we rocked up to the oval hoping to witness a miracle and, as my friend optimistically suggested, we certainly got one. sunshine at the oval. thank you lord. only this time, we didn’t really want sunshine, did we?
i almost cried when i found out i had landed tickets to day four of the fifth test. and i looked forward to it every day in the lead up. that was until friday – the day australia produced the most jaw-dropping collapse i have ever seen (or followed, teary-eyed, via live web updates while i should have been working). but i only have myself to blame. so complacent was i about australia retaining the ashes that i almost expected to be there when ponting lifted the awe-inspiring urn above his head. and by awe-inspiring, i mean laughably pathetic. actually, to be fair, i didn’t think it was a given. but i did get carried away by the thought. i guess that’s a luxury we – australian cricket supporters – have enjoyed for some time but it looks like that golden era might be well and truly gone. sigh.
so, anyway, we lost. we should have won, but we lost. and i don’t mean ‘we should have won’ in an arrogant, anti-british, sore loser kind of way. honest. the stats say we should have won, and one can’t help but wonder what the outcome may have been if: the first test wasn’t a questionable draw, the third test wasn’t a wash out, ricky won the fifth-test toss. but australia wasn’t good enough when it mattered. end of story.
somehow, i actually quite enjoyed day four at the oval. i turned up prepared to watch the aussies relinquish that baby urn so i was free of expectation and able to enjoy the glorious sunshine, sunday afternoon beers (the best kind) and first-class company. in addition, we were sitting in front of and behind some quality england supporters who made the loss more bearable. and we finished up at the pub up the road where we shared a few hoegaardens with dan carter and matt orford. (i’m not joking. but i am deceiving. same names, different people. but good company nonetheless.)
work the next day was a breeze. it took a good 10 minutes for my manager to ask whether anyone was “allowed to mention the ‘a’ word”. i granted permission – they’d earned it after all – but heard hardly another word on the subject. phew.
then i received an email. ange must have known i’d need a pick-me-up. she’s good like that. and it worked a treat.
peanut butter cookie dough. i will demolish you (not unlike broad demolishes australian batsmen on a beaten oval pitch).