7 Aug 2015

A truly delightful 'Pomicide'

3:32 pm on 7 August 2015

There are few things New Zealanders enjoy more than watching an Aussie sports team fail miserably. So let's have at it.

England skittled out a shell-shocked Australia for 60 and piled up 274 for four in reply to take control in the 4th Test at Trent Bridge.

Stuart Broad took eight wickets as the tourists were dismissed before lunch, while Joe Root (124 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (74) batted England into a commanding position.

"Calmly admit this day made no sense whatsoever" is The Telegraph's headline. Jonathan Liew writes in his live blog "rarely is international sport supposed to look this elementary. England look as though they are playing a computer game on the easiest setting. Every ball finds an edge, every edge finds a hand, every hand grips on tight. The last partnership survives 33 balls, more than the first five put together."

"A day that will live in infamy," writes Jesse Hogan in the Sydney Morning Herald. "Australia needed to win at Trent Bridge to maintain any chance of securing their first away series since 2001. With such a limp effort with the bat in their "grand final" it was explicable why they were on track to lose their fourth consecutive series in England."

The SMH also has "cricketing disaster by numbers", including 2: Australia faced 111 balls which is the least amount of any team in the first innings of a Test.

"It's Pomicide!" declares the front page of the newspaper - demonstrating a slight misunderstanding of that particular suffix.

The Daily Telegraph gets punny: "BEFORE lunch, Australia had already been Broadsided". To put the humiliation in perspective, it goes on to say, [English batsman] Root's ton was the first time in Ashes history a second innings batsman has posted three figures on day one.

For the Mail Online, Paul Newman points out Australia didn't even last a full Twenty20 innings. "There is little to add to statistics that saw Broad reach his milestone with the third ball of the day before storming to figures that will be etched in Ashes history of eight for 15, with his first five wickets coming in a 17-ball spell."

"Describe the day-one debacle whichever way you like," reports the SBS, "Australia's first-innings total of 60 in the fourth Ashes Test is likely to have serious ramifications."

The Independent asks if this is the end of Australian captain Michael Clarke. "Clarke is currently averaging 17.33 in this series, a number that if anything is boosted by his 32 not out at Lord's, and with his side seemingly on the verge of losing the Ashes, speculation continues to mount about his cricketing future."

The Guardian is also on Clarke's case."Amid a morning of hara-kiri from Australia's batsmen, one where lateral movement was met with granite-hard hands to devastating effect and the result was the shortest first innings of a Test match in history, came Michael Clarke's dismissal. The letters i s s in the second half of that word need not be pronounced, such was the nature of the shot."

The BBC is more positive - just about Stuart Broad, describing him as England's hero. Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce outlines some of the stats: The shortest first innings in Test history. Only two players making double figures. Extras the leading scorer for the first time in an Ashes contest. "This has been a series on fast-forward, yet even by the standards of a nonsensical summer this was a morning that felt like watching the trailer rather than an actual film."

One thing for New Zealanders to remember, though, before we get carried away gloating. It's been sixty years, but some people still remember when New Zealand was bowled out for only 26 runs against England. And some of those people might be Australian.

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