July 18, 2013
It is the Lord's Ashes Test, which meant everybody was talking about the game. Even the riders at the Tour de France.
Overheard in the race today: "Don't worry about the Ashes, concentrate on this climb!"— Cadel Evans (@CadelOfficial) July 17, 2013
Whites, lush grass, tradition and the Queen making an appearance - it was almost Wimbledon all over again. The start of the Test was delayed by 15 minutes as the Queen set out to greet the players. For the Twitterati, the event was a goldmine for jokes.
What Broad did was wrong, but is a live royal pardon really necessary? #ashes— Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) July 18, 2013
"G'day Luv. I'm Boof" #Ashes— Richie Benaud (@RichieBenaud_) July 18, 2013
Not everyone was impressed with the Queen's humble entrance to the ground, unlike at last year's Olympics opening ceremony.
Was looking forward to a chopper making a grand entry. #Gutted— Not Mitch Johnson (@NotMitchJohnson) July 18, 2013
For others, it was a moment to remember.
On the plus side, meeting the Queen was an experience this morning. Sort of fluffed my lines. Let's win this test match!— Steven Finn (@finnysteve) July 18, 2013
Australia's recent record at Lord's isn't great, and not just at the cricket.
Hope Australia improves on its last appearance at Lord's 23rd in men's archery 58th in women's archery #Ashes— Joshua Kay (@js_kay) July 18, 2013
England elected to bat first under sunny skies, but the pressure to perform under Royal gaze perhaps got to Alastair Cook , who fell lbw to Shane Watson for 12.
That's probably the first LBW Watson's ever been involved in that he hasn't reviewed. #Ashes— Mindy Pawsey (@MKPS001) July 18, 2013
It wasn't long before England were three down.
Good thing they delayed the match for the queen, or she'd have missed it. #ashes— WACA Leaks (@WACALeaks) July 18, 2013
At this rate the queen might get a knock #ashes— Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) July 18, 2013
Soon after, the Queen left the ground.
Has the Queen of England just left Lord's in despair? Or has the Queen of Australia had enough happiness for one morning? #ashes— Mark Colvin (@Colvinius) July 18, 2013
One's pre-match motivational speech seems to have backfired. Fire up the Bentley. #ashes— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) July 18, 2013
The Queen has seen enough and leaves Lord's after an hour of play. To be fair to her, she stuck around longer than Cook, Root and KP. #Ashes— The Cricket Paper (@TheCricketPaper) July 18, 2013
The pre-match prediction had been that the Lord's track would be a batting beauty, and it seemed that way once Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott got going.
Given the prices of Lord's match tickets, you'd think the crowd wouldn't want to miss a single ball, but ...
After nearly half an hour after lunch many have still not returned to their seats. At Wimbledon it would raise howls at Lord's not a whimper— Mihir Bose (@mihirbose) July 18, 2013
Trott continued to pile up the runs and the short-ball advice was not working, building on what has been a solid four years at the Test level.
Plan to trott....Round the wicket, short leg, leg gully fine leg! Bouncer bouncer bouncer bouncer bouncer bouncer yes that was 6 of them!— Daniel Smith (@13DSmith) July 18, 2013
Uncharacteristically though, he pulled a harmless short ball from Ryan Harris straight into the hands of Usman Khawaja at deep midwicket.
Trott out. A mistimed flamp to deep square. STAT ALERT: 4th wicket stand of 99 is England's highest at Lord's in an Ashes Test since 1938.— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) July 18, 2013
Just before the wicket, Princess Anne had made an appearance in the ground.
Is John Inverarity or Pat Howard in charge of rotating Royals in and out of Lord's?— The Cricket Geek (@TheCricketGeek) July 18, 2013
As Bell and Jonny Bairstow settled into a rhythm, it was time for the broadcasters to indulge in tradition. The visuals of the London landmarks, the parks and the Giraffes in the neighbouring London Zoo, though, didn't impress some.
So if Lords is the home of cricket, is the MCG the Penthouse of cricket? #ashes— Ian Mond (@Mondyboy) July 18, 2013
Lords looks a treat as the 2nd best Test ground in the world! #Ashes— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) July 18, 2013
Bumble confirms cheating at Egg & Spoon race. Wondering if this will cause a big stir with the Spirit of Cricket crowd.— The Cricket Geek (@TheCricketGeek) July 18, 2013
Unnoticed during the talk of tradition, Bell kept cruising along. Stats geeks had a moment to cherish during the session as England brought up their 10,000th leg-bye.
Queen returning to Lord's to knight Ian Bell's pads after they record England's 10,000th leg bye. #ashes— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) July 18, 2013
While Bell moved on smoothly, Bairstow seemed to have fallen cheaply as he was bowled by Peter Siddle for 21. He walked all the way to the pavilion, only to be called back by the umpire as Siddle had overstepped.
Jonny Bairstow senses Siddle has bowled a no ball and lets his middle stump get whomped back to the pavillion. Cunning. #Ashes— 51allout (@51allout) July 18, 2013
But he made most of the reprieve, scoring his third consecutive half-century at Lord's.
Full and straight to Bairstow and this time he plays it straight back down the ground rather than being bowled. Fast learner? #Ashes— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) July 18, 2013
Bairstow: go Jonny go. On 21 it looked dangerously like no Jonny no… He's cashing in now. Good lad. #Ashes— legsidefilth (@legsidefilth) July 18, 2013
At the other end, Bell basked in the sunny conditions and brought up his third consecutive Ashes century. And, as at Trent Bridge last week, the runs came just when England needed them.
Like Mark Waugh and Damien Martyn back in the day, Ian Bell is England's luxury item. Damn he looks good when he comes off— Andrew Miller (@miller_cricket) July 18, 2013
I think we can put to bed the "Ian Bell scores runs when it doesnt' matter" thing now.— Elizabeth (@legsidelizzy) July 18, 2013
With Bell and Bairstow going strong, Michael Clarke punted on legspinner Steven Smith bowling a few overs before the new ball. It worked a charm as Smith took three quick wickets to transform the day.
Smith's six overs of part-time, but deadly, spin bowling had England scurrying for a night watchman - though they were already seven down. James Anderson, usually No. 11, came in ahead of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
Broad now not even walking to the middle. #ashes— Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) July 18, 2013
Using a nightwatchman to protect No.9 Stuart Broad from the part-time wrist-spin of Steve Smith is embarrassing— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) July 18, 2013
The nightwatchman did his job, though, and at stumps England were 289 for 7, leaving Australia perhaps the slightly happier side, especially since the visitors' had lost the toss.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor, and Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
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