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August 21, 2013
Boring dead rubber. Inconsequential Test. Why exactly are we watching then?
It did help that the sides were surely not just going through the motions. Both teams came up with left-field selection calls to leave twitter astir well before start of play. Australia continued to play roulette with Shane Watson's batting position.
Shane Watson's position in the batting order since August 21st 2012: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 2, 4, 4, 5, 1, 1, 1, 4, 6, 3 #Ashes— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) August 21, 2013
So Watson has batted everywhere from 1 to 6. He's bowled. And he's fielded. Now he must keep wicket.— Sidvee (@sidvee) August 21, 2013
Darren Lehmann added some spice to proceedings with an extraordinary, delayed outburst aimed at Stuart Broad's controversial decision to not walk in the first Test.
Pot. Kettle. #Lehmann— Martin Bouchier (@martin_bouchier) August 21, 2013
Lehmann making right noises to try and sell tickets for Ashes in Australia. Better than saying "come watch the Poms stuff us on home turf"— Stuart Turner (@OnlyOneT) August 21, 2013
England weren't going to let Australia hog the headlines. They handed unexpected debuts to Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan.
Woakes? Is this a charity match? #Ashes— Sir Andrew Strauss (@SirStraussy) August 21, 2013
Think they should've played Sam Robson to troll the shit out of Australia. But good England to give Woakes and Kerrigan their debuts.— Venkat Ananth (@venkatananth) August 21, 2013
When @GeorgeDobell1 suggested this England line-up on Monday I looked at him as if he were mad...— Paul Newman (@newman_cricket) August 21, 2013
The Ashes has turned into a contest to see which team can manufacture the longest tail...— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) August 21, 2013
Australia elected to bat on another dry pitch.
Less follicles on that pitch than any patient's scone at the Advanced Hair Studio. #Ashes— Sandru Anandaraj (@fourth_stump) August 21, 2013
Australia got off to a compelling start by their standards.
Two overs in, no wickets. Things are looking up. #Ashes— Clay Taber (@claytaber) August 21, 2013
Alas, David Warner fell in the fifth over, swinging well away from his body.
I hope Warner had better balance than that when he learnt to ride a bike.— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) August 21, 2013
Enter Watson at No. 3, with England getting prodigious early swing.
Watson failed to lay a pad on that inswinger.— King Cricket (@TheKingsTweets) August 21, 2013
Watson and Chris Rogers hung in, and things began to get easy once James Anderson and Stuart Broad finished their opening spells. Graeme Swann was pressed into service early.
Where is the turn for Swann that everyone is talking about - but I can't actually see?!— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) August 21, 2013
And then the debutants got their chance. Watson waded into Kerrigan with relish, taking his second over for 18 runs. Kerrigan didn't help his cause by delivering a raft of long-hops.
Kerrigan seemed to decide that he should bounce Watson out. A questionable tactic.— The Cricket Geek (@TheCricketGeek) August 21, 2013
Rogers plugged one end up resourcefully.
Rogers is one of those batsmen who you hardly notice and then you look up and all of a sudden he's 13. #Ashes— Greg Baum (@GregBaum) August 21, 2013
As the partnership grew, England fans were left grasping at straws.
Watson planting his front foot in the same spot to every ball from Woakes will help create rough for Kerrigan. #Tactics— The Cricket Geek (@TheCricketGeek) August 21, 2013
It was easy to see where the runs were leaking.
Anderson, Broad & Swann: 22-5-50-1 Woakes & Kerrigan: 7-1-58-0 #Ashes— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) August 21, 2013
Watson rolled along ominously after lunch, ticking off a few milestones as he went.
In one attempt, Watson has exceeded any score made by a No.3 batsman this series from either side #CricketBelieveItOrNot— Richie Benaud (@RichieBenaud_) August 21, 2013
Rogers' vigil was ended once again by Swann, who got him to edge to slip.
"Would you have reviewed it?" Rogers asked Watson as he passed by him. #Ashes— Fake IPL Player (@_fakeiplplayer) August 21, 2013
Michael Clarke played an odd innings, and seemed to be in trouble against every single bowler he faced. Stuart Broad settled into a hostile spell full of bouncers. Clarke struggled the most, but Watson copped the nastiest blow when he was on 91.
Broad doesn't look like he is crying at the moment Mr Lehmann...not so sure about Watson!— David I Gower (@DigGower) August 21, 2013
Watson was back on his feet after some help, but his scoring rate dropped as the hundred approached. But Australia continued to be on the ascendant.
Clarke exited before Watson got to a his third Test hundred.
Bradman makes a duck, Watson makes a hundred. Yep, strange things happen at The Oval. #Ashes— Brydon Coverdale (@brydoncoverdale) August 21, 2013
Australia needed someone to support Watson if they were to really grind England. Was Steve Smith the man for the job?
Steve Smith at No5 is like having boa constrictor as a pet. Interesting choice, can work for some time, but you know it is not made for that— K Balakumar (@kbalakumar) August 21, 2013
It didn't matter though, since Watson wasn't leaving much work for his team-mates.
Shane Watson has scored a brilliant hundred 121 off 157 balls... The rest of the Aussies have scored 45 off 32.4 overs... #Ashes.— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 21, 2013
England gave their debutants another go after tea. The outcome didn't change.
If there's one thing we can learn from Kerrigan today, it's don't urinate on bouncers.— Daniel Brigham (@Cricketer_Dan) August 21, 2013
@SkyCricket Beefy is in an awkward position re- Kerrigan, he gave him his England cap earlier - he cant go ripping him for slinging pies!— 5lader (@The5lade) August 21, 2013
Did Simon Kerrigan win his England cap in a raffle?? #Ashes— Brian Shotton (@shotb83) August 21, 2013
While Kerrigan endured the horrors, Woakes' day seemed to light up briefly when he won an lbw decision from Kumar Dharmasena against Shane Watson.
Credit to Watson, his dismissal face is the same whether he's on six or 166. Sort of mournful.— King Cricket (@TheKingsTweets) August 21, 2013
As is his wont, Watson reviewed. It would seem that the law of averages was on his side - the replay showed it going over the stumps.
What a day for Watson. Now he's even getting reviews right.— Dave Tickner (@tickerscricket) August 21, 2013
England were on the verge of deflation when Broad produced an airy pull shot from Watson in the 88th over. Kevin Pietersen was on hand to complete the tumbling catch.
And thus beginneth the collapse.— Burton DeWitt (@bsd987) August 21, 2013
We'll know tomorrow.
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