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  Monday, 25 November, 2002, 10:12 GMT
Drowning English sorrows
Australian supporters celebrate victory
It was the same old story for England in Adelaide

It never rains but it pours.

Little more than 12 hours after England surrendered in the Adelaide Test, the heavens opened and offered what could have been an escape route for Nasser and the boys.

Instead, the streets of central Adelaide were full of hungover English supporters reading all about the exploits of Glenn McGrath and co from the day before.

Despite the sound beating we were given it hasn't been all doom and gloom as the Adelaide Oval still affords one of the most pleasant places to watch Test cricket anywhere in the world.

And whilst the cricketing purists sat in the members enclosure might not agree, when the Barmy Army comes head to head with the locals on the hill underneath the scoreboard the atmosphere gets turned up a notch.

Andy Bichel takes a wicket for Australia
The Barmy Army were out in force again

That atmosphere reached fever pitch over the weekend when the South Australian public joined their counterparts from Adelaide itself to tried and barrack the Barmy Army into submission.

And when the Broken Hill-billies (Broken Hill is about six hours drive away) roll into town you could be forgiven for thinking that the wearing of a mullet haircut is the law in this part of the world!

The Barmy Army (which has swelled to a such a size that over 600 t-shirts were sold in this Test alone) were quick to realise that only a miracle rainstorm could save us on the pitch and only a bit of gold old British irony could save us on the hill.

Staying optimistic

The poor old Broken Hill-billies really couldn't understand how the Barmy Army could be singing: 'Only rain can save Australia now' as we slid towards defeat.

That was followed by the now familiar 'It's gonna be 3-2' as we went 2-0 down.

An early finish left the locals with no cricket to watch but a lot more beer to bedrunk on Sunday afternoon and as the rain came down they amused themselves by lugeing down the Hill and crashing on to the concrete walkway at its base.

By then most English fans had headed to the nearest pub to drown their sorrows.

Those heading for Perth overland were faced with a dilemma on what should have been the final day of the Test.

Should they stay in town for the end of Test party or start the long, hard slog west a day early?

For those driving, catching the coach or train, a 1600 mile journey awaits.

My carload of merry men have decided that an extra day crossing the mighty Nullabor Plain will make life a bit easier and leave us ready for the 'fight-back' to 3-2 in Perth.

Let's hope we don't break down on the way.

You can contact Phil in Australia by emailing:

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15 Nov 02 | The Ashes
01 Nov 02 | The Ashes
06 Nov 02 | The Ashes
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