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Cricket hospitality: Ashes 2015 Series Review

Despite losing the final test at the KIA Oval, England celebrated regain the Ashes after a 3-2 series win over Australia. Eventmasters provided official cricket hospitality packages at Trent Bridge and the KIA Oval for the final two test matches which were exhilarating encounters. Our cricket hospitality guests were treated to some of the most exciting cricket seen in England since the 2005 Ashes series.

The series was dominated by one-sided victories for both sides in all five matches. In the opening Test at Cardiff, England registered a 169 run victory after a vital 134 from Joe Root in the first innings. The Yorkshireman then contributed 60 in the second innings, before England ripped through the Australian batting line-up to secure the win.

Australia got their revenge in emphatic fashion in the second Test Match at Lords. Scores of 173 and 215 from Chris Rogers and Steve Smith helped the Aussies to a huge first innings total of 566. Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes hit important knocks of 98 and 87 in reply, but Australia were always in control of the game. In the final innings Mitchell Johnson was in inspired form and his lightning quick deliveries helped Australia win by a whopping 405 runs.

In the third Test at Edgbaston the pendulum swung back in favour of the hosts as they won the match by eight wickets. A wonderful display of bowling in the first innings saw England dismiss Michael Clarke’s side for just 136. Another crucial half century from Root and a timely 53 from Ian Bell got the home side to 281. Australia were once again dismissed rather quickly meaning England needed just 124 runs to take a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth Test Match England put the final nails in Australia’s coffin. A quite amazing spell of bowling on the opening morning saw Stuart Broad almost singlehandedly win the game, his figures of 8-15 along with wickets from Mark Wood and Steven Finn left Australia all-out for 60. In reply England posted 391, the Aussies needed a miracle to save the game. But they didn’t get one, they were bowled out for 253 as England won the match by an innings and 78 runs. Regaining the Ashes in the process. The match was a historic event for cricket hospitality guests who all knew they had seen something special.

Player of the Series Throughout the series there were some real standout performances, Stuart Broad’s bowling at Trent Bridge will livelong in the memory. Steve Smith was one of the few Aussies to offer resistance with some big scores. But the man who consistently produced was Joe Root, the Yorkshire star has cemented his place as one of the world’s very best players and they key cog of the English batting line-up.

Our cricket hospitality packages are the best way to experience the biggest games in England. For more information please see our cricket hospitality page.

KIA Oval hospitality: Ashes 5th Test Preview

The 5th Investec Ashes Test starts at the KIA Oval on Thursday and England will be looking to further impose their superiority on the Australians. Eventmasters are delighted to offer official KIA Oval hospitality for the final test match of the series as England look to seal a 4-1 win.

You might think that, Ashes won, they might be tempted to take their foot off the gas. No chance! England’s players want that 4-1 advantage given so many of them – Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad and James Anderson –experienced the 5-0 thrashing by the Baggy Cap brigade in 2013-14.

It plunged English cricket into recriminations, retirements, sackings and the Kevin Pietersen debilitating and destructive washing of dirty linen in public. They took a lot of stick and it hurt. Now it is the Aussies’ turn to be caned by the critics, the public and the sporting philosophers.

Though he will remain captain for one last time, it has forced Michael Clarke to step down. That will make for a strange, and perhaps strained, atmosphere given Steve Smith has already been appointed the next captain, with David Warner vice-captain. So expect a hard fought Test, with much to play for, with Eventmasters offering full VIP corporate hospitality to fans eager to see the Ashes handover.

What a transformation for the home side. After emphatic wins at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge, they are on a high. And the Oval is a ground which is normally kind to England.

There are a few posers.

It seems unlikely the injured James Anderson will be risked and the same may go for Mark Wood, given his chronic left ankle trouble. That might open the door to Liam Plunkett – fresh from battering Durham to all but retain the county championship for Yorkshire.

