Rather like the Star Wars films before they became dismal two hour adverts for CGI companies, this was really a story about the search for a daddy. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell looked likely saviours before both fell at the hands of the evil empire, leaving Kevin Pietersen to stride to the rescue with a superb hundred. Jonny Bairstow filled the Jar Jar Binks role, generally annoying everyone and not contributing anything at all useful.
We might have been able to feel a bit of sympathy for Shane Watson, were it not for the fact that he’s a complete and utter dick. His misuse of the review system throughout the first two Tests has already passed into folklore, to be told to future generations of school kids in galaxies far far away, lest they repeat the mistakes of the past; so it wasn’t exactly surprising to see Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin refuse to allow him to review an LBW shout against Pietersen, the latter being on just 62 at the time. It soon transpired that it was red lights a-go-go, if we (bravely) assume that the third umpire wouldn’t have just made shit up again. Watto was so annoyed that he actually started putting some effort in, at least for the next few minutes before disappearing off to swear under his breath, cursing Mr and Mrs Clarke’s decision to procreate some 33 years previously.
This game hinges entirely on the magic number of 328. If England can get there – and it’s far from certain that they will – then everyone may as well pack up and head to the pub straight away, before the bad weather arrives. If England don’t make it there’s still the non-trivial task of bowling them out again, which may well result in Ryan Harris and Shane Watson collapsing back into their constituent parts. We called the draw yesterday and still stand by that. In fact, we’ll (plural? – Ed) eat the work experience boy’s hat if it doesn’t end that way.