Eng­land’s top-se­cret bowl­ing plans stolen as . . .

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

BULLSteam­mates Andrew Sy­monds and Matthew Hay­den bru­tally bat­tered Eng­land into sub­mis­sion yes­ter­day but the Poms were far more con­cerned about an off-field mys­tery.

The ‘Case of the Miss­ing Bowl­ing Dossier’ is threat­en­ing to be­come the MCG’s juici­est bit of in­trigue since Eng­land cap­tain Tony Greig acted as a re­cruit­ment agent for World Se­ries Cricket dur­ing the Cen­te­nary Test in 1977.

Eng­land team of­fi­cials put on a good show of false out­rage when it emerged that a copy of the team’s bowl­ing plans had been pinched from the tourists’ dress­ing room and leaked to the me­dia.

ABC cricket com­men­ta­tors read out de­tails of Eng­land’s bowl­ing tac­tics and posted a copy of them on the broad­caster’s web­site.

Given that this oc­curred while Sy­monds (154 not out) and Hay­den (153) were putting Eng­land’s bowlers to the sword in the sec­ond high­est sixth-wicket part­ner­ship in Ashes his­tory, it could be ar­gued that the miss­ing doc­u­ment wasn’t worth the pa­per it was copied from.

Matthew Hog­gard, Eng­land’s most suc­cess­ful bowler of the se­ries, might have had most to lose by hav­ing his plans re­vealed.

But Hog­gard turned yes­ter­day evening’s me­dia con­fer­ence into a c o me d y r o u t i n e w h e n h e sug­gested in his broad York­shire ac­cent that Sher­lock Holmes was now on the case.

‘‘We’re con­tin­u­ing our in­ves­ti­ga­tions,’’ Hog­gard hammed. ‘‘And when we find the cul­prit we’re string­ing him up by his um . . . ding-dang-dos, and we’re chop­ping ’em off.’’

GOOD BOY, ROY . . . Matthew Hay­den hugs his fish­ing mate Andrew ‘Roy’ Sy­monds af­ter the

Aus­tralian all­rounder brought up his maiden Test cen­tury at the MCG yes­ter­day

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