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75 years of hurt are ended

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Adam Mountford | 14:02 UK time, Monday, 20 July 2009

When England last beat Australia in an Ashes Test at Lord's the world population was 2.2 billion. It is now 6.7 billion, the land speed record was 272mph, now it's 764mph and the average house price was £515 pounds , now it is £189,000.

That information came via the Test Match Special scorer Malcolm Ashton when Australia were five wickets down on Sunday afternoon - at that point it seemed it was only a matter of time before history was made.

But I'll be honest, I had a sick feeling in my stomach when I arrived in the TMS box on Monday morning - fearing that maybe, against all the odds, it might be Australia instead who would be rewriting the cricket record books.

Andrew Flintoff didn't take a full part in the warm-up before play and we were hearing rumours that he might not be fit. But we should not have doubted England's talisman.

In his final Test at the home of cricket, Freddie took his first five-haul at this ground and Graeme Swann chipped in with a couple of wickets to take England into a 1-0 lead in the series.

The way these Ashes series go, I fully expected to still be chewing my nails later into the afternoon - so as these games go this was almost a comfortable victory for Andrew Strauss and his team. No surprise that the Test Match Special 'Champagne Moment' went to Andrew Flintoff for the moment he bowled Peter Siddle to bring up his five wickets.

Russell Crowe speaks to Jonathan Agnew as Henry Blofeld looks onThere was an amazing array of people at Lord's during the dramatic five days and we were fortunate to feature several of them on Test Match Special. Perhaps the most surprising visitor to the TMS box was Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe taking a break from filming a new version of Robin Hood.

He was introduced on air by Jonathan Agnew with the words "we are joined now by the cousin of the match referee". Although Russell has lived in Australia since his early years, he was born in New Zealand and is related to both Martin and Jeff Crowe who were both at Lord's - one part of the MCC's World Cricket committee, the other working as one of the match officials.

Russell Crowe told Aggers that it was his first visit to the home of cricket. "We've been talking about coming here for 20 years ever since Martin was the junior cricketer in the year and it was a great thrill to walk through the Long Room together". Russell revealed that one of his prized possessions is a photograph of Jeff and Martin with a glass of champagne on one of the dressing-room balconies after a famous New Zealand win here.

He also told Jonathan about his cricket pedigree: "I bowl very sluggish medium pace... I have a cricket field on my farm with nets and a pavilion. But I was never going to become a cricketer with Jeff and Martin in my family already I didn't want to become another Trevor Chappell". But he revealed he does run a family team. "The last time we played was at my wedding... we had six Crowes in the team. It was a four-day wedding and we were playing cricket by the second day."

Although he clearly loved his first experience of Lord's, Russell was not impressed with the performance of the Australian side. "I'm surprised by their lack of ruthlessness both here and in Cardiff where they couldn't close the game... I'm surprised they were allowed their passports to get out of the country."Rolf Harris with Jonathan Agnew

Also spending his first day at Lord's on Sunday was Australian entertainment legend Rolf Harris who joined Aggers to talk cartoons, didgeridoos and cricket. Rolf was also offered the chance to judge the singing efforts of Phil Tufnell who has released his own version of Rolf's hit record "Two Little Boys" for the charity "Cricket for Change". Rolf was at least polite about Tufnell's warbling - well at least it's for a good cause.

Although Rolf told Aggers he was loving seeing the cricket at Lord's, he admitted he hadn't played the game. "I was a keen swimmer but I didn't play blood sports like cricket. Any game where I can get killed by another bloke, I'm not interested."

His sentiments were shared by our "View from the Boundary" guest on Saturday - comedian David Mitchell.

"I was.frightened of the ball. My priority was not to get hurt rather than to score runs. But I enjoyed bowling because I could try hitting someone else. Sometimes the ball went broadly in the direction I meant - which is more than Steve Harmison manages some days."

But Mitchell revealed his more ruthless side: "I love it when Ricky Ponting gets angry. I hate to see him get out fairly... it's the new spirit of the game of fury and gamesmanship. That's the modern treacherous post-credit crunch world."

David Mitchell speaks to Jonathan AgnewSo on to Edgbaston we go for the third Test... the scene of England's incredible turnaround four years ago.

If you can't wait for that for your Ashes fix then you must take a look at bbc.co.uk/ashesarchive for the Test Match Special Ashes Archive including moments from that sensational game in Birmingham in 2005.

The archive also includes the best of the action from the first two Tests of this series at Cardiff and Lord's.

