Yesterday I attended the SCG for a session and a half of Day Two of the New Zealand v New South Wales tour match. To my eternal regret, it has been almost three years since I have been to a NSW game (namely, the Twenty20 game against Queensland at the NSO in January 2006), so it was my first opportunity to try out some mobile blogging at the ground. Hence, my debut on Twitter.
The results can be seen on www.twitter.com/rickeyre. I was only able to stay for about four hours, but I was curious to see the New South Wales batsmen in action. Phillip Hughes (64) and Moises Henriques (55) both played impressive innings while I was there. I was hoping to see Usman Khawaja bat as well, but he was dismissed on his overnight score of 5 before I arrived at the ground.
Hughes, who turns twenty on November 30, is a stocky left-handed opener who reminds me of Mark Taylor at the crease. He has already made his splash by scoring 170 in the Blues' shield final victory last season. Henriques, who is twenty-one and was born in the Madeira Islands off Portugal, is an exciting all-rounder who has been seen as a rising star for quite a while. He certainly looked a sound and attractive batsman in his time at the crease yesterday for his first first-class half-century in his seventh first-class match.
Today, I notice, Henriques took all five wickets with New Zealand ending day three on 157 for 5. But I wasn't there today...
This was also my first visit to the SCG since the last day of the 2005 New Years Test against Pakistan. Yabba's Hill, where I sat that day, has been replaced by the hew whiz-bang Victor Trumper Stand. The Hill is no more, as inevitably it had to be in the 21st century, but now the SCG is a totally enclosed bowl. Charm? Heritage? There's still the Members and Ladies Stands and that's it.
One more boring personal stat to finish up with: I didn't realise this at the time, but yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of my first visit to the SCG for a cricket match - the final day of the West Indies' tour match against NSW. The day after Vivian Richards scored his 100th first-class hundred. Then, as today, there was a Steve Smith in the NSW eleven.