Australia v New Zealand – Adelaide Test Day 2: Fritzy’s honoured


It was “Fritzy’s” morning at the Oval today.

One of South Australia’s All-time greats in Eric Freeman was guest of honour at the launch of the book of his life ‘Man for all Seasons – The Eric Freeman Story”.

Those of you amongst us who are not Croweaters would not be that familiar with Freeman unless you are an aficionado of the great game let alone his great career with Port Adelaide and SA in football.

His brief statistics are as follows:-

First class cricket: 11 test matches             2244 runs         241 wickets

Port Adelaide:     116 games                         390 goals         6 games for SA

Leading goal kicker in the SANFL in 1966 81 goals.

It was a great start to the day with Freeman proving to be a wonderful raconteur and some of his stories were hilarious.

By the way I found my wallet. It was in the car all the time. Interesting how much it upset me at the time.

Overnight the media spoke with accolades about the Day One Pinky. Seemed to be that in all corners Day-Night tests are the new game.

Australia (2/54) started the day slowly with Smith and Voges intent on consolidating the score.

It doesn’t work with New Zealand bowling well in the first session and Australia losing 3 wickets for 26 runs. Voges (13) looked in trouble against Southee and it was no surprise when he snicked to Guptill at third slip. Australia 3/63.

Brendan McCullum provided the early highlight of the day when he ran out S.Marsh (2). Marsh drove, McCullum misfielded, fumbled rolled over and threw the wicket down with Marsh well out of his crease. Australia 4/67. A great Captain’s lifter.

Mitch Marsh (4) did not perform much better than his brother and tickled Bracewell to Watling behind the wicket. The home side were now 5/80 and with an injured Starc unlikely to bat they are in big trouble.

Skipper Smith is batting in fine style for his team and leading from the front. This is a great captain’s knock considering the condition of the game. One of Smith’s best in adversity.

New Zealand continue to bowl well and at 3.30pm the crowd has reached 27,000. Another huge response to this historical Test.

Nevill is supporting his skipper well.

No sooner said and Smith (53) goes for a windy-woof (like Perth) and is out in Craig’s first over. 6/109.

Siddle (0) and Hazlewood (4) follow quicky and at lunch? Tea the home team have fallen to 8/116. Craig had Siddle caught close in and Santner clean bowled Hazlewood. It was New Zealand’s session by a country mile.

One of the most puzzling five minutes ever of cricket occurred just after lunch when Lyon swept at Santner. In those five minutes I don’t believe anyone in the crowd knew what was going on. One of those moments in cricket that is best forgotten.

Lyon and Nevill start taking control of the game and with controlled hitting they have put NZ on the back foot after their splendid morning… They are scoring at a run a minute and the big crowd loves it. Nevill’s 50 off 84 balls has been a splendid knock.

The partnership ended on 74 when Williamson caught Lyon (34) off Boult and Australia 9/190. It was the best partnership of the match so far.

Mitchell Starc came out to bat despite his injury and swung his bat lustily. He hobbles but displays some very crisp hitting.

Finally it is Nevill (66) who holes out to Santner who takes a wonderful catch to give Bracewell 3/18. Australia all out 224 a lead of 22. Bracewell was the best of the bowlers with 3/18 while Boult 2/42 and Craig 2/53 the other multiple wicket takers.

New Zealand start slowly intent on wearing the bowling down during the final session but it is not working.

Both Guptill (17) and Latham (10) play rash shots off Hazlewood and the visitors are only 10 in front with 8 wickets left. Our prediction of a finish in three and a half days is looking good.

The number of rash strokes played in this match is extraordinary.

At last the Mexican wave but as usual it peters out in the members. Have some funny habits the folk who make up members of Clubs.

Despite nearly being dropped from the team young Josh Hazlewood is leading from the front and as usual being well supported by Siddle.

Williamson (9) continued the run of injudicious stroke play and feathers Marsh. M to Nevill who is front runner for the man-of-the-match. New Zealand 3/52

Whilst the crowds have been fantastic, the Pinky great, the batting has left a lot to be desired.

Skipper McCullum needs some redemption from his first innings effort but it is completely out of character for him to poke around and he plays a couple of powerful strokes to get his score mobile. Both Taylor and McCullum are giving the Australians every chance despite the occasional fine stroke.

Mitch Marsh bowls a splendid over getting McCullum (20) lbw and beating Santner hands down with the next. At 4/84 it is up to Ross Taylor to continue the fight for his side now.

Everyone is now talking about the fact that with 7 overs to go on day two 25 wickets have fallen, has the night session caused wickets to fall on a regular basis? Is it the dreaded Pinky ball? What about the weather? Excuses are coming from everywhere.

