First Test, Day 4: Aamer red hot, Healy red-faced

By Steve Healy

Going to the Boxing Day test is a rarity for me, in actual fact I’ve only been twice before. Last year on day three, and in 2005 on day four. On both occasions, the visiting team was South Africa.

While walking into the MCG on a sunny December 29, I realised that on my last 52/53 outings to this ground, I had seen a game involving two teams of 18. But then again, I was still wearing my Melbourne jumper. Cricket can be a game that plays with your mind.

I sat down in the first tier of the Olympic stand, just as Mohammed Aamer charged in to bowl the first delivery of the day. I find it amazing that a guy only two years older than me can be playing test cricket. Watson and Clarke were at the crease, and they both looked secure. Watson made his way through the 70s and 80s, while Clarke played a nice supporting role by hitting the odd good shot. The score was 3/143, and a 100 partnership had been bought up, before Clarke snicked it behind to Akmal, to bring North to the crease.

As I opened up the barbeque Shapes, the game opened up for Pakistan. Marcus North finally stated playing some shots, but in doing so got bowled to give young Aamer his fourth wicket. His fifth wicket followed two balls later, Haddin edged it behind to Akmal again, who enjoyed a feast behind the stumps for the whole day. But it was Watson who was still stuck in the 90s. He and Johnson put on a few runs, before the bails were taken off for lunch. The score was 6/192, with Watson still stuck on 98, and Johnson on 20. Could Watson put an end to the century curse?

Aamer stormed in to bowl. 15,000 people held their breaths. Watson was on 99. It was a good length ball; Watson played it through the slips, and appeared to be caught. No! The ball fell out on to the turf, as Watson scurried down the pitch for his 100th run. The crowd stood on their feet and applauded, most in disbelief.

The two went on, but only for a little while. Johnson’s bat fell half a millimetre short of the crease when they went for a quick single.

Watson started to play some big shots, hitting a few balls to the rope. In the 74th over, the innings came to an end when Hauritz strolled a mile down the pitch, hoping to hit the ball higher than the cream-coloured seat (In level 2A, in the AFL members area, there is a seat to represent where the biggest six ever at the MCG was hit). Akmal whipped off the bails, and Ponting sensed enough was enough, and called the boys back to the pavilion. The time was two o’clock, the score was 8/225, and the margin was 421 runs.

After a short break, Imran Farhat and Salman Butt arrived at the crease. Now, I’m no expert on Pakistani names, but why is the former referred to as Farhat on the scoreboard, but the latter is put down as Salman?

Imran started very well, hitting Bollinger for a two and then a four in his first couple of deliveries. Butt started more slowly, before Farhat went out for 12 on a reviewed LBW decision. The score was 1/18, and Faisal Iqbal came to the crease, who was put down as ‘Faisal’. Tea is shortly afterwards.

The highlight of the partnership is a six from Iqbal, a high ball hit down the ground off Hauritz. Butt is caught plumb LBW off Johnson for 33, and its 2/80. The next wicket is a cracker, it comes 36 runs later. Iqbal tries to cut a bowl pitched wide from Hauritz, and it unbelievably turns into the off stump. 19 year-old Umar Akmal comes to the crease, joining 35 year old Mohammad Yousef. They put on 54 runs without a problem, and the day ends with Akmal on 27 and Yousef on 45, and its 3/170 at stumps, leaving 252 required on the last day. I left the MCG, confident of Australian victory.

One of the many highlights of the day was seeing Doug Bollinger stick his finger up at a member of the crowd, which happened late in the last session. One of the worst decisions was bringing on Katich was three overs left, but he did almost get a wicket off his first ball, Hauritz couldn’t hold on to a gettable catch.

And I got fairly sunburnt.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. nice report steve. im using the wii to post this. feels weird seeing the almanac on a widescreen telly.

  2. Steve Healy says

    cheers, Josh.

    Happy new year people.

