Thursday 18 July 2013

Mini-session Analysis, 2nd Ashes test, Lord's, 2013

Here is the mini-session analysis for the second test between England and Australia at Lord's, London, England

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aEngland 42/3 off 13Australia
1-1bEngland 38/0 off 13England
1-2aEngland 61/1 off 14England
1-2bEngland 42/0 off 13England
1-3aEngland 67/0 off 19England
1-3bEngland 39/3 off 17Australia
2-1aEngland 72/3 off 11England
2-1bAustralia 42/1 off 12.4Australia
2-2aAustralia 37/3 off 14.2England
2-2bAustralia 17/3 off 14England
2-3aAustralia 32/3 off 12.3England
2-3bEngland 31/3 off 20Australia
3-1aEngland 39/0 off 15England
3-1bEngland 44/0 off 16England
3-2aEngland 17/1 off 14Australia
3-2bEngland 40/0 off 13England
3-3aEngland 84/0 off 15England
3-3bEngland 78/1 off 17England
4-1aEngland 16/2 off 4.1Australia
4-1bAustralia 32/2 off 11England
4-1cAustralia 16/1 off 11England
4-2aAustralia 56/0 off 17Australia
4-2bAustralia 31/3 off 11.5England
4-3aAustralia 36/2 off 16.1England
4-3bAustralia 64/2 off 23.3England

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England lead the mini-session count 18 - 7

First drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 1-0

What a start for Australia. The decision by Clarke to bring on Watson early was fully justified within a few deliveries as he managed to dismiss Captain Cook. Ryan Harris then showed exactly why he should have always been in the side by picking up 2/9 in his 5 overs. Peter Siddle hasn't even been given the ball yet. England are going to need a spade and a lot of effort to dig themselves out of this hole. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 1-1

England get the better of the 2nd mini-session at Lord's but it wasn't without a scare or two. Peter Siddle, innocuous for the most part, got his first bowl of the Test and had Jonathan Trott edge past Michael Clarke at 2nd slip in his first over. Ryan Harris, in his 2nd spell, banged one in short to Trott who fended and lobbed the ball straight up to where a short leg would have snaffled.

Lord's looks a belter of a pitch and now the shine has started to come off the ball, it didn't do too much for the Aussie bowlers in that hour. England will be looking for a substantial partnership from these two. Jonathan Trott looks in great nick and Ian Bell has started where he left on at Trent Bridge. His exquisite cover drive off Ryan Harris was the highlight on the mini-session. - David Siddall

Middle drinks, Day 1: England lead the mini-session count 2-1

An hour of toil for the bowlers but not a whole lot of trouble for the batsmen. Jonathan Trott made batting look rather easy and he moved past 50 before top-edging a shortish ball straight to Khawaja at deep square leg on 58. Ian Bell has maintained his composure at the other end with a confident 44. His runs at Trent Bridge have helped him to build much-needed confidence. Trott and Bell's 99 run partnership today could have possibly be likened to the Clarke and Hussey pairings of last year in that both sets are/were often charged with the task of rebuilding an innings from early top-order wobbles. Jonny Bairstow has since joined Ian Bell at the crease. He is in need of some runs and would fancy his chances today on a flat pitch.

The pitch is a flat one, no doubt, but the Australian bowling has been a little erratic. There have been too many wide balls either side of the wicket and the large majority have been picked off. The pick of the bowlers has been Ryan Harris today. He has picked up three wickets and has maintained a solid economy rate. The pacemen will need to tighten up if they are to keep England at bay from here. - Aaron Bakota

Tea, Day 1: England lead the mini-session count 3-1

Jonny Bairstow has been handed a life after he was clean bowled off a no ball, playing across the line. The pitch is finally looking as flat as it should and England are taking advantage of it. - Antoinette Muller

Final drinks, Day 1: England lead the mini-session count 4-1

The maker's name. That's what Jonny Bairstow showed in the 75 minutes after tea. Having escaped the consequences of playing across the line before the break, he was punctilious in presenting a straight blade afterwards. This mini-session was probably closest to the kind of play England fans expected and Australian fans feared when the toss was won.

Bairstow and Bell accumulated runs with little threat from the bowling. Pattinson stretched the batsmen with a couple of yorkers - one costing 3 as Haddin flung the ball past the stumps. Several bursts of boundaries at the start of the session gave England momentum. Bell looked particularly stylish with an extra cover drive and successive back foot punches for four. As the mini-session progressed the England pair were content to pick up low risk runs, apparently completing the recovery from the losses at the start of the day. - Chris Smith (Declaration Game)

Stumps, Day 1: England lead the mini-session count 4-2

About a year ago I had the privilege of being in the right place at the right time, and got to sit in a hotel bar with Simon Doull and Jeff Dujon. We chatted for a number of hours about all sorts of things, one of which was the captaincy of Michael Clarke. Both of these gentlemen, who had watched a lot of cricket, felt the Clarke was one of the most intuitive captains they had ever seen.

