New Zealand v Australia: First Test, Day 2 – Our Don Voges

THE BASIN DAY 2

Had plenty of time this morning to take in The Basin. Strange how on day one of a Test there is an air of expectation and the adrenaline juices take control of you.

Took my time wandering around the ground before play and was intrigued by the photographic displays placed at strategic points around the ground. The photographs go back to the initial games at the ground whether they are cricket, soccer and a NZ favourite the Marching Girls.

It is a bold statement but I would suggest that the photographs are probably the best display I have ever seen in the one place. You can actually feel the history of this wonderful ground as you view them.

The cricket museum is also another place worth visiting at the ground. Can visit there even if cricket is not being played

Must be great back home getting out of bed and going straight to the cricket. You would have seen two of the finest technical exponents of batting in Voges and Khawaja. Both stand tall with an air of command.

Southee and Boult started well with Voges very lucky to escape an LBW early but after that they played second fiddle to sound batting from the Australian pair.

In the first hour 54 runs are scored and a sense of control by Khawaja and Voges has taken place. That control burgeoned as Uzzie reached his 4th test century of 157 balls. It has been a golden summer for the Pakistan born Ozzie Uzzie. This is his first test century overseas but will not be his last.

Yesterday the crowd totalled 6345 and this should be surpassed today. Being Saturday the capacity of 7,000 should be easily reached.

A DRS against Khawaja is dismissed by a hare’s whisker and he imperiously dispatches Craig to the boundary with square cuts of rare quality of the next two balls. He has not given a chance and looks set for a long stay at the wicket.

As mentioned earlier these two batsmen have the ability to dominate a game and they have certainly put Australia in a very strong position. In the first hour and a half they add 81 runs.

At lunch Australia has reached 3/238 with Khawaja on 115 and Voges (playing second fiddle) on 40. It has been a consolidating session for the visitors and one that has put them in a winning position.

One of the other beauties of this ground is being able to casually walk right around the ground without missing any of the play or disturbing any other spectator. It is a glorious day today and people are dressed accordingly. Apparently on day one people do “dress up” (to coin a phrase) but the second day and thereon is more casual. Hence no shirts by many patrons.

McCullum is now employing a seven two field for Anderson in an endeavour to curb the runs as Australia apply the noose. The irony of it all. The two batsmen where thought not good enough to play for Australia a couple of years ago.

Oh how New Zealand miss Daniel Vettori .

McCullum has to take the new ball as soon as it is due so much does he rely on Boult and Southee to take the wickets.

New Zealanders never say die! In the space of two balls Boult has Khawaja (140) LBW and Marsh.M (0) caught and bowled with a spectacular grab. His face was pure delight of WOW!. 4 and 5 for 299.

Ozzie Ussie’s innings of 140 included 25 fours and was a splendid knock for his team.

On the other hand Marsh continues to not put runs on the board when needed for a number six. Today was the perfect chance for him to show his wares. However he failed and whilst his bowling continues to improve his batting is not maturing at all. I’m not sure but perhaps the selectors should bite the bullet and go for Marcus Stoinis or dare I say it Knackers S.Watson? The only other candidate in this area is James Hopes.

What hopes have we got as armchair experts?

Adam Voges. What a story he has over the last 14 months. The oldest man (35) to make a century on debut. His 4th century in his last 7 test innings comes up when he dances down to the insipid Craig and on drives him for 6. No mucking around in the nineties for the Sandgroper.

If he keeps batting and stays not out and retires from the game he will have a higher batting average than D.G.Bradman and the only person with an average over 100.

Peter Nevill also is looking good and I like the way he is scurrying for his runs. Like Voges a consummate professional in every way.

Just as you praise a guy he goes. He feathers one from Anderson through to Watling for 32. Australia 6/395 with Voges not out 138.

Voges reaches 150 of 248 deliveries. A splendid innings today with shots all around the wicket. He certainly is set for a few more seasons if he so desires.

Question:-

What with the present system of “making” it to the test team will it be long before you will have to be at least 28 years of age to have any chance?

Perhaps we should even introduce a superannuation or pre-retirement league as well.

Despite Australia dominating the game the crowd has been very appreciative of the cricket on show and most of them have stayed on for the day. Who wouldn’t at such a facility?

Siddle is giving Voges good support as the latter keeps piling the runs on. It has been hard to pick a consistent bowler for the Black Caps today. Southee and Boult started the day well and Boult had a purple patch when he dismissed Khawaja and Marsh in the one over but since then it has been all Australia.

Siddle in fact becomes the 100th Australian player to score 1000 runs in Test cricket. He has been a fine servant to Australian cricket and in recent years has been harshly done by. Think England 2015. He gives 100% whatever he is doing on the field and it is hard to understand why selectors and some critics want him dropped from the team. Sure he is not as fast as some but then again speed is not everything despite what the chairman of selectors may think.

The two Australians make light work of the attack and by the end of play have put on 66 runs for the seventh wicket.   The lead is now 280 runs with four wickets in hand. No doubt Australia will bat on from here to consolidate the game even further than it is now.

A splendid days batting from Adam Voges (176n.o.), Usman Khawaja (140) with good support from Nevill (32) and Siddle (29 n.o.).

About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".

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