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Friday, October 27, 2006

Retro cricket: SA v Victoria day 1

The first day of the 4 day SA - Victoria match was played out today in a manner redolent of the 1950s, with a slow run rate and, towards the close of play, pre-daylight saving shadows creeping over the ground (see photo). The weather also harked back to pre global warming times and the football season: no rain, but a cool, turning to cold later in the day, southwesterly wind blowing. August in October is quite a change from the January in October we've had recently.

Victoria finished on 5/244 off the prescribed 96 overs: better than 4/122 which they were at one stage, but hardly a match winning score at this stage. Of course if the lower order can contribute another 100 or so (and the scoreboard lists Warne at number nine, so this may not be out of the question) then SA may struggle to build the lead they'll need to offset batting last.

The SA attack was generally tight and disciplined: the pitch gave Tait, Gillespie and Rofe some help, while the wind provided legspinner Bailey with some assistance. He bowled a long spell in the middle and final sessions and eventually picked up a second wicket, when he went back to over the wicket after several productive (for the batsmen) overs round the wicket.

A legspinner bowling round the wicket on the first day is most un-1950s (though Richie Benaud once famously won a test in 1961 bowling into the rough on the last day.

I'll be there tomorrow and look forward to watching the next stages of the contest.

Media coverage

Nothing yet on Cricinfo about the match but a brief report from Alan Shiell on Cricket Australia's website.

Spectators aren't shown any video of the play, even though every ball is taped (see photo above). Why can't some footage (even if not slow motion etc) be put up on the big screen ?

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