Australia v New Zealand – Gabba Test, Day 1: Davey Warner and Dodgy WiFi

I can sense half of you people grinning smugly and uttering “first world problems”, but you know what, I’ll bloody say it anyway:
Why on earth can’t I get decent WiFi?!

Tell you what, throughout today I’ve lost plenty of faith in my cosy little circle of technology that seldom departs my line of sight. Things did, eventually, work themselves out, but my God did my pencil case feel the wrath of a mini adolescent tantrum.
Anywho, I had myself a pretty decent plan for the 1st Test, and how I’d follow it through 2nd and 4th period Geography and English. I had a fully charged MP3 player with enabled FM radio tuned in to ABC, an iPad with reliable (or so I thought) internet connection and espnCricinfo waiting for me as a last resort. I also had apps enabling me to listen to the ABC’s coverage as well.

Everything was set as Joe Burns and Dave Warner went out to bat. Headphones on, switch on MP3 radio….nothing. Not a twitch. The heavy rain I’d encountered on the walk to school had got inside my battered little music player and basically killed it. After trying many times to get the thing to work, I gave up and tried the ABC app instead.
No WiFi. None. Unfortunately my classroom is located in the one spot where the school WiFi doesn’t work. About now was when my pencil case got a battering.
Using my vast knowledge of The IT Crowd, I made a decision that would’ve made Richmond (the character not the club) proud: turn the bugger off and on again until it decided to work. I got snippets of gameplay when holding iPad above head and waving extensively about, but in Year 8 Geography where everyone’s still working, it’s not a great idea to do so. Fuming, I plodded away at my WiFi switch before quickly updating Cricinfo for scores.
No wickets yet, but Joey Burns looked nervous from my interpretation of the site’s commentary. I gave up after the Internet died and that was the end of that.
Or so I thought.

Glumly standing in the downball line at lunchtime, sandwich and muffin in hand, I felt a small tug on my blazer. Ollie, my brother from Year 5, puffed and rosy cheeks, had managed to bribe the librarian (cheekiness is his forte) to display the Test match on the TV upstairs. It’s usually used to display encouraging messages that are scarcely read and are the subject of much teenage mirth.
Off we jogged, up the bazillion stairs that led to the library at the very top of the school. Lo and behold, we had the cricket!! Dave Warner was well on the way to his 13th Test century and Joey Burns was a decent pull away from a well-earned 50. It took a single and a poke through gully and the Queenslander picked up his half-century. Ollie cheered, I clapped and then the TV joined the party and a promptly lost signal.
After a wild and woolly finish to the day where a tornado popped up in Tullamarine and the sky turned from blue to black to purple to polka dots to blue again within a couple of minutes, Ollie and I finally settled on the couch and clicked on the telly. D.Warner was beyond 100 and the Us-man was in and going nicely. Joe Burns had departed for an impressive 71, making way for another Queenslander to shine.

That Uzzy did, clocking sixes of poor Mark Craig and looking very very decent at the crease. Davey eventually departed for 163, courtesy of a brilliant Ross Taylor catch at slip, but it made room for the Khawaja show. Steve Smith’s unorthodoxy even went unnoticed as the Pakistani-born number three continued thrashing the Kiwi’s until, with a very Ponting-like pull, he picked up his first ever century, punctuated with an impressive leap and a grin wider than the newly established river running down our street. Ollie happy, Paddy happy, sky unhappy. Days play ended with the Us-man unbeaten on 102 and cap’n Smitty unbeaten on 41 .
And then it pissed with rain. Of course it bloody did.


  1. Well played P Grindlay.
    Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
    But as Napoleon and Hitler also discovered, still the weather trumps all.

  2. Grand stuff Paddy. One thing I don’t understand. Getting the scores on apps during Geography class is vaguely understandable (you’d have been flogged in my school days – but its better than the TAB and bookie apps that teachers tell me occupy most Y12 males these days). But earphones? How do you listen to the cricket and the lecture/teacher at the same time. One ear each?
    Personally I think that good fortune is closely related to lack of technological interface. The most enjoyable footy game of the season for me was driving 500kms across France intermittently “listening” to the AFL app broadcast of the Eagles v Hawks QF. Every time the internet kicked back in we were another 2 goals ahead! Bliss.
    Technology refused to miss a bloody beat for the GF.
    So that’s 2/2 for unexpected success aligning with technological failure.
    If the Eagles play the Tigers in the next GF I plan to try to listen/watch from Oodnadatta. Hope you are at the MCG. Cheers.
    By the way – in the wake of the Melbourne Cup winning jockey – did you know that Paddy Payne Senior came to Australia in the 70’s as trainer of a horse called Our Paddy Boy. Won a Sydney Cup and an AJC Derby. Was a great wet tracker from memory. The family stayed in Australia and that was the foundation of the dynasty that is now famous thanks to Michelle and Stephen’s deeds last Tuesday. I always think of you and the Eagles Patrick McGinnity as Our Paddy Boy.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Bloody internet and WiFi connection. You’d think we’d have this sorted in (nearly 2016) 2015.
    Great read Paddy.
    Hate to rub it in but my WiFi at work enabled us to listen to the full days play. In a poor phone reception area of the Otway Ranges. Uninterrupted. Good times.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Paddy as a person whose knowledge of anything technology based is I sympathise.The old little transistor radio in my days at school which were quite often confiscated by the teacher with the numerous report card line of.If only,Malcolm displayed as much interest in his school work as he does in sport thanks,Paddy you brought back some memories.Well played,Ollie and did the weather do much damage ?

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Enjoyed this Paddy.

    If you don’t already know about them, research Alan McGilvray’s synthetic cricket broadcasts from the 1930s to see how far we have (or haven’t) come.

  6. Paddy Grindlay says

    Weather ripped through school and my street. Established small creek in the gutters and soaked the alpaca and sheep. Had to ask Dad what the synthetic broadcasts were – absolute magic. Almost wish that it was still around today.
    Hearing weapon of choice was some French rip-off earmuff headphones, P.B, but made use of class headphones-during-work rule that has served me well. Many an album has passed through my ears which does an exemplary job of drowning out the racket from pubescent boys.
    Luke- bloody jealous. My school is on the side of Mt Macedon, but how much does one need to do to get decent coverage!

  7. Paul Buxton says

    Good stuff Paddy. But you must surely be the only Year 8 student in OZ who walks to school! And in the rain….child cruelty if you ask me!

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