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  • Bangladesh v West Indies, T20, Mirpur Cricket Memorabilia

    Posted on March 26, 2014 by Selby

    West Indies had batted poorly against India in a seven-wicket defeat on Sunday. Their batsmen didn't look entirely convincing against Bangladesh either, but they scored 171, thanks to Dwayne Smith's 43-ball 72 and some amateurish work in the field.

    The target proved well beyond the reach of the hosts, who were bowled out for 98. Dew, which had been a big factor in Mushfiqur Rahim sending West Indies in at the toss, barely played a role as Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine and Krishmar Santokie - a left-arm seamer by definition but a quickish left-arm spinner in reality - had no difficulty in gripping the ball in achieving figures of 12-0-49-8 between them.

    Badree and Santokie sent back three of Bangladesh's most dangerous batsmen within first four overs. Tamim Iqbal went first, driving Badree uppishly to a diving Dwayne Bravo at mid-off. Bravo would later throw an even harsher light on the gulf between the two fielding sides by hurling himself to his right at point to grab a low one-handed catch and dismiss Mushfiqur.

    Before that, though, Santokie struck twice in two balls with his slower offcutters. First, he spun it past the groping outside edge of the right-handed Anamul Haque for Denesh Ramdin to effect a brilliant stumping, then spun his next ball through the gate of the left-handed Shakib Al Hasan. Bangladesh were 16 for 3 in 3.2 overs and the match, as a contest, was over.

    Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur fought on for the next six overs, but the required rate was always running away from Bangladesh. Once the two were dismissed, Badree - who finished with four wickets - and the rest of West Indies' attack had no trouble running through the rest. In the end, the margin of victory reflected Bangladesh's inadequacies rather than anything spectacular from West Indies.

    Having been sent in, West Indies, for most part, had struggled to put Bangladesh's bowlers away on a slow pitch. Smith, who had scratched his way to 11 off 29 balls against India, was in much better touch though, and provided West Indies impetus that they never lost despite their two best batsmen - Gayle and Marlon Samuels - facing 70 balls between them for 66.

    Smith profited from some poor bowling, particularly from Sohag Gazi. Smith greeted the offspinner by sweeping him for two fours off his first two balls, both of which were directed towards leg stump, a dodgy idea with fine leg in the circle.

    In the 10th over, Smith struck him for four successive fours. He manufactured the first - a reverse-sweep off a decent ball, but the next three came from ordinary deliveries that would have disappeared in any format of the game. The last of these, a flat-batted sweep, took Smith to 50. The landmark had come up in 34 balls.

    Despite this, West Indies' run rate, at the end of the 10th over, was still under eight an over. At the other end, Gayle was playing a bizarre innings. It wasn't a surprise that he was slow off the blocks - he usually is before picking up the rate later. That simply didn't happen today. Part of this had to do with Gayle struggling to time the ball on a slow pitch, and part of it had to do with intent - unless the ball was in his hitting zone, he simply didn't go after it. He was slow between the wickets too, and appeared in some discomfort, suggesting he might not have been fully fit.

    After Smith's dismissal in the 12th over, Mushfiqur brought on Shakib Al Hasan for the first time, and the left-arm spinner struck first ball getting Lendl Simmons stumped down the leg side as he went off on a strange wander out of the crease.

    In came Samuels, who added 53 in 37 balls with Gayle even though neither batsman looked particularly threatening, as Bangladesh's fielding disintegrated despite two blinders from Tamim. Gayle went from 26 from 38 - at that point the second-slowest score of 25 or more in the history of international T20 - to 30 from 39 - the 14th slowest - courtesy Anamul's slippery fingers at long-on. In the next over, the 17th, Mushfiqur let successive deliveries from Shakib scoot between his legs for four byes. In the last two overs, Bangladesh also dropped three catches - Mahmudullah's two missed chances at long-off adding eight runs to Darren Sammy's score.

