Conquering the Gabba – Five visiting players who made an impression

TD Paine will be hoping Australia can continue their impressive record at the Gabba when Australia take on India in the 4th Test.

India fought valiantly in Sydney to secure an unlikely draw against Australia and they now head to the Gabba with an injury list as long as your arm to face the Aussies who have not lost a test match at the venue since I was in year four. 

In that time however, there have been visiting players who have made their mark achieving individual success at the ground which has become a fortress for the home side. 

To set the scene, I have started with what was an eventful Test Match at the Gabba in November 1988 with the imposing force of the West Indies reigning supreme with a dominant 9 wicket victory thanks to some handy work from their pace attack, in particular the great Curtley Ambrose. 

Since then there have been a number of other overseas players who have made their mark claiming man of the match honours despite their team not getting over the line.

1988 – CEL Ambrose

After winning the toss and batting, it was tough going for the home side with the Windies pace attack led by Ambrose, Walsh and the late great Malcom Marshall wreaking havoc with the ball. Patrick Patterson was the other member of the pace quartet however, he sustained an injury in his fourth over not bowling again in the game.

Mike Veletta was the best performer in the Aussie innings lasting 3 hours for his 37 before falling to the much more friendly off spin of Carl Hooper. Sir Vivian Richards who was playing his 100th Test Match claimed his 100th catch in test cricket when he snared Tony Dodemaide off the bowling of Courtney Walsh to wrap up the innings. This would be the first wicket of a hat trick that was completed on Day 3 in Australia’s second innings when he dismissed Veletta and Wood in successive deliveries.

It was Curtly Ambrose however who claimed man of the match honours with first innings figures of 16.5 overs 5 maidens 3-30 (only 23 of these off the bat having bowled 7 no balls) including the wickets of Marsh, Wood and Border. He chimed in with a handy 19 not out with the willow and snared another 3 wickets in the second innings with Marsh and Border his two big scalps for the second time in the match.

This was just one of the many times the big West Indian paceman imposed himself on batsmen all around the world with his pace and bounce collecting over four hundred test match wickets.

1989 – PA De Silva

Growing up I had a lot of love for Sri Lankan all rounder Aravinda de Silva. One of his finer moments playing down under came when he notched up 167 against Australia in the drawn Test Match of 1989. Facing the Australian attack of Alderman, Lawson, Rackeman, Hughes and Moody, the likable tourist became the first Sri Lankan to score a hundred against Australia. 

His epic innings lasted over 8 hours after Merv Hughes dropped a return catch not long after his arrival at the crease. De Silva patiently built an innings, eventually bringing up his ton off a thick outside edge that went past the outstretched right hand of Mark Taylor at second slip, down to the boundary for four. 

After playing some wonderful back foot strokes, including landing one on the famous dog track, he eventually hooked a Carl Rackeman delivery straight down the throat of Geoff Lawson who was fielding on the fine leg boundary. 

It was his second of twenty test hundreds in a distinguished career that netted over six thousand test match runs. 

2003 – SC Ganguly

I was fortunate enough to be living in Brisbane in 2003 and was on hand at the Gabba to witness Justin Langer put Australia in a commanding position registering 121 at the top of the order for the home side.

It would be the visiting captain Sourav Ganguly though, who would make his mark with a magnificent 144 bringing up his first test match hundred against Australia with a sweep shot off MacGill for 2. He sweated on anything with width outside the off stump, playing through the off side with precision. 

He would eventually fall to a well flighted delivery from MacGill that he drove straight to the safe hands of the ever reliable Jason Gillespie at mid off. This helped the tourists take an 86 run lead in a match that would finish in a draw with inclement weather seeing play interrupted on numerous occasions. 

It was the only hundred that Ganguly scored on this tour but certainly sent a message that he was ready to take the game to the Australians. It proved to be a very competitive series with India going on to beat Australia in Adelaide before the home side bounced back in Melbourne with a draw in Sydney leaving us with a 1-1 result.

2010 – AN Cook

Brisbane 2010 is the test match probably most remembered for PM Siddle’s birthday hat trick which was started by the dismissal of Alistair Cook who fell for 67 after a lengthy stay at the crease. However it was Alistair Cook who claimed man of the match honours in a game that ended up finishing a draw.

