Australia v Pakistan – Second Test, Day 1: Ho Hum

 

Australia v Pakistan
Second Test
Adelaide Oval

 

Day 1

Australia 1/302
Warner  166 not out
Labuschagne   126 not out

 

One of the pleasures of life is driving to Adelaide from Mildura in the early hours of the morning from Mildura.

 

I was struck by three things this morning.  Firstly, the drift from the recent dust storms in the area has seen numerous dunes created along the side of the road. Like my trip last week, I was aghast at how the countryside was looking.  Secondly, I had to brake sharply as two emus plodded their way across the road aka Yasir Shah and thirdly the Kangaroos decided to stay on the side of the road instead of racing across like they usually do and get run over. The serenity of the morning I embraced along with our national icons.

 

As expected, no changes in the Australian line but the Falcons have made three – out go Naseem (I would have given him another go), Imran and Haris and in come Muhammad Musa Khan (1st Test), Mohammad Abbas and Iman-ul-Haq.  Khan is a 19-year-old allrounder.

 

Australia win the toss and opt to bat a decision the majority of captains would make.  The atmosphere is heavy and the pinkie should do something early.  It does! Burns (4) gets one that moves a little and the reliable Rizwan takes it. Shaheen has already bowled better than he did for the entire game in Brisbane.  Australia 1/8.

 

Warner and Labuschagne dig in figurativeely and literary.  To their credit the Falcons bowlers are giving very little away and the batsmen are very wary of the pink ball.  With fifteen minutes until the first break, is it the tea break or the dinner break?  Who knows?  I am still saying “good morning” and it is 10 to 4 in the afternoon.  Anyway a break is coming up soon.  Warner has dominated the scoring, but as he did in Brisbane, is not playing any rash shots.  Mixed in between have been a couple of exquisite strokes which were emphasized by a beautiful drive through covers to bring up his lunch (whoops!) tea break Score.  Australia 1/70 Warner 45, Labuschagne 18.  Shaheen 1/10

 

Rain has delayed play after the break and this is going to be a litmus test for the Croweaters to see what numbers turn up for the rest of today’s play with an added plus (or minus in my case) of “Black Friday” shopping until Midnight in Adelaide.  Just another case of the Americanisation of Australia.  Personally, I still wish the Australia Day Test was held and in Adelaide where all the country members could come down after the summer harvest.

 

The chances of play for the remainder of the day-night are becoming more remote by each minute as the huge ground sheet comes on and of at regular intervals. Not that the rain is heavy just nuisance value that is enough to delay returning to the game.

 

Play stars after nearly ninety minutes break and Warner reaches his 50 with a Keystone Cops six!  Scrambling for a second run the ball is missed by the keeper (too wide!) and goes through to the boundary.  53 from 75 balls as his good form continues this summer.

 

Sawdust is brought out for the bowlers and the purveyor is one of slowest runners I have seen as it takes ages for him to leave the ground. Oh! Oh! 3 times in three overs the batsmen change their gloves. The pinkie is getting more pink as the night slowly falls in place.  At least it is easy for spectators to view. The batsman look comfortable and are starting to play their shots.  Shaheen, in particular, is bowling for too short and most of the balls are going wide to the keeper.  A complete waste of the ball in these conditions. Attacking the wicket is the name of the game.

 

At last Yasir Shah comes into the attack. Obviously, the conditions had kept him from the crease but the batsman had little problems as Warner stroked him delightfully over mid-wicket for six. Labuschagne reached his 50 with a delightful square-cut from Musa.  His 53 coming from 106 balls with 8 fours. He has certainly made number 3 his own and is just going from strength to strength with his batting.

 

The scoring rate has gone to 6 an over and the Australians go to tea? At 1/139 Warner (72) and Labuschagne (60).  A very fruitful session for the 2 Australian batsmen.

 

Did the long walk to the back of the Members where the hoi-poli of Adelaide were encamped.  Afraid to say that many will struggle to get home sober tonight. This is probably the biggest problem in my mind as they really do have a long time to get a skin-full

 

Another 150 partnership and the game is already getting away from Pakistan. With everything in their favour, the bowlers are not troubling the batsmen at all. Warner, by the way has reached his highest score ever in a Day-Night Test.

