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Monday, December 04, 2006

Is it worth going tomorrow to watch centre wicket practice?

As the temperature rises (today it was 29 degrees, with 33 forecast for tomorrow) the widely predicted deterioration of the pitch hasn't happened, so the second Test is heading for a draw.

There were several good things about today, especially Michael Clarke's century, Matthew Hoggard's bowling and Adam Gilchrist's highest score against England since January 2003.

Clarke's elegant innings should ensure a guaranteed place for him in the team for the rest of the series.

I'd thought that a bowler of Hoggard's type would be more successful in the second innings, but he gave a masterclass in how to bowl in unfavourable conditions. He's probably glad that there's unlikely to be a second innings for him to bowl in and even gladder that there's over a week between this Test and the next.

Gilchrist returned to form with an innings in which began watchfully, then accelerated into one day mode until he was, just as it looked as if a century was there for the taking, caught on the leg boundary to give Ashley Giles his only wicket.

Australia eventually reached 513, by which time too much of the match had gone to allow either side much of a chance of winning. England's second innings began slowly, and they reached 1/53 at stumps, far enough ahead to prevent defeat, but not far enough ahead to think about a declaration tomorrow which would give them time to bowl Australia out.

Tomorrow's play, barring miracles, will almost certainly be centre wicket practice for both sides. I intend to go, but won't be expecting anything out of the ordinary.


PS Sorry about not posting any photos for last two days. Hope to post a small retrospective selection tomorrow.

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