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Well, where do I start? I think it’s a little bit of an understatement to say I was hoping for a better result, just the tiniest bit of improvement at The Adelaide Oval.

Instead, we were treated to Australia leading the way, just as we had done in the summer… oh how long ago that now seems.

Australia winning by 218 runs was not my prediction, neither was another great consecutive spell of bowling from Johnson, or Clarke and Warner yet again scoring runs aplenty.

And what’s happened to England? I’d rather not mention our batting if I can avoid it. It’s quite similar to a horror movie, in the sense that you want to hide behind the sofa, scared of what is coming next.

Again, there were glimpses of hope from Carberry, Root, Bell ad KP, but we can’t keep relying on those few individuals.

The question comes about whether we should change the team but I really do hope it’s just a phase – hope being the operative word.

We’ve already introduced debutant, Ben Stokes, into the fold but it looks as if we’ll have to wait and see what he has in store for the test team (runs would be lovely please).

With the third test at Perth arriving quickly it hasn’t left much time to get used to the idea that England are now 2-0 down in  the series already.

It’s not as if we’re renowned for winning at Perth either, 35 years since we last did in fact.

So England aren’t just going to want to win to break that spell but it just happens to be Captain Cook’s 100th Test, Captain Clarke’s too as it goes so Australia will be pulling out all the stops too I guess.

So two big momentous occasions for the captains, but it all depends on the result. Cook I couldn’t say it better myself.

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I don’t just want an England result, of course it would be great, but we need it too – lose at Perth and we lose the series and come on we don’t want that to happen now do we?

So all we can do is watch in suspense, oh and keep our fingers crossed to help secure that England victory.

If not I think I’m just going to stay behind the sofa…

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It’s that time of year again, sleepless nights and endless caffeine intake to keep you up throughout the night to endure England (fingers crossed) win another Ashes series in Australia.

With the first test been and gone, I can definitely say the 2013/2014 Ashes Series has already bought its fair share of drama.

To start with though do I have to talk about the way we played, it was bad enough watching it let alone write about it? My pride just won’t take it.

We all know the result, Australia won. No in fact, Australia smashed us by 381 runs and although I hate to admit it, outplayed us by a mile.

Mitchell Johnson has seemingly come out of nowhere once again to baffle our top order, in fact our whole batting line-up come to think of it.

Not forgetting Warner, Haddin and Clarke who were the thorns in England’s side where their batting was concerned.

Though to be honest, just look at the rest of the batting from the Aussie’s, it’s not that impressive as England’s so, where are we going wrong?

It’s those few individuals that can make a match, a victory. England don’t have those key players, well they do, it’s just that they didn’t seem to show up on the day.

Now us fans could all sit here and look mournfully into our cups of tea, imagining the Ashes Urn being reunited with Australia once more… but it’s not all bad, trust me.

It wasn’t as if no one performed, Stuart Broad, pantomime villain to those Down Under showed glimpses of skill.

Yes we’ve seen the footage of how he should have walked earlier in the summer, and yes we know he shouldn’t have done it etc. etc.

But, to hear the Aussie crowd that predominantly filled The Gabba silenced after Broad’s first wicket, don’t say you didn’t enjoy that moment.

It is ironic and to my extreme amusement though that the 2nd highest run-scorer in our 1st innings (not hard I’ll admit), and 2nd highest wicket taker so far, was Broad.

The man who received article after article in the Aussie media, the man who the whole of Australia had written off before play had even begun.

If this doesn’t make you the slightest bit happy after the result… yet hopefully it is onwards and upwards for England, well it better be anyway.

I’ll be brave and put it out there, I think England can still win it from here even without our number 3 stalwart Jonathan Trott.

As you may know Trott has flown home due to a stress-related illness, so all the best to him. In his absence however, I’m sure the team will come back fighting.

Let’s hope next time round you’ll be reading about an England victory, they are much better to write about believe me!

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England. Have. Won. The. Ashes.

I cannot think of 5 better words in the English language right now!

They have won, actually won.

Not that I doubted them at any stage, but tell me that at one point today when it was 100-0 and Australia needed 199 more runs to win, you didn’t have a “oh wait a minute, the Aussies could win this one” moment.

I’ll admit I did, just for a few seconds before tea. Then I remembered, “no this is England we’re talking about.”

It’s like they love teasing Australia. Yeah we’ll let you get your first hundred opening partnership since 2005, but then after tea, we’ll knock you down for 104 runs.

