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Posts Tagged ‘rise’

Four days have passed and it has just, only just, sunk in that England now have three consecutive Ashes series wins under their belt.

I had a sneaky feeling back in July that it was again our year, come on don’t say you didn’t either, I think most people across the country had written Australia off before they had even started.

You could say I was slightly shocked of how much of a fight Australia put up after seeing their performance at Trent Bridge, and fair play to them as well.

But for me, every moment that had passed in the series was all forgotten as that little urn was held aloft, in front of an ecstatic England crowd at The Oval.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (zimbio.com)

Photo Credit: Getty Images (zimbio.com)

Despite the fifth and final test being a draw and we all know why – I won’t go into it, as I feel a rant may ensue – it just doesn’t take away that special feeling does it?

With the 5th Test initially going Australia’s way with Watson and Smith both scoring centuries, of equal importance in their careers, it was England who were in with the chance of yet another victory.

Whether it was a win or draw however, the test result, much to my delight, prevented the Aussies from claiming a single win.

The 3-0 win margin, just looks oh so more attractive… surely that now gives us bragging rights over in Australia later this year?

The challenge I set myself for this blog though, was to look back over the 2013 Ashes as a whole and pick my favourite moment. I failed.

Now I am known for my exaggeration, but to pick one moment for me was truly impossible. How can you do it?

As I got thinking, I built up a small collection of moments that would always stick in my mind of how great a series this was. Where to start…

Well there was Bell’s fantastic form throughout the series, then Root’s maiden century at no other than the Home of Cricket, as well as Broad’s magical bowling spell to secure that amazing series win.

It’s been one extraordinary series, one that makes so much more excited for the winter. Is it too early to hope for yet another English success Down Under?

Nah, course it isn’t, because for me, England just keep on surpassing all expectation over recent years.

Roll on the T20 and ODI series!

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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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“The Root, the Root, the Root”

Come on, don’t say that you didn’t join in the chants with the rest of the Lord’s crowd. It was hard not to as England’s newest member of the team, stepped up to the occasion to appear as if he had been playing Ashes cricket all his life.

I think (no, I know) Root has cemented himself as opening batsman after that stunning knock at the Home of Cricket merely hours ago.

Honestly, I have rooted (sorry had to be done) for him to be in the England side for the past two years and after his ‘honour’s board worthy’ 180, and fantastic figures of 2-9 I don’t know how anyone can argue against the young guy’s talent.

I’m still sat here now, saying to myself 2-0. Is it really 2-0? England lead 2-0 in the Ashes. Yeah… it still hasn’t sunk in.

But what do the lads think?

 

I don’t want to jinx anything but could we go all the way, *cough* whitewash.

I don’t see why we can’t, Bell’s in superior form, our bowlers are excelling and we have Captain Cook at the fore.

With now a 10-day break between the next Ashes Test at Old Trafford, we are going to have to wait even longer to see if England can actually win the Ashes. As yes, if we win the next test that Ashes Urn will remain in English hands!

Could this battle be any more tense? I think not. #RISE

And to sum it up in the words of Graeme Swann… 

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“Ohhh, Jimmy Jimmy!”

Talk about edge of your seat stuff, it doesn’t get much better than that.

I don’t know about anyone else but I need to sleep for a week after that nerve-shattering final day at Trent Bridge. England don’t half do it the hard way. I could barely watch those final few overs, will Jimmy do it, or won’t he?

And it all just happened to end in a DRS decision, swaying England’s way. Either way, it didn’t stop me – and by the looks of things, everyone at the ground – fist pumping the air and cheering non-stop as England players, arms aloft, sped round the ground in their usual manner.

Their tweets later on that day replicated this scene, Matty P sums is up for me…

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Then we have Brett Lee, rather 2005-esque wouldn’t you say?

I’m not going to lie, but emotion does take over, well what do you expect enduring five days of intense, compelling cricket from both sides? It was like I was a member of that winning side, especially after experiencing the atmosphere myself.

Lucky enough to have tickets for the first day (I know, I still can’t believe it), I witnessed what was the best day of cricket I have seen live. The atmosphere was incredible, the crowd electric, and the cricket was played at a different level.

Both the English and Aussie fans revelled in each other’s misfortunes as the day unfolded. Ashes cricket just brings it out in you.

Over the course of the five days, we saw young number 11 wonders, a match-saving century and decision debacles. If this continues over the next few weeks, I’m telling you now, I don’t know if I can cope with the drama.

Emotional? Yes. Patriotic? Yes? Incredible cricket? Absolutely.

Let’s see who is next to #RISE for England in this Ashes series.

The front page of the Daily Telegraph captures the feelings of players and fans alike.
Photo credit: caughtatslip.wordpress.com

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