Today we have seen an example of Clarke's ability to make an unusual decision, and have it be justified immediately. At the start of the day it was his decision to give Watson the 5th over, which immediately brought the end of Cook. In the end of the day it was his decision to throw the ball to Steve Smith. It immediately got the wicket of Ian Bell (for a well made 109). Then rather than take Smith off and go for a quick bowler with the new ball, he gave Smith another over. That accounted for Prior. Then he kept Smith on for another couple of overs, and managed to get rid of Bairstow. All of a sudden England went from a position of some comfort to having their tail exposed to the new ball at the start of the day tomorrow. That hour may well be a significant one in the course of the match. - Mykuhl

Change of innings, Day 2: England lead the mini-session count 5-2

Despite desperation from Stuart Broad to review the final ball which got rid of him, England are finally all dismissed. They're probably around 50 runs underpar for the first innings. After the way the tail dragged things on, Australia should know that there can certainly score some big runs here. The outfield is fast, but the visitors have to dust off their mental cobwebs. - Antoinette Muller

Lunch, Day 2: England lead the mini-session count 5-3

Steady batting from Australia at first, then they started to open up as the batsmen got their eye in. Watson really looked fantastic through the off side, his cover drive and cut shot both looked remarkable. Then he got hit in-line and decided to review a plumb lbw again. This was even more obviously out than his last futile review. It was worse than a review of a Marilyn Manson album would have got from from the Church Times. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 2: England lead the mini-session count 6-3

As Australia came out from lunch there was a chance for their top order to bat England out of this game. Sun shining, decent pitch and England having set an under par total. Instead Australia's top order gave us terrible shots and woeful use of the Decision Review System. If they are going to put up a challenge in this series they need to correct both, and quickly.

Watson's review of a plumb LBW is now becoming a sporting cliché and thanks to it Rogers was reluctant to review a questionable decision and was out LBW having missed a horrible full toss. The Australian bowlers have worked so hard to restrict England, with Ryan Harris superb. Yet again Australia's batsmen have not given the back up to their bowlers that the have deserved. At the crease now are arguably Australia's two best batsmen, Michael Clarke and Steve Smith. If these two fail to put together a big partnership it will be down to tail end heroics to save Australia, again. - TheCricketGeek

Tea, Day 2: England lead the mini-session count 7-3

As a New Zealand cricket fan, I have some experience in watching inept batting. This is as inept as some of the worst that New Zealand has produced. So far they have lost 7 wickets for 54 runs in just over 18 runs. It can be difficult to quantify how much of a wicket is due to the bowler and how much is due to the batsman, but these feel like batsmen struggling to cope with the pressure, and crumbling. - Mykuhl

Final drinks, Day 2: England lead the mini-session count 8-3

Are you all good for the next hour, asks Mykuhl. Could you write the elegy on this god-awful Australian innings, polite Mykuhl didn't ask.

Being 96/7 after tea, Australia were a looong way from avoiding the follow-on, which, thanks to Alastair Cook's heartfelt concern about the supporters who had bought tickets for days 4 and 5, wasn't enforced; however, Cook's decision didn't really matter much, as with 128 all out Australia were still trailing by 233 runs after their first innings. When the representatives from the marsupial paradise entered the field after tea, Siddle and Haddin tried their best to lay the foundation for one of these irritating, or, from the Australian point of view, gloat-inducing lower order partnerships, but they challenged their luck once too often. Siddle gifted Anderson his first wicket, Haddin went out to Swann after stubbornly resisting for 7 off 42, and a grinning Cook felt silly enough to take a nonsensical review, just to rub it in a little deeper (and to prove that he is not a dead-boring captaining robot, which is about the only positive Australian supporters can take from this innings). Poor old Harris, Australia's most unglitzy gem, desperately tried to produce some runs and even survived a runout, but Swann would not tolerate any such antics. Out they were for 128, the match is lost, unless Don Bradman himself, accompanied by at least three of his quintuplet brothers, descends from the green, uncovered pitches in the heavenly dimension. - Steffi

Stumps, Day 2: England lead the mini-session count 8-4

If not enforcing the follow-on is the modern way, then something else that seems very contemporary is top order wickets tumbling in the sunshine. Peter Siddle knocked over all three of the wickets to fall this evening in a tight spell. Root, who remains not out, should have fallen to an edge off Watson, but Haddin and Clarke's close relationship saw them leaving the catch to each other. England's plans to grind Australia out of this game were interrupted, but with a lead in excess of 250, they remain in control of the match. - Chris Smith (Declaration Game)

First drinks, Day 3: England lead the mini-session count 9-4

A solid hour from England. Proper test cricket. Batsmen defending or leaving any ball that isn't in their area and bowlers generally bowling lines and lengths that made it difficult for the batsmen. England did exactly what they needed to do, and are now in an even stronger position than they were at the start of the day. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 3: England lead the mini-session count 10-4

A sea eagle, with wings fully stretched, descending gracefully on to the water of a secluded beach at the fall of the sun is beautiful. This game for Australia is much akin to a newborn chick, fresh from the nest, plummeting to the forest floor. It's as ugly and undignified as one could imagine. This is all due to the batting failures many Australian fans have come to accept as a bleak reality. The Australian batsmen should still be batting, yet the English batsmen are keeping the bowlers at bay with impenetrable ease on a flat deck. Agar is extracting some turn but that is about all the bowlers have found this hour. Pattinson had found some out swing earlier but that was well outside off and particularly benign. It's going to be a hard road for Australia from here and its all got to start with a miracle from someone and soon. England will only apply the mercy rule and declare around 450 runs ahead one expects. They'll want this win as certain as a yearly tax bill before a declaration is even considered. - Aaron Bakota

