The End is Nigh

Despite some reasonable bowling at times on the second day, the contrast between England's long and desperately weak tail (it's a pity to have to personalize it, but Sajid Mahmood as a Test number eight anyone?) and the aggressive vibrancy of Australia's, as personified today by Warne and Clark, has been utterly stark.

Trust Warne. Conditions and the run of the game appear to dictate that he'll be denied the opportunity to go out on a bowling high (although don't rule out a hat-trick tomorrow morning) so he makes 71 instead. England (and not just Paul Colingwood) will be glad when he's gone, although they'll have to wait until 2009 to confront and enjoy the reality.

Sometime early tomorrow (I'll hopefully be asleep) the end will come. For the time being it'll be a merciful release, as, despite the need to keep things in perspective (England aren't the worst side in the world, etc.), this has ultimately been, as a Norwegian football commentator once said, 'a hell of a beating'.

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