Gabba Test – Day 4: Coffee is For Closers

Australia 295 (Haddin 94, Johnson 64, Broad 6-81) and 7 for 401 dec (Warner 124, Clarke 113, Haddin 53) beat England 136 (Johnson 4-61, Harris 3-28) and 173 (Cook 65, Johnson 5-42) by 381 runs


It’s funny to think that a day that ended in triumph and hostility could’ve started with a bland and benign hour of play.

In fact, the only highlight of that wicketless first hour was the revelation that Allan Border’s favourite Karaoke tune is ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ and that Drew Morphett loves singing in the shower. I’m not sure what I found more offputting about the latter point. It was either the thought of Nannas around Australia swooning at the prospect of Imperial Leather being draped over the Morphett Mane or the visual of Drew moving into the 2nd verse of ‘You just like me coz I’m good in bed’

Thankfully, the team moved on from the topic of last night’s social activities and onto the cricket. Cook and Pietersen were doing OK, but Dashing Drew was wise enough to note that although Cook has proven he can hang around, KP ‘likes to play his shots’.

Sure enough, the South African couldn’t help himself and hooked one down to fine leg, where the substitute fieldsman, Chris Sabburg took a tricky catch. Sabburg is clearly a man who can take his chances, given that just a few weeks ago he was awarded the final spot on the Brisbane Heat’s roster after having been awarded that same final spot last season. Considering the year that Michael Voss just had, it was also pleasing to see a red head enthral the Gabba crowd.

Lunch came and went with Cook and the new batsman, Ian Bell, at the crease and as unlikely as a recovery may have been, one couldn’t help but be a tad nervous about having these two guys at the crease. They’ve made many runs against us in the past and as a team we’ve failed to ‘seal the deal’ in the last few years. Whilst Mark Taylor has often said “My game plan was just to get a few runs in front and then let Warney bowl them out”, in recent years this Aussie side has been closing like Shelley “The Machine” Levine in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Have our leads been weak? Or have we been weak?

After a tough opening post-lunch, Bell was on his way. As the rain came, both sides took Tea.

I doubt the Aussies had a coffee during the break.



In the 12 overs between the Tea break and the next rain break, everything changed.

Cook fell to the resilient Lyon. The steak knife could finally be turned.

Prior gone, Broad gone, Swann gone. The first two have apparently been identified as folk who ‘thrive’ on abuse. I’m no psychologist, but I’d wager that that also means that you don’t mind dishing it out.

As the rain once again fell, it seemed that we would all be back again tomorrow. The ABC commentary box said that ‘the pegs were in on the covers’ and Channel 9 said that ‘if the play starts again, please flick to GEM, but until then, it’s goodbye’.

Within 20 minutes, Twitter was telling me that play would be back on in 10 minutes. With the ABC commentary back on, I feverishly switched to GEM to get prepared for some more action.

And more action I got…in the form of John Wayne onboard the Chiku Shan in William A. Wellman’s ‘Blood Alley’.

As the ABC informed me that the players were on the field and ‘waiting for TV or something’, I was on the edge of my seat as the Chiku Shan triumphantly proceeded to Hong Kong Harbour with her refugees aboard and freed from the tyranny of Communism (Ref: Wikipedia (I had it on mute)).

With credits rolling and all pointers to an Australian victory covered, we were back at the Gabba. Although the TV execs may say they just wanted to look after the movie viewers, I would like to think they were just setting the scene by likening the triumph of the Chiki Shan to the one that our cricketers were about to experience.

Soon after, Tremlett was gone.

The only concern now was the shadows (Surrounding the Gabba pitch, not the British pop group whose hit ‘Shazam’ is apparently a regular on Drew Morphett’s iPod) and the removal of Jimmy Anderson.

With Anderson hanging around for longer than required, the Aussies were keen to give him some advice. Curiously, our newest test debutant and current captain in most forms of the game (yes, the same person) was leading the charge from short leg (you know, the spot where the first gamer fields).

Backing him up was the captain, who suggested to Anderson that Mitch Johnson was going to ‘break his f***g arm’.

Now, I’ve broken my arm. And it hurt. A lot.

But, to this point in my life, I’ve never been decapitated.

But given the many a bowler and fielder in all forms of cricket all around the world have told a batsman that they’ll ‘knock their head off’ at one stage or another, well, surely a limb here nor there is hardly worth talking about.

But it will be.

Soon after though, Johnson’s ball to Anderson popped up for a c&b and it was all over. The Aussies had finally closed. Two tough away series in India and England have seemingly hardened the side and whilst their records don’t stack up against their opponents, I’m hoping that passion and a baiting home crowd can wear down the tyrants.

Well done. Help yourselves to a coffee.

About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. Loved the Glengarry Glen Ross reference AE (my god those initials are scarey). Both clever and appropriate.
    I didn’t hear the details of today’s sledging, but reading Warner’s comments about Trott and the poms doesn’t do it for me. If I wanted WWF I’d get Pay TV.
    But more importantly I see no reason to fire them up more with trash talk. I don’t relish the return fire if the Gabba is a flash in the pan.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Entertaining read , Andrew I missed the radio banter but the thought of , Drew singing that is scary ! Chris Sabburg becomes a name we all must remember for trivia nights !
    As a fellow ranga l like your sympathy towards our plight . Loved that Gary so clearly out bowled , Swann who also made a pair of ducks ! Good point on the irony of the test debutant being the leader in the other forms of the game and leading the sledging
    Spot on re the wah wah spat with , Anderson . we wait and see if we have opened up the mental scarring enough unfortunately the next test is in , Adalaide on a pitch square which is a bloody drop in and in shield games so far been terrible just so slow !
    Thanks Andrew

  3. John Butler says

    Andrew, you’ve inspired me to revisit GGR after many years. Excellent call.

    How many missed the actual conclusion of the game amidst all the broadcast to and fro?

    And what do we make of it all? I spent large parts of the weekend rubbing my eyes in disbelief.

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