Just once, it would be rather nice for my nerves to have a rest and for England to win 2010/11-esque by securing victory with an innings to spare.

Today was still as equally thrilling though. Broad’s inspired spell simply tore through the Aussie’s batting line-up, you could just see the emotion and determination with every wicket.

The best of which had to be the beauty to Clarke, now this is not up for debate. It was just one of those deliveries, one that potentially sealed the deal.

Figures of 11-121, amazing. Yet there was one other performance at Durham that made all this possible.

How can I not mention Belly? His third century of the series and clearly the highest run-scorer to match. We just couldn’t have done it without him… you can always depend on a Warwickshire Bear.

Just writing this I still can’t believe the position we’re in, surely time for celebration?

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The last test at The Oval is 9 (very long) days away, I’m sure everyone is with me when I say I’m sure we can get over the line with another win. Now what a feeling that would be!

I already can’t wait for the next battle – sorry I mean test – to commence. I have no idea what my emotions will be like after those gruelling 5 days, and all this just for a little urn. That’s cricket for you.

It really has been great cricket from both sides, as not to forget Rogers’ gritty century, or Ryan Harris’ best bowling figures of 7-117.

But England, this 2013 Ashes series is now yours, there’s just the last test to win. Who will be next to #RISE?

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England don’t half test your stress levels.

If this Ashes series couldn’t be any more tense, Australia decided to step up to the mark and put in a more than decent performance with the bat at Old Trafford.

And despite a KP 100 – at last – and another Swann 5-fer, it remained the Aussie’s test. Clarke in particular the stand out man.

But lo and behold, the good old English weather made an appearance for what seemed the first time this summer.

Now I’m usually all “sun, sun, sun”, but when it comes down to it, I couldn’t have been happier on the last day when that rain fell.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved England to have won this third test and retained the Ashes in style (along with a 5-0 whitewash of course).

But all the same, I’m sure any England fan can’t deny that the fact the Ashes stay in England once again, is one amazing feeling. A view shared by the England team themselves.

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Yes, the test was a nervy one, in which England benefitted. For me the highlight however, was not necessarily the cricket.

Warner. The pantomime villain. The Manchurian crowd supporting their beloved Yorkie Joe Root as Warner came out to bat… it seems as though the Roses rivalry was soon forgotten.

It was Warner taking it all in his stride, playing along with the fans that I liked. Instead of an atmosphere being created, he merely added to the humour and intensity that an Ashes series brings between the teams and their loyal supporters.

So it may have been a subdued ending to what looked like an Australian win, but all in all, it sure does make the next two tests even more enticing.

The Ashes could still be drawn… but come on lads, I know there is more fight to come to #RISE for that series win!

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Hello all, I am back with my first 2012 post *cheers*, your wait is over and you can divulge into my lasting musings for another year… so be ready and prepared for a fun-filled, roller-coaster year in the cricketing calendar. Firstly if you are new to my blog, welcome, it is great to have new readers and I hope you enjoy what I can only describe as the true fans guide to the world of cricket, as I encourage everyone to share their views. I try to provide everyone with all the latest news, whilst adding that female twist to the game – yes I am female, and yes I love cricket! Secondly, hello wonderful regulars it is great to have you back for another year, and I must say a huge thank you for the support and lovely comments throughout my ‘debut’ year in 2011.

With all that out of the way, this year I hope to make Caught At Slip really successful, in terms of attracting more cricket lovers to the site who wish to air their views on Domestic or International cricket. So any of you out there who knows someone with a passion for the game, or you have a friend who is slowly becoming a fan… then you know where to direct them!

Right now down to the cricket at last. For those who struggled with the lack of cricket over the winter, we are being treated to a Test Series between the Aussie’s and the Indians. I know it is not really a substitute for you die-hard England fans, but the sheer skill of both sides is evident, even though India’s prestige seems to be slipping as they are losing the series 2-0 with two still left to play. We have already witnessed the likes of Clarke, Hussey and Ponting at their best – 329*, 150* and 134 respectively. Let me tell you that was impressive to see, the slick cover drives and square cuts it was pure brilliance if I may say so! Not forgetting also the “Little Master’s” seemingly harder challenge to conquer the 100th ton feat, the agony to fall at the final hurdle – what can’t you like about this clash?

