What you've all been waiting for.
Day two, although at the end of it the games set up like we're heading into Day five.
Seven without loss overnight, and that becomes one down first ball of the day. The worst possible start. Redmond pokes at a ball that he could have left and gives Clark a wicket. Clark is the bowler that I would most love to bowl like in world cricket. He's is just so naggingly boring. I wish I could bowl his lines and lengths, all day long. I was on the massage table getting a good recovery rub after warm ups, which for us three quickies was pretty cruisey at the start of play. Warm ups, this morning, was a little bit of ladder work (those ladders you lie on the ground and you step into or out of the boxes to work on speed) and then into stretches. Everybody else hit the nets to service the batters and prepare them, Tom, Pest and I stayed out on the field stretching a while longer. Once I went back in I dried myself off, and cleaned the sand off and got on the table. Play started while I was there and with TV's in the changing room we can watch the action from inside. Some guys actually prefer to stay in the changing room to watch the days play, while others head up to the viewing room, where ever that may be on the ground, and watch from there. There is no issue in the team with either. Massage finished, skins back on and I'm out to the viewing area to watch the boys. Unfortunately it wasn't quite the day I was hoping for. I had been in to bat and out before Tea. Lasting 3 balls. Two from S Clark, got off the mark with the second one, and then nicking off to Johnson first ball from him. That one was quick. Almost yorker length, and with a man under the lid, my weight is back waiting for a length or short ball. Nah, a full one and it's raced to 3rd slip. I stuck around for the umpires finger as I wasn't really sure if I had hit it on the full, meaning it would then bounce to 3rd, or just after the bounce. Finger up, I'm off! Arse! Really not the day I was hoping for! Tom got through what was hat trick ball from Johnson and got off the mark in the over. Tea was taken early, leaving 45 overs to bowl. Yes, 45 overs. With just over a third of the days play left, we have to get through half of the days overs. Australia were slow, again, through their overs; didn't help that there were lots of wickets either, slowing them down.
We got through 40 overs before play was stopped for the day at 5.30. We've done well again with the ball getting them six down with 131 on the board. An overall lead of 189. It could have been a whole lot worse.
Obviously very disappointed to be back out there bowling so soon, but we just have to suck it up and get on with it. Forget about the sore and tired bodies, just get back out there and give us a chance to win the Test by knocking them over for as few as possible. But we didn't quite think that we would have them six down overnight. Tom struck first ball of the innings, a brute of a ball that pitched outside Hayden's leg stump, swung and seamed across him, taking an edge through to Baz. First ball, danger man gone. Whoop, whoop! Ponting and Katich then put on 40, looking pretty comfortable. Last time I bowled to Ponting, it's fair to say, he put me around the park. I bowled poorly to him back in 2005 in my first couple of Tests. This time, a little different, although I think he still thought we were back there, as second ball he pulled me from a pretty good length. Something he did a lot of almost 4 years ago. Not this time though, the ball went straight up and fell to the wobbling, twitching hand of Redders. Two down, another danger man gone. Then we had a little bit of luck, which we didn't really know how much till we got off the park. There was four balls left in the over, Hussey the new man and on strike. Plan was to just go across him, letting him leave it, maybe suckering him into hanging the bat out and nicking one. That's the plan anyway! I bowled one across him that just came back a little, left alone. A straighter one, played back to me. Back across him, again with just a hint of swing back into him, left alone. Fourth ball, and last of the over. A little straighter but still 'leaveable', he's left it late, there was a noise, Baz has gone up confident, I've followed with my appeal and he's out. That's Ponting and Hussey in the same over. I'll have that any day of the week! Hussey didn't look happy with the decision. At first I wasn't sure, Baz went up, so I did to. I had not gone up till then. Replays show that he's missed the ball, it's clipped his pad, that was the noise, and he's a bit unlucky. He's been given not out before, against us, when he has nicked one, so, as they say, it's swings and round abouts. And I've got two for two! Ha!
Katich is playing well. He's playing like Clarke did in the first innings, hitting bad balls, leaving a lot, and waiting for us to bowl to him. And now these two are together. But not for long. Redmond hits, with one stump to aim at, and Clarke is run out. Clarke should have made that run, caught cruising and then not stretching out at the end and he's out by about three inches. Again, ha!! That's four. Real good energy out in the field. One of those strange things happened here too. Just two balls before Redders ran Clarke out, he said to Dan to "put me anywhere, I'm feeling great." Backward square with one stump to hit! Brilliant Red, just brilliant!
The crowds here are pretty good, ruined by a few, actually quite a few, idiots who think a day out at the cricket is just to abuse the guys playing any way how. You get called anything and everything. Embarrassing for these guys really, as a lot of the others around them are cringing. I don't know how many times I've was called a 'fagot' this afternoon!
Tom came back on for one of those 'special' spells. He had real energy and great direction. Symonds with a bouncer and then trapping Watson in front. And that's six down. We're in as good a position as we could possibly be in. It's a pretty happy changing room and we sit down after doing our hot colds etc to discuss tomorrows task. We sign off on what we, personally, are going to do to win this Test. The track is only getting better and better to bat on, we can chase down 250-300, if we do it properly. And we have just done this, two Tests ago, on a tough track on day five. We're a hell of a bet!
Bed time for me, hopefully as good a sleep as last night, where I don't think I moved once my eyes shut. One more day bowling and I can have a couple of days off. Four more wickets, quickly, and we can win this Test. Climb our personal Everest!