Thursday, 23 July 2009


At 103, Ivy Bean still knows how to live life to the full.

Mrs. Bean is the oldest social networker on Facebook and Twitter and has fans across the world.

Ivy, pictured with her Twitter profile, recently went on a three-day trip to Blackpool with friends from her Bradford care home. She then posted pictures from the wild weekend online, which were greeted with hoards of comments from her online fan club.

Her party of five had a combined age of 436!

Ivy told The Sun how much she enjoys partying: "We may be old but we're young at heart. I'm having more fun than ever," she said.

The charming lady also spoke to The University of Winchester's Kayleigh James this week. Ivy - a keen follower of Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Manchester United - said: "I went onto Facebook to keep in touch with my family, I had 9 friends, then when it went into the paper I had 5,000 from all over the world. People are so kind."

"Then twitter asked me if I would like to join and I just said: 'why not?' I love being on both," she added.

Ivy already has 23,000 followers on Twitter and 5,000 friends (with 18,000 further requests) on Facebook. On her Twitter she posted: "...sorry if I can't add you on Facebook but I have 18,000 friend requests waiting and I am only allowed 5,000 friends."

Care home manager Patricia Wright revealed in The Sun that another fun-filled outing is not far away: "They are already planning their next visit. People were screaming and shouting at them," she said.

Sunday, 19 July 2009


This was the moment Andrew Strauss caught Philip Hughes at first slip off the bowling of Andrew Flintoff...or did he?

The umpires in the middle decided NOT to refer it to the third umpire, despite the fact that Ravi Bopara was 'caught' by Nathan Hauritz in similar circumstances earlier in the test. On this occasion, the Aussie celebrations were quashed when the decision was taken upstairs and given not out.

While this wicket will be argued over and over again, it wasn't the only contentious dismissal of the day.

Flintoff stepped over the crease when Katich was caught at backward point by Kevin Pietersen. Mike Hussey was also given out when Paul Collingwood took a catch at first slip from a Graeme Swann delivery that only changed direction off the pitch - NOT off the edge of the bat.

Friday, 17 July 2009


2nd Test, Lord's
Australia 1st Inns: 22-2 (12 overs)

Australia went in for lunch on Day 2 in all sorts of trouble at 22-2 - 403 runs behind.

James Anderson picked up both wickets. Hughes was caught by Prior and Ponting was caught at first slip by Andrew Strauss.

However, Ponting's wicket was one of the most controversial decisions yet in this series as replays suggested that the ball didn't hit his bat. In fact, Hawk Eye showed that he should have been given out LBW in any case.

England were bowled out for 425 this morning after staging a mini-recovery in the lower order.

James Anderson and Graham Onions put on 47 for the last wicket to frustrate the Aussies.

This came after Collingwood (16), Prior (8) and Flintoff (4) accounted for yesterday's middle order collapse taking England from 302-4 to 378-9.

TOUGH TASK: Mike Hussey (above) and Simon Katich have to build a partnership for Australia.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


2nd Test, Lord's
England: 126-0 (Lunch)

It was a frustrating morning with the ball for Australia as England's openers raced to 126 in the first session of the 2nd Test at Lord's.

After having a hard time in Cardiff, Andrew Strauss (47*) and Alistair Cook (67*) have hardly been threatened on a batsman-friendly pitch at the Home of Cricket.

Mitchell Johnson's erratic bowling is Ricky Ponting's greatest worry at the break. Johnson, the supposed leader of the Aussies bowling attack, has conceded 53 runs from 8 overs (Economy rate: 6.62).

England scored at a steady rate of 4.34 runs per over and hit over 20 fours in the process.

DEJECTED: Peter Siddle looks away in disgust after being hit for four during the first session.

Monday, 13 July 2009


First Ashes Test, Cardiff (Day Five): England 435 & 252-9 drew with Australia 674-6 declared

If anyone was victorious in the first Ashes test, it was England.

From the first ball of the last day in Cardiff, the odds were stacked against the home team, and after being reduced to 70-5 around midday with 70 overs to go, the Aussies must have thought the series lead was theirs.

However, despite needing 169 runs just to draw level, a certain Paul Collingwood yet again took centre stage, yet again determined to show his team-mates how not to give your wicket away.

Stuart Broad (14) and Graeme Swann (31) stemmed the Aussie tide temporarily, partnering Collingwood and simply playing for time.

But as Collingwood trudged off after spending nearly six hours at the crease, he - like the rest of the country - still must have thought his knock of 74 wasn't enough to save the match.

Cue England's next two heroes: James Anderson and Monty Panesar who were left to keep out the Aussies for 40 minutes. It should never have come down to this.

As the end drew closer, my father's mood from dejection to hope to elation mirrored that of the capacity crowd in Wales as the two tail-enders blocked and played straight ball after ball - managing to edge ahead of Australia in the process. This was significant as it would have forced the Aussies to bat if they bowled England out, which effectively bringing the close of play forward by 10 minutes.

So when Ricky Ponting saw the clock edge past 1640 BST, he shook the hands of the two batsmen signalling a draw, Sophia Gardens erupted and Andrew Strauss could breathe again.

Match Scorecard (BBC Sport)

Despite one of the most epic draws in the history of English Cricket, there are several issues for the team to ponder over before the 2nd Test begins at Lord's on Thursday...

- The openers have to perform and not rely on the middle and lower order to get England out of a batting mess. In terms of expectation and performance, the scorecard was turned on its head.

- As well as getting the runs, the batsmen have to be much more obdurate and not give their wicket away to the Aussies - let them get us out without playing wild shots (e.g. - Pietersen deciding to sweep a Nathan Hauritz delivery miles outside the off stump that would have been called a wide).

- Get them out! England only picked up six Australian wickets in the whole of the first test before they declared on 674. It will be hard to win a test, let alone regain the Ashes if this continues.

- Selection changes? Batsmen like Owais Shah may expect a chance following a poor display at the top of the order while Stephen Harmison could be recalled to add power to the bowling attack. Andrew Flintoff is also an injury worry.