05 December 2013

The Ashes: 2nd Test, day 1

It was awesome to watch the cricket today with my wife, my Baggy Green soliders Sylvester and Stapo, as well as my brilliant mates with Waving The Flag. We had a delayed start at the historical first game at the new ground due to rain but we got a full day of cricket in the end. Not epic cricket by any means but still special for me to finally see Australia playing an Ashes Test match.

More images to come of the ground to add onto our redevelopment progress photos, but it was incredible seeing the walkway over the River Torrens opened up and so many people walking towards to new Southern Stand entrance. It was a great atmosphere, along with the Barmy Army antics too.

To also finally experience a live day of Ashes cricket, since watching my first one on the television in 1994/5 as a youngster was surreal.

The scoreboard reflecting the days play & attendance for day 1. (Photo: Ian Reid)

2nd Test, Adelaide Oval
Australia won the toss and elected to bat (leading the series 1-0)

Australia 1st innings: 5/273 from 91.0 overs
Chris Rogers 72, George Bailey 53, Shane Watson 51, Michael Clarke 48*, Brad Haddin 7*
Stuart Broad 2-63

Verdict: The cricket was topsy turvy and I say England just took the day. If they'd taken their chances on offer it would have been a worrying scorecard, but by the same token we totally gifted them three wickets, those of Watto (51), Warner (29) and Bailey (53). They didn't have to work for them.

We saw three half-centurions, all of whom were set for a big innings on a track they'd adapted too, especially Rogers who was batting beautifully alongside a very relaxed Shane Watson, who used his feet considerably well to the spinners. Frustrating to say the least they didn't march on but it was still good from a series perspective they put runs on the board. Can always be worse.
Before this match Shane Watson and Chris Rogers knew they would be under the spotlight to register a good knock to contribute to the side. Rogers is stable and guaranteed to perform at regular intervals this series, while Watson's issues remain his inability to capitalise on solid starts and really play to his ultimate potential in Test gear. Rogers got close but Watson's dismissal was just gifted to James Anderson and ruined what had been a very relaxed and well composed innings for him.

We still have captain courageous at the crease. Yes, Michael Clarke is unbeaten on 48* and has played with caution and a certain steadiness. He had his life line but luck is needed in this game. His gritty determination is essential right now!

Brad Haddin is with him and is lucky to still be there after Michael Carberry dropped a sitter - and he is one of England's best fielders. So he needs to go on from here. Haddin just playing his natural way I guess, which is either scary or exhilarating.
England's need to ban Matt Prior from DRS input is quite serious now as they lost two referrals. However, with the ICC's new "DRS top-up" law they claimed back one after 80 overs, only to lose one again when they chanced one with Brad Haddin which was clearly too high for an LBW decision. Their loss. Tactically DRS needs to still be played with caution.

5/273 and if we can get to 400 it will be a positive turnaround and no reason why we can't mow on. 450 to 500 is what many would tip as the expected score on this track batting first. Well, we still have 5 wickets in hand and England still have to bat so lets see what day 2 presents.

We have two experienced men at the crease - one who loves the Adelaide Oval. Mitch Johnson is still to come, as well as Harris, Siddle and Lyon who can all hold their own. We're still in this but to be fair England probably slightly ahead having claimed George Bailey's wicket just before stumps.

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