Out walked Ben Hilfenhaus, on a seemingly hot day, to join "Mr Cricket" Mike Hussey in the middle. Two of his mates, Peter Siddle and Stuart Clarke, had just been knocked over with two balls by some tall bloke by the name of Steve Harmison.
If it was just that, Hilfenhaus would have come dancing out.
Big Ben came in at 343 lbs. for nine in the 100th over of the fourth inning, needing another 200-odd to win.
Oh, I forgot to mention, it was also the last test of the Ashes 2009.
Does that makes it pressurising, you ask? The series is tied at 1-1 and any cricket lover would know, what the Ashes mean to England and Australia.
Both teams were craving for it, this time around. England had been humiliated in Australia a couple of years back when the Kangaroos decimated the Barmy Army, 5-0. Revenge was needed, and seeing the circumstances, it seemed imminent.
Australia, on the other hand, are the more "pride" type guys. They didn't want to lose to England in England for consecutiveve times. The last time was embarrassing enough. I mean, an open top bus ride and a visit to Buckingham Palace? Guys, you aren't as good as us.
Check the rankings! But what really drove most of these men was the shame of losing two Ashes series' in a career. Most of these players didn't want to know what it felt like. What made it worse was that no one could tell them how it felt.
Anyways, Hilfenhaus comes out and faces the last ball of Harmy's over and walks over to the other end. Surely there was a way out of this. If that left armer and fast bowler could do it, why couldn't another fast bowler and a proper batsman not do it? Simple math, eh?
Two overs later, the "proper batsman", Hussey pops a catch to Cook and before he knew it, the English were climbing on top of each other. They were happy. Maybe a bit more than that. Surely not as happy as last time. No bus ride this time. Just booze and food at the hotel. No drunk Andrew Flintoff...perfect.
But the loss wasn't just music to English ears. All around the world, people celebrated the downfall of the Aussies.
This wasn't the first time they lost. They lost to India, then South Africa, and now England. Surely that's that!
Australia free-fell and landed hard on their behinds when the new rankings were released. From first to fourth. At least better than England, mate.
Everybody around the world had imaginations of Ponting quitting. All players over 30 usually retire and Mitchell Johnson even lost his arm (the left one), but no. Two ODI's against their detractors and two wins, without Ponting, and those bloody over 30's are still sticking around and Mitchell's arm seems to be stuck. And now that Lee fellow is back.
Let's get to the point, seriously now.
How many times have people ruled Australia out? I myself have thrown them into the 10th position about three billion times. But they just keep coming back and irritating us just like the common lousy cold.
Michael seems an able leader, especially after Ponting's retirement from T20's. For me, that's a sign of things to come. He wishes to play the Ashes in 2013, but my guess is Hayden's son might take his place.
Speaking of Hayden, Australia has completely lost their track after losing Haydos, Gilly, Langer, Martyn, Gillespie, McGrath, and Warnie. Now that was expected. Depending on the experienced seems great but forgetting to nurture the young is crime.
Clarke and Johnson are a few products of Aussie nurturing and look how they've turned out! Easily both are one among the best batsmen and bowlers, respectively, in the world.
The next three to five years are going to be similar with the exodus of several cricketers. Mike Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee, and possibly Brad Haddin (who has been terribly disappointing after Gilchrist's retirement) are sure to turn their backs on the game.
But the newer talent seems to fit the bill. Marcus North is exciting and seems like a finisher. It will be great to exploit his ODI techniques.
Shane Watson has been superb with the ball, but it's his bat which has been doing the talking and doesn't seem to want to stop.
Peter Siddle is the highest wicket tacker in tests this year. What more can you say to a guy who begun his career with a skull crack to Virender Sehwag?
Mitchell Johnson. Nothing more said.
Nathan Hauritz is the player who Australia dearly missed in the final test. He is an excellent spinner, but don't expect any Warne-esque things from him.
Craig White has also been good, but is much more capable; the same goes with Shaun Marsh.
All-in-all, Australia is down, but certainly not out. They never were. Never will be. But since they are..."Pass the beer, boys!"
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