Plus, TMS will be back on the air on Saturday at 1030 for the Friends Provident Trophy final between Sussex and Hampshire and then Five Live Sports Extra will have commentary of the Twenty20 Cup quarter-finals on Monday 27, Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 July.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The fact that I, a rank outsider, am the first to comment on England's victory over Australia at Lords in 75 years is surprising to myself. May be all patriotic English people must be celebrating the occasion is quite justified considering the enormity of the event. England may not as yet regain the Ashes but the Lords victory stands out considering Andrew Flintoff's exploit with the ball on both innings. Andrew Flintoff is a genuine sportsman and what is more he seems to enjoy every moment on the field winning or losing. Great.

  • Comment number 2.

    Sir Fred should be up for Sports Personality of the year after this Ashes series, regardless of the result. It's up to England now to rest KP and Flintoff and prepare themselves for the next test, which I fear the Australians will fight hard in.

    More of the same please England, and well done for finally breaking the egg against the Aussies at Lord's.

  • Comment number 3.

    The trivial cricket cannot compare with the cricket seen in the two ashes tests so far....!
    I am so pleased that the cricket has lived up to all our expectations...who are these people who want to consign test cricket to the bin...never ..never ...never.
    Proof of the pudding is in the eating...full houses every day, matches swinging first one way then the other....massive performances from players of both teams, no names no pack drill.
    I have had a great buzz so far and would like to send my congratulatins to both sides for producing some excellent cricket and entertainment.
    Also congratulations to the TMS crew for some excellent commentry, asides, views from the boundary and other stuff.
    As Mr Grace would say ''you've all done very well''

  • Comment number 4.

    A great result, and magnificent performance from Flintoff. The break has come just in time for him and Pietersen to rest and with any luck get back to full fitness. I hope Freddie manages to retire with a batting average higher than his bowling average; were it not for his injury problems he would undoubtedly be considered a truly great all-rounder of the calibre of Botham, Kapil Dev and Imran Khan.

  • Comment number 5.

    #2 - don't be ridiculous. He knocked over a few tailenders this morning. Though I suppose SPOTY has been awarded for less.

    #4 - no he wouldn't. Good player, no doubt, but not of the same stature as the names you mention, injuries or no. I would wager that the three men you highlight took 5 wickets in a Test rather more than 3 times in their careers.

  • Comment number 6.

    'in a Test innings' that should read, incidentally.

  • Comment number 7.

    Best part of TMS at this test was poor old hang dog Angus Fraser being turfed out of his seat for Adam Gilchrist and then Russell Crowe in short succesion!!

    Good job done when the cricket was being played as well!

    Just a quick thought, Freddie has nearly always played well at Edgbaston. If England win in the midlands, then they will be within reach of a fantastic Ashes series win. Game on!!

  • Comment number 8.

    England, congratulations on winning, even though 1 test all should be closer to the reality.Two teams are playing great cricket but only one is playing in the spirit of the game, that is Australia. It will only be remmbered as a great series if England lifts its attitude towards the spirit of the game. Australia have scored over 600 and over 400 in two separate innings,the latter being in the last innings of a test. Despite Freddie's heroics,these are warning signs for England. I expect it to be a drawn series, but lets lift the spirit of the game in which it is being played because in Australia, Strauss' catch and attitude are "howlers"

  • Comment number 9.

    its the kinda ashes series that people would like to see. we dont like to see a team win 5-0 in a prestigious series like this the series should be decided in the 5th and the final test so that test cricket will get a new life with its twists annd tales in the five days of energetic cricket. like to see a neck and neck series between england and aussies. itys been nearly 4 years that we ve seen the aussies being tested by england

  • Comment number 10.

    Was good to listen to the TMS team on the occasions I could. I love hearing Blowers (sorry to everyone else who doesnt) as he makes me feel homesick.
    Good win for England, lets have a few more another series like 2005 would be great for all, neutral, brit and Aussie. After all the Aussies are always on about harder matches.
    CMJ and Aggers are always worth listening to and I think I like the byplay between Mr Chappell and Aggers.

  • Comment number 11.

    Firstly congratulations to England who were clearly much better in all aspects of the game from first ball to last. The series is alive and well. The umpiring disasters almost certainly had no impact on the final result, and I am the first to defend cricket umpires who have a difficult job.

    However, there are some incidents in this test which will not be forgotten quickly by many Australians including myself.

    1. The third umpire (who i believe is English) didn't know the rules and it cost the Australian captain his wicket in the first innings. That's right folks, the third umpire didn't know the rules.

    2. A catch that was claimed by Nathan Hauritz was referred to the 3rd umpire (who doesn't know the rules, by the way) and the English batsman was given not out benefit of the doubt.

