Not yet moved on from the India-Bangladesh pink ball Test in Kolkata? Well, fret not, because on 29 November, Adelaide will gear up to host its fourth day-night Test when hosts Australia welcome Pakistan.
And when it comes to playing with the pink ball under lights, the Aussies are arguably the team to beat if the numbers are to be believed.
Since their debut day-night Test against New Zealand at the iconic Adelaide Oval in 2015, no team has played more Test under lights than Australia, with the Aussies maintaining 100 percent record, registering five wins out of five matches. Albeit, Australia have played all their pink ball Tests on home turf.
The upcoming Test will be Australia’s second day-night Test this year, with the earlier one being against Sri Lanka at Brisbane’s Gabba in January. They won that quite comfortably by an innings and 40 runs, and following the Pakistan clash, they are also in line to host New Zealand in Perth.
Sheffield Shield tournament trials pink ball
Although the first international day-night Test was played in 2015, the Sheffield Shield tournament, Australia first-class competition, experimented with the pink ball in their first round of matches.
However, this was not for the first time that something new was being experimented.
The first time a first-class match was played under lights dates back to the 1994-95 Australian domestic cricket season, when New South Wales and Tasmania played with a ‘mustard’-coloured ball.
And although the first day of that match was washed out due to rain, Tasmania clinched a 51-run win in the contest within the next three days as New South Wales failed to chase the target of 321 after being bowled out for 269.
Most recently, during the 2017-18 season, the first round matches of the Sheffield Shield tournament were once again played under lights.
However, earlier this year it was decided that none of the tournament’s matches would be played with pink balls under lights despite the Aussies playing a couple of day-night matches.
As the Aussies gear up for another pink ball challenge, here is the complete list of international pink ball Tests played Down Under.
Australia vs New Zealand, 27-29 November, 2015 at the Adelaide Oval
Australia and New Zealand were the first international teams to get exposed to playing a Test match with the pink ball under lights. Despite the Test ending in three days, it was indeed a gripping contest, with Peter Siddle punching past the point fielder for two runs to complete a three-wicket victory after Shaun Marsh’s 49.
None of the batsmen scored a century but New Zealand's Tom Latham and Steve Smith and Peter Nevill for Australia were among the players who scored fifties.
Australia vs South Africa, 27-29 November, 2016 at the Adelaide Oval
South Africa came into this contest after sealing the series 2-0, and all the Aussies could hope for was a consolation. And, they exactly got that.
Faf du Plessis and Stephen Cook scored centuries in the first and second innings respectively, but in the end the Aussies had it easy in their run chase of 127 with David Warner (47) and Steve Smith (40) securing a seven-wicket win for the hosts.
Australia vs Pakistan, 15-19 December 2016 at The Gabba, Brisbane
Apart from their first innings where they got bowled out for 142, Pakistan displayed a commendable effort and yet ended up on the losing side.
Mohammad Aamir and Wahab Riaz picked up four wickets each in the first innings, while Asad Shafiq played a brilliant knock of 137 in the second innings to almost pulled off an unlikely win for the visitors. Set 490 to win Pakistan fell only 39 runs short in the end. It took a special delivery from Mitchell Starc to claim Shafiq's wicket that helped Aussies clinch a close win.
Despite the hardwork the visitors put in, the hosts continued their dominant winning streak at the ground where they have not lost a Test since 1988.
Australia vs England, 2-6 December 2017 at the Adelaide Oval
For the first-ever time, an Ashes Test match was being played under lights. However, not to forget, this was only the first men’s Ashes Test to be played under lights as the women’s teams of the respective countries took part in a drawn contest in Sydney almost three weeks prior.
Shaun Marsh scored a magnificent first-innings century, while Mitchell Starc ended with eight wickets, including a five-for, in the match as the Australia completed a 120-run win to remain unbeaten in day-night Tests at Adelaide Oval.
In the match, after Marsh’s century propelled the Aussies to 442/8 in the first innings, the Australian bowlers did well to wrap England's innings for just 227, with Nathan Lyon picking up four wickets.
And despite James Anderson starring with five wickets in the second innings to bowl the hosts out for 138, England had a stiff target of 354 to chase which they never really got close to.
Australia vs Sri Lanka, 24-26 January 2019 at The Gabba, Brisbane
It was a Test to forget for a depleted Sri Lanka side, who showed no intent of putting up a fight except for a quickfire knock of 64 from Nirishan Dickwella in the first innings.
The Aussie pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins combined together to dismiss the Lankans for just 144. In return, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head fifties led the hosts to 323, claiming a 179-run lead.
The Australian bowlers once again turned out to be too strong in the second innings, with Pat Cummins picking six wickets to fold Sri Lanka for 139.
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