The covers remained on at Lord’s until the break – great weather for ducks. And sure enough, just after tea, the ducks arrived in force. Hoggart secured his second for the match while Harmison, Giles and Jones contributed a further zero between them.
Adding to the debacle, Go Jones did not add to his overnight total as England capitulated to lose by 239 runs, losing the last five wickets for just 22 runs – all from the bat of Kevin Pietersen.
McGrath finished the match as he started – taking four of the last five. Adding to England’s woes, Warne bowled very well, also taking four and his confidence is way up. With Lee bowling well, the selectors for the time being, have the luxury of persevering with Gillespie to give him the opportunity to regain top form.
There were few positives for England as it seemed possible to draw the conclusion that after all of the hype, nothing has changed. I believe that England will improve but it will take some digging. One obvious positive was the batting of Pietersen – the game’s best batsman, scoring two smashing half centuries. He was also the only player to clear the rope and did it twice in each innings. There were a few bowling positives, particularly Harmison, but on a pitch like that, one has to expect the bowlers to look good!!
Australia has won a crushing victory with several player performing well and most showing some encouraging signs. As usual, Australia has won at Lord’s and England has it all to do to turn the series around. Also, as usual, McGrath has won the man of the match award. He has had three Tests at Lords, three bags of five (one in each Test) and three MOTM awards!
And a closing word for the umpires. Having watched most of the Test, I was very impressed with the standard. They got most things right on a difficult pitch. True, they missed a couple of lbws yesterday but they could be excused. One was for Warne, and that’s always excusable. The other was the Lee full toss to Pietersen. Pietersen clearly lost the ball, as did Rudi – he even apologised to Lee for doing so and costing him a wicket!