But I don’t know if it is just me, as the England winter tour versus Pakistan is about to begin this Tuesday the excitement is just about containable. Yet we are what, 11 days into 2012 and there has already been plenty of ‘goings-on’ within the England camp. Namely that of Tim Bresnan having to fly home due to his elbow not having fully recovered, plus throw this into the mix, Tremmers is currently suffering from an eye infection (I did say it would be a roller-coaster year)… but it isn’t all doom and gloom as it does just happen to clear the way for Finn to show-off his skills on the UAE pitches. Having already beaten the ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI – try saying that quickly – by 3 wickets things are looking good for 2012, not that I want to jinx anything of course. Having the ICC boys at 90-6 we we’re sailing through, but an upsurge in runs enabled them to reach 281, which was a slight challenge. Managing to reach 185 for the loss of 8 wickets, Captain Fantastic declared, which I must say in hindsight was definitely the way to go, considering we then knocked ICC over for 164 leaving England with a total of 261. It was a close run match but England clinched the win despite the loss of 7 wickets, a winning start is always wonderful even if it is a tour match. Oh and how can I not include that Stuart Broad, after making his return, received a 7 wicket match haul, get in there Stuey! Actually as I write this England are currently involved in their second tour match this time versus the Pakistan Cricket Board XI, England finishing Day 1 on 269/9 declared, with the PCB XI at 23-0, the highlight being Cook standing tall with 133… need I say more?!

However it is not only the big boys who are excelling over in the UAE, the England Lions are now also in action over in Bangladesh in an unofficial ODI series consisting of 5 matches. We have a mix of and old and new Lions touring this year, and exciting ones at that, such as Roy, Vince, Mills, Buck and Maynard. Losing by six wickets to Bangladesh A in their first game their top order seemed to struggle with the pitches in the ‘Desh. However Buttler did manage to rack up 45 to haul the Lions to a mediocre total of 139, with Buck impressing in the latter half of the game with two maiden-wicket overs! Needing to improve their game somewhat, the Lions didn’t disappoint in their second outing only yesterday, turning the tables to win convincingly by 6 wickets. Despite Nazimuddin’s 99*, recent England star Meaker reaped four wickets, whilst spin bowling trio, Briggs, Borthwick and Kerrigan chipped in with 7 collective wickets, to reduce Bangladesh A to 176. Losing the two early wickets of Roy and Root, Vince and the captain, James Taylor put on a stand of 48, whilst Bairstow and Buttler hit aggressively to claim 50* and 41* respectively. Levelling the series, the Lions have it all to play for now, not that I want to sound too dramatic or anything!

So what a great 11 days of the year we have had so far, there will be many more to come as well, trust me on that… or maybe I am just a little bit biased about our wonderful England teams? Nah, surely not.

I’m looking forward to 2012 as I do have a few surprises in store for you all, that is, if they go to plan which fingers crossed they hopefully do. So stay tuned, not just for this surprise in the next few weeks, but also for all the latest surrounding England’s tour, the new County season, as well as the recent developments concerning the Morgan review. Can’t wait for what is in store for this blog in 2012, it is going to be a great cricketing year. I hope you have all had a great start to the year and have enjoyed my first blog in 2012, there will be plenty more to come I assure you!

FB :)

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Photo Credit: ecb.co.uk

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Yesterday saw the end of the penultimate games in the LV County Championship, the Division One results were surprising and will for sure make a nail-biting week for the ‘title-chasers’. The counties in serious contention are Warwickshire, Lancashire and Durham who all have everything to play for, with just 15 points between third place Durham and top of the table Warwickshire! Durham weren’t in action yesterday so it was down to the other two contenders to make their mark.

Now at Edgbaston a win was inevitable for the Bears, but it was Lancashire that really stole the limelight, and Kerrigan in particular that achieved victory from what looked like a draw from the beginning. It was in Hampshire’s second innings where they needed 361 to win that everybody could only see a draw being possible, but with one wicket for spinner Keedy early in the innings it was his fellow spinner that did the damage. Kerrigan tore through the Hampshire line-up so much so that he was rewarded with amazing figures of 9-52. When I first found out about Kerrigan’s feat I was stunned, honestly I could not believe that he alone had destroyed Hampshire and got Lancs one step closer to winning the esteemed Championship title. Agonisingly only one wicket away from a 10 wicket haul, Kerrigan claimed nine wickets only two of which were LBW… all out for 138 woeful Hampshire were bemused by spin and definitely seemed to be top-class bowling. Seeing Kerrigan in a Lions game earlier in the summer I was quite impressed, and being just 22 years of age this makes yesterday’s triumph even more spectacular. Durham were further pushed down the order to make way for Lancashire who sit pretty in second place.

