Alex Carey's maiden Test century sees Australia pull away on day three

By Sports Desk December 28, 2022

Alex Carey is now the proud owner of the best ever Test score by a wicketkeeper at the MCG after notching his first century in the longest format on day three of Australia's clash against South Africa.

Carey began the day with nine runs, and added another 102 to reach 111 off 149 deliveries – surpassing Rod Marsh's knock of 110 back in 1977 to set a new standard for wicketkeepers at the famous ground.

He was eventually caught and bowled by Marco Jansen, but Cameron Green was determined to stick around as Australia took full control of the second Test.

Green patiently made his way to 51 not out from 177 balls while nursing a finger injury, and after another ugly finger injury earlier in the Test appeared to end Mitchell Starc's match, he also returned and scored 10no before the Australians declared at 575-8.

Anrich Nortje was the pick of the South African bowlers, taking 3-92 from his 25 overs.

Trailing by 386, the best the tourists could really hope for is a draw, but the chances of South Africa batting out the final two days took a massive blow before the close when Dean Elgar was caught behind for a duck off Aussie skipper Pat Cummins' bowling.

With the ball swinging a mile and Starc toughing it out to rejoin the attack, South Africa were saved from any further damage by the arrival of rain, ending the day's play over an hour before the scheduled finish time.

The visitors will resume on day four at 15-1 with Sarel Erwee (7no) and Theunis de Bruyn (6no) at the crease, trailing by 371 runs.

Carey's history-making knock

The century from Carey was not just the best score by a wicketkeeper at the MCG since Marsh in 1977, but the only other century by a wicketkeeper ever in a Test at the ground.

His previous high score from his 13 Test matches was 93 against Pakistan in Karachi earlier this year and the maiden century - which included 13 fours - raised his average to just under 40 (39.6).

Starc and Green battle through the pain

It was initially reported that Starc's finger injury from day one would likely take between six and eight weeks to properly heal, and that it could be some time before he bowls again – only for paceman to come out for a bat and bowl on day three.

It was also unknown if Green would be able to continue playing after a bouncer caught him on the finger in day two, triggering an injury retirement, but he also decided to battle it out and ended up facing the second-most deliveries in the match so far (177), as Australia impressively built on David Warner's double hundred.

Related items

  • Yorkshire not in ECB’s new ‘Tier 1’ revamp of women’s professional game Yorkshire not in ECB’s new ‘Tier 1’ revamp of women’s professional game

    Yorkshire will have to wait until 2027 to take part in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new ‘Tier 1’ revamp of the women’s professional game, after eight other counties were selected to lead the way.

    Durham, Essex, Hampshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Surrey and Warwickshire have been chosen as hosts, with the governing body abolishing the existing regional structure in favour of alignment with the first-class counties.

    The blow to Yorkshire, for whom this is a further setback after several turbulent years on and off the field, has been mitigated by a promise to bring them into an expanded competition in the third season.

    Glamorgan have been given the same assurances and both will receive additional funding to help build their pathway.

    But there will be no ‘Tier 1’ cricket at Lord’s in the foreseeable future, with MCC declining to put itself forward and Middlesex among those overlooked. Sussex have also been left on the outside looking in, despite a long and strong commitment to the women’s game.

    They will be hoping to be included as the elite level continues to grow, with the ECB outlining plans to further expand to 12 teams by 2029.

    ECB chief executive Richard Gould said: “I’d like to congratulate those counties who have been successful in their bids.

    “I’m also delighted that in light of the support we have seen and the strength of the bids we have considered, we can accelerate our plans, including new top tier professional teams at Glamorgan and Yorkshire by 2027 with a further two being introduced by 2029.

    “More professional teams means more women able to make a career out of being a cricketer, more role models to inspire future generations, and more of the country having a women’s professional team to follow nearby.

    “I recognise today’s announcement will also be disappointing to those who haven’t been successful at this stage. But with the new three-tier structure we are introducing, there is still a huge opportunity for them to compete in the other tiers so together we can all realise the potential of women’s domestic cricket.”

    Beth Barrett-Wild, the ECB’s director of the women’s professional game, praised the calibre of offers from around the country.

    “At the start of this tender process we challenged the first-class counties to show us their vision for the women’s professional game and to demonstrate their desire and commitment to becoming one of our professional Tier 1 clubs,” she said.

    “Over the last couple of months it’s been brilliant to see the time and energy that has gone into the submissions, and I’ve been hugely impressed by the quality and ambition of the bids.

    “It’s clear that the game is united in wanting to take the women’s professional game forward. I’m energised about what comes next, for the counties themselves, for the players, for fans and for everyone who wants to see women’s cricket continue its accelerated trajectory.”

    The ECB has put £5million per year of new funding into the women’s domestic set-up, rising to £8million when Yorkshire and Glamorgan come aboard.

    It estimates a potential increase of 80 per cent in the number of professional female players.

    There will be no promotion or relegation between 2025 and 2028, allowing the new three-tier system to bed in.

  • Marcus Trescothick urges more sports stars to speak about mental health struggle Marcus Trescothick urges more sports stars to speak about mental health struggle

    Former England batter Marcus Trescothick has called for more sports stars to open up about their struggles with mental health.