There has been talk that his fellow Yorkshireman Adam Lyth could be replaced as opening batsman by Moeen Ali, England’s second highest run-scorer in the series from No 8. Moeen’s promotion would allow specialist spinner, Adil Rashid, to come in, giving England four pace bowlers and two spinners. And, with the luxury of so many all-rounders in the side, the batting would still be in good shape.

Tempting, but you surely don’t change an Ashes-winning eleven – that would be terrible for morale. And, anyway, Lyth deserves one last chance. He appears to have the quality for Test cricket but sometimes, for whatever reason, quality players simply cannot adjust to the step up.

Will Australia fight back? As I have noted before, they are always at their most dangerous when they are down and suffering a right good kicking.

They will want Clarke to go out victorious but can the middle order, vulnerable to seam and swing, get their act together? It has been a tour beset by rumours of dressing-room rifts and selection angst. And it didn’t get any better on the pitch when Smith fell for a duck as his side drew a rain-affected three-day tour match against Northants.

Australia rested five players for that including their three-man pace attack. If half the side is mentally already on the plane home it could be another humiliation.

Our KIA Oval hospitality packages are the best way to experience the biggest rivalry in international cricket, The Ashes. For more information please see our KIA Oval hospitality page.

Trent Bridge Hospitality Packages – England dismantle Australia at Edgbaston

England have taken a 2-1 lead in the Ashes series after a mesmerising performance in the third test at Edgbaston. The series now heads to Trent Bridge for the crucial fourth test as England look to wrap up the series and lift the famous urn. Eventmasters are delighted to offer official Trent Bridge hospitality packages for this epic encounter, from inside the excellent Sobers Hall facility.

After Australia won the toss and decided to bat it looked like England would be in for a long few days, but led by Jimmy Anderson the hosts bowling attack ripped through the Aussies batting line-up. In just 36 overs England dismissed Australia for 136, with the only real resistance coming from Chris Rogers who scored yet another half-century.

Anderson finished with his best figures in an Ashes match with 6-47 and England were firmly in command. England were slow out of the blocks in reply, with Adam Lyth removed early on before Alastair Cook also departed for 34. It was Ian Bell who’s place in the side is under immense pressure, led the fightback on his home ground with timely 53. Joe Root was in superb touch again with 63, while Moeen Ali scored 59 as England ended their innings on 281. Australia were once again undone by superb bowling by Steven Finn who took 6-79.

Michael Clarke’s side were quickly reduced to 92-5 despite David Warner’s 77. Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc offered the tourists some hope scoring 59 and 58 respectively, but their final score of 265 left England just 121 runs to win.

It took Cook’s side just 32 overs to reach their total, with 65 from Bell and 38 from Root helping England secure victory inside three days. It was a remarkable turnaround after the second test where England were totally outplayed.

Now they have all the momentum ahead of the crucial fourth test at Trent Bridge and they will be hoping to wrap up a series win in front of Trent Bridge hospitality packages guests.

Please see our Trent Bridge hospitality packages page for more information on our remaining packages.

Image credit: Flickr – Ben Sutherland

Trent Bridge Hospitality Packages – The Ashes 3rd Test Preview

With the series finely poised at 1-1 England and Australia head into the third Test at Edgbaston knowing a victory could be vital ahead of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge. Eventmasters are delighted to provide official Trent Bridge hospitality packages for the fourth match in the Ashes series from the outstanding Sobers Hall facility, which provides you with excellent views from behind the bowlers arm. Our Trent Bridge hospitality packages are the best way to experience the unique atmosphere of an Ashes Test match.

After being crushed by 169 runs in the opening Test at Cardiff, Australia responded with a devastating display of bowling in the second Test at Lords winning by 405 runs. England now have to regroup and launch a fightback at Edgbaston, scene of one of the greatest Test matches of all-time as England beat Australia by two runs. England responded to the second test defeat by replacing the struggling Gary Ballance with Jonny Bairstow, who has been averaging over 100 in the County Championship this season.

