Monday, August 15, 2005

15 August 2005: Tension

How can people say cricket is boring?

Martyn, Kevin and I are in the living room, shaking with tension. We sit here watching England trying to get the final Australian out, twenty-two balls left to go. If England win, they go two-one up in the series. If it's a draw, Australia have a very good chance to come back. The whole summer could hinge on the next ten minutes.

Twenty balls left. Flintoff beating the bat consistently. Just get one to hit the stumps, Freddie. Another one screams past the outside edge!

"We can't draw this one now!" screams Martyn. He must be tense, he's wondering out loud how much contact lens solution it would take to poison me.

Three overs to go. That's eighteen balls. Steve Harmison snorts another one past McGrath's nose. And the next one he just digs out.

"So tiiiiight!" screams Martyn. I don't think he's talking about his trousers.

Rob returns down the stairs for the finale. He doesn't care for the cricket, he's just waiting for it to finish so he can watch Scrubs on the TV.
"What's the score?" he asks. "A draw's bad, isn't it?"
"Only considering we've dominatined this game," says Kevin.
"We're not going to do it," Rob replies. He sits. Shaking.

Twelve balls to go. Lee pushes out a Flintoff yorker.
"If he doesn't get this person out, he's gay!" declares Rob. Damning stuff indeed.

"How was he?" I scream as the ball thumps Brett Lee's front leg pad.
Not out, says Umpire Steve Bucknor.

Seven balls to go. Lee pushes the ball and it just reaches the boundary. Huge cheer. McGrath on strike for the final over. Steve Harmison to bowl.

"We need contrived quotes," says Rob.
"Left anvil bone of the inner-ear," suggests Kevin.
"Is a yorker a ball that lands close to the cricketer?" asks Martyn.
"Yes, even I know that," says Rob. "Can't we put a decent bowler in?"
"That was leg-side," says Kevin, utilising a cricketing term for the first time in a while. "Lee is on strike."

Three balls to go. Wide down the leg-side, what a waste.
"Rubbish," says Rob. "England are rubbish."
Next one sails through.

One ball to go.
"One solitary single ball," says Mark Nicholas on the television.
"One solitary single enormous tautology," says Martyn.

Lee digs it out. Australia get the draw.

"Rubbish. If Alex Ferguson was there, he'd be throwing football boots around about now," says Rob.
"Shut up, Rob," proclaims Martyn.

Game over.

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