    Al-Amin Hossain bowled a tight last over, picking up three wickets, but would have wished the spell had been part of a better team performance.

    tony selby



    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Cricket Memorabilia - some interesting items at past auction sales

    Posted on March 13, 2014 by Selby

    Some items of cricket memorabilia  sold at auction

    Keith "Nugget" Miller (1919-2004) Notts, Nsw, Vic, Mcc, was an Australian Test cricketer and a Royal Australian Air Force pilot during the second World war he was capped 53 times scoring 28,377 First Class runs  –  in 2004, £16,000 was paid for the cap worn during the 1954 -55 season  the year after he led NSW to the Sheffield Shield title, Miller may well have been Australia greatest all rounder

    Garry Sobers, The Legendary  left handed West Indian batsman who in 1968 hit six consecutive sixes in one over  in a County match playing for Notts against Glamorgan. the last ball to be  used during this memorable County innings was sold at auction in 2006 for £26,000

    Victor Trumper (NSW, AUS) 214 runs not out, top test score, 300 not out in First Class cricket, Victor's green cap,  sold at auction for £33.500, playing for Australia in England in 1902 Victor scored 2750 in 53 innings To quote Plum Warner"No one ever played so naturally. Batting seemed just part of himself, and he was as modest as he was magnificent.

    The bat used by Don Bradman during the 1946-7 Ashes series sold for £42,484) at  Auctions in December 2012, Sid Barnes and Bradman made a record 5th wicket partnership of 405 runs (both Sid and Don scored 234 runs in the 2nd Test)

    Tony Selby


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, bodyline series, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, don bradman

  • Bopara was calmness personified in Antigua as England batsmen flapped all around him and his unbeaten 38 secured a desperately-needed victory in a mundane contest.

    Posted on March 3, 2014 by Selby

    Ravi Bopara has been an England batting enigma: a man proud of his streetwise upbringing in East London but rarely able to bring that sense of astuteness to the 22 yards of turf that will make or break his cricketing reputation. But Bopara was calmness personified in Antigua as England batsmen flapped all around him and his unbeaten 38 secured a desperately-needed victory in a mundane contest.

    This three-match series will be settled on the same ground on Wednesday and one hopes it will be more enthralling than this. At least England's stumbling display racked up the tension before they edged home by three wickets with more than five overs to spare. After a winter like the one they have endured, they will accept the win with relief.

    A year ago, the England side contesting this ODI series in the Caribbean would have been presumed to be a 2nd XI. That might be regarded by some as an alibi, as a reason for patience, but without Bopara's poise, skittishly supported in an eighth-wicket stand of 58 by his captain Stuart Broad on a day when his luck was in, it would also have been presented as proof of the pitiful levels to which England's one-day cricket has sunk.

    A turgid pitch, an eminently achievable target of 160 for all that, a maladroit batting performance: such was the story of a humdrum match in which England combined bewilderment against the spin of Sunil Narine with a series of soft dismissals. Had Broad's contest with Ravi Rampaul not been so blessed - a decision overturned on review, a hook falling safely at fine leg, a drop by Dwayne Bravo at slip - West Indies might have been celebrating a series win.


    Ravi Bopara was very composed in getting England back on track, West Indies v England, 2nd ODI, North Sound, March 2, 2014

    Ravi Bopara stayed cool to steer England home © Getty Images 


    Shorn not just of the ego of Kevin Pietersen, but the more socially acceptable egos of Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales because of injury (the prognosis on both, incidentally, is more encouraging), England began by looking short of nous. Moeen Ali hooked into the wind, Luke Wright was bowled as he consistently failed to read Narine and when Michael Lumb's innings came to grief courtesy of Nikita Miller's lbw, self-doubt set in.

    Root played Narine well, but he was deceived by a Dwayne Bravo delivery that stuck slightly in the wicket. Jos Buttler fell first ball, failing to ride the bounce of a bumper down the leg side, and Tim Bresnan was excellently run out by Dwayne Bravo from wide mid-on. In between that, Ben Stokes tickled Miller onto his pad and looped a catch to Denesh Ramdin, and chose to walk even as the umpire Joel Wilson shook his head. Stokes should not be castigated for his integrity, not for one moment, but one can bet that some place, some time, he will receive an homily about "professionalism".

