Almanac Cricket – Australia v New Zealand: First Test – The Perth Blog

“The Cricketer”
                   by Kate Birrell


After commanding victories over a modest Pakistan outfit, Australia faces a far better credentialed opponent in New Zealand in the next installment of the 2019/20 summer of Test cricket. The visitors arrive as the second ranked Test team in the world after their recent series win over England. On the other hand, New Zealand’s record in Australia is modest with just 3 wins in 31 Tests, the most recent in 2011. And, as is the nature of modern tours,  they will be moving directly from the flat pitch at Mount Maungnui to the much bouncier Perth wicket, without the benefit of any warm up game.


Both teams could rightfully claim underdog status going into today’s match. Two other factors add to the intrigue – this will be a pink ball, day/night match, and it will their first clash at the new Perth’s new Optus Stadium.


Both sides boast quality line-ups in both batting and bowling so we can expect a willing contest. The Kiwi attack is more likely to test the real mettle of Australia’s batsmen while the standard and depth of New Zealand’s batting will present a far greater challenge to Australia’s bowlers than did the brittle Pakistanis. It should be fascinating.


Keep us up to date with your take on play as the match unfolds.



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Orders will be posted from Dec 11.




  1. Just stumbled across this by Neville Cardus on Wilfred Rhodes – ” Flight was his secret, flight and the curving line, now higher, now lower, tempting, inimical; every ball like every other ball, yet somehow unlike; each over in collusion with the others, part of a plot. Every ball a decoy, a spy sent out to get the lie of the land; some balls simple, some complex, some easy, some difficult; and one of them—ah, which?—the master ball.”

    Today will be interesting. In my youth I would never have considered that I might be in bed before play finished for the day in a Test match held in this country!

    Looking forward to it.

  2. I’m really looking forward to seeing if Warner can carry on with his incredible form and Whether Smith will be amongst the runs again. Hopefully we’ll see a really good contest.

  3. Both teams will get a better picture of where they’re at by the end of this series. A challenge for both sides to start on a ‘new’ pitch in a new stadium in a day/night Test with a pink ball. Definitely ‘interesting’, potentially exciting.

  4. Australia to bat. How will the Kiwis handle the heat of Perth? 40-ish degrees! A bugger of a day to bowl. Can the Aussie batsmen take advantage of the conditions?

    Let’s play!

  5. It is very hot here folks and I don’t know how NZ will go without T.Boult. Already Warner is in sparkling form and dictating to the bowlers.

  6. Burns goes on the hour, 1/40. Warner looking good. Bowling mixed – the odd jaffa, too many too wide. Neither side likely to be too happy at this stage. Pitch variable.

  7. Labuschagne a machine, Smith falls for the three card trick. Kiwis playing the long game?

  8. A bowler down may well hurt big time in the long run

  9. The tactics used against Smith were really successful. Consistently bowling wide or high gave him little to play. When he was able to attack he invariably hit to a fielder. So dreary was the play I often found myself nodding off to sleep for short periods. On awakening usually about 10 minutes or so later, only 1 run would have been scored.

    Hope today’s play will be more exciting now that Head is at the crease. Another noticeable thing was how rowdy the NZ keeper was – it was like watching a silent movie.

  10. Smith is out of form. Just does not appear to be right at present.

    The Burns lbw was another Alim Dar shocker, but Burns was very scratchy nonetheless.

    It is an indictment on Sheffield Shield cricket that there is no-one putting pressure on Wade a the moment. That “leave” was terrible.

    Hugely important innings for Travis Head. No excuses here.

  11. Agree Smoke. Smith looks out of sorts. Not settled in his thinking.

    Kiwis came good late in the day. I didn’t like their English stodgy tactics early. It doesn’t win test matches.

    Head must keep going. He looked very sure but has a habit of making beautiful 30s.

  12. Daryl Schramm says

    Sitting in front of TV in Tumby Bay since yesterday. Golf to watch followed by the cricket. I thought NZ stuck to their task really well yesterday and so far today (6/350). Disappointed again with Head’s dismissal, credit again to NZ and their plan. Hot conditions, bowler short, a batting side full of confidence, not a lot going for them including losing the toss. Aust need to keep wickets in hand to bat into last session. Not enjoying Slater’s commentary. Love Ali Mitchell’s work. Looking forward to hopefully catching a whiting or two in the morning then onto the golf.

  13. Not good enough from Travis Head. He toughed out the restrictive, short, leg-side stuff from Wagner but then blows it all with a loose lofted cover-drive? Just not good enough

  14. The sucker shot seems to work well against the Aussies. For those of you have Fox, the Scottish snooker open is on Eorovision (511). Saw Jud Trump play sensationally again this morning – extremely entertaining, this young fellow’s cue power is truly amazing.

  15. A muffed run out costs only 6 runs. Thank goodness for that!

  16. An hour after lunch’ on Day 4. Taylor and Latham gone in quick succession – Aussies get a review right! Can Watling grind out something miraculous? Perhaps over tonight.

  17. Great win for the Aussies but I’m a little worried about too much body line used by both teams even though it worked a treat.

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