Australia v South Africa – Hobart Test, Day 4: Humiliation in Hobart

Blundstone Arena DAY 4


I was reading Tasmania – The Tipping Point? (GriffithREVIEW39) in bed last night when I came across an article which astounded me. It is probably old news for Taswegians but to me it was quite a shock. Not because of the subject matter but the fact that I did not know anything about it!


In a Daily Telegraph report dated 2008 an Indian sportswriter wrote that according to his research “the family Pon Ting were tin miners in north east of Tasmania for over 100 years.”  Apparently, this story has been going around the traps for a very long time and now it seems like the Chinese are wanting to claim Ricky Ponting as one of their own. Does this mean that if they become a force in cricket in the next 10 years that Ponting will do a Bob Simpson and return to the Test scene as China’s captain?  Interesting point, I hear they are still wanting to purchase Royal Melbourne Golf Club.


The question being asked before played commenced was how will the locals stave off defeat?


Well it didn’t take long when Abbott bowls a beautiful over to Khawaja (64) that has him at sixes and sevens and he eventually nibbles one through to De Kock. Ussie had batted beautifully yesterday but today was a different story.  Australia 3/129 and Kyle Abbott has all the wickets.


You can make that 4!  Voges on 2, in what will probably be his last Test match, can’t get his bat out of the way and Duminy takes a safe catch.  Australia 4/135.


Callum Ferguson, with the chance to consolidate his position in the team, fails again, this time for 1. Rabada makes him play at one and Elgar takes a good catch at slip.  Australia 5/140.  Can’t wait for tomorrow’s papers.


It gets worse when Nevill (6) is well taken by Duminy from another Rabada beauty. Australia 6/150. It does get worse when Mennie (0) is plumb to the rampaging Rabada.  7/150.


Worser!!! Steve Smith on 31 gets another ripper from Rabada for De Kock to take another catch.  Smith has been valiant for his team and with his own technique had been able to thwart the opposition attack for a long time.  Interestingly Smith has a technique that has not been tampered with too much. Think Bradman, Walters and the Waughs?  At 8/151 the carnage continues.


Bugger me another ONE goes! Starc (0) is not interested in being out there and Abbott gets his fifth 9/151. The last time I saw Australia humiliated like this was in 1954-55 when Frank Tyson went through them in a morning in Melbourne.


The end is nigh. Lyon plays a handsome drive of Abbott, the best shot of the day and Hazlewood does likewise at the other end.  Abbott takes his sixth wicket when Lyon (4) spoons one to Philander.


Australia lose 8/32 in 93 minutes of humiliating cricket and the final score is 161.


Abbott is awarded man-of-the-match with his 9-wicket haul for the match but my man was Quentin De Kock with 7 catches and a brilliant 104.  Looking back though it was yet another fine team performance by the Proteas.  Nearly every player did something of importance during the game including reserve wicketkeeper DJ Vilas who threw out the hapless Ferguson in the first innings.


Proteas captain Faf Du Plessis warned the Australians after the game that he was aiming at a clean sweep of 3 – 0 for the series. One would suggest that it will be quite comfortable for them to do that in Adelaide and within three or four days.  Their return trip home should be brought forward now.


One wag said to me on the way out “I drove from Launceston this morning, saw 23 minutes of play because I was running late, paid $25 to get in and petrol there and back say $50. I estimated the cost at about $4 a run”.  Not a happy camper.


What can one say?  The Australian team probably has reached one of its lowest points in the history of the game and there does not seem to be an answer that comes easily.


We are known for giving it a go and perhaps a wholesale change for the remaining SA Test and the three Pakistan games should be adopted.


Picking a team on the run has not been difficult given our kamikaze batting and indifferent bowling. Yesterday we had omitted Lyon and Burns for O’Keefe and Maddinson. No reason to change that.


Additions today would have to be Adam Voges, age has caught him out and whilst Mennie bowled admirably Australia just have to take a punt. Chadd Sayers is the logical replacement for his Croweater team mate on their own dung hill.  Not too sure about his batting though.


