Friday, July 31, 2015

The Ashes

So England and Australia are once again playing for The Ashes, the most famous trophy in all of cricket.  Just to bring you up to speed, here's what has happened at The Ashes since the Heath Post was started:

1.  In the winter of 2010-11 (which is summer in Australia), England went to Australia and won there for the first time since 1986-87.  The final score was:  England 3 matches, Australia 1 match, and 1 draw.

2.  In the summer of 2013, England crushed Australia in England, winning 3 matches and drawing two.

3.  But in the winter of 2013-14, the Aussies re-took The Ashes for the first time since 2007, burying England five matches to zero.

OK, so now it's the summer of 2015, and The Ashes are again being played in Britain.  Remember that we have a series of five test matches, and that each test match can last for up to five days.

1.  The first test match was played in Cardiff from July 8 to July 12.  England led 430-308 after the first set of innings, and cruised to a 719-550 victory.  (They never give cricket scores like this, by the way.  They would say that "England won by 169 runs.")

2.  The second test match was played at Lord's Cricket Ground in London from July 16 to July 20.  This time the English bowlers were completely unable to stop Australia, and the Aussies rolled to an easy win by the score of 820-415.

3. The third test match started in Birmingham on July 29 -- and it finished today, after less than three days of play.  Here's what happened.

Australia won the coin toss and elected to bat first.  But they had a disastrous innings.  England needed to get 10 wickets (what we would think of as "outs") to end Australia's innings.  The English did this after allowing only 136 runs.  England then batted, and put up 281 runs of their own.  Australia tried again, and scored 265 runs, giving them a total of 401 runs.  So England came to bat needing only 121 to win.  It didn't take them very long to reach that total -- they only lost two wickets in their second innings before the game was over.  The final score was England 402 to Australia 401.  But of course this does not capture the extent to which England dominated the match.  As you can see, England had 8 wickets that they didn't even use.  So cricket people would say that "England won by 8 wickets."

So England now leads The Ashes 2 matches to 1.  The next match will take place in Nottingham, and will begin on August 6.