    If they were grateful for Stokes's honesty, West Indies had reason to be aggrieved about a pivotal event in their innings - the dismissal of Dwayne Bravo. From the moment TV umpire Marais Erasmus ruled Jos Buttler's stumping of Bravo was legitimate, West Indies' flow silted up like a Somerset river. The dismissal came the ball before the compulsory Powerplay and, instead of marching into it with two batsmen set - Bravo and Lendl Simmons - they reached it at 133 for 5 and lost five more wickets for 26, Rampaul illustrating their mental collapse when he holed out at long-off against James Tredwell with more than five overs left.

    The on-field umpires had turned to Erasmus when Bravo was drawn down the pitch by Tredwell and Buttler lost the ball in the process of completing the stumping. Buttler conceded that he was unsure when the ball had escaped his grasp and TV replays seemed maddeningly inconclusive, but not so for Erasmus who ruled that Bravo was out. Ottis Gibson, West Indies' coach, did not hide his exasperation, rising from his laptop to hold out his hands towards the middle in disbelief.

    Stephen Parry, England's debutant left-arm spinner, finished with three wickets and the man-of-the-match award. Parry is very much a one-day specialist, having played only six first-class matches by the age of 28. He acquitted himself well, showing none of the qualms suffered by another Lancashire slow left-armer, Simon Kerrigan, on his Test debut against Australia at The Oval last season.

    His contribution in the batting Powerplay was crucial. Simmons had again played judiciously and when he struck Parry over long-on for six, the stakes were ramped up. Parry held his nerve, the next ball was a touch shorter, and Simmons's half-hearted attempt at a repeat fell well short. As West Indies fell away, Parry picked off Darren Sammy at short midwicket and had Sunil Narine stumped, this time a fail-safe affair from Buttler.

    The first half of West Indies' innings was a drag. For those who missed the first one-day international in Antigua, the teams staged a repeat. England again managed four wickets by halfway, West Indies' top order played with a bit more energy, but effectively the outcome was the same: a collection of spin bowlers drawing suspicion from West Indies' batsmen as they wheeled away to good effect.

    Root's dismissal of Kirk Edwards was the highlight, owing much to a fast catch by Tredwell at slip as the batsman tried to force through the offside. Broad had good moments against the Bravos, causing Darren to drag on from the wicket and finding enough venom in a bouncer to strike Dwayne on helmet and neck and necessitate treatment.

    If Broad could therefore claim to have two Bravos, it was Bopara who ultimately got three cheers. Sheepish cheers perhaps, but it was a celebration that England desperately needed. "We made it quite hard work for ourselves," Broad said.

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs

  • Posted on February 26, 2014 by Selby

    The gloves that Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) wore in his first world heavyweight championship win, against Sonny Liston, have auctioned with outstanding results.

    They sold for $836,500 at Heritage Auctions' February 22-23 Sports Collectibles Platinum Night Auction in New York.

    Muhammad ALi SOnny Liston Gloves record auction
    The gloves achieved a 116.7% increase in value in less than two years


    Consigned from Ali's hall of fame trainer Angelo Dundee's estate, the gloves achieved a 116.7% increase on the $385,848 paid for the pair at auction in 2012.

    While an impressive sum, the sale has not broken the boxing memorabilia world record.

    UFC fighter Lorenzo Fertitta is reported to have paid $1.1m for the gloves worn by Ali during his 1965 title fight against Floyd Patterson, at Ali's 70th birthday gala in February 2012.

    Ali, then known by his birth name Cassius Clay, was a relative newcomer at the time of his 1964 bout in Miami Beach, while Liston had comfortably secured the world heavyweight championship as his own with two decisive wins against Paterson.

    Nonetheless, the Louisville Lip continued his characteristic goading of Liston, and tensions were high as fight night approached, with the room erupting into a brawl as the Big Bear charged at the self-proclaimed Champ. All but three of the 46 writers who were ringside on the night predicted a knockout for Liston.

    The gloves are inscribed by Angelo Dundee, and were once part of the estate of the legendary trainer


    Yet Ali's famous self-belief and energy propelled him to victory, despite begging Angelo Dundee to cut his gloves off due to burning in his eyes (the cause of much controversy).