Do you give Ferguson another chance?  What about someone of De Kock’s age?  Head, Handscomb and Pattinson come to mind.  What about Peter Nevill?  For the last 30 years we have insisted that our keeper make runs.  In fact, making runs was a priority before their keeping ability.  Nevill has failed in the batting stakes despite his valiant not out in Perth.  Do you punt on Wade who can bat but more than likely has the ability to drop a catch and miss a stumping?


As gamblers, we should play Handscomb as the batsman-keeper and hope for the best. So here is the “new” Australian team under the leadership of SPD Smith (in batting order):-


D. Warner

U. Khawaja

SPD. Smith

N. Maddinson

K. Patterson

T. Head (although selectors will probably give Ferguson another chance)

P. Handscomb

S. O’Keefe

J. Mennie (another chance in front of Sayers)

M. Starc  (heaven forbid! There are rumours he will be rested)

J. Hazlewood


In: Maddinson, Patterson, Head, Handscomb, O’Keefe

Out: Burns, Ferguson, Voges, Nevill, Lyon


Leave it up to you guys out there to pick a better, younger, tougher team!


As for anyone out there who would like to stage a petition to reinstate the Sheffield Shield to its rightful position. Contact Rulebook or Swish I am sure they would be able point you in the right direction.






About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".


  1. 4 Day Tests? Ridiculous. I guess they need the extra day to allow for rain.
    Hardly selling Tasmania as a tourist destination. Still I guess you can come for the deplorable cricket and weather but still enjoy the outstanding wine and food.

  2. I am off to Adelaide for days 1 & 2, Citrus.
    Hoping for an improved performance from an improved line-up.

    Voges is shot – very sad, but he is mentally fried.

    As important a weekend of Shield matches as you could imagine.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Here’s a tip for the Adelaide Test: It might be cheaper to get the cab to wait on Montefiore Hill rather than organise overnight accommodation.

    Thanks for mentioning me in the same sentence as the mighty Rulebook, Bob. The last Shield game I went to had two Chappells, Hookes, Mallett, Jenner, Thomson, Prior, Cosier. That may be your point.

  4. Citrus Bob that was as depressing and pathetic batting collapse that I can remember.It is probably time to punt for youth re Maddison,Head.I am a massive fan of Callum Ferguson. I admit personal bias and now he has been picked he must be given another chance but in hindsight he just hasn’t had adequate preparation coming back from a knee reconstruction. He has only played bloody Matador Cup ( again programming issues ) and then 2 shield games in which he has only batted once in each game. He isn’t cricket battle hardened ( too much of a gap in the current standard of shield to test cricket as well ).
    As much as I don’t rate Wade as a keeper, I reckon we need his grit and counter punching ability at 7 and I don’t reckon we can realistically pick Handscomb as the keeper when he isn’t that at state level.
    Mennie good trier but Sayers class above incredible that it has gone so pear shaped since stumps day one in Perth.

  5. Dave Brown says:

    Will be at the first three days in Adelaide CB (he says optimistically). Re. batting line-up – Jake Lehmann is the man. Averages 49 after 18 first class matches – following up a breakout 15/16 shield season with a solid county season with Yorkshire. Would have played against a hooping Duke more than once in that time. That said they have to give Ferguson another go – my problem was with his selection in the first place. Surely they were aware of the invidious position it would immediately put them in if he failed at Hobart. Whereas a younger player would be given some leeway as it makes sense long term. Also would’ve preferred Sayers to Mennie in the circumstances but his shield record warranted selection so no issue with it.

  6. Smoke – you’ll get to see the whole Test then!!

    Mennie is not up to it. I think he beat the bat about twice. Tried hard, but that’s not enough at this level.

  7. Peter Warrington says:

    i used to think the batting woes at Shield level were overblown. But if Mennie could get 50 wickets at 21 or whatever, maybe I believe?

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