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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So a Tame Draw at Edgbaston...

So it finished out to be a tame draw finally in a rain curtailed third test at Edgbaston . It was not again a walk in the park for the aussies , they were made to work for a draw . Michael clarke inspirational 106* and the much improving North unfortunately 96 , denied England a chance to chase . So one can blame the rain gods for playing spoilsport in such a wonderful encounter . The entire fourth day's play was lost . So talking about momentum Aussies have a few positives to carry into Headingley , Australia will take tremendous confidence from their second-innings batting performance, in which three batsmen passed 50 and one, Michael Clarke, a stoic century in his 50th Test to limit England to just five wickets from 112 overs. Shane Watson's returns of 62 and 53 in his first Test as opener will prove particularly encouraging as will the final-day efforts of Michael Hussey (64) and Marcus North (96), both of whom were in need of a confidence boost.
The hosts will also be satisfied by the manner in which they covered for Kevin Pietersen, but Andrew Flintoff is looming as a major concern. The England allrounder, who is understood to have had two further pain-killing injections to his troublesome right knee prior to this match, fell awkwardly on his left ankle when delivering the final ball of his 13th over. Flintoff required the better part of 30 seconds to climb back to his feet and appeared in significant discomfort, but managed to bowl two more overs in the session. His condition will be monitored with only three days between the third and fourth Tests. The latest is that Flintoff will be doubtful for the next test . This will come as a big blow to England.
Unlike the draw in Cardiff, where every ball of the final session was an angst-ridden affair, the Edgbaston Test concluded in anti-climax with part-timers Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara in operation and Australia's batsmen scoring at will. Clarke was fortunate to have survived a Stuart Broad delivery that clipped the bail and a subsequent catch off a Bopara no-ball, but eventually raised his 12th career ton with a pull to the boundary and look to the dressing rooms, whereupon he was summoned in by Ricky Ponting. Fortunate it might sound for Clarke, but he deserves the luck to move forward .
I was not able to follow this entire match on television , when i did follow the text commentary in Cricinfo , i saw a nice comment from a BBC commentator " England needs a bowler to take 6 wickets from 6 balls " sounds crazy , but the resolve showed by the Australian pair of clarke and north was brilliant .
So with two tests to play , the excitement mounts. The Fourth test promises a lot and may well decide the series . Waiting eagerly for the fourth test and eager to see a fully fit Andrew Flintoff.

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