    As the seventh round was about to get underway, Liston told his corner men "that's it" - becoming the first champion to quit on his stool since 1919.

    The gloves are inscribed in Dundee's hand: "Clay Feb. 25 KO Liston", along with Dundee's autograph on the interior wrist.

    Also selling at Heritage was the only game used bat from Shoeless Joe Jackson's Major League career and Babe Ruth's Yankees pocket watch..

    Muhammad Ali's first championship win propelled him into the spotlight - we are currently selling this fantastic signed photograph of his meeting with the Beatles.

    Tony Selby






    This post was posted in Boxing memorabilia and was tagged with Olympic Memorabilia, sports collectibles, ashes cricket memorabilia

  • Australia end the England cricket tour with a 12 match victory at Sydney

    Posted on February 2, 2014 by Selby

    The England tour of Australia ended in another overwhelming defeat as the Hosts finished off the Twenty20 international series in the same way as the recent Test series with an 84 run lead at the Olympic Stadium Sydney in front of a crowd of 47000 - another whitewash 3-0

    Signed Cricket Memorabilia is now available for the tour including good examples autographed cricket bats, tour itineraries, signed press photographs, scorecards and autographs. The signed cricket bats are particularly worthwhile as they are full size not the usual miniature size. Though I have to say myself that this is tour best forgotten!!!

    George Bailey the Aussie Captain, who chose to bat, led the way with 49 runs off 20 deliveries which included 3 6s, Bailey scored 26 runs off Jade Dernbach in the last over, making it look easy, taking Australia to 195/6, he was awarded Player of the match for his performance

    Ben Cutting, in his 3rdT20 knocked the ball all round the ground before being caught and bowled by Joe Root for 29 off 16 balls.

    Stuart Broad led the bowling with 3/30 with the Australians run rate at 9.75 runs per over whilst Joe Root, was notable taking a splendid  diving catch to dismiss Cutting for 29,which was rather cancelled out by Ravi Bopara dropping Wade early in his early innings, he went on to finish the match adding 56 runs.

    Without Michael Lumb the new opening pair Luke Wright and Alex Hales did not impress Wright caught at square leg for 8 runs and Hales caught on the deep offside by Muirhead off Coulter Nile for 6.

    Irishman Eoin Morgan coming in at number 5 with a required 171 runs off 15 overs made his mark with a handy 34 runs off 20 balls including 2 encouraging 6s however the beleaguered tourists survived just 18 overs before they were all out for 111 runs, averaging just 6.75 runs per over

    The final tally for the tour which started last October 31st with a warm up at WACA Perth is 13 matches won 1, lost 12

    Cricket signings will continue over the weekend with the emphasis on Australia memorabilia

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with sports collectables, cricket collectables, Ashes Memorabilia, the ashes, bodyline series, ashes cricket memorabilia, Signed Cricket Bats, cricket autographs, stuart broad, joe root, cricket signings

  • Australia v England at the Adelaide Oval - how fitting that it actually was "Australia day"

    Posted on January 27, 2014 by Selby

    It was "Australia Day" yesterday,  How fitting and unsurprising that the Aussies celebrated  with a win at the Adelaide Oval

    England chasing a 218 target  fell short of the mark by 5 runs when they were dismissed for 212  with just 2 deliveries remaining - The hosts totally dominated the One Day International series by 4 matches to 1, as they did  during the  Test series which culminated in only the 3rd, 5-0 whitewash in more than 130 years of Ashes Test cricket   (1920-21 and 2006-07)

    Cricket memorabilia is available for the complete ODI and Test series with the emphasis on signed cricket bats, tour paraphenalia , signed scorecards and autographed photographs

    Michael Clarke elected to bat which was probably in retrospect a mistake as most of his low to middle order batsmen made little impression. George Bailey played well with a top score of 56 off 74 balls before being caught by Ben Stokes (3/43) off Stuart Broad (3/31), the two leading bowlers.
    With a target of just 218 runs to make a much needed second consecutive win, England appeared to the favourites but were soon in trouble at 29/2, Joe Root put on 55 with a contribution of 39 from Ireland's Eoin Morgan, however it wasn't to be, the five tailenders went for a combined total of 29 runs

