Matt Renshaw played out his 71 in front of a mannequin bearing a print-out of his face, which was brought to the ground by his team-mates from the Toombul Cricket Club © Cricket Australia/Getty Images
Midway through the second session, Matt Renshaw danced down the pitch and shovelled Yasir Shah over midwicket for three. Already Renshaw had raised the bat to his home crowd upon reaching his maiden Test half-century. Now he was moving into the 70s. A hometown Test hundred was beginning to seem within his reach. And a cross-town dash was starting to look necessary for his parents, Ian and Alison.
The Renshaws had been in Adelaide for their son’s Test debut last month, and might have been expected to be in the crowd for his first Test at his home ground. But instead they were several kilometres away, watching Renshaw’s sister Hannah graduate from her Masters of Architecture degree at the University of Queensland.
“Matthew’s had his debut in Adelaide, so we’ll be there, very, very proud of what she [Hannah] has done,” Alison Renshaw told Nine News earlier this week. Ian Renshaw added that Matt was perhaps relieved not to have to sit through his sister’s three-hour ceremony: “But as we said, ‘we’ve waited three hours for you to bat and then you’ve been out first ball’.”
At stumps, having fallen for 71 when he edged behind off Wahab Riaz, Renshaw explained that he understood his parents’ prioritising.
“They came to Adelaide and Hannah’s graduation is a really big thing for her, so I think it’s good that they went and saw her,” Renshaw said at stumps. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t still be in when they finished there and they couldn’t head over.”
What would it have taken for them to rush across Brisbane and find their way into the Gabba?
“They told me I needed to be 80 not out at the dinner break, but I couldn’t do that. I let them down,” he joked.
There was, however, one “Renshaw” in the crowd. Some time ago, Renshaw had purchased a ticket for the Gabba Test, not expecting to be part of Australia’s side. He was meant to be sitting with a group of friends from the Toombul Cricket Club, where Renshaw plays in Brisbane, and some of those mates chose to honour his call-up by filling his seat with a mannequin adorned with a print-out of Renshaw’s face.
“It was a bit strange seeing my face on a mannequin when I was out there batting,” Renshaw said. “It probably took my mind off the game for a little bit, but it was good fun from the boys.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo