Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lord Bonkers liveblogs England's retention of The Ashes

01:17 Lord Bonkers has disappeared down his drive, leading a lengthy conga in the direction of the Bonkers' Arms. I suspect he has finished blogging for me.

01:09 The bells of St Asquith's are pealing!

01:07 We should be magnanimous in victory. Let us acknowledge that Ricky Ponting is the finest Australian captain ever to lose three Ashes series.

01:00 Meadowcroft is back. He says it was a good Shipping Forecast with the waters around Carlingford Lough proving particularly interesting.

00:58 As I recall we won the second test during the Shipping Forecast too.

00:54 Hilfenhaus caught behind. England win by an innings and 157 runs.

Open the champagne and Tizer!

00:52 One wicket to win. Come on Tim!

00:50 Meadowcroft has gone off to his potting shed to enjoy the Shipping Forecast.

00:48 Syd Little has holed out. Swann tossed one up and he swallowed the bait.

00:47 We have had to tap a second barrel of Smithson and Greaves here.

00:42 I wonder if that over will be Swann's swan song?

00:40 Much to Meadowcroft's disgust, the local Scout troup has improvised a receiver for digital radio using Cook's wok and a wire coathanger.

It sounds as though we may need it to pick up this Radio 5 Live extra station soon.

00:35 I am teaching a Well-Behaved Orphan how to mix a proper pink gin.

Education. Education. Education.

00:32 Drinks? A splendid idea!

00:31 I am demonstrating the correct way to play off spin using my walking stick and a bread roll propelled by the lovely Jo Swinson. She bowls a mean drifter.

00:26 My word that champagne looks inviting. A chap could get thirsty here. Come on England!

00:24 Prior misses a difficult catch off Swann. He needs my Bonkers Patent Mechanical Wicketkeeping Gauntlets.

00:22 I suppose we have to ask whether Christopher Martin-Jenkins is really called Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

00:17 The Flying Bellotti Brothers are putting on a gymnastic display while we all wait for the next wicket to fall. Sometimes I try to count how many of them there are, but I get a different answer every time.

00:15 Swann is on, bowling to Syd Little.

00:12 Ponting has been taken off to have his pinkie x-rayed. That happened to me once in Bangalore and it was Extremely Painful.

00:11 It's Jimmy Anderson. Let's hope he can straighten one up.

00:08 I knew Chris Tremlett's grandfather, you know.

00:04 My spies in Melbourne tell me that Harris will definitely not bat. So we need only two more wickets.

00:00 Meadowcroft is looking forward to the Shipping Forecast.

23:58 This Martin-Jenkins fellow does get players' names wrong. He has just called Bresnan "Peggy Ashcroft".

23:54 Just has a comment from someone who doesn't know who Norman Featherstone is! Don't they teach obscure Middlesex batsmen of the 1970s in our schools nowadays?

I am trying to raise Michael Gove on the telephone as we speak.

23:50 There are two expressions that strike fear into the human soul:
  • See me in my study after Prayers
  • The next commentator will be Christopher Martin-Jenkins
23:48 If these two stick around Strauss should consider releasing the tiger sooner rather than later.

23:44 Syd Little is on strike for Tremlett's next over. Up the snoot, Christopher!

23:41 Why wasn't Harris made to hop out and bat? They'll be doing away with cold showers next.

23:39 I have received a few worried emails. Let me emphasise that there is no question of the Australian barman being burnt in the wicker man on the village green.

That is unless they are still batting at lunchtime, obviously.

23:37 Johnson bowled by Tremlett. Cleaned him up good and proper, as they say in the East End.

Syd Little is the new batsman.

23:36 The Australian barman from the Bonkers' Arms has just been dragged in by some stout locals. Now we shall have some jolly sport with him!

23:34 It's Tremlett from the other end. Give him one up the snoot!

23:31 That one went through him like a dose of Gregory's powder, as Nanny would have said.

23:30 Bresnan opens the bowling. Come on, Tim!

23:28 The room goes quiet here as the England fieldsmen come out.

The Australians have obviously been caught and made to come back.

23:26 Rather worried that there is still no mention of the Australians. I suspect they started a tunnel from their dressing room at lunch on the first day and are coming up on the other side of the fence even as we speak.

Hope this escape does not take too much of the lustre off our victory.

