Australia v West Indies – MCG Test, Day 3: At last a contest

Beautiful day in Melbourne where leather on willow should take major priority at this time of the year.

It does but there was still a fair sprinkling of shoppers when I walked up Bourke Street this morning.

Decided to buy a new jacket for the big event on Saturday and got seduced by the price and quality at DJ’s.  Worked it out that I got 60% off.

On the tram I met some disgruntled AFL supporters and in particular Carlton.  Fans have a long memory and they are still blaming George “Chop Sticks” Harris and John PM Elliott for the Bluebaggers current situation.

90% of cricket pundits thought that the game would be over sometime today.  I’m suggesting 4.45pm.

Brathwaite on 13 is comprehensively bowled by Pattinson but upon review it’s found to be a no ball.  At 7/91 the game would have been heading for an early finish.

Carlos refuses to give in and he is showing fight unseen so far this series from his teammates.  He dominates the partnership with Bravo who is playing solidly.  It’s a good sign.

Again it happens after a brave 50 from Carlos Brathwaite. He hooks Pattinson, the catch is taken.

Review. No ball again from Pattinson.  Not bad luck, bad bowling.  A no ball is a no ball.

Bravo is stoic with his batting and is playing second fiddle to the debutant who is giving his all for the Federation.

Brathwaite’s luck runs out and after three innings he is beautifully caught and bowled by Lyon for 59.  It has been a brave innings and one that hopefully will set up a decent score for the visitors. 7/173.

Is the first time that a player has been dismissed 3 times in the same innings during a Test match?

Wandered outside during the luncheon interval and was amazed at the number of people who were enjoying the sun and the occasional cigarette.  Don’t think it will be long before the security fence will become a permanent fixture in this area.   Car parking has been cut back in recent years in the park and I’m sure that this will be a further extension of security measures at major arenas where there has been prevalence for parking.

For probably for the first time in the series it is game on.  Australia has to take the new ball as the Windies tail enders have assisted Darren Bravo in thwarting their attack.

Bravo reaches his 50 of 154 balls with five fours. It has been a patient and diligent knock.  It has taken him 285 minutes.

At last a wicket for Pattinson. Roach (22) is palpably lbw and the crowd cheer as video replay shows the bowl was legal.  West indies 8/215.

Taylor continues the work of Roach and a quick 15 before going to Lyon caught behind by Nevill who continues to impress as a keeper.  Meanwhile Bravo continues his fine work.  9/239.

Such has been the quality of the game today that the first beach ball has just appeared (2.30pm). The interest in a game can normally be told by (a) number of beach balls that appear and (b) the start of the Mexican wave.

It will make coming to the fourth day’s play tomorrow worth even more contemplating as a lover of the game.

Another brave partnership and number 11 Warrican sees the score move along to 271 before Bravo is nicely caught by Smith of Pattinson for a fine 81. Jomel Warrican 11 not out.

Pattinson 4/72 and Lyon 4/66 were the best of the bowlers while Siddle did his usual tidy display to finish with 2/40.

It has been a hard day in the field for the Aussies and it is no surprise when they decide to have a second dig.  There was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers but full credit to the Windies tail who showed their earlier team mates how to hold up an end in support of Darren Bravo.

It has been a fine day for the visitors and it continues when they get Burns (5) in the second over. Kraigg B taking a fine catch at second slip off Holder.  Australia 1/7.

Carlos B has had a fine day and he gets his first test wicket when Warner (17) bunts one out to the skipper Holder.   Australia 2/46.

Amazing what a bit of success does to a team and their mind-set. The celebrations when they took Warner’s wicket were worth seeing.

Khawaja continued on with his fine work of the first innings.  He is such a confident player now with crisp shots all around the wicket.  His only problem at the moment is his running between the wickets which is still a bit suspect. He has certainly cemented his spot at 3 and well done to the selectors as well. He is a lovely player to watch in full flight.

Ussie and SPD start the run race in the last hour taking runs at every opportunity. They have taken 35 runs off the last three overs and their intent is for all to see.

Two completely different styles with these Australian batsmen.  Smith is all blue collar using every possible angle and stroke to score while Ussie is all fluent and copybook.  This makes it hard for the bowlers because no matter where the ball is pitched a run making stroke is played.

A ramp shot by Khawaja from Holder goes straight through to keeper Ramdin and he is out for a fine 56. Australia now 3/123 and a lead of 403.

Marsh junior makes his first appearance as a batsman in this Test, being promoted above the successful Adam Voges.  A good move by Smith to get Marsh into the game

Smith continues to play the unorthodox shots and swats the ball through the off-side time and time again.  His manufacturing of shots is unique. I have never seen some of the shots he is playing. His hand eye coordination is extraordinary.

The MCC library staff don’t often get praise but some of their work in getting information to you is second to none.  Their history of the 1930-31 West Indian tour has been fascinating each day. If you ever get the opportunity you should go to the library they have some fascinating material on hand.

At stumps Australia 3/179 and a lead of 459.  SPD Smith 70 and MR Marsh 18. Jason Holder was the best of the bowlers and finished the day with 2/49.

A great day’s play with both sides enjoying success.  A resolute West Indian bottom half and a top order Australian team playing for the cause and not self.

Full credit to the West Indians.  They were like a different unit and one can only hope that it is up all the way from here for the remainder of the tour.

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. Peter Flynn says

    60% off a ticket would be nice.

    Today approached State 2nd 11 standard.

    How do you write about cricket thats so shit that’s not worth writing about?

    Fair play for having a go.

  2. Thanks for the comments Marvin.
    I can tell you that it is hard work writing about cricket that is Premier League and try and cajole a story out of it.
    I reckon I deserve a Brownlow for making 1000 words.
    Never mind only another 69 days before 35 struts his stuff for your team.

  3. Well done on your DJ’s jacket, Citrus.
    That’s a good win.

    A lead of 459 is just about enough.
    I wonder if SPD was given any instruction to bat on, for the sake of pumping time into this match?
    Would administrators ever get involved in such things?

  4. Two howling wicket taking no balls, and the Windies got up towards 300 in their first dig. Whoopy-do. And bravo Darren, your 6-hour, 204 ball 81 gave me time for an afternoon nap.

    It looked like Smithy was batting for an overnight declaration so we could get home in time for Family Feud, but you never can tell with Captain Cautious.

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