Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Ashes

For the last few weeks, Australia and England have been going back in their usual tussle over The Ashes, the most legendary trophy in all of cricket.  As usual, they are playing five test matches against each other.  Here's what has happened:

Match One at Edgbaston (Birmingham, England):
August 1-5, 2019:

Australia won the toss and elected to bat, putting up 284 runs in their first innings.  England responded with 374 runs to take a 90-run lead after one innings.  But in its second innings, Australia scored 487 runs, and would have kept going indefinitely except for the fact that the Aussies wanted to leave themselves enough time to retire England.  So they stopped batting.  England could only get 146 runs in its second innings.  So Australia won by a final score of 771-520.  In cricket terms, they say that Australia won by 251 runs.

Match Two at Lord's (London, England):
August 14-18, 2019:

Australia won the toss and elected to bowl.  England scored 258 runs, and then Australia scored 250 runs in its first innings.  In the second innings, England scored 258 more runs, declaring for a total of 516.  The English needed to retire Australia to win the game, but the Aussies had scored 154 runs and were still batting when the five-days allotted for the match were over.  Accordingly, this match was a draw.

Match Three at Headingly Cricket Ground (Leeds, England):
August 22-25, 2019:

England won the toss and elected to bowl.  In the first innings, Australia put up 179 runs to only 67 for England.  In the second innings, Australia scored another 246 runs -- meaning that the Aussies led 425-67 when England started to bat again.  Australia was heavily favored to win, and sure enough the Aussies mowed down almost all of the English batters.  But they could not retire Ben Stokes, who just kept batting and batting.  When it was all over, Australia had gotten 9 of the 10 wickets that they needed -- but England had scored 362 runs, which put them ahead 429-425, and gave them a legendary victory.  Stokes had 135 runs by himself, and was still batting when the game ended.  In cricket terms, they say that England won by 1 wicket.

Match Four at Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Machester, England)
September 4-8, 2019:

Australia won the toss and elected to bat.  This time the Aussies put up 497 runs in their first innings, declaring a halt when they still had two wickets left.  England could only put up 301, and were immediately back in a hole.  In the second innings, Australia scored 186 runs before declaring another halt.  England tried for another comeback, but could not get there -- scoring only 197 runs in their second innings.  The final score was Australia 683, England 498 -- meaning that Australia won by 185 runs.

So in four matches, we have seen 2 wins for Australia, 1 win for England, and 1 draw.  There is only one match left, so England can do no better than 2-2-1.  Since Australia already has the Ashes, this means that England cannot take them away.  Thus, Australia has retained the Ashes, and our cricket coverage can stop at this point.


  1. This was fun to read, and it's the most curious sport to read about have no clue what is going on. Even "innings" as a singular is curious.

  2. It's actually an amazing sport, but you have to really care about it, and you have to be patient. It's very slow, and it builds very slowly, but it's a beautiful sport, and when it's dramatic, it's like something out of a movie. These matches were mostly dull, but the one match that England won -- where one guy had to keep England alive for hours -- was really tremendous.

    It's too late for me to really appreciate it. But if I had grown up with it, I think I would like it a lot.

  3. In a way, my thing like this is stamp collecting.