This move will see the batting order be reshuffled with Ian Bell and Joe Root moving up to accommodate Bairstow. Bell has also been struggling for form this summer but has been given a chance to find some form on his home ground. The Warwickshire star has admitted that Test cricket is a brutal environment, the 33-year-old said “It’s a brutal environment, international sport. Whether you’re batting three, four or five you’ve got to score hundreds and I’m looking forward to that challenge. I know that when I play at my best I’m a world-class cricketer.”

Stuart Broad is believes that England can bounce back at a ground that has seen England play some of their best cricket in recent years. Broad said “Let’s not forget that Edgbaston and Trent Bridge are two fantastic grounds for the England cricket team. “We should have a lot of confidence. The last Test I played at Edgbaston, Alastair Cook got 294 (against India in 2011) and we won by an innings.” Australia will be hoping to continue the build on the momentum gained from the victory at Lords.

Chris Rogers is winning the race to be fit to play in the third Test match, the opening batsman suffered from dizzy spells after taking a blow to the head in the second test. Rogers scored an impressive 173 in the first innings at Lords before retiring hurt on 49 in the second innings. The 37-year-old underwent concussion tests and batted in the nets on Monday and bowler Mitchell Starc stated “He seems to have come through pretty well. All reports are he is good to go.”

This series really is on a knife-edge as we enter the third match. Australia have the momentum and the firepower in the bowling attack to blow England away. However England have made the right change by bringing in Bairstow, this will allow Root to move up the order and hopefully counteract the Aussie’s pace bowling. It could really go either way.

Our Trent Bridge hospitality packages are the ultimate Ashes Test Match experience this summer. For more information please see our Trent Bridge hospitality packages page.

Cricket Hospitality Packages – The Ashes 2015: England need a repeat of 2005

With under 24 hours to go until the start of the 2015 Ashes Series the anticipation is reaching fever pitch. Eventmasters are delighted to provide official cricket hospitality packages including Trent Bridge hospitality for the fourth Ashes Test and KIA Oval hospitality for the fifth Ashes Test. Don’t miss your chance to see the Ashes in style with our cricket hospitality packages.

Michael Clarke’s side arrive on the back of a 5-0 series win Down Under in 2013, England will be desperate for revenge. But on paper the Australian line-up looks much stronger than England’s so is there anyway Alastair Cook and co can pull a series win out of the bag like Michael Vaughn’s men did in 2005? It’s hard to believe it is 10 years since the “greatest series ever”.

The 2005 Ashes will live long in the memory, the all-conquering Australian’s arrived with one of the greatest test cricket sides in the history of the game packed full of stars Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Ponting, Hayden, and Langer to name a few. But England beat the odds with an inspirational summer of cricket Andrew Flintoff bamboozled the Aussies with his expert bowling, while Kevin Pietersen blasted big scores left, right and centre.

While this Australian side is some way off comparisons to that great side of 2005, they are ranked number two in the world four places above England. They boast the world’s number one test batsman Steve Smith and one of the most lethal bowlers in Mitchell Johnson, who is their key man. If he is allowed to get on top and dominate he can be unstoppable.

But there is hope, Johnson took 37 wickets in the series in Australia but has failed to fire on his visits to England, in 2009 he took 20 wickets but conceded 651 runs. It can be argued that the dry and fast conditions of Australia suit his style of bowling more than swinging conditions provided in the UK.

England have the record wicket taker, Jimmy Anderson, amongst their ranks and he always seems to come alive for the Ashes. His ability to swing the ball both ways and bowl a consistent line and length make him a key man for England. Anderson’s battle with Smith will be crucial, the Aussies has five centuries in his last six tests and if he gets in it could be a long day in the field for the hosts, removing him early is key.

Whichever bowling attack can get on top will dictate the way this series goes, will it be Anderson or Johnson? We shall know soon enough. Then we come to the batting, Cook seemed to find some form at the end of the series against New Zealand and he has shown before in Ashes series how devastating he can be.

