Radio Commentary

Extracted from, "In a Sunburned Country," American author Bill Bryson gives his interpretation of a cricket game he heard on the radio while traveling in Australia.

 

Australia takes on England...


"Pilchard begins his long run in from short stump. He bowls and ... oh, he's out! Yes, he's got him. Longwilley is caught leg-before in middle slops by Grattan. Well, now what do you make of that, Neville?"

"That's definitely one for the books, Bruce. I don't think I've seen offside medium-slow fast-pace bowling to match it since Baden-Powell took Rangachangabanga for a maiden ovary at Bangalore in 1948..."

"...So here comes Stovepipe to bowl on this glorious summer's afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I wonder if he'll chance an offside drop scone here or go for the quick legover. Stovepipe has an unusual delivery in that he actually leaves the grounds and starts his run just outside the Carlton & United Brewery at Kooyong."

"That's right, Clive. I haven't known anyone start his delivery that far back since Stopcock caught his sleeve on the reversing mirror of a number 11 bus during the third test at Brisbane in 1957 and ended up at Goondiwindi four days later owing to some frightful confusion over a changed timetable at Toowoomba Junction.

After a very long silence while they absorbed this thought, and possibly stepped out to transact some small errands, they resumed with a leisurely discussion of the England fielding. Neasden, it appeared, was turning in a solid performance at square bowel, while Packet had been a stalwart in the dribbles, though even these exemplary performances paled when set aside the outstanding play of young Hugo Twain-Buttocks at middle nipple. The commentators were in calm agreement that they had not seen anyone caught behind with such panache since Tandoori took Rogon Josh for a stiffy at Vindaloo in '61. At last Stovepipe, having found his way over the railway line at Flinders Street -- the footbridge was evidently closed for painting -- returned to the stadium and bowled to Hasty, who deftly turned the ball away for a corner. This was repeated four times more over the next two hours and then one of the commentators pronounced: "So as we break for second luncheon, and with 11,200 balls remaining, Australia are 962 for two not half and England are four for a duck and hoping for rain."

I may not have all the terminology exactly right, but I believe I have caught the flavor of it -- Bill Bryson.