It’s hard to know what to say after such a victory. Gloating seems to fall somewhat flat. Sure we should rejoice in some wonderful performances – not the least Gillie, as he firmly cements his status as “one hell of a cricketer”. Or as Neville Cardus once said of Warwick Armstrong, “a cricketer that matters”.
A few stats (because I can’t help myself):
The Gilchrist first 50 came off 89 balls – very civilized. The next 50 came from just 32 balls. The fourth 50 came in 30 balls so he does tend to “explode”. His 200 came from 213 – in balls faced, the fastest 200 in Test cricket…
With 8 sixes, Gillie is right up there on the most sixes in a Test innings – the most is 13 but he now sits in the top 5.
It is worth noting that Martyn’s first 50 came from 130 balls, his second 50 from just 37 balls. Not too shabby!
All that aside, from 24 Dec 2001 we were supposed to be a witnessing a
colossal stoush, an real arm wrestle, a title fight. I can’t remember what else the ACB official program said but it was encouraging. What has happened has been a bit sad – it’s like playing England. We only get to have 60% of playing time realised and while it is fun, it seems somewhat hollow after a while. We all know that there is nothing so exciting than winning a thriller!
But who knows, in 1997, at the same ground we posted 628 and rolled them for a hefty innings defeat. We then very nearly lost the 2nd Test and did lose the 3rd Test. So you never know. Although that Test in 1997 could at the time be dismissed as a “one off” – clearly not the case hear and it is very hard to see a fight back. We have seen the last of Allan Donald who sadly departed in a broken down heap. Pollock’s return will help and I think that we may see Darryl Cullinan resume his battle with Warnie – so there is still hope for some entertainment.
I’d like to close with some of my favourite moments of commentary featuring some of the South African commentators – I couldn’t ever get sick of listening to them lamenting the state of play! Unfortunately, I don’t remember which commentators they were:
Some time at the height of the Martyn/Gilchrist onslaught: “What happened in Australia was a thrashing. I find myself wanting a Thesaurus to give myself a chance to adequately describe the monumental beating which is taking place now.”
And during the break between the South African 1st and 2nd innings, as two South Africans tried to take stock, draw comfort and provide some hope. Gary Kirsten’s 275 made over 13 hours was revisited. After a few moments of reflection one of them said: “Imagine if Gilchrist batted for 13 hours.” And then silence.
See you all later and remember that it is still cricket season.