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Fortune favours the brave-India vs England 1st test Lords 2007
The weather toyed with this Test throughout, threatening to submerge Lord's on the second morning, disrupting play on every day bar one, and tantalisingly whisking victory from England on the last afternoon. Not that they could lump all the blame on the clouds. England had bowled beautifully to dismiss India for 201 before lunch on Saturday, but were left to rue a dilatory over-rate on day five. In dwindling light, with rain circling ever closer and Panesar bowling much of the time, they should have managed more than 14 an hour. They conjured nine wickets and came within a whisker of the tenth but, despite the presence of Harry Potter (or his cinematic embodiment, Daniel Radcliffe), there was no magic ending - at least not for England. India survived 96 overs, the longest innings of the match. At the heart of this enthralling game was cricket's utter unpredictability. On the first day, England's batsmen effortlessly took advantage of a decent wicket and Indian bowling too close to leg stump; in the evening session, the scoreboard read 218 for one. Yet with the weather shifting the balance from bat to ball, the next 38 wickets produced just 845 more runs. The pitch stayed true, but the rain that drowned Friday morning caused the ball to swing as if it were early May, and the pace bowlers revelled in the chance to show off their dark arts. Two in particular cast a spell over the batsmen: Anderson and Zaheer Khan moved the ball both ways, and late, causing havoc. In such conditions, Pietersen's second-innings hundred - he said he had never played better - was a masterpiece, even if it could not quite deliver victory. England fielded a green attack. Convinced that Tendulkar was susceptible to bounce, the selectors had drafted in the uncapped 6ft 6in Stuart Broad after Steve Harmison exacerbated a hernia injury. Then Hoggard dropped out with a back spasm, and Chris Tremlett, an inch taller than Broad, arrived. Apparently a real handful in the nets, Tremlett was chosen ahead of Broad despite not being in the original squad. He became only the sixth grandson to follow his grandfather into Test cricket: Maurice Tremlett played three times against West Indies in 1947-48. Anderson came in for his first home Test in almost three years, and the combined experience of the bowling quartet - 127 wickets in 37 Tests - was less than Zaheer's 142 in 47, never mind Kumble's 552 in 115. For the first time, England could field none of the five bowlers who wrested back the Ashes in 2005, though they hardly noticed their absence. India played two wicketkeepers, Karthik as a specialist opener. Vaughan chose to bat under high cloud and, as Strauss and Cook punished wayward bowling, runs flooded the morning session. The good pitch and a bad forecast made a draw seem inevitable. Ganguly removed Cook with an inswinger, his first Test wicket in 18 months, but Strauss - spared on 43 when Karthik spilled a straightforward chance off a crooked cover drive - and Vaughan settled in. Strauss was on 96 when the pressure caused by a run of 42 international innings without a hundred told. Thinking to end the drought in the grand manner, he shimmied down the wicket to Kumble, who slid the ball through quickly. Dravid pocketed the edge at slip, his 150th Test catch. Even after faltering to 268 for four at the close, England seemed set for a dominant score. Next morning's monsoon came straight from the Old Testament. By 12.45, after two inches of rain, the outfield looked likelier to host a regatta than a Test. Optimists talked of an hour or two in the evening, pessimists of a washout. The groundstaff fell into a third category: miracle-workers. Thanks to their hard graft - and two miles of drainage installed for ?1.25m in 2002 - play resumed at 1.50. Refunding a Friday sell-out would have cost around ?1.5m. However, the restart was so astoundingly prompt that the ground was three-quarters empty. It wasn't just spectators caught by surprise: there was a shock for the batsmen in this post-diluvian world. No cover could have prevented all moisture reaching the pitch, and the combination of swing, the new ball and better direction produced a flurry of wickets. Zaheer, after persistently troubling Pietersen, at last found his edge. He walked immediately, only to see the England balcony gesturing at the giant screen. Pietersen turned back towards the square and, moments later, was controversially reinstated. Ranjan Madugalle, the referee, gave the official sequence of events: Dhoni dives and clings on; umpire Taufel upholds Zaheer's appeal with Pietersen already heading for the pavilion. But Bucknor, the square-leg umpire, his view impeded by a fielder, doubts whether the ball has carried; he tells Taufel, who refers to the TV umpire. At this point, England team-mates signal to Pietersen that the third umpire is about to make a ruling, which eventually results in a reprieve. Whatever the precise order, Pietersen made no use of his reinsThe Alaskan Interior. July 1986.
