First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
Day three, first Ashes Test, 'Gabba, Brisbane. The first stop on the way through all five Tests.
Australia. It's our turn to win it back.
On a day when two men batted for nearly three sessions, you'd have to go for Mr Cricket and Brad "The New Gilchrist" Haddin. They performed amazingly well. England bowled dangerously in the morning with no luck, after that it was all Australia. The mammoth partnership was helped along by what can only be described as "woeful" fielding.
One thing I'd have changed
Today was as close to perfect as one could ask for. Being greedy I could easily say one or two wickets before stumps, but that would take away from tomorrow's play. Actually, Strauss out at first ball would have been handy.
Face-off I relished
The ball v England's fielders. It's just come out that Monty is doubling as fielding coach and his influence has been monstrous. Never before has a team dived, slipped, fell, collapsed and back-flipped (well, not back-flipped) while fielding. The two dropped catches, while difficult in their own right, were not a surprise. Not Anderson's day.
On a day with many highlights, again I'd say the two shots that brought up the batsmen's centuries. Hussey first; his cover-drive was all class, a shot he plays better then anyone when in form. I got a touch emotional when he raised the bat.
Power and timing defined Haddin's innings, and what a way to bring your ton up!
The most interesting player to watch was KP. All this talk about him being separated from the rest of the team seemed justified. It looked like he was always a long way from the team. Perhaps he was trying not to catch what the others had, or trying to forget what Monty had taught him.
Shot of the day
One that was not offered. Strauss nearly got himself out first ball after leaving a looping Ben Hilfenhaus delivery that nearly got the finger pointing in the right direction. A good decision in the end, and Ponting wasted a referral in the process.
Over 34,000 packed out the Gabba, but it was a group of seven or eight guys sitting next to me that made the day. The afternoon session saw the lovely young usher become the main attraction, with a new (but familiar) group devoted to the services of dear Tamara. Mickey, Barry, Brucey, Pauly, Spearsey and the rest often shared with the crowd that everywhere they go, the people want to know, who she is, where she comes from and that Tamara's Army will be there for her.
Capes are back in, so all you budding necromancers and would-be superheroes come out and show what you've got. Also Morph suits, but they seem tricky.
Apart form the enthralling cricket, the breaks showed kids display the future of Australian cricket, plus a family competition with a car to be won. The English family won easy, but to be honest, the tea break was focused on Tamara and her Army.
I resisted the urge to purchase a radio, which might have been a blunder. Food is expensive, so Sam's Smart Travel Tip for today: pack some food.
My opinion of the opposition
Tough day for England. Steve Finn got the figures but Stuart Broad was the pick of the seamers. Graeme Swann isn't living up to the hype, yet. Strauss's think-tank dried up quickly, which provided interesting and questionable fields.
Great day for an Australian. Firmly on top with two exciting days to follow. News is that Tamara has the day off tomorrow. Her successor better have the goods or heckling might not be limited to the tourists.
Marks out of 10
9. If I wasn't feeling the effects from the night before, the day might have been perfect.
What tomorrow holds
Day four looks to be the make-or-break day for England. Will England resist? Can Xavier Doherty and Marcus North spin Australia to victory? And can a beer snake reach around the entire ground? Those questions and more will be answered tomorrow! (but if you cant wait, no, yes, probably not).
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