Ashes Cheers Dampened By Bad Light

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Updated: August 25, 2013

The stage was set. Ian Bell had just been dramatically run out after an excellent piece of fielding from Mitchell Starc and Matt Prior, who had so far been average in this series at best, was ready to win the final test at the Oval for England with a bang. 4 overs to go, 21 runs needed, it couldn’t get more tense. Unfortunately, Matt Prior was unable to face a ball as the umpires took the players off due to bad light.

Never in my life had I heard such boos at a cricket match before, and I think I probably would have joined in if I had been there. Anticlimax was an understatement to describe what had probably been one of the best days of test cricket I’d ever seen, and the fact is England should have won.

The laws of the game state that the umpires must take the players off if the light levels are too low, which has only been a recent change to the old rule which allowed the batsmen to decide whether to play on or not. This means that more test matches are being ended far too easily and not finishing with a result, and for the umpires to stop play today with only 4 overs left to bowl is ludicrous. The umpires also weren’t helped by the Australian fieldsmen, especially the captain Michael Clarke, complaining that they couldn’t see the ball, as well as taking their time to bowl the overs to allow time for it darker.

All in all this was an embarrassment for Test Match Cricket, and many TV and radio pundits were agreeing. Ex-England captain Michael Vaughn vented his rage on twitter saying: ‘What a F###ing joke … #Ashes. I hope the ICC are realising they are ruining the game !!!!!!’

However, this incident shouldn’t take away what an exciting day of cricket this was. After England were bowled out early in the day for 377, which included some nice cameos from Prior (47) and Graeme Swann (34), Australia bravely went out all-guns blazing for their second innings, scoring 111-6 before declaring at tea and setting England a target of 227, clearly showing their intentions to win the test match. England gave it an almighty go with some glorious batting from Kevin Pietersen who scored a magical 62 off 55 balls, helped along the way by Jonathan Trott (59), but unfortunately the result was taken out of their hands and the paying public were denied a dramatic end.

I’m pretty sure though that the England dressing room won’t mind too much though. They have won this series 3-0 and have shown great resilience and finesse against a generally solid Australia side who were below par at the most vital of times. This will surely leave them in good stead for the Ashes down under in 3 months time. Until then, try not to drop it!

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