A Tale of Two Tests

My son idolises Steve Smith. What am I meant to tell him today? Australian cricket fan

Cricket joy and shame

By Roger Childs


Aussie cheats

Two test matches involving cross -Tasman rivals had very different outcomes. A great win for the Black Caps over England in Auckland while the Australians were well beaten in Capetown.

However, at Newlands the big news was the ball tampering, a story to rival the famous Greg Chappell underarm delivery in the 1981 one-dayer in Melbourne. Unfortunately the Kiwi success had been over-shadowed by the Aussie cheating.

Tom Scott summed up the recent media focus on test cricket with a huge red ball labelled OZ CHEATING in the foreground and two little Black Caps leaping up in the background saying Has anyone noticed how well we played?

Great result for the Black Caps

New Zeaalnd’s greatest ever batsman: Kane Wuiliamson

After the first day at Eden Park, only rain could prevent a New Zealand win. At one point England were nine down for less than 30 runs and records for low scores were in the making. As it happened the tail wagged a little and they got to 58. Boult and Southee bowled brilliantly to put the English on the canvass.

By the end of play Williamson had scored more than the eleven England batsmen, on his way to  an 18th test hundred: a record for a New Zealander. The Black Caps innings ended with a declaration at 427 for eight.

Rain did come, but not enough to prevent an outcome. In the second innings the English were made of sterner stuff and four players scored half centuries. However wickets fell regularly and they came up 49 runs short of making New Zealand bat again.

It was a meritorious victory with the batsmen backing up the impressive bowling. Some dropped catches could have proved costly, but fortunately later chances were taken and it was time to celebrate the first test win over England for some time.

Meanwhile in Capetown …

The only person I feel a little sympathy for is Bancroft – a young guy not wanting to go against what he saw as the prevailing culture within the leadership group – even though he knew what he was doing was stupid. Melbourne-based cricket authority, John Smith

Steve Smith, now in disgrace

Readers will be familiar with the sorry tale of the Australian cricketers cheating in the third test against South Africa. Roughing up one side of a cricket ball will make it swing more in the air, a process that is music to the ears of a fast bowler.

This was a conspiracy which has been admitted by captain Steve Smith. Clearly it is a classic case of what were they thinking? In these days of televised sports from various angles, you can’t get away with foul play and cheating.

The story won’t go away and the Australian media has lambasted all those responsible. It will be interesting to see what follows; heads, and big ones too, should roll – captain, vie-captain, coach, CEO.

Watch the sports pages.







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