Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was only 16 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He was playing both cricket and Australian rules football then. The deadly disease, however, failed to deter the spirits of the Tasmanian teenager, who not only cocked a snook at the disease following two rounds of chemotherapy but also went on to play cricket for Australia.
Yes, it wasn’t as difficult as his fight for life, but it was still tricky when he walked out to bat on Saturday. His side was tottering at 63 for four, having lost the top-order batsmen.
But the left-hand batsman, despite having fractured his cheekbone during practice a day earlier, quickly settled down to resurrect Australia’s innings with Clarke.
Wade (62 off 144 balls) fell after scoring a half-century, but his three-hour stay at the crease and and his 145-run partnership with Clarke ensured the visitors crossed the 200-run mark.
The wicket-keeper batsman, who still had a black mark below his left eye from the injury suffered while facing knock downs in the nets, put on a characteristic brave face when asked how close he was to missing out the match. “There was no doubt of me playing in the match. I just wanted to check whether I am seeing the ball properly,” he said.
Wade was disciplined, cutting out the horizontal bat shots. He instead focused on playing straight and rotating the strike to fight back against the spinners.
Wade was disappointed that his team lost the plot in the last session.
“Michael and I had built a platform, but it's quite disappointing as we lost wickets in the last session,” he added.