 

Youngsters watching tonight’s play will learn a great deal from the footwork and ball placement that the batsmen are showing. Pure text book in many respects.

 

Looking across the ground it is amazing how many members like to stand throughout the day leaning against the wall. Tradition? I think so.

 

Amazing how hard the fielding side makes it for the batsman when he is on 99. All of a sudden Warner looks vulnerable but he makes it with a very quick single. 110 from 156 balls, 12 4’s and interestingly 22 singles. He is a re-born batsman.

 

The game continues with the Australian batsmen dominating and the 200 run partnership comes up and the Falcons will have to get wings if they want to get back into this game.  Shaheen snookers himself when he nudges the ball to the boundary with his boot from a Warner square drive. Not the greatest fielder I have noticed.

 

The youngster Khan has not made any impression on the batsmen. He hustles into his work but has bowled far too short and wide against this class duo.

 

Marnus reaches his second consecutive century when he takes to Yasir Shah nearly reaching it with a six but the ball hits the boundary on the full.  His century has come from 169 balls with 14 fours. Australia are now charging towards stumps at 1/236 as the bowlers are wilting.

 

The crowd has dwindled a lot which makes you wonder if it would be better starting the day’s play at 1pm. Many young families would rather be tucking their youngsters into bed at 10pm and there are still 11 overs to go.

 

The attendance figures come up as 30,878. I wonder how many of them have not seen a ball bowled?

 

At 10.08pm the first excitement of the night when Pakistan DRS against Warner for a ball that nearly hit the middle of the bat. Appalling and the visitors are now one down.  Australia 1/272 Warner 142 and Labuschagne 120. No boiled lollies for the Aussies it is all chocolates as Warner reaches 150 with his last 50 of 56 balls.  The batsmen are in complete control as they have been for most of play. It is as one-sided as one does not like to see.

 

The partnership goes on and on and they create anew record for the highest second wicket partnership at Adelaide when it reaches 279. The previous record was held by Lindsay Hassett and Colin McDonald.

 

Ah the new broadcasters dashing out on to the ground at the end of the penultimate over! They will learn, after all they seem to have a cast of thousands giving orders.

 

At stumps Australia are in a dominating position at 1/302.  A complete performance by two outstanding batsmen David warner 166 and Marnus Labuschagne 126. Afridi 1/48 and five misfields.

 

 

Announcing The Tigers Almanac 2019. Cover art: Kate Birrell   Cover design: John Kingsmill, Tabloid   Editors: John Harms and Mandy Johnson  With contributions from 50+ Almanac writers. All adds up to a feast of Tigers joy (and other footy stuff too).

Order The Tigers  Almanac 2019 HERE.

The Tigers Almanac 2019 launch – Dec 17                   DETAILS HERE

 

 

 

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.

Comments

  1. Enjoying your coverage of the cricket and your travels along the way, CB. That’s what it’s all about. Can we expect any comments on/insights into the alternative attendees – the social set out the back of the stands?

  2. Ian – I would suggest that only about half of the “beautiful people” saw a ball bowled. It has never been any different here at The Oval.
    It is a wonder that SACA has not held a “Fashions on the Field” contest for them. To their credit many ofthem are beautifully attired both male and female but by the end of the night they look a tad bedraggled. One of the real deficits of day/night cricket is the amount of alcohol that is consumed . Then again from SACA’s point of view they can hear the cash registers loud and clear.

  3. CB, I’ve always loved the term “beautiful people” since it was invoked by Australian Crawl in their song of the same name. Perhaps it’s concluding lyric sums it up – ‘Beautiful people haven’t really much to say’. Also interesting/concerning that most, if not all, of the major sports have close affiliations with the gambling industry and/or alcohol companies (says he as a XXXX advertisement flashes past on the pickets). So I advise you to view responsibly and have a Woodroofe’s lemonade!

  4. Daryl Schramm says

    The SACA doesn’t control the SMA. The line up yesterday to get to the village green at the long break was outrageous. Especially as all the food tents were in there. Groups of (mainly) obnoxious males 20-70 was the norm down the front of level 2 in the members in the last hour.. A couple of hours close-up during the day wouldn’t hurt for the benefit of all. May there never be an AFL GF at night.

Leave a Comment

*