The 2013 Ashes best and fairest: The Dar is alight with Kerro

There’s nothing like playing a dead rubber on a flat track against an experimental bowling attack to permanently solve all of your batting woes.

That’s what we got in the fifth Test, and whaddya know?

Voila! Problem solved.

We Aussie stress-headed fingernail-chewers can now finally begin some chillin’.

After turning the corner in treacherous conditions at The Oval in a match where the horses had already bolted with the Urn, our mighty batsmen are on the cusp of returning to dishing out some dominance with the stick just like the good old days.

This rebirth was thanks mainly to Shane Watson, our very own hibernating Mr Reliable, who bought himself another condition-free Australian summer at the top table with his cracking 176, a knock powered by hard graft, steely concentration and Simon Kerrigan, and timed perfectly to see off the selection axeman.

Kerrigan and Dar. Obvious tension.

Kerrigan and Dar. Obvious tension.

However, it was the new spinner who caused a splash as big as England’s post-match pee party by making a play at The Dar naming rights with his memorable first innings display.

As the debutant prune-chucker displayed great versatility with an unpredictable buffet of long hops, straight-breakers and full tosses, it was The Kerro that began to seriously trend for best and fairest naming honours whilst The Dar found itself under serious review.

Considering his debutant status, it was a controversial claim by the scattered Kerrigan, and it raised tensions amongst the players which peaked with Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen’s fiery on-field discussion over which iconic handle should appear on the Microsoft Word document given to the winner.

However, we were left in no uncertainty by matches end, and the confirmation was delivered unequivocally in true Aleem style.

The Elvis-coiffed umpire emphatically confirmed his name was the one to be emblazoned on the prize on a thrilling final day, standing out from the sensational ebb and flow of a furious climax to have the final say by seeing the light and calling early beers just as a result loomed.

Right there, the challenger was slayed, and the prize engraved.

So with the series over, the champagne popped and the English bladders empty, we know that Ian Bell is now no longer mouse, but now man, certifying his graduation from cricket puberty by flowering the chest hairs of a bona fide world class strokemaker.

Watson killed a Kerro and was rewarded with Dar.

Watson killed a Kerro and was rewarded with Dar.

Congratulations Mr Bell, you are a thoroughly deserving winner of the inaugural Dar for the Ashes best and fairest of 2013. May the wine flow free in victory, and your celebratory party be entirely free of any traces of KP.

However, for the rest of the other losers, here’s the final votes from The Oval that shaped the lower placings:

5 – Shane Watson

Call the cops. The big man is back, and he’s been charged with first degree murder of a career on day one.

With this high five of Dar, I’m adamant it will catapult his form back to the unreasonably lofty standards we set for him, sewing up the number three position and healing all perceived rifts in the camp from Michael Clarke to James Sutherland, at least until his calf starts hurting again.

4 – Steve Smith

Time to start placing undue pressure on this young buck’s fledgling Test career.

Not even in the original touring party, he was selected at the last moment so there was an even amount of numbers for Uno games, and now he’s going to be one of the first picked for the return Ashes in Australia. His debut hundred was classic Smith; edgy yet composed and at times, somewhat offensive on the optic nerve.

3 – Kevin Pietersen

You know a bloke is disgracefully competitive when he starts an argument over a popularity contest.

In the English dressing rooms, Pietersen is as well-regarded as a Creed album, yet he is still comfortable in his own skin as a bit of a narcissistic arse. He knows that his teammates quiver every time he picks up his mobile phone, concerned that reams of inside intel could be on it’s way to the opposition captain, and he’s totally cool with that.

The reason for this is because he’s just bloody good at cricket, and he proved his net worth again by his near-miraculous burgling of victory in the shadows of the fifth day.

2 – Jonathon Trott

We’ve all been shaking our heads like disappointed dads towards the balding South African in this series.

Expecting more of his scintillating blandness after recent Ashes series littered with his long and excruciating stays at the crease, we’ve remained awake for longer than expected due to him enduring a run of good starts spoiled by a lack of capitalising.

59 and 40 in this match continued his agonising bout of premature embarkation, but a pair of Dar credits may be the proverbial nasal spray that helps him forget his shortcomings.

1 – James Faulkner

It wasn’t a dreamy debut from the dogged Tasmanian, but the sum of it’s parts- a couple of cameos with the wood, a decent haul of poles and some skillful tempo-control on the last day- was enough to get him 99.96% of a solitary unit of Dar. And being tightarses, we weren’t prepared to round that up.

That’s why we were stoked when he gave the Poms a nice verbal frying on day four for their snoozy approach to the game, a show of fire that easily accounted for the required 0.04% to get him over the line for the vote.

Finally! The final standings of The Dar for the 2013 Ashes:

12 – Ian Bell

7 – Kevin Pietersen

6 – Chris Rogers

5 – James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Michael Clarke, Joe Root, Steve Smith, Shane Watson

4 – Ryan Harris

3 – Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Graeme Swann

2 – Ashton Agar, Jonathon Trott

1 – Jonny Bairstow, James Faulkner, Nathan Lyon

 

For this kinda rubbish and much, much more, you can follow me on Twitter: @eld2_0

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