Ashes 2013-14 - the Aussie Angle: Two overs from two England bowlers cost an even 50 in a reminder of how far the pendulum has swung back to Australia

It was yet another day that went to Australia

Who would have imagined George Bailey, of all people, channelling Brian Lara?

In the midst of a bout of particularly pyrotechnic batting by the Australians, as their opponents withered in the heat and despair of a Perth furnace offering nowhere to hide and few places to run bar the fence to fetch yet another bludgeoned boundary, Bailey placed his name alongside the great West Indian.

Both men now share the record of taking 28 runs from a Test over.

Perhaps like Ravi Shastri, whose feat in striking six sixes in a first-class over has never resonated like the earlier effort of Gary Sobers, Bailey’s blitzkrieg won’t carry the same historic weight as Lara’s.

The bowling was top-shelf, of course.

Jimmy Anderson is no slouch, even if his best days are behind him and three series full of Ashes glory have given way to one of heartache and spurned dreams.

Lara took his 28 off Robin Peterson, the yeomanlike South African spinner whose greatest claim to fame may well be his strike at the same ground last year when he placed the full stop on Ricky Ponting’s stellar career.

Bailey may nick for fun, as critics suggested when he came into the Test team and promptly gave Anderson his first success of the Ashes, but he can hit straight as well as any batsman in the game.

He showed that at the Waca earlier in the year with a peerless 125 against a reasonable West Indies one-day attack unable to defend his assault on the sight screen.

Four straight sixes sailed into the crowd that day while a handful more followed in Nagpur only a month or so ago, when the Tasmanian eviscerated India for 156.

A one-day strike rate of 92 to complement an average of 54 puts Bailey in elite company in the short game and underlines the reason why he has been tasked as the main offensive weapon against Graeme Swann.

Yet for all of his poised and clinical brutality, a cameo that further embarrassed the boof-headed Channel 9 executive who said Bailey would have been “flipping burgers for a living” if it wasn’t for the cash the network tips into cricket, his barrage was overshadowed by the performance at the other end.

Shane Watson remains an enigma, though a humorous and self-deprecating one.

If he was subjected to harsh but essentially warranted criticism over his failure to convert 88 of his 91 innings into centuries before yesterday, it would be churlish then to damn the fourth ton for being scored during a low-pressure spree prior to an inevitable declaration.

Watson’s onslaught enabled the declaration to come earlier than planned – by as much as an hour perhaps – while his punishing performance drained even more resolve and focus from the England players.

Five sixes were swung into the crowd while he sprinted from 50 to 100 in just 20 deliveries.

Swann was shellacked for 14 in the ominous first over of the day while he came back later only to have 22 go back over his head.

“To have a licence to take on the game and to have it come off was a lot of fun,” a gleeful Watson said.

“We have played these guys a lot over the past couple of series and we have learnt more about how not to allow them into the game.”

Two overs from two Ashes stars cost an even 50 in a spotlit reminder of how far the pendulum has swung back to Australia over the past few months.

Watson suggested that the significance of Stuart Broad’s foot injury became more apparent once he and his colleagues took the attack to Anderson and Swann, though he identified lively medium Ben Stokes as a player who England could build around in years to come.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project