British papers hail their heroes after new test win at Trent Bridge
by AFP

Scorecard:England v Australia
Event:Australia in British Isles 2005

DateLine: 1st September 2005


"Nail-biting victory" (The Independent), "Ecstasy after the agony" (The Guardian), "Another test, another drama" (Daily Telegraph): relief was the main feeling on the front pages of the newspapers in London on Monday, after another epic test between England and Australia for the Ashes.


"England shred a nation's nerves", said the Daily Telegraph, describing England's second innings on Sunday as "a 168-minute dramatic episode with a happy ending".


But "Lazarus is alive, even if Vaughan's men fell over the line on a day of drama", wrote the Telegraph, and "Radiant England bask in glory".


As a matter of fact, England and Wales have never been so close to claiming the Ashes back. England now have a 2-1 lead in the series and if they avoid defeat in the final Test at The Oval next month, then England will win the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.


But this fourth test victory wasn't easy. With Australian master spinner Shane Warne taking four wickets and quick Brett Lee grabbing three victims, "what looked at one stage like a walk in the Park became a journey of hard and bitter agonies", said Simon Barnes in The Times.


"But they did it, somehow stumbling over the line to beat Australia by three wickets after being set only 129 to win".


"England simply cannot believe in their own superiority over their old enemy", said the chief sports writer of The Times: "England had Australia down and defeated before play began, but neither side was prepared to accept that obvious fact, especially not England".


"England do it the hard way", said the Guardian on Monday. "But Giles held his nerve after Warne woke havoc", wrote Mike Selvey, as seven dramatic pictures showed the "seven wickets that made England tremble".


"Phew! What a torture", said The Sun, describing this "heart-stopping" test match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, under the optimistic headline: "Ashes are coming home".


Same feeling again for the Daily Express: "England won, but they didn't make it easy for themselves (or us)". Hailing Michael Vaughan's "Glory Boys", the Express was pretty sure that "England are now within touching distance of the Ashes": "Freddie (Flintoff) and the dreamers are No 1" and "Vaughan can build empire".


But let's face it, warned the tabloid: "Warne proves Aussies aren't dead just yet". Describing the "brilliant Australian comeback", The Independent also warned England against any complacency before the fifth test in September at The Oval, in London: "Champions refuse to go quietly".


If cricket is usually far behind football and the Premiership in England's hearts, Michael Vaughan's team has now been on the front pages for days. And even the very serious Financial Times had Flintoff, Jones and Pietersen on the front page on Monday, under the title: "Victory dance".

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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