It's almost as terrifying as the prospect of a Bros comeback tour, but here, back after an eleven-and-a-half year absence and for one night only, I give you The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Cricket in 2009.
It's one thing for us armchair nincompoops to take the piss whenever a bowler concedes his hundred runs for the innings. For the bowlers themselves to make light of the occasion with the full complicity of the captain, as we saw at the Gerddi Soffia on Saturday, was ridiculous.
Your team is 241 for 4, twenty overs till stumps on the first day. You are one of the senior players in your team. You are 69 not out. The opposition bowler pitches a slow ball short and about two metres wide of off stump. Do you:
- Leave it alone?
- Take two steps down to the pitch of the ball and smash it to the cover fence for four?
- Keep your feet still, stretch as far as you can to pull the ball off the cue-end of the bat lofting it to the on-side?
It's meat market day today at the Great Southern Regional Cattle Saleyards in Western Australia. We'll have reports when available, but meanwhile the cattle sales have begun at the Great Northern Saleyard in Goa.
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.
Has Australia blown its best chance of regaining the Ashes?
Honestly, what was the point of batting on just long enough on Sunday morning to allow Justin Langer to get his hundred? Apart from allowing Ricky to strain his back while taking a run and thus keeping him off the field for the rest of the day... and possibly for the Second Test.
Just what on Earth is Pietermaritzberg's own Ashes hero, Kevin Pietersen, doing rubbing the proverbial shoulders with the World's Greatest Argument for a 100% Inheritance Tax Herself?
The Guardian's online over-by-over coverage of the final day of the Fifth Test has come top of website editor Emily Bell's Guardian.co.uk Top 5 for this week. Among the edited highlights reproduced from that tumultuous day was my remark about Kevin Pietersen and the dead raccoon under his helmet.
I have just witnessed what can only be described as Test cricket's equivalent of the lowering of the Olympic flag, folding it up and carrying it away. After players left the field for bad light with Australia requiring 337 to win from 18.2 overs, umpires Rudi Koertzen and Billy Bowden returned to the field, marched down the pitch, turned around, looked at the sky, looked at each other, marched down to each wicket and lifted the bails.