Australia v New Zealand – WACA Day 1: Rambling Updates

The Score at the Test

An hour in.  This is a 600 wicket. It looks like the old Adelaide Oval (pre drop-in) with a little more pace and bounce.  Its a road (3 points?)

No surprise.  The WACA has as much money in the bank as me.  The curator would have been tied to an ant’s nest and told – “this goes 5 days or you’re fired.”  Mottled brown not WACA green.


Bangalore, Day 5, India v Zimbabwe.  Note magnificent facilities for spectators, construction cranes and monsoon clouds.  Gloucester Park palms on left – damn, 10 points.

No steepling bounce like the WACA I saw in 2004, when Shoaib Akhtar was entertaining if not threatening.  The keeper stood 30 metres back and took the still rising ball above his head.  Justin Langer cut and pulled his way to a squillion.

The only question is whether the pitch and the Kiwi stoicism will stand up to the heat.  Its 36 today and 38 tomorrow.  Cracks are already appearing.

Southee is the pick of the bowlers, like I was the pick of the good looking blokes at my nephew’s bucks party.  Boult pitches it up and waits for swing, like I am still waiting for that big quaddy divie. Henry and Bracewell are trundlers, who wouldn’t bowl first change in a Shield team.

Warner is in sublime touch.  Always busy.  Always attacking.  But there is a ruthless calculation to his murder these days.  Jack the Ripper evolved into Ted Bundy.

The effect of the heavy bat is startling for someone who has only watched on TV for the last 10 years.  Nudges for 1 race for 4 across the jade outfield.  If only I’d kept playing for another 20 years, I could have got that elusive ton.  Not that I could lift the bloody thing.

Joe Burns does not convince.  He is like the forward pocket who crumbs 5 in a dominant side.  His technique is all Greg Blewett.  Prop forward.  Soft hands.  A one day opener’s technique – made for drop ins.  Pace, bounce and movement would catch him out.  Today he makes hay, while Jimmy Anderson watches and waits to improve his figures.

A couple of his edges have fallen short.  So much for standing back at the WACA (2 points?)  A 4 along the ground through slips was off a bat only half withdrawn.  An LBW appealame/challengamy/hawkeyeamy thingamy was hitting middle but the hotspotasnickamy thingamy showed an inside edgeamy.

Boring-amy.  The sun just passed the vertical out here on the fatal shore (g’day Mr Wrap).  Beer OClock.

Australia 2/400 by stumps.  Warner 200 – out swinging in the last session.  You can bet your life on it.

Burns just chopped on.  1/101.  Crap footwork.  Propping forward to a shortish one.  Out for 40.  Deserved.

(2) Apologies to McCullum and McCullum – Defamation Solicitors of Invercargill.  Earlier drafts of this document may have suggested that the Kiwis sent us in on a road (2 points).  In my defence the WACA scoreboard had been drinking and suggested this for those of relying on our own eyes, and not parting with $20 to hear the collected wisdom of Little Jimmy, Slats, Binga, Favelli (10 points) or Gerard and Dirk on a Bluteoothathingamy.  Or to put it simply – I left the tranny home.


The defence rests M’Lud.


Whaddya mean? A isn’t for Voges?

NZ just used their last appeal when Southee hit Warner plumb in front.  Umpire Sundaram was playing WACA Bingo at the time (“you can always leave on length”) – 10 points with a home town decision 10 point bonus.  Hawkeye ruled that by the laws of trigonometry, fractals and sedimentary geography (“its a rock hard surface here at the WACA” – does computer software earn bonus points?) only 49.99% of the ball was hitting the top of middle.

Thank christ for all those who have taken the $1.05 about a Warner ton.  Umpire Sundaram?

(3) Dear Sundaram and Sundaram – solicitors of Tamil Nadu – as I said to Cairnsy “shut up and keep the money”.  Warner has got his 100. 1/196.  Take $1.20 for 200.


(John the Bookie – pictured middle right)

As much as Burns was underwhelming, Khawaja is striking.  Scoring faster than an in-form, if flagging in the heat, Warner.  Three times he has deposited Colac’s finest wheelbarrow pusher over mid wicket for boundaries.

The Gower tells are all there.  The late flowing wrists.  A back foot pirhouette pull for 4.  Standing erect between balls with the same 20 degree bat angle.  Warner’s murder is cold blooded ruthless.  Khawaja lets you half think you might get away.  A lazy cut fumbled by the keeper had all of Colac standing for second.  An LBW appeal from Southee that had Eddie telling him that he’d used the Phone a Friend AND the 50:50.

In the field he even chases like Gower.

Party time. 1/213 a half hour before tea.

(4) “Q: Why do elephants wear ripple souled shoes when they play basketball?” A: “To give the ants an even chance.”

This is soulless crap. Boring as batshit. Trotters (damn Gloucester Park again – 10 points) V Washington Generals – without the entertainment factor.

Visiting teams need to get the choice of batting or bowling.  We doctor our wickets as surely as the raging Indian turners – to suit our team, commercial interests and the state of the series. 1-0 over five days will suit the WACA and Ch9 nicely.

