Supreme de­fi­ance of­fers hope

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sports - BY NEIL SQUIRES

IT WAS once re­ported in the strange pro­pa­ganda-ob­sessed state of North Korea that Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader, had recorded 11 holes in one dur­ing a sin­gle round of golf.

On fancy dress Satur­day at the Third Test, a pair of spec­ta­tors watched on in the West Stand in North Korean mil­i­tary uni­form wit­ness­ing phase one of some­thing al­most as un­likely. Shane Warne, on com­men­tary du­ties in Leeds, was so con­fi­dent Aus­tralia were home and dry yes­ter­day morn­ing that he checked out of his ho­tel. He checked back in last night with Head­in­g­ley threat­en­ing a Test to ri­val Botham’s Ashes and The Mir­a­cle of 1981.

Hav­ing lost 12 wick­ets in the match for just 82 runs and star­ing hu­mil­i­a­tion in the face, Eng­land clawed their way back from the precipice with a steel­spined dis­play of re­solve. What be­gan as es­sen­tially a face­sav­ing op­er­a­tion for a side on the can­vas with the ref­eree’s count ap­proach­ing 10, evolved into another ex­am­ple of Test cricket’s abil­ity to cast aside logic and run with a nar­ra­tive all of its own.

The sell­out crowd turned up yes­ter­day in their var­i­ous guises – Tin Men, wrestlers, fish­mon­gers – in the al­most cer­tain knowl­edge that they were com­ing along to see the Ashes re­tained by Aus­tralia. But as the Gen­tle­men Joes

MIXED EMO­TIONS A weary Joe Root raises his bat and Josh Hazel­wood (right) after dis­miss­ing Eng­land ‘s

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.