190: The approximate number of overs left unplayed when the Melbourne Test finished two and a bit days early.
244,351: The cumulative number of spectators at the MCG over the three days of the Test, an average of 81450 per day. The record cumulative crowd for a Test in Australia was 350,534 for the MCG Test against England in 1936-37, a six-day Test thus averaging a mere 58422 per day.
Melbourne cricket fans denied two days' unbridled adulation of Shane Warne as Test finishes early. Film at 11.
I was just about to congratulate Andrew Symonds for being the first non-white person to score a Test century for Australia in men's cricket. Of course, he's the second... one Jason Gillespie beat him to the punch by eight months.
Still, it's testimony to the conservative, imperial institution that Australian cricket has been over the past century and a half. It's getting better - very, very slowly.
"It wasn't enough for Melba to become one of the greats of the Golden Age of Grand Opera. She wanted to be the greatest. her glorious voice took her to the top; her ruthless determination to overthrow any rival kept her there long after the voice had begun to decline. Revealed in this relentlessly candid yet sympathetic study is Melba the drama queen, the monstrous prima donna, the canny businesswoman, the generous and kindly friend, the unique star who refused to fade."
"What depresses me most is not the fact that England lose in Australia, but that they're laying down and dying."
These were the words of Ray Illingworth yesterday, one of the many who have tried and failed the seemingly impossible task of elevating England to a competitive cricketing nation.
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.