Lovely city, fantastic ground, some great cricket… shame about the result!

Given the name of this blog, I thought it was about time I wrote about transport, Australian confectionery or cricket! I’ll start with the third and maybe work backwards…

I’ve spent the last three days at days 2-4 of the Ashes test at the Adelaide Oval. The alignment of the timing of my move and the Ashes wasn’t coincidental and I’m also going to parts of the Melbourne and Sydney games in a few weeks’ time. Everything about Adelaide was fantastic, apart from the performance of the England team for over half of the match!

I first visited Adelaide in March, on holiday with my parents, and my impressions then were very good. It’s much smaller than Sydney and Melbourne and has the sarky nickname “Radelaide”. Even if not exactly “rad”, I’ve found it to be pretty, very walkable, and very green. The Oval overlooks the Torrens river, with a pedestrian bridge linking it to the main part of the city on the south side. Fans streaming across the bridge to and from the game was a sight to behold, and the atmosphere began before entering the stadium itself. The ground has been extended in recent years so now seats 55,000, but the wonderful old manual scorebox is still there – and most of the time was quicker and more accurate than the score on the big screen next to it! I did the stadium tour back in March and getting to go in the box (and have my photo taken in there) was one of the highlights of my holiday… yes, I’m an unashamed cricket and scoring tragic! As a purist, I’m still not sure about day-night test cricket, but as a spectator it was a fabulous spectacle – and the sunset at the ground last night as England were going nicely with the bat was something else.

The cricket itself, well… I nearly had hope, which is more than I expected at the end of day 2! England had three or four excellent sessions and Jimmy Anderson was immense in the second innings – and the atmosphere then was particularly fun, with the Barmy Army finding its voice and taunting every Australian mistake – but after conceding a 215 run lead in the first innings they were always going to be playing catch-up. The end was a bit of a damp squib this afternoon – I’m glad I didn’t cancel plans I’d already made in order to be there! I can’t help feeling that the English players aren’t much, if at all, lower calibre than their Australian counterparts, but (with a couple of exceptions in the last couple of days) they really haven’t applied themselves at all well. The series is surely lost now – they’ll need to raise their game in Perth to save any face at all.

As for me, I’m not going to Perth despite a desire to see the WACA before it is retired – given I’ll be spending Christmas in NZ, it’s a four hour flight in the wrong direction! I’m now down the coast from Adelaide in McLaren Vale (in a campervan) ready to do some wine tasting tomorrow and then head to Kangaroo Island on Friday morning. More on that to follow soon, I’m sure…

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