The Frank Worrell Trophy is settled for 2009. Australia 2, West Indies 0, with one draw. Sounds decisive on the surface of it, but the truth is that, for the two latter Tests at least, the Windies surpassed expectations. Australia played like a team hovering between third and fourth-best in the world.
On Thursday, day two of the WACA Test against the West Indies, Dennis Lillee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Chris Gayle celebrated by smashing the ball onto the roof of his grandstand.
Michael Clarke, co-star with Tiger Woods in many an Aussie version of the Gillette ads, made less runs than Woods has paramours, but with the West Indian eleven lacking Chanderpaul and Barath, it is going to be hard to see them matching the eventual Australian score.
And on the markets this Saturday morning: Dax are up, Dow closes on a record high, and Australia are 100-1 on to win the Ashes (source: Paddypower)
Having missed almost all of the second day's play due to AGMs and children (although I did happen to chance upon seeing the conclusion of the England innings), I'll refer instead to the comments of others.
We could all go insane wondering What If Monty Played In Brisbane And Adelaide? At least he didn't get Mister Cricket, whose Test career batting average has climbed to 85.35.
Still, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that Australia will take a first innings lead some time Friday afternoon.
My Midwinter-Midwinters: Monty Panesar 3 pts; Michael Hussey 2 pts; Steve Harmison 1 point.
Dax are up 45. Nasdaq closed up less than a point. The Nikkei is up 60. Centrebet have Australia $1.90 to win the Ashes on Monday, and $5.00 to win on Sunday.
Monty and Sajid are in the England team for the WACA. Unfortunately, Flintoff and Fletcher are still in charge.