THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #124 – Ashes 3, Australia Strikes Back!

More Ashes cricket, and I start my year end listings, with two little lists. Also, if you are that way inclined, I’ve also got a new column up in the wrestling section . But, for now, here’s the view!

Cricket
Third Ashes Test – Australia v England
Australia 1st innings: 268; England 1st innings: 187; Australia 2nd innings: 309; England 2nd innings: 123
            Australia won by 267 runs
News
10 Thoughts On Ashes 3:
1) Australia seemed to have crumbled again in the batting stakes, being dismissed in less than a day, but I’m not so sure. Let’s see how England goes because to me it’s looking like a bowlers’ wicket.
2) Sure enough, England are falling at a regular rate on day 2 as well. Bowling rules this match.
3) Poor Prior, getting out with the ball bouncing off his body onto the stumps.
4) Welcome back, Mitchell Johnson! Wickets galore in England’s first innings. Maybe an enforced layoff and listening to those who have been there before does pay off for some people. Now if only Ricky Ponting can follow this advice…
5) England collapsed and panicked. 187 is not a good score, no matter how you look at it.
6) Australia’s second innings was saved by Watson (another score in the 90s) and Hussey (another century), with very few other contributors. Still, 309 is a good score. But more and more this is looking like a bowlers’ pitch.
7) England are panicking. They are not used to being in this situation in Australia and are even dropping catches. Did they believe their own hype too much?
8) Can England make almost 400 runs (391 to be precise) in their final innings? It has not been done all that often, and is going to take a monumental effort for the Poms to save this test.
9) End of Day 3 and England are 5/81 – including losing a wicket on the last ball of the day – and staring defeat in the face. This is not the same English team… nor the same Australian one. Except for the fact both teams are letting loose in the verbals. The sledging is getting personal and violent. Some things never change.
10) What, did England have a lunch appointment or something? Day 4 and they lasted not even an hour before meekly capitulating. Well, this evens things up. Despite England’s insipid performance in Perth, the Boxing Day Test now looms as a real battle. Bring it on!

Soccer
A-League Round 18 (cont)
Newcastle Jets 2 def Gold Coast United 0
North Queensland Fury 1 def Sydney FC 1
A-League Round 19
Adelaide United 1 def by Melbourne Heart 2
Wellington Phoenix 4 def Newcastle Jets 0
Melbourne Victory 2 def Perth Glory 0
North Queensland Fury 0 def by Brisbane Roar 2
Gold Coast United 0, Central Coast Mariners 0
            Match abandoned twenty minutes in due to poor weather conditions. In Europe they play in snow, but some torrential rain stops it here in Australia. But, they said, they didn’t want to damage the pitch. Of course. Heaven forbid we should play sport on a sporting ground…
W-League Round 7
Adelaide United 0 hammered by Sydney 4
Melbourne Victory 0 def by Perth Glory 1

Basketball
NBL – Round 10
Gold Coast 93 def Townsville 81
Adelaide 81 def Sydney 77
Wollongong 85 def by New Zealand 89
Cairns 56 def Townsville 51
Melbourne 80 def by New Zealand 90
Perth 87 def Sydney 84
WNBL – Round 11
Bendigo 81 def Townsville 43
West Coast 53 def by Logan 78
Sydney 77 def Dandenong 67
Bulleen 94 slaughtered AIS 38
Canberra 71 def by Townsville 77
Adelaide 76 def by Logan 85

Baseball
ABL
Perth 5 def by Canberra 7
Sydney 3 def by Adelaide 4
Perth 5 def by Canberra 9
Sydney 5 def Adelaide 0
Perth 8 def Canberra 1
Perth 4 def by Canberra 7
Sydney 3 def by Adelaide 7
Sydney 4 def Adelaide 0
Canberra 3 hammered by Melbourne 20
Canberra 3 def Melbourne 2
            This was the second match of a double header. How could Melbourne go from 20 runs down to 2 in one afternoon? Canberra were obviously consistent, but Melbourne, what’s going on?

Australia!
All right, it’s that time of the year again. Time when we look at the year that’s gone and say what’s what. It’s list time!
            I’ll do my sports lists later, so for now you have my first two lists, people and events.
Top 5 Australian News Stories of 2010
5) Mary MacKillop’s canonisation. Yes, Catholics all over Australia now have their own saint to worship. Why do Catholics seem to worship saints ahead of, you know, God and Jesus? And don’t say they don’t; surveys have shown personal saints figure first in the lives of many Catholics. But now we have one so we don’t have to feel left out. Lucky us.
4) Australians are more censored than ever before. More books banned. More news stories hidden. More official statements from courts and officials made private under Freedom of Information laws (Freedom from Information?). A mandatory internet filter about to be inflicted upon the country. No R-rated video games (because adults cannot make their own decisions). Several films restricted. Comedians and jokes banned for being offensive. Welcome to Australia, suburb of China.
3) Australia’s bizarre weather. More floods than usual. Cyclones all over the place. The mandatory bushfires. South Australia’s December monthly rainfall dropping in one day. December, the start of summer, wet and miserable.
2) Australia’s non-result election. A hung parliament. Labor holding on with the help of two independents. The Liberal opposition just being an opposition and not bothering to do anything to help the country. Australia in a period of stasis for a few years (apart from a God-awful national schools curriculum… but this ain’t the time or place.)
1) Kevin Rudd’s knifing. A serving PM knifed by his own party because some opinion polls were against him and he was seen as autocratic. My God, that’s what made Keating successful. Oh well, we got Julia and nothing changed.
Top 5 Interesting Australians of 2010
By the way, as far as I’m concerned, just because they make movies or music or play sport, some famous people are not automatically interesting. In fact, many are downright boring. Maybe tedious is a better word (and, yes, I am looking at you, Ben Cousins)…
=5) Julia Gillard. Our first female Australian prime minister, who came by her job after the knifing by her party of incumbent Kevin Rudd, and then scraping through to have a minority government after the federal election. That Chinese curse is upon us: “I hope you live in interesting times.”
=5) Kevin Rudd. The deposed PM was in the headlines as PM, as ousted PM and then as foreign minister, and finally as a result of some Wikileaks outages. Cannot keep away from the headlines, it seems, and it is obvious the Americans in power still like him.
4) Tony Windsor. One of the independents who hold the balance of power in the minority government, and the most outspoken, as well as appearing the most intelligent. Of course, in the Senate there are others, including another extremely intelligent independent Nick Xenophon. Why is it the intelligent ones are independent?
3) Jessica Watson. I’m guessing if you don’t live in Australia this name means nothing, but she single-handedly sailed around the world, the youngest ever solo sailor (or something like that). And in her interviews afterwards she has come across as a nice kid, not some glory hound.
2) Brendan Fevola. The human headline of 2010. Photo scandals. Gambling issues. Open mouth, insert foot issues. Not a month went past when he wasn’t in the news for some stupid thing or another. The fact he plays sport and is seen as a role model by some incredibly gullible kids is as scary as things can get.
1) Julian Assange. Wikileaks founder. Love him or loathe him (for what it’s worth, I respect him), you cannot ignore him and everything he’s done to make the world a more open place. I just wish he’d do more about the shady side of big business, exposing those crooks for all they’re worth, than government.

And that’s the View through to December 20, 2010.

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