It was like the first Test all over again on Thursday. There I was in the middle of the night, hoping against hope. Then Flintoff went, and so did I - to bed, that is.
It had all looked so different on Wednesday, when the best celebration in the whole of sport was unleashed.
"Look at those eyes," smiled Michael Holding on Sky Sports 1 as the high-fiving Monty Panesar, after bowling Justin Langer, gambolled round the pitch like Bambi on crystal meth. "Save it, Monty. But the good thing about Monty is that he celebrates with his right hand - so if he injures his finger he can still bowl."
And bat, it turned out - unlike most of his team-mates. What England need is what Mark Ramprakash demonstrated last Saturday in the Strictly Come Dancing quarter-finals (BBC1) after underperforming the week before. He did a fab waltz, and Craig Revill-Horwood, who generally matches Simon Cowell for rudeness, was agog, quoting Iain Dowie, no less.
"What bouncebackability you have," he drooled. "That was fantastic... a genuine, honest, warm and sincere ballroom dance." His judging colleague Bruno Tognoni was beside himself. "You were waltzing through a field of dreams! We were watching Prince Valiant returning from the war!" Steady on, said Brucie. Get that man on Test Match Special, I say. He could be the Sid Waddell of cricket commentary.
Sadly, the inconsistency that has arguably hindered Ramps' career struck again (I need to tread delicately here, as the nation's No 1 hunk is also an Indy columnist), and his jive was slammed, as we hacks like to say, by Arlene Phillips, who is usually rendered speechless by lust when the Surrey man steps out. "Very, very square, flat-footed," she said.
She was even ruder about Matt Dawson's samba, telling him, "You performed it with the personality of a tea cup." Still, they both went through to tonight's semis, where they take on Baby Spice. No contest, I reckon: the two blokes will be duking it out in next week's final.
A man who once faced down a fight-minded David Batty should have no fears when it comes to confronting a grumpy mountain gorilla, and Graeme Le Saux didn't embarrass himself as he visited Central Africa for Extinct (ITV1, Wednesday), which is a kind of Endangered Species Idol.
"They're one of the most intelligent animals on earth and communicate using 25 different sounds," he told us, which is about 24 more than your average professional footballer. And quite a few more than Zara Phillips, who squeezed the word "amazing" four times into her 30-second acceptance speech for the Sports Personality of the Year (BBC1, Sunday).
A huge catcall, incidentally, for the shabby treatment meted out to the shortlisted Nicole Cooke, who was shoe-horned into the last couple of minutes. The best female cyclist in the world deserves better.Reuse content