The Ashes – Second Test, Day 4: Heritage Overlay

DAY 4 IN ADELAIDE

One of the delights of the Adelaide Test match is staying in North Adelaide and walking through the back streets and alley ways to the ground.

This morning I walked along Ward Street looking at historical architectural plaques on houses, turned right into Brougham Place and then into Bagot Street.  I then veered right to The Queen’s Head and walked inside to view the photographs of bygone years in cricket.  Photographs I had never seen before.  Hard to say how old the building is but you can bet that any a cricket tale has been discussed over the years from patrons going home from the Oval.

You can either keep going past TQH to Lakeman Street with its fine architecture or turn down Abbot Lane next to TQH and see the back view of houses from the late 1800’s.

One can’t help but think about the history of this area and in particular the Heritage Overlay but also of the many great players who have tread the Oval for well over 100 years.

The history around the Oval has been enhanced by the unveiling of the Clem Hill statue yesterday. Different from other statues that surround the ground Hill is made of granite.  At first glance it reminds one of the ancient Roman and Greek edifices on buildings. Tough, strong, holding up the world or in Hill’s case holding Australia together. Sculptor Silvio Apponyi who spent five years honing the work said “he’s a bit rough around the edges, which is what I wanted.”

SESSION 1

England played some fighting cricket last night to put some life into the game and while there is life there is hope. Cricket is the one game capable of miracles so we will see how it pans out.

Handscomb (3) survives a caught behind of Jimmy A after he gives a DRS after initially being given out. Australia are in no hurry it seems and the run rate has dried up.

Handscomb (12) is terribly out of touch and he dabbles a ball from Anderson to Malan.  Australia 6/72.  The door is ajar and Messrs. Head and Maxwell have left their calling card for a trip to Perth.

Australia 7/90 when Paine (11) pulls Woakes high into the air for Overton to take a juggling catch. I don’t think there is anyone in the ground who can understand Australia’s tactics or lack thereof.  They have lost 3/27 in nearly and hour and a half of cricket.  The wicket is doing nothing for the bowlers.  Surely attack should be the order of the day given the circumstances?

A couple of swings from Marsh and Starc shows at least they are trying to hasten the pace. Once too many from Marsh (19) and he is bowled by Woakes.  Australia now 8/122. Woakes has bowled well in this innings which will give him great confidence after his insipid display in Brisbane.  4/32 in any language is fine bowling. Could be a real threat in Perth.

Starc (20) hits out at Anderson and Ali waits a millennium for the catch to be taken.  Australia 9/128.

Australia are finally all out for 130 when Hazlewood (3) backs away from Overton and Malan takes a good diving catch.  Anderson 5/43 and Woakes 4/34 bowled superbly for England who now need 354 to win

Session 2.

A long way to go but England settle in well with both Stoneman and Cook looking very comfortable. Nothing venomous in the bowling with an occasional ball beating the bat.  Things look promising for the visitors at this stage of the game.

At 0/53  Australia go DRS against Cook (16)and win the appeal. A very, very timely wicket for the home team and a dangerous man to be out.  England 1/53 with Lyon 1/6. “Get the Lyon on the line” could be the words that no Englishman wants to hear this evening.  He is now the leading wicket- taker for the calendar year in the world.  A great performance from the once very maligned bowler.

Stoneman (36) plays a very injudicious shot off Starc for Khawaja to take a sharp catch in the gully.  The fine start has been completely eroded with both openers gone for 1 run.  England 2/54 and the runs have dried up completely.

Stoneman has looked composed in both Tests but has failed to go with it when his team is desperate for runs and for one batsman to stay in at all costs. The lack of experience is telling.

Australia finished up winning the session by grabbing wickets in the last 20 minutes otherwise England would have broken even.  The Australian’s ability to stop the flow of runs was most important in the latter part of the session and the wickets were a real bonus.

At the supper break England are 2/68 Root on 7 and Vince on 8

SUPPER SESSION:

Watched from side on at the start of the supper session just to get another dimension of the game. Vince and Root ran very aggressively and it was great to see.  Some batsmen have got their running down to a fine art and these two are no exceptions.

Why or why did he play the shot to get out on?  As has been their wont all tour just when a player is looking set he play an injudicious shot. James Vince (15) went for a big drive against Mitchell Starc of all people only to get a big edge to the safe hands of Peter Handscomb.  England 3/91 and they will need Root and Malan too hang out to stumps if they have any chance of victory.

