Thursday, 1 August 2013

Mini-session Analysis, 3rd Ashes test, Old Trafford, 2013

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the third test between England and Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester, 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.

Mini-SessionScoreWinner
1-1aAustralia 49/0 off 13Australia
1-1bAustralia 43/2 off 13England
1-2aAustralia 41/1 off 14England
1-2bAustralia 47/0 off 13Australia
1-3aAustralia 63/0 off 19Australia
1-3bAustralia 60/0 off 18Australia
2-1aAustralia 38/0 off 14Australia
2-1bAustralia 51/2 off 12England
2-2aAustralia 47/2 off 14England
2-2bAustralia 68/0 off 12Australia
2-3aAustralia 20/0 off 3Australia
England 21/0 off 11
2-3bEngland 31/2 off 19Australia
3-1aEngland 27/1 off 14Australia
3-1bEngland 40/1 off 13Australia
3-2aEngland 57/0 off 15England
3-2bEngland 35/0 off 14England
3-3aEngland 56/1 off 16England
3-3bEngland 27/2 off 18Australia
4-1aEngland 67/2 off 17England
4-1bEngland 7/1 off 2.3England
Australia 24/1 off 7
4-2aAustralia 62/1 off 13Australia
4-2bAustralia 51/3 off 9.3England
4-3aAustralia 35/2 off 6.3Australia
5-1aEngland 13/1 off 12Australia
5-1bEngland 22/2 off 8Australia
5-2aEngland 2/0 off 0.3n/a

Final update, click here

Australia win the mini-session count 15 - 10, but the match is a draw

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

Something strange has happened. Chris Rogers has has scored freely, and looked like a real quality batsman. Shane Watson has looked scratchy, hardly scored, and has even been hit on the pad but not given out lbw. A good hour really for Australia. - Mykuhl

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

After a strong first hour from Australia, England fought back hard in the second half of the session taking two wickets for just 43 runs. Shane Watson fell to a lame prod outside the off stump to an innocuous delivery, but England had built pressure on the right hander nicely.

Usman Khawaja was the other wicket to fall, adjudged to have been caught behind off a turning delivery from Graeme Swann. A review and suspect evidence of an edge was not enough to save Khawaja and he was sent on his way on the brink of lunch. After Australia won the toss and dominated the first hour England will be pleased with their position at lunch. Much of Australia's hopes rests on the pairing of Chris Rogers and Michael Clarke currently at the wicket. - Freddie Wilde

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

Chris Rogers finally batted like bats for Middlesex and then he got out. But it's not like anybody noticed. Everybody is far too busy debating the umpiring shambles of the first session. Yes, still - Antoinette Muller

Tea, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 2-2

This is strange. Australia are looking rational. Michael Clarke does look like he's struggling, a bit like a duck missing a foot, but he's a duck with a missing foot and 55 runs to his name. There's a long, long way for the Aussies to go and who knows how long this resilience will last. At least they're being competitive. Unlike South Africa against Sri Lanka. Sorry. - Antoinette Muller

Final drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 3-2

This is probably the first time this series that Australia have managed to get into a genuinely strong position with the bat. They'll need to be careful not to throw it away as the new ball approaches, but these two have batted together for more than 2 hours now.

It could have been different if England hadn't used up their reviews, as Broad trapped Smith in front, but the umpire didn't call it. - Mykuhl

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

Clarke and Smith continued to accumulate runs as the day drew to a close at Old Trafford. The two batsmen showed no signs of struggle as they chipped away against the seamers after comfortably seeing the spin of Graeme Swann out of the attack early in the hour.

Something that I was impressed with in this session was the energy shown by the Australians. The running between the wickets was extremely impressive considering the warm conditions, in contrast, the English were looking very flat and the bowling was not consistent enough (often pushing onto the pads and bowling two lengths) to cause too many issues. It looks as though the Aussie team has finally arrived. - Nathan Harlow

First drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 5-2

Michael Clarke and Stevie 'not waving but drowning' Smith continued their smooth progress. Meanwhile, former Australian batting legend Damien Martyn announced on Twitter his forthcoming appearance on Test Match Sofa, to the delight - and, it must be said, surprise - of all at the Sofa. England persisted with seamers on a placid pitch, with the throat-bugged Swann's involvement limited to an optimistic catch attempt to a fearsome Clarke thump off Bresnan. When Martyn's tweet was deleted, surely by a Twitter hacker, 'Internet security' was added to the list of subjects to be discussed with Mr Martyn on his arrival at Sofa Towers. - James Sherwood
Audio highlight:

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

A dour opening hour is quickly forgotten as Steve Smith departed 17 short of his century, sending a soaring shot off Swann to Bairstow. Smith’s departure saw the illustrious return of David ‘he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy’ Warner to Ashes cricket – the people of Lancashire providing him with the warmest of welcomes.

