2nd Test, Day 4: Ponting scores another century but bad light cuts time short

The 2nd Test is turning out a lot more interesting than the 1st Test even if there's no chance of Australia losing (that's not necessarily a bad thing). For starters, it's lasted a lot longer than the 3 days it took Australia to mop up the Proteas in the 1st Test. There's even a chance of my dream situation of an Australian victory late in the 5th day. There's also been plenty of spice with Shane Warne caught by the stump mike abusing Andre Nel, calling him a "f---ing dill". I haven't heard someone use the word "dill" since primary school but hey, if it works for Warnie...

The greatest controversy though were the illegal repairs made to the pitch overnight after the 3rd day's play. Apparently, the curator plugged up a hole in the pitch, right about where Warnie lands the ball bowling to left handers. The umpires ordered them to undo the repairs. It looks like Mickey Arthur made another offer the curator couldn't refuse. I'm imagining the ground staff scuttling out to the pitch in the middle of the night in black ninja suits, mission impossible style, to make covert pitch repairs.

But of course some cricket has been played as well. Ricky Ponting scored another century and amazingly, this is the 3rd time this summer that he's scored 2 centuries in a Test (twice against South Africa, once against the West Indies). I hate to drag out the B word but his form has truly been Bradmanesque. No wonder Bradman has been practically deified in this country if he maintained that kind of form throughout an entire career. Cricket is a great sport for digging up obscure statistics and another interesting one is that Ponting has scored more 100's than 50's. This is the cricket equivalent of a negative split (something commentators gushed about during the Commonwealth Games) and an indication of how often Ponting goes on with it once he gets a start.

Australia ended up declaring at 4 for 307, leaving South Africa 410 runs to chase down in 4 and a bit sessions. They reached 29 for no loss before bad light stopped play early into the 3rd session (so no hattrick for Brett Lee, dangit). It's a situation just like Perth and I think Ponting made the same mistake as in Perth (and yesterday I praised him for learning from his mistakes). What he did in Perth was delay the declaration so that South Africa had no chance of winning. But the Proteas also had less time to bat out the draw which they achieved easily in the end. One couldn't help thinking if Ponting had given South Africa a chaseable target and more time to dismiss them, he would've had a much greater chance of taking the ten wickets. Instead, South Africa shut up shop and blocked out 4 sessions.

This is the case here as well. Instead of South Africa taking a risk and chasing down the score, their sole goal on Day 5 will be to preserve wickets and save the Test. They did it just a few months ago so there's no reason to expect a different result this time around. Nevertheless it should be an intriguing day so let's hope Lee and Warnie can mow through them tomorrow.
Posted by JC on Tue 28 Mar 19 comments
The Nel/Gilchrist altercation is yet another reason why I wish I had cable TV here, would've been good to watch. I like Botham's summation of Andre Nel - he must really love playing cricket because it's certainly not for the money - he loses most of his match fees due to fines.
Posted by JC on 2006-03-27 21:30:10
JC,whats this pitch tampering thing while match is in progress all about? isn't there any ICC regulation on this ? whats the match referee doing about this ....
Posted by unsui on 2006-03-27 23:59:25
It's nothing too sinister. According to the curator, it was for "the batsmen's safety". And it was made during the Australian innings so supposedly it wasn't done to help the South Africans (I was kidding about Mickey Arthur going all Godfather on him). But it was illegal so the umpires made him undo his repairs. Dunno what he was thinking - maybe he was freaking out since the ICC made those new rules about censuring grounds with sub-par pitches. I doubt too much will come of this.
Posted by JC on 2006-03-28 02:46:57
Very well say it. The new car games that i speak about it are amazing.
Posted by Carla on 2011-08-13 19:38:14

Post New Comment

You need to be logged in to post a comment. If you're new, register here. Existing users, login via the right margin.