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    August 12, 2005

    The last over jinx

    I noticed that throughout this Ashes series, wickets have inevitably fallen at the fag end of the day's play. It could either be the last ball of scheduled play or the day's play ending with the fall of the wicket since it was the last over anyway.

    On the first day at Lord's, even as McGrath ran amok after England shot out Australia, Brett Lee had Giles hit-wicket off the last ball of the day. I have no idea why Cricinfo's card shows him as being caught behind. I'm fairly sure that his heel hit the stumps and the bail fell down before Gilchrist caught the ball down the legside. The next day, Harmison had Warne caught at gully in the last over and the day's play ended with the wicket.

    While the first day's play at Edgbaston came to a premature end after England were all out for a frenetically made total, Warne's huge ripping leg-break hit Strauss' legstump in the last over of the second day's play. Hoggard, the nightwatchman, played out four deliveries. Then on the third day, Harmison got Clarke out with a lovely slow yorker with two deliveries to spare. While there was high drama and farce on the last day, were we spared a last over wicket? Not quite, it was a last over wicket, wasn't it?! That old cliche of "The match isn't over until the last ball is bowled".

    During the current test at Old Trafford, Brett Lee envigorated sullen Australian fans, who were obviously disappointed with most of what transpired earlier, with a screaming yorker to Hoggard to end the day's play.

    Perhaps it is just coincidence. But in nine days of play, and that includes two half-days at Lord's and Edgbaston, there have been five such instances. What could it be due to? Nerves? Intense pressure of an Ashes contest?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:20 PM |
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