And now for Part 2.
Cricket: Bashton Turner gets the job done
Australia (6-359, 47.5) defeated India (9-358) by 4 wickets at Mohali
After India posted 358 (Which could easily have been more), it was all set to be yet another ODI series loss for the Aussies…. especially with Marcus Stoinis ruled out due to a thumb injury, bringing Ashton Turner into the team for his second ODI.
A 193 opening run partnership between Rohit Sharma and Melbourne resident Shikhar Dhawan (I’m not kidding, he lives in Melbourne!) ended when Sharma fell just short of a century on 95, while Dhawan kept the rampage going with 143 off 115 balls.
India were 3-267 with 10 overs to go, but despite belting 91 more to close it out, the loss of late wickets cost the hosts the chance to reach 380+ and put the match away, as they finished on a very poor 9-358.
Pat Cummins took 5-70 for his maiden ‘Pfeiffer’ in ODI cricket, and Jhye Richardson took 3 wickets. Of course, I should add he also got carted for 89 off 9 overs.
Australia’s innings began well when Finch went for a duck and Marsh went cheaply, leaving them in an early hole at 2-12.
Susan Khawaja (As the ABC once called him) backed up his maiden ODI century with a 192-run partnership with Peter Handscomb to get Australia back into the match, before ‘Susan’ was dismissed for 91, as Handscomb powered on to become the latest Aussie to score a maiden ODI century, eventually being dismissed on 117.
Maxwell then tactically sacrificed himself for a quick 23 with a reverse sweep LBW to get the ace in the pack Ashton Turner to the crease with 13 overs to go, and it turned out to be yet another outstanding plan by Maxi…. Amazing to think that Steve Smith once accused of him of not training smart.
With 10 overs to go, Australia still required 98 to win, and even with 6 overs to go they still needed 62 to win, with Turner on 26 off 18 balls.
But a 3-over rampage from the Sandgroper hero (With Alex Carey helping out) won the match.
45th over- 20 runs off Kumar (Turner brought up his half century)
46th over- 16 runs off Bumrah
47th over- 18 runs off Kumar
54 runs off just 18 balls, leaving the Aussies 8 to win with 3 overs to go. Despite losing Carey late, Turner got the job done next ball to finish off the Mohali Miracle.
Turner earned Man of the Match honours, scoring 84 off 43 deliveries, including 6 sixes, and was also dropped twice and survived a DRS review that apparently pissed off Virat Kohli.
It’s a new record ODI chase for the Aussies- The previous best was a lazy 334 (England at the SCG in 2011), and it was also the 5th highest successful chase in ODI history, and the highest against India.
The Rajasthan Royals picked up Turner in the IPL auction for a mere AUD $100,000, And it’s fair to say they liked what they saw.
Qatar MotoGP: Bike seat proves pain in the arse for Miller
Jack Miller’s MotoGP season began pretty well in Qatar, jumping from 4th to 2nd on the line, but he suddenly dropped out of the Top 10 on Lap 2, due to the seat broke loose, forcing him to rip the foam padding off and destroying what was a pretty good weekend.
With his cornering wrecked as a result, ‘Jackass’ retired 10 laps later so as to not risk a crash.
As for the race itself, it was a near perfect recreation of last year, as Andrea Dovizioso held off Marc Marquez on the line in what was a perfect recreation of last year, winning by a mere 2-hundredths of a second.
Tennis: California Wipeout
The ‘Fifth Major’ Indian Wells is currently on in the California Desert, but there’s been no joy for the Australian men, with all of them departing by the Second Round.
Alex de Minaur was upset by American qualifier Marcus Giron after being a set up, Jordan Thompson lost to 7th seed Dominic Thiem, Alexei Popyrin did a good job going from qualifying to the second round, but he was no match for the 8th seeded 8-foot giant John Isner, and Alex Bolt took the 32nd seed Guido Pella to a deciding 3rd set, but ultimately lost it 6-3.
And last but not least, Nick Kyrgios looked flat after his win last week, losing in straight sets to the German Philipp Kohlschreiber (Best known for having a mortgage on the 31st seed at the Majors), leading to the Australian press invariably focusing on his behaviour again.
On the ladies’ side, Daria Gavrilova was knocked out by 6th seed Elina Svitolina, but as per usual, Ash Barty is determined to turn the Barty Party into an all-night bender, as she rolled through to the Round of 16 with a straight sets win over American Jamie Brady, to set up a match with Svitolina.
Pat Cash appeared in Barty’s coaching box on Sunday evening, so it appears that like the rest of Australia, he’s keen to find out that there ain’t no party like a Barty Party.
I did see Nick’s flat performance coming after his massive week in Mexico, because after all, the Circle of Nick is rarely wrong.
And now back to regular programming