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Ashes Dairy of the 17th Man – Jul 14

Day 5 – First Test

Fourteen runs was all that was in it.  Fourteen!  After all the tension, it was a relief to escape from Trent Bridge early after The Last Stand just failed to get us over the line. The bus driver was pretty impatient as it turned out, as someone had ordered the bus that took us to the ground to wait there and be ready to take us back to the hotel at 11.30.  When Coach2.0 finds out who was responsible, there’ll be hell to pay.

Coach certainly wasn’t allowing any concessions as far as taking consolation from “we were close” in his rather brutal assessment of our performance, but this loss felt a whole lot more hopeful than the floggings we sat through in India. The idea that we might win a Test against this opposition is plausible. Hopeful. I like hopeful.

Rocket Man has changed his tune as far as batting at Number 11 goes after his heroics today. I heard him claim he was left stranded on his way to breaking The Kid’s record by Wicky getting out once too many times, so I swapped his and Puff’s laundry bags around – he’ll be looking tres fashionable in his calf-length duds until Puff gets back from Africa.

The only trouble is, there is some thought that The Kid wants his spot back – he averages 98 there after all. The Prof reckons that every desparado in the team has worked out that No. 11 is where the runs are, and Mr Bean and Lucky have both made a case to The Captain for a switch to the new pivotal run scoring position.  Not sure it has presented a confident picture of their states of mind to the heirarchy, but it might be all they can get.

It was only after dinner that the delivery driver entrusted with delivering Prof’s message of good-will to the England Team’s hotel phoned back. Apparently, the timing worked perfectly, with him dumping the load of sheep’s eyes and chicken’s feet on the red carpet out the front of the hotel as instructed, just as the team arrived back to freshen up before they went out to celebrate. One or two of them had been celebrating for a few hours by that stage, and an unnamed member of the squad added his lunch to the mess in short order. Not even the Chef at their more upmarket digs was up to the challenge after that.

As for us, it’s new rules: we don’t get a night out when we lose. That means I’ve been stuck here in the hotel, taking a skype call from Dad that only took 24 attempts to connect.  Every incentive to support the lads in a better showing at Lords later this week.

The IPL is clearly just a packet full of pop-rocks.  Test cricket is a full three course meal.  One rots your teeth, one leaves you satisfied.

Although I’ve eaten so much I want to spew.

Eng 215 & 375, Aust 280 & 296

England by a lucky 14 runs

Meet the Squad here

OUT NOWThe Ashes Files 2013. The secret applications file that Cricket Australia assembled when they threw applications open to all comers. Ebook available at amazon now.

OUT NOW: Coach2Coach – The story of Australia’s chequered prepartion for the 2013 Ashes, as told by The 17th Man. (US/UK)

© 2013 Dave Cornford, Jeremy Pooley & Jock Macneish

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