Cow Corner

  • Peeved Ponting faces harsh reality

    Two scratchy runs, a dropped catch, a missed run-out and a dubious dismissal left Ricky Ponting reflecting on three torrid days at Lord's as England established a lead of 521 runs.

    If Ponting was livid at being dismissed by umpire Rudi Koertzen on Friday for something vaguely between LBW and a catch, he was simply incandescent at the South African after another miserable day for the tourists.

    Nathan Hauritz's poorly finger didn't stop him from taking and claiming a highly controversial catch to dismiss Ravi Bopara, but Koertzen had other ideas and overruled it to prompt a raucous response from

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  • England on the up, maybe

     What a difference a week makes. Last weekend England were down and out, the doom mongers were talking of a 7-0 whitewash by Australia in the one-day series.

    Graeme Swann bowled England to victory to save some face against Australia and they duly carried that form on to the Champions Trophy with what was quite simply a thrashing of Sri Lanka.

    There's no doubt that Andrew Strauss winning yet another toss played a key part, as the conditions were well in England's favour when they bowled and there was no turn for Sri Lanka's star spinners.

    But advantageous conditions or not, England still had to

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  • A world of Paine for England

    England were thrashed again at Trent Bridge and it's becoming a familiar theme. They are sinking so fast in the rankings that the rickety ship that is the West Indies is making up ground on the rails.

    The last rites will be administered on Sunday and only those booked in for a spell at the funny farm will be putting their hard-earned cash on an England win.

    And while England have gone backwards since the Ashes, Australia have found their stride and seemingly a wicket-keeper batsman to act as cover, and rival, to Brad Haddin.

    Tim Paine plundered a powerful century before falling for a Nelson

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  • Elementary for Watson

    Prior to the third Ashes Test, Andrew Strauss used the terms 'aura' and 'presence' more often than an end-of-the-pier medium pretending to talk to Grandma - but by the end of the first day it was Australia who were back from the grave as a session of belligerent batting put them on the front foot at Edgbaston.

    The signs hadn't been promising: when Australia captain Ricky Ponting elected to bat first and handed the umpires a team-sheet with Shane Watson's name at number two, an element of farce surrounded the decision.

    The blond beach-bum has never opened the batting for Australia in a Test

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  • England, but with Bells on

    England enjoyed a momentous morning session on the second day at Edgbaston, with Graham Onions and James Anderson sharing seven wickets to leave Australia in disarray at lunch.

    An inspired Anderson took four wickets for four runs off 13 deliveries, while Onions applied such concerted pressure in taking four for 58 that even the desperately obdurate and attritional Marcus North was beginning to become agitated at one point.

    When Onions clutched the ball at the City End, you could have been forgiven for thinking you were watching a highlights package as he sent first Shane Watson, then Mike

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  • Sorry England skittled and Siddled

    If there is one thing worse than winning the toss and being promptly skittled for a paltry 102, it is seeing your opponents breezily surpass your effort for the loss of just one wicket.

    That was the ignominious situation England captain Andrew Strauss encountered on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley, after which Australia led by 94 runs while the hosts were left cursing their profligacy.

    Strauss, after declaring with relish that his side would make first use of a 'good' wicket, was left to assure his bowlers that actually the pitch was in their favour after his side

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  • Still a Hayden hater?

    Did Matthew Hayden retire because he just couldn't face playing for Australia in those new KFC emblazoned one-day shirts.

    Hayden's on-field persona - like a few of his fellow retired former Baggy Green team-mates such as "nicest bloke you'll ever meet" Glenn McGrath - seems completely different to his off-field one.

    In 2004, the Matthew Hayden Cookbook - no clues to the content - was a best-seller in Australia for three weeks.

    He followed up last year with 'Matthew Hayden Cookbook 2' (these names are bloody inspired) as 'we join Matt as he cruises the waterways of Kerala, shops for

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  • Freddie in ‘I can bat’ shock

    Well we will just have to wait for The Oval for Andrew Flintoff to bow out of Test cricket with a century.

    Freddie has a knack of writing his own scripts but he couldn't quite follow his five-for at Lord's with a long awaited century at Edgbaston.

    There was a time when Flintoff could have got in the England side as a batsman alone — but those days have long since passed.

    Indeed in recent times he would be struggle to be a 'batting all-rounder' in the Lancashire League.

    His demotion to seven in the England batting order for this series was long overdue.

    Flintoff had made just one Test

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  • So how did England win the Ashes?

    So exactly how did England regain the Ashes?

    Who scored most runs?

    Australia

    Which team had six of the seven leading run makers?

    Australia

    Who took most wickets?

    Australia

    Which team had the three leading wicket-takers?

    Australia

    Who won the series?

    England

    The bottom line is Test matches are set up in the first innings and England batted like clowns in the first knock just once. Australia did it twice and that proved to be the difference between the sides.

    Sure England got away with one in Cardiff and the destiny of the urn could well have been academic before we
    reached Kennington

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  • Classical Clarke claims bore draw

    What looked set to be an enthralling final day of Ashes drama was effectively extinguished by an obdurate knock from Marcus North and a dashing century from Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke at Edgbaston.

    England were seeking their sixth Ashes victory in Birmingham, but after two wickets in the morning, it was an afternoon of graft and toil for the hosts and their beer-swilling band of supporters.

    As Strauss's side embarked on a long afternoon of thumping the ball into a sluggish pitch, the Eric Hollis Stand kept themselves entertained with chants of "Stand up, if you love the snake, stand

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