Third Test, Day 3: Introducing the Test Cricket Quaddy

by Chris Riordan

Here’s a new betting medium I’ve just uncovered. As we know, they’re what keep sports afloat.

It’s the Test Cricket Quaddy and you’d have scooped the pool if you got it right by tonight. The challenge is to pick runs and wickets per session, from tea one day until stumps the next.

I guess it is inevitable that any contest spread over five long days at nature’s mercy is going to fluctuate in intensity, offer periods of tedium and, quite probably, some moments to savour.
The Perth Test famously offers good “viewing” hours for us Easterners and tends to signify the opening of the barby/beery summer evening sequence.

No longer burdened by full time work, following this final Windies Test seemed pretty simple, with the exception of a couple of sessions.

On Thursday evening we had to adjourn to a local for my son’s Birthday dinner, returning as Ch9 wrapped on a landmark Chris Gayle ton which reinvigorated the game. Such knocks are impossible to gauge on replay – sure, there were some impressive blows, but what it meant to the match was difficult to quantify. Was it going to make any difference? Where would Day 3 take us?

My first dilemma this morning was…Is this a good Test? Certainly there were plenty of discussion points which is always good for bar room chat and the run rate was frenetic, but the balance between bat and ball seemed tilted. Maybe, though, this was not just the fault of the pitch and the power bats prevalent today, but perhaps this is a fair reflection on the bowling quality. It was clear when Warne and McGrath retired that Test draws could become more commonplace as Australia may need to eke opponents out. Increasingly fast run rates have helped keep games alive, and, as Victoria showed in a Shield win last Sunday, chasing down high 300s on a last day pitch is no longer a pipedream. “Things tend to happen more quickly” was a prescient summation.

Not that this was immediately obvious. In the first session it was clear that Australia had determined to reclaim their pride from the humiliating counter-offensive of the previous afternoon. Sarwan’s early demise offered promise, but both sides then dug in for some more traditional, attritional cricket.

The hyped fracas from yesterday added a keen edge and runs and wickets were momentarily at a higher premium, and though some may have declared the opening session dull, it was clear that neither side wished to give ground and the lunchtime quandary was whether the stubbornness of the participants or the pitch would yield to enable the match to progress.

Commentators insisted the wicket looked to have changed but the pattern could only be described as “holding”.

We went to get Tom (my son)’s haircut during the next session. Honestly, we were not out of touch for long. Yet, when we got back to the car and switched on the radio, it was clear that something incredible had occurred. Remarkably, Australia were batting again. The West Indies’ collapse had been dramatic and largely unforeseen.

The wickets I’ve seen on replay do not offer much defense for their batsman. Like the hapless Pakistanis last week in New Zealand, a propensity to wave the bat wide of the body and to keep the head away from the line proved fateful.

What a turnabout! The Windies had self-destructed and undone all of the credibility reclaimed from Adelaide.

But more drama was to come. Australia are now 8/137 at stumps. Ponting has come in and out batting at 9. Watson has gone LBW again, but top scored. Hussey has not only lost bearings of his off stump but become rooted to the crease and thus a simple bat-pad victim for the high bouncing, spinning anti-hero Benn. Clarke played like the millionaire he is.

What an engrossing day.

Which of the Quaddy legs was the better? On Day 2 few wickets fell for nearly 400. Yesterday it was 16/235. The pitch doesn’t seem that dire. Whenever it favours one over the other, the players comply. In the “old days”, they batted for three days and then “held on” after the rest day. In today’s culture it seems the pendulum swings more quickly.

Australia will win this Test. The West Indies, unfortunately, then will leave just as we are learning their foibles. Pakistan will pose new and fascinating questions. But the Australian side has to fight its own self-doubt. They are not a popular team amongst the general population, nor do they appear to be a squad settled for further conquests. Transition is the catch-cry but injuries and age are murking the road ahead. I love this period of uncertainty and the debate it can engender and, ultimately, the opportunities it will present.

Test Cricket still provides wonderful theatre and offers so many points of conjecture.

Who could have foretold the incredible tumult of the last four sessions? The Quaddy would pay the lot…but, from my observations at the pub and in the street, that would barely be enough to pay for a day in the outer.

The game is still terrific. Questions abound. Australia will win in 4 days.


  1. I’m lovin’ the Test Cricket Quaddy idea! JTH, can you get onto your Betfair mates and get this one going?

  2. Cricketquaddy (copyright) should not be used in matches involving Pakistan!

  3. Prefer 3 legs with each leg denoting a session of a single day.

    Ladbrokes had this sort of betting for a single session moons ago. Probably still do and some.

    A word of warning deep into fast moving Tests: Beware of the potential extra 30 minutes that can be called by either captain.

    We got burnt at Nottingham in 1997.
    England were 8 wickets down at the scheduled stumps time, and MA Taylor claimed the extra half an hour of play.

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