The Ashes – First Test, Day 2: Vote 1 Cricket


There must be something happen in the northern state?

On arriving at the ground this morning via the free bus we were met by all these young people handing out cards.  Foolish me I took one thinking that I was back in England and they were handing out yesterday’s scorecard.

No, there is an election on tomorrow and QCA members are ropable that they won’t be able to vote because they want to be in their seat before 8am and they won’t have time after the days play to get to the polling booth.

Who is going to win is anybody’s guess? Between the two camps “chin music” has been the number one theme.  Mind you Pauline has yet to come on with her spinners and an occasional bumper.

Back to the cricket.


Would Australia make good use of the second new ball and would Ali and Malan continue their attack from yesterday?

A bit of both but the Englishmen are on top early and once again the slow pitch is making it easier for the batsmen to move into their shots with comparative ease. Both are looking very, very good.

One wonders if the visitors are already playing for a draw with the Adelaide Test so close.  Grind the Aussie fast bowlers into the ground and see how they come up next week.  There is no doubt this is where the lack of a class allrounder is detrimental to the Australian attack.

Lyon is in to the attack after 40 minutes and already is looking as “the man”. He beats Malan with a couple of rippers. He is also obtaining drift and bounce.

Malan continues to look impressive with some delightful driving through the covers. The bowlers are looking very frustrated and it is only Lyon’s impeccable length that is keeping their enthusiasm up.

Zampa gets his 4th wicket in Adelaide. Outside chance for the next Test Rulebook?

Malan sweeps Lyon to reach a very good fifty with six fours from 119 balls.  His stroke play through the off-side has been first class.

At drinks England have added a further 38 runs and if they continue this way they will have put the home team out of contention as the likely winner.

Starc keeps bowling short outside Malan’s leg stump and despite latter scoring some runs the former finally gets him. He mistimes a hook shot and Marsh takes a comfortable catch at deep mid – wicket. A promising innings of 56 comes to an end but well bowled by Starc.  England 5/246

Malan had the bowlers on toast but he forgot to butter them.

Lyon gets his first wicket when he gets Ali (38) plumb even though Ali reviews.  It has been a marathon effort by Lyon and he has bowled without luck.  England 6/249

Lyon strikes again!  He bowls Woakes (0) with a ripper and all of a sudden England have lost 3 wickets for 4 runs.  England  7/250.

All the advantages that England had gained in the first half of the session have completely disappeared. Australia are well and truly on top.

How come Jonny Bairstow’s bat has no sponsors name on it?  It’s just not cricket JB!

Bairstow (9) pulls at Cummins for an easy catch by Paine.  England 8/270.

Stuart Broad reminds one of a praying mantis when he is taking block.  He seems to have more arms and legs than anyone.  I know he has concentrated on his bowling in recent years but his batting has really gone astray.

Lyon continues to puzzle the batsmen but Smith refuses to bring in an attacking field even though the batsmen are not hitting out at the bowler. Safety first is SPD’s motto.

Broad walks down the pitch at 2 minutes to 12 noon and tells Ball (14) to play carefully it’s nearly lunch time. He doesn’t. Warner takes a fine catch at short fine leg.  England 9/286.  England will have to bat on for another half hour.

Marsh drops Broad and the ball goes for four. More fuel for the quills.

The English innings finally closes at 302 when Broad (20) hits out at Hazlewood and is well caught by Handscomb.  Starc and Cummins 3 wickets each, Lyon with 2 was the best of the bowlers however.

A fine first session for Australia that saw them take 6/106 after a good start by the Englishmen.  The bowlers persevered throughout the innings on a wicket that gave them little help.



Stuart Broad had taken a hammering from the Aussie bowlers in the morning session and now was his time for revenge.  Love him or hate him he plays it tough.  After all he did learn his mean streak by playing cricket in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

He charges in like a man possessed and gets his just reward when newcomer Bancroft (5) feathers one through to Jonny B.  Should never be mean to a fast bowler.  Australia 1/7.

Warner looks comfortable, Khawaja doesn’t and he nicks a couple early.

Ali on as first change for Anderson.  Root won’t die wondering – a good move.

It works!  Khawaja (11) plumb in front.  Australia 2/30.

Australia’s finest Smith and Warner are now at the crease and a lot will depend on this partnership.

Like the Englishmen before them they are not taking any chances and are content to wait for the loose ball to score. No sooner aid than done, Warner (26) holes out to Malan from an innocuous Ball delivery.  Australia 3/59.

