SXSW 2007

This is my travel blog. It started as a way for people to keep up with my trip to Australia to watch the 2006/7 Ashes series, and continued with my trip to SXSW 2007 in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas in March '07.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

If only England had as good fortune as I have managed on this tour. Not only have I survived a train wreck without a scratch but today managed to score a ticket to day 3 at the SCG for face value. Due to a ticketing mix up we had no tickets for today. Moz decided to take the day off from cricket to do some sightseeing while I maintained the cricket hardcore stance and set off early to see if I could find someone with a spare ticket. After wandering up and down outside the ground for a good 15 minutes without even seeing a tout I was beginning to wonder if I would get in. Just then 3 guys wandered past, one pulling the tickets out of his pocket and passing them on to his mates, saying "Well that means I've got 1 ticket to get rid of then." I don't think I've ever moved so fast! Before anyone else could get in there, the deal was done and a ticket in the Bill O'Reilly stand was mine for face value. Result! Now all I needed was for England to come up with the goods as well.
Jimmy Anderson came up trumps and dismissed Hussey in his first over caught behind. Some attritional cricket followed with several close shaves as Gilchrist rode his luck, skying one off Harmison between all the fielders. Then a stupid shot by Symonds 2 short of his fifty, and he was bowled by Panesar. Warne came in to a standing ovation to what will probably be his last test innings. First ball went for 4, swept down to fine leg. Second ball for 6 over mid wicket. He then survived a very confident appeal for caught behind off Panesar. Radio confirmed he had gloved it which led to some heavy sledging from behind the stumps by Read. This led Warne complain to the umpire.Very ironic given his history when bowling himself! Gilchrist looked in good form and ready to take the game away from England when he got a bit of a shocker from Bowden - given out caught behind off Anderson, when it looked like he had hit the ground. Lee fell immediately after lunch caught behind again giving Read 5 catches in a innings for the second time in a row. At this stage Australia were 325-8, 36 in front. Stuart Clark played and missed repeatedly but England could not get the wicket. Warney played his shots as always and Clark began to hit a few as well. Mahmood made a schoolboy error by not getting behind the stumps when bowling when he could have run Warne out easily. It proved a costly error as the runs mounted as did the lead for Australia. It began to look as if Warne might get his much desired Test hundred in his last test! At least that ignominy was spared for England when eventually Clark skied one off Mahmood and Warne soon followed, well stumped by Read off Panesar, going for one big hit too many. Read ended up with 6 dismissals in the innings, equally the record for Ashes tests, again for the 2nd time in succession. If only he could bat..................
So England went in for their 2nd innings 102 in arrears. Cook fell with only 5 on the board trying to pull a ball from Lee that was too wide for that shot. Strauss then got poleaxed by Lee, being hit on the side of the helmet. For while it looked like he might have to go off but seemed OK and carried on. But not much later he was lbw to Clark, Bell following soon after as well leaving England 60ish-3. Collingwood and Pietersen ground it out to just about par, batting stoutly against very well directed bowling. Nothing to hit was given and eventually Collingwood drove loosely at another Clark delivery and was caught in the gully. Freddie and Pietersen seemed to be seeing it out til the close when that man Warne lured Freddie ever so slightly too far forward and was stumped by a very alert Gilchrist. With that, any chance England had probably vanished. Monty was sent out as nightwatchman and did his job, facing out Clark with every fielder around the bat.
So the end should come fairly quickly tomorrow, unless Pietersen can summon up a miracle. I keep going to games involving England and Australia which require a miracle. Maybe tomorrow will be the 1 in a 1000. Who knows?


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