NYE in Adelaide Oval’s Bay 135

I’m calling it.

My fellow lovers of confected cricket, we need a national conversation. I ask this plainly: why has the Zooper Dooper been banished? In case you’ve not heard, it’s been replaced by a chewing gum brand for the BBL wicket celebrations. Won’t someone think of the kiddies?

-Dad, it’s really hot here in Adelaide Oval’s Bay 135 for this important NYE fixture. Can we have a sugary iced treat?
-No, have a stick of chewing gum.
-But I’m dehydrated.
-Chew faster.

I’m also reminded of my favourite graffiti, seen on a condom-vending machine: This is the worst chewing gum I’ve ever tasted.

*

So, we’re underway in the traditional NYE 6.40pm time slot. Despite his early-tournament successes, former GWS Giant Alex Carey misses a straight one from Lalor. Shortly after fellow opener Weatherald also plays around one and travels back to the sheds.

Unlike Trump’s twitter-feed the Strikers are circumspect. When everyone’s favourite Colin, he of the tribe Ingram, comes out, all four batters have been non-right-handers. Thus far not a great evening for the sinistrophobics, and I wonder what’s the collective noun for left-handers. A Hooksey, I decide.

Jono “Orson” Welles comes in, fresh from swiping a monstrous six at the SCG a night or two back, but he pops one to extra cover in a feeble dismissal which reminds me of PJ Keating’s description of John Hewson’s parliamentary performance: being flogged with a warm lettuce.

Lehmann the Younger contrasts with his dad who, despite his finesse, particularly against spin, always looked high-vis and Old Bushman Hotel front bar. With an ironic moustache upon his peculiar dial Jake is foppish and dandy; part Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, part Adam Ant, part Caddyshack gopher. Metrosexuality aside, he is dropped first ball and then twice more in collecting a useful twenty-odd. Brisbane’s inability to hold catches would prove to be a significant difference.

*

Of course, the BBL isn’t only a cricket contest. It’s an ethnomusicological event with the between balls stabs central to the entertainment, but the playlist is now tired. I suggest themed evenings.

In the games leading up to Christmas let’s have only Yuletide tunes by the Rat Pack. What could be better than acknowledging a Bradley Hogg wicket than with an immaculately-phrased grab from a Frank Sinatra song? After all, they’re from the same generation.

Imagine the excitement of the punters gushing into the Gabba knowing that play will be punctuated with excerpts from Ripper ’76. Going from Supernaut to Sherbet to Split Enz. And to complete the experience why not get Molly to do the ground announcing?

But let’s also go beyond the rock and pop staples, to broaden the auditory appeal.

-Dad is it true? Is tonight Miles Davis night at Bellerive?
-Yes, it is son.
-The second great quintet featuring Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter?
-Of course! How could the Melbourne Stars now not win?

*

Michael Neser bats with intelligent aggression in assembling forty, including a lusty blow which lands in an adjacent bay. Impressive Afghan youngster Rashid Khan arrives with mere deliveries remaining, hits a six (I’ll never use maximum: oops, too late), but then holes out in what is surely the most eventful two-ball innings conceivable.

In our final over Neser skies one, and a volcano of Heat fielders converge, but with home-town luck running nicely, it lands, splat, right in the crater.

As is now tradition with the Strikers batting first, they’re about thirty runs short.

*

Returning to the Eastern Stand as desultory half-time rituals take place across the turf our eldest asks:

-Dad, it’s hot, can we have a Buckethead?
-But these offer no protection. As hats they fail.
-Please!
-No. Every time one is worn, somewhere a koala gets an unpronounceable disease.

*

Brisbane Heat has a menacing batting line-up: think Goodfellas with Kookaburra Kahunas, but tonight they’re the ones getting wacked. Within the opening over Brisbane loses a wicket.

Lynn in, carn Khan. Gorn! The Heat’s most exhilarating bat is dismissed for a Mr Blutarsky: Zero…point…zero to the quickish leggie who, three games in, has the competition spooked.

