“Before
the first slice of poached salmon had been prised from its bed of lettuce in the
luxury boxes, there was blood on the pitch below. Significantly it was that of
Ricky Ponting – captain of a side that has made a habit of targeting the
opposing skipper – hit on the grille by Harmison and forced to have stitches in
his cheek.” Martin Gough on BBC Sport

“There
have been few more potent starts to an Ashes series than that delivered by Steve
Harmison yesterday: three Australian batsman hit in the first hour and a Lord’s
crowd, if not exactly awash with bloodlust, stirred by the raw power of his
assault.” David Hopps in The Guardian


“Around
lunchtime, however, rumours began to darken the atmosphere. Suddenly the
cellphone networks were jammed as spectators called their homes and offices for
news of the latest round of London bombs. The wail of sirens in the streets
of St John’s
Wood confirmed the information that, outside the sunlit circle of cricket’s
ancestral home, beyond the canopied Mound stand and the fringe of plane trees,
matters of real life and death were going on.” Richard Williams in The Guardian

“Though
McGrath was the toast of the visitors last night, there was ample food for
Australian thought in the deeds of Harmison, whose analysis really needed an
extra column marked C for casualties. His second ball buffeted Justin Langer’s
unprotected upper arm; his 16th pinged Matthew Hayden’s protected head; his 34th
opened a cut under Ricky Ponting’s eye that brought seconds from the Australian
corner, albeit with butterfly tape rather than bucket and sponge.” Gideon
Haigh
in The Guardian

“His [McGrath’s] riposte sent the match into free-fall, as new plots were developed,
canned and then rewritten by the hour. Who needs Twenty20 for a quick fix when
the drama has as many twists and turns as it did here? England will
continue today with Pietersen on 28 and just the tail to come, a situation that
has often brought the best from him in one-day cricket.” Derek Pringle in The Daily
Telegraph

“England’s
problem is that anything they can do, Glenn McGrath can do better. He’s the best
line-and-length bowler in the world and has been for ten years. He loves bowling
from the Pavilion End at Lord’s because he uses the slope to bring the ball back
at the right-hander.” Geoffrey Boycott in The Daily Telegraph

“McGrath’s 500th Test wicket was something special in
itself. To remove another four batsmen inside 31 balls represented bowling of
the highest order. And how did he wreak such havoc? All he did was put the ball
in the right place and wait for batsmen to make a mistake. There you have the
career of Glenn McGrath.” The Times

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW