Cricket fans were furious after poor light abruptly ended play at the SCG yesterday. But what can fans expect when play resumes this morning? Follow all of the second day’s action here.
10.27am: GAME RESUMES AGAIN… AGAIN
We’ll see how long that lasts, but just the 15-minute rain delay this time. It seems that no large amount of rain will cause the players and referees too much concern.
Australia added a run from the start – against Usman Khawaja – as they approach day two cautiously.
Feedback from both camps after day one was that this is one of the most unusual SCG goals – some describe it as the driest they’ve ever seen on day one of a test.
Who knows how it will go on days three, four and five?
10.12AM: RAIN STOPS THE GAME AFTER 11 MINUTES
With just 11 minutes of play left before Sydney’s unsettled weather prevailed on day two of the SCG Test – it’s fairly light rain but enough to convince the umpires to cancel the game for the time being.
The covers are tightened for approximately 90 seconds before being removed by ground crew – and then immediately replaced.
It’s a very windy day in Sydney and clouds are being blown over the city. There may be very light rain causing many painful delays!
But the game has been suspended for the moment.
10:00 GAME PASSED WHEN LIGHTED
The game finished under lights last night and that’s the case again this morning.
The big lights are on and Kagiso Rabada charges at Steve Smith, chasing an early wicket.
The fact that the lights are on is worrying players, officials and fans alike – but Australian star Steve Waugh will be delighted.
He wanted the lights on yesterday and took to Instagram to make the request.
“Test cricket need to recognize that there is a lot of competition out there and it just isn’t worth not using the lights when players are off due to poor lighting,” he wrote.
“Lots of dissatisfied viewers who can’t understand the rationale and reason for no game.”
9.45am: HISTORICAL STATUE UNVEILED AT SCG
The story of the morning at SCG on Thursday isn’t Matt Renshaw’s COVID status or Marnus Labuschagne’s controversial innings yesterday – it’s the unveiling of the world’s first sculpture of a female cricketer.
Australian great Belinda Clark was immortalized in bronze near the SCG’s Gate A entrance, with her statue placed alongside the likes of Richie Benaud, Steve Waugh and Fred Spofforth.
A sizeable crowd gathered for the unveiling as the rain stopped for the special moment.
“I’m excited to have the sculpture in place and that people are looking at it now and maybe wondering what that is, who that is and that it’s really important to be able to tell a little bit of history,” he said Clark.
“The sculpture embodies the ability to try – to be brave, to face these challenges and to break conventions.
09:30 AM: SUN SHINES ON SCG
Good morning and welcome to the SCG where we are half an hour from yesterday’s early scheduled start (which has been brought forward due to yesterday’s rain, as will be the case for the rest of the test).
I have good news – it’s a sunny morning at SCG. The rain from earlier in the day has mercifully gone and the light – the light!! – is great so far.
Australia will go on at 2-147 with Usman Khawaja at 54 and Steve Smith yet to score.
8.45am: WEATHER PROBLEMS BEFORE SCG TEST
It will be a wet start to day two of the friendly against South Africa at the SCG today with 1-2mm of rain forecast until 11am.
Luckily for those following the game, it’s expected to clear up around noon in the afternoon. There is also a slight chance of a thunderstorm this morning.
“It’s going to be cold, wet and windy,” said Helen Reid of the Bureau of Meteorology. “Unfortunately, it’s not such a good day for the cricket.”
Good news for the grandstands: it won’t be hot with a maximum of 22 degrees, peaking around 2pm.
Ms Reid said although it will be cloudy for the next three days it is important that people still put on sunscreen.
“The UV Index is extreme at the moment, which it always is at this time of year,”
“Umbrellas help, too, or maybe a UV-protected poncho.”
It will be windy today, with wind speeds of up to 59 km/h from the south/southwest. The wind should drop around 5 p.m. in the early evening.
7am: The SCG Gamble That Made a Superstar
Sodden Sydney becomes both sink and pink test but for Marnus Labuschagne it’s still the ground that changed his life.
This Test marks the fourth anniversary of the day selector Greg Chappell ran out of options for a No. 3 batsman and decided to roll the dice.
Chappell, already knocked back by a high-profile member, offered Labuschagne the high-pressure role of intervening early on against India’s fast-paced assault on the SCG.
The story goes that when Labuschagne shook hands, they were so excited that Chappell feared his arm might be pulled out of the socket, for it was like giving the boy the keys to a new car.
When Labuschagne went to the wicket for his first innings against India at the SCG, he was averaging just 20 after two Tests.
He left the SCG four years later, with his batting average anchored at just under 60 after a robust 79 ended as he passed a snort from Anrich Nortje.
The first day was an odd one for Labuschagne as he cemented his reputation as one of the luckiest batsmen in cricket – before he got a taste of his own medicine.
He should have been out to a low slip catch, which was not ruled out by the third referee, but he was unlucky to be out on the last ball of the day before bad light intervened.
I happened to be standing near Chappell four years ago when Labuschagne went to the wicket and he made the following prediction.
“I honestly have a feeling he’s going to be one of our really exceptional hitters. That enthusiasm for the competition that he has erases so much of the fear.”
That’s how it was that day. And so it is now. Labuschagne is now 28, a father and a 32 Test veteran, but his passion for the game, far from flagging, appears to be growing.
During the off-season, Labuschagne had a two-week break from his loved ones. Not his family. His bats.
He sent them back to the manufacturer for updated decals when he left for Stradbroke Island.
It must have been hell for him being batless on the island but he survived, came back and it’s been cricket ever since.
Sydney is usually the test where tempers tug and butts tug, but Labuschagne is buzzing around the nets like it’s the first Test of the summer.
Not only hitting, but also throwing his leg spinners. He was heard asking everyone around if he’d heard what the team was like on the eve of the game. His cricket intelligence radar is never off.
Commentator Ian Smith called it early when he said from the time Labuschagne got to the fold he looked like a man who was going to pitch a tent and stay a day.
He didn’t get there as he fell on the last ball of the day before poor light set in on a ground that has rained so much that ground authorities are selling advertisements on top of the blankets.
The grim conditions never worry him. His time playing garage cricket on souped-up Bunnings mats leads him to enjoy the thrill of tough competitions of which there are many in Test cricket.
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Originally posted as Test 3 Australia vs South Africa: Follow all the action from Day 2 at the SCG
https://www.codesports.com.au/cricket/3rd-test-australia-vs-south-africa-follow-all-the-action-from-day-2-at-the-scg/news-story/eea4576021312d54a89ebdabc9df7cc4?nk=9586e6b720a7b1d8bc63990a8375ac84-1672875068 SCG Test Australia vs South Africa: live scores, stream, updates, match center, weather in Sydney