), Australia seemed to be in the ascendancy.  Saturday was the same, but by close of play on Sunday things looked pretty even.  Monday saw Australia chasing a total of 299 in their second innings and looking likely to get there.  Then England achieved a break through and skittled the Aussies out to win the match with a day to spare.

That bad taste has gone from the mouth now and England can truly claim to have won the series.


Frustration can set in during a cricket match, especially one of the 5-day internationals.  It can also - and more frequently - arise as a result of computer malfunction.  For some reason my standard PC keeps crashing on Firefox and refuses to load Explorer.  I just hope that service pack 2, which I am in the throes of installing, solves the problem.


When I was but a whippersnapper, one of my pastimes was completing the "I Spy" books.  (Read about them here.) I don't recall if "I Spy in the Street" included this, but it would have been worth a lot of points as an Edward VIII post box is something of a rarity.

To explain.  Post boxes bear the royal cypher, such as the EIIR for Queen Elizabeth 2nd.  Edward VIII was King for only a few months in 1936 so there was little chance that post boxes would be sited during his reign.

I have to wonder how many were manufactured and not installed.

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