My thoughts? The bad batting to me has been the biggest problem. Shot selection has been a huge problem in both teams.

Bowling has been steady with the Australians more accurate but not the main cause of the wicket numbers.

Watling and Santner are defying the Australian attack in extra time. No sooner said than Smith drops Watling. The finest of slippers Smith has now dropped two during this match.

What the Test match has given has been an interesting game for the spectators. New Zealand will always attack and the professionalism of the Australian team has also come to the fore.

The jury is still out on the Day Night Pink and I think it will take more than one Test to decide its fate.

New Zealand go to stumps at 5/115 with Watling and Santner playing well.

Another big day

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. I’m too young to remember ‘Fritz”, but reading about him over the years he seemed like a handy contributor to the Australian side. He played tests here , the UK, India and South Africa. Pity he was a tad too early for ODI’s.

    My favourite anecdote about him was from the MCG test against the Windies in 68/69. He was fielding at short leg when a ball was swept into his head, then bobbed up to be caught nearby. The excited fielders called out, “he’s out”, meaning the batsmen, but “Fritz” thinking they meant him, rubbed his head saying no i”m fine.” This of course was long before helmets.


  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Citrus Bob couldn’t agree more batsmen have got so used to having every thing there own way some abysmal technical definncies have been exposed with the ball just doing a bit and yes day night test cricket must be trialled in more than one city before we can definitely say thumbs up

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Fritzy was a long time Savings/State Bank employee too.

    His radio work on 5AN with Bob Bower and Malcolm McDonald etc as the expert comments man was undervalued, in both footy and Shield cricket seasons, mirroring his playing days.

    I’ll have to track down that book.

    Does the fact that you left the wallet in the car mean that you didn’t have to buy a round all day Bob?

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Citrus Bob apologies, Fritzy is a South Aussie legend a fantastic dual sportsman in his own right and very good broadcaster over a long period who has been thru more than his share of tragedies. Everyone wishes him all the best, a quality man and I will definitely buy a copy of his book.

  5. Glad you found your wallet intact, Bob. It amazing how much of our sense of personal wellbeing we can invest in a piece of leather containing a few pieces of plastic.

    I don’t agree re. jury still out. Day Night cricket is here to stay. Not every test or every year but it will remain a regular part of the test fixture. CA & the SACA are currently doing a Scrooge McDuck swimming around in a pool of cash based upon getting 90,000 people to the Adelaide Oval in just two days. The key point there is all of the GA people that made a discretionary ticket purchase (i.e. not SACA members).

    Always enjoyed Fritzy on the radio. Recently read a relatively horrific story of him suiting up for Port Adelaide after returning from an Ashes series and almost having his bottom lip ripped off in an on-ground collision. Seems he got hit in the head a lot.

  6. It was great being at Fritzy’s book launch. More should be written about players who in today’s football language would be classed as “B+”.
    They where the real characters of the game and particularly in cricket. The there are the others who create pathos and also deserving of more mileage e.g Paul Melville, Paul Hibbert et al
    Forget “The Captain’s Diary” type book – we know what’s in them before we read them!

    By the way Swish I didn’t know you new me so well!


  7. Paul Buxton says

    Agree Fritz one of the greats and a great character too. Anybody who had to work with Bob Bower for any time has all my sympathy (Bower – “He’s bowled…where’s the ball gone?” Favell – “Over the fence, it’s a 6, Bob”). I remember Fritz getting home from an England tour earlier than planned to play finals for the mighty Port Adelaide. Regular event when he played was a group of trainers hunting for lost contact lenses in the goal square! Doesn’t seem to happen these days!

  8. Paul Melville promising Richmond batsmen who died early in the 1978-79 season.

    Paul Hibbert, former Carlton and Essendon opener who played the opening test of the 1977-78 season. Died in unpleasant circumstances a few years ago.

    I don’t know of Bob Bower but Norman May had his moments in the commentary box. Adelaide oval 1978-79, Hendrick bowling to three slips, Brearley, Hendrick and Gower. Yes Norman had away with words.


  9. While I’ve been gone from SA for many years now, Eric Freeman was one of those guys you had to look up to as a kid, even if he payed for Port. When you are brought up on a full diet of footy and cricket (with racing thrown in), guys like him were idols. I vaguely recall talk of fellow Croweater Neil Hawke who seemed to be of a similar vein in his multi sport achievements. Was Fritz number 18 for Port?

