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Alex Brown at Cardiff
July 11, 2009
Shot of the day
Brad Haddin's slog-sweep over the midwicket fence was as poignant as it was powerful. His towering six off Monty Panesar propelled Australia past the 600-run mark, and took his sixth-wicket partnership with Marcus North to 150. By innings' end, Australia had advanced their total to 674 for five - the fifth highest in Ashes history, and the most by an Australian batting line-up since 1934. Haddin and North's stand was finally broken when the former batsman holed out to Ravi Bopara off the bowling of Paul Collingwood, but not before their partnership had yielded an even 200 runs - the highest ever sixth-wicket stand by an Australian pair in England.
Stat of the day
As if the aforementioned feats weren't enough, Ricky Ponting's men also made history by becoming the first Australian team with four centurions in a single Ashes innings. Simon Katich (122), Ponting (150), North (125 not out) and Haddin (121) gave their English counterparts a lesson in will and persistence over 181 obdurate overs.
What the ... of the day
Billy Doctrove has played the role of mannequin for most of this Test, "not-outting" appeals and referring decisions to the third umpire, but the Dominican official sprung to life late on day four. Unfortunately for Doctrove, who had previously spared Kevin Pietersen and Simon Katich despite the weight of evidence suggesting both were out, the awakening involved an incorrect lbw decision against Bopara when struck too high on the pad by Ben Hilfenhaus. Sophia Gardens echoed with howls of indignation afterwards as England lost its second wicket of the afternoon.
Outfit of the day
The dozen fully-kitted Spidermen, one of them inflatable, had the early running over a foursome bearing masks featuring the visages of The Queen, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. But all were blown out of the water by a small troupe of touring Australians bearing t-shirts emblazoned with the mugshot of a man notable for his 21 first class games for NSW, and his occasional role as frontman in Brett Lee's band, Six and Out. The Richard Chee Quee Appreciation Society, take a bow.
A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg