Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dominos pizza - not that I remember it!

WHAT a fantastic, magical, mysterious, wonderful world we English cricket fans live in! Having travelled half way around the world to see my team get shafted 5-0 with barely a whimper, I am able to sit in the comfort of my local pub and watch Andrew Strauss's boys extract ample revenge by regaining the Ashes. And they did it with possibly the worst Ashes winning side in the history of cricket.
Don't believe me? Well, look and compare the statistics, not just with the vanquished Aussies but with any England team in the past.
Let's be honest, without Strauss leading the way and Jonathan Trott coming in as an emergency last-minute choice as batsman then no England batter would have recorded an average of above 40. Not only that, but they were the only two players to score centuries while the Aussies recorded seven in the series.
Even with the ball the results weren't particularly favourable but, obviously, team spirit and performing at the right time had an important bearing on proceedings.
Whatever. While my mind was totally Ashes focussed on Sunday morning Mrs R reminded me we had things to do - like take her all-singing, all-dancing I-phone back to the shop so that we could actually get it to make calls and visit my stepmum Jean on her birthday.
First job was managed pretty uneventfully at Carphone Warehouse in Cribbs Causeway but then we decided to look for a small present for Mrs R senior. We eventually came upon a pink cake and flower arrangement and paid for that, then had to pop in at the drive thru burger king to silence the rumbling in Mrs R's tummy. My mind, however, was elsewhere. What was happening? We had taken two wickets early on but who was in charge now? It's terrible when you feel like this and are powerless to do anything about it, like scream at the TV screen.
My mood was getting raggedy too as our day seemed to involve a number of inconvenient delays. "Can I have a fag before we go to your mums," asked Mrs R bravely.
"Have one in the car!" I snapped.
I know, I snapped at Mrs R. Terrible thing. But this is what happens as a supporter of English cricket. The Aussies need 545 to win - the highest winning total in Test cricket by a country mile - yet we fans can still see our players letting it slip. No wonder we're the barmy army.
Anyway, quick trip to my stepmums to virtually throw the cake and card in her direction, then we are setting off again through myriad traffic to reach our little house. Mrs R says she will follow me over, which is a good thing because I can speed off in the direction of Cardiff straight away.
Just passing over the bridge I'm listening to the crackling radio which is about to burst my earphones. Hussey and Ponting look immoveable. Uh oh!
Then suddenly there is more crackling, quite a bit of shouting in the commentary box and... wow! Freddie has thrown down the stumps to catch Ponting short of his ground. There is an interminable wait for the third umpire but... wait for it... he's gone!
Michael Clark follows a short while later and I dump off gear at the Cardiff flat then leg it down to the Billabong to meet Paps. It's a really good afternoon, and Mrs R joins our happy band later, followed by The Wonderful Withers. Eventually England wrap up victory and it is time to lay into more lagers and celebrate further.
We move on to the Tut and after another couple of pints I really am feeling a bit sluggish. I cannot believe we have argued with a Welshman who questions why we are supporting the 'English' cricket team. In his spare time he is a Cardiff City supporter, and that explains a lot. He is one sandwich short of a lunchbox. Hmm.
Anyway, finally we toddle off home and it is Wren's idea to book a meteor pizza from Dominos. Of course, I fancy some too and when he turns up we tuck in like nobody's business.

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