Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Hobart, 1st day November 16, 2007

Man of the Moment and a Vaas disappointment


Michael Hussey scored ... again. His average is above 80 and shows no sign of dipping © Getty Images

Man of the (Mo)ment
Michael Hussey, who sprinted to a century in the final over, looks a bit like a shady debt collector as he grows a moustache for "Movember", which raises awareness of prostate cancer and male depression. It was more like fluff at the Gabba, according to Phil Jaques, but has developed into an effort any teenager would be proud of over the past week. If he's particularly superstitious it may become a permanent fixture as Hussey has scored two centuries in eight days with it.

Gripping it like Gilly
The home-grown technique of Jaques has proved an initial success in the Test arena after he matched Hussey's effort of two hundreds in November (sans moustache). He is not the only batsman in the Australian team with a high bat grip after copying it from a future team-mate. "I watched Adam Gilchrist do it once and decided I'd stick with it and it's worked," he said. "It gives you some good long levers and just feels comfortable. I've got an upright stance and it feels where it should be."

Sick Aleem
Visa troubles delayed Aleem Dar's arrival in Australia and things have not improved since he landed. Dar had to leave the field in the final session due to illness and a doctor was called to help him with the flu-like symptoms. Dar's departure allowed the rare modern sight of an official standing in a Test involving his country. The Australian Peter Parker, the designated TV umpire, trotted out as the capable replacement, having appeared in eight Tests. He is a fine official with an unusual weakness: he sometimes has trouble counting to six, and once let a domestic over last 11 balls.

Ponting donates more to Murali fund
Ricky Ponting's belief that the Australians play Muttiah Muralitharan better than anyone is being proved by his team-mates but not the captain. The home batsmen want to stop Muralitharan from taking Shane Warne's record in Hobart, but Ponting is not helping the cause. In Brisbane he was stumped off Murali and here he misread the doosra again, pushing an edge to Mahela Jayawardene at first slip. It was Murali's 703rd Test wicket - his only one of the day - leaving him chasing another six to overtake Warne.

A Vaas disappointment
The festive feel of Bellerive Oval, with trumpets for the teams, a three-piece band and men on stilts, was not shared by Chaminda Vaas. This game was supposed to be a celebration for Vaas' 100th Test, but he was the bowler cut to make way for Lasith Malinga. Trevor Bayliss said after play Vaas was unsure whether he could get through the match due to a shoulder problem, but even if he was half fit he would have provided more value than Dilhara Fernando.

Perfect one day ...
It's impossible to watch cricket on a sunny day at Bellerive Oval without falling for the ground. The River Derwent provides a dreamy backdrop and the surrounding hills seem to offer every home a view. It's also one of the few Test grounds where spectators can arrive by ferry after a short journey across from the central business district. However, the warm, fuzzy feelings will disappear if the showers and southerly winds forecast for Saturday arrive

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo