FAN FOLLOWING

First-person reports from the stands

Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day

December 17, 2013

Is this a Test match?

Scott Hazebroek


Shane Watson took on Graeme Swann during the first hour, Australia v England, Test, Perth, 4th day, December 16, 2013
Is this the turning point of Shane Watson's career? © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

Choice of game
I was never going to miss the day that Australia could> reclaim the Ashes for the first time in four years. There was still the chance of a good contest, though I thought Australia would end up winning the match, on day four or day five, I wasn't sure.

Team supported
I was going for Australia as they tightened their grip on the urn. It has been a torturous five or so years for us Aussies, so it's a good feeling as we give the English some serious payback!

Key performer
Shane Watson, for his brutal assault on the English attack early in the day. He scored so quickly that it enabled the Aussies to declare earlier than they would have, with his 22-run over off Graeme Swann (including three sixes) the highlight. Is this innings the one that maybe, just maybe, will be the turning point in his career?

One thing I'd have changed about the day
I would have made Tim Bresnan miss his throw at the stumps so Watson could keep blasting the English bowlers all around the ground. However, this may have prevented George Bailey from having a bat...

Wow moment
The final over of the Australian innings, when Bailey smoked a world-record-equalling 28 runs off a half-decent bowler named James Anderson. The noise from the crowd was deafening. Three sixes, two fours and a two: this was cricket more suited to the upcoming Big Bash League than the Ashes.

The interplay I enjoyed
I quite enjoyed watching Nathan Lyon bowl to Kevin Pietersen. KP had the better of Lyon early, hitting him for two fours and then a six over long-on into the crowd. However "Garry" had the last laugh, having Pietersen caught on the boundary trying to repeat the dose soon after. It was an intriguing mini-battle.

Filling the gaps
The lunch break was spent taking a lap of the oval while watching the In2Cricketers battle it out on the field. A friend and I spotted Justin Langer chatting to someone out the back of the ground too. The tea break consisted of two England supporters battling it out, trying to win an England ODI shirt. Would you have won it? The question was: "Who was the second batsman to be marooned on 99* in a Test match?" Choices were Don Bradman, Ian Botham and Steve Waugh. Think you know the answer? Check the bottom of this article to see if you were right (and win nothing but whatever pride you feel!)

Close encounter
Some of the players who fielded in front of me during the day included Pietersen, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Steve Smith and Lyon. All of them had requests from children for signatures on various items: Johnson's autograph seemed to be the most sought-after.

Shot of the day
Any one of Watson's five or Bailey's three sixes into the crowd, although the one by Watson that was caught superbly by a member of the crowd was probably my favourite: a towering lofted on-drive.

Crowd meter
There was a great atmosphere for most of the day. The Barmy Army always add another dimension to a day of Test cricket, and although they were quiet in the middle session, they were back in full voice in the last. The crowd noise was very loud at several points throughout the match: perhaps the loudest was saved for Joe Root's review and Pietersen's dismissal. Most chants started were by the Barmy Army, however, there was the odd "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!"

Entertainment
A trivia question flashed up on the big screen every now and then: I managed to answer one of the three correctly. The WACA had brought in a new menu for this season, with more options than ever, which I was tempted to sample, however I decided to just stick with some old favourites: an ice-cream and some hot chips.

Tests v limited-overs
The way Australia was batting today one would not be forgiven for thinking they were watching a limited-overs game, and that is why I prefer Test cricket: it can offer the big-hitting of the limited-overs matches while still requiring a lot more skill and complex tactics. Test cricket will always be my favourite form of the game.

Accessories
I took a fair amount of supplies to the game: including but not limited to a cushion to sit on, my iPad, a fan, sunscreen, snacks, water, Gatorade, esky to keep drinks cold, and money to buy some supplies. These combined to make a good day's cricket watching.

Overall
The cricket was exciting, even if it wasn't too much of a contest, the atmosphere was good, and the sun was shining. A good day all round. Australia are oh so close and will be desperate to claim those last five wickets, while England are on mission impossible to save the series.

Marks out of 10
9.5. Would have been a 10 if we'd managed to finally get both hands on the urn: as it is I get to go to the cricket tomorrow too!

The answer
The answer is... Steve Waugh (you didn't cheat and Google it did you?!)

Want to do a Fan Following report? Read our FAQ here

Scott is a 14-year old cricket fanatic who lives in Perth and attends most matches at the WACA. He's into his tenth season of club cricket and recently took his first five-for. He scores at a slow rate, bowls medium-pace, is a good fielder and an occasional wicketkeeper. He is also the team statistician and is forever hunting out useless stats. Scott would love to have a job involving maths and cricket when he is older.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Posted by Pinarsh255 on (December 19, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Great report, wishing u all d best for future.

Posted by SoyQuearns on (December 18, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

Great section and well written by the young lad - sounds like an intelligent and passionate cricket fan.

Posted by   on (December 18, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

Cool stuff dude :) Wishing you luck and would be watching out for your name as a test regular in a decade :)

Posted by GrindAR on (December 17, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

A long missing page in cricket match report. MISS (Moments Interesting Short and Sweet). The words tell you have switch the digits in your age. Well done boy. You sure will get what you are looking for. But I would suggest dream bigger so you justify your capabilities.

Posted by evilcorp on (December 17, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Really well-written report, mate. I've never commented on this site before, but I felt compelled to register just so I could say what a great job you did - like some of the others here, had no idea I was reading a 14 year-old's words. Nicely done.

Posted by JudyK on (December 17, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

Good on you Michael and the boys! It just goes to show that the win by England earlier this year was not as clear cut as people made it out to be, and that Australia should have at least won 2 of those games, the first which they lost by only 14 runs and the 3rd which was rained out on the last day. I am in 7th heaven!

Posted by Talalthegreat on (December 17, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

I HAD NO IDEA IT WAS A 14 YEAR OLD. SOUNDED SOOOOO MATURE!!!!

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 17, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

When I was reading the article I never suspected it was a 14 year old saying those things. A very mature young bloke who sounds more than happy with his day out. There should be more of it.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

I am a BIG fan of BAILEY....... Wish he has a very successful test n odi career...

Comments have now been closed for this article

Want to do match reports for ESPNcricinfo? Here's your chance.

FAQ ►

MORE IN FAN FOLLOWING

This time for Sri Lanka

A fitting finale to what's been a fine exhibition of T20 cricket. Well played...

Save our hearing please

The cricket was fine despite the storm. If only the emcee had turned down the...

Selfies don't save Bangladesh

It was a limp end to the home team's campaign, though the DJ temporarily rais...

DOPPELGANGERS

GAMES

  • CROSSWORD
    crossword