Almanac Cricket (Memories) Perth Test – Day 2: The Ashes contest is back on

The Ashes are just around the corner for the English and Australian men’s sides (can you believe it?) and some highly anticipated long form cricket is just what the doctor ordered with crowds expected to return in numbers over summer. Hopefully this piece will whet the appetites of our Almanac cricket fans from a series where Australia was arguably at its most dominant in recent years.

(Originally published on December 15, 2013)



My day started with two kids birthday parties. By the end of the second I had had a gutful and was begging for the cake to be cut which is the official sign that you can leave without being rude.  The beauty of the late start in Perth was that I had not missed a ball bowled.


Day 2 could be England’s last chance to get back amongst The Ashes contest.  Having only had the fortune to be on 100 once overnight I figured Steve Smith would have slept extremely well and would be looking forward to pushing the total over 400. It wasn’t to be though, as England had regrouped and freshed overnight. A stern discussion with David Saker saw Broad and Anderson bowl a much fuller length and get some swing.  The results were immediate with England: 4 for 59 and the Aussies out for 385. Smith fell for Lord Nelson’s 111 and Johnson for 38 both to edges behind. It was left to Harris, Siddle and former Prospect DCC opening bat Nathan Lyon to boost the score to just above par.


England had a nasty five overs to face before lunch which they negotiated well and went in at 0 for 24.  There was a half chance to Smith and a couple of edges that did not go to hand but England moved well to 0 for 85. The Barmy Army were back in full voice and the Ashes contest was back on. Enter the warhorse, the man who barring injuries and a ludicrous SACA organisation could have been one of Australia’s best: Ryano. His first ball around the wicket got Carberry playing on while trying to leave. Then Rulebook’s love child Watto got Root to play and miss and – according to Erasmus – edge. After a massive delay the decision was upheld much to the disbelief of Root (and me) as it seemed clear it was bat hitting pad. England, like their over rate, had slowed to a crawl. 2 for 91 at tea.


The last session was enthralling test cricket at its best.  Siddle, Harris and Johnson all upped the ante and Cook, who had made his way to a stylish 72, lost his wicket to a loose cut shot off Lyon. Warner held a good catch but Cook may have been softened up by a great spell from Siddle at the other end. Pietersen took 15 balls to get off the mark, a record length for him, and he made an unusually patient 19. The rate of scoring for KP was probably a testament to the quality of the bowling, Siddle got his reward when he induced Pietersen into a false hook shot brilliantly caught by Johnson full stretch at mid on. Stokes and Bell got England safely to the close at 4 for 180.


This was a great day of test cricket and the first session tomorrow may decide the outcome of The Ashes. The good news is that the contest is back on.








If Billy Bowden and Erasmus are the best the test panel can offer up test cricket is in strife.


Ryan Harris deserves to be rated as one of Australia’s  all time best competitors.


Mounting yard report from former Perth District cricketer Matthew Leddin: ‘It’s like comparing Flemington to Esk races’. 15-0 to the Adelaide Oval Village Green.


England need to play the rest of this series in an aggressive manner. They looked best with Carberry and Cook counterpunching.


Perhaps the biggest difference in the two sides has been the fielding. The Aussies have held pretty much everything whilst the English have missed countless chances.




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  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Enjoyable read Raj I thought you manage to get , Prospect a mention in your article spot on re , Ryano unbelievable competitor and incompetent by the ,Saca . Ian McAllan is really , Arhur Fonzerelli can’t say the word wrong .! Cook and Carberry were impressive and yes far better when they were playing shots .Roots dismissal shows , DRS is far from perfect and two guide dogs would be than these two so called umpires , Billy can’t even count to ,6 . Australia bowled well and with out luck , Kp deciding to do a Watto could be crucial it is set up for a vital , 1st session . Thanks Raj

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    I absolutely agree re Rhino, although Siddle is also right up there as a warhorse.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    10 times , Siddle had dismissed ,Pieterson for a useless stat , 4 times red meat ,6 times as a vegan banana man was v good yest we are far superior in , 3rd fast bowling spot a vital advantage

  4. Good summary of a terrific day’s Test cricket.
    The SACA have given away more talent than the Dockers back in the day – Peter Bell, Winston Abraham, James Clement etc etc.
    I keep trying to work out the difference between the English summer and this series:
    1. The bouncy Australian wickets suit us.
    2. The rub of the green – winning the tosses, Root’s DRS etc.
    3. Australia’s players are committed and starved of success. Credit to Boof and Pup. In the last session on Day 1 the poms were going through the motions. In even worse heat yesterday (wait for today!!) the Australian bowlers were amazingly courageous after Tea.
    Spine tingling stuff. Its ebbing and flowing like a Tolstoy novel but the good guys have their noses in front.
    Thanks again Raj.

