First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
With the WACA only hosting (on average) one Test a year, I wasn't going to miss a minute of the action. With India four wickets down and still needing another 120 runs to make Australia bat again, my prediction was Australia to close out the match before tea.
Virat Kohli kept Australia out in the sun and provided some resistance, but Ben Hilfenhaus was great for Australia. He claimed three wickets in his second over after lunch, and cleaned up the tail who could have stuck around and made Australia bat again.
One thing I'd have changed about the day
I would have changed the security post-match; it was too strict and over-the-top. Many people were waiting for signatures from the Australian players. However, after over half an hour later, they hadn't come out. The security men rather forcefully said something like, "Action is over, out you go everyone". However, I'd heard that the players came out later after previous Tests. There was also a ridiculous amount of security around a team bus on the way out.
Despite it being unlikely that the match would last the day, I came with lots of supplies. The seats are rather hard and uncomfortable, so a towel eased the pain. I also brought my iPad, radio and signature bat. On the food and drink side, I had a box of crackers, a Vegemite roll, a sports drink, some grapes and a fruit bar.
Filling the blanks
During the one break, lunch, I headed down to the front row and watched the "In2Cricket" junior matches. One six was caught one-handed by a man in the crowd. The food outlets were busy and bar packed.
Michael Clarke took a fantastic catch at first slip to dismiss Zaheer Khan and put Hilfenhaus on a hat-trick. Zaheer fended a bouncer above Clarke's head. Brad Haddin dived across to try to catch it but Clarke kept his cool, jumped full stretch, and took it in both hands.
I was sitting in the Lillee-Marsh stand, and I could see Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc signing autographs for many youngsters at fine leg. They were cheered when they obliged the children's requests.
Shot of the day
Kohli hit Hilfenhaus for a beautiful four through the covers. It was too little too late though, as R Vinay Kumar was at the other end.
The crowd was reasonable for a potential final day, and not much of a contest expected from India. However, there were still Indian fans in the crowd. The crowd got most excited when Hilfenhaus was on a hat-trick. He was clapped in and there was a loud groan when Ishant Sharma played and missed. Although the majority of the fans were Australians, there were polite claps whenever Kohli or Dravid hit a boundary.
During the lunch break, the junior cricketers played and entertained us. There was an interview with an "In2Cricket" official, but apart from that, the entertainment was limited.
There were about six or eight men dressed up as umpires under the Inverarity Stand. I'm not sure, but I suspect that they were the same men who dressed up as Richie Benaud during the first day, as there wasn't a sign of Richie anywhere. Whenever the umpires made a signal, these men would copy them. They were really good lookalikes!
Tests v limited-overs
I definitely prefer Tests. Tests are what they are called: tests of all players' bodies, minds and skills. During ODIs and Twenty20s, you have one go at batting, or a limited spell of bowling. In Tests, you can redeem yourself in the second innings. And, as David Warner proved, you can incorporate limited-overs into Tests to make them more exciting.
Some people may find it hard to sit through seven hours in the blistering heat, with uncomfortable seats, and possibly boring play. Compare this to Twenty20, with short sessions and exciting performances... well, you can see why many people prefer to stay at home to watch Tests. But during Tests, anything can happen, and there are myriad records to set or break.
Banner of the day
An Indian fan had a banner that said, "I've got the moves like Sachin". The Indian fans seemed to like making banners, but there were very few Aussie signs.
Stat of the day
The Australian bowlers took the same amount of wickets each in each innings: Hilfenhaus took four, Peter Siddle three, Mitchell Starc two, and Ryan Harris one wicket in each innings. Is this the first time such combination of wickets has happened twice, with the same bowlers claiming same amount of wickets? Who knows.
There wasn't much of a fight from India; at least, at 130-odd for four, they should have made Australia bat again. But one thing that was good was the umpiring: they were pretty much unnoticed, which is generally a good thing. The atmosphere was a bit expectant. The Aussie fans wanted a win and quickly!
Marks out of 10
I'll be generous and give it 6 for the Aussie win and Hilfenhaus' over. But it wasn't even half a day's play and the Indians didn't make a huge contest.
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