However being a Bears’ fan myself this victory for Lancashire has threatened Warwickshire’s chances,  if they can win their next game though against relegation candidates Hampshire the title will be safely in their hands regardless. So what propelled Warwickshire up to the treasured top spot? Well yesterday against defending Champions Nottinghamshire, the Bears claimed a superb innings (yes innings) and 114 run victory! After racking up 574 in their first innings Warwickshire showed off their talents with three centurions, Westwood (171), Troughton (151), and Clarke (126), this being the captain Troughton’s first hundred since 2009. The Outlaws however did not have as much luck being bowled out for 238 with four wickets for Woakes, they were then made to follow on… it really didn’t look like they were defending Champions let me tell you! So once following on Nottinghamshire lost the early wicket of Turner, but made it too 100 before wickets began to fall more regularly. It was Essex’s bowler on loan to the Bears who won the bowling stakes as he finished with 5-74 and took any hope away from Notts to regain their dignity… 222 was all they could manage before being bowled out 114 runs behind Warwickshire’s first innings total. One good outcome was that of young Alex Hales who top scored in the first innings with 72, and then went onto an unbeaten 106 in the second – he has been by far one of their best batsmen this season. But with that out of the way this stunning victory cements Warwickshire as the number one team with one game still left in hand, please, please get a win Warwickshire I am counting on you. If they can win this it will make up for their otherwise terrible limited overs season so c’mon you Bearssss!

In other County news Yorkshire beat Somerset by 6 wickets, this is relatively surprising as Yorkshire look certain to be relegated with Hampshire, but maybe they can really push to keep themselves within Division One. Also in Division 2 Middlesex, Northants and Surrey are all competing for promotion so things could get ugly this week as they are all hungry to claim their spot in the top division! As always I will keep you updated as to whom is crowned LVCC Champions, and which teams will either be on a high or a low after next week.

As a side-line I hope you all watched England go 2-0 up in the ODI series against India on Friday, let’s just hope that they win today at Lord’s to have at least won the series. England are on fire at the moment so I am positive that the lads can keep the smiles on our faces, but don’t forget the last match of the International summer is soon approaching so cram in as much cricket as you can!

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter and has enjoyed some CB40 cricket today whichever county you were supporting. But I must say it has been pretty exciting whatever game you were watching. This early summer sun is also improving the cricket season instead of the jumpers we have seen the outing of the short-sleeves as well as larger crowds coming to support their local team.

If I’m honest now that the CB40 has started it really has begun to feel like the warmer weather is approaching, which means the more excited I become. Trust me I can get a little too involved in a cricket game and get caught up in the action…

So you can imagine what I was like when I discovered that the first CB40 match of the season was being aired today, plus it was the reigning champions Warwickshire Bears against the Hampshire Royals. My excitement levels were off the scale, I think I was just deprived from any domestic cricket and if you think that is a little over the top you surely can’t be a true 100% cricket fan, you must get excited at the prospect of live cricket surely?

It didn’t stop there either, the fast-paced nail biter of a game definitely lived up to standards with Hampshire getting a mere 2 run win over Warwickshire. The star players were definitely Chris Woakes with a firing 34* from 21 with 3 sixes to nearly clinch the Bears a win, along with Rikki Clarke with a powerful 59 from 38 balls. Also the winning side saw an amazing and probably winning performance from Neil McKenzie of 87*. Not to mention the return of former England star Simon Jones who has been injury prone, but made a spectacular comeback with 4-52 pegging back the Warwickshire batsmen in his eight over spell.

An amazing game and amazing players to go with it, I didn’t move an inch. But another notable game today was the match between Somerset and Nottinghamshire. It consisted of a wonderful 100 from Craig Kieswetter and a sparkling 94* off only 56 balls from the talented young player Jos Buttler who both helped to set a total of 270. Not managing to reach this remarkable total, Notts fell to 223 all out with the overseas player Ajantha Mendis taking 4-35 who we will be seeing this summer for Sri Lanka.

Anyway that’s all for the moment can’t wait to see what else it to come, hope you enjoyed reading and relish the upcoming 4-day weekend!

Photo Credit: ecb.co.uk

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