The 2013 Ashes best and fairest: Bell’s Darham

Besides recently mastering the art of being persistently irritating on a cricket field, what else do Ian Bell and Tony Hill have in common?

In this Ashes series, they have both shown the ability to clear an area of people like a supremely-brewed bowel explosion.

Firstly, there’s Old Man Hill, who showed off by flushing a playing arena clean of its participants with a cerebral infraction on an LBW shout that was fisting middle.

Seeing the players flee the scene of the crime upon the realisation they were under the watch of some alzheimer-ish umpiring was sad. Seeing the Kiwi umpire embarrassingly on his Pat Malone on the Durham track with one finger in the air like a lonely garlic-appreciating disco dancer was even worse.

Broad taking one of his million wickets, thankfully at 3am EST.

Broad taking one of his million wickets, thankfully at 3am EST.

In a sunnier example, there’s the much more useful Bell and his shame-free triggering of an evacuation.

The toast of the Pom middle order is the envy of all aspiring fire drills after emptying the captivated gallery of Ashes 2013 Dar tragics due to lack of interest. He’s already wrapped up the inaugural best and fairest award with one Test to play, breaking the previous record of N/A set by TBA.

Barring any sprung biochemical meetings with James Hird beforehand, Bell is the undisputed belle of the ball, meaning the remaining events of this scintillating series have been rendered totally academic. The people who have hung off every millisecond of meloDarma have now scarpered to look elsewhere for entertainment, most likely to more dreary activities such as nude snooker or time with family.

Nevertheless, the Brownlow of cricket will roll on unfettered to The Oval for the fifth Test, and the Dar administration and it’s associates are supercharged with excitement, both naturally and contractually. This dead rubber has been lined with silicone tape and is ready to determine some of the lower place glory in the vote count, as well as keep Tony Hill company.

Here’s Durham’s champions.

5 – Stuart Broad

The pouting prefect will be chuffed with his 11 wicket haul, not because it catapulted his team to outright Ashes victory, but because it will help dilute the memory of that splendid back-cut he played in the first Test that came so sweetly out of the middle that he didn’t feel it. Australia was totally comfortable with being fast asleep when his devastating wicket-burst occurred yesterday morning.

4 – Ian Bell

Get me a time machine so I can go back to the mid-noughties and remember the good old days when this bloke was about as much use as a stripper in the Vatican. Let his blossoming from snicking bullfrog-to-elegant prince be a reminder to all Australians of the demeaning power that Warney’s childish sledges harnessed back in his playing days.

3 – Chris Rogers

There’s so many similarities between the coming-of-ages of Australia’s opener and Bell. Both written off, disrespected, considered utterly unintimidating and an easy target for some yap in the field, and now both flexing their sun-spotted cannons as Test cricketers. Shame about the 14 year difference in age.

He only scored two votes, but gets a photo for challenging Siddle in the ticker stakes.

Harris only scored two votes, but gets a photo for challenging Siddle in the ticker stakes.

2 – Ryan Harris

What’s the first thing you think when you see a bloke who appears completely buggered after bowling two overs, yet is still steaming in with the same standards of ferocity at the end of a sweaty day’s play? In the current sporting climes, you would be forgiven for saying ‘AOD and a friend’s energy drink’, but luckily Harris debunks that angle by being regularly injured.

1 – Nathan Lyon

Beats out a pack of chasing half-century makers because I didn’t have a hat to draw their names out of, and also just because he’s a good bloke with no tatts. Knocking over Kevin Pietersen twice in a match by challenging him to a joust in flight and beating him must elevate the balding twirler to two rungs below Prime Minister. Is it too late to get his name on the ballot for the upcoming election?

After four Tests, six Australian batting implosions and countless umpiring gaffes, here’s the food chain for The Dar.

12 – Ian Bell

6 – Chris Rogers

5 – James Anderson
Stuart Broad
Michael Clarke
Joe Root

4 – Ryan Harris
Kevin Pietersen

3 – Brad Haddin
Peter Siddle
Graeme Swann

2 – Ashton Agar

1 – Jonny Bairstow
Nathan Lyon
Steve Smith

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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