  10. It’s amazing the things you remember from when you were 9 years old. I may be wrong but I recall Geoff (one f) Motley captain, Reg Beaufoy (?) centre half forward, Ron Ellaway and Bubbles Obst holding down defence. Others include Keith Spencer, ? Salmon, a youngish John Cahill, Ron Kingston, Dennis Errey?, Jeff Potter, etc. Reckon I could name half a dozen from each team still from back in those days!

  11. Paul Buxton says

    Yes Budge, my memory is Fritz at 18. Elleway, Obst, Motley, Potter still seen at Magpies games. Bob Kingston I think. Kevin (Sambo) Salmon, he and Spencer were world record shortest ruck men, no wonder we lost 1976 GF!

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    You’ll find a copy of a 1967 Budget in this article if you want to confirm your recollections Budge and Paul

  13. Thanks Paul for some reassurance though I was thinking more 1967 than 76…

  14. Cheers Swish. You’re a gun with those budgets! So Motley retired by then? Sure I can remember him playing. Think he might have been number 17? Then again I was probably about 7 so less sure of my recollections.

  15. Glen I think you meant Paul Hibbert in your comments. One of many many cricketers to die tragically.
    Thanks to you Croweaters as well for taking us down memory lane.
    Wonder if you guys can help me? I sat next to a father and daughter at the Book Launch. Lovely people and they barracked for PORT as well. That’s both ends of the continuum. I think his name was Garry and the daughter Annette. Want to contact them. They are both Port and SACA members. This one is right up your alley Swish. Might find them in a Budget!
    Citrus Bob

  16. Have there ever been 2 more physically different brothers than Trevor (Bubbles – back pocket) and Peter (half back) Obst? Short and squat versus long and lean. What about Neville (Chicken) Hayes – the other half back in the mid 60’s. I reckon they invented “out on the full” for Chicken – he was an expert at the ‘accidental’ off the side of the boot into the dead pocket in the last quarter.
    Ian Hannaford was a classy CHF/Ruckman in a Fos Williams side that was more perspiration than class. Neil Hawke came from WA and then played in the SANFL for both my Torrens and Port. Recall he retired early from footy (knee?) to concentrate on cricket. Wonderful in-swing opening bowler for Australia – big chest on action – partnered Garth McKenzie.
    Port dominated in the 50’s into the early 60’s and then had that run of losing GF’s to Jack Oatey’s wonderful Sturt side of the late 60’s.
    Great memories from all the ‘mature’ Croweaters on the side.
    My dad worked for the State Bank and Fritzy was very generous with coming to the country and talking to sporting and community clubs for a drink and a feed. A real gentleman. I can remember his slides of the 68 Ashes Tour with lots of photos of the fringe players – Les Joslin and Dave Rennenberg – who had a very social tour in the days when there were big touring parties with lots of backups. Also went on the 69/70 tour of India and South Africa where we won on the sub-continent and then got smashed by the great Springbok side of Pollocks, Bacher, Procter, Richards, Lindsay etc. Living on bananas and scotch in India to avoid Bombay Belly.

  17. G’day Bob Utber. How are you ? I followed your re mentioning the pair of Paul’s who played for Victoria. Where was this dialogue headed?


  18. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Sorry Bob, no-one comes to mind. Didn’t know that there were any nice Port supporters, let alone ones that the SACA would let in (settle down folks, just reinforcing a few stereotypes for comedic emphasis).

    Can any of the Adelaide Almanackers help Citrus?

  19. Glen – it was headed no where. Just pointing out the fact that there are some wonderful stories of sporting people out there that need to be heard. Only mentioned the 2 Pauls because they came to mind. Another was the NZ wicketkeeper – Wadsworth ?
    Swish – these two people where fantastic for Port people that’s why I wanted to write them up as a unique story. Keep searching. I’ll give Ben Hook a call. Does anyone read the Ade?

  20. Paul Buxton says

    Swish, I was also a SACA member while living in Alice Springs. Came down one year in mid 1980’s for Christmas, went a couple of days later to watch Shield match at AO. Refused entry on grounds I was wearing thongs (protest re one day attendance and crowd less than 1,000 dismissed at gate to Member’s). Sat in adjacent George Giffen stand and watched fuming while 3 obvious private school eastern suburbs types, with THONGS on, were ushered through with tug of forelock. Concluded Port supporters not wanted, wrote and cancelled membership immediately. Have sat with all the other nice Port supporters ever since!

  21. Just wish to reiterate how nice my two-new-best-LOST friends were. Wonder why other Power supporters don’t know them?
    Paul – the power of the private school boy should never, never be underestimated. No wonder Little Johnny did not become chairman of the ICC.

Leave a Comment