Ashes Series for Deaf Cricketers...
Australia v England
Test Match at Geelong Grammar School – Final Day
Australia 157 and 246; England 188 and 129 for 7
Match Drawn and Australia retain the Deaf Ashes
For the first time in this match the conditions were much more like we would expect in Australia, the sun was beating down early without a cloud in the sky which meant batting conditions had improved dramatically for the final day.
Resuming the Australian Innings on 70 for 5 overnight, with a lead of just 39, the England bowlers were planning an early assault on the batsmen in order to strengthen their position. The Australians however, has other ideas, Ross Churchyard who was 6 not out overnight off of 102 balls who had been joined by the Captain, Kim Daley 15 minutes before the close yesterday, resumed their partnership and faced some accurate bowling from Jimmy Dixon and Paul Allen early on.
Their partnership grew during the morning session and as the wicket got flatter, batting became easier and the two Australians continued to build a partnership that would become the major turning point in the match.
A couple of run out chances fell to the fielders and a sharp catch was dropped at short leg during the morning, however as lunch was called, Australia had managed to see through the morning session without losing a wicket and the partnership between Churchyard and Daley realised 93 at this stage with the lunchtime total on 159 for 5, a lead of 128.
After lunch the bowling changed and Stephen George was brought back into the attach following his mammoth effort yesterday, but still the Australian pair continued to accumulate runs, but more importantly, chip away at the remaining overs in the day, all the while building a lead but potentially reducing the number of overs England would have in a run chase.
George did eventually break the partnership when a tired looking Churchyard played back to a ball of full length and was bowled, giving George his fourth wicket of the innings. Churchyards stats were that he made 78 runs from 265 balls in a total time of 6 hours and 21 minutes. The partnership accumulated 126 runs (a new record for the sixth wicket for the Australian Deaf Team). The total now at 192 for 6.
This gave England a small chink of light as Stephen George completed a ‘five for’ when he had Brad Trudgett caught behind by Andrew Wood for 1, score now 194 for 7 (a lead of 162).
Paul Allen came back on to bowl and he managed to clean up the tail by dismissing Shenton for 11, Tim Regan for 16 and the final wicket of wicket keeper Theodossiou first ball. This meant that Australia were all out for 246, a lead of 215, however more importantly from an Australian perspective, there were only 36 overs left in the day.
The Australians had taken 122 overs to score their 246, and although it was slow going at times, their plan to use up time and overs was working well. Kim Daley, was the not out batsman who had made a very good 63, from 202 balls.
The England plan was to attach the ball, as the equation facing them was to score at a run a ball, a statistic that was going to be very hard to achieve, given that the entire match so far was based on around 2 runs per over.
Captain Umesh Valjee opened the innings with debutant James Schofield, however disaster struck in the fourth over, when first innings century maker, Valjee, was bowled by Shenton for 5, total on 13, Schofield was joined by Matt Everett and some brisk singles were taken between then, but they were unable to pierce the field and the run rate started to climb.
Everett was out to a catch by Thompson with the total on 32. The next batsman to come in was Chris Hughes, who also ran quick singles by with no penetration and he was unfortunate to be run out at the non-strikers end from a direct throw.
The run rate was forever climbing and wickets were tumbling, Sykes was caught at mid-off, off the bowling of Daley for 9, Wood, Allen and George all perished to the bowling of Tim Regan in quick succession as England were reduced to 101 for 7 with just 13 overs left in the day.
James Schofield, had in the meanwhile built and innings which totalled 73 not out as the game eventually finished in a draw.
This result meant that Australia retained the Ashes in what was a disappointing result for a very expectant England squad.
The thoughts now move on to the One Day Internationals and T20 fixtures coming with Australia and South Africa.