Starc and Lyon are not giving them any respite although Root does treat the odd bad ball with disdain. The Australians will like that as Root will always give you a chance.  It is just the way he plays.

Root nearly plays on and then Australia ask for a DRS next ball. Close but not close enough.

The English skipper is showing his class now and is trying to keep the scoreboard ticking over.  Malan is offering good support and not taking any risks.

Root reaches his fifty by back cutting a tired Starc.  He has set his critics back by leading from the front in this innings.  His 50 has come from just 60 balls. Well played indeed.

It is 8.45pm (local time) and the bowlers are not doing much.  Would have expected that this would be their nirvana but the batsmen Root (51) and Malan (21) are on top.  Can England go all the way?

Don’t know whether the organisers of the game think so as they have declared a coin donation for tomorrow’s play. Strange when you think it could be one of the really great cricket days of all time.

The lack of someone to just trundle a few overs down is starting to tell on the fast men.  Fortunately, Lyon’s impeccable length is helping them out. “He is the man!”

It’s not Lyon it is Cummins who gets a beauty through Malan (29) to clean bowl him. It was just too quick for the batsman.  England 4/169, Australia can breathe a little easier as it was a fine partnership (78) that was developing.

Bit more venom in the bowling since the wicket. Marvellous how the adrenalin rises. Marvellous is the cricket too from a Test Match perspective.  At stumps England are 4/171 with Joe Root a handsome 67 and night watchman Woakes 5.

Well it is now slightly in Australia’s favour by while Joe Root is there England have a chance. Looking forward to day 5 in anticipation of a great finish.

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:

    Some very curious goings on today Bob – what was with our batting? What was our plan? Do we understand DRS?

    If nothing else, today has shown that there might not be as much between these teams than the Aussie cheerleaders would have you think.

    Value for money tomorrow Bob, thanks once more.

  2. Peter Flynn says:

    In the words of Choco Williams.

    Steve Smith: You were wrong.

    Australian batting lineup: You were wrong

    Bowler, Keeper and Captain on DRS: You were wrong.

    Sports Scientists: You were wrong (Dingbats didn’t realise more overs are required to win this way)

    Cheerleaders: You might be wrong.

  3. Isn’t Jimmy Anderson a fine bowler? Now up to 520 wickets. Apparently one of the more ‘full on’ sledgers going around, though that shouldn’t supersede just how good a bowler he is

    It’s a pity people like Greg Baum,and others of that ilk don’t comment on his sledging.

    The last day of this test is going to be a test. The visitors have the momentum, though it’s a mighty high tally they need to run down. Their batting under lights last night certainly showed us something. Our batting remain our problem, as when a side has eight batsmen reaching double figures, though none gets beyond 20, for a tally of 138, we have some problems.

    I’m looking forward to getting home to watch us win: one hopes.

    Glen!

  4. Top stuff Citrus. You must literally burn the midnight oil to get your reports for the day/night Tests done so promptly.
    Did Australia think they had it sewn up after the English first innings? Phoned it in with their second innings batting and it sounds like the captain is cracking under the pressure.
    Game on. May have to reorganise my “meeting” schedule this arvo.

  5. Australia – oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

    They might scrape out of it yet but you never give a sucker an even brake, and the Aussies have given the Poms plenty. Hubris sandwiches for dinner last night I reckon.

    PF – agree again.

  6. Great work again, Citrus.
    I greatly admire your stamina.

  7. Citrus Bob says:

    SiWISH – no, no and no!
    PJFLYNN – yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Still trying to find you/ Last resort the TAB?
    GLENN – you used the word “apparently” whether he is or not. One of the finest bowlers to ever go around and the Australians deserve all they get. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
    PB – I try to write as if the reader is there hence it is out 5 minutes after stumps. No “presser” for this boy a player is not going to change my mind. Important that knackers have the story first in the outside world. Privilege to be able to give you something that is bereft of bias. FORGET the meeting.
    DIPS – Agreeing with MV and PJF? Wow both of you to the UN
    SMOKIE – no hassles when you are besotted by the game of Test Cricket.

  8. Peter Flynn says:

    Citrus,

    Fully immersing myself in the ground, ‘out the back’ and the North Adelaide surrounds.

    Marvin Vaas

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