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First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
While many kids in Australia go to the Gold Coast upon finishing high school exams, myself and two other cricket-loving friends thought a much better celebration would be to travel to Adelaide for the second Ashes Test.
James Anderson. His cracking opening spell set the scene for the whole day. Sharp and consistent, he will possibly be the X factor for England in this series.
Adelaide v Melbourne
Thankfully the adventure of a new city, stadium and atmosphere distracted us from what was a woeful day of cricket for Australia. Our 3 for 2 was the worst start to an Australian Test in at least 25 years and having witnessing my first diamond duck, we quickly began comparing the Adelaide Oval to our beloved MCG. Eventually we concluded the Adelaide Oval was near-perfect for Test cricket, if not for the overwhelmingly inappropriate hot dog prices!
The small size means as a spectator you are right in with the action, and shouts, songs and jeers can be heard from any place in the Oval, which makes a big change from the 100,000 strong MCG.
We were divided in our opinion about the classic Adelaide Oval scoreboard. It was beautiful, quaint and very easy to read, but lacked some modern statistical measures like how many overs each bowler had bowled. And we could not for the life of us work out what the "B" column stood for.
With the full bearing of 32 degrees of Adelaide heat, sunscreen was a must. But one regret was not bringing enough water and being left with a choice between the infamous Adelaide tap water and overpriced soft drink.
Face-off I relished
Warm weather was painful (provide some shade Adelaide!), but as Michael Hussey and Shane Watson and Brad Haddin got back on their feet, the Test began looking like lasting more then three days, providing some relief to what had been a shocking morning for the Aussies. The fall of Hussey on 93 and the burst of wickets that followed reignited the fantastic Barmy Arm who made up at least half of the General Reserve. They began singing and could be heard all around the small Oval.
Shot of the day
The most entertaining moment of the match was the acceleration of Haddin once Hussey fell, climaxing in a flukey edge for six which landed very close to our seats!
England's three-man run-out of Xavier Doherty. Amazing fielding from a massively improved England side: well done, Poms, on that one.
Ryan Harris wasted four minutes of everyone's time by referring his LBW decision, which was so plumb even Haddin seemed to urge him to walk.
Players to watch out for
Marcus North is surely playing his last game in the baggy green after yet gaian failing to stand up when Australia needed him. Meanwhile Michael Hussey is not only denying his critics blood but is placing himself in the prime position for the captaincy should Australia lose the Ashes.
Marks out of 10
6. A great ground for Test cricket but not the best day of cricket from Australia's point of view, nor the most exciting. But as an experience - 8. I highly recommend watching cricket at different stadiums; the different atmosphere will enrich your cricketing experience. It has certainly enhanced my understanding of the game!
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Scott Lennard is a 17-year-old from Melbourne, who has just completed year 12 of his schooling, and is looking forward to a career in international cricket with his unique straight, slow right-arm variant of spin bowling. As a back-up, Scott has ambitions of journalism and hopes one day to work on Test Match Special so he can meet Blowers.
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