I’d planned to watch the morning session of Ashes cricket yesterday, from Trent Bridge, having found a congenial pub in Marlborough, with free wifi, where they were showing the cricket on a high-definition TV. But once the Australians had been bowled out for 60, in 18 overs, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere for the rest of the day.
A couple of other guys kept me company, as the Australian wickets fell, including the cricket coach from Marbborough School, who said he’d coached Michael Atherton in years gone by. Hilariously, he criticised the half dozen poor balls that the England bowlers sent down (once a coach, always a coach, I suppose), as Stuart Broad finished his morning’s work with the amazing, unrepeatable figures of 8 for 15.
Other guys came by, to see how England were doing. They needed to be reassured that the Australian collapse wasn’t some joke being played by Sky, and that it really happened. Then England batted, and Joe Root went to his hundred and beyond. Like all good batsmen, he scores his runs quickly while, paradoxically, never looking like he’s in a hurry. He’s still in, no doubt hoping to score so many runs today that England won’t need to bat again.
It was probably the best day’s cricket I’ve ever seen, and having some good company made it almost as good as being at Trent Bridge…