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By Amy Lofthouse
BBC Sport at The Oval
“It’s an easy game when there’s no stress , eh?”
They have been Steve Smith’s words into Joe Denly after the England opener had chased down and hit on Nathan Lyon back over his head .
The Ashes have been gone, yes. But whether Smith would like to believe it or not, Denly is under stress. Stress to prolong his Test career. Stress to create the winter trip. A long week, and he’s had.
33, denly, smiled when asked about Smith’s remarks. “He asked me when I’d had some sleep. It had been fairly friendly banter,” was the answer.
At the end of day one, Denly abandoned The Oval and drove 60 miles to arrive at Whitstable, in Kent, to be present for the birth of his daughter.
He remained with his wife immediately drove the round trip back to London and from 6pm he had been at the crease, facing an upset Pat Cummins along with also a ball that is new.
It is not the first time it’s happened to Denly – for his title, when he received a telephone call from his wife, he completed the play of a day for Kent from Derbyshire at 2016.
“I was in Derby, batting immediately and got a call about five in the morning,” Denly said. “She stated I think that the baby is on the way, but the midwife said don’t rush, so I didn’t.
“I strolled down, had a breakfast, then hit rush hour traffic on the way again and missed the birth by about five minutes.”
Luckily, it was created the next time by Denly. And there was one, small advantage to being away from house -“I had a good kip last night because I stayed in the hotel and got about 10 hours. The preceding night I got about three hours.”
As Denly stated, it’s been a”fairly specific” few days. While he may regret those six runs that could have taken him into the decision, a maiden Test century and power he showed in producing a Test-best 94 was admirable.
Denly missed played. Matthew Wade, that England may wish came installed with a mute button, then commentated. Denly was dropped at the forefront on Friday. He profited from Australia’s dreadful utilization of this inspection system to prevent being given out lbw to Mitchell Marsh.
He has had a series that is tough. He and several England players within the past few years have pogoed down and up the batting order and also being asked to open bowlers as accurate and aggressive as Australia’s is simple request.
However, Denly grafted. His attack on Lyon has been in transferring your feet to throw a bowler away line a glorious display. He pay collapsed, he ducked, he weaved, before Peter Siddle found the edge of his violin, also he had a little luck, up and Smith took what was offered up.
The disappointment in the England group was clear. Captain Joe Root, seeing in the dressing area, dropped his mind away, eyes. Ben Stokes, who shared a partnership that was fine with Denly at the day, hid his face within his palms. Root gave Denly a standing ovation as he left the area, as did the Oval audience.
However, Denly’s innings was critical in assisting England reach 313-8, leading Australia and placing them to draw on this Ashes series 2-2.
Denly is an affable individual. He was relaxed in the post-match news conference, waving away questions about Wade, describing him as”a very competitive player seeking to get the very best for his team”, including he had learned”nothing too on the line”.
He also, with a wry grin, admitted he believed he was outside when Marsh trapped him . But Australia captain Tim Paine, who cut at a figure that was tetchier when speaking to the press, opted to not review it.
“I’m going to do some umpiring school when I get home,” was Paine’s sardonic answer to a query about the review system.
“I will enrol in a level three class and find out if I can get them right.”
Harry Maguire was his supervisor’s transfer priority also, after hammering while being jeered against former team Leicester, the England defender is starting to prove his worth.
Analysis and view in the BBC’s cricket correspondent.