    Clint McKay 3/36 and Nathan  Coulter - Nile 3/34 led the bowling averages leaving the hosts with their 9th International win of the tour. Faulkner was awarded "man of the match"Aaron Finch was nominated "man of the series" having contributed two centuries

    Australia are now Number 1 in the One Day International rankings displacing India

    Cricket memorabilia will be in demand from the forthcoming Twenty20 series staring on the 29/1/14 in Hobart, 2 days later at the MGC Melbourne finishing on Feb 2nd in Sydney, maybe this will give the tourists a chance to show their mettle!!!

    Tony Selby


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with Sports Memorabila, Ashes Memorabilia, sports collectibles, bodyline series, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, Signed Cricket Bats, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, joe root, Eoin Morgan

  • England beat Australia by 57 runs an overdue victory ending a long long losing streak

    Posted on January 25, 2014 by Selby

    Mainly thanks to Ben Stokes (70 off the bat and 4/39) England have managed to win a match down under thus avoiding  their worst ever run of losses in International cricket, the tourists thankfully eventually secured  a 57-run win  in the 4th ODI in Perth.

    Cricket memorabilia has been available since the team arriving in Australia for the winter tour on October 25th, in demand are signed cricket bats, tour itineraries, autographs and scorecards

    England scored 316/8 in their 50 over innings bowling out the hosts for 259 runs after 48 stimulating overs, the downside is that leaves Australia with a 3-1  lead in the match series. and only one match left to play at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow before the start of the the 20/20 in Hobart on January 29th.

    Cricket Collectables will be holding memorabilia signings throughout the tour and hope for more positive results in the next three matches culminating at Sydney on Feb 2nd

    Tony Selby







    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket collectables, bodyline series, australian cricket memorabilia, ashes cricket memorabilia, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook

  • PERTH: Australia's women's cricket team face an uphill battle

    Posted on January 15, 2014 by Selby

    PERTH: Australia's women's cricket team face an uphill battle to win back the Ashes after suffering a 61-run Test loss to England at the WACA Ground.

    Chasing 185 for victory, Australia were in big trouble at 5-57 entering the fourth and final day.

    A 44-run partnership between Ellyse Perry (31) and Sarah Elliott (29) breathed life into the Southern Stars' run chase as they moved to 5-99.

    England celebrate after taking the wicket of Australia's Sarah Coyte during day four of the Women's Ashes Test at the WACA Ground in Perth.England celebrate after taking the wicket of Australia's Sarah Coyte during day four of the Women's Ashes Test at the WACA Ground in Perth. Photo: Getty Images

    But Perry's dismissal sparked a collapse of 3-7 as Australia were bowled out for 123 shortly before lunch.

    The Test win gave England six points in the multi-format series, which also features three one-dayers and three Twenty20s.

    With each one-dayer and T20 match only worth two points, Australia need to win five of the remaining six matches to regain the urn.

    That will be a tough task against an England side now brimming with confidence following their early success on enemy territory.

    But the visitors will need to find an answer to star Australian allrounder Perry, who was the clear standout during the one-off Test.

    Perry took 3-41 and 5-38 with the ball, and scored 71 and 31 with the bat to give the Stars a sniff of victory.

    England speedster Anya Shrubsole was the hero on the final day, snaring three wickets, including the key scalp of Perry, to put the Stars to the sword.

    Kate Cross took three wickets late on Sunday to put England on track for victory, with Katherine Brunt wrapping up the triumph when she clean bowled Elliott.

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with cricket memorabilia, cricket collectables, Don Bradman Memorabilia, australian cricket memorabilia, bodyline memorabilia, Alastair Cook

  • Cricket Collectables occasionally have Movie Star autographs

    Posted on January 11, 2014 by Selby

    It's rarer than a Faberge egg (there's 61 of those).

    It's rarer than a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder LWB (50 were made).

    And incredibly, it's even rarer than Shakespeare's signature (just six of those exist).