After a quick single and spritely four, Warner lost his senses for a second time this summer.  Clearly edging one behind, which spun off Prior’s thigh for Trott to comfortably catch, Warner shook his head resolutely and, following a chat with captain Clarke, wasted Australia’s last referral reviewing a decision that only Shane Watson would conceivably believe to be not out.

The wait for Damien Martyn’s arrival at the Sofa studio is still ongoing. - Francis Kelly
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Middle drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 5-4

Would the lunch break disrupt Australia's first rumbling accumulation of runs in this series? In a word: nope.

Captain Clarke and the wily old Brad Haddin milked Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann like a pair of prize Friesians in the Manchester sunshine.

England - tiring - were taking on the look of that treasured, elderly pet dog that you left in the back of the car on the hottest day of the year.

A twist or a turn is never far away, though, and Broad persisted enough to snare his 200th Test scalp.

Clarke finally fell foul of one of his most productive shots - stepping back and chopping the Blond Bombshell on to his stumps for 187 of the most handsome runs.

Siddle followed with a wild swing and a miss to gift Swanny his five-for with the score on 433.

The Aussies are still marching towards a monster total. Will they have the luxury of a declaration decision later today? - Max Benson
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Tea, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 6-4

A wicket? Pah! There's more chance of a thunderstorm in Morocco next month while I'm holidaying there. I'm sorry, I really don't mean to tempt the Gods. I mean God. There's only one God. Unless you believe otherwise in which case fair play to you. In any case, Starc and Haddin are annoyingly nuggetty. The latter got himself one of the most infuriating 50s of all time. They just refuse to budge. And Jimmy Jimmy Anderson goes wicketless? For the first time since 2009 apparently. This could well be the mini-session to break English hearts...well, at least for a couple of days. - Aatif Nawaz
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Final drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 7-4

It may have been the sight of England's spin twins Graeme Swann and Joe Root bowling in tandem - the spectre of Laker and Lock looming large - or the possibility of Mitchell Starc and Brad Haddin further embarrassing the Australia top order by jumping to join James Pattinson at the head of the tourists' batting averages, but most likely it was Michael Clarke's need to show to those back home that he is the most positive of captains that led him to declare the Australia first innings closed after a mere three overs of the final session at Old Trafford.

England might have been expecting Australia to push on to 600 and leave them a tricky 45 minutes in the evening to get through, but at 527-7 and Starc and Haddin moving in untroubled manner into their 60s, Clarke called a halt with 32 overs in the day remaining. In the England reply, Starc and Ryan Harris found early movement, but Alastair Cook equally good timing, driving and clipping a couple of boundaries. Yet Clarke, perhaps marking the lack of success among England's seamers, was quick to turn to his off spinner. And Nathan Lyons almost made the perfect start for his captain, finding the outside edge of Cook's bat in his first over. Agonisingly for Australia, however, the ball ballooned off Haddin's thigh and dropped just out of reach of Clarke at slip. - Hendo
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Stumps, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 8-4

Michael Clarke didn't give the ball to Peter Siddle until the 22nd over, but it took only 10 deliveries for him to pick up a wicket. 2 overs later he was gifted another one, through a poor decision by an umpire, followed by a curious decision to not review a catch that he didn't get close to hitting. It is Australia's day, but they still need to play som good cricket to take this match. Day 3 will be fascinating. - Mykuhl
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First drinks, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 9-4

Australia managed to pick up one wicket in the session, but the most interesting thing for me was the variable bounce. There were 2 deliveries from Harris at one stage that bounced in a similar pace, but the first one went through below knee height, and the second one went through about chest height.

This suggests that this might be a very difficult pitch to bat on as the game progresses. - Mykuhl

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

Just the one wicket fell in this mini session, but it was the crucial one of England's captain Alastair Cook, who was out to a superb catch down the leg-side. Australia take this session therefore because of the situation in the match. England need big and long partnerships, Cook was one batsman who would've been capable of playing a significant role in such an effort.

Kevin Pietersen's innings is beginning to flourish. He played a couple of belligerent pull shots off the wayward bowling of Mitchell Starc, but he and his new partner Ian Bell must bat with caution with England still well away from avoiding the follow-on. - Freddie Wilde
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Middle drinks, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 10-5

A very good hour for England. Pietersen clearly went in with a plan to hit Nathan Lyon out of the attack, and he and Bell executed that plan expertly. They 3 sixes in five overs. Lyon certainly looked much more dangerous with the newer ball. Traditional wisdom suggests spinners prefer the old ball, but a lot of spinners are actually much happier with a harder ball that bounces more. Lyon looks like a spinner that prefers a new ball. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 10-6

A dramatic start first ball following the drinks break with a confident LBW shout against KP from the bowling of Watson.