23:23 I am pleased to hear Sir Geoffrey Boycott on the wireless. His grandmother would often turn out for my XI and was a dependable opener - even though she insisted upon batting with a stick of rhubarb.

23:18 I refuse to open the champagne until victory is secured, but the Smithson and Greaves Northern Bitter is flowing.

Incidentally, what did you think of Upstairs Downstairs? Personally I like there to be an element of escapism in the drama I watch.

23:11 Have just looked out through the curtains here at the Hall. The light is very bad! I hope things are better in Melbourne.

23:07 It is never difficult to distinguish between an Australian journalist faced with imminent defeat and a ray of sunshine.

23:03 It sounds as though the Australian XI has fled. I did send a telegram to Strauss telling him to post sentries. Young people never listen.

23:01 I can hear Jonathan Agnew even without my ear trumpet. Splendid reception! But then I pride myself on throwing a good party.

22:59 We are doing our warm up exercises here at the Hall. One must be ready.

22:55 The contingent from the Bonkers' Arms has arrived. Raucous singing is the order of the day. "Why should we be beggars with a new ball in our hand?" and so forth.

22:51 Have made my peace with Meadowcroft. On reflection he is right: we have no need on "drop-in" pitches. Our current system of growing them in situ and having them rolled by captive Tory council candidates works perfectly well.

The champagne is on ice. (As is the Tizer for the Well-Behaved Orphans.)

22:48 Have had my footman turn the wireless on. One must give the valves time to warm up when the commentary is coming all the way from Australia.

22:46 That's more like it! I have got away and The Women's Institute are staging an excerpt from Swann Lake. (It involves a sharp caught and bowled in a 50 over game at Trent Bridge. I find the woman dancing Dwayne Bravo particularly convincing.)

22:40 I have been cornered by a woman who wants to talk about site value rating.

To be frank, I shall be relieved when the Home Service coverage begins.

22:35 I make the mistake of suggesting to Meadowcroft that we could have "drop-in" wickets here at the Hall.

He stomps off muttering about "befangled new ways" - but not before stuffing his pockets with vol-au-vents, I note.

22:24 I learn from the BBC that Simon Hughes is to be appointed as a "special advocate" for access to education.

How he will combine this with his commitments to Test Match Special is not made clear.

22:21 A bit of gossip from the party. Apparently, Eddie Hemmings' wife's cat has stolen his mistress! (I think I heard that right.)

22:15 I am shocked at the assumption that Harris will not bat this morning because he has broken his ankle.

What wimps we have become!

I can recall more than one case of a batsman being brought to the wicket After He Had Died in order to help his team fight for a draw. (That said, I was always opposed to fixtures against the touring Haitian Zombies being granted first-class status.)

And if Harris has his leg amputated before start of play? I can recall Peg-Leg Utterthwaite making 1000 runs for Derbyshire before the war, and you never heard him whinge!

22:07 What should England's tactics be? The general view here is that Tremlett should give Johnson one up the snoot early on.

22:00 I have just had a long conversation with the Reverend Hughes about the place of uncovered wickets in the modern Church.

Funny thing is, I could have sworn I heard him broadcasting from Melbourne this morning.

21:53 My guests are arriving. I have been chatting to Norman and Lynne Featherstone. And, look, there are David Steel and David Steele enjoying a joke on the stairs.

And here is Elspeth Campbell, whom I still think would have been a useful first change on that belter at Perth.

Some people - the Flying Bellotti Brothers, Don "R.E." Foster, Dutchy Mulholland - have been here ever since Christmas.

So have the Elves of Rockingham Forest. Strictly speaking they were never invited in the first place, but I find it is best to keep on the right side of these fellows. One doesn't want to be turned into a frog, what?

And a couple of the Well-Behaved Orphans have got over the wall again. I must have a word with Matron.

21:40 When Douglas Jardine won his series in Australia in 1932-3, we knew nothing of it until a lone swimmer appeared at Tilbury Docks with the scorecard of the final test tucked into his woollen bathing suit.

How times change!

This evening we shall all be gathered around the wireless here at Bonkers Hall to listen to England's victory in the Melbourne test. Do join me and my guests for the party.


Jon said...

You will need to explain the Featherstone reference.

Jonathan Calder said...

An explanation:

Lynne Featherstone

Norman Featherstone