    3. The next day the umpires eyesight had improved dramatically and they were able to see (without referral) that Andrew Strauss had caught the ball (even though he hadn't)

    4. The English captain claimed a catch which would be shown clearly by tv replays to have hit the ground first. Hmmmm?

  • Comment number 12.

    Oh yes and in reference to Russell Crowe, whose mouth is only matched in size by his ego, who are you to criticise the Australian cricket team.

    Yeah sure you are a massive movie star, but when it comes to cricket mate you are a nobody.

    Looks like we got another Mel Gibson on our hands, livin in la la land but with an opinion on everything.

  • Comment number 13.

    This is the age of TV replays, with or without the referral. These show up inadequacies of almost any umpire. We now know how blissfully unaware and presumptuous they usually are. People with a perspective of umpiring history may be able to hark back to some exceptional, unusually gifted legendary umpiring greats; but without the benefit of modern technology God only knows how much was pushed under the carpet in the name of expert adjudication. The enormity of injustice that never came to light can only be imagined.

    In our context, the rules, as applicable to this Ashes, specify that referral is only at the umpires discretion and he may only deign to resort to it in case he is not sure of any event that needs arbitration. There is no such thing that he should consistently do this or that. We will never know whether he was or wasn't sure of what he saw. It has to be left to his perceptions. Ergo there is a scope for presumption.

    We have seen (from replays) that many a howler of decision went through. Unfortunately by some coincidence Aussies were at the wrong end of the stick. I am not imputing any bias, but basing it merely on human nature depending on which side your heart lies, one team is bound to benefit at the expense of the other, especially when there are only two of them. So some of us sure need to cont our blessings.

    Judgement is a very dicey play of absolute power that inherently must induce some bigotry.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is the age of TV replays, with or without the referral. TV replays show up inadequacies of almost any umpire. We now know how blissfully unaware and presumptuous they usually are. People with a perspective of umpiring history may be able to hark back to some exceptional, unusually gifted legendary umpiring greats; but without the benefit of modern technology God only knows how much was swept under the carpet in the name of expert adjudication. The enormity of injustice that never came to light can only be conjectural.

    In our context, the rules, as applicable to this Ashes, specify that referral is only at the umpires discretion and he may only deign to resort to it in case he is not sure of any event that needs arbitration. There is no obligation that he should consistently do this or that. We will never even know whether he was or wasn't sure of what he purportedly saw. Perforce it has to be left to his perceptions. Ergo there is a scope for presumption.

    We have seen (from replays) that some howlers of a decision went through. Unfortunately by some coincidence Aussies were at the wrong end of the stick. I am not imputing any bias, but basing it merely on human nature, depending on which side your heart lies, one team is bound to benefit at the expense of the other, especially when there are only two of them. So some of us sure need to count our blessings and some live with having been aggrieved.

  • Comment number 15.

    Inadvertent double posting is regretted-another case of absolute power?

  • Comment number 16.

    "1. The third umpire (who i believe is English) didn't know the rules and it cost the Australian captain his wicket in the first innings. That's right folks, the third umpire didn't know the rules."

    Right I am sick of hearing this pathetic excuse. He DOES know the rules. The referral to the third umpire comes from the umpires in the middle - he would have been asked if the ball carried. He CANNOT comment on any other aspect - his job in such an instance is to say whether a ball carried.

    I seem to remember an incident with Warne and Trescothick where Trescothick pulled a delivery from Shane Warne and the ball hit the man at short leg and eventually a catch was claimed. They showed the footage side on and it was evident that Warne had overstepped and consequently it was a no-ball, HOWEVER, the third umpire may NOT rule on this, he can only answer the question of whether or not the catch was fair.

    LEARN THE RULES YOURSELF!!

  • Comment number 17.

    "Looks like we got another Mel Gibson on our hands, livin in la la land but with an opinion on everything."

    The words "pot" and "kettle" immediately spring to mind.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm sorry to shatter all your illusions mate but the rule says that if the on field umpire refers a catch to the 3rd umpire to see if it has carried, he is obliged to give not out if he discovers that the batsmen has not in fact hit the ball.

    Its clear that one of us knows the rules and I'm sorry to tell you that it ain't you sunshine.

    Maybe instead of gettin all defensive maybe you could look at the facts and then make an evaluation on that basis. As I said, I believe it had no bearing on the result, but there are some serious umpiring issues to be addressed in light of the events that unfolded in this test.

  • Comment number 19.

    Australia in two tests have had no less than five individual centuries....and find themselves 1-0 down ! This in itself perhaps may be a record ?

  • Comment number 20.

