In Chittagong, rain seems set to be the real winner. But not before Jason Gillespie has trumped Warnie, by scoring a well deserved Test century (102 not out when rain stopped play at tea). And this has been scored against a strong Bangladesh attack that just last week humbled the Australian top and middle order. The mood today of the new Captain Grumpy took a turn for the worse, if that was possible, when his senior partner turned him back and Ponting found himself well short of his ground. The amusing thing about this Captain Grumpy is that he really doesn’t have much too be grumpy about. Border, the original, and far less churlish grumpster at least had much with which to justify his demeanour.
But Jason Gillespie has everything to be happy about. He suffered his season of exile with good grace. In the reverse approach to Samson (The Old Testament character) he cut his hair off and that seems to have restored his power, or possibly relieved him of a burden. It may “be only Bangladesh” but with wickets and runs a plenty, Dizzie is back to stay. And remember, he is only 30 – the same age as Stuart Clark, whom just two weeks ago, Australia’s bowling hopes rested on. That’s what I read in the Telegraph anyway.
On the Veldt, what was looking like a good finish in the Test between South Africa and New Zealand has turned to into a disaster for the Kiwis. In the first innings, New Zealand found themselves at 6-89 chasing South Africa’s modest 276. They were saved again by Oram (133) and Vettori (81) and made it to 327. I say “again” not just because these two have made valuable contributions for NZ quite a few times but interestingly, in the corresponding match the last time these two sides met, in a series in NZ in Feb-Mar 2004, New Zealand found themselves in deep trouble at 6-225, chasing 459. On that occasion, Oram belted 119 and aided by 53 from Vettori (and 57 from McCullum), New Zealand dug themselves out of trouble, ultimately drawing the match. http://aus.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2003-04/RSA_IN_NZ/SCORECARDS/RSA_NZ_T1_10-14MAR2004.html
On this occasion, South Africa has set New Zealand 248 to win. Alas, New Zealand is languishing at 6-34 at lunch on day 4. It’s hard to see any miracles here. The Boks will finally win a Test match.