Australia v South Africa – Perth Test Day 3: Chairs, umbrellas and delicates who don the cap



by Citrus Bob Utber


One of the things that I love about Test cricket is the people you meet.


Today I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of chatting with Alex, his brother Carlo and Carlo’s son Alex. They had been at the ground from 6.30am attending a breakfast before spending some time in the sun.


Our introduction was me asking Alex where did he get his shoes from. Naturally that led us to talking sport.  We were able to dissect the Eagles, the Dockers and anything else that came into our heads including the Channel 9 commentary team.


Amazing how much the latter is discussed when one is at the cricket.  Carlo in particular bemoans the loss of commentators of the ilk of Dennis Cometti and the continual incursion of ex-players.


I am not blaming the players but there is an art to sports commentary and the majority of them don’t have it.


Alex leads a beautiful life spending nine months of the year in the Seychelles and the rest in Australia mainly looking at sport.  Sounds like wanting “to lunch for Australia”.

Another glorious day and the Australians will need to be at their top to get back into the game.


Starc and Hazlewood bowl some good balls but the batsmen have the situation well in hand and it will take some fine bowling to change that.


Uh, oh! Hazlewood bowls one at right angles to Duminy. It hits a crack. Duminy smiles – is that I sign of things to come?


Both batsmen pass their fifties in fine style. Elgar plays some fine shots square on the on side while JP’s cover drives are text book perfect.


The first hour belongs to South Africa, no wickets fall and 53 runs are scored.  It is going to be hard work for the Aussies now. Duminy (59) and Elgar (66) have defied some good bowling from the Australian quicks.


As the day get warmer the bowlers are starting to wilt and we still have not seen Nathan Lyon into the attack.  Mind you the batsmen are not helping their mindset and they continue to dictate the play.


Mitch Marsh has probably bowled the best spell of all the bowlers and he has used the wicket well. Have noticed that the wicket is starting to play some tricks which will please Faf no end.


The longer the game goes the more the absence of Steyn will be felt.  He would have been deadly in these conditions and cooler weather predicted tomorrow.


Hazlewood decides to go round the wicket and bowls a splendid spell late in the morning session. He beats Elgar time and time again – superb bowling indeed. To their credit the bowlers have given their all for the team and with the temperature reaching the high thirties it has been a mighty effort.


At lunch South Africa 2/183.  A wonderful competitive session for the spectators.


Took my usual round the ground walk during the lunch break. Prime real estate during the break was any bit of shade people could winkle. When it is hot in Perth it is hot.


JP Duminy reaches his century of 169 balls with 17 fours.  A fine innings when it was needed. It was hard work this morning but he applied himself with resolute stroke play


The reserve players are busy as they continually are running water and pills out to the players.  It is really hot out there and there is no shade to winkle.


Mitch Marsh continues to bowl well which will do his personal cause no harm. No wickets but he is keeping the batsmen busy.


Elgar and JP continue their dominance of the day, not that the Aussies have stopped trying. Starc drops a hard chance off  Lyon. The ball is hit high into the air and Starc could not control his body as he tried to get in to position to take the catch.


Smith reverts to Voges (applause) as Peter Siddle continues to rev up his team mates.  You can hear his voice all around the ground as he enthusiastically challenges his team for another effort.


2/245 and the new ball has been taken.


Been watching  “another worker” putting the bet365 boundary back in line.  Must have taken him at least five minutes. No comment.


The new ball is flying to the boundary with both batsmen now smiling with delight with the advent of the hard new ball.   They take 11 runs from the first over.


A bad sign for Australia. The goodly crowd on the west grassy knoll have decided to move.  It is stifling on that part of the ground.


Well I’ll be darned the batsmen have been given chairs to sit on during the drinks break.  Not only have they been given chairs but they also had an umbrella. What is cricket coming to?


Dean Elgar reaches a great century from 255 balls with 13 fours and a six. A bit different from when he last played here and went home with two ducks.


The partnership continues and there is no respite for the bowlers. Both batsmen are struggling with the heat and there are constant breaks for towelling down. This is a testing time for all.


Must say this is a beautiful surface for cricket. The outfield is true and fast and the fielders can tackle the ball with confidence.  Compliments to the ground staff.


At last a wicket!


