It had looked yesterday as if the final Ashes test would be the most exciting one yet. Alastair Cook shut the door on these thoughts and made sure that the online sports betting sites have some sleepless nights if it transpires that every man and his dog have backed England to win the series.
Sports betting aside it was a stellar performance with the bat from Cook who was finally dismissed for 189 by Shane Watson to cap off a winter in which the Englishman could easily be named Man of the Series for the Ashes.
The other telling contribution came from struggling batsman Ian Bell, scoring 115 and in the process making it his first ever ton against the Aussies. Matt Prior was unbeaten on 54 at the close as England stretched their lead to 208 runs and all there is to see now is whether Australia can make their final batting performance of the series a telling one.
More than anything else the day was most notable for the contribution to charity, in the shape of a tribute to the McGrath foundation, set up by Glenn after losing his first wife to breast cancer. It meant that players trotted out in pink hats and the sponsor’s logo was also changed to pink for the duration of the test.
Australia meanwhile will be hoping that the pink can spur them to at least a draw in this test, to prevent England winning the series in style, and Graeme Swann leading them on that merry “sprinkler” dance. If they do win, turning the sprinklers on while the English are doing the dance would be very amusing. Take note Mr Ponting.