Given the combined genius and success of Haddin and Watson with referrals it was unsurprising to see Clarke decline the opportunity to refer only to find the replays indicate KP would have been sent on his way.

Personally I had little drama with Hill's not out decision but anyway what session would be complete with some DRS discussion!

Besides this moment, KP and Bell (once again) appeared unflustered and in control throughout the hour adding a further 35 largely untroubled runs as Clarke wrung the bowling changes in an effort to break an ominous looking partnership that could go a significant way to dashing Australia's hopes of victory.

At the end of a session dominated by the stylish England duo, the new ball made its appearance, setting up what will be a pivotal first hour after the tea break. - Brett Graham

Stumps, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 11-7

The day ends with the match poised interestingly. England need 34 more runs to avoid the follow-on, with 3 wickets in hand. The first interesting question is if they can avoid it, the second is if Australia will enforce it. With rain on the forecast, Australia might be more tempted to put England back in than they would be otherwise. If England just sneak past the mark, then the interest will be in what sort of target Australia set them. I'd imagine that Clarke will be inclined to set a fairly low total, but he's a fairly unpredictable captain, so it will be interesting to see what he does. - Mykuhl

First drinks, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 11-8

If Al Cook had a single aggressive bone in him, he would now declare. Not so, the team is going through the motions instead and the third Ashes Test is looking deadset for a draw - Antoinette Muller

Lunch, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 11-9

This game is actually quite even now. While Australia have a huge lead, they are going to need to declare in order to have a chance to win. The only way that they will be able to bowl England out is if they set a target. If they set a target then there is a chance that England will get it. I think the 3 common results are all equally as likely now. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 12-9

Australia have managed to keep the wicket tally down, whilst going at a fair rate. The rain appears to be imminent so whether the declaration is coming sooner rather than later is up to Michael Clarke. The best moment in the hour was when Joe Root exacted revenge on David Warner somewhat, catching him off the bowling of Tim Bresnan for 41. Australia will want time at England's bastmen, and with inclement weather on the way, runs are an urgent priority. A quick 100 in the hour and half either side of Tea should be the goal. - Aaron Bakota

Tea, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 12-10

Australia's lead topped 300 with sacrifices made in pursuit of quick runs. Each sacrifice hindered their progress making an untidy 50 minutes of cricket. Swann bowled Khawaja around his legs; Watson, airborne, upper-cut to third-man on the rope; and Smith, after two cleanly hit driven sixes, ran himself out. He almost completed three; Clarke was content with one.

A rain shower ended the session 10 minutes early. Tea was taken with the next move in this match in Clarke's hands. - Chris Smith (Declaration Game)

Stumps, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 13-10

Australia played a shot each ball. England tried to put as much time as they could get away with between each ball. But, as instigators of delays, they were trumped by the umpires who brought the game to a halt for bad light. Clarke was unappreciative of their concern for his well-being. Rain followed and surely the declaration too. - Chris Smith (Declaration Game)

First drinks, Day 5: Australia lead the mini-session count 14-10

Despite predictions of a bearded man gathering up lots of animals and putting them into a large boat, we managed to get some cricket this morning with only a small delay. England were set on defending, and didn't really make any effort to score. There are two options left on the table now, an Australian win or a draw. The draw seems to be winning the race. - Mykuhl
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Lunch, Day 5: Australia lead the mini-session count 15-10

In the space of about 45 minutes Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle have bowled superbly to fan Australia's flickering hopes of victory.

The drama came pretty soon after drinks as Harris finally strangled Trott down the leg side to leave England reeling at 2/15.

The door was ajar if Australia could take it. Siddle came on with immediate impact, catching the edge of Root's bat only to see the skipper drop a regulation chance at second slip.

Had Clarkey just dropped the Ashes ?

I'm not sure but, amidst more DRS controversy and pontification, KP was found to get a faint edge to the industrious Siddle to leave England reeling at 3/35 at the break.

Maybe the gods of fortune are smiling on the Aussies for a change ?

Let's hope the weather holds true so the drama reaches a fitting conclusion in the field of play. - Brett Graham
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Rain ends play, Day 5: Australia win the mini-session count 15-10, but the match is a draw.

After an initial twenty minute delay, only three balls were possible this session. Siddle still managed to trouble Bell, however, with his third delivery striking the England batsman a painful blow on the thumb before rain again intervened. - James Marsh

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