Second Test: Day 4 – Havoc

Port Elizabeth
South Africa 423 (JP Duminy 123, AB de Villiers 116) and 5d/270 (HM Amla 127*)
Australia 246 and 216 (CJL Rogers 107, DW Steyn 4/55)
by 231 runs
“- What were yis listening to?
– Springsteen.
– The new album?
– Yep.
– Any good?
– His best since the last one.
Roddy Doyle, Bullfighting

Resumption: South Africa 4/192 (HM Amla 93*, Q De Kock 9*) lead by plenty

– Jeez, mate.
– I know, I know.
– It’s all in front of us.
– I know.
– And they’re fine looking pints, at that.
– Ahh. Nice one.
– The cricket’s ahead of us, too, eh?
– Any chance?
– Fuck no.
– No.
– I mean, it’s do-able, innit?
– Well…
– Yeah, course it is. Roll em this mornin’. Patiently and with discipline collect the required 400-plus.
– You make it sound easy.
– Any difficulty is in yer head, man.
– And in the ball.
– We could do with an early wicket or 3 though.
– Here’s yer beard collecting his ton.
– He’s good.
– He is.
– So correct.

– Looks a flat deck still.
– Should make that run chase straight forward.
– Gotta get em out first.
– Ahh, Yer G Smith is declaring.
– Ah ha. He’s fallen into our deftly laid trap.
– Foolproof plan.
– We now rattle off these 448 to win.
– No fucking bother.

LUNCH 0/31 from 8 overs (CJL Rogers 21, DA Warner 10)

– Drinks at 0/99 and flying.
– Did you get a slice if this action?
– With John the Bookmaker?
– Yeah. There’s money to be made today.
– Mate, if it talks, don’t bet on it.
– Good call.
– In fact, if you can talk, don’t bet on it.
– Better call.
– I’m tipping CJL Rogers to get a 150 here and lead us to victory.
– We could win this by 10 wickets.
– That’d be nice and fucking embarrassing for the locals.

– Ooh he’s got him.
– That’s Warner.

DA Warner  lbw b JP Duminy 66 (1/126, 29.2 overs)

– The spinner.
– The bloody spinner.
– He got a ton in the first dig, too.
– JP?
– Yeah.
– Ah, no bother.
– There goes our 10 wicket margin.
– It’s yer Wild Colonial Boy Doolan, now.
– He’ll be good for it.
– Good man.

– Struggling, though, isn’t he?
– He’s dropped anchor.
– Chris Rogers should give him a hand.
– He’s tying himself in knots.
– But he’s still there.
– True. That’s true enough.
– Yep. That’s all we want really.
– Good man.
– Go you Wild Colonial Boy.

LUNCH 1/141 37 overs (CJL Rogers 69, AJ Doolan 1)

– Philander isn’t a word you hear all that often, is it?
– Well he’s bowled a bit here.
– No, but the verb. To philander…
– What is it again? Something sexual.
– Yeah, well, it’s to have a casual affair. An extra-marital affair.
– Ahh, to philander.
– To philander.
– Doesn’t seem fair.
– What’s that?
– Doesn’t seem fair on old Vernon there.
– No?
– No. The verb should be “to Warne”.
– Of course it should.
– Ah, shite.

AJ Doolan  c GC Smith b M Morkel 5 (2/152, 42.6 overs)

– Gone.
– What did he get?
– 5.
– 5 only? Jeeeez.
– I know.
– Ahh, for fuck’s sake.

SE Marsh lbw b VD Philander 0 (3/153, 43.6 overs)

– Are those two up to it?
– Who’s that?
– Yer Wild Colonial Boy there and your cut-and-come-again magic pudding. Marsh.
– They went alright at Centurion last week.
– That’s all in the past now.
– Money changes everything.
– What the fuck?
– Cyndi Lauper.
– What?
– Cyndi Lauper.
– I fuckin heard you. But you don’t make no sense.
– That’s a Cold Chisel number now.
– I’m moving on, mate. I’ve got Michael Clarke for company.
– Whoops. Hope you enjoyed it.

