Home Australia 2021/22 The Pink Ball Test

The Pink Ball Test

by Junior Blade

The much anticipated second test match at the Adelaide Oval was set to be an entertaining game under the lights, a pace bowlers paradise as we have seen in the past 17 day/night test matches would seem to suit the English bowling attack. The morning of the test match, concern is raised among the aussie supporters of their newly named test captain Pat Cummins was now set to miss the test after attending a COVID hotspot the night before, alongside Josh Hazelwood with injury. Everything about this test match seems to be going England’s way…

Rishabh Pant’s second favourite temporary captain won the toss and elected to bat, giving a test match debut to Queensland seamer Michael Neser and a test match return for Jhye Richardson. Joe Root didn’t seem too disappointed with losing the toss, but everyone would have loved to have batted on the flattest pitch in the world first, but Root and England seemed to have enough confidence in their 4 seam bowlers to get the job done.

The game started off exactly like everyone had expected, the pink ball doing more than enough to take wickets as Marcus Harris fell early again after Stuart Broad had gone past his outside edge about 4 overs in a row to finally dismiss him with a half tracker down the leg side which produced a worldie of a catch from Jos Buttler (this aged well). The English bowling luck seemed to continue from Brisbane, we were bowling well but just could not find the outside edge. Just before the first drinks break, Stuart Broad struck David Warner on the pad, originally given not out but Joe Root referred to the Australian third umpire who decided that there was not enough conclusive evidence that the ball had hit David Warner’s pad before his bat. The Aussies batted forever, going slower than 3 runs/over on a very flat deck, David Warner coughing one up to cover on 95 again, Smith out lbw on 93 and Marnus Labuschagne scraping his way through to 103 after his luck kept on going being dropped twice by Jos Buttler with one of the most disgraceful dropped catches from a wicketkeeper ever.

The Aussies finally declared on 473 after batting for 150 overs, but by that time nobody had been paying attention to the cricket since the first drinks break on day 2. Instead there was quite a comical event proceeding in front of the crowd’s eyes with the Adelaide Barmies section giving everything they could to the extremely drunk Ritchie’s (Richard Benaud dressers) sat in the section over, which resulted in one of the greatest wars of anthems, name calling and loads of stewards dragging people up the stairs.

England started their first batting innings in the worst of conditions with the floodlights on in the night session. After the first couple of overs the ball was not reacting at all how we had previously seen, not as much swing, this also happened for the English bowlers under the lights, most of the night session dismissals came from poor shots by the batter or seam movement from the pitch. Poor shots and seam movement was once again the case for the English openers with Rory Burns edging Mitchell Starc to 3rd slip early (again) and Haseeb Hameed handing Michael Neser his first test wicket by chipping it to mid-wicket. The second day ended in a bizarre fashion with dangerous lightning behind the bowlers arm which saw the English batters quickly off the field with the team in a fair bit of trouble.

Day three started off quite well for the Englishmen, Root and Malan put on around 140 for the 3rd wicket until both were dismissed in similar fashion about 3 overs between each other with Joe Root coming to 62 and Dawid Malan again falling 20 short of a ton. At around the 50th over I was head in hands, being abused by my Aussie mates in my England shirt under the Sir Edwin Smith stand knowing what was about to happen, another England collapse. To my surprise we lasted a bit longer than I thought we would, seeing a different side of Ben Stokes hanging in there for his 34 off 98 which got us to 236. After we were bowled out, Australia for some reason did not force us to follow on which proceeded in more unfortunate Marcus Harris events, this time he ran out the in form David Warner which for the first time after the 50th over put a smile on my face. Day 3 ended with Stuart Broad down at fine leg being abused by a pack of about 50-60 drunken general admission Australian supporters which was quite comical. Broady started clapping along with their chants of “broad is a wanker” and then moved about 15 yards to his left Infront of the barmies and joined in with them for the 2nd last over. After the days play, senior man Mr Blade found his way to the casino for about half an hour while I headed home with Mrs Blade. Mr Blade seemed to find some heavy traffic on his way home as he walked through the front door at 4:30 AM – this did not result in a happy welcome home for him.

Day four was basically just the continuation of Jos Buttler being a clown, taking a blinder of a catch to dismiss Harris, the next ball dropping Smith on a golden duck, about 7 over later, he took another nice catch to dismiss Smith for 6, it was good watching…

The Aussies found their way to 230 and declared setting the Englishmen 468 runs to win. I’m with my Australian mates again thinking no chance, until I saw Rory Burns make it look semi-comfortable in the middle, this gave me some hope for Joe Root to come out and hit some valuable runs for us and see it through to the end of the day… wrong. An unfortunate proceeding of events caused Joe Root to never be able to have children again after being hit in the unmentionables in the middle and in the nets before the game, OUCH! Root was dismissed before the end of the day leaving us 4/60 odd chasing 468.

Day 5 was typical England, sticking it out for 2 ½ sessions and then deciding they have had enough, literally. A good effort from Buttler, Woakes and Robinson but we were bowled out for 196 with an hour left in the game’s play, Buttler stuck it out for over 200 balls for 26 runs, then he got bored and kicked his stumps over, dismissed hit wicket, quite embarrassing.

England are now down 2-0 with 3 tests remaining, not looking good but nothing is impossible, onto the MCG.

Junior Blade

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