14 wickets fell at Trent Bridge today in what was a thrilling day one of the first Ashes Test.
I will let Cricinfo’s ball by ball coverage do the talking, because they said it better than I ever could:
You can come out from behind the couch now. That was a typically visceral start to an Ashes series which has been stoked and prodded for months and duly caught fire on day one. Fourteen wickets fell, Peter Siddle roaring in and straining sinews for the Australia cause as England squandered the advantage of winning the toss, only for the hosts, a bowler down, to land thudding blows under the Nottingham floodlights. Australia’s top four are in the hutch and both attacks have proved their chops early in the piece. The batting was altogether more inglorious and this Test doesn’t look like going five days… but the sun is due to shine tomorrow and runs may be easier to come by.
Now, 14 wickets in one day is by no means a Test cricket record, nor is it an Ashes record.
The biggest one day wicket total in a Test match was 27 on day two of the 1st Test between England and Australia at Lord’s in 1888. That is also the Ashes record, too, of course.
In more recent memory, 22 wickets fell on day three of the only Test between New Zealand and Zimbabwe in 2012 at Napier.
But still, today was a big deal and a fun day of cricket. And while some will bemoan the sloppy batting, to them I say that sometimes sloppy batting (or bowling, or both) make for fun cricket. As a neutral, I am quite happy with the start.
For my American readers, I will try to put the 14 wickets in one day into context for you: in baseball it’s like two teams hitting 14 home runs combined over the course of a doubleheader.
That’s the best I can do. And I think it is pretty close.
Tomorrow we do it all again. And that’s the best part of the Ashes. Today was just scene I of act I – we still all have so much more to enjoy.
Over the course of the last few months, I have talked a lot about how much I really do enjoy the One Day International. And that has not changed. But today I nearly fell over with joy on several occasions whilst just reading the ball by ball, not even watching the match itself. Test cricket is where it’s at, it’s where it will always be at.
My prediction for the series remains the same: 2-1 to England.