Australia 5/450 dec, Sri Lanka 4/87
Well, Pamela’s forecast of rain interrupting my efforts to finally put into print a summary of a day’s play nearly came true and I am happy to admit that the early vision Channel 9 of an overcast Hobart didn’t fill my heart with hope.
Day 1 had produced so many vital statistics and records that I was sure that Day 2 would be a day for not only breaking the amount of records that were either broken or set on Day 1, but also being a red letter day for records of all sorts.
The hype for this series hasn’t been at the fever pitch of the South African series and after Michael Clarke’s stellar 2012 run, we all might be recorded out. However, there was plenty to note on Day 1 and I am pleased to say that there were plentier more on Day 2, my day, not day 1, where other people got to write again, no, Day 2, replacing Day 5 of Perth, my day, no one else’s day. Just me, all about me, my article, my day! At last, me, my day, all about me, finally!!!
(OK, actually me and Andrew Starkie, Ben Footner having seen me as a bad luck charm from Perth and jumped off me to do day 1.)
Day 1 saw the papers report the news that David Warner featured in his very first run out in a batting partnership and that Phil Hughes made the highest score for a No. 3 batsman for Australia since Shaun Marsh’s debut century in September 2011.
Stunning as these were, some records were missed and I was sure that despite the inclement weather, we’d see records broken, and we weren’t disappointed.
The early dismissal of Clarke was only the second time in 2011 he had passed 50 but failed to turn it into at least a century. There you go, the day only a few overs old and we are off to a record breaking start.
The ABC then alerted us to the fact that Mitch Starc’s innings at Perth was the second fastest 50 in terms of runs per over for an Australian, behind only Gilchrist at the same ground.
The appearance of Wade after Clarke’s dismissal was significant in that he equalled the record held by Greg Dyer for the most tests (6) by an Australian keeper with 4 letters in his last name, and (if we go by the first name abbreviation of Matt), also for someone with 8 in his first 2.
He and Lyon are the first 2 four letter surname players to be in the Australia lower order, and the shortest combined letter combinations since Brett Lee and Tim May combined would have been had they been selected (or, if you will, a combination combined) in the same test.
The appearance of Phil Hughes in the change room reminded those inclined to stats that his reappointment bought to 140 the number of tests played by Kim, Merv and Phil Hughes, breaking the record set by that same group last year in the Tasmania test vs. NZ of 139 for the most tests played by three Australians with the same surnames but who were not related.
The Sri Lankan bowling change to bring back UWMBCA Welegedara to bowl to MEK Hussey broke the record established a few overs before when HMRKB Herath bowled to the same batsman for the most initials in a batsman/bowler combination, which surpassed MHN Walker bowling to IVA Richards in 1974.
Hussey played quickly, after the lunch rain delay, and scored his 19th test century, which was his first to be scored from a dropped catch, and when Clarke declared on 5 for 450, he stopped the highest Hussey and Wade partnership vs. Sri Lanka.
Australia’s declaration was unfortunate in that Peter Siddle would have been looking to score the highest score by an Australian vegetarian fast bowler, not just in Tasmania, or vs. Sri Lanka, but against all comers at all grounds. We’ll have to wait for that one.
By the end of the day, having taken 4 important wickets, Australia holds its biggest 2nd day lead in a test this century not involving Ricky Ponting, and Lyon’s stumps figures of 1 for 0 would be his best ever if he doesn’t bowl any more in the innings.
Votes: M Hussey 3, M Wade 2, T Dilshan 1
PS: after Eranga took Clarke’s wicket, on ABC radio, Kerry O’Keefe commented that Eranga possess a wicket taking delivery. Wouldn’t you think he’d bowl it more often then?