By taking the world’s top two test sides, adding a venerated 123 year-old trophy, mixing passion, talent and determination in equal doses and then churning the potion well, a most remarkable sporting event has come to pass. This potent mixture has managed to produce the most dazzling cricketing series of modern times.
And now to its 4th leg - Trent Bridge.
The English team made a brilliant 477 in their first innings. In reply the once mighty Australians crumbled to a score of 218 and were then forced to follow on (their first in 17 years). In their second attempt the Australians made a modest improvement by scoring 378 runs, but that left the English team a lowly target 129 runs for victory. Easy to achieve? Yes, or that is what everyone thought.
And then the magic began.
Shane Warne - his habitual yobbish behaviour suddenly a distant memory - produced what could be an all-time definitive performance of the art of spin bowling. From the other end an athletic Brett Lee hammered the ball with precision at speeds reaching 96 mph. English wickets began tumbling like skittles – 1/32, 2/36/ 3/57 and 4/57.
It must have been nerve-racking for the English and Australian spectators in the stadium and those glued to their television sets. However for cricket aficionados of other nationalities it was pure poetry – cricket at its most sublime. We were witnessing a moment to remember for years to come – spin bowling at its finest.
Thank you, Your Yobbishness, all is now forgiven and forgotten!