Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Ashes - Day 2 Melbourne

Cricket was a bit dismal. Briefly this morning it looked as though England had pulled out the stops with 3 quick wickets. Ponting went first, then Hussey and Clarke but after lunch the Aussies upped their run rate to about one a minute and maintained that all afternoon, with Hayden and Symonds reaching their 250 partnership in 249 minutes. It was a special day for Symonds as he achieved both his highest Test score at 74 and then went onto get his first Test Century.

The Barmy Army were in fine voice, their chanting helped to keep them warm no doubt. It was 19 degrees max. today and it felt cold, especially when you think of the 40 odd degrees we experienced on The Hill at Perth.

The MCG was developed for the 1956 Olympics and further covered stands were erected for the Commonwealth Games early this year, so it is not like your traditional cricket ground and it holds nearly 90,000 people, although today there was only about 75,000 and the ticket touts were trying to sell at cost first thing this morning, no doubt that dropped as the day wore on.

There is a huge recently unveiled bronze statue of Denis Lillee standing in the entrance. There was speculation as to which Stand would be renamed in honour of Shane Warne when he finally retires. He achieved his 700th Test Wicket yesterday, he actually took 5 wickets so went onto 704 Test Wickets, with Sydney still to go, a wildly popular achievement especially as MCG is his home ground. Some wags did wonder about the wisdom of naming a Stand after him as it was thought some of the locals may rename it 'The One Night Stand'. However this possibility was discounted as he is being touted as Australian of the Year, an honour richly deserved.

Hard times and a bout of shopping have been averted. We got back from the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to find our suitcase had arrived as promised. Hooray!

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