    The brand new stock item I'm going to show you today is… rare.

    But SO WHAT you say? Cold days in July are pretty rare, and last time I checked, nobody wanted one of those.

    Not so fast. Let me explain.

    Sex on the brain

    This item is from one of the most famous literary names of the 20th century.

    People all over the world know his work.

    This Englishman created one of the most loved film heroes of all time. A hero who is instantly recognisable today.

    And, as an upcoming BBC series will demonstrate, this man was every bit as intriguing, exciting and rakish as his creation.

    "No one I have ever known had sex so much on the brain," said a former girlfriend.

    But what does this mean for you?

    When you have this incredible heritage asset in your possession, you have an item to pass down the generations. An item your friends envy. An item that gives you tremendous pride to own. An item that places you in a very, very select group of high-end collectors.

    You can say to yourself: 'This man is a literary legend, it's almost impossible to obtain these pieces - yet I own one.'

    What am I talking about?


    Ian Fleming signed photo

    Your chance to own one of just five Ian Fleming signed photos

    A fully authenticated Ian Fleming signed photo. One of just five in existence.

    Fleming, the creator of James Bond.

    James Bond: 25 films and counting - every new release sparks global pandemonium. The theme tune, the girls, the one-liners, the absurd killing devices.

    It's Ian Fleming we have to thank.

    Fleming was his own inspiration for James Bond. Fleming established a secret commando unit in WWII, he enjoyed affairs with a string of women in high society, he had unending self-confidence.

    Where will you display it?

    The signed photo is an absolute beauty, and provides a terrific sense of Fleming's debonair character.

    Fleming's signature is crisp too. A real treat.

    And at 4.5 inches high, it makes a superb display piece.

    Its provenance is rock solid.

    It comes from the collection of a housekeeper for Britain's WWII counter propaganda team, where Fleming spent some time during the war.

    It's not in perfect condition. But at more than 50 years old, it's not going to be. Yet the slight rips and scuffs do nothing to hamper the overall impact of the piece.

    A growing market

    Yet there's one question you want to know. And that's how much, right?

    Consider this.

    → A Fleming-signed first edition of You Only Live Twice made $70,000 in 2011.

    → Fleming's original manuscript for Diamonds Are Forever auctioned at Sotheby's in 2012 for £97,250 ($158,000).

    → A gun used by Sean Connery in publicity photos for four Bond films sold for £277,250 ($437,501) in 2010.

    Collectors are clearly willing to fight hard for the leading Fleming and Bond pieces.

    So you might think one of just five Fleming signed photos is going to cost you, say, £30,000, £35,000, £40,000?


    Just £19,950 (approx. $32,900).

    £19,950 ($32,900) gets you an incredibly rare signature from one of literature's most famous names. Remember, Ian Fleming signed photos are rarer than Shakespeare's signature.

    And I want to make it even easier for you to own this piece: pay in 12 monthly instalments of £1,662.50 ($2,742) if you prefer. Learn more here

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Aussies cruise to eight-wicket win and take four-nil series lead good odds now for a whitewash

    Posted on December 29, 2013 by Selby


    Full scorecard here

    Australia’s fourth thumping win from as many Tests this summer has left England a broken, dispirited remnant of the team that arrived here two months ago with a swagger in their step and the Ashes in their keeping.

    What was supposed to be a challenging fourth-innings run chase on an MCG pitch that had proved tough to score at any sort of clip through the course of the match was achieved in a canter amid bright sunshine midway through a day dominated by Australia’s batting in general, and Chris Rogers’ in particular.

    Rogers became the sixth member of Australia’s top seven to post a century in this series, a feat managed by only one English batsman thus far – that being rookie all-rounder Ben Stokes who posted his in a lost cause en route to the surrender of the urn two weeks ago in Perth.

    Quick single: Rogers' post-match interview

    As it turned out, history presented a far greater obstacle to Australia’s aspiration for a five-nil whitewash than England’s lacklustre bowling, muddled tactics and inept fielding.

    After Rogers (116) and Shane Watson (85no) put together a match-defining second-wicket partnership of 136 from just 168 balls, Australia reached their target of 231 with eight wickets and four-and-a-half sessions in hand.

