Like the sentient pension professional I am, I abandoned my workstation yesterday afternoon and headed for the nearest pub beaming Sky. I was rewarded with an Australian batting collapse and the sight of mystic Stuart’s bail tampering – which undoubtedly won England the match.
Bail Mary!!!! pic.twitter.com/9JBJf6mhX1
— ARTIST TAXI DRIVER (@chunkymark) July 31, 2023
The hours that saw Smith and Head inching Australia towards what we expected to be another jammy Aussie win had been so depressing , I had to immerse myself in re-learning the Guaranteed Minimum Pension, furtively switching tabs to see if the number 4 appeared hyphenated to the Australian total.
Four turned to seven, then eight.
As I rushed down to Rudds – my local sports pub, my earbuds bounced with excitement as 4 turned to 5, I reached the pub as a sixth wicket fell. By the time I had a pint in front of me the Aussies were seven down and an eighth fell soon after.
Then a lull, the tension increasing as Murphy and Carey took Australia to with 60 runs of our total.
My timeline included a tweet from “the founding father of pension de-risking” claiming he “could not breathe“, he was soon attended to by an admirer – we all wish him a speedy recovery.
The Broad came on and the psychodrama turned up another couple of notches.
Stuart Broad has written his cricketing epitaph with a pulled six and an ashes levelling delivery that removed the redoubtable Carey. These grand moments bookended his final two days of professional cricket.
Stuart Broad, forever not out, will no longer be batting pic.twitter.com/VpDdwl05XN
— Is Stuart Broad Batting? (@IsBroad) July 30, 2023
The whole Broad family watched on, it was a delight!
Lest we forget!
What a game cricket is, no other sport can hold our attention over such a time. What a magnificent tradition the Ashes is! How well both teams have conducted themselves, how brilliant the fans and what a great time , those left with BBC Sounds and the pub TV, have had!
Those who were at the Oval this weekend , included my friend and fellow pensions blogger Paddy Briggs.
— Paddy Briggs 𝕏 (@PaddyBriggs) July 30, 2023
Paddy spent his career at Shell, their offices are just around the corner from Kennington. I hope he made it yesterday as well.
Cricket is a game that brings us together – and helps us remember.
Alan Higham seems to have been there yesterday, moaning that if the Oval had been Old Trafford , they’d have played through the afternoon rain.
Thanks to Alan for helping me remember the first Ashes match I was ever taken to. It too was rain affected and it too helped England draw the series.
It’s The Oval so it has to be done. Colin Cowdrey examines a rather large puddle after a storm on the final day of the 1968 Ashes. Play looking impossible but spectators helped the mop up and then Derek Underwood wove his magic to give England a series-levelling win pic.twitter.com/GoSJ6hgE3g
— Historic Cricket Pictures (@PictureSporting) July 31, 2023
If you want to share your Monday evening moment with me – drop in a comment and I’ll weave it into the blog. I may not have been at the Oval, but our collective memory of a great 90 minutes is enhanced by stories like yours.
As I made my weary way back from Rudd’s bar to my Blackfriars flat, I counted myself a lucky fellow, to be alive at such a time. Cricket will not let me forget that!