Ashes diary: pool proposal makes a splash on day two in Brisbane

Pool proposal makes a splash

The swimming pool at the Gabba may end each day with a similar hue to a schooner of XXXX. But while it was still relatively clear after lunch, one plucky supporter – wearing just budgie smugglers, naturally, and sporting green-and-gold face paint – provided a heart-warming moment by proposing to his girlfriend in the shallows. Up went the roar from the stands when the offer was accepted, with another round of the amber nectar sculled for good measure. Ali Martin

Maxwell back in the house

Australia’s standby found batting a more straightforward occupation down in Sydney. Admittedly Glenn Maxwell was playing against New South Wales’ second-string attack (the first string is playing in the Test match) but he produced some champagne strokeplay against Doug “The Rug” Bollinger and his colleagues. Maxwell, batting at No3 for Victoria, hit an unbeaten 213 from 260 balls. Like Pat Cummins, until this week, Maxwell has never played a Test in his home country – he has seven appearances in Asia – but that could well change before this series is over. Vic Marks

It’s going to be a long summer

It didn’t take long. Channel Nine’s TV commentary of the cricket in Australia is the soundtrack of the local summer, punctuated with familiar voices traversing very familiar topics. One of those: food. Namely, Shane Warne’s love of pizza. It took all of four overs to discuss his favoured type – “a big ham and pineapple” – on morning two. Never change, Shane. Adam Collins

Speaking of the Nine, England champion and provocateur Kevin Pietersen is doing a punditry stint on his first Ashes with the network. On day one he went on camera sporting a pair of cream coloured shoes. Naturally, social media had its way with him for it. So he bit back with a giggle, the shoes back on for a second run, now paired with some baby-blue socks. “For all you fashion gurus out there hammering my shoes,” he tweeted, “the more you pipe up, the more I’ll wear ’em.” What didn’t get noticed in the initial storm was that his tie was about three inches short of his belt buckle. Had he been wearing one, that is. KP does it his way. AC

Friday on his mind

Queensland, notoriously the most volatile state in Australia, is going to the polls on Saturday with a right-wing extremist group set to win several seats. But at the cricket on Friday they just wanted to get loose. Sure enough, punches followed as the final hour began. But what did the protagonist of the brawl do before getting grabbed by police? He ran to the next aisle to scull his pint and pop the plastic glass on his head. Then, and only then, he was happy to be evicted. Queensland. AC

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