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Test Match Cricket Lights Up Adelaide
Article posted: 05 December 2017

This is the first Day Night Test Match that I have watched very very closely and it clearly brings all sorts of new nuances into the tactical side of the game

- Neil Fairbrother

The upside of having jet lag from a whistle stop trip to Brisbane last week is that I have been able to watch more or less all of this pulsating Day Night Test Match from Adelaide.

This is the first Day Night Test Match that I have watched very very closely and it clearly brings all sorts of new nuances into the tactical side of the game.

After the first two innings of the game I think it's fair to say that England had under performed with both bat and ball. Australia's first innings total of 442 for 8 declared looked a big total but the English reply of 227 looked an under par score. Clearly there were bright sparks in both those innings, probably Craig Overton on debut with his wickets and runs, being the brightest. 

Then, what clearly looked like a tactical error by the Aussie skipper Steve Smith, who didn't enforce the follow on as twilight was falling at the end of day three let England back into the game.

A master class of swing bowling from Jimmy Anderson ably supported by equally skilfull spells by Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad brought England back into the game with half a sniff when Australia were bowled out for 138.

England then went into bat in natural light when the ball was doing a lot less than if they had had to follow on, getting off to a steady start through Stoneman and Cook. When those two went quickly with the score at 53 and 54 respectively it looked pretty ominous once again for the English batting line up. 

However, the captain, Joe Root, played a wonderful hand and at the end of the day was 67 not out. He received staunch support from Messrs Vince and Malan, who unfortunately was out just before the close during a fantastic spell of bowling by Pat Cummins who bowled both quickly and showed off great skills with what looked like reverse swing.

So we go into the fifth morning and as Sherlock Holmes said, "The Game is Afoot!". Can the captain once again lead his troops as at the end of day four or will the reverse swing and in 20 overs, a new hard cherry be too much for the England batsman? I hope you, like me, will be setting your alarm for one way or the other, what will be a titanic struggle.

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