Showing more adventure than his counterpart Root has now used all five bowlers in 90 minutes of play.  Quick changes of guile and pace have brought their rewards to his men.

Handscomb comes to the wicket and is need of runs to secure his spot and is keen to score from the outset.  By tea he had scored 14 and Smith (19).  Australia 3/76

It had been England’s session due to some fine astute captaincy by Root, backed up by some accurate bowling and in Warner’s case a terrible stroke.


England gain the ascendency completely when Anderson gets Handscomb (14) dead plumb but had to go to DRS to over turn the umpire’s decision.  Australia 4/76.

The under-pressure Shaun Marsh must have felt good with his first shot. A beautifully struck four through the covers.  That’s the way to ease the pressure.

Cannot praise Joe Root enough.  Five men on the leg to Smith is cutting his run supply completely. Even more pronounced to Marsh with six on the off to Moeen Ali.

What with the tactics of Root and their desire to keep their wickets intact, the Australians have reduced the scoring to snails pace.

The cricket is very serene.  All the action here in Brisbane today is outside the cauldron. However it (the cricket) is absorbing even if the scoring rate is just a trickle.

Of all the bowlers used by far Woakes is the one struggling.  He has a lumbering style running up to the wicket and it cuts down his pace considerably. Not to be deterred however Root’s plan is to keep his bowlers fresh for an all-out attack when it is their turn at the crease.

Smith, as usual is leading the charge for his team.  How often since his ascension to the captaincy has this happened?  He might not be the greatest tactician but he certainly makes up for it in his desire to keep his wicket to himself.

Ali is tidy but he does not have the loop or guile of Lyon. He occasionally is beating the bat but is not the threat that they Australian was.

Smith reaches his 22nd fifty in Tests from 112 balls with five 4’s.  Another fine captain’s knock.

As if they had been waiting all day the batsmen suddenly take control of the bowling and playing their shots fluently. Everyone bar his pundits have been saying that Marsh has been in top form and he has certainly shown in this afternoon being very confident right from the beginning of his innings.

The day belongs to the two skippers in this writer’s opinion.  I have admired Root’s captaincy and Smith’s ability to take control when his side desperately needed it at the crease.

It is a toss-up as to which team has won the day. The fortunes have fluctuated. Early in the day it was England, then the Australia bowlers and then the English bowlers and finally Smith and Marsh for Australia.

Another absorbing day’s cricket for the aficionado with the early session tomorrow being the major player in the remainder of the match.

At stumps Australia 4/165 with Smith 64 and Marsh 44.  They trail England by 141 runs with 6 wickets in hand

About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".


  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    I’m loving the artwork. Well done Bob. Good report

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Thanks again Bob. How’s the nightlife?

  3. CB- love a day’s play during which there’s no clear winner. Broad as a praying mantis! How conflicted is much of the Australian fan-base with Marsh doing well? Still, divisive characters generate a compelling narrative, so we’ll watch tomorrow with heightened interest.

    See you in Adelaide!

  4. Good job Citrus.

    Mickey, how do you combine the bookends of S Marsh’s day ? A dropped catch, followed by a gutsy knock.

    S Marsh continues to perplex us .


  5. Swish – Nighlife? I am 78 and in bed by 8 every night! with my warm milk. Covering cricket ball by ball is a hard gig!

    NOTICED the BIG SHOW made a few today? V for Victoria!!

  6. Hi CB
    It’s Stevie P, your pommy mate from the Baltic cruise! Enjoying your (relatively) even handed reports. Suspect the first session tomorrow may decide the outcome.

  7. John Butler says:

    Onya Citrus.

    For two days in a row we’re saying the first session will be crucial.

    Sign of a good test match.

    Vote Early. Vote often.


  8. Citrus – like Pavlov’s Dog I come slavering back to the sound of Aggers on leather. Not great teams but a great contest. There is something comforting in the aesthetics of Tests. White specks on a green sward. Action but not too much. Possibilities but not too many. Comforting and intriguing.
    Is SMarsh the most laconic since MWaugh?

  9. Thanks Citrus Bob Zampa no chance and I fear re with the job the bowlers have done that Sayers will miss out again ( desperately hope Chadd plays he well and truly deserves it especially after Smith changed his mind against SA last season ) Lyon was superb,Smith brilliant re batting likewise Root captaincy inventive and impressive

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