At the start of play on the final day of this Sheffield Shield match there was the prospect that players and umpires would outnumber the spectators! Ok, so it’s a work day, it’s chilly (well, for Adelaide) and SA face an uphill struggle to win or even draw this match.
Needing another 298 off 96 overs with nine wickets in hand outlines the challenge. They lose the night watchman (Winter) very quickly and a loose shot by Hunt against the new ball seems them stagger to 3/13. Head tries to steady the ship but falls to Lyon for 29 and at 4/47 plans for the afternoon are being made!
Ferguson and Cooper (seems he can bat…made 270 in the last match) see the ship safely into harbour of lunch at 4/76: another 222 (I can only ever hear that in Richie’s tones) or two sessions.
Hazlewood has looked very sharp and I fear has done for Head’s test chances as he looked particularly at sea against some sharp, class bowling. But we shall see.
For a time I sat in the Bodyline Bar contemplating the day when I look up to see the room filling with SACA Members.
On discovering I was from England and ‘what’s a Pom doing watching a Shield game’ they were generous and forthcoming in their views on every aspect of the game and it seems that the issues are the same here – poor attendance at first class games, dependency on one day and T20 for revenue, overworking the national side and so forth. They too are boggled at the prospect of the Hundred – they struggle to see the logic too!
One thing which is amazing is the TV coverage of the game at the ground – I gain the impression it’s available to a wider audience but the style and format is excellent with minimal number of cameras, the cost must be low but the graphics and video editing are superb. Do you have this in England was one of the questions; as was do you have DRS in the County Championship?
Oh…the light years between the approach of the game to the public in each country!
The wheels start to come off soon after lunch as Hazlewood continues his new form and 4/76 soon becomes 5/87 (devils number), 6/93 and 7/107!
The plan for the afternoon needs rejigging but no!. Sayers at tea is 46no off a run a ball, Cooper 72 off 127 and they’ve given SA a sniff at 7/195 with 20 overs to go plus the last hour!
NSW fielding and bowling decisions have been questionable at best but they’re probably striving to get one of these two as soon as they can and the rest should fold?
SA need 103 and NSW three wickets as the last session starts. If these two can stay there…?
But within minutes SA are 201ao and lose by 96. Sayers made 47 to go with his 13 wickets and Cooper 77; Hazlewood took 6/35 as SA folded like a pack of cards.
As an experience I recommend it to any and all cricket followers. SACA members and others and the SACA support team; Adelaide Oval team…everyone was exceptionally pleasant and welcoming and pleased to see me and everyone…if only?
Clearly I made an impression as one of the support staff thought my green trousers and red trainers were the height of fashion, and who am I to disagree?
And a few photos to end with….
Some close ups to try and decipher the mysteries of the spinner that is Goat
Hazlewood in full flow – is his leg really that bent?
The best cricket photo of the day
But this for a memory takes the biscuit