CRICKET DIARY: DAY 2 – WEST INDIES VS AUSTRALIA AT SABINA PARK

Reached to the ground about 5 minutes before play started. Sat in the lower stands for a while, taking pictures and trying to help a photographer to get wifi. Headed up the stairs, on foot. I use these 5 day matches to try and get some more exercises, especially because of the food which is provided in the box where I have lunch (not the media box). Disappointed that I was suckered in to a slice of cake on Day 1. Eeegah. My poor waistline.

Stairs all the way to the media centre on level 4. Paused on level 3 to sit in the upper stands for a while, both to catch my breath and catch up with Peter Matthews, VIP fan as anointed by the West Indies Cricket Board. Got him to take a photo of me since I hardly have any of me at cricket. Am always on the other end of the picture taking device.

Taken by Peter Matthews in the North Stand at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica on Day 2 of the 2nd Test match between the West Indies and Australia.

Taken by Peter Matthews in the North Stand at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica on Day 2 of the 2nd Test match between the West Indies and Australia.

Up in the press box, everyone was already set up and glued to what was happening on the field. I am happy I don’t have to do match reports, and thankful that there is a TV for replays. I miss quite a bit during the day’s play. In fact, on the night of Day 1, my brother asked me what was the close of play score and I could not tell him! That is what ESPNCricinfo is for 🙂

Day 2 had started promisingly. Taylor got his 5-fer and just like Day 1, everyone else could not keep it tight. Steve Smith moved on steadily, eventually being out for 199. Poor fella. West Indies coulda well give him the double.

Eventually it was West Indies turn at bat. Spectators and I are always optimistic at the start. Would this be the day that Bravo scores an overdue century? Or maybe Captain Ramdin will be the star of the innings. Again, wishful thinking. The West Indies batsmen folded like a deck of cards. The pitch was still good for batting as Australia had shown. Cho. Why can’t they give us a feel good moment in all matches in the region? Would that be asking too much?

The bright spark was the intrepid Jermaine Blackwood. His on-field persona is definitely Jamaican. Brash and in-your-face. Not afraid to take on the bowlers. Has confidence in his abilities. He should be an opener IMHO. Some have said that with time, he will improve in his decision making. The shot he played with the game drawing to a close which led to his demise after a well played half century, was an example of what fans feel he needs to curb.

Post match press conference at Sabina Park on Day 2 of the 2nd Test match between West Indies and Australia. WI Media Manager Philip Spooner is beside Blackwood.

Post match press conference at Sabina Park on Day 2 of the 2nd Test match between West Indies and Australia. WI Media Manager Philip Spooner is beside Blackwood.

He was the subject at the post-match press conference. His face looked cross, angry, miserable (cue Bounty Killer). I thought to myself “coach and captain have given him a bollocking!”. But he explained himself. He said he was disappointed with how he got out. Guess he must be reflecting and learning. Watch what he said here. I asked the final question. I think the WICB is to be congratulated on making the audio and video available, and in quick time too. Woody Richards I think was a big part in that. Hats off to him and them.

Australia’s Nathan Lyon was the first person at the “presser”. I could hardly understand what he was saying, or indeed what the Aussie journalists were asking.

The West Indies team members were all dressed heading upstairs. I suspect it was to the WICB suite to have a session with some of the cricketing knights who are still here. If that were the case, I hope some osmosis will take place and the team will relish their stories of what made them great back in the day. For sure, something of gargantuan proportion will be required of the West Indies batsmen on Day 3 after ending Day 2 on 143/8 in 47.0 overs  with Jason Holder on 13 . Will he ‘hold’ the key to a large score and also avoiding the follow on?  🙂