The Ashes – Second Test, Day 1: Lined Up

DAY 1 AT ADELAIDE

 

Been to many Test matches at the Adelaide Oval but I have never ever seen so many people lined up to get a seat.  Reminds me of The Bodyline series 1932-33.

 

Befitting of them the mafia media (not all) have built up the game to resemble St Valentine’s Day in Chicago in 1929.  About the same time as England started planning how to get Bradman out.

 

Once the gates were open the flood descended on the area at the back of the Members.  They seem to have placed more seats and tables than they have in the past probably hoping that many of the expected crowd don’t bother to go out the front to watch the game and more seats will be available.

 

As expected, no changes in the Australia team and Overton comes in for Ball in the English line-up.

 

When you look at the visitors and their relief players no wonder they only made one change.  There was nothing else they could do. Woakes will need to perform in this one.

 

England are wearing black armbands in memory of batsman Tom Graveney who has just died at the age of 88.  The Gloucester batsman was one of the most technical and elegant batsmen England have ever had.  They could have done with him today.

 

As usual the lights went out in Adelaide last night.  Let’s hope it doesn’t happen on this day of day’s in the city of churches.

 

Root wins toss and sends Australians in. He is probably hoping that the weather conditions will suit his bowlers and that they will have taken a few wickets before the night sets in.

 

Warner and Bancroft look very content and are not afraid to take short singles to break up the field.

 

Twice in the morning session players were forced from the field.  It really looks like a footy day out there.

 

Bancroft (10) was the first to go magnificently run out by Woakes from an aborted run. Australia 1/33 and the long break certainly has benefitted the visitors.  Brilliant fielding, shades of Lyon in the First Test and that was regarded as the game breaker.

 

Ah! The pink ball magnificent for run-outs!

 

The bowlers are looking threatening but the batsmen are very circumspect in leaving anything just outside the off stump.

 

Sixteen would-be mountaineers are scaling the Sir Edwin Smith Stand roof.  Must be a pretty good money spinner for SACA as earlier in the day I counted at least 30 thinking they were on Everest.

 

A nice little earner for sure with the Hillarys of this world willing to pay anything from $100 to $225 per climb depending on what day and time. Given that people are paying top price today that equals over $11,000. Nice!

 

But there is more!  By tea/dinner time the bitcoin had gone up to $15,000.

 

I believe that the Adelaide crowd “out-noises any other ground in Australia. There is a continual buzz going on all the time.

 

The English bowlers are on top beating the bat, time and time again but failing to get an edge.

 

The longer the session goes the more confident Warner is becoming.  If ever a player has matured it is Mickey Rooney.  Still lets fly with the mouth occasionally but his batting has reached its zenith and I think there is still room for improvement. Would love to be captain of Australia.

 

Warner (47) nudges at Woakes for an easy catch to Bairstowe. Australia 2/86.

 

Smith starts exquisitely with a cover drive worthy of Tom Graveney for four. I won’t say Khawaja is looking good but he is.

 

They say there are 52,000 people in attendance. Dr Edelsten must be counting them because there are many, many empty seats and everyone is not out the back of the members.

 

Khawaja goes on the attack, two magnificent shots then he pulls Overton to Stoneham who drops a difficult chance at deep backward square leg. Both the sun and the lights where in his eyes and he had to lunge at the last second.

 

The ease in which he plays his shots infuriates some people who think he is batting to casually.  An infuriation that was levelled at Tom Graveney when he was flowing for England.  Both players bore the brunt of the selectors when their team lost and always seemed to be first to be dropped.

 

Khawaja in this innings has certainly cemented his spot for Perth.

 

Moeen Ali comes on to stem the run rate that is now moving at a good rate for the Australians. Have often wondered with players like Ali and Hashim Amla about the length of their beards and whether they are uncomfortable playing cricket.  According to an eminent authority on Islamic culture, whom I have just consulted, they can keep their beard at any length that they like.  There are no restrictions for or against.