Middle drinks, Day 3: England lead the mini-session count 10-5

England seem to have lost the accelerator. They spent a whole hour scoring next to nothing. Bresnan managed to hit a ball straight to mid-wicket with a shot that he'll probably not enjoy watching later. Overall it was the sort of hour of cricket where you end up chatting with the people near you rather than watching the match. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 3: England lead the mini-session count 11-5

Soporific would be the best word to describe the hour before tea on the third day of the Lord's Test. While there were calls from some for England to push on there was no need and keeping Australia toiling for little reward was of greater value in this match and the series going forward than gifting them wickets in an attempt to accelerate. There are still two days and a session left in this game, England have already got enough runs to win and they want their young opener to score an Ashes hundred. The only eventful part of this period of play was when Ian Bell cut the ball to the gully where Steve Smith claimed a catch. It was close to the ground, but it was probably out. As ever with TV replays it appear closer to the ground than it was and Bell survived. England are so far in front in this game they have already won the toss at Old Trafford.

Going forward Australia may need to think again about the inclusion of wunderkind Ashton Agar. While his debut batting was breathtaking, his bowling has seen him rolling the ball out of his fingers and getting little turn. With the vagaries of the Australian batting they need wickets, and even on a dry pitch that is taking turn young Agar looks innocuous. - TheCricketGeek

Final drinks, Day 3: England lead the mini-session count 12-5

Joe Root will have had a nervous tea-time, having ended the session on 97*, but the young Yorkshireman soon brought up his maiden Ashes century, the second of his fledgling career, and his first as a test opener, as he and Ian Bell began to feast on some lackluster Australian bowling.

Michael Clarke’s reluctance to take the new ball belied the shell-shocked state of his vaunted pace attack. Having racked up an inordinate amount of overs so far, the likes of Harris, Siddle, Pattinson, and Watson had been bowled into the ground, and so the responsibility fell to Ashton Agar to try and relieve their workload. Clarke’s efforts were to no avail however as England coasted to drinks on 255-4 with Root 136* and Bell 65*. - Jack Marshall

Stumps, Day 3: England lead the mini-session count 13-5

Steve Smith joined Ashton Agar in the attack as Clarke continued to steadfastly protect his pace bowlers from fatigue ahead of the next Test, and the part-time legspinner struck with a ball that rivaled Swann’s delivery to dismiss Rogers on Day 2 as one of the worst of his spell; the half-tracker belted forcefully by Bell straight to Rogers at midwicket.

With Bell gone for a brisk 74 to accompany his first innings hundred, England’s batting pair took on a distinctly Yorkshire look as Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow saw England to the close of play on 333-5, England’s novice opener having passed 150 for the first time in his Test career and finishing on 178* thanks to two sixes off Smith towards the end of play. - Jack Marshall

Change of innings, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 13-6

England's tactics, while endearing, were a bit odd. Don't they remember South Africa batting for almost two days in order to save a Test at Lord's? Granted, this Australian side and that South African team are two completely different sides, but to bat for sentiment is foolish. Al Cook called his men back as soon as Joe Root got out and the Australians have a massive task ahead. The Aussies win the session purely because their tactics to frustrate England were far more competitive than England's passive approach - Antoinette Muller

Middle of remaining session, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 14-6

Australia are an embarassment to Test cricket. Send them home. - Antoinette Muller

Lunch, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 15-6

Australia are looking like a deer in the headlights. The deer is dead and has been run over multiple times now. The headlights are the road kill police there to collect it. Hard to see them batting out the day. - Antoinette Muller

Middle drinks, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 15-7

Both Clarke and Khawaja are doing the right things here. They're hitting the bad balls, to make sure the bowlers can't relax into a rhythm and defending the others with very soft hands. Khawaja has been beaten by Swann a few times, and edged a couple, but his soft hands have meant that the edges have all gone into the ground. Text-book batting when trying to last a long time. This is also only Australia's second 50 partnership between batsmen in this tour. The other two 50 partnerships were for the 10th wicket. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 16-7

Any priests in the ground would probably be starting to administer last rights now. The question had been when and not if for a while, the answer to that is now looking like "today." - Mykuhl

Final drinks, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 17-7

Some good disciplined batting from Australia's bowlers has allowed them to last another hour. One target that they might have now is to avoid the statistical innings defeat. They'll need to get to 233 to make sure they scored more in their two innings than England scored in their first. - Mykuhl

End of match, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 18-7

James Pattinson batted for more than 2 hours. That's more than Watson, Rogers, Hughes and Smith combined. If the Australia batsmen showed the same application that their bowlers did, they may have had a chance. In the end it's hard to say if England were too good or if Australia were too bad. Either way, this test was as one-sided as a mini-session count of 18-7 indicates. - Mykuhl

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