> Being some notes on this and that from the Gabba.
> First off, apologies that I haven't been posting more than I have, not even about the cricket. But it's hard. You may think that I'm just enjoying this fabulous holiday and should easily be able to find time to fit in large numbers of posts. Fabulous holiday, for sure. But there's serious work involved. I sit all day at the Gabba, during which time I have to concentrate, I have to worry about the progress of my team, and all that might go wrong for it. It's very hot: I'm talking blazing sun such that even sitting in the shade, you can get hurt if you don't protect yourself with sunscreen. So I return to my hotel quite tired, and need time to restore myself by the next morning. You've got to sympathize.
> Tonked is what goes up on the big replay screen at the Gabba when an Australian batsman hits a boundary. It's not very discriminating, in one sense. If Stuart Clark strikes a huge blow and it goes for 6, that's Tonked. But so is it if the ball comes off the edge and flies down through the slips to the third-man boundary. However, it's discriminating in another sense: the Poms, when they're batting, can't earn a Tonked whatever they do. The big screen is supporting Australia.
> Umpire Billy Bowden is a clever fellow. He chose a really good time to scratch his nose here, seconds after a loud LBW appeal. It may be that the players knew he wasn't giving the batsman out - but many in the crowd saw it as though he was. Difficult to believe there was no contrivance in it or that scratching his nose couldn't have waited another few seconds.
> The Barmy Army, I see from the press, are moaning: because their trumpet player has been prevented from playing; because they have not been able all to congregate in the same area of the ground. The conceit is that the Army are only supporters having a bit of fun, and I have to agree that the banning of their trumpet player is stupid. He disturbs nothing. But the Barmy Army, supporting the England team as may be, are an infestation. They intrude on the enjoyment of those (or at least many of those) who are not of their number, being an outfit dedicated to the pure production of noise - I mean, unpleasant noise. Not all supporters go in for that. And, by and large, watching cricket at the Gabba these last few days has been a more peaceful experience than some I've had.
> How come every time I'm watching the Australian captain approaching a double century in an Ashes Test, he gets out for 196? Ponting here in Brisbane in 2006, and Allan Border at Lord's in 1985, for which I was also present. Or it may just be that it's every time I'm watching any Australian batsman approaching 200 in an Ashes Test, since there was also Matthew Elliott at Headingley in 1997, bowled Gough for 199 before my very eyes. (You didn't know I had very eyes?) It's hard, I tell you.