Playing for the Tonkers – Adelaide Test Day One

Image is marketing a 764 square metre plot (allotment) in a ‘Quiet Cul-De-Sac Surrounded By Quality Homes’ at 12 Whelan Close, Athelstone, South Australia.

When Third Man, following the Squire’s enigmatic instructions, rang for particulars, the realtor quipped, “Here is your blank canvas now let your imagination run fee (sic)!”

At $A 523 / sq. m. perhaps he did mean fee and not free.

“They’re not making land anymore”.  And in so saying he was not exaggerating.

This is the self same soil used for the Adelaide Ovals pitches on which Bradman delighted home crowds nearly a century ago. It is also where they stashed a pile of it, ‘where the mortgage belt meets the mountains’, to be used all these years later to compile their ‘leading edge technology’* drop-in pitches.

His Grace has a fine selection of Australian cricket soils: Portland, Bulli, Merri Creek, Goodna and Wamberal.

“A good Athelstone black is just what we need, TM, though, customs will be a challenge.”

England need to know that ‘drop’ refers to the pitching of the pitches and is not an instruction to fielders playing on them.

Day One of the Second Test of this series saw England drop the Ashes.

“Un-be-leave-a-bul,” as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing might say. Monty! Rooty! Carby!

In fact His Grace, having witnessed the funereal pace of the imported Athelstone, its early propensity to turn and the prospect of Australia making 400+ first up (coming to Clarke later), is now thinking of digging up a Tonka Dump Truck load of soil from 12 Whelan Close and making a makeshift trophy to be awarded to the victors of matches played between the two sides whenever they meet on these kinds of air mail tracks.

“The Tonkas.”

‘Nobody misses catches intentionally.’ If this was said once, it was said three times.

On the other hand:

Michael Clarke’s back foot is a wonder to behold.  Pointing square on back foot shots against spin it provides late and side-on perfection.  Pointing to extra-cover or mid-off on the back foot against pace it gives a right-eyed player time to deal with the rib-tickler.  TM could watch him all-night, which is a great worry.

What else? This match could go three ways and everyone will know a lot more about which of these directions it takes by 7.30 GMT tomorrow. Well, it’s the second day and after tomorrow there will only be three second days remaining in this series and one of those three second days will be a second day at Perth.

Until then, as the Adelaide realtor said, you can “Let your imagination run fee”, which might yet be for the best.

* leading edge technology refers to the tendency for the bat, traveling faster than the ball, to arrive at the point of contact fractionally before the ball resulting in a dolly.


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