    The most remarkable element of a day that was effectively over after a lamentable opening hour from England was that Australia was able to score the fastest rate of the match – more than four runs per over – at a time when conditions and the game situation should have dictated it was tough.

    Watson, who played an assured hand in contrast to the belligerent century he blasted in Perth, secured the win when he flicked Monty Panesar to the square leg boundary an hour and a bit after lunch, by which stage the Melbourne Cricket Club had thrown open the gates to the public.

    Quick single: Watson highlights

    It was the highest successful fourth-innings chase at the historic ground since England managed 237 for the loss of just three wickets to win the 1962 Ashes Test.

    On that day, opener David Sheppard – who was to become an ordained minister and eventually Bishop of Liverpool – provided the Chris Rogers template by scoring 113.

    How England could have used some sort of divine providence today, as their hellish tour plumbed depths that will surely lead to a major revision of their playing stocks before their next Test engagement at home against Sri Lanka next June.

    Or even for the next Test on their calendar, against their current tormentors in Sydney starting next Friday.

    At the close of the third day’s play, both camps spoke about the need to show "intent" when the game was to be decided the following morning.

    If England intended to show intent, it didn’t take long for it to be translated into nothing more tangible than a hollow ‘best intention’

    And, shortly after that, a laughable ambition.

    There was clearly no intent when, with 10 wickets needed and two batsmen re-starting their innings against a ball just eight overs old, captain Alastair Cook opened with just a pair of slips and a gully fielder set so deep the Australians were assured a single when they dabbed behind point.

    The fact that Rogers and his partner David Warner were prepared to make good their threat of intent meant if the newish ball was to find the edge there was every chance their full-blooded strokes would carry to the sparsely populated slips cordon.

    Or to the wicketkeeper, as was the case in the fourth over of the morning when Rogers (on 19) was surprised by a ball from Stuart Broad that bounced higher than he expected and his reflexive prod yielded a discernible edge that flew shoulder-high to the left of new gloveman Jonny Bairstow.

    The very man who had revealed at the previous evening’s media conference that England was intent on showing intent.

    Sadly, that resolve did not extend to making every effort – or indeed any effort – to snaffle even the most difficult chance and Bairstow remained statue-like and watched the catch fly past him, leaving Cook to make a belated and ultimately futile attempt to arrest its journey.

    The captain could blame only himself two overs later when Warner presented him with an even more straightforward gift when he was on 22.

    There exists an enduring truism in cricket that if you want to gauge a player’s confidence and alertness levels, you only need observe them in the field.

    Using that prognosis, Cook should immediately book himself into one of those new-age wellness retreats for a mental detox and a course in spiritual rebirth.

    Watching his reaction as the regulation chance hit high on his hands even though he scarcely had to move from his preparatory crouch position and then spilled to the turf was to see a man at the lowest ebb of his professional life.

    He snatched at the ball as it lay mocking near his feet, jammed down his England cap as if trying to disappear beneath it and exhaled a curse as he battled to find somewhere to fix his gaze that wasn’t the bewildered bowler Ben Stokes.

    Or the giant video screens that played the moment over and over, to the delight of large sections of the crowd which had already grown to more than 38,000.

    Cook’s very public deflation then spread like a pandemic through his demoralised teammates.

    Heads dropped, hands arms were folded tightly across chests, small committees formed across the field and hosted whispered conversations that, even if they were benign, took on a conspiratorial appearance.

    The captain turned to his part-time spinner Joe Root ahead of the man purpose-chosen to fill that role, seemingly because he had the notional ability to turn the ball away from Australia’s pair of left-handed openers.

    But he persisted with Root even after Warner was dismissed for 25, feathering an attempted upper-cut so that Bairstow was left with no choice but to catch lest it thud into his breadbasket.

    Indeed, it was less than half an hour before the lunch break before Panesar was thrown the ball when the idea that he might somehow slow his team’s gallop towards a fourth straight defeat was clearly nonsense even allowing for a batting collapse of England-esque proportions.

    match report

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

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