Well, lads, we've landed in a right fine mess

Overheard in the English dressing room:

Right, lads, obviously we'll be batting some time today, so have a think about it while you're in the field this morning. What? He's declared on the overnight score? Slippery bugger, that Michael Clarke. Get the roller out there, quick.

OK, six sessions, it's a big ask. But let's think of it as one session at a time. There's a bit of weather about. Who knows? Remember New Zealand? Remember Old Trafford?

Obviously, Mitch will take the first over, so let's be ready from the start. Oh, it's Ryan Harris. Still, play the ball, not the bowler.

Let's not fall for any of this nonsense about Mitch and the Aussies being in our heads. Natural game, no silly shots …

I thought Cookie had given the hook away. I didn't know Cookie even played the hook. But what do you do when a bloke's bowling at 150km/h at your head? Still, that's a bloody good catch of Harris' at fine leg to get him. Cookie will be OK. Won't he? I said, won't he?

And Carbs, he won't fall for the hook. You saw the first innings; he's got his head screwed on. Bolted on, under that helmet. Damn, that's another great fine-leg catch. Damn Lyon. Gee, they look up for it.

Still, remember we're going again next week, so Johnson and Harris won't bowl long spells. Three overs, maybe five. Count 'em down. There's still nothing in this pitch. And, frankly, the offie bowls the wrong line.

Look at Rooty. Got some guts, that lad. Half an hour to get off nought, but so what? Ball at a time. Play back, wait for it, let it go. If a 22-year-old can do it, the rest will be a bit embarrassed if we don't. Gotta love that moment when that big oaf Johnson was giving it to him at the end of an over and he pretended to hit him for another four. Pure Derek Randall, that. Good lad, Rooty.

This is the stuff. Go, KP. Look, we know he's an ego you can see from the moon, but as if he's going to fall for that clip to mid-wicket again. So he doesn't rate Siddle: who does? Gosh, KP's looking good. Also, he's batting well.

Look, chaps, let's not get too carried away, but I reckon they're struggling here. Mitch is down on pace from yesterday. The ball's not doing much. Clarke can't bowl. And Watto: I mean! Lets his mouth do the talking, I reckon. Kinda funny that Erasmus has pinged him for running on the wicket. I mean, it's not something he does very much when he's batting.

And Smith! I mean, he can spin it - but only when it lands on the pitch. Played KP. And again. Big sixes, those. Hundred stand up. Couple more overs and that'll be two sessions gone. This is doable. They're not that good. We've still got the Ashes, remember.

Botherations! How did Siddle get through KP with that off-cutter? Nine times out to Siddle in 14 matches: maybe he's a bit better than we thought. Arrh! Belly! It was a full bloody toss. From Smith. Could have hit it anywhere. That's three times Belly's been out to Smith. Hell, when things are running against you …

Still, it's getting dark; the lights are on. Rooty's still there, been going four-and-a-half hours now. And they're getting all lippy again. I reckon we've got them a bit annoyed. Play hard, sure, but know the line. Still, what would you expect of convicts?

There goes Rooty; that hurts. After all that doughty resistance, a tickle from Lyon. Deserved a hundred. No wonder the boy's holding his head. Still that's the thing: it's 180 overs for us, but only 10 balls for them. And they don't even have to be good ones. If only we'd got our heads down a bit in the first innings. If only we'd taken a couple of those catches. If only we hadn't let Mitch Johnson spook us …

Stokesy's gone to the new ball. It's going to be hard now. Why doesn't it ever rain when you need it? And what is going on out there, with all that yap, and push, and shove? This series is being played in a filthy temper, I must say. Why don't the umpires do something, for god's sake? What's the point of laws if you don't apply them? Damn, this is an unpleasant country to play cricket in.

And next week, we're in bloody Perth …

Clique

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop