Australia v Sri Lanka, Second Test – Day 2: A smorgasbord!


Must say that the variety of food available at Manuka is cordon bleu compared to what we get at all other grounds.  The private food vans, of all shapes and sizes provide a smorgasbord of food from around the world which you certainly don’t get from the other grounds that are under the capitalist banner of commercialism. Brilliant.


Australia should provide us with a smorgasbord of runs today given the state of play at the end of Day 1. Burns will be eager to go on towards 200 plus and Patterson, given his early life, will also be chasing a century.


Another overcast morning here in the capitol city. Seems like everyday here is overcast from what I read and see. Lights are on and a goodly crowd streaming in.


Burns has perfected the push through mid-wicket. An elegant stroke at any time but his stroke seems to go faster.  He’s OUT pushing at one from Rajitha he gets an edge and plays on. A wonderful 180 and Australia are now 5/404. A rather lazy way to get out.


Now is the skipper’s chance to score some runs.  Not idyllic conditions but the wicket is true and this his opportunity to cement his leadership with a big score.  Not that he needs to but it is always helpful.


Patterson and Paine continue on with the slaughter and the “full house” sign will be coming up shortly. Patterson cruises along to 60+ and Paine is gaining in confidence with each stroke. Harris, Khawaja and Labuschagne must be even more uncomfortable in their seats now.


Is this the first time a Mexican wave has occurred at Manuka? Well it is on today.


If there is one thin the bowlers should have learnt by now and that is don’t bowl short to Kurtis as he will just carve you up. That has what he has done on numerous occasions this morning.


Australia go to lunch at 5/473, not quite 100 runs in the session for the loss of one wicket. Patterson (74) and Paine (28). How long will they bat for is anybody’s guess? I am suggesting about 40 minutes before tea which will give the Aussie quicks two fair dinkum attacks on the Sri Lankan batsmen.


The Sri Lankan ex-pats have brought their own brand of music with them. May I suggest they take it back to the Pearl Island. Not only is it noisy but there does not seem to be any rhyme or rhythm to it a bit like their bowlers.


The only wicket that fell this morning was a mistake by the batsman and it looks like that might be the case this afternoon.  Mind you Patterson is playing for a trip to England and Paine would love to get a big score under his captaincy.


Trying to picture who Patterson bats like but really, he is his own person. He does stand tall like Bill Lawry, a fellow left hander and he has the elegance of Greg Chappell in his flowing strokes but he also reminds me of Long Tom Graveney.  His height and stroke play certainly makes him picturesque.


His century comes from 173 balls with 13 fours and 1 six a masterful display after his early mishap. Four out of his last five innings have been centuries.  He certainly is making the most of his chances.


My early six bats for The Ashes – Patterson, Burns, Smith, Warner, Head and Harris (with some reservations).


Australia declare and will give themselves a fifty-minute window before tea to attack the Sri Lankans.


Kurtis Patterson 114 and Tim Paine 45 remained not out in the score of 5/534. Fernando with 3/126 was the most successful bowler while Rajiha and Karunaratne took one wicket a piece.


Sri Lanka have opened their innings with not too much bother but all eyes are on Mitchell Starc and how he performs.


Starc goes for three fours in his opening spell but there is nothing in the wicket for him or the young tyro Richardson.  The batsmen are more mindful of Richardson and it is into his fourth over before Thirimanne square drives him past point for four.


Beautiful wrist work by the two batsmen, which is the wont of players from the sub-continent with Karunaratne right on top of the bowlers.


Cummins on after four from Starc but he is given the same treatment, anything short goes.


Paine is very astute with his field placings and for Cummins he has only two slips, a gully and a backward point whereas Sri Lanka sometimes had four slips to their medium-pacers.


Double change as the local hero Nathan Lyon comes into the attack from the Manuka end. His first ball spits, turns and lifts. What’s to come?


Admire the two batsmen who have not been afraid to take the short singles and they keep the board ticking over.


Although it is early stages of the game Thirimanne and Karunaratne are showing resilience and getting in behind the quicks and watching closely the spin of Lyn who is still getting the occasional ball to spit and bounce.


One thing missing from this beautiful ground is that young kids can’t get autographs from players fielding on the boundary.  The two-fence policy makes it impossible. We can feed the corporates but we can’t feed the kids. However some of the kids are throwing their gear over the second fence and Mitchell Starc is obliging them and then throws the gear back. Well done!


The batsmen continue to rack up the short singles and play some sweetly timed shots as well.  They have now put on 66 fir the first wicket and looking very secure.  At final drinks 0/78.


At 5.47pm Karunaratne tries to duck a bouncer from Cummins and takes a frightful blow on the back of his head and goes down.  It is looking pretty bad and five minutes later he is still prone on the ground. All precautions have been taken and there has been a 15 minute break in play.


At 0/82 skipper Chandimal comes in for the injured opener. Thirimanne (41) is out shortly afterwards pushing at Lyon to be taken by Khawaja at slip 1/90. No doubt Thirimanne’s concentration has been broken by the accident to his partner.


Cummins bowls a beautiful ball to Mendis (6) that moves slightly and takes his off-stump.  What a pearler from the champ.  Sri Lanka 2/101 and the injury to Karunaratne has changed the whole complexion of the game.


The shot of the day! Starc bowls wide of the off, what’s new, and Chandimal sends it racing to the boundary like a cannon shot trough backward-point. No shutting up shop from these guys late I the day.


Good news is that Karunaratne has been taken to the hospital by ambulance as a pre-cautionary measure from his hit on the helmet.


11,388 people the second day’s play a new record for this ground as a Test venue. Spectators have seen a solid day’s play.


Starc bowls one shot to Chandimal, he goes to play and pulls out of the shot but the ball flicks his bat/gloves and flies through to Paine, out for 15 and the visitors 3/120.


Gone and all but forgotten in cricket, a magnificent return to Paine from the long boundary by Joe Burns does not even raise a ripple of applause. Paine did not have to move even one foot to take the ball over the stumps.  Shades of Colin B, Paul S and Jonty R.


The batsmen see out the rest of the afternoon with MDKJ. Perera on 11 and D.M.De Silva 1. Sri Lanka 3/122 with Starc, Cummins and Lyon 1 wicket each.


With still three days to it is hard to see a result in this match.  The wicket is playing so easy and with the right attitude by the batsmen they should be able to bat for long periods.


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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.


  1. Citrus, you are being very kind to M Starc.
    I thought his first spell was deplorable, regardless of the state of the pitch.

    I do like the idea of food fans.

  2. Citrus Bob says

    On reflection Smokie you are right. I’ll watch very closely today.
    What are you doing sending messages at 2 am?

  3. On TV it looked like the Sri Lankan batsman took his eye off the ball. Never the less no one likes to see anyone hit. I wonder how Cummins felt. Years ago Chalky White, a brilliant SA baseballer, was a train driver when a youth ran onto the line. Chalky couldn’t stop the train in time resulting in the lad’s death. It took ages for Chalky to get over it. That being said, Starc’s first spell once again gave Paine diving practice. Hopefully his late wicket will restore his confidence.Again Lyon was the unlucky bowler with some brilliant deliveries. Incidentally I’m not bothering with the BBL, overdone. Incident I take an early night and, with a little bit of luck, enjoy THE BIG PASH.

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