It was six minutes to noon, on a glorious Melbourne afternoon, when Tim Bresnan, an honest Yorkshire toiler seemingly transformed over the last two days into a latter day Frederick Sewards Trueman, produced the wicket that retained the Ashes for England for the first time in 24 years. There were more than five sessions and a whole Test match still remaining in the series, the early destiny of the urn a measure, then, of the visitor’s dominance. It was time to sup.
The moment was regulation: Ben Hilfenhaus pushing half-forward, Matt Prior, the wicket-keeper, accepting a straightforward chance. The celebrations, though, were euphoric, as England’s players came together in the tightest of huddles, the massed ranks of England supporters in the Great Southern Stand saluting them. Brad Haddin, as flinty an Australian as it is possible to meet, dropped to his haunches, undefeated in a personal sense, but also a member of a team that had been overwhelmed.
As reported by Mike Atherton, the Times’ Chief Cricket Correspondent, who writes like somebody right out of the 1930s. Cuz I haven’t the foggiest idea what he’s on about, see. But hey, it’s old school and I like that.