Ian Bell by contrast struggled for form, but he has class in bucket loads and England will back him to rediscover his form. Gary Ballance averages 52 in test cricket, while Joe Root has been the star of this side for the last 18 months. There are definitely runs in this batting line-up.

There is no doubt that Australia will enter the series as strong favourites, they are in good form have world class players throughout their line-up and are settled. England are a young side with explosive match winners but need consistency. The first test as always is so important.

England need to capture the spirit of 2005 and forget the drubbing they suffered in Australia two years ago. They need their big players and personalities to show up in the big moments. Let’s hope for history to repeat itself, let’s hope for another series like 2005.

For more information on our fantastic cricket hospitality packages for the Ashes, including Trent Bridge hospitality packages (4th Test) and KIA Oval hospitality packages (5th Test) please follow the links.

England v Australia Wed 8–Sun 12 July – 1st Investec Ashes Test – to SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.

Thu 16–Mon 20 July – 2nd Investec Ashes Test – Lord’s.

Wed 29 July–Sun 2 Aug – 3rd Investec Ashes Test  – Edgbaston.

Thu 6–Mon 10 Aug – 4th Investec Ashes Test – Trent Bridge.

Thu 20–Mon 24 Aug – 5th Investec Ashes Test – Kia Oval.

Mon 31 Aug – NatWest International T20 – SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.

Thu 3 Sept – 1st Royal London ODI (Day/Night) – Ageas Bowl, Hampshire.

Sat 5 Sept – 2nd Royal London ODI – Lord’s.

Tue 8 Sept – 3rd Royal London ODI (Day/Night) – Emirates Old Trafford.

Fri 11 Sept – 4th Royal London ODI – Headingley.

Sun 13 Sept – 5th Royal London ODI – Emirates Old Trafford.

Great British Summer of Sport (Part 1)

After a fantastic start to the sporting year where Eventmasters corporate hospitality guests enjoyed one of the best RBS Six Nations in history, a fantastic Cheltenham Festival and of course the thrilling action provided by the Premier League. We now look ahead to the wonderful summer of British sport that will feature events such as the Ashes, Royal Ascot and the QBE rugby internationals.

After narrowly missing out on the 2015 RBS Six Nations title on point’s difference, Stuart Lancaster’s England side will prepare for the 2015 World Cup with two QBE Internationals against France and Ireland. England’s attacking game is really beginning to take shape with George Ford and Ben Youngs pulling the strings in the half-backs. Then in the centres Jonathan Joseph has finally started to deliver on the potential we all knew he had, he will be a major weapon come the World Cup. Lancaster and the rest of the nation will be praying that the human wrecking-ball Manu Tuilagi can overcome his injury problems in time for the QBE’s, a partnership of Tuilagi and Joseph would be a brilliant combination of brute power and guile.

With the curtain coming down on the National Hunt Racing season and attention now turns to the flat season. Champion jockey Richard Hughes has already announced he will retire at the end of the season, and he will want to go out on a high. The 2015 Royal Ascot meeting will once again be the highlight of the flat racing calendar and will attract some of the biggest stars from around the world. Legendary Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien will no doubt have a strong team of challengers for the biggest prizes and American superstar California Chrome is also set to appear. Eventmasters can offer a wide range of premier corporate hospitality packages at the 2015 Royal Ascot meeting if you are interested in attending.

Another major highlight of the summer will undoubtedly be the Ashes, where England and Australia clash in five epic test matches. England were disappointing in the recent ICC Cricket World Cup but test match cricket is a completely different proposition to the one day format. After a 5-0 drubbing at the hand of the Aussies in 2013, Alistair Cook’s side will be desperate for revenge. The conditions of the English summer will help the bowling attack which will be spearheaded by the ‘King of Swing’ Jimmy Anderson. Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell will be looking to maintain his fantastic form and could be the key man in the England batting line up. Eventmasters can provide superb corporate hospitality facilities at the fourth Investec Ashes test match at Trent Bridge.