By the time I’d reached double figures, my brother had subjected me to most of the vile horror and thriller movies Britain and Hollywood had churned out. Older brothers are good for this. I’d worked through the initial mind-bending disgust and learned to appreciate their cinematic qualities, or so I insisted. And today, watching Adam Gilchrist smack the second-fastest Test century, I was transported back to my youth.
Like England, I no longer feared Gilchrist. Bring Freddie around the wicket and let the ball do the rest. But once Gilly passed fifty, everything clicked spectacularly. England were sinking like ten Titanics piled on top one another, and Australia were beating the urn from them like an unruly bouncer confiscating a teenager’s alcopop. The sixes were worthy of 12 and the unrestrained violence was just too delicious to ignore. You wanted him to get there. Viv Richards? Who’s he? Let Gilly beat it, and some. I was urging him on like a true blue Aussie (or a true green’n’gold).
One feedbacker to Cricinfo proclaimed Matthew Hoggard as the most unsporting bowler ever to draw breath (or words to the effect of) by preventing Gilchrist from taking the record from Richards. Yes, Hoggard did send the ball wider and Gilchrist couldn’t quite reach it – but that is the bowler’s job. I’m not convinced Hoggie was even aware of the record, anyway…
Epic. Sometimes, foes are just impressive not to admire. (read his full innings via Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball. Shouldn’t take long…)