Australia v Pakistan: Second Test, Day 4 – And now the end is near (Apologies to Frankie S)!



Early rain this morning has not stopped the play from starting on time.


As per yesterday I arrived very early at the ground.  Very few people there but you can guess who 2 of them were?  Obviously, SPD and Marnus had not read my report.


The weather looks like being fine for the day with a very high cloud cover and one would assume a great day for bowling.   The batsmen have different ideas however and the bowlers are causing little grief to the composed batsmen.  Masood reaches his 50 with 6 fours and 1 six.  He is a stylish batsman who has not been as fruitful on the scoreboard as he is perceived over the years with only one century to his name at Test level.


The first wicket of the day/night falls after the drinks break when Shaan Masood on 68 holes out to Starc from Lyon. Totally unexpected but Lyon had bowled tightly this session beating the batsmen on the odd occasion.  Pakistan 4/123.  A good knock from the opening batsman.


Weather is absolutely glorious now.  The best it has been for the whole game.


Lyon is on top now. Marvellous what a wicket does to a bowler’s psyche and he has Shafiq (57) taken by Warner in slips and the visitors are now 5/154.


There is a smallish crowd here to day expecting the inevitable but remarkably the noise that emanates from this marvellous ground and the stands surrounding it is similar to a full house at the footy. The acoustics are brilliant.


At little break the Pakistani batsman are hanging in but Lyon continues to look dangerous. He will no doubt determine when the game will finish. Pakistan 5/167 Iftikhar Ahmad and Mohammad Rizwan both on 10.


The play dawdles along in complete serenity.  Little action from the batsmen who are content to be watchful and despatch the loose ball.  Meanwhile the bowling attack is lacking venom and penetration.  In the hour since lunch both batsmen have added 17 each and the score has gone to 5/201. With half the day gone it is hard to see Australia nobbling out the batsmen.

Lyon does the “nobbling” when Iftikhar (27) pushes and Labuschagne takes the catch. Another wicket to a “break” as the dangerous Yasir Shah comes to the wicket.  He must be full of confidence after his century yesterday.


Smith pointing, pointing, pointing finally gets his way and becomes the third close in fieldsman on the leg side.  Only a third slip to Hazlewood which must dim his confidence somewhat.  Smith, despite what people observe still has some control.  There is no doubt.  The sign language from him says it all.


Labuschagne takes a nasty blow on his helmet from a pull-shot by Rizwan. Ball flies to mid-wicket but falls safely.  Shades of English player Brian Close with blood streaming from his forehead shouting “catch it, catch the bloody thing” when a ball struck him on the temple while fielding at silly, silly mid-on in a county match.  Labuschagne recovers quickly.


Then Lyon strikes again when he has Yasir (13) plumb but Yasir wants a DRS.  As has been their wont the umpires are correct again. Both umpires have put on a tremendous display in this match.  Well done Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth.  Umpires do not get many accolades mainly brick-bats when they make a rare mistake but this time it had been all bouquets.  Pakistan 7/221 and Lyon has 4/63.


Shaheen Afridi is one of the worst batsmen I have seen and I don’t know how he gets to bat at 9. He proves me right as he lashes at Lyon for Hazlewood to take a simple catch at deep mid-on.  There was no thought from him that there were only 3 balls before the “big break”.  Pakistan 8/229 and Lyon, in a fine spell during this session now has 5/65.


It won’t be long now as Rizwan (45) goes for a one-dayer slog off Hazlewood and is clean bowled.  He was promising in Brisbane but let’s himself down with some injudicious slogs.  If he wants to stay in this team, and his keeping is good, he needs to temper his batting.  Pakistan 9/235


Cummins with a great throw finishes the match to run out Abbas (1) and Khan 4 not out..  Pakistan all out 239.  Lyon 5/69, Hazlewood 3/63, Starc 1/42.


Australia win by an innings and 48 runs and did it comfortably. It was never in doubt after their performance in Brisbane.  This is a clinical Australian team and it is very unlikely that changes will be made for the series starting in Perth on the 12th December against New Zealand. All the bowlers have played their part and the batsmen have never been under pressure and Paine has captained well.  NZ are a different kettle of fish and the batters will need to be right on their game. It wont be easy against our neighbours from across the dish who love nothing better than beating Australia.



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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. Daryl Schramm says

    Thank goodness it’s over Bob. Day night tests have NOT been a success in my view. Did the twilight roof climb Tue night, test match dinner Wed night, not the test match dinner Thu night, home 10:40 Fri & Sat, 9:35 Sun and 8:30 tonight. I am a stranger in my own house. The dinners were unique to this year. UK ashes tour reunion Wed and unfinished business with the classy Alison Mitchell Thu night. I love her work.

    Re umpiring, I would have thought both sides would have saved reviews after day two, as neither of them missed a trick.

    Lyon didn’t look like taking a wicket early on but stuck with it.

