The Ashes – Second Test, Day 2: The Home of Cricket?

Day 2 ADELAIDE

The Adelaideans are crowing (pardon the pun) about the success of the Test Match at the “Home of Cricket in Australia.

Excuse me!

The home of cricket?  Don’t get carried away folks, the home of cricket is the Melbourne Cricket Club and the “G”.  Has been for over 180 years and will remain so.

To its credit Adelaide has a magnificent stadium in a magnificent setting just an Ian Meckiff from the centre of town. They know how to entertain at the cricket. One third of the crowd never see a ball bowled and another third only see one session before they go home for an evening meal (cheaper than staying at the ground) and watch the game on TV with the sound down.

But to say that it is the home of cricket is taking bias to the extreme.

Now that I have got that off my chest it looks like that today’s play might be interrupted as was Day 1.  However, it will be another intriguing day particularly if the Aussie bowlers are let lose it the closing session.

Honours are probably slightly Australia’s way at the moment.  Early break through by the English will tip the scales their way likewise S. Marsh and Handscomb could determine fate Australia’s way.

It is determined as Handscomb (36) is plumb to Broad in the first over.  Australia 5/209.

Just noticed “The Richies” at the Cathedral end of the ground. Some how they seem to have lost their impact of recent times. Too many of them and their hair and clothes have deteriorated.  Very un-Richie like. Too much of a good thing.

Paine and Marsh decide to attack the new ball.  A good battle as Anderson and Broad are both making the ball move more so Stu than Jimmy.

From the two Tests so far, it is easier to observe that Anderson is not the bowler he was.  I suspect he is carrying an injury of some sort that is hampering his action.

He changes ends and has both batsmen in trouble beating them time and time again. The umpire gives him two wickets against both batsmen (LBW) but DRS reverses them!  Both times the ball was just going over the wickets.  The Poms would have been in the box seat!

1/49 in the first hour. So close to being at 3/30.  That’s cricket!

Marsh is very defiant this session only scoring 10 runs but keeping the bowlers at bay. Paine has been busy scoring the bulk of the runs but looks to have injured his left hand in the process.  England have kept a tight rein on things without much luck.

There is no doubt about English support for Test cricket. Counted at least 24 club flags flying proudly around the ground. The financial income to capital cities around Australia during the visit of supporters from the Old Dart must be astronomical

Tim Paine reaches his 50 off 90 balls with 5 fours and a six. Except for a brief period in the middle of his innings he has been impressive with his shot making. He gets over ambitious after a peppering of short balls from Overton and on 57 he holes out to Moeen at deep backward leg.  6/294.  Still a very impressive knock by the keeper. Just what his team wanted.

Took a walk around the ground at the break looking for a story. I was correct about The Richies a very motley looking lot.  No class or consistency in their outfits.  In fact, very few outfits here at all. Not like the OTHER grounds around the country were dress ups are half the fun and some ingenious ones at that.

Amazing how a break in play causes the fall of a wicket. At the end of the session Australia are 6/306 and shortly after Starc (6) tries hooking Broad only to hit a simple catch to Anderson 7/311.

The player this writer is championing as an all-rounder Pat Cummins comes to the wicket to assist Marsh. Have always like his straight bat. Let’s see how he goes against a fired-up Stuart Broad.

The scoring seems to have dried up completely. Cummins is showing he does have a defence 0 runs from 34 balls.  Joe tries his luck with DRS and misses out.  DRS is not the visitors flavour today.

Cummins justifies my reckoning.  After a slow start (38 balls before he scores) he starts playing shots and is a great support for Marsh.  Marsh has been front and centre throughout the day/night and defied all England has thrown at him. He has defied his critics and now sits squarely at number 6 in the pecking order.  Move Cummins in front of Starc and you have the ideal batting line-up although there still must be some concern in the camp about a fifth bowling option.  With another big score by Travis Head, Peter Handscomb is the player under pressure.  Head’s bowling could sway the selectors after Perth.

Marsh is elated when he reaches his maiden test century against England.  He must have read all the criticism of his selection but he has certainly let his bat speak for him so far in this series.  His century took 328 minutes from 213 balls and included 10 fours.  He has sent his critics to the cleaners.

