Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 1st day December 3, 2010

Rough diamond for Katich, golden day for England


Diamond duck

Simon Katich joined an exclusive list of Australian batsmen run out without facing a ball when he was left high and dry by Shane Watson four balls into the game. Watson survived an lbw appeal but took off for a risky single without consulting Katich and Jonathan Trott's superb direct hit from square leg left Katich a couple of metres short. He was so angry at his dismissal that almost two hours later he was still stewing as he sat on his own below the dressing room. Scorers recording balls-faced is a relatively modern measurement, but in the past 40 years only two other Australians have had so little to do before being dismissed. The opener Wayne Phillips lasted four minutes at Port of Spain in 1983-84 while Rodney Hogg was caught short at Edgbaston in 1981.

150 and a duck

At the Gabba, Andrew Strauss's bid to set the tone for England ended in catastrophe with a third-ball steer to gully; now, down at Adelaide, it was Ricky Ponting's turn to register an untimely blob. Unlike his opposite number, Ponting was offered not a hint of width as Jimmy Anderson racked in the good fortune that had eluded him in the first Test, and grazed his outside edge for Graeme Swann to scoop low at second slip. There was an uncanny symmetry in the dismissal as well, for Ponting is playing in his 150th Test. The last Australian captain to reach that milestone was Steve Waugh, who also picked up a first-baller at Sharjah in 2002. In the final analysis of that match it scarcely mattered, however. Pakistan were shot out for 59 and 53.

Flukey Finn

The talk before the Test was that Steven Finn might miss out despite his six-wicket haul at the Gabba last week. On a legendarily flat deck, and with fearsome temperatures predicted for the coming days, the temptation to include the reverse-swing specialist Ajmal Shahzad was genuine. But in the end, England stuck to their first-choice attack and while Finn was once again slow to locate the ideal length, his ability to make something of nothing remains an undeniable asset. Australia were regrouping and Marcus North had moved into the 20s, an achievement that promised riches of the highest order. But then, with less than three overs to go until tea, he poked at a short wide one and snicked through to the keeper.

Swann comes to the party

Swann was not at his best throughout the first Test. Instead of an early wicket, his first one-off over went for 10, his first three for 26, and thereafter he was never allowed to settle as Mike Hussey got on his case and clobbered the short ball with unyielding power and accuracy. Today was different, right from the word go. Though he had to wait for his wickets, the incredible dominance of England's first-hour performance meant he could attack from the word go and keep the Cathedral End tied up while the seamers rotating from the City. He had to wait 25 overs to strike, but when it came it was crucial, as his nemesis Hussey poked to slip, before Ryan Harris, on his home debut, was adjudged lbw for the second first-baller of the day.

Technically out

Harris, however, was convinced he inside-edged his first ball, an offspinner from Swann, and immediately called for a review as umpire Marais Erasmus's finger went up. The benefits of technology have been a regular issue during the first six days of the series and though the ball would have done little more than graze the outside of leg stump, this debate was over whether Hotspot showed a small spot on the side of Harris' bat. Billy Doctrove, the third umpire, wasn't convinced by the tiny mark that was visible on the replays, so Harris had to walk.

Chappell's near miss

A few people are grumpy at Greg Chappell and his fellow selectors after they dropped Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson, but are they disgruntled enough to take aim at his car? Chappell was on the phone when he opened the door of his taxi and it was ripped off by a passing vehicle. Eyewitnesses couldn't confirm whether the car that caused the damage was steered by a supporter of two unhappy fast men. Chappell was fine and at tea was in the back of a ute, being paraded around the ground with his brother Ian and Greg Blewett.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo and Peter English is Australasian editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SRT_GENIUS on December 3, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    Just like Chappell spoiled Tendulkar's average, he will spoil Australia. Ian Chappell will suit better as a selector.

  • allblue on December 3, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    @Marcio: I wouldn't call the dismissal "bizarre" but it did show the limitations of the technology - it is not the be all and end all. The faint indication on the bat (that you call a snick) may well have been from bat brushing pad rather than ball, and although it is not applicable for the decision, snicko appeared to support the former. As for the ball brushing the stump, the makers of the technology acknowledge a margin of error for the predictive path, hence the 'umpire's call' - for those very tight ones someone has to decide so the on-field umpire is the logical person to do that. As for benefit of the doubt, as far as the laws are concerned he was out when the finger was raised, the on-filed ump had already factored doubt in to his decision. So far in this series the UDS has been severely tested, and has shown itself to be a help, but not always a definitive arbiter.

  • gazelle79 on December 3, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    @Marcio . The rule in referrals is that the umpire's decision stands unless there is sufficient evidence to overturn it . In cases where there is doubt despite using the technology , the umpire's original decision is upheld . So obviously even when there was a lot of doubt about whether the ball grazed the bat or whether it would hit the stumps , without any conclusive evidence , the original decision of OUT was upheld .

  • dummy4fb on December 3, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    aha.............. i m happy to see ponting s duck.........all the best this match ........i hv seen at end of days play.....they r sledging with u............but u keep cool and win this match

  • asadkum on December 3, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA .................................................................

    There was no need to take quick single. It's not a limited over game. By the way, when it was decided to take single - after running half way Simon's hesitation was the damage. By the way Aussies are looking shakey; On paper they are not a bad team now but Selector should consider Warner & White also. Clarke is not in good form now & I guess he is not 100% fit too.

  • dummy4fb on December 3, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    @Marcio : Once the umpire has made a decision, the URDS has to show a clear error on his part. With the Harris dismissal it is neither certain from the replays that there was an edge or that the ball was missing the stumps. Hence the umpires decision is upheld.

  • dummy4fb on December 3, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    @Marcio, the benefit of the doubt had to go with the bowler, as the umpire gave the batsman out. There has to be enough reason to overturn the decision, or else it becomes either the umpire's call, in which case they will stay with their original decision, or an overturned review.

  • Stevo_ on December 3, 2010, 16:29 GMT


    "with Khawaja & Ferguson to replace these guys" You believe anything you read in the paper won't you

  • dummy4fb on December 3, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Why did Katich run if he thought the run was not warrented....from the age they start cricket kids are taught the very basic art of running between the wickets....he should have stood his ground and Watson would have been out...instead of ball watching ...and what a stupid time to take a quick single anyway.....its not 20-20 or one day you morons!!!!

  • JeffG on December 3, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    @Something_Witty - I did watch the first overs of the day live and can confirm that (despite some pretty poor camera work from Channel 9) it was very clear that the majority of the blame for the run out was with Katich. There was definitely a single to be had but Katich appeared to be ball-watching. As a long-time England fan, i've seen us suffer some horrendous starts - the 2-4 against SA in 99 comes to mind as does an awful start against Pakistan at Lords in 1982 when Mudassar Nazar (!!!) reduced us to 9-3 - so it was nice to see the boot on the otehr foot for a change. Now we need a couple of batsmen to make big scores and hope that the pressure makes those whingeing Aussies crumble again in the 2nd inns!

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