Siddle gets JP to just tickle one through to Nevill. A wonderful innings of 141. An innings that has helped SA set up a win along with team mate Dean Elgar.  South Africa 3/295


Siddle and Marsh the Younger bowl tightly after tea to keep the run flow to a reasonable total. Given the tiring conditions they have done well for their side. Marsh has Du Plessis fiddling and it would not surprise if he nibbles one and soon (15.54 WST).


Dean Elgar’s best shot has been the straight drive and he would have played it at least five times during the day for maximum benefit.  A beautiful stroke.


The play continues to be absorbing but we have little to write about except for bowling heroics and batting stoicism.


4/324 when Elgar plays a tired shot to Starc of Hazlewood.  It has been a wonderful knock from the solid opener. His innings of 127 included 17 fours and one six.  More important was the fact that he held up one end for over 400 minutes.


It will probably be an easier time for the bowlers with two right handers at the crease. Temba Bavuma plays all the strokes while Faf DuPlessis has power in his shots. It will be an interesting final hour tonight.


Du Plessis picks up the ball at his feet for the second time during the match and hands it to a fielder. Fortunately the Australians are gentlemen and nobody appealed.


Wonderful catch by Ussie. Looking into the sun he took a splendid catch to dismiss Bavuma (8) from a hook shot. Players from all parts of the ground rushed to congratulate Khawaja.  A well deserved wicket to Mitch Marsh who has bowled splendidly today.  SA 5/348.


Now this will be interesting. A tired Australian team,  a new batsmen one of the best strikers in the game and an hour to go tonight. How will Quentin De Kock make sure that South Africa will have complete control by stumps?


But it is Du Plessis who takes up the attack. De Kock is trying hard but his timing is astray at this point of time. Du Plessis (32) get a ripper from Starc and he can’t get out of the way and Nevill takes an easy catch.  South Africa 6/352.


A word on Peter Nevill. No matter what they say about his batting his keeping is exemplary.  Few balls get past him and he makes sure of all snicks that come his way. The age old story comes up again. Do you pick him for his keeping ability or his keeping/batting ability?  For me I would always go for the keeping first.


Philander is swinging hard but missing. I am sure De Kock wants him to hang around for a few more runs. If I was South Africa I would want to bat out today.  Hang around for another hour tomorrow morning just to increase Australia’s misery and put some doubt on their ability to score over 400 runs in the final innings. The psychology of the game is so important when the number 400 comes up.


It is Philander who becomes the stroke player playing shots around the ground and De Kock the defender. The visitors will go to stumps at 6/390.  De Kock 16 not out and Philander 23. Siddle and Hazlewood 2 wickets each, Mitch Marsh and Starc one apiece.


It has been South Africa’s day with Elgar and Duminy outstanding but Australia played courageously and showed some true grit in the stifling conditions.



10 things I learnt at Day 3 of the Test match:

  • Australia showed wonderful guts and determination today.
  • Mitch Marsh did his position in the team no harm with a good bowling performance
  • Dean Elgar made up for his previous appearance of 0 and 0 with a fine century
  • JP Duminy returned to Test cricket with a perfectly timed century
  • West Australians turned out in numbers on what was a stifling hot day
  • All the Australian bowlers bowled valiantly without much luck
  • Usman Khawaja showed that he can field with a magnificent catch facing the sun
  • The new invention of chairs for the batsmen – will it take hold
  • I think I would like to live in the Seychelles
  • I’m saving up for my next pair of shoes


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. yes they are triers, the Aussies. maybe we needed a dibbly dobber rather than a 4th seamer. or a few wristies. anyway, day 3 is meant to be for batting. proper test cricket.

    Australia 4-220 at stumps chasing 420, mirror image of 2008?

  2. Thanks Citrus Bob.
    Interesting you notice P Siddle and D Warner’s on-field leadership.

    So many facets to a “team.”

  3. John Butler says

    Stay cool Bob.

    But on a scorching day, do you reckon you might give the spinner a bit of a bowl?

    The bowlers have toiled, but been let down by the skipper, as well as the batsmen.

    Engrossing day of test cricket. Well played South Africa.

  4. Well is N Lyon the most dependable of cricketers, or not? I reckon you could have guaranteed that he would get 2 or 3 three quality scalps with bounce on the frst day. And then be about 0-80 at almost 4 an over when we really needed him to fire in their second dig.


    Same thing every time.

    Surely we have to try someone different. Just to see?

  5. Can’t take wickets if he’s not bowling.

    Can’t take wickets if he’s beaten a batsman in flight only to see a catch go down. Regulation. Any difficulty in that catch was created by the way Starc went about it.

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