England’s lack of depth in their bowling has been clearly shown today.  On what were pretty good bowling conditions early today they failed to capitalise on the situation

At tea/supper 7/408.  Australia’s session.  Marsh 103 Cummins 44

As has been the wont today some one gets out after a break.  This time it is Cummins (44), whose only weakness at the moment is playing the short-pitched ball, he tries to ramp Overton and is easily caught.  8/410.  The third time today that a player is dismissed straight after an interval.

Lyon comes in in front of Hazlewood.  Australia look for quick runs and Lyon obliges with a six.  No doubt the Aussies are keen to get at the visitors early into the night atmosphere.  It is all out attack and the spectators are cheering every stroke.  England have no answers.

Marsh straight drives Broad for six, an imperious shot. England try to delay. Australia counter attack by declaring. at 8/442  Marsh 126 and Lyon 10. Overton took 3 wickets.  The home side will have at least 14 overs at England before stumps.

Starc and Hazlewood are fast and furious and it is very uncomfortable for Cook and Stoneman in the early overs. It is fire and brimstone.  Nothing short, just up and at them,  making the batsmen play at everything. It is a great battle.

Stoneman (18) is undone by a Starc delivery that keeps a little low.  He appeals the decision and loses that as well.   England 1/29

Rain forces players from the field and one of the highlights of the day occurs as the ground staff try to control a flirty pitch cover.  The rain scuds across the ground and could spoil what is a very interesting session.

On again off again with the covers as the ever faithful sit it out. Australian players go out and spend 20 minutes with a PR exercise signing autographs and taking selfies with fans.

Still no message on whether play will continue but the majority of patrons have had enough and are already half way home.  The home side have been convincing winners to day with fine batting from the middle order led by Shaun Marsh’s patient century.

The Australian selectors will be chuffed with their team selection three weeks ago and given the form of the team they can probably rest on their laurels until next year.

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. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I was otherwise occupied from 5:30pm our time Bob, so thanks for keeping me up to date. Luckily the dance concert interval co-incided with Marsh’s ton, but the day was all over by the time I settled in back home.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Adelaide is the social test match winner stunned that other states haven’t tried to emulate although I did remind spectators where are you at shield games where I have my choice of 51,113 places to sit.
    The second lbw against.Paine was a dead set,Barry Crocker we were going to run the umpire out a guide dog.Absolutely ridiculous that play did not recommence last night due to a slightly wet outfield they play footy re warm up but deem a bit of damp grass in a manicured outfield as dangerous pathetic thanks
    Citrus Bob

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    Best description of Marsh’s six I’ve seen. Was indeed an imperious shot.
    Paine batted wonderfully, thought his innings and the manner in which he played set up the day and the total for Australia. Really happy for him, hope his hand is ok after being hit twice.

  4. Nice report Citrus.

    Your thoughts on how Cook looked up close? (I’m sitting here in Melbourne). Seemed to be moving better this time? If we can get him out and have a crack at Root, the Poms might fold.

    Apparently one of the English newspapers had the headline “Rooted!” when discussing Root’s decision to bowl first
    .

  5. Citrus Bob says:

    DIPS – Cook is the number 1 target in my reckoning. Yes he came through a tough period of play. Rot will always give you a chance the way he plays. Who knows about the rest of the batting line up? I don’t.At some stage they have looked good other times innocuous. As for the tail – discount them completely.
    LUKE – Paine’s hand could be a worry did bat well.
    RULE – you are correct Adelaide is a great “social” venue but ask the majority of members out the back the score and they would not have a clue. Very elite.
    Looking forward, as usual, to today’s play. Only one team can win from here and it is not England. Predict that Lyon will tame the Lion.

  6. John Butler says:

    Bob, the way England’s day had gone, was there anything more certain than Stoneman challenging and losing the review?

    Tough day looms for the visitors. If the quicks don’t get them I reckon Lyon will. Even Ali turned a few.

    Cheers

  7. Citrus Bob says:

    JB – everything is going Australia’s way. Then again England are playing like a punch drunk boxer and have been since half way through day three in Brisbane. There is no urgency in there game demonstrated no better than Rooty winning the toss and bowling.
    Then again if you haven’t any sock you can’t pull them up.
    Raining here at the moment and the forecast is not that crash hot. Might be the saviour for the Poms before they are steamrolled at the WACA

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