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January 26, 2014
Welcome of the day
Every day of this tour, in every city, the announcement of Stuart Broad at the top of his bowling mark has brought howls of derision from the locals. They were never more intense than in Brisbane at the start of the Ashes, when the local newspaper ran a campaign of incitement against Broad, and by the time the fifth Test rolled by in Sydney it had become an accepted tradition of 2013-14. But in Adelaide, with the final ODI about to get under way, Broad's introduction drew a decidedly weary "welcome" from the crowd. It is true that Adelaide Oval's crowd is among cricket's more genteel, but it still sounded much like an assembly fulfilling a task reluctantly out of duty towards the end of a long summer.
Drops of the day
Aaron Finch has capitalised on English dropped catches before in this series, most notably his opening century in Melbourne. Here he had two chances, the first a sharp one that burst through the fingers of Alastair Cook when a Chris Jordan outswinger tempted a drive. Next over Finch again drove and again offered a chance, this time to Ravi Bopara, who lessened his chances of taking the catch by jumping off the ground rather than staying still. Broad was clearly fed up by all this, for in his next over an angry and fast delivery knocked out Finch's off stump - who needs fielders anyway?
Nervous tail-ender of the day
Xavier Doherty knows all too well what it is like to be part of a hat-trick. He was the third man in Lasith Malinga's triple in a Colombo ODI in 2011, and has walked out at the fall of two wickets in as many balls more than once. This time it was Chris Jordan trying to get through Australia's last man after defeating James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Among those men who walk in at No. 11, Doherty's technique is sounder than most, and on this occasion he frustrated Jordan by playing a full ball square on the off side.
Pattern of the day
When Alastair Cook poked a catch to short cover he completed the sort of batting sequence that would cause any cricketer to weep. A score of 39 followed tallies of 22, 35 and 44 in his three previous outings, having made 4 in the opening ODI. The debilitating effects of this Ashes tour have been many and varied for England, but the most visible one is the fact that Cook, a batsman famed for concentration and an obstinate commitment to remaining at the batting crease, has not once reached three figures in any of the Tests or ODIs played between the two countries in 2013-14. He will fly home after this match in need of nothing so much as a good lie down.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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