Photo by Penny Myers. One day early in the 1985 season, I was out running on the track at the Fire Center in Boise when I had to quit after only a half mile. The next day I made only a quarter mile. Mononucleosis. I ended up missing the first fire of the season. I was back at it when we hit the Long Tom Complex, a group of fires that burned through the Salmon River Country, the roughest, heart-breakingest place to fight fire I've ever seen. Lewis and Clark had a hell of a time getting through that country, and so has everyone since. The land is steep, rocky, big, and just plain wears you out. That said, I made it through the fires just fine. But when they sent us to Salmon for some R&R, I severely twisted my ankle during a pick-up volleyball game. My ankle swelled up about the size of a grapefruit and that was the end of the season for me. By then it was late August, so it was almost time to go back to teaching freshman composition anyway. They brought in crews from all over the country for Long Tom. The Boise Hotshots worked with crews from Minnesota, Virginia, and Kentucky. They put those crews with us so we could show them the ropes and keep them out of trouble. The Kentucky crews wore boots with composite soles instead of lug soles. Composite soles are white, and that's not their only similarity with marshmallows. I don't have any photos from 1985. I think I may have been getting so tired of fire fighting and seeing the same old crew faces that I didn't want any photos. I was also living with my girlfriend, Meg, and that was certainly more entertaining than fighting fire. The only photos I have of the summer of 1986 are Alaska photos, and I made the effort to get these only because Alaska was such a memorable event in my fire-fighting career. The Boise Hotshots got the call to go to Alaska some time around July 1, 1986. It was a weekday morning, and we had only a few hours to get ready. Terry, our crewboss, sent someone to town to buy twenty nylon tents. The crew had never carried tents before, always sleeping in the open. If it rained or snowed, we would scrounge sheets of plastic or just get wet. Although no one on the crew had ever been to Alaska to fight fire, Alaska seemed like a place that called for at least a tent. We loaded on to an Evergreen 727 and were on our take-off roll when something blew up in an engine. Back to the loft. Everyone was worried that the problem with the plane would keep us from going to Alaska altogether, but they fixed the problem, a blown O-ring, and we re-boarded a few hours later. The 727 had one of those stairs that dropped down from the tail, and as we were walking into the plane Joe Rittenhouse, a former air traffic controller, reminded everyone that an O-ring had brought down the Challenger. This time we managed to get in the air and didn't stop until we landed at Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks. I had never been in Alaska before, but when I came off the airplane the very first person I saw was Dave Dash, someone I had worked with at Lester Creek before I went to the Boise Hotshots. Dave was an intense, intelligent guy who had played scholarship basketball at Humboldt State. A few days after I saw Dave, I ran into Dallas Thomas, another Lester Creek friend. When I knew Dallas, he was a P.E. teacher in Emmett, Idaho who spent his summers fighting fire, something a lot of school teachers in Idaho do. It's a salary thing. My dad's family was from Emmett, and, since Emmett was one of those everyone-knows-everyone towns, Dallas and I knew a lot of people in common. Dallas finally quit teaching and took up Alaska fire as a full-time occupation. At Lester Creek, Dallas was known as “the Government Mule” because he worked so hard. Fort Wainwright is to Alaska what the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise is to the rest of the country. Smokjumpers, Native Alaskan crews, and crews from the Lower 48 constantly pass through Fort Wainwright during the short, intense Alaskan fire season. At Fort Wainwright we stayed in a rundown, almost spooky, Army barracks, dark and crowded with spongy bunk beds that swayed like hammocks when you crawled into them. You couldn't help but imagine years and years of soldiers inhabiting that place, wondering, though the dark of an Alaskan winter, "What did I do to deserve this?" On our first day at Fort Wainwright , the Alaska Fire Service people gave us an orientation session. I remember that they superimposed of map of the Lower 48 on a map of Alaska, clearly illustrating the vastness of Alaska. They warned us about grizzlies: Never take anything edible inside your tent, including boot grease. Make noise when you walk so you don't sneak up on a bear. But, man, mostly just don't have anything to do with a bear. The gave us bottles of G.I. insect repellant and “bug hats.” A bug hat looks something like an Army boonie hat, but attached to the brim is mosquito netting that you can roll down to cover your entire head.
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