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Thursday, November 11, 2010

New look Adelaide Oval hosts old look tour match











England XI 8/288 dec (78.3 ov, P Collingwood 94, I Bell 61) v South Australia 0/26 (9ov)
Tour match D 1/3 at Adelaide Oval


The new western stand at the Adelaide Oval was opened to SACA members, who have underwritten its construction, for the first time today on Day 1 of the SA - England tour match. There is much to admire about it, not least the elevated viewing and the access options: lifts and escalators supplement the stairs. No doubt this latter will appeal to the less agile members, whose ranks I may eventually join, though having climbed several times from ground level to the upper tier (counting 105 steps on one occasion) without any shortness of breath I'm resisting that classification for now.

There are some unusual features: for example incoming batsmen enter from the centre of the stand while dismissed ones and, at the intervals, each team, leave through separate tunnels.

Now to the match itself. Andrew Strauss won the toss, chose to bat and initially struggled against Peter George before Alistair Cook, a form seeking (but not finding) 32, and Kevin Pietersen, whose 33 showed glimpses of his best (and worst) held things up for a while.

It was a warm, some would say hot, day with temperatures in the low 30s despite cloud cover which may have helped the bowlers. Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood ("Collingwod" as the scoreboard dubbed him) took the initiative in the middle session and gradually got on top of what, George and perhaps Tim Lang (a bowler in the Max Walker style) apart, was essentially a modest attack.

Their 131 for the 5th wicket took England to a modestly respectable position, which could have been stronger given the superiority the bat had over the ball after tea. Collingwood looked set for a century when when at 226 he was caught in the gully for 94/113 b (1x6, 13x4) from a loose stroke while Bell continued in mainly watchful mode before being bowled for 61/117b ((9x4). 6/255.

Three days isn't really enough time to force a result without declarations This happened in the WA tour match . Strauss followed the convention and declared at 8/288, giving his bowlers 9 overs at the Redbacks, whose openers survived until stumps.

Another declaration tomorrow? Very likely I'd say.

Scorecard
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