After winning the toss and batting first, England were bowled out for 260 which did not look like it would be enough. The Aussies were in trouble though at 5-143 but Brad Haddin joined Michael Hussey at the crease for an incredible 307 run stand, which restored order and put the home side back on top.

Day 4 however belonged to the visitors with twenty five year old Alistair Cook batting the entire day returning to the sheds at stumps unbeaten on 132 after resuming the day’s play on 6 not out. 

Cook went on to surpass his previous highest test score of 173 against Bangladesh which he had scored earlier in the year on his way to a magnificent 235 not out as part of a phenomenal unbeaten 329 run partnership with Jonathan Trott.

Cook’s innings at the time was the highest individual score in a test match at the ground surpassing DG Bradman’s 226 v South Africa in 1931. It has since only been eclipsed by Michael Clarke’s superb 259 not out against South Africa in 2012.

His thirst for runs continued throughout the tour finishing top of the tree on the run scorers list with 766 runs at 127.66 helping the visitors to win the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.

2016 – Asad Shafiq

The pink ball was a feature of the Gabba test in 2016 when Pakistan was set a near impossible target of 490 in the fourth innings of the game.

After winning the toss and batting Australia were on the front foot posting 429 on the back of centuries to Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb. This was backed up by the Australian pace trio of Starc, Hazlewood and Bird each claiming 3 wickets to have the visitors well behind in the game as they were bundled out for 142.

The Australian’s then upped the tempo in their second innings scoring at over 5 an over declaring with a session to go on day three. Pakistan negotiated the final session finishing just two down heading into day 4.

With some inclement weather on day 4 there looked to be a slim chance of Pakistan surviving for a draw but the prospect of a win would require a minor miracle. When Asad Shafiq came to the crease at 4-165 there were still 335 runs required and plenty of overs left in the game. 

The runs started ticking over and productive partnerships were formed. Bringing up his 50 with a push to the on side coincided with a 50 partnership with Mohammed Amir off just 67 balls. 

Australia had their chance to dismiss Shafiq when Starc found the edge of his bat on 72 with Smith not able to complete the catch in the slips. A well struck cut shot for 3 off Jackson Bird brought up his ton just prior to stumps on Day 4 with his team still needing a further 112 runs with 3 wickets in hand. It was Shafiq’s 10th Test Match hundred and his first against Australia.

His fighting knock eventually came to an end when he got a sharp rising ball from Mitch Starc bowling around the wicket that he ballooned to David Warner at gully. Out for 137 he had earned the respect of many and almost pulled off a miracle for Pakistan. Australia soon took the final wicket and won the game by 39 runs with Shafiq named man of the match.

India will need to defy the odds to stop Australia in Brisbane. Will we see some similar heroics from the visitors or will the home side maintain their invincibility at the Gabba fortress?

The Cricket Library Podcast – Maisy Gibson Interview

Maisy Gibson rose to prominence playing an integral role in the success of the Sydney Thunder WBBL team that won the inaugural WBBL competition.

In this edition of the Cricket Library Podcast we get to hear more of the Maisy Gibson story which started in the backyard in Singleton and progressed through the NSW representative pathway and becoming the 1st woman to play 1st Grade in the 120 year history of the Maitland and District Cricket Association when she became player number 327 for the Western Suburbs Plovers.

She would go on to have success with the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL and the highly successful NSW Breakers in the WNCL competition. Maisy shares about this time as well as her move to Tasmania where she is now plying her craft with the Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmanian Roar.

Maisy who has experienced a net with WWE Superstar John Cena gives considerable thought to her three net session selections and her choices will not disappoint.

Outside of cricket Maisy channels her creative energy into her sock business the Sock Enthusiast which can be found on Instagram 

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Maisy Gibson.

The Cricket Library Podcast – Interview With Baggy Green 413 Ryan Harris

Ryan Harris had quite a journey on his way to becoming Baggy Green 413. Along the way, he was part of an IPL winning team at the Deccan Chargers, won a Sheffield Shield and was player of the match in a domestic One Day Final for Queensland.

