Third Investec Ashes Test at EdgbastonView 16 photos
Glenn McGrath, Nasser Hussain, Jason Gillespie & Steve Harmison
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The pivotal Third Investec Ashes Test took place at Edgbaston under glorious blue skies, and we were delighted to welcome a full house of guests to the Wyatt Suite for the second and third days. Our very special guests on day 2 were record-breaking Australian fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath, and former England captain and current Sky Sports pundit Nasser Hussain, who were in sparky form with some sharp pre-match analysis before the start of play. Glenn admitted that he has been surprised at the quality of England’s cricket for most of the series, and shared some anecdotes about his own extensive career of Ashes cricket, whilst Nasser was consummate in his analysis of the series. Equally insightful, guests on Day 3 were treated to the views of current Yorkshire coach and former Aussie bowler Jason Gillespie, and England’s own fast bowling terror, Steve Harmison. As former foes in many an Ashes battle, there were a good few laughs about old times, and both of the guys discussed some of the prospects coming through from their respective clubs, Yorkshire and Durham.
As well as some outstanding cricket, our guests enjoyed the red carpet treatment which is synonymous with the Wyatt Suite. After a delicious hearty breakfast, our speakers entertained with their sharp analysis and good humour, before champagne was served. After the morning’s play, lunch was a sumptuous banquet, with hot dishes, and a wide selection of declisious buffet items, washed down with plenty of drinks from the all-day complimentary bar. At tea, a lovely selection of gourmet sandwiches and cakes ensured that no one was flagging as the drinks flowed.
The action out on the pitch was brilliant across all three days, with England dominating with both bat and ball. After a first day which witnessed England bounce back from their Second Test hammering on a lifeless Lords pitch, Jimmy Anderson led the charge with a superb 6-47, with two wickets apiece for Broad and Finn, as the Aussies were dismised for a paltry 136. In reply, England batted well on a testing pitch, and day two saw the home side grab the advantage with crucial half centuries for Ian Bell, Joe Root and Moeen Ali, with fans being treated to some sumptuous strokeplay. When the Aussies came in during mid-afternoon, no one thought they would bat as badly again, but thanks to some superb bowling from a revitalised Steve Finn, with an hour to play they were staring down the barrel of a two day defeat. However, some gutsy batting by David Warner, backed up by Peter Nevill, saw them somehow get to close at 168-7. Everyone with tickets for day 3 breathed a huge sigh of relief!
However, with the Aussies coming out to bat on the morning of Day 3 with a lead of just 23, many feared it would be all over inside the first hour. Fortunately, Mitchell Starc had other ideas, and his 58, with the rest of the tail wagging, saw the Baggy Greens build a lead of 120. In the past, this would certainly have caused England to suffer a bad case of the jitters, but Ian Bell once again stepped up to score another half century, replete with some stunning cover drives, and with Joe Root’s help the target was knocked off at around 4pm. It was a brilliant day, and a privelege to see England spank the Old Enemy!
The catering in the Wyatt Suite was top notch, and our clients mostly made full use of the complimentary bar, with a few bleary eyes on both days by the time proceedings finished! We have our star speakers to thank for some great banter before play on both days, but it was all about a thrilling victory for England which should set the tone for the rest of the Series.