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Cricket: New Hero

  • July 11th, 2013
  • Posted by EU Australia

ashton_agar_bats_300Ashton Agar, aged 19, playing at number 11, pulled his side up from 85 down, to a lead of 14 at lunch, in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

In his debut match, partnered with veteran Phil Hughes playing through from no. 6, he rolled up 69 runs from 68 balls, taking in nine fours and two sixes.

Later he batted on fiercely, eventually caught out just short of a first century, on 98 – off 101 balls. Australia were on 280, a first-innings lead of 65.
ASHTON AGAR’S DAY

Agar capEarlier expected to be back out bowling by the luncheon break, Agar (picture, receiving his baggy green cap), remained not out at lunch, maybe “being served caviar” as one commentator offered. (He’d survived a third umpire call at six, almost perceptibly caught out of his crease).

Commencing the game on Wednesday, the Australians had bowled well to get England out for 215, (Agar, actually a spin bowler, not getting a wicket); and then in reply went through a spectacular batting collapse, providing a line of ducks and ones in the top and middle order; at one point in trouble on 9 for 117.

Following that, with the two-man fight-back, at lunch they reached 9 for 229.

At the end of the innings Hughes was not out on 83, making a record partnership of 163 with Agar, for the tenth wicket for an Australian Test team.

One other main contributor Steve Smith had made 53.

NAMES AND A DATE TO REMEMBER

Calls were being made at night in Australia, on Thursday 11.7.13, for Ashton Agar to become the next Prime Minister.

His mother and father appeared to consider it likely, moved to tears in the stands; promisingly accompanied by two younger sons, Wesley and William.

Commentators, leading the enthusiastic response to an exciting day’s cricket at the sedate, small cricket ground in Nottingham, frantically flicked through statistics to determine that the Agar innings was a record for a man at no. 11 in test Cricket.

“This is not slow play at number 11”, said one, “He is only at number 11 as the new man; these are assured cricket shots.”

“Why didn’t we just bowl line and length?”, said one of the Brits in the commentary box. “We didn’t; we tried to bully him; we tried to rough him up.”

“It’s been the most remarkable session of cricket we’ve ever seen”, said former Australian captain, Mark Taylor, tallying the reversal of fortunes.

EARLY DAYS

Whatever would happen in the match, or series, day two of this First test provided the experience of seeing a man’s reputation  set up for life.

England batting again at the end of the second day lost two quick wickets, finishing at 2 for 80, while remaining clear series favourites, proven winners, with heavy crowd support and much marketing behind them

In the lead-up Australians caught a glimpse of British ‘tele’: crazy-man Lord Mayor Boris Johnson and posh-boy PM David Cameron, calling out “Rise!”. If about the cricket, it might have been a Churchillian bulldogs idea; certainly The Few were evoked, the RAF buzzing the field, trailing red-white-and-blue. Gosh!

 

RICKY PONTING: PASSING THE BATON?

Ricky Ponting wikipediaRicky Ponting (picture, in Australian livery), recent Test captain of Australia, twice the age of Ashton Agar at 38, was in the meantime playing his last game of First Class Cricket on Thursday, at the Oval, and departing in  high style.

 

He was 169 not out, achieving a draw for his side, Surrey, against Nottinghamshire.

For up-dates on the Test match, see live scores:  http://www.cricket.com.au/series/ashes-tour-2013http://www.cricket.com.au/series/ashes-tour-2013

 

Pictures: wikipedia

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