First Test – Day 4: Milestones

Australia 4/487

It’s a bit of a milestone period for me at the moment. Sunday the 11th would have been my 22nd wedding anniversary. (Even when we were happily married, we used to say “best we forget” every year on that day.) Monday the 12th was Mum’s birthday. 88 not out she is and still going strong. Dad turned 90 in August and he’s still chugging away too. The prognosis is pretty good for me I reckon! And right now I’m half way through moving from the old marital home to a new place, which I’ll share with my oldest son.

Monday was also day 4 of this Test and, for Australia, it was going to have to be one milestone at a time if they were to salvage something from it. Jim Maxwell suggested to get through the first hour’s play without  losing more than one or two wickets would be a good one. I thought that was generous. I didn’t think Australia could afford to lose more than one in that period.

The first milestone came quickly. Cowan notched up his half-century and with Clarke set about reaching that first hour mark with minimal damage.

Meanwhile, I discovered that thirteen years in the one house means you have to throw quite a few milestones out on the last hard rubbish day before you move. Oliver’s first cricket pads from his under 12  days – out. An old set of golf clubs the kids made great use of in the park – out. The World Cup 2006 soccer ball that they just had to have at the time – out. Countless picture books that were read countless times – out (to the op shop, not the hard rubbish).

No one out for Australia in that first hour though, which was good news. Another milestone achieved. By this stage I’d loaded the car up with boxes to take to the new house just a five-minute drive away. The drive took me past a funeral parlour. Out the front, a coffin was being placed into a hearse. “That’ll be his or her last milestone”, I thought.

And that’s pretty much how the rest of the day went. For me and Australia. Trip after trip of rubbish carried from the backyard to the street. Carload after carload of boxes from old house to new. And run after run being piled on by Cowan and Clarke.

Clarke got to 50 and Cowan almost got to 100 by lunch. He was 98 not out at the break. And he got the ton just after I emptied the last box of another carload. I’m so rapt for Ed Cowan. He impressed me greatly when he spoke at this year’s the Almanac’s Manning Clark Cricket Oration. It’s hard not to think of the phrase, “couldn’t’ve happened to a nicer bloke”. And he made his maiden century 12 months to the day after the death of his mentor, Peter Roebuck. Another milestone.

Milestone after milestone to Clarke and Cowan. Nothing the South African bowlers could do was going to stop this pair – apart from get a lucky finger on a drive that would run Cowan out at the non-striker’s end. But that, South Africa’s only significant milestone of the day, didn’t stop Clarke and now Hussey from chalking up more of their own. Clarke 150, Hussey 50, Clarke 200. On it went. By the end of the day Australia were 4/487.

It’s just possible they could rattle on another 150 tomorrow before lunch and set the Proteas a task of surviving two sessions. If they could knock South Africa over that really would be a milestone victory.

But they’ve only got a day to do it. At least I’ve got three more days to clear every last milestone reminder out of my house.

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Amla was very lucky that Col Egar wasn’t umpiring yesterday.

  2. Or Darrell Hair.

  3. Andrew Starkie says

    All the best for the move, Gigs. A new chapter.

    PFlynn, did you also mentor Hussey? Love the Huss. You can really sense his love of the game. It’s the backyard at mum’s everyday for Huss.

  4. Huss has been lucky, the lack of middle order competitors allow him to hang on. A bit like Graeme Wood was. A run of low scores, spot tenuous, a ton, safe for a while, then repeat it.


  5. Hope u get settled in nicely Gigz. Lovely report.

    PS As an aside (and a plug for your gigabitz column!) what does ADO mean on the western ado?

  6. My wife considers our wedding anniversary dates as a millstone.

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