Second Test, Day 3: A challenging day

by Tim Adam

Watching cricket in Singapore is strangely dissatisfying … and culturally challenging.

The internet tells me that at drinks in the midst of the first session on day 4 the West Indies are 2/64 in their second dig with the honours going to Australia this morning.

On arrival in Singapore four days ago I knew that accessing the cricket would be a challenge.  Australia vs the West Indies is not a high priority here.  We are staying with good friends in an ex-pat gated community in the ex-pat part of town.  Guards in the guard house monitor who’s in and who’s out.  No swearing, no spitting, no dissent about the government.  It’s an environment I find culturally challenging.

The focus for the weekend has been the Singapore marathon and associated events attracting 50,000 participants.  In what was described as cool conditions (28 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity), competitors set out at 5.30am.  Kenyans fill the top ten men’s placings and take home the winner’s cheque of US$35,000 in 2 hours 11 minutes.  The majority of the field finishes 5-8 hours after the event starts.  It’s about something other than running and I’m culturally challenged by this.

Siddle has come on to bowl and cricinfo suggests he may be hampered by hamsing tightness.  As the screen refreshes it’s impossible to discern whether Hauritz is making any headway.

21.5 Hauritz to Gayle, no run.

21.6 Hauritz to Gayle, no run.

Additional content suggests a puff of dust as the ball pitches.

Tessie’s cleaning up after the post-marathon barbeque.  She is one of 140,00 Philippino ‘helpers’ resident in Singapore.  From her own small quarters within the family apartment she cooks, cleans, child cares and assists in all aspects of family life.  Her earnings are greater than those of a school teacher back home and she supports many family members.  She is treated very well, but the New Straits Times tells horror stories of elsewhere.  It’s part of life but I’m culturally challenged.

North and Hauritz in tandem.  There is a whiff of Cardiff Day 5 in the air.  It’s lunch.

At the barbeque we ate Aussie Angus with Kiwis, South Africans, Scandinavians, Japanese and Poms.  These families are citizens of the world.  In the pool 25 children learnt real international negotiations … who should have the blow up crocodile?  These families are all here because of dad’s work.  Singapore is the hub and most of these men travel the world to sustain the global economy.  The more they travel the lower their tax rate, a minimum of 10%.  For the spouse it is often tough: transitory friendships, loneliness and a long way from home. As a 49 year resident of Melbourne I’m culturally challenged.

At tea Chris Gayle has his 100 and from all reports it’s been a great innings –  disciplined concentration with Nash providing excellent support.  Pre Test the pundits were asking whether the Windies were crazy or lazy.  Their efforts over the past two days have breathed life into a docile Adelaide pitch. The Australians lack of bowling penetration has again highlighted the post-superstar era.

The shopping party returns and it’s suggested that a neighbour may have the cricket channel.  I watch the last 50 minutes.  I listen to Healy and Chappell harp on about the Windies lack of attacking intent.  Slater’s advertorials and shouted speed talking are almost too much.  It’s pathetic and there’s no doubt that I’m culturally challenged and cringing.

At stumps there’s a game to be won.  West Indies 8/284 and a lead of 296.  Gayle is not out on 155 after an outstanding day at the crease.   Mitchell Johnson has 4/85 off 19 overs.  Australia is genuinely under threat and if Benn can deliver again, an outstanding victory may be within the Windies grasp.


  1. Tim – outstanding summary of the cricket, and very interesting to read what culturally challenges you: Authoritarianism that produces uncomfortable conformity, institutionalized tax avoidance, servitude that produces class divides, and an disgust at neither team’s desire to actually win. You should go into politics! Though looking at the ratbags that fill our political corridors you might want to start your own Party.

  2. Peter Flynn says


    December is the coolest month of the year in Singers.

    I remember being in Singers when Howard was coined Bush’s deputy sheriff (or something like that).

    Hmmmmm. I’m hearing ya.

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