It’s fair to say the Dukes ball dominated this round of the Shield, and I can just imagine the headlines with the Ashes in mind.
The English press- “Wow, these Australian batsmen are absolute crap on a green pitch against the Dukes ball.”
Cricket Australia- “WOW LOOK AT HOW GOOD OUR BOWLERS ARE WITH THE DUKES BALL!”
It’s all a matter of perspective.
Queensland (115 & 130) defeated South Australia (71 & 131) by 43 runs @ Woolloongabba
MOTM: Luke Feldman (QLD)
It’s not often that a team can score 115 & 130 and the match still end up looking like a thrashing… But that’s what South Australia have provided to their Shield opponents this season, and it’s why they’re winless with one match to play.
It started so positively for the Croweaters, bowling the Banana Benders out for a mere 115 (Tom Andrews with 6-40), but they would fare even worse with the bat, scoring just 71 (Luke Feldman with 4-19) as 17 wickets fell on the opening day… which was topped by 20 wickets falling on day 2, as the Bulls somehow took a 44 run lead.
Queensland’s 2nd innings barely even made it to tea on day 2, being bowled out for 130 (Is it even worth looking at the batting card?), which set a low 175 to win.
But all that meant was another chance for the Bulls to beat the Redbacks pitiful batting lineup into submission, and within 16 overs they were at 5-32.
South Australians can produce a decent bottle of red, but they can’t produce some half-decent cricket in any format this season.
Anyway, at 7-94 to begin day 3 it wasn’t totally over for South Australia, but once Jake Lehmann went on 42 (The highest score of the match) at 8-95, it pretty much was.
A few late runs from Nick Winter and Joe Mennie meant little, and the Redbacks were bowled out for 131, the Bulls winning a craptacular match by a relatively comfortable 44 runs.
Ironically, that score 131 was the highest of the match.
So in summary, the Redbacks are welded into this season’s wooden spoon, and for some reason the Man of the Match went to Luke Feldman in his last match at the Gabba… I assume it was because he was the only player who didn’t get dismissed during the match, but his 6 wickets also played a part.
Cricket Australia condensed all 40 wickets into just 2 minutes!
447 runs, 40 wickets, 31 boundaries and all over in just under 7 sessions of play.
Victoria (106 & 194) defeated New South Wales (135 & 102) by 63 runs @ Drummoyne
MOTM: Harry Conway (NSW)
The New South Wales bowling attack has made a knack of skittling teams for low scores in the second half of this Shield season, and it carried on against their age-old rivals, restricting them to 106 and 194…..
But this time, they copped the sour taste of their own medicine.
After Victoria could only muster 106 (Harry Conway with 5-14), the Blues reached 0-67 as they looked set to build a decent 1st innings lead, but Jon ‘Dutchie’ Holland had other ideas, dismssing Nick Larkin and Dan Hughes to spark a collapse of 8-35, though some late releif from Peter Nevill got the Blues to 135, a lead of 29.
Victoria were once again made to work for every single run, but could only struggle to 5-96 after Nic Maddinson went for 33, however a good tail wag led by Matt Short with the only half-century of the match led Victoria to 194, setting the hosts 165 to win.
But in his return from injury, James Pattinson (5-25) and the Banana Man Peter Siddle (3-34) destroyed the Blues chances with destructive pace, leaving the hosts at a laughable 9-54 as openers Hughes and Larkin scored ducks, along with Moises Henriques.
Some late hitting (Again) from Nevill and Steve O’Keefe got the Blues just barely to three figures, but Scott Boland finished him off and in another bowler-dominated affair, the Big V triumphed by 63 runs.
On the subject of Man of the Match awards, Harry Conway won the award despite the Blues getting smacked, and he did deserve it, with match figures of 9/65, which have unfortunately been somewhat masked by the failures of his teammates.
The Vics are all set for yet another appearance in the Shield final, while the Blues just have to defeat Tasmania next week to join them.
WA (367 & 8-283d) defeated Tasmania (197 & 402) by 51 runs @ Blundstone Arena.
MOTM: Sam Whiteman (WA)
After some uninspiring batting performances on the mainland, the only match to go the full 4 days ended up being the best match the week… surprise surprise.
Tassie won the toss and sent WA into bat, and on a green deck the Warriors were struggling a little bit at 5-184, with only Sam Whiteman (55) and Hilton Cartwright (66) posting decent scores, but it would be a familiar face to Hobartians that came out and did the damage…. for the opposition.
D’Arcy Short (49 off 52) teamed up with fellow power hitter Josh Phillipe (76) for a 6th wicket partnership of 88 from just 96 balls, as the Warriors tail wagged for once, posting a half-decent 367, which would’ve been enough to win the other games by an innings.
Jackson Bird also increased his leading wicket tally to 49, with figures of 5-70.
In reply, the Tigers reached 0-84, but Alex Doolan edged one to Bancroft off the bowling of Mitch Marsh, who took a second wicket by getting rid of Jordan Silk in his next over, as the hosts lost 4-11 in the middle session.
Matty Wade and Tim Paine couldn’t stop the collapse, as Joel Paris chimed in with 3 wickets to bowl the Tigers out for 197, giving WA a commanding 170 run lead. Marsh had his best bowling performance in living memory, with 3-21 off just 12 overs.
The Warriors reached 8-283 before declaring late on day 3, in an innings highlighted by Whiteman reaching 93 before he hit one straight to Alex Pyecroft in the gully, and Short continuing on his 1st innings pyrotechnics with an unbeaten 61 off 69 (Five 4s and two 6s), setting Tassie a near impossible 453 to win.
After getting to stumps without loss, the Tigers were in a huge hole at lunch on day 4, sitting at 3-122 and still needing 331 in two sessions.
But someone didn’t tell that to Wade, who did his Ashes chances the world of good by dragging Tassie back into the match with Ben McDermott in an almighty display, scoring at just under 6-per over before and after the Tea break, a partnership of 183 off 196 balls, and it seriously looked like they were going to pull the bloody thing off, especially after Wade reached his century.
But it wasn’t to be, as Wade (134) edged one to Marsh in the slips off David Moody, and McDermott (69) went a few overs later to sink the Tigers. While the target continued to drop thanks to Tim Paine, so did the wickets, and the match ended at 5:55pm, when Paine creamed one straight to Short at cover- WA winning a thriller by 51 runs, leading from start to finish.
It was good to see Mitch Marsh put in a match-winning performance with his bowling, especially coming off a few major issues with his shoulders.
The skipper took 3-21 in the 1st innings, which helped restrict the Tasmanians to 197, and then came back in the waning hours of Day 4 to take the last 3 wickets and seal the win.
You just know Justin Langer will use his sandgroper powers find a way to smuggle Mitch on the flight to the UK, be it on a seat, the overhead storage, or in an umarked bag in the cargo hold.