MacRobertson Shield Days 7 & 8: England level with USA at 6-all
The main shock for day 7 was the appearance of an unexplained white fluffy substance in the sky. The locals were in a state of shock before being reassured that clouds were nothing to be scared of.
In the croquet, England started well with 4 quick games wins which led to three matches won by early afternoon, with Samir Patel and Jamie Burch both winning 2-0 and James Death 2-1. However, the other matches were less productive. Stephen Mulliner and James Hopgood both got into scrappy matches and eventually lost 2-1. Dave Maugham had less luck, losing 2-0 to Ben Rothman in a quick match. So despite a promising morning, USA recovered to level the day at 3-3 and retained a slim 5-4 lead overnight.
Day 8 returned to doubles, and also to desert heat. England took the first break in all three games, only for USA to hit all three lifts. By lunch, both countries had won one match (both 2-0), leaving everyone to gather around the remaining, and much more interactive, match. Dave Maugham and James Hopgood prevailed with controlled route-one croquet to leave the test level at 6-6 overnight.
Day 9 will consist of 6 singles matches. A 5-1 or 6-0 result for either team could decide the test, although play so far would suggest that the test will still be live for the final day of doubles.
In the NZ/Australia test, Australia took an 8-4 lead, but a special mention is deserved for Aiken Hakes +26tp +26tp win over Robert Fletcher.