MJ Clarke c du Plessis b DW Steyn 5 (4/156, 48.2 overs)

– That Steyn is steamin’ in.
– He’s moving it both ways.
– Fucking dynamite.
– This will turn ugly.
– 3/4 isn’t ugly enough?
– It’s already ugly, mate.
– Here’s Steve Smith.
– Uglier.
– Ahh, that’s a brute.
– That’s a first baller for Smith.
– Can we get two more pints?

SPD Smith lbw b DW Steyn 0 (5/156, 48.3 overs)

– That’s 4/4 now.
– Shite.
– So yer man’s stage is set.
– Here he comes.
– In the hour of greatest slaughter the great avenger is being born.
– Come on Hadds.
– Give Buck Rogers a hand now.

– Ahh, fuck that.
– There’s no reviewing that one.
– Not when your furniture is smashed.

BJ Haddin b DW Steyn 1 (6/166, 52.6 overs)

– That’s 5/14 now.
– Are you going to persist with this catalogue of fucking despair?
– You’d rather hide from it?
– Shut it.
– Like an ostrich?
– Shut it.
– Look at yer man Chris Rogers there.
– That’s a fine hundred.
– A fine hundred.
– He’s getting it done.
– No fucking nonsense.
– No selfies.
– No hair stylist.
– No twitter feed.
– No Indian Premier League contract.
– Good man.
– Good man.

MG Johnson lbw b VD Philander 6 (7/197, 59.1 overs)

– That’s 7 out now.
– Can these blokes hold on til tomorrow?
– There’s rain coming.
– Ah, we don’t want to be saved by the fucking rain.
– No.
– No. we’re not the English.
– No.
– Win, lose or draw fair and square.
– That’s right.
– Awful.
– So do you think they can hold on?

RJ Harris lbw b Steyn 6 (8/209, 68.6 overs)

– How many for Steyn?
– Four.
– He’s an angry man.
– They’ve granted the extra half hour of play now.
– Yeah.
– It’s academic at this stage.
– We’ve been flogged.

– Oh he hasn’t..?
– He has.
– That’s tight.
– That’s out.

CJL Rogers  run out  107 (9/214, 72.1 overs)

– Siddle and Lyon will have to push this into Day 5 now.
– For pride.
– It’s all we have left.

NM Lyon lbw b Elgar 0 (10/216, 73.4 overs)
– Ah. That was missing.
– No reviews left.
– Fucking 6 lbw for the innings.
– Shouldn’t stand in front of the pegs.
– That’s a loss.
– Lost 9/65.
– That’s an almighty loss.
– Defeat by 231 runs.
– I’m glad you’re here.
– Inside 4 days.
– That’s enough now.
– Too much, ostrich?
– Fuck off.
– What’s next?
– One more Test.
– Just one?
– Yep, Cape Town.
– Ahh, Table Mountain.
– Good one, Attenborough.
– Fuck off.

– 1-1 with 1 to play.
– Selection issues?
– Maybe.
– Giddyup.
– Bring it on.

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a hydrologist, climate reporter and writer of fiction & observational stories. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks OBP better than the cricket was absolutely pathetic to not at least hold on till day 5 was shameful as bad as anything the all nations side delivered this summer

  2. Thanks E.r.

    Great commentary, so Aussie. We’re getting pummelled and the flow of conversation runs between the game, hope, despair and taking the piss out of anything that moves.

    I went to bed when we were 0/120, thinking I’d wake up to read RSA had been blown away. I seriously thought that we couldn’t lose. I had to check and recheck crinfo and The Age website to confirm the result. It looked so ludicrous. So un-the summer the Aussies have just produced. Did we run out of steam? Have our flaws finally been revealed? What? I don’t know. But I do know I’m grateful for this piece. At least we went down laughing.


  3. I don’t like it as much as your other one.

  4. Terrence Tinklewinkle says

    Forget the bloody leather and willow, it’s flaming FOOTY SEASON!

  5. Andrew Starkie says


    reverse swing=kryponite

  6. John Butler says

    Starkie nails it.

    The ball swings. Our batting collapses.

    Plus c’est la meme chose.

    I see on our horizon, a slow, dry deck. What will be our reaction?

  7. G’day all,
    Thanks. Interesting times afoot.
    Swinging ball, selection quandary,..,
    Well played CJL Rogers.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    The verb “to Warne” is surely in this year’s Oxford Dictionary.

    Love it when D.Wilson has Sunday night pints…

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