Panadura Sports Club v Sri Lanka Army at Panadura, Premier Limited Over Tournament

Well, that sure was something, right?

Last evening came together just perfectly.  I had a free few hours, willow.tv, and the fourth day between Australia and New Zealand was brilliantly poised – and what a day it turned out to be!

It was the first time I had had the opportunity to watch a test match conclude in such thrilling form.  Sure, I have read along with Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball coverage, but it is just not the same, as much as I claimed it was previous to subscribing to Willow.tv.

The match was positively enthralling.  Every ball mattered.  As you might have seen over on Twitter, I was having the time of my life.

I am not going to write a match report, that is simply not my forte, but for me the heroes of the match were Bracewell, of course, as well as the debutant Coult, who took five for the Kiwis.  David Warner carried his bat for 123, but it just wasn’t enough.  And you have to feel for him, he left it all out there, only to watch one teammate after another lose their wicket to those hooping New Zealand deliveries.

For me, another standout was Brownlie, whose 56 in the first innings pulled New Zealand out of the fire, and Lyon, Australia’s number 11, who held on for dear life at the end, and showed courage in the face of a relentless attack.  He only scored nine, but that was more than the second innings scores of Clarke, Hussey, Siddle, Pattinson, and Starc COMBINED.

God bless that Hobart pitch, too, it was a fine stage and added some real personality to the match.  It is unfortunate that it is not hosting any tests during the Indian series, but that’s the problem with having so many wonderful grounds in Australia.

(On a side note, it was also quite the advertisement for Tasmania as a tourist destination, as Hobart has moved right up my list.  Someone, somewhere: pay me to travel the world and write about cricket, okay?)

At the end of the day, if organizers cannot see that this form of the sport is cricket at is absolute zenith, then they are blind.  And deaf.  And probably illiterate.

I don’t want to totter here, but wouldn’t be just wonderful if these two squads were set to play three more tests?  Oh well.

Finally, as my regular readers know, I have only been a fan of cricket for around five years, and this is the first time I have been able to enjoy an Australian summer properly with a Willow.tv subscription, and I must say that I am the brink of declaring Australia my country to support in world cricket* – only because I really do love that their test matches are on during prime time hours here in the states.

Even though I love watching India and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh play cricket, matches in SE Asia take place in the overnight hours.

And while I do love English cricket, their matches happen during work hours, and therefore are great to follow along with during the day, but are otherwise unwatchable.  Same with South Africa.

But Australia?  First ball around dinner time, lunch around 19:30, stumps a little after midnight.  Just about perfect.

Of course, New Zealand is in a similar time zone, but I don’t know, despite last night, they really do not have the history of their big brother to the north, when it comes to cricket anyway.

Looking through the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, Australia host India, of course, and that is the last test series they host until 2012, when South Africa and Sri Lanka visit for three tests each.   Then, of course, there is the Ashes in the fall of 2013, India returns the following year, and then the Aussies are home to the 2015 World Cup.

Whether or not I choose Australia, I have a ton of prime time cricket to enjoy going forward.

Tomorrow (or maybe tonight) the county write ups return, and the mystery is about to be solved.

Until next time.

*I know that “choosing” a nation to support is pretty silly, but come on, it is 2011, we are a global village.  Nationalism is so 20th century.

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