Australia v West Indies – First Test, Day 2: Long-sleeve pullovers only

 

It was all doom and gloom in the press this morning about the future of West Indies cricket and the future of Test matches at Bellerive.

If yesterday’s crowd was poor then today’s was abysmal. Canberra here we come!

Unfortunately for the Taswegians there is not enough interest and that sums it up. IF RT Ponting cannot attract them to the game then who can? I spoke with quite a number of people this morning and they were all from interstate and if you take out the school kid contingent as well then numbers are very, very ordinary.

Marsh and Voges continue to make mockery of the West Indian attack except for Jason Holder. The skipper put in a great spell and looked the only one capable of taking a wicket. One cannot praise him enough as he tries to lift his despondent team mates. Hope he is not burnt out by the time he reaches maturity as a test player. He beat the bat consistently in good bowling conditions.

Caught up with an old friend this morning in former Carlton (1963-64) 21 games 10 goals and North Hobart player Trevor Best. Like most Bluebaggers he is lamenting the state of the Club at the moment but believes that they have made a great decision in appointing Brendan Bolton (another Taswegian) to the senior coach position.

Best went home at the end of the 1964 season and spent the rest of his career at his former club North Hobart. He was also one of the people instrumental in the formation of Superules Football in Australia an organisation that has grown from strength to strength over the years.

 

Best has high hopes that a grandson Liam Smith could be drafted in 2016 so keep an eye out for him.

Lights are on at the ground and certainly with the Australian batsmen. Test cricket records have fallen like nine-pins as they go past Bradman – Barnes (1946-47) for the Australian record (405) and M.Jayawardena and T.Samaraweere for Sri Lanka (437).   These are for the 4th wicket of course.

At 12.10pm the first DRS was recorded. There had not even been the slightest of chances in this partnership. Despite the lack of contest it has been astonishing batting by the two West Australians.

12.20pm. At last a wicket falls! Shaun Marsh hitting out again Warrican is caught by Bravo on the boundary for a magnificent 182 (266 balls, 15 fours and 1 six). Australia 4/570 and a partnership of 449. The spinner Warrican now has three wickets and Bradman and Ponsford’s record of 451 (The Oval 1934) for an Australian pair remains intact.

At lunch Australia advanced to 4/583 with Voges still playing magnificently on 269 and Mitch Marsh 1. Warrican has 3 wickets while Holder has probably been the best bowler this morning and has led by example.

The debate continued on whether Shaun Marsh will hold his place if Ussie is available.

Enough is enough and Australia declares at the lunch time total of 4/583.

Braithwaite and Chandrika open the batting in very gloomy weather and despite some good balls from Pattinson and Hazlewood both players look solid and get through the opening salvo from the Australian duo.

Braithwaite (2) gets a good one from Hazlewood that hits him on the pad fairly high but he is given his notice by Umpire Gould. The DRS becomes debatable as only a small percentage of the ball seems to have hit the wicket. WI 1/17.

Darren Bravo, a most talked about player, comes to the wicket and with Chandrika they put on a stoic display against an accurate attack. The weather does not improve but their defence is solid.

As usual it was the reliable Lyon, playing his 50th Test, who broke the partnership when Chandrika (25) did not go hard enough and was taken at slip by Smith. West Indies 2/55

It was Lyon’s afternoon as he caused havoc when he dismissed Samuel (9) with a brilliant caught and bowled and then had Blackwood (0) sharply caught by Burns without any addition to the score. West Indies 4/78.

At tea the score had advanced to 80 for no further loss of a wicket and the much anticipated rain began to fall along with the much anticipated wickets. Darren Bravo on 32 looks the only player capable of building an innings.

The rain delay did not stop the Australian onslaught when Hazlewood kept one low to Ramdin (8) and he was bowled. 5/89

Jason Holder comes in at number 7. Surely his batting ability should see him batting higher? His century against England proved that he can handle a bat. Like we said on day 1 the West Indies Board is really expecting too much from this young man.

Holder goes for 15 just as the rain comes down. LBW to Siddle a close inspection showed that a DRS would have shown the ball missing the stumps by a mile (sorry kilometre) 6/116

One would think we are in Manchester with the temperature at 11 degrees and overcast weather. It’s miserable and there is talk of a day night test match at one of the most southerly cricket grounds in the world. Come On! If Van Diemen’s Land is to continue to hold test matches then move them to January – February. Cannot remember when I last saw an Australian team with eight players wearing long sleeved jumpers onto a cricket field.

Darren Bravo must be complimented on his innings. He concentrated on his task right from the start of his dig and despite the on-off last session he commanded his position with style.

He continues his masterly innings and when he beautifully drove Hazlewood through the off for four he had hit 16 in a score of 87.

Have watched James Pattinson today and he certainly is not the player we saw before his spate of injuries. There is a different physical approach to his game. Early days on his return though.

A fine partnership between Bravo and Roach is now worth 71 runs and the visitors are showing some fight. Full credit to tail ender Roach (26) who has been of great support to Bravo.

The two carry the score to 207 by stumps in a very gritty display with Darren Bravo (94) and Roach (31). The best of the Australian bowlers Hazlewood 2/43 and Lyon 3/43 best of the Australian bowlers.

An interesting day’s play with Australia’s dominating batting and then a determined fight back from Bravo and Roach. Still a long way from the visitors to go but their determination at the end has given them great heart.

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. Thanks Citrus.
    I reckon it’s fairly harsh on Hobart to be talking of moving the Test.

    Inconsistent scheduling across years, reliably poor opponents, a Test commencing on a Thursday…
    Any of all of those considerations would harm the cause at any venue.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, possibly Bellerive is too far removed from the city centre to facilitate casual walk-ins. Do you have any intelligence on the TCA ground?

    Terrible Test match.

  2. David
    I do have unofficial intelligence that some members of the TCA Board would rather see matches in Launceston or even rejig the North Hobart ground where walk-ins would be sensational.
    At least there would be atmosphere.
    As you rightly suggest “casual walk-ins” are an impossibility at Bellerive .
    Perhaps the TCA should think outside the square and provide free boat taxis from Hobart?
    “Terrible Test match” – correct but we must not place any blame on this current West Indies team after all only Bravo and Holder would warrant a spot in a State team.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Is Bellerive the Waverley/Football Park of Hobart? I’ve been to the cricket there and it’s a small hike out of the CBD. Loved watching the game there but venues near the CBD are what people seem to want.
    But maybe a more competitive opponent would draw a few extra too…

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