    Trescothick, who was made an OBE for services to mental health on Wednesday, suffered from related issues throughout his career.

    After the award ceremony with the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle, he told the PA news agency: “There’s always more that can be done (in sports).

    “Of course, more research and funding will help. But the more people who are open to telling stories and letting people know they are not alone, then the easier it is. And that’s more help than anything else.

    “You’re not unique, you’re not different. It’s just something that people go through. The more you can sympathise with people and let them know that you’re there to help, then the better it will be.”

    Now a coach with England, Trescothick retired from international duty in 2008 because of his struggles with mental health.

    Asked how these issues have influenced his work since, he said: “Hugely. Everything I’ve gone through helps me in terms of guiding someone else, of talking to somebody else about it.

    “On a daily basis I’m reliving it with someone, or (during) some interview, or (during) some way of raising awareness.

    “The more people that can do that and live to tell the story then the better it’s going to be. We know there’ll be many more people who will suffer and do suffer.

    “So the more we can continue on in the same fashion, then hopefully in time it will make it easier. We need to make sure we break down the barriers.

    “We know there’ll be many more people who will suffer and do suffer. So the more we can continue on in the same fashion then hopefully, in time, it will make it easier.”

    Trescothick confirmed his plans to continue as batting coach with England and shared his optimism for the future of the national team.

    He said: “I’m feeling good (about England). There’s a bit of a rest period at the moment for international cricket because of the IPL (Indian Premier League) and then there’s a bit more of a break until the next Test matches.

    “The England team have gone well. We’ve got a big summer ahead against West Indies and Sri Lanka in the Test matches.

    “The white ball team are playing Pakistan and then the World T20. There’s a lot of domestic cricket coming up and obviously then the international summer starts in a few weeks.

    “So once the sun comes out finally and it stops raining it’s exciting times now. From springtime heading into the summer, everybody’s really looking forward to getting back into cricket time.”

  • England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt named Wisden’s leading women’s cricketer in the world England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt named Wisden’s leading women’s cricketer in the world

    Nat Sciver-Brunt has become the first English woman to be honoured as Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world, heading an awards list that also includes Harry Brook and Mark Wood among the almanack’s five cricketers of the year.

    Sciver-Brunt takes top billing in the women’s game following an outstanding run of form in 2023, with Australia captain Pat Cummins picking up the men’s trophy having led his country to success in both the World Test Championship and 50-over World Cup. He succeeds Ben Stokes, who has landed the prestigious title three times in the last four years.

    Sciver-Brunt’s star power was acknowledged by Mumbai Indians at the start of the year, when her £320,000 Women’s Premier League deal made her the United Kingdom’s highest-paid female team athlete and her worth only rose as the calendar unfolded.

    She hit three ODI centuries in five innings, including two Ashes tons in the space of 72 hours as England came from 6-0 down to draw the marquee series 8-8.

    Sciver-Brunt also thrashed a 66-ball hundred against Sri Lanka, a new English record, having previously been named player of the final and second top run-scorer in the WPL to justify her huge price tag.

    In earning Wisden’s nod, Sciver-Brunt finally places an English name on the women’s gong, which has been won five times by Australians in the 10 years since its inception.

    There was also a distinct Ashes flavour to the historic cricketers of the year panel, the coveted once-in-a-career award dating back to 1889 and focused on performances during the preceding English summer.

    Brook appears on the back of scoring 363 runs at a shade over 40 in his maiden series against the Australians, capped by a fourth-innings turn of 75 in the pressure of a must-win home Test at Headingley. The Yorkshireman also won a place in both limited-overs teams and hit the only men’s century in the third edition of The Hundred.

    “Harry Brook passed 50 four times during the Ashes – more times than anyone – and played crucial hands in England’s wins at Headingley and The Oval,” noted Wisden editor Lawrence Booth.

    “He smashed a record 41-ball century for Northern Superchargers, then forced his way into England’s World Cup squad with some breath-taking innings against New Zealand.”

    Wood, almost a decade older than Brook at 34 and perhaps running out of chances to make the cut, is honoured for a transformative impact on the Ashes contest. Entering the contest with England 2-0 down, his raw pace helped lift the hosts off the mat in Leeds and he finished with 14 wickets at 20.21 in three undefeated outings against the old enemy.

    “The selection of Mark Wood for the Third Test at Headingley turned the Ashes on its head,” Booth concluded.

    “He topped 96mph, took five for 34, and pushed Australia on the back foot, literally and figuratively.”

    That England did not regain the urn with an outright win owed much to the efforts Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc. They finished a thrilling series as top run-scorer with 496 and top-wicket-taker with 23, respectively, and also take their places in the cricketer of the year lineage.

    Compatriot Ashleigh Gardner joins them, with a 12-wicket haul in the standalone women’s Ashes Test proving a pivotal contribution.

    Yet another Australian will take custody of the Wisden Trophy for Test performance of the year, Travis Head winning out for his decisive 163 in the WTC final against India at The Oval.

    West Indian Hayley Matthews becomes the first woman to be named leading T20 cricketer of the year after seven years.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.