    Looking forward to NZ series now.


  2. Well covered Bob – there’s really little more to add. As Daryl wrote we’re all looking forward to the NZ series.

  3. Enjoyable read as always, CB, hope you enjoyed your Adelaide visit once again. The Pakistan batting yesterday was really disappointing. Masood threw his innings away and Rizwan and the tail basically gave up, slogging when a bit of judgement could have substantially extended the match. Who knew when the next rain cloud might arrive?

    Ponting laboured the point on the TV coverage but Rizwan made absolutely no attempt to farm the strike (and clearly was not told to do so during the 40 minute dinner break). Even if this game was not salvageable surely it is worth him practicing given he is likely to have a long career batting with a weak tail.

    Ian Chappell has had a bit to say about Smith’s role in the team. Think I’ll extend the benefit of the doubt and assume that Smith’s role in managing the field has been discussed and agreed to and that he was operating within those parameters. Regardless, I don’t think field settings are necessarily Paine’s strong suit and when you have Smith, Wade and Head in the team don’t think it needs to be.

  4. Ian Hauser says

    Well done, CB, on both the analysis and the social research. I wonder if Travis Head will ever make such easy money again? Good luck to him. At least he didn’t do anything wrong. Results against NZ might tell us more about where the Australian team is at.

  5. citrus bob says

    DS – Glad it is over for you! Boy, a busy time. Have watched Alison Mitchell and Kerry O’Keefe doing their “homework” consummate professionals.
    DB – The falcons throw in the towel too easily. As you recall in Brisbane the bus was waiting to go before the last 3 wickets fell. Probably the same in Adelaide. On Smith I still believe it looks bad and Paine does have 2 Vice Captains.. Always enjoy my walk down from the Lutheran College to the ground for both footy and cricket and watch work being done on heritage places.
    Fisho – me too. The Kiwi’s have real G &D and will always give the Oz teams whatever a run for their money and now they have the top airline company in the world.
    IH – Number 12 fielded 16 balls and did 3 high fives for the game. Can’t put a price on his service but you are right he made no mistakes. Could have had a bowl to keep the locals happy. Will continue with social research in Perth and Melbourne but findings wont be pretty.

  6. CB, you provide an excellent service to the Almanac community! I boarded at the ‘Lutheran College’ in 1975 when I was studying for a Grad Dip. Lots of history, both religious and secular, in those heritage buildings, and it was beautifully positioned for visits to Adelaide Oval. Looking forward to your reports on the Tests v NZ. They scrapped out a solid draw against England today, thanks partly to a dropped catch that needs to be seen to be believed.

  7. John Butler says

    CB, immaculate service, as always.

    I’m probably in a minority, but I often find the closing stages of a one sided test both relaxing and informative. Informative as to who still wants to contest the issue on the field. Relaxing so long as the mute button is available whenever Brayshaw or Slater get in front of a mic.


  8. citrus bob says

    JB – interesting comments. Recall that there was an article on our “fav” callers on cricket once.
    With casts of thousands now just who are the best callers?
    I am lucky that I am in a position not to have to listen but do see many of them swanning around
    Age permitting Jim Maxwell has the voice but some of his comments I have heard for 30 years, Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan and Alison Mitchell. Alister Nicholson with time will continue to improve. Of the young guns Geoff Lemon is outstanding..

  9. John Butler says

    CB, after all these years, I still find Tim Lane to be a commentator worth listening to. He can provide context to what is happening. That seems a diminishing talent.

    Alison Mitchell is the best caller to emerge in recent years. Lemon runs her close.

    Chris Rogers is prepared to offer something other than the party line. Not so sure Ed Cowan is anymore.

    I think Ricky Ponting continues to improve as a commentator. Not every ex player has been able to do that.


  10. citrus bob says

    JB and others
    Have just finished reading an excellent article in today’s Guardian by Jo Harman with comments from Alison Mitchell, David Gower and Geoff Lemon entitled “The Changing Art of Cricket Commentary”. Written at an opportune moment..

    How could I forget my friend Tim Lane – of course still the best although I hate him doing advertisements!
    Now back to the studio>

  11. John Butler says

    CB, I’ve had a look for this piece but can’t find it.

    Could you please paste the link?

  12. I must admit to finding the current crop of commentators uninspiring. As far as special comments go, I’ve always been fascinated in Ian Chappell’s opinions. I really miss Richie Benaud – in my humble opinion the Rolls- Royce of cricket commentators. Bill Lawry and Tony Greig made a great team. I’ve also noticed how many of the latest commentators often put the moccas on a batsman that is they say how well he’s looking only to see him dismissed soon after.

  13. John Butler says

    Never mind CB. Found it.

    For anyone who is interested:

  14. Looking forward to your reports from Perth, Citrus.
    I am praying that New Zealand will really serve it up to the Australians.
    How good would it be to see the series tied at 1-1 heading to Sydney?

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