Australia v Pakistan – Second Test, Day 2 at Adelaide

It was all about Bradman yesterday at the Adelaide Oval and about a dearly missed old mate of mine, a bloke called Neville Turner. Neville was a Law lecturer out at that place that calls itself a university in Clayton and before you stop reading in disgust let me tell you he was president of the Cricket Society for many years.


All cricket fans have their obsessions, things that they go on and on about and Neville was no exception. He idolized Brian Statham and loved making up cricket quizzes. I had never had a conversation with Neville (I had been to many Cricket Society lunches with him presiding) until we met under the Morton Bay fig trees at the Adelaide Oval, a proper place for people like us to meet.


Neville and I were introduced and when Neville realised I could name nearly the entire Yorkshire team of 1929 he knew he had met a kindred spirit. Out came a pencil and a piece of paper and I was asked to name all the players who had made one hundred hundreds, a straight forward task usually, but on this occasion I was one short. There was one I was missing. Here is where Neville and I bonded for ever.


That’s right, I forgot Bradman while under the fig trees in Adelaide!


Neville has retired to the pavilion in the sky now where he will be chatting to Statham and setting quizzes but yesterday I spent the second session under the fig trees wishing Neville was still with us. All my mates are too rich and too orthopedically challenged to sit on the grass but I always spend a session wishing Neville was here.


Yesterday Smith passed Bradman’s number of runs scored and Warner went past 299 and 334 but the bowling was mediocre too say the least. Shah fell just short of his two hundred which had me thinking of the most runs conceded without a wicket. This is exactly the sort of thing Neville would have been asking. Afridi only conceded eighty eight runs, not making his hundred.


Some may think commenting on runs conceded by a bowler is a rather trite thing to be watching, but the best thing about yesterday’s cricket was Warner’s running between the wickets. Even after he reached the three hundreds’ he was still busting his gut to run Wade’s singles, showing team spirit.


Labuschagne continued to not get out. Smith and Wade were not challenged at any time.


It was a relief when the declaration came. Suddenly there was a contest between bat and bat, though it is probably more accurate to say the ball started to dominate the bat. We went back to our flat next to the ground during the dinner break and took the top of a few Coonawarra reds but returned for the last hour. We call the dinner break ‘the Redman break’.


Today the weather may be an issue but we are going to a lunch just down the hill here in North Adelaide. Remember anything under four hours is not lunch, just merely the taking of sustenance.


Probably see you at the dinner break.


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  1. Ian Hauser says

    Phil, sharing a day at the cricket with a friend and/or kindred spirit is one of life’s pleasures. Earlier this year in London I spent a day at Lord’s with my ex-pat friend Peter. It was a Division 2 County match but the cricket didn’t matter a lot as we hadn’t seen each other for three years. On my previous visit, we went to The Oval. On both occasions, we enjoyed several hours of great conversation.

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