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Caerdydd Day Two: Like peaches and cream, Ponting and Katich, KP and News of the World

Submitted by rickeyre on July 10, 2009 - 1:40pm

The advertising hoardings said it all. "Read KP only in the News of the World". Two of the most reviled entities in the UK linked together - though, one hopes, not via a hacked telephone line.

St Kevin of Pietermaritzburg had little impact on the second day of the neutral Test at Swalec Stadium. It was a day that saw Simon Katich become the first player to score a Test hundred in Cymru. Ricky Ponting notched his 38th Test hundred, and inflatable kangaroos were held aloft everywhere when he passed 11,000 Test career runs. (Except, of course, that exactly 100 of those runs were scored against the ICC World XI in that ghastly Super Series aberration of October 2005.)

The customary second-morning tail wag, this time from England, let nobody down, but it did enable Randwick-Petersham first grade tweaker Nathan Hauritz (3/95) to be the leading wicket-taker for Australia in England's first innings of 435. The best slow bowler in this Australian eleven, Hauritz's Randy-Petes team-mate Katich, bowled overs number 78 and 80 of the innings on Wednesday afternoon. Just before the new ball was due, in other words. Gee thanks Ricky.

But the play of the day for mine could turn out to be one of the telling moments of the series. It was Phil Hughes' dismissal by Freddy Flintoff. A ball that nipped into the gap between bat and pad, taking an inside edge which was well caught by Matt Prior. Hughes' 36 was an elegant innings, but will his opportunities for elegance be stifled?

Australia 249 for 1 at stumps, 186 behind. Katich 104, Ponting 100 and a batting lineup with Test centuries down to number eight. As Pietersen continues to hum "Non, je ne regret rien" after his daft dismissal on Wednesday, will we wait with bated breath on his exclusive inside take in Sunday's Scum of the Earth? I think not.

On a day when everything bad in Australian tourism was on display - inflatable kangaroos, man-sized banana costumes, John Howard - my Midwinter-Midwinter votes are as follows:
3 pts - Simon Katich (Australia);
2 pts - Ricky Ponting (Australia);
1 pt - Graeme Swann (England).

Yesterday I linked to five interpretations of Day One at Caerdydd. For Day Two, I give you five more. First, it is my melancholy duty to mention Peter Roebuck (The Sydney Morning Herald). With him out of the way, there's Stephen Brenkley (The Independent) and Robert Craddock (The Courier-Mail). has reportage from the Western Mail and South Wales Post, and for an added bonus, today's home page poll asks if you would let a doctor treat you using maggots. Finally, there's the Guardian's infamous OBO.