Bodyline – even in the urinals! SA v NSW Day 3

Day 3 dawns a little cooler and fresher but still pleasantly warm forecast for 21C in Adelaide; the match nicely poised with SA 67 behind with three wickets left in their first innings.

A pleasant coffee and chat in the Bodyline Bar before the start of play as the bells of the Cathedral summon the faithful, spectators and players. Interestingly both teams looked to be playing football/soccer as part of their warm up but closer inspection found this to be less so…more akin to netball but only using your feet!

Anyway, the new ball does the trick in removing the overnight batsmen while Lyon sneaks the last man out at 245…a lead for NSW of 44. It took just over the hour with the impression that SA have it in their mindset to survive the game.

NSW openers have the chance to get this match by the throat whilst SA need quick early wickets but this pitch is getting flatter and flatter. We shall see.

The Bodyline Bar is a wonder to behold with loads of memorabilia, fine food and a view to match. Even the urinals are related to that tour!

Plaques in the urinals commemorating the Bodyline series

Lunch sees NSW at 1/33 leading by 77. No real alarms although Hughes was undone by Sayers (first reaction is to move his feet backwards), whilst Larkin has another unusual stance in that his initial movement must be an onside drive which leaves him prone to all sorts of things…but we shall see if it works for him.

Larkin and another unusual stance

SA needed and still need early wickets but there’s a lot to play for yet!

Lunch in the Bodyline bar was a revelation- not least for the side of chips and gravy that was provided but also for the memorabilia from that series. I was impressed most by the autographed bat retrieved from its owner who thought it ok to use this bat in a schools match in the 1940s! Thankfully his head teacher had a sense of history!

Tea arrives with NSW firmly in the box seat with a lead of 195 with only three wickets down. Larkin seems to increase in fluency in reaching 75no and aided by Henriques added 70 for the 3rd wicket before the latter fell for 38. Batsmen seem either to make a century or struggle to get much beyond the 30s. Sayers has two of the three to fall taking his tally so far to 10.

NSW are increasing the pace with a view, I suspect, to declare overnight with a lead of over 300/320 and three sessions to take the win. At this juncture I can’t see SA getting back into the match although I’m ready to eat my words!

Etiquette is often missing from several areas of British life of late (our friends in Westminster are prime examples) and I’ve noticed it too in the English game but here it’s very noticeable. Umpires appear first, the fielding side wait until the captain leads them on and then the batsmen- very proper and noticeable for a nation not noted for its reverence!

The shape of the Adelaide Oval is just that (in fact most playing field in Australia are called ‘Oval’) which means the best view close to the action is side on. If you can get behind the bowlers arm to watch, you may as well be in another state! But when sixes are scored square, you take your life in your own hands. The biggest six today shot over my head onto the Bradman pavilion, bounced and then bounced again off the awning. I didn’t see it coming…just landing metres away!

SA seem to be losing it. They need wickets and to stop the runs and they’ve taken two soon after tea (Larkin 91 and Gilkes 30) fell in quick succession but the orders are to score quickly.

A bit of a collapse from 3/184 to 7/228 may be too little too late to help SA but it looks like they’ll have to chase down 300+ tomorrow on a good pitch or NSW need 10 wickets!

And they fall for 253…quick runs didn’t really pay off but SA need 298 to win. They lose Weatherald to the second ball of a nasty three over spell. Hazlewood strikes second ball when yesterday he struggled like mad. Night watchman sent in (against the grain for some locals) but Winter survives despite a nasty hit off the last ball.

At 1/1 (a few occasions when English and Australian scores can be read the same way). All to play for tomorrow – could go either way but NSW must be favoured.

And the view from the Bodyline Bar

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