That ball was hard to spot

Play continues under lights and a blazing sunset Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Choice of game

I'm in Adelaide, and a free ticket didn't hurt my chances of attending either. Sure, the match being the first day-night Test added a little novelty, but I would have gone whatever time the game was played.

Gut feeling - and note, many of my cricket predictions have been dismal failures so far, just like Shaun Marsh's Test career - is that this match won't need a day five. So confident and self-assured I am, that I've made other plans for Tuesday.

Team supported

A younger Aaron would scold and chastise adult me for this, but I don't mind who the winner is nowadays . I want the clichéd 'cricket to be the winner' outcome. If Williamson, Taylor, Boult and Co can produce a win, good on them: one-all after three matches wouldn't be unfair to either side.

Key performer(s)

Opener Tom Latham provided a slow and steady spine to the New Zealand innings and the Australian bowlers shared the wickets. Though Mitchell Starc's ankles not holding up well may have denied him a five-for, there was no real key performance or performer.

Things I'd have changed about the match

I would have liked to see more of Kane Williamson, but from my first live, though short-lived, viewing of him I am already keen for New Zealand's next visit to Adelaide.

Had the game been a regular day Test, the cool 22°C would have been near perfect viewing weather. Given that play went on till 9.25pm and the breeze was up in the evening, I sincerely regretted going for shorts over jeans. I won't make the same mistake on day two.

The interplay you enjoyed

Though early in his captaincy career, Steven Smith's bowling changes and thinking in the field is good. While Michael Clarke threw the ball around in a seeming effort to be the inspired changer of bowlers, Smith's mixing up of bowlers and their ends appeared more natural and logical. Bringing Lyon on early - and he sure did get some extra unexpected bounce that helped him surprise and prize a couple of New Zealand wickets - was testament to Smith's understanding of the pitch and conditions.

I liked that Smith bowled a couple of overs as well. Though a part-time spinner now and as captain he may suffer from not wanting to over-bowl himself, I hope this is a portent of his ability to take the ball and game into his own wrists if and when he feels appropriate.

Filling the gaps

As was logical, the breaks were reversed in order, with the 20-minute tea break coming at the end of session one, while the 40-minute interval - dinner, not lunch - followed session two.

At 4.08 pm, during the tea break, a short video tribute paid respect to Phillip Hughes on the first anniversary of his death, the time corresponding with him being the 408th Australian Test representative.

Wow moment

In a day of no big scores, five-fors, brilliant catches or run-outs, I would call something I did the wow moment: arriving at the ground before gates opened and lining up ready to bolt up to the Hill and secure three seats and hold them for two fellas, Gordon and Tony. I put my 'game face' on and all that pre-season cardio training held me in good stead, as I ran from the gates and secured a top spot for us under the grand fig trees on a shaded bench seat to ourselves, with an unencumbered view just to the right of the pitch behind the bowler's arm.

Shot of the day

Tim Southee's six hoicked well into the bottom tier of the eastern stand. Not only the first pink-ball six hit in international cricket, but a crowd catch worthy of many Youtube views. The holder positioned himself well, took the high grab, held on tight while falling to the ground, emerged with ball safely in hand and triumphantly threw it back and beamed while the surrounding fans and erupting crowd helped him feel the glory of his moment in the sun (or evening light, more accurately) deserved.

Crowd meter

Apparently a sell-out. The stands were not packed out to the top row, but a crowd of 47,000 odd on a weekday is not a shabby figure. I did spot some Bacchanalian Hill drinkers receiving kindly police escorts from the ground later in the evening, but for the most part the audience maintained a happy and energetic feel.

Again, with no big scores or devastating bowling spells, the positive vibe may have had as much to do with it being at a landmark game as for the cricket played. The biggest cheer came for the recalled Peter Siddle when he took his 200th Test wicket. A player of intense and constant effort deserved that kind of respect.

Enhanced viewing

I took with me my usual cricket kit - not bats and pads and gloves - but lollies, watermelon and grapes, chicken salad, Gatorade and book - this time, The Wind in the Willows. I may read the follow-up, The Batsmen's Willows are Ridiculously Big, next.

I should have taken my glasses, and will for the next two days I am attending. Perhaps I'm getting old, perhaps it was the pink colour, but man, that ball was hard to spot.


The quality of the cricket was nothing outstanding. The experience of being there for the first day of the first match of its kind will be memorable, but probably not for the best of reasons.

Marks out of 10

6 on 10. I was excited to be there. But the cricket played was nothing special. Plus not sighting the ball well. And I didn't like seeing players dressed in white at night. I suspect television audiences are going to enjoy this new format more than those in live attendance.

Good on the administration for trying something different, but if the only positive effect is garnering more television ratings, I doubt I will be a convert.