16 – 20 July 2009
The event we had all been looking forward to, the second Ashes test at Lordâ€™s. This, particularly so, following England’s dramatic draw in the first of the five test series, at Cardiff last week. This match at Lords too proved to be as immensely exciting with England winning, in the end, by a handsome 150 runs but not without doubt creeping in from time to time that the Aussies might turn the tables on us and win. The highlight was captain Straussâ€™s knock of 165 and â€˜Freddyâ€™ Flintoffâ€™s five wicket haul, which he achieved in the most nail biting fashion possible.
With four wickets to his name and with the last ball in his last over ever, at Lords – having announced his intention of retiring from test cricket after this series – he failed to get the fifth wicket only to be told by the umpire that it was a â€˜no ballâ€™, giving him one more â€˜last bowl. With this ball he got his wicket and thus fulfilled a lifetime ambition to get his name on the hallowed board in the player’s dressing room. The stuff of â€˜Boys Ownâ€™ annuals.
This win was all the more remarkable in it being the first test win, against the Australians, at Lords since a few weeks before I was born, in 1934. One up and three to go. Can we repeat our 2005 triumph and win the Ashes back?