Don Bradman took guard, his stance unchanged, and tipped his baggy green to the roar of the crowd.
He clipped a full toss down the ground for four, evoking memories for the older folk piled into Manuka Oval about what this man was once capable of, and giving kids too young to remember a vague idea.
Bradman would not bother the scorers again in his final game of cricket for the Prime Minister's XI in 1963, as a ball soon nudged the stumps with just enough force to dislodge one bail.
"It mightn't have happened one in a thousand times," Bradman said as he tucked away the cricket kit after an illustrious career.
The Canberra representative in the Prime Minister's XI that day was one Graeme Smith, who could still remember Bradman's exact words from their first meeting.
It was February 5, 1963 - the night before Bradman led the Prime Minister's XI against the Marylebone Cricket Club at Manuka Oval.
"'You're a very courageous bowler, keep it up'. Those are the words he said," Smith said.
"He treated me with tremendous encouragement. Forget about me, imagine if it was you. It's a living memory to me, as it would probably be to others, but I was a local."
There would be no coin toss to decide who would get first crack on the Manuka Oval deck, merely a conversation and gentlemen's agreement that the MCC would bat first.
Smith took 3-61 for the hosts and the "greatest thrill" was not playing alongside The Don, but bowling in tandem with Richie Benaud, who claimed 2-62 and scored 69 in the four-run loss.
The Canberra cricket great once sent a collection of photos from the game to Bradman for his 90th birthday as a gift - Bradman autographed them all and sent them back with a letter.
Age is starting to catch up with Smith but the memory of playing with the greatest of all time is "always there". Those photos now serve as a lasting reminder of the greatest there was, the greatest there is, and the greatest there ever will be.
"I have just played my last game of cricket," Bradman said at a function at Robert Menzies' residence later that night. "The cricket bat has seen the last of me."
The Canberra Times is counting down 11 magical Manuka Oval cricket moments ahead of an historic Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka on February 1.
Got a magic Manuka memory that should be on the list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR
No. 1: Don Bradman's last stand