In this episode of the Cricket Library Podcast we will learn of where his passion for the game began, the hard conversation he had with his coach Wayne Phillips that was a turning point in his career & what it was like to be player of the series in an Ashes series in England and winning one 5-0 on home soil. We also get a run down of the famous delivery he bowled to dismiss Alistair Cook.

Needless to say, he will select three people he would most like to have a net with and for the first time a golfer is nominated to join two legendary cricketers who are also proficient golfers.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Ryan Harris.

Walking out to bat with Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar is a cricketing icon respected around the world for his skill and execution in all formats of the game. So what was it like for Aiden Blizzard, the boy from Shepparton who found himself walking out to bat with the little master in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians.

This is just one part of Aiden’s incredible cricket journey. If you would like to hear more of his story, you can have a listen here.

Marty Rhone & Cricket – A Good Thing Going

Marty Rhone is a well known Australian Actor and Singer who has shared the stage and screen with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.

Last year Marty added another chapter to his illustrious career as an Actor and Singer when he released the highly popular single We had a good thing going.

What you may not know is that Marty is also a self confessed cricket tragic. In a recent interview on The Cricket Library Podcast, Marty revealed where his passion from the game stems from.

We also chat about his involvement in the development of girls cricket on the North Shore of Sydney at the Kissing Point Cricket Club.

Marty also gives is an update on his latest projects in this chat you are sure to enjoy!

You can purchase Marty Rhone’s latest music at

What did Richard Chee Quee Bowl?

Richard Chee Quee was a cult hero for NSW plundering bowling attacks in the Mercantile Mutual Cup competition in the early 90s.

What you may not know is that Richard Chee Quee actually rolled the arm over on one occasion for NSW in Domestic One Day Cricket.

We asked former NSW paceman Wayne Holdsworth to give an assessment of his work in a recent chat for the Cricket Library Podcast.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Wayne Holdsworth.

Memory Lane – Ben Rohrer ton on debut

Ben Rohrer was a late inclusion in the NSW side at the back end of the 2006/7 season for the Sheffield Shield clash against Tasmania in Hobart. Unfortunately, NSW were rolled for 53 in their first innings but there was some personal satisfaction for Ben Rohrer in the second innings as he explained to the Cricket Library Podcast.

Tasmania went on to win the game with Michael Di Venuto claiming player of the match honours for his magnificent 181 in Tasmania’s first innings total of 370 All Out.


The Cricket Library Podcast – Leah Poulton Interview

Today it was announced that Leah Poulton has been appointed to the new role of Head of Female Cricket at Cricket NSW.

Leah represented Australia in 2 Tests, 48 ODIs and 40 T20Is as well playing over 100 games for NSW.

She was a high quality top order batter who had a reputation for scoring runs quickly which was confirmed when she became the first female to score a century in Women’s domestic T20 cricket for NSW.

In her distinguished career, Leah was a part of two successful ICC World T20 Campaigns for Australia top scoring in the 2010 decider.

Leah is a four time winner of the Belinda Clark medal which is awarded to the premier female cricketer in NSW.

We caught up with Leah in February for the Cricket Library Podcast. In this episode, we will hear from Leah about where her love for the game originated, some key influences on her career, some memorable moments, what she is up to now as well as finding out which three people Leah would most like to have a net with.

She also shares with us a very interesting story about how she found out that she had been selected to represent her country for the first time.

We trust you will thoroughly enjoy our chat with Leah Poulton.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Leah Poulton.

The Cricket Library Podcast – Wayne Holdsworth Interview

Wayne Holdsworth was a distinguished First Class Cricketer who claimed 212 wickets in his career. He made an immediate impact for NSW claiming 6-55 on debut at the MCG against Victoria and went on to win a number of Sheffield Shield titles with NSW including a match winning 7-41 against Queensland in the 1992/3 decider at the SCG.

This was followed by a berth on the 1993 Ashes tour where he will long be remembered for taking a hat trick against Derbyshire.

Not to be forgotten are his batting exploits in the the Mercantile Mutual Cup dispatching a career best 49* off 18 balls against Tasmania at the North Sydney Oval.

In our chat with Wayne we re live some of these memories among others as well as finding out what he is up to now.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Wayne Holdsworth.