    It has been a joy to listen to TMS over the past 5 days, and the famous guests add greatly to the sense of occasion - well done TMS team!
    There have certainly been some howlers from the umpires that went against Australia, and they balance out the poor decisions that cost England wickets at Cardiff.Umpires need more technology to get decisons right,and it is up to the teams to agree to the use of all that is available, including player referrals, in order to get as many decisons correct as humanly possible

  • Comment number 21.

    At 07:58am on 21 Jul 2009, StevieRayVilla wrote: "he is obliged to give not out if he discovers that the batsmen has not in fact hit the ball."

    The 3rd umpire was only asked whether the ball carried, which it did. Its true that he had not hit the ball, it came off Ponting's boot. So your are correct that all the umpires got the decision wrong. However, its also true that they got it wrong in turning down the LBW appeal as he would clearly have been out if the umpires had spotted the ball hitting the foot not the bat.

    If you are going to be pedantic, don't be picky about your facts.

    Lets be honest, all umpires are human and therefore prone to mistakes. Its the element of luck that both sides experience, and over a series they tend to even themselves out.

    Well played England. This series could surpass 2005 if it carries on like this!

  • Comment number 22.

    As being pedantic seems to be the order of the day I'd just like to remind everybody that all those commenting previously about rules are all incorrect as cricket is governed by 'Laws' and not Rules.

  • Comment number 23.

    Cockneywire I couldn't agree more. Flintoff is a very good player and capable of great performances but he simply hasn't done it often enough or taken enough wickets in Test matches to be considered great, especially for someone of his ability.

  • Comment number 24.

    Stevie, which law is it - would like to have a look at it as it was an odd moment in the game - I also don't think Strauss should have claimed that catch and I think it is pretty poor of him to have done so.

    As for other comments on 606 - I believe all this talk of lack of spirit from the Australian fans is a bit rich really. Steve Waugh's team (and Ricky's since) won at any cost regardless. I would also like to point out that - not walking when you've nicked one - running upto the umpire to challenge a not out like Ponting did in the first test - deliberatly barging in to someone just cause you cant get them out (Siddle) and the use of abusive language (Spray Johnsons reaction to Anderson when dismissing him in the 1st dig at Lords - that nice word beginning with C multiple times) are pretty much not in the "spirit" of the game.

  • Comment number 25.

    #18 StevieRayVilla wrote:

    I'm sorry to shatter all your illusions mate but the rule says that if the on field umpire refers a catch to the 3rd umpire to see if it has carried, he is obliged to give not out if he discovers that the batsmen has not in fact hit the ball.
    ...........................................................................
    Interesting! Bit of a surprise. Can we have the fine print please?

  • Comment number 26.

    3.2.3 on caught decisions states: Should both umpires be unable to make a decision, they may consult by two-way radio with the third umpire. Following such consultation, the final decision will be made and given by the bowlers end umpire, who will take into account the on-field umpires initial views and any other advice received from the third umpire. The third umpire has to determine whether the batsman has been caught. However, when reviewing the television replay(s), if it is clear to the third umpire that the batsman did not hit the ball, he shall indicate that the batsman is not out.

    Beers are on you sevenseaman!

    Ponting was out anyway, LBW, so justice was done, if not by the correct route.

    Also (for the pendants) - They are Conditions, not Rules or Laws!

  • Comment number 27.

    the only thing better than beating the Aussies is listening to them whinge about it afterwards !

    Roll on Edgbaston !

  • Comment number 28.

    For an Englishman, there are few pleasures in life more satisfying than seeing a southern hemisphere side well beaten - but in all the euphoria, most of us seen to have forgotten a few big things that helped them get there. Firstly Straussy won the toss - which gave us the opportunity to bat in the best conditions on Thursday. Then on Friday, we bowled in the best conditions - cloud-cover and failing light. And if that wasn't enough, the umpiring helped on at least 3 occasions. All credit to the English team for making the best of these circumstances - but I wonder how well the Aussies might have fared, given those chances? Message to Straussy - please keep winning the toss.

  • Comment number 29.

    #26 tijouboy
    Thanks. Thats very nice of you. We shall have them (the beers) on another sunny day for England.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    If the feeling at Lunchtime on Sunday was the best I will feel all summer i shalln't be disappointed. Having been a wicket away from conceding the first match of the series to grasping a 115 run victory and 1 - 0 series lead within 8 days is something quite special. I was as happy as anyone to see Fred among others perform to the best of his ability and pull England home.

