It’s been a great day for cricket, says Sid­dle

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

IT TOOK 138 years for cricket’s long­est and most hal­lowed for­mat to take a bow un­der flood­lights, but only min­utes for Aus­tralia pace­man Peter Sid­dle to de­clare the first ever day-night Test a suc­cess af­ter stumps on day one.

A crowd of 47 000 flocked to the Ade­laide Oval yes­ter­day for the open­ing day of the third and fi­nal Test be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand, eas­ily out­strip­ping the 40 000 who at­tended the en­tire match in Perth.

Aus­tralia’s Mitchell Starc bowled the first de­liv­ery of the pink ball in bright sun­shine early in the af­ter­noon, while New Zealand pace­man Tim Southee fired the last ball wide un­der an inky black sky, giv­ing up four byes.

A to­tal of 12 wick­ets tum­bled in be­tween, but it was no fault of the newly-de­vel­oped pink ball, which held up well enough for the 65.2 overs of New Zealand’s first- in­nings score of 202.

Cap­tain Steven Smith (24 not out) and Adam Vo­ges (nine not out) guided Aus­tralia to 54/2 at the close af­ter the Black Caps’ pace­men swung the ball dra­mat­i­cally in the late ses­sion.

“The at­mos­phere out there was amaz­ing from early on un­til the end of play, the crowd was upbeat and es­pe­cially when we were on a roll and get­ting some wick­ets,” Sid­dle, who took 2/54 and cel­e­brated his 200th Test wicket, said.

“It was a great day. Ev­ery­one who came and wit­nessed what went on will be very im­pressed with the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Bats­men com­plained in the lead- up to the match about hav­ing trou­ble see­ing the pink ball from twi­light in warm-up matches and Aus­tralia’s open­ers David Warner and Joe Burns bore the brunt of the chal­lenge, each fall­ing cheaply.

There was lit­tle swing for the Baggy Greens’ bowlers early in the day and Sid­dle felt that there was a “slight dif­fer­ence” in the way it played com­pared to the con­ven­tional red ball.

“But I think for cricket in gen­eral, it would have been sup­ported well here and it would have been on TV and all over the world. For cricket it’s definitely been a great day.”

New Zealand seamer Trent Boult felt that the at­mos­phere was “elec­tric” and the ball be­haved ex­actly as fore­casted.

“Definitely a pretty good first day,” he said af­ter re­mov­ing Warner for one late in the day.

“The find­ings are (that) it does seem to change a lot un­der lights and in the last ses­sion. It definitely swung around a lit­tle bit there with the new ball, and there was still a shade of it with it 22 overs old now.” – Reuters

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