  5. Totally agree with you re: Harris and your comment that the fielding is the difference… the Warner and Johnson catches were top shelf… Although the Poms being “Root-ed” by the DRS could prove costly as well.

    Great article – especially after a late night coming so close to your maiden B&TPL victory. A great consistent year though.

  6. Andrew Starkie says

    Great Test match cricket. Utterly enthralling and compelling final session. If Aussies go on and win, the wickets of KP and Cook will be the turning points. England need a Smith like ton and we need to keep wickets falling. Can’t get rid of thought we are riding out luck a bit and it may run out. We’ve been kept alive all series by brilliant individual efforts. having said that our combined bowling and fielding pressure has been significant. Sign of a composed, well led team. Cmon Aussies!

  7. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Raj your thoughts on the 3rd days play please ? The tail is proving to be 1 of the biggest differences between the 2 sides

  8. Malcolm The poms are shot.There was some high pressure bowling which they could not handle. Here are the reasons why the Aussies will whitewash the series.

    1) Confidence and stability instilled by Boof

    2) High quality Aussies fielding compared to shoddy English fielding

    3) Warner and Johnson being settled of the field and performing out of their skin on it.

    4) Haddin outpointing a hapless Prior with gloves and bat.

    5) A relentless Aussie Bowling unit which did not offer any respite versus an inconsistent out of form English one.

    6) England preparing doctored dustbowls over there and not handling the bouncer here

    7) Runs from the Lower order. On average 150 more from the Aussies per Innings.

  9. Troy Hancox says

    I agree RAJ.
    Catches win matches….
    If you take your half chances, you dictate terms.
    played enough cricket, watched enough cricket to know that.

    Have to back your bowlers up.
    have your jokes/talking etc whilst the bowler has his back to all, when he turns. GAME ON!
    if you can’t concentrate in that 20 second period, you are dead in the water!
    Aussies have dominated in the field, then as confidence grows, so does the chance of winning!

    As in ALL sport, state of the mind/confidence is key!
    A bit like plcebo tablets administered by medical profession. IF YOU BELIEVE, it will work, it will…….

    Aussies are riding the wave of confidence!
    WINNERS ARE GRINNERS! You could see that when Warner took that catch…. little shimmy, in your face EN GER LAND!

    We got em……… you gotta get em…
    The toss has helped! ALWAYS BAT FIRST!!!

  10. Peter Flynn says

    Fancy winning 5-0 with Watto.


  11. Raj, you forgot to mention that the two birthdays you went to were your own kids. Well done on the silent bolt.

  12. Very funny Duncs. Are you the 2nd cousin of Shania Watson?

  13. Gday Raj,

    As I’m sitting here in a lobby @ The Adelaide Hostel – San Francisco I’m pleasantly surprised how talented you are on and off the field not only a very good cricketer, but smart and have a very good overall idea of the game. One of the reasons I say this is I’ve never met a guy who purchases a hat of the winning premiership afl team at the end of each grand final, so I’m sure you’ve put your Sydney hat away and now have a hawks one. Anyways good work old fella and I’m disappointed I didn’t get to drink with you and the terrorist at the test breaky and Adelaide oval but instead I was in San Diego staying at the Hyatt overlooking the wharf so it all evens up. Keep up the good work and go the kings and aussies.

  14. Good one Bushy. Im a Norwood and Swans man always. Has been a few good years but it turns in roundabouts. Look forward to the Tigers finshing 9th again.

    I am tipping the Aussies to warp up the series tommorrow morning and get a 5 nil sweep,

  15. Cotchin - Bushy says

    Oh Raj, it just gets better doesn’t it! A norwood/swans double in 2012 what a coincidence, then norwood in 2013! you really are having a couple of good years. If anyone knows anything about footy they’ll know North Melbourne are the 9th specialists more so than the Tiges. get back to me on that one and you might be surprised.

  16. Bushy I think you will find that Richmond have finished 9th and lot more than the Kangas on double the budget. You lost to the team that finished 9th which is arguably worse.

    Didnt see you at the 1984 GF I guess because you were not born which means Ive been a Redlegs supporter since before you were born.

  17. Troy Hancox says

    Being a TIGERS man all my life….. Finding it tough not to have a crack!
    TIGERS have finished 9th a few times, Bushy is right… North Melbourne have the wood on us!

    Andrew Demitriou has to go!

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