I said maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me ……. and after all you’re my Jason Roy….

Doesn’t quite rhyme I know but let’s not spoil a good line!

Today, the normal gang of between four and nine was reduced to the bare minimum….JUST ME when the opportunity came up of watching England play Australia in a one day international.

I’d purchased 2 tickets for the day/night game at the MCG over Christmas, since when enthusiasm for Australia’s national game has waned considerably, Deirdre decided fairly quickly that she wasn’t going (probably the sight of Steve Smith batting again). No worries though as our resident Aussie host Greg would surely jump at the chance of a day out … not so!

Very clever planning meant that we were actually staying away from the city when the game was being played, so getting back home after the game would not be possible, meaning a stay in the city overnight with the game finishing at 10pm, the last train is 7.30 😂

At this point I should mention that public transport in Australia is brilliant bearing in mind the size of the place! The return journey from Anglesea to MCG being of some two plus hours costing less than £10, whilst entry to the game cost £25. Try comparing this with a game at Lords where travel would probably cost in excess of £30 and the match ticket something above £75!!

So with just myself staying I booked an airbnb in central Melbourne, 345 Swanson Street to be more precise, and quite pleased to get an overnight for £50, reasonably priced. We’ve had some good experiences with airbnb over the last few months however you always arrive at the place with slight trepidation and not knowing what to expect, today was no different.

Swanson Street is a long road and Google maps got me close, hence a phone call to the host ‘Nick’ was necessary because I could not see anything like an apartment block or number 345 but no worries as I then received the following text messages:-

I took this picture just outside of 345 which I’m pretty sure is the Unversity Halls of Residence and my room key was not conclusive?

All ‘mod cons’ required for a ‘Barmy Army’ travelling supporter were provided, couldn’t find the Old Spice though (kids … ask your Dad).

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It turns out though with the game finishing after 10pm and Melbourne trains in meltdown, an easy tram ride was all that was needed for my return to ‘Halls’. Very pleased that I had decided to stay in the city for the night.

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And then there’s the cricket….

I’ve now been to ‘the G’ on four occasions:-

1. A day visitor tour behind the scenes which was very good, but no cricket.

2. The Boxing Day Test Match was a great experience but please refer to my previous comments about watching Steve Smith batting, which is very tedious and every time the stadium PA refers to him as ‘Your Captain Steve Smith’ yuk yuk!!!

3. December 28th I saw Alistair Cook score a double century which was absolutely stunning and a brilliant atmosphere.

4. This game ……..

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Finding my seat in the Barmy Army section, row C in the full sun of 30+ degrees which I managed for a couple of hours before moving back a few rows. The stewards and police at grounds here really don’t worry where you sit or stand, so much better than stadiums in the U.K.!

Australia batting first lost a couple of early wickets which brings Steve Smith to the crease but today we only had a brief glimpse of ‘your captain’ before his early departure! However the Aussie’s posted a good looking total of 304 from their 50 overs. Leaving England the honour should they beat this, of it being the highest ever run chase in a one day game at the MCG.

There then followed a batting master class from Joe Root with 80, although the star of the show with 180 was Jason Roy, a stunning performance against the best bowling attack in the world. Careful defence but also some quite staggering boundaries and I have to say one of the best performances I’ve ever seen!

So after seeing quite a lot of Pom bashing the last few weeks, it was a delight to see the tables turned for once and now look forward to the rest of the one day series, although these will be watched on the TV as we resume our travels next week to Tasmania and New Zealand.

Finally a few points about the majestic MCG, what a ground, what a place, what an atmosphere even with a 40000 attendance yesterday when the capacity is some 100,000. A shame more Aussie’s don’t take up the chance of watching international cricket in such a fine stadium!

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