    However, I have a bit of a funny feeling in my stomach similar to the feeling I had after the first test. In both cases it has had little to do with the cricket but more to do with the response from the fans and the media. This blog itself is entitled "75 years of hurt are ended" which does indeed only reference the lords test, but it seems as though England have won the series already. Last week I heard people talking about 5-0 Australia after 4 days and how the selectors had made terrible errors and that none of the 11 were worthy of test places. Even after the extraordinary events of last Sunday, many had still written England off.

    This is cricket, and test cricket at that. Anything can happen at anytime in any match but that doesn't necessarily mean the series is over for either side. The Lords test has proven how different a match can be after a few days off. England were certainly better in this test and deserved to win but I am afraid that everyone writing off the Aussies might lead to disappointment.

    In 1997, England took a 1-0 lead at Edgbaston and then drew at Lords. At 1-0 up after two test matches everyone thought england had a marvelous chance of winning. Several of their batsmen had struck form (most notably Nasser Hussain) and England had a varied bowling attack that was causing a classy Australian side problems. Australia won the next three tests and the series eventually finished 3-2.

    Now there is no McGrath and Warne to skittle us out, and none of the bowlers (with the possible exception of Johnson, who is out of sorts) seems to have the ability to take a Plethera of wickets in one match, but this is Australia and this is test cricket and suggesting that the series is anything more than slightly in favour of England at the moment is frankly ridiculous.

    I'm not trying to be a killjoy by any means. I am ludicrously happy at the way England have fought and the manner in which they wrapped up the Aussies yesterday but the fact of the matter is they need to buckle down, work on what they did wrong and try and force another victory out at Edgbaston. Looking any further ahead than the next match is stupid. If the Australians win then the series is blown right open.

    England are in the best position to win the Ashes since 1997 (series wise) and have one of the better teams they have had in the last 20 years but the series is alive until the end. Even at 2-0 to england the Aussies could still come back and retain the Ashes.

    My point is not that England should play cautiously, they should play aggressively and strangle Australia's resistance but the English public should perhaps exercise a little more caution and just enjoy this victory before the next match. If England lose at Edgbaston there will be calls for changes and if they win they will be gladiators bringing the beloved ashes home. Neither of these are true, and we should watch, wait and enjoy.

  • Comment number 32.

    wise words, henners_1988, wise words - sweet, but let's not get carried away

  • Comment number 33.

    @StevieRayVilla

    There is an interview with Koertzen on Cricinfo at the moment, in which he says that due to the sound of bat on boot, he made a mistake in assuming that the ball had been hit. He goes on to say that if he had been made aware that this was not the case, he'd have given the LBW in any case, so either way, Punter would have been back in the hutch.

    It was a bit of a cock-up, but ease up on it: he was out, he was right to be out, and if the recorded method of his dismissal was wrong, it's more of a quirk than a calamity. You'd have more justification if you were whinging about the missed no-ball that claimed Hughes' wicket.

  • Comment number 34.

    Its Thursday 22nd July and i'm still exhilirated from some of the most entertaining cricket i've seen since 2005. Its only Test Match Cricket that can do that to me as its the pinnacle of cricketing excellence.
    For the majority of the year I follow my football team up and down the country and am let down most weeks by overpaid under achievers. Cricket on the other hand shows a different side to sportsmen and is one of the only sports that I can truly say makes me proud to be English. Footballers in general could learn a thing or two from the performances from cricketing professionals who are paid a fraction of what the prima dona footballers earn.

    The Ashes is a true sporting spectacle and seems to live up to that billing each and every time whereas in football we often see over hyped competitions that end up as damp squibs.

    Thank the Lord(s) for cricket and bring on the next thrilling installment at Edgbasten.

  • Comment number 35.

    Despite the increasing irrelevance of test match cricket, some English people do still seem to get themselves worked up into an hilarious lather over the Ashes, don't they?

    This may have been a top class contest in its day, when these were the two premier cricketing nations in the world.

    But nowadays, with Australia third or fourth in the pecking order, and England nowhere, it really does seem like a lot of fuss over nothing.

    Everyone knows that - with their complacency now discarded - the Aussies will win the series, then move on to other more interesting challenges.

  • Comment number 36.

    I get the impression that TMS is getting back to normal--CMJ Blowers Victor and the other old members [just need Selvey back] --maybe Mr Mountford has been listening to us and reading Peter Baxter's book---Pougatch and company back on the tabliod,sorry Radio 5!! ,

  • Comment number 37.


    The Lords effect and the healing touch experienced by England cricketers and their fans at the hallowed shrine of world cricket has been celebrated by people of good will world wide. Best wishes to the two teams and their fans in the third test.




    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

 

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