|The England cricket team get a massive welcome on to the pitch at Cardiff yesterday morning|
Followers of the blog will know I do love a game of cricket now and then and there is no bigger game of cricket than when the "Ashes" come round and it's time to take on the Aussies.
History of the Ashes
The Ashes refers back to 1882 when following the Australians first Test win in England at the Oval the British newspaper "The Sporting Times" announced the death of English Cricket and a little terracotta urn containing the ashes of a burnt cricket bail, the little piece of wood that is one of two that are placed on top of the three stumps at either end of a cricket pitch, was created to commemorate this momentous Australian victory. Ever since that "dark day" England and Australia have competed for perhaps the most contested little trophy in a series of five, five day cricket matches called Test matches to establish the bragging rights at opposite ends of the globe.
|England's number one strike bowler - Jimmy Anderson who got a little over-enthusiastic yesterday and picked up a warning from Umpire Erasmus for running on the pitch|
|Australian opener David Warner made a determined fifty two runs before falling lbw to Mooen Ali just before lunch|
|Large England slip field - If you know nothing about cricket, the number of fielders standing behind the batsman tells you if the fielding side are on top.|
|Stuart Broad in action, for me the pick of the England bowlers yesterday with none of the Aussies looking comfortable at the wicket when he was bowling|
|Moeen Ali in action yesterday in Cardiff - Ali started the Australian collapse,taking Warner's wicket just before lunch and finishing with three wickets for fifty-nine runs|
|Steve Smith comes to the wicket to resume the Australian innings after David Warner's dismissal|
|Joss Butler, England wicket keeper and Alastair Cook, England captain ready themselves behind the stumps|
The fall of Warner's wicket before lunch seemed to unleash that uncertainty upon the Aussie batsmen as Stuart Broad caught the sense of the moment, bringing Steve Smith's thirty-three run innings to an end when he was caught in the slips by Ian Bell.
|Mitchell Johnson the epitome of Aussie defiance in the face of adversity, produced an excellent seventy-seven runs before falling to Joe Root's bowling|
With the break for tea and Australia having slumped to 162 for 7 we knew it was only a matter of time before England had the first win in this series and there was a buzz of excited chatter in the ground as we all looked forward to the third and hopefully final session as England wrapped things up a day early.
|Joe Root who finished the game as man of the match and with two wickets for twenty-eight runs to finish off the Aussie tail enders|
|Yours truely, Steve M and Tom, very happy England fans|
|Just what summer is all about - living the dream at the Ashes - Me, Carolyn and Tom following a fantastic day in Cardiff|
|Michael Clarke, Australian Captain doing the post match interview|
|The England captain, Alastair Cook very pleased with the start but not complacent on what to expect from Australia after this result|
This summer started with a bang with the tour of the New Zealand team who played with a high tempo and plenty of aggressive intent and was the model for the new look England style of play. The Kiwis ended up being well matched by England and the spirit of the play seems to have carried through into this Ashes series of matches epitomised by the comments of the England player of the match and in form Joe Root.
|Joe Root - Man of the Match, an exciting new England player for the future|
We had a fantastic day in the sun watching England at their best. This is our second visit to Cardiff to watch the cricket and the lovely people of Wales make this a very welcoming venue to come to. Perhaps its the welsh side of me that makes it feel home from home and the singing is certainly an attraction. Here's looking forward to an exciting Ashes series for the rest of this summer.
Next up - Its back to the painting with the 1/96e Ligne and then later this week we will play "Talavera -Dawn Attack".