Done and dusted
Paine and Steve Smith enjoyed an amusing exchange with Marnus Labuschagne as the Queenslander’s first spell on Sunday came to an end, or so he thought.
With Nathan Lyon looking like he was replacing Labuschagne and coming into the attack, the 25-year-old got himself ready to field at short-leg, putting on shin pads under his trousers and a protector down his strides.
Paine had a different idea. “You are bowling” the Australia captain said to Labuschagne as he stationed himself close to the bat. With a grinning Smith alongside him, Paine asked the Australia No.3 why he was padded up.
“You told me I was done!” Labuschagne replied.
Collo can’t take a trick
It wasn’t only Mitchell Starc who gasped at what might have been after a ball careered off the edge of Mohammad Abbas’ bat and through a vacant point on Sunday.
Broadcaster Adam Collins was calling Starc’s hat-trick ball for SEN radio and for him the close call continued a long-running trend. Collins calculates he has attended 114 Test matches, many of them in radio and television boxes around the world over the past five years, and has never witnessed a hat-trick.
He has called two in one-day international cricket – James Faulkner’s in Sri Lanka in 2016 and New Zealander Trent Boult’s versus Australia in the World Cup.
In Tests, he has been at grounds where hat-tricks were taken a day or two either side of the magic moments. That was the case for the most recent Australian example, Peter Siddle’s hat-trick against England at the Gabba in 2010, and ones taken by Shane Warne in 1994 and England’s Moeen Ali in 2017. Adding to the pain, in the only Australian series since 2014 that Collins hasn’t covered, Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath became the oldest bowler to claim a hat-trick.
The topic has become such an obsession for him that before the Adelaide Test he used his podcast, The Final Word, to launch a campaign for “Peter Siddle Day” to mark the 10th anniversary of his birthday hat-trick in Brisbane.
Tons of talent
Labuschagne is the latest star to make it out of the stable of batting coach Neil D’Costa but there’s another of his proteges who is also achieving big things.
Mark down the name Yianni Theodorakopoulos in your black book. The year 11 student at Cranbrook has been keeping the honour boards engraver busy, breaking the 86-year record at the school for the most centuries scored in Sydney’s CAS (Committee of Associated Schools) competition. The previous mark was set by J.B. Hollander, who made five in 1933.
Theodorakopoulos is well past that now with his century on Friday the ninth of his CAS career from just 15 games.
Theodorakopoulos, whose father Nick is a former coach in the A-League and NSL, made his first XI debut in year eight and last month represented NSW at the under 17 championships. He plays in Blacktown’s lower grades when not lining up for his school.
Cranbrook has produced two Test cricketers – batsman Ed Cowan, who wore the baggy green in 18 games, and spinner Will Somerville, who made his debut for New Zealand last year. Legendary ABC caller Jim Maxwell is also an Old Cranbrookian.
with Andrew Wu
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.