    Love the title for the piece, Gigs

  3. Steve Healy says

    Josh there’s a great article on the Roos in the age

  4. Cut it out and send it to me, do it. Lol

    I’ve watched 3 movies today, and i hardly ever watch movies. The fireworks last night were really poor, but heres the story of the night:

    Last night i was at my Uncles celebrating NYE with family and friends, and Hayley and her boyfriend showed up to pick me up and take me to their place (3km away) and when we got there, it was about 12:15 and since it was so nice outside, Hayley decided to go for a ride on her new bike that she got for xmas (she hasnt ridden in 10 years) and she was riding in the pitch dark with me and Shawn watching and she went over the handlebars and went face first into the pavement. Hahahahaha, funny. She laughed too. Then we decided to go to Maccas at about 1:30 and by then there was really loud thunder and lightning every 2 seconds, as well as pouring rain, then i watched Melbourne v Carlton from Round 4, 1998 on that 7two channel, but went to sleep at half time since the game was boring.

  5. Steve Healy says

    Great story, Josh, i’m just happy that a conversation has started

  6. Steve Healy says

    yeah, i’ll send it to you tomorrow, if I remember.

  7. Melbourne sucks

  8. Steve Healy says

    Take that back or im not sending ya the article! lol

  9. I meant the city..

  10. Josh, you are so dead..

    I hope you keep one eye open when you sleep on my couch tonite, i’ll get you back and then take photos and post them on this website. To make it even funnier, i’ll be getting Shawn to videotape it and upload it directly to YouTube.

  11. piss off

  12. i’ll nipple cripple you when you least suspect it ;)

  13. Steve Healy says

    Calm down, Barnstables.

    Josh, I sent the article to you

  14. hey everyone happy 2010!

    lol hayley

  15. Steve Healy says

    cheers Danni, you too

  16. thanks Steve!

    lol if i had a dollar for everytime a relative or fam friend has said that i look like a princess i would be as rich as the Prez1 LOL

  17. Steve Healy says

    yeah, but instead of giving you a dollar they give you a guitar!

  18. lol hva u already seen the pics?
    i jst sent them now

  19. Steve Healy says

    pics? ill look now

  20. Steve Healy says

    hahaha nice, nice to see you were posing with a guitar to celebrate the new year. lol

  21. lol yeah!!
    i was just strumming and then you were so surprised at my status i was like i might as well take some pics with it!
    i think i look like a guitarchick though.

  22. Steve Healy says

    yeah you do, you look like you’ve been playing for ages

  23. ROFL!! hahahhahaha!!
    omg thats so funny!
    since i really cant play cos i dont know how!! lol
    hmmmm maybe i should be a rockchick.
    I’ll join Averil Lavigne

  24. Steve Healy says

    yeah, you can be one of those singers who mime and pretend to play the guitar lol

  25. yeahh!! nice i will be the next Brittany!! although theres NO WAY id shave my hair!!
    Then i can have Superman, Rusling, Brown, Swallow and Higgins as my backup dancers!
    Hollywood here i come!

  26. Steve Healy says

    you can make a duet with Jurrah!

  27. Steve, what is it with you and trying to get me with Jurrah??? seriously!!

    i dont do duets!
    i sing and dance with my backups.
    Fab5 are backstage pass, front row seat material at my concerts. LOL
    Just don’t expect me to sing live! lol

  28. Steve Healy says

    I’m not trying to get you with him, Jurrah would know plenty of tribal music. Robbo should join you as well, hahaha.

    Nah, me Damo, Josh and Michael should be the security.

  29. Robbo can come only if he brings Miller!!
    LOL tribal music!

    lol hmmm i dont know about Mikey. A rangga security guard???
    lets be clear on one thing, if a hawt guy tries to run up on stage..DONT STOP HIM!!

  30. Steve Healy says

    thats mean danni, someone with red hair could do an equally good job lol.

    Yeah Miller can come too

  31. cheers steve. bought 4 shirts and a new footy today. thank god michael is outta the country

  32. Steve Healy says

    he didn’t even say bye! lol

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