January 27, 2024

Second Test LIVE: Gabba affair on a knife’s edge after Australia’s bold declaration

Key posts

Pinned post from 5.34pm

Poll: Who’s your money on?

Latest posts

Latest posts


Stats: How Lyon’s 50 Gabba wickets stack up

For the record, the best overseas bowler at the Gabba is Sir Richard Hadlee (21 wickets at 16.33 from three Tests) followed by Bob Willis (19 wickets at 16 from three Tests).


Wicket: Lyon strikes again with crucial scalp

And again, just as the West Indies start to look like driving home the advantage, a wicket falls. Nathan Lyon with a fine piece of offspin bowling. Floats it up for Athanaze to throw his hands at it – does have a lovely cover drive – and he does so, only to be undone by spin.

It flies off the bat straight to Steve Smith at first slip. No dramas with that one. Can’t say the same for Kavem Hodge though. He’s filthy at the other end. He knows how important that wicket is.

Australia bring main man Josh Hazlewood back into the attack. It’s hard going with the soft ball, but you suspect wickets could come.

West Indies 4-127: (Hodge 18*, Greaves 4*) lead by 149 runs


Bazball keeps England fighting in India

Meanwhile, in India, England are fighting back. The home side thoroughly dominated the first two days in Hyderabad, though Joe Root of all people helped wrap up a first innings of 436 with 4-79.

Joe Root celebrates one of his four first innings wickets.Credit: AP

India lost their last three wickets without adding to the score and England took that momentum into their second dig – rattling up 100 at almost six an over.

Jasprit Bumrah has just knocked Ben Duckett over for 47 though and England still trail by 75 runs with eight wickets in hand.


Pressure mounting on both sides

Tense start to this second session. Both batters have been beaten in the inside and outside edge, Hodge edging Cameron Green to gully on the bounce too.

Two balls later Hodge then almost causes a mix-up looking for a run toward mid-on and came a long way down the deck before Athanaze turned him back. Never a run there.

But Australia also fray just slightly in the field. Big Mitch Marsh – normally a fantastic pair of hands – struggles to get down to a ball at point.

It goes through him and his lumbering chase is exactly that, lumbering in every sense. Nathan Lyon was fuming at three runs being conceded by the big man, in extremely casual fashion. Kavem Hodge follows up shortly afterwards with the type of on drive you tell your kids about.

West Indies 3-123: (Athanaze 35*, Hodge 18*) lead by 145 runs


A critical second session begins

We’re back out in the middle once more for the middle session and conditions are still tough – 32 degrees and 69% humidity – but they are easing a tad.

Crucial session now, if the West Indies can add another 100 runs it’s suddenly a very imposing total and target to be chasing in the fourth innings.

Given the ball is already 34 overs old and softening up, the Australian attack has its work cut out for them. Cameron Green to resume for sixth over after Steve Smith spilled Athanaze from his bowling before the break. Two slips, a gully and a catching cover.

First ball: Short of a length to start, a loosener and Athanaze rocks back and pulls with his leg up – Gordon Greenidge style if you don’t mind – for a single.Second ball: Full and straight to Hodge. Defended back down the pitch.

Third ball: Back of a length but wide. No interest from the right-hander.

Fourth leg: On a length on off stump. No movement through the air or off the pitch and calmly defended.

Fifth stump: Green bends his back for a 133km/hr bouncer. But it’s too steep and Hodge is ducking under it easily.

Sixth ball: Better length. Probing on off stump. Hodge offers a straight bat.

Nathan Lyon continues from the other end.

West Indies 3-107: (Athanaze 29*, Hodge 8*) lead by 129 runs


Poll: Who’s your money on?


‘I’ve got two kids at home’: When Deano took on Curtly and launched a month of carnage

Mark Taylor can’t recall if he actually yelled out from the non-striker’s end all those years ago.

But the legend is he called out, “What are you doing? I’ve got two kids at home”, as he had a ringside seat to one of modern cricket’s great mistakes.

“But I was certainly thinking it, even if Deano did have a bit of a point.”

As Dean Jones once recalled, it was a punter several rows back at the SCG, carrying four schooners to his seat, who broke the tension of a sold-out 1993 Benson and Hedges final.


“You bloody idiot, Jones,” was the cry from the stands, aptly speaking for more than 37,000 fans, Jones’ Australian teammates, their West Indian opponents and Curtly Ambrose.

Walking to the wicket chasing 240 and facing Ambrose, who had bowled without luck but within himself for much of that 1992-93 summer, Jones made his infamous request after facing one ball.

Would one of the greatest bowlers in history please take off his white sweatbands?

“You should not have woken a sleeping lion,” Ambrose wrote of the incident in his biography Time to Talk, so titled because he rarely did, not least on this incendiary day.

Because, as the story goes, carnage ensued.

Read the full story here.


Watch: Will Smith’s spill prove costly?


Dropped: Smith spills one in the slips

Australia on top here with Cameron Green bowling a very handy spell. He’s had Alick Athanaze playing and missing, playing and missing, then edging and dropped.

The ball has flown to Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith at first and second slip respectively. Smith has flown to his left one-handed and put it down. Replays show that would’ve gone straight down Khawaja’s throat with two hands.

Cameron Green is right to be regretting that.Credit: Getty

There’s no greater authority on slip fielding than Mark Waugh and in commentary he picks it apart succinctly. “They’re too tight. Steve Smith needs to go another metre wider.”

That’s the dinner break, Athanaze survives on 28 and you’d say that was the West Indies session once more – 2-93 but it’s a different story if that catch is held.West Indies 3-106: (Athanaze 28*, Hodge 8*) lead by 128 runs


Stats: The highest last-innings chases in Brisbane

Most Viewed in Sport



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.