One of the surprising sites in Kandy is to see a dog with four legs. There are not as many dogs as at Whitten Oval which has surprised me.  Most of them laze around on the very edges of the main roads.  None are fat (Georgie Bissett) but lean (Robert Murphy).

As a dog lover Murphy would certainly be taking them home for a good feed. They are all very much on the lean side.  They mainly seem to scrounge for food in the rubbish heaps. 

Not that the rubbish dominates the scene.  The local council workers try their darndest with traditional straw brooms to keep the highways and byways clear of debris.  Even saw one guy this morning standing on the edge of the lake scooping leaves out of the water.

There was no rubbish from Harris and Copeland when they took the new ball this morning.  Harris’s opening salvo was right on the money and when Clarke took Sanga or 69 it looked as if something might happen on a day where a victory by Australia was the only possible scenario.

Copeland came back from the Media Mahal end and had Mahela beautifully caught by MJC shortly after he had dropped one 4/270. Mahela walked of backwards.  Shades of Monty Python.

Rain.  As usual.  Probably will rob the Aussies of a chance unlike Sam Stosur in the US.

The number of security people at the ground today outweighs the crowd 2:1. They obviously have a roster system within the police force to ensure they all get a day at the cricket.

Scully a six year deal with GWS? Footy needs to take a hard look at itself.

Love the traffic in Kandy.  It is organised chaos and not a single sign of road rage. Everyone is polite just like most of the people I have met. Our own Cat Ted should come over and have a look to solve Melbourne’s chaos.

After an early lunch the lionhearted Harris bowls a superb over to Prasanna before he tickles one to Haddin.  5/301

Australia continues to toil and Watson breaks through to get Thilan 6/307. They are still in with a chance but the rain is threatening again.

One of my favourite sites of Kandy has been the beautifully attired women in traditional saris of many hues. They really stand out with their vibrancy. What you didn’t know is the one that show the bare back and midriff are of Indian origin and the others Sri Lankan

The boys from Dandenong were keen to talk about the prospects of their local heroes Pattinson and Siddle playing in the next Test in Colombo.  With a doubt on Harris (hamstring),          one of them should get a guernsey (sorry cap) for the game.

Play is abandoned for the day and I wander around looking for more stories.  Like Galle the cricket that was played was first class but the rain, which cost at least one day and a half , surely cost the vistotrs the game.

MJ Clarke was very happy with the teams overall performance when questioned at his Press Conference.  He heaped praise on Ryan Harris for his performance and was very cagey about who might be dropped to fit “the great” (his words) Ricky Ponting into the team. I have a feeling reading into what he said that Hughes might be the one to go with Usman opening the batting.

Lucky enough to have a quick chat with MJ in the lift after the conference.

I am never happy unless I meet someone I know and suddenly two Gippslanders in the form of Michael Vick and “Parrot” Hogan appear.  Vick was an outstanding all-rounder excelling in both football and cricket.  Today he is just all round.

“Parrot” Hogan yes he was an umpire but he got his nickname from being a member of the 1977 Leongatha premiership team.  The ‘Gatha team is known as the Parrots. Like Vick today he is all round.  I’ve never known his real name just like the legendary “Mulga” Shelton.

Other notables from the Gatha include Ian Salmon (Footscray) and Matt Stevic who must have a great chance of umpiring his first AFL Grand Final in a fortnights time.

So that concludes my visit to the the pearl of Asia. A wonderful trip from which I will have very many fond memories.

The final test will commence in Colombo on Friday and if rain ceases Australia will win and take the series 2 nil.

For me? The Grand Final of the Millewa League at Lake Cullulleraine beckons.

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. Andrew Fithall says

    Thanks Bob for your reporting over these two tests. I reckon Parrot Hogan’s real name might be Ron. An Accountant who currently lives in Warragul. Same one?

  2. Bob, loved the reports.

    What a cast of characters you encountered.

  3. David Downer says

    Great work bustling Bob.

    You put some life into a relatively dreary old match.

    Safe travels home.

  4. Played Bob.

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