1st Test – Lords

Lords Test Match 21 July 2005

Australia 1st Innings – 190 all out (40.2 overs)
England 1st Innings – 155 all out (48.1 overs)
Australia 2nd Innings – 384 all out (100.4 overs)
England 2nd Innings – 180 all out (58.1 overs)
Australia beat England by 239 runs

For months all talk had been about the Australian attack being past it’s best. How Flintoff and Pieterson, if selected, would dispatch them to all corners of the ground. How Harmison, Hoggard and Jones would expose the perceived vulnerability of the Australians to short pitched bowling. How important it was to win the first game.

The nation eagerly awaited the first game in the most anticipated Ashes series for decades. Surely Vaughan’s young Lions would give the Old Enemy the thrashing they deserved?

Oh dear…

Old Man McGrath

For a guy who, according to most of the armchair pundits, was old and smelt of wee, Glenn McGrath had a fairly good game. His match figures of 9 for 82 suggest that perhaps there was life left in this old coffin dodger.

Shane Warne - The Pie Eater

His old mate the Pie Eater had a reasonable game too with figures of 6 for 83. Between them, the Aussies answer to Waldorf and Statler had picked up 15 wickets at 11 runs apiece. Easy to see now why they’d been written off as too old to be playing Test cricket. The man who suggested it finished the game with 3 for 96 and a ‘pair’.†††

It had all started so brightly too. England’s bowlers blasting through the Australian line up in just over 40 overs. Harmison pulverised the Aussie top order with aggressive fast bowling, hitting Langer and Hayden before splitting open the cheek of the tourists captain. Praise be! The new dawn of English cricket has arrived and it felt good. We’d bowled out the ex convicts for 190 and now it was time to get stuck into a bowling attack sponsored by Sanatogen.

Kevin Pieterson after his knock of 57 in the first innings

By stumps on the first day, England were 92 for 7. The new great hope of English cricket, Andrew Flintoff, was sitting in the dressing room with a duck to his name. Debutant Pieterson aside, the English top order had produced 15 runs between them. McGrath was now sporting a new pair of golden boots to commemorate his 500th Test wicket and an air of gloom and despondency hung in the air. Pietersons knock of 57 was the highlight of the innings, more than answering the questions regarding his selection. Graham Thorpe, the man he replaced in the team, chose the second day to announce his retirement from international cricket.

England limped to 155 all out and by the end of the second day the lead for Australia was already 314 runs. Michael Clarke had hit a breathtaking 91 off only 106 balls and only a flurry of late wickets gave the English fans anything to cheer about.

Steve Harmison looks suitably pissed off

It was business as usual on the third day as Australia piled on the runs and they eventually posted 384 on the board leaving England the small matter of a record 420 runs to win the Test match. Englandís catching had let them down with Pieterson earning a new nickname – Electric Hands. Freddie had captured the dangerous Gilchrist again and but rarely troubled the Australians as his 2-123 figures suggest. Englandís inability to polish off the tail proved the biggest problem of all with the last two wickets adding 95 runs.

England started the second innings well with a stand of 80 between Strauss and Trescothick but it was that man Warne who, once more, did the damage with three wickets after tea. Obviously he found the Lordís catering to his liking and found extra turn despite his full belly. Only Pieterson showed any sort of fight after the openers had been dismissed and he finished the day on 42 not out, just 8 runs short of being only the eighth England player to register 50ís in both Test match debut innings. Bad light had saved England but for how long?

Australia celebrate winning the first Test at Lords...the buggers

Rain prevented play until 3.45pm on the fourth day. Unfortunately it wasnít enough as Old Man McGrath, ably assisted by Warne, took the last 5 English wickets for only 22 runs. Pieterson ran out of partners and was left on 64 not out.

Before the game England had talked the talk. At Lordís they failed to walk the walk and left the home of cricket with their tails firmly between their legs. McGrath announced after the game that he had probably played his last Test match at Lordís. Great. Couldnít he have decided that 4 years ago? You know? Before he was over the hillÖ

Andrew Flintoff – Ashes 2005 Performance
Be Sociable, Share!

Cricket Kit