Up from the Ashes!

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The Independent Online
Harold Wilson was quick to claim credit for English football's greatest day, so, perhaps, Tony Blair may be persuaded to push the case that the nation's sporting renaissance is all down to his party's landslide in the general election.

Following the recent success of the Lions rugby union tourists in South Africa and the English rugby and football teams, yesterday it was the turn of England's cricketers to ride the crest of the national sporting wave.

The first day of the first Test at Edgbaston was entirely dominated by England, whose bowlers saw off the Australians for only 118 runs before the batsmen, after surviving some early scares, finished the day on 200 for 3. Having lost their deposits in the one-day series, the Australians are obviously paying the penalty for voting in John Howard's Liberals - the Aussie Tories - last year. It took a while for the curse of the right wing to take effect, West Indies and South Africa both being beaten since the election, but it kicked in yesterday.

Which would suggest that we're quids in for next year's World Cup. The 2002 finals, though, just after a full-term election, may be our downfall.

Test reports, page 30

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