The violet sky then hosts fireworks from across the river/lake in Elder Park, and the booms and bangs echo and shake the Gavin Wanganeen Stand, and I wonder if the batters notice these seismic blasts. When former Striker Alex Ross is bowled the scorecard reads as a distinctly Under 9’s-like 4/15.

It’s still light and there’s a chance the game could finish early. I hope not for Adelaide Oval’s fireworks during daylight would lack spectacle and pizzazz, like bringing out a brussel sprout birthday cake at a Macca’s party.

Curiously, Heat all-rounder Ben Cutting is out cutting (caught at gully) in what must represent a major disappointment to his family. Still, his is a bright innings while those about him fall meekly.

Jake Lehmann takes his second smart catch out by the rope to remove Brendon ‘Baz’ (I prefer Mungo) McCullum for an atypically sheepish tally.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province’s finest strides out and playing the first ball Yasir Shah’s agonised leaping at the crease convinces me that he’s stepped on a piece of Lego.

Soon, it’s a numerically-attractive 9/90 and then all out. Tellingly, the Heat has not registered a single six. The Strikers head (sorry) to 2018 top of the table.

We enjoy the 1970’s disco funk medley and pyrotechnics and then drive carefully, west along Hindley Street.

About Mickey Randall

Late afternoon beer, Exile on Main St playing. Sport like cricket, most types of football, golf, squash, horse racing. Travel, with Vancouver my favourite city, but there’s nowhere I’ve not happily been. Except Luton. Reading. Writing about family, sport, music, the stuff that amuses me. Conversation. Wit. Irony. McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon, Barossa shiraz, Coopers Sparkling Ale. Jazz and especially Miles Davis. Lots and lots of music. I live in Adelaide with my wife Kerry-ann and our boys Alex and Max.

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Mickey the Cutting line gets my vote ( a clanger from the umpire re Lynn continues to open more and more debate re drs )

  2. Grand Mickey. I have greatly enjoyed watching Perth Scorchers matches. But taken no interest in BBL generally. Go figure. Must need skin in the game to keep my interest.
    Love the volcano crater of inept fieldsmen. (Or are they fielders now that we have batters outside of fish and chip shops?) The musical variety suggestion is a goer. How about players nominate a least liked track for when you fail? “I’ve done all the Dumb Things” on high rotation? “Stuck in the Middle with You” for run outs? “I Can’t Find What I’m Looking For” for wides?
    How do you compare the live v TV experience with BBL. Would you go without your kids?
    Zooper Doopers? I thought Adelaide Oval was “Choc Ices and Assorted Sweets” in steaming dry ice.

  3. Good work, Mickey.
    The Adelaide Oval NYE fixture looks like it is here to stay. Really well supported by the locals, and I admit to watching it here in Williamstown.
    The Lynn decision was a stinker – there have been quite a few in the BBL this season.

  4. Luke Reynolds says:

    Brilliant Mickey. I doubt I’d go to a BBL game on my own, but it’s a great night out with your kids.
    Hope a ‘Hookesy’ as the collective noun for left handers becomes a common part of the lexicon!

  5. Dave Brown says:

    Onya Mickey! It was a most enjoyable night in Bay 105 too. Loved the weird numbers of the Strikers that night. The last person to hit a six in their first BBL ball (Lehmann) got out to be replaced by Khan who proceeded to do the same thing (the six lobbed just in front of us). The first five Heat wickets fell to five different bowlers all bowling their first over of the night. I was disappointed Head didn’t give Lehmann, Weatherald and Wells a bowl towards the end, to give all 10 fielders a go. And yes the Lynn decision was a shocker – just like there being a few grade cricketers getting a go in the BBL there appear to be a few grade umpires.

  6. Thanks for the comments, chaps.

    I reckon it’s a great night out, and as season ticket holders it represents pretty good value. Each match costs roughly for the four of us what it sets back an adult to attend a Crows match, and as they’re about the same duration…

    Of course it’s more entertainment than cricket, but hidden in the package there is a bat and ball contest to be enjoyed, and as NYE distractions go, I like it.

    We’re off to Queensland tomorrow for a fortnight and look forward to the Sydney Test and the BBL in the car and in front of the tele by night in a range of Sunshine Coast and hinterland locales.

    Cheers!

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