Sunday, November 24, 2013

British Defeat

I rely on BBC for much of my electronic news.  Over breakfast today, I read the news on my tablet.  Today’s big story—after the Iran nuclear deal—is England’s “crushing defeat” in Australia.  The article explains the nature of the defeat in a language utterly incomprehensible to me.  In this case, the medium is cricket. 

The article starts, “Facing a target of 561 to win, or two days to bat through for the draw, England disintegrated from 142-4 to 151-8 and then 179 all out late on the fourth day to go behind in an Ashes series for the first time in seven years.”

What I glean from that opening is that England took a thrashing.  How that thrashing occurred, however, is mystifying to the likes of me. 

Two of the players started the day “looking comparatively comfortable, the pitch still doing little to assist the bowlers despite the emergence of a few cracks.”  And then there was a “nasty spell of fast bowling.”

I believe one of those two comfortable players threw it away when he took “the short-ball bait from Johnson and” pulled straight to substitute fielder.  Sneaky team, those Australians.  Fast bowlers, too.

There was a hail delay, which regrettably “interrupted Cook’s previously excellent concentration.”  It was all downhill from there. 

“In the off-spinner’s next over, Matt Prior played needlessly at a ball outside leg stump and deflected it straight to leg slip for a paltry four.”  The frosting on the cake came when one of the players “gloved the rampant Johnson down the leg-side, and when [he] went for a second-ball duck—chasing a wide one and edging it to Steve Smith at third slip—England had lost four wickets for nine runs.” 

Another rain delay and, though there was a valiant effort by one Joe Root, the result was victory for Australia.

I consulted Wikipedia to see if I could make some sense out of this jargon and have concluded that though there is some small resemblance to baseball (bats, balls, runs), I’ll have to return to the womb and be born an Englishwoman in order to even begin to comprehend the game. 

In any event, I offer up my congratulations to the Australians and wish the Brits better luck next time.