Yesterday I spent a bit of time at the Oval, together with a good, by Sheffield Shield standards, turnout of spectators ( or rubberneckers keen to check out the progress of the redevelopment).
The Southern Stand seems to be some way from completion. While the structure looks to be pretty much finished, and the shade cloth awnings which were torn in a burst of windy weather three weeks ago have been repaired or replaced, there's much to be done in the three weeks before the Test. Most of the seats still need to be installed: there were only three or four workers on that job yesterday afternoon. Fingers crossed.
The playing surface and pitch look OK, though the latter played slowly and gave some assistance to the spinners. Johan Botha (4/71) and and Adam Zampa (2/63) took all 6 wickets to fall as Western Australia, anchored by Marcus North's 110/213 b, moved sedately to 6/269 from 96overs.
At 6/200 it was South Australia's day but Ashton Agar 39* - yet again looking very good with the bat - and Sam Whiteman 30* steadied the WA innings, leaving at least in my opinion, honours even.
The sunny, relatively mild, weather is forecast to continue for the rest of the match, so a result should be achievable. WA will be keen to revenge their loss at the WACA a few days ago, while SA will be hoping to fuel their Shield campaign, which began disappointingly against Queensland at Glenelg Oval,
with another outright victory.