Almanac Cricket – Australia v Pakistan: First Test Day 2 at the ‘Gabba



A clearer sky today for the opening of the day’s play.


Much written in the local press about the poor attendance at the game yesterday and the powers that be in Australian cricket must seriously consider where the Test matches will be played against India next summer.  Personally, I would pump for Canberra ahead of both Brisbane and Tasmania for the fourth option with the other three grounds, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne assured of games because of the strong Indian populations in each city.


Joe Burns is in a hurry. He has something to say to the selectors and he means business.  Young players could take a lesson from Warner and Burns as they scurry between wickets turning “nones” into “ones” and ones into “twos”.


The big news is that there HAS NOT  been one “reserve” on the ground with some innocuous excuse after six overs! I am wrong, out come the reserves for drinks for the batsmen and a change of gloves.


Only one intrusion for the first hour and a half – well done.


The two batsmen have not been troubled although Burns hooking “The Kid” nearly got unstuck.  Speaking of “The Kid”, Naseem Shah, the 16-year-old showed some promise without being threatening in his first spell in the big time.  Certainly, his speed was over and above everyone else but he needs to do a lot more work with his rhythm in his run-up as he is inclined to be heavy footed.  Mind you at 16 he has at least 10 years before he reaches his pinnacle.


Warner is threatening for a big score after a slow start he is now playing shots all around the wicket. The two batsmen continue to take the short sharp single which must upset the field placings to some degree. Warner reaches his 50 from 78 balls with 4 fours and 4 threes.  Not often do you see many 3’s but these two are exceptional runners between wickets.


Yasir Shah enters the attack and the batsmen treat him with respect. After all he has been a fine bowler over his career.


“The Kid’ is back for his second spell and nearly gets through Warner. A very tidy over and he has got over his obvious nerves Burns ducks one but is not quick enough to avoid being hit by this young tyro.  It will not be the only time that a batsman is hit by “the Kid”. The Australian hundred comes up right on lunch from 146 balls with only two slight blemishes, one from each batsman.  The home side are in complete control at the long break with Warner (52) and Burns (41). 0/100.


The 16-year-old is elated when Warner (56) slashes at one and is caught behind.  The Pakistani’s are elated for the young man but elation turns to gloom when replays show “The Kid’s” foot was well over the line.  NO BALL!  From my observations I thought that he had bowled no-balls early in the day and a replay of his whole over shows at least 3 no-balls.  Why do we have umpires?  Don’t tell me there is not enough time for them to see where the front foot lands. Right Rulebook?


The visitors are looking after their “baby” and 2 of them rush to grab his cap as he comes on again. His future will be watched with great interest by those who are here today.


Joe Burns has not let me down and he brings up his 50 from 85 balls.  Will that keep him in for the next four tests? Let us wait and see as he has been the whipping boy in recent times.


A good contest between Yasir and the Australian batsmen. Warner is not afraid to dance down the pitch while Burns keeps his nose down and watches very closely.  It is cricket worth watching.


Australia are now in complete control and they are starting to take to all the bowlers. A couple of easy misfields has not helped the visitors either. The last 10 overs have brought 51 runs. Nearly a run-out as Warner just gets home from a direct hit by Babar but it takes minutes to sort it out!


Warner on 98 takes off the gloves and rearranges himself as “The Kid’ tears in to him. Looks for 2 but only takes one to go to 99.  Would have loved to be on the ton before tea but goes in feeling more comfortable than his last few digs.  Australia 0/195 Burns on 88 along with Warner’s 99 and if ever a team was in complete control, it is Australia.


Warner’s century comes up from 180 balls with 9 fours.  That is more runs than he made for the whole of The Ashes series completed earlier this year.  Some how I cannot get enthused about his antics when he makes a century now, not that I was armoured in the first place. A bit over the top given what has taken place in the last 18 months.


The nervous nineties have hit Burns and he is struggling to penetrate the field.  It is amazing what the distance between your two ears does in situations like this. It had to happen and Burns (97) turns a ball to leg from Yasir and it hits his stumps. Australia 1/222. An excellent innings by the Queenslander.


Another Queenslander (well sort of) comes in to the bat. Marnus L will be looking to consolidate his position as well in the side.  Play dawdles along with the Pakistani’s in no hurry to go anywhere.


A DRS against Warner is lost and it looked like he was nowhere near the ball.  ‘The Kid” misses a simple pickup on the boundary. It really did look like he was playing with his mates but he will learn.


Yasir Shah has toiled manfully all day and is coming up for his 27th over as the shadows lengthen across the ground. At 3.5 per over he has been the only real threat to the batsmen.


Can’t say it has been a great day of cricket as the batsmen have been in total control.  The real question is why was Joe Burns on the sideline for so long while everyone else got a guernsey for Australia? He had made a century in his last innings and then was ex-communicated. Was there a Sandgroper bias in the selection?  Interesting there are always questions to be answered in the Great Game.


Warner just keeps going and reaches 150 from 257 balls. There is know doubt that there is a different approach to his game since he was outed. The flamboyancy has gone and been replaced by a desire to stay there as long as he can.  Given this approach it could be a long summer for bowlers who bowl to him.


There have been 87 overs bowled today 41 of which have come from the slow bowlers which equates to 47.5% so how come we have to play an extra half hour to try and get 90 overs in?  As promised, we have taken note of the number of times the “reserves” hit the ground running.  We estimate that at least 13 times they were unnecessary.  Wasted time is certainly becoming a real blight on the game.


The highlights?  None that stands out as the wicket was conducive to batting and Pakistan just do not have the attack to take control.


Enough whingeing.


Australia finish the day on  1/312 with Warner 151 and Labuschagne 55 which incidentally has been full of poise and assurance.


No doubt Australia will bat all day tomorrow to build up a substantial lead.


Check out Citrus Bob’s Day 1 report HERE


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About Bob Utber

At 84 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he has always done since growing up on a small farm at Lang Lang. Talking, watching and writing sport and in recent years writing books. He lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny) and a groodle named 'Chloe on Flinders' and can be found at Deakin 27 every day.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Enjoying your reports Citrus. I looked in on the telecast at times, Warner and Burns doing it with ease. I thought the leggie Yasir toiled hard, and bowled a good line and length. I’d like to see him on, say, a Sydney turning pitch. Could be interesting!

  2. Much appreciated again Citrus

  3. Daryl Schramm says

    Thanks again Bob. I see the over rate was even worse on day 2. 11 overs first hour?? how did that happen? Didn’t get to see much during the day but heard a few comments on the radio. They were getting stuck unto Pakistan for their over rate after stumps, but funny no mention of our over rate yesterday.

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