Sport needs to be a contest.  An element of risk and uncertainty.  Today takes “I predicted this” to ridiculous levels.

Warner and Khawaja relentlessly accumulating with little risk.  Khawaja gets his 100.  Cuts and square drives immaculate.  1/310.  He has kept pace with Warner all innings.

Only 68 overs bowled in 5 hours.  We’ll be here for an hour after the normal stumps.  Yawn.

If I was home I could take the dog for a walk in the park and listen on the radio.

The members bar beckons.  Thanks Jenny – glad I’m a members guest.


The Avenging Eagle’s “sister” and WACA host Jenny and new friend Bev Westcoast




Documentary proof of Beverly Westcoast. (I can arrange an introduction Les?)


I met my old lover on the street last night

We seemed to lean on those old familiar ways

But I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers

Still cricket after all these years

(Apologies to Paul Simon)

Cricket was my first love.  I played every weekend from 14 to 30, and spent most summer holidays from 10 to 18 at the Adelaide Oval worshipping Chappells, Favell, Mallett and Jenner.  And the less well known loves like the elegant Splinterdick and the left handed middle order dasher Sutherland (Donnie?)  Is he the only left handed middle order first class cricketer to have stood for the Senate for the Communist Party?  Perhaps there is one from India?

But first loves rarely last.  Going to the WACA for the first time in a decade is like meeting a teenage girlfriend when she is in her 50’s.  There is a temporary stand on her left wing, but it looks more silicon and aluminium than in suppler days.  She has grown hard, where you have grown soft.  The seat is still sweaty, but the perspiration of effort has replaced anticipation.

She is wearing some brightly coloured umbrellas on her northern boundaries.  60 going on 16.  Trying too hard.   I resolve not to look in the mirror after handshake time in the tea break.



  1. sensational. didn’t see a ball. didn’t miss a thing. will check back in 2hrs 30. Hopefully Usman is two-fingering Mickey Arthur again at that stage.

  2. Hate to rub it in PeterB but I’m at work

  3. Um, Australia won the toss. I know the Kiwis are the nice guys but they’re not that nice.

  4. Keep em coming, PB.

  5. PB, i’m intrigued by your comment about the left handed middle order batsman who as a CPA Senate candidate . Who as he ? Please tell more.


  6. Glen,
    Not a lot on Google about Comrade Don Sutherland:
    This is his (modest) first class record.
    He played in the last First Class match played in Australia on Christmas Day. Maybe Christmas meant less to a Communist – he got his highest score.
    He stood for the Communist Party in the 1977 Federal Election for the Labor stronghold of Port Adelaide. He got 2.3% of the vote standing against former ALP National Secretary and future Hawke Minister Mick Young.
    Most intriguingly there is a Don Sutherland who looks about the right vintage and is an Industrial Officer for the Manufacturing Workers Union. This is his Facebook page and the Airport Economist – Almanacker Tim Harcourt – is listed as a friend. Time to do more digging.

  7. I wondered where you were today. Allright for some, others have to work. I hope you kept yourself well hydrated.

  8. Ta PB. I might do some home work, starting with your links.


  9. PB.
    Standing ovation over a re-heated breakfast burrito.
    The ramblings superb.

    What is value?
    When is a game not a game?
    All runs are not created equal.
    Some umbrellas are more equal than others.

    But as in Brisbane, the story is in places other than the result.

  10. John Butler says

    Dunno PB, for all the protestations you sound like you had a sneakily good time. :)

    A better time than the Kiwis, anyway.

  11. I think you have the cricket covered for entertainment PB.

  12. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks PB entertaining as ever ( a tad harsh on Gregory Scott Blewett) abolish the coin toss and visiting teams decide whether they bat or bowl.A predictable days cricket which was yet again a far from even battle between bat and ball.Why can’t cricket display common sense when a umpire makes a howler like
    McCullum in 1st test and Khawaja yest the 3rd umpire just reverses the decision ?

  13. Top stuff, thanks PB. Just coming to this now after having an evening to think over the day’s play. I like the idea of the visiting team electing to bat or bowl without a coin toss. That way we’d be on here talking about Kane Williamson’s brilliance and not Warner’s evolution into a stoic.

    Also, I think you’re a tad harsh on Burns but he’ll likely end up the only one without triple digits on the board at the declaration.

    It’s too soon after hearing the news of Paris this morning to digest anything in a meaningful way (or even properly discern what’s happened). It may be boring as batshit again over in Perth but I’ll appreciate the start of day 2 to focus on simpler, easier things. You out at it again today or on the couch with heatstroke?


  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hope these jog some memories PB

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    All the WACA Ground had was it’s pitch. Burswood doesn’t have much to live up to now.

    The Mark Craig statue is being erected in Colac’s Memorial Square as we speak.

    Laughed out loud at your last two paragraphs. Well played. The Almanac is all the better for your attendance at this Test. Great work PB.

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