Third Test, Day 5: Predictable end to a strange Summer

By Paul Daffey

The final Test of the Australia-Pakistan series ended predictably enough, with Danish Kaneira chopping Peter Siddle on to his stumps to give Australia victory by a handsome margin and a 3-0 series whitewash. But while Australia did take six wickets to seal the match, it was only after a measure of resistance from a visitors’ line-up that has more moods than a boat full of fishermen.

The day’s play began at 10am, half an hour early to make up for the time lost when rain ended the fourth day’s play at 4.30pm. Pakistan began the day on four for 103, needing 355 to win. In these times of heatwaves that scorch your throat, it was unusual to see the Australians take the field with most players wearing sleeveless jumpers. The player who first took the ball, Siddle, left his jumper on during his early overs. The blue water of the Derwent River shimmered cold and clear behind him.

Siddle struck in the third over of the day when he enticed Malik to nick the ball to Haddin behind the stumps.  Peter Roebuck, on ABC Radio, was forced to revise his opinion that Siddle struggles to bowl outswingers. “That was a beauty—classical outswing dismissal,” Roebuck said. The Pakistanis had added only one run to their overnight total.

Roebuck’s clipped tones were replaced by David Morgan, the Welshman who heads the ICC.  Ever since I read How Green Was My Valley, I’ve had this idea that Welshmen burst into song like we scratch our ears, but Morgan speaks with a gentle lilt that gives no hint of raucous coal pits. He said the referral system had been a big success in its first summer in Australia, and he predicted that day-night Tests would be introduced in the near future. He could have said the next atomic bomb was going to be dropped on Mount Wellington and it would still have lulled me into a drowsy complacency. Morgan’s lilting words suited the mood of the first session.

Khurram Manzoor and Sarfraz Ahmed dabbled and dibbled through 11 overs before Nathan Hauritz, who if he were a ram would have only one horn, was introduced in the 47th over. Ahmed prodded forward and edged it. The ball flicked Haddin’s glove before Michael Clarke, at first slip, fumbled it and kicked it up with his left boot before seizing it. Clarke’s clever catch reduced Pakistan to six for 123.

Again the end seemed near, but again the visitors produced a period of defiance. Manzoor and Mohammad Aamer nudged the score along only rarely, prompting Glenn Mitchell to seek new arousal and, of course, stats were involved. Mitchell Johnson was in line to end a Test without a wicket for the first time in his career. Johnson was playing in his 31st five-day match. Kerry O’Keeffe played in 24 Tests and finished without a wicket in eight of them. “It’s a wonder I ever got in the team,” he said. Pakistan went into lunch at six for 168. The first session had yielded 65 runs for two wickets.

Rain fell during the lunch break, but not enough to affect the chances of play. Manzoor and Aamer kept their heads down for seven overs before Manzoor lost concentration and lashed out at Hauritz. He took a big swing and missed, making the commentators reconsider their claims that he was one to stick to a task. The next ball Manzoor backed away and made to slash through point, only to nick the ball into the gloves of Haddin. He made a 77 that was worthy of praise, but his dismissal spoke of bombs and bellyflops when the pool attendant was demanding simple dives. O’Keeffe regretted making the claim that Manzoor was one to convert fifties into hundreds. “He contributed to his own dismissal,” O’Keeffe said.

With Manzoor went any slim hope of Pakistan surviving the day. Umar Gul edged Hauritz to Clarke at slip before Mitchell Johnson hurled the ball into Mohammad Asif’s pads and onto the stumps. The dismissal preserved Johnson’s record of a wicket in every Test. The two batsmen were dismissed for ducks.

Aamer and Danish Kaneria survived another four overs before Aamer hit two fours off Johnson. Ricky Ponting replied by taking the new ball and handing it to Siddle. On Siddle’s second ball, Kaneria flashed at a wide one and dragged the ball back onto his stumps. The Pakistanis were dismissed for 206, a tally that suggests resistance but only just. Australia won by 231 runs. The 3-0 scoreline suggests a greater dominance than was the case.

During the presentations, Shane Watson was announced as the player of the series, with Hauritz not far behind. What a strange summer.


  1. Love the Dave Morgan comments, Daff.

    It has been a strange summer. It started with no batsmen being able to make a ton and ended with all of them, except North, getting one.

    It’s a little hard to judge just where Australia stands in Test cricket right now. An undefeated summer against shaky opposition has probably muddied the waters further.

    Bring on the Ashes in November!

  2. Reckon you’re being generous about Clarke’s catch. He dropped a semi-sitter, but was lucky it bounced back up off his foot. Arsey.

  3. Hey Paul,

    Whast your best contact


Leave a Comment