 

The climbers are still coming at it is now 7.00pm local time.

 

At tea/supper Australia 2/138

 

Khawaja (53) goes shortly after the long interval caught by Vince off Jimmy Anderson 3/139.

 

England are on the attack again.  When one looks back on the day’s play they have bowled very well with little luck.

 

In fact I would suggest that they are on top in the dreaded pink session.  They are on top!  Smith (40) goes to drive Overton and play on.  Australia 4/161 and they have lost 2/21 since supper.

 

Well I have seen it all now.  WE can’t start the last session until the highlights of the women’s Ashes concludes.  Unbelievable 40,000 people plus have to wait for highlights of a series that we already know the results of. Knackers will not be happy and this “happening” will surely invite some poison pen letters.

 

Handscomb is not the batsman he was last year and the bowlers are keeping him on the back foot as much as possible in an endeavour to get him plumb.  Another low score will see his position being scrutinised.

 

Been a bit hard in the Media Centre since supper particularly when many of the computer screens are on another Australia v England event being played in Brisbane.

 

England continue to apply the pressure in the last hour of play and the reward of another wicket would make their day.

 

The Australian 200 comes up from 457 balls.  Another tense day of cricket.

 

They say there is a record crowd of 55,317.  Take it from me at least 3,000 didn’t see a ball bowled or they paid their way in to scale the roof.  Dr Edelsten MUST have counted them.

 

Despite having a long day/night in the field England take the new ball just before stumps to no avail.

 

At stumps Australia 4/209 with Handscomb (36) and  Marsh (20) still there. In my estimation an even day’s play of good Test Match cricket.

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”.

Comments

  1. Thanks Bob. It was a stop-start day. It was reasonably competitive but I saw the English bowlers sightly differently. I thought they lacked venom early and the standard of cricket wasn’t great. Neither team had authority. I thought Khawaja was on the edge of authority. But he should have been caught hooking and then he slapped one to the cordon which was pretty ordinary. He looks so good when he is playing the ball late – which he did for most of his innings.

    Interesting to see how much energy is in England’s opening half hour this arvo.

  2. Citrus Bob nup have to disagree,England bowled to short and sorry yes the crowd was out the back the area has been enlarged considerably and there were huge numbers out there agree with JTH enthralling in some regards but not a great days cricket standard wise ( raining as I am typing )

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    Solid day of Test cricket well reported on CB.
    Big morning for Handscomb and Marsh, if they can put together a decent partnership, Australia will be right on top. Though Marsh looked pretty good last night.
    Adelaide the most social Test in Australia Citrus? If racing can count their crowds in carparks, surely cricket can too? Surely by doing this we could get an MCG attendance of 130,000!!

  4. Good thinking, L Reynolds.
    A conservative half a million for Boxing Day.

    Love it Citrus.
    Have a climb.
    Maybe we could crowd-source your entry fee…

  5. Citrus Bob says:

    JTH & RULEBOOK – maybe Croweaters expect more than their eastern counterparts. But you guys have a great knowledge of cricket.

    LR – DW – I think you guys are on the money. I expect even more at the G. Say 150’000? That includes everyone from Channel 9, those in the bar at te Hilton, Federation Square and the Mildura Working Mans Hotel.
    Should be another great day today/night. Still confused.

  6. Winning the toss and bowling suggests the visitors were expecting three wickets in the first session and at least seven or eight for the day Citrus so I reckon, despite it being a day of beige play, we just get the points.

    I mentioned to JTH that at the Crows and Cats preliminary final the big fans (which are actually sold by a company called Big Ass Fans- an American mate was offered a job with them!) were on in the Riverbank Stand such were the balmy conditions. Last night was like Christmas in Yorkshire, but instead of English bitter we had XXXX Gold, with all its attendant glory.

    As I write S. Marsh has made a century so the Australian cricket public’s complex and conflicted relationship with the current number six deepens.

    Thanks for the report.

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