Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 3rd day December 11, 2011

Starc makes a mark, Hughes gets a break

Plays of the Day from the third day of the second Test between Australia and New Zealand in Hobart

The blow
Mitchell Starc hasn't had the same impact in this match as his colleagues James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, but he certainly left an impression on Dean Brownlie. Starc sent down a bouncer that Brownlie tried to duck, but he was unable to get out of the way and copped a painful blow to the left wrist before the ball crashed into the grille of his helmet. Immediately, Brownlie called for the physio and the magic spray was applied. It was the sort of knock that could have caused a fracture, but Brownlie batted on. However, it was another bouncer that got him out, when he ducked Pattinson but left his bat in the way, and the ball clipped it on the way through to the wicketkeeper.

The good fortune
Phillip Hughes has been unable to take a trick in the past few weeks and walked out to the crease on the third day in Hobart knowing that he was playing for his place in the team. But before he had scored, Hughes enjoyed a stroke of good luck when he gloved a catch down the leg side off the bowling of Chris Martin. The wicketkeeper Reece Young took the ball cleanly but the umpire Nigel Llong turned down the appeal, and New Zealand decided against a review. Had Ross Taylor requested a referral, he would have seen that Hot Spot showed a clear mark as the ball brushed the glove.

The black armbands
Ricky Ponting's return to Tasmania is usually a happy occasion for him, a chance to catch up with family and friends, and represent his country on his home ground. However, on the third morning the Australians walked out on to the field wearing black armbands, Ponting having received the sad news that his grandmother had died. A Cricket Australia spokesperson described Connie Ponting, 86, as her grandson's greatest fan. The sad news came just over a year after Ponting missed a one-day game against Sri Lanka in Melbourne to attend the funeral of his maternal grandmother in Launceston.

The rain
Hobart isn't exactly known for its tropical weather, but even by Tasmanian standards the Bureau of Meteorology forecast - an 80% chance of rain on Sunday - was grim. And it proved to be correct. At lunch, the rain came, drizzle at first and then enough to force the Milo in2Cricket kids from the outfield, ending their enjoyable day of playing at the Bellerive Oval. The Test resumed nearly an hour after lunch finished, but there was further frustration to come for the fans and players. At tea, the rain arrived again, the gloomy weather approaching over the Southern Stand from the Derwent River. It cleared in time for the umpires to declare a resumption at 5.30pm - the scheduled stumps time - but before the clock reached that mark, the drizzle had returned to end the day's play.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kieran on December 12, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    @ kayaar, in that instance the 3rd umpire would have to look at every ball with every piece of technology in case something was missed. I can't imagine that happening in the timeframe between, particularly a spinner's, deliveries. Don't worry, I don't think anyone can fathom what the BCCI is doing at any time.

  • Karthik on December 12, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    @ HatsforBats - how about this. The 3rd umpire and the on-flied umpires have a device to signal each other in an instant. Given that there is at least a few seconds delay between deliveries, the 3rd umpire can alert the on-fiield ones of an impending review should he suspect a possible dismissal. I'm sure with all the technology that is available, this is not that far fetched and will go some way towards ensuring that the right results are obtained. Having embraced technology, I feel cricket must not stop at half measures. FYI I'm Indian and still can't fathom my board's stance on the UDRS.

  • Billy on December 11, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    @landl47, if you play cricket, you would know that it's not about the right result or the fastest result. It's about a fair result. There was no certainty that Hughes touched that. Hot Spot has demostrated countless times that it can be a flawed piece of technology. Only Young appealed and it was such a lame appeal that no wonder no one bothered to ask for a review. By your logic, the umpire would have to turn on hawk-eye, hot spot, ball tracker etc. for every delivery and look at every piece of action just in case anything untoward happened. At the end of the day, the result was a fair one and Taylor, Young and Martin only have themselves to blame.

  • Andrew on December 11, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    @landl47 - understand where you are coming from, but, UDRS already makes it hard to bowl the full quota of overs in a day as is. We all want to see the right decisions made, Hughes should of been out, but there was doubt in the Umpire's mind & doubt in the slips fielders, w/k, & bowlers mind. They hardly appealed. I'd rather a batsmen has some benefit of the doubt as opposed to being given out wrongly. Taylor didn't roll the dice.

  • kieran on December 11, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    @ landl47; I want the right decision and I understand where you're coming from but if the decision were put in the hands of the umpires EVERY near-miss would have to be reviewed or the umpires would be crucified for not reviewing it. Every appeal, every play & miss, every possible LBW, every no-ball. Assuming even just 20 seconds per review this would cost more than an hour in game time; as it stands teams rarely achieve their full quota of overs. It's just not feasible for the umpires to review everything, the system isn't perfect but more correct decisions are being made, it's working. Without a DRS option Hughes would still be not-out.

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    seems that hughes is the new marcus north,, failing in most of his innings but being on the brink of being dropped scores a reasonable amount...not good, hate it!

  • John on December 11, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    The Hughes non-dismissal showed again that the DRS is ill-conceived. It's the job of the umpires, all 3 of them, to get the decisions right as often as possible, not the job of the players on each side to guess whether a batsman is out. It's the third umpire's job to use the available technology to make sure as far as possible that every decision is correct. EVERY decision should be made by the 3 umpires. Most will be straightforward, with only the no-ball to be checked. Some will need careful review and occasionally a decision is really tricky. This was an easy one- the 3rd umpire would have seen the HotSpot mark at once and Hughes would have been gone for 0. While it's impossible to say what might have transpired, the 72 (so far) opening partnership, which should never have happened, has definitely tilted the game towards Aus. To those who complain that reviewing each decision will take too long- do you want the right result, or just the fastest result?

  • Randolph on December 11, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    @Wefinishthis - I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. I cannot believe how often Starc dropped short. It reminded me of MitchJ in recent times.

  • Chris on December 11, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    If Starc can't pick up wickets against a feeble batting lineup on a green top under cloudy skies without the quality of McGrath, Lee and Warne to compete against, then he just really isn't up to the task yet, which is reflective of his poor stats in shield cricket. He should never have been picked ahead of Copeland or Faulkner. Pattinson has done very well, but let's see how he bowls against the experience of India's batting lineup on flat pitches. Siddle still couldn't get much movement but was aided by the incompetence of NZ's batting lineup, so he shouldn't be there either. I rank our specialist bowlers in order: Harris, Cummins, Copeland, Pattinson, Faulkner, Cutting, Butterworth, Coulter-Nile, Bollinger, Siddle. However if Copeland doesn't perform under more normal circumstances or Pattinson performs against India like he has against NZ, then things could change very quickly. Also FYI, O'Keefe got 4-88 against England. Media, talk him up!

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