Australian Cricket Review: 2nd October

Alyssa Healy lets us all down by only scoring an unbeaten 148 today

Given there was still 2 more games to go, I once again reneged on what I said on Monday, and moved the Cricket report to Wednesday, where it would have a chance to fill a hole.

I’m a candidate for Captain Jackarse.

Women’s International T20s- Australia defeated Sri Lanka 3-0

Game 1 (Sep 29): Australia 4/214 defeated Sri Lanka 7/176 by 38 runs @ North Sydney Oval

POTM: Beth Mooney (Aus)- 113 off 61 (20 4s)

The International Summer of Cricket began with a bang, as the Aussies elected to bat, and within 6 overs, were looking good for a massive score, as Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney were scoring at 10 an over, until Healy mistimed a slog a mile up in the air to be caught and bowled by Oshadhi Ranasinghe for 43, and despite the Sri Lankan spinner trapping Meg Lanning LBW for 1, the slaughter continued, as Mooney was joined by Ash Gardner, and they combined for a 115 run partnership, as Mooney powered on to a 2nd T20I ton from 54 deliveries.

She was eventually dismissed for 113, featuring 20 4s, joining a unique club:

To make it even funnier, Mooney’s other T20 century was also at North Sydney Oval, a 117 against England in the 2017-18 Women’s Ashes… the only difference was that the Aussies lost.

Gardner kept the scoring going in the final 2 overs until she was dismissed for 49, but the Aussies had comfortably posted a 200+ score, their highest ever T20I score on Australian soil, and the second-highest behind the 226 they scored during the Women’s Ashes in July.

The chase never really looked on for the Sri Lankans, but the only constant was the clean hitting of captain Chamari Athapaththu, who was the only batswoman to show any form of confidence at the crease, reaching her half century off 44 balls, while being the only Sri Lankan to pass 20.

I was so hopeful that Athapaththu was related to the fabled Sri Lankan opening batsman Marvan Atapattu, only to realise that they’ve got entirely different surnames.

After reaching her 50, Athapaththu spectacularly teed off, going from 50 to 100 in a mere 16 balls, her first T20I century, and the first Sri Lankan woman to score a century in the short format.

Just like Mooney, Chamari fell for 113, and the Sri Lankans fell 41 runs short, as 3 wickets fell in the last over (2 for Georgia Wareham, and a run out by Delissa Kimmince).

The result wasn’t really in doubt, but Athapaththu’s knock was good fun to watch.

Game 2 (Sep 30): Australia 1/87 (9.4) defeated Sri Lanka 8/84 (20) @ North Sydney Oval

POTM: Beth Mooney (Aus) – 28* off 25

The Sri Lankans decided to bat first, and as the West Indies showed earlier last month, that’s a sound idea against this Australian bowling attack.

The Sri Lankans were completely pinned down from the start, and their fate was basically sealed when Athapaththu (I still can’t spell that) tried taking a risky single at 2/38, only to get sent packing for 16 by a direct hit from Georgia Wareham, robbing the Lankans of the cement floor they needed to try and build a half-decent score.

It was an asbestos-filled disaster from from there, as Australia’s bowlers kept another team to under 100, with Ellysse Perry making her most notable contribution to the series, taking 2/21.

The Aussies had no problem chasing the target inside 10 overs with their typical attacking flair, although the lone wicket- that of Healy- was probably the highlight of the night for either team, as Nilakshi de Silva took what could only be described as a blinder in the outer.

Another series win for our standout national sporting team, but the only thing that really stuck out to me from this dominant performance was how on earth Mooney got another Player of the Match award.

28 off 25 in a low-scoring chase isn’t exactly the sort of thing that screams “Yes, she’s the Player of the Match”…. especially when you take a glance and see Erin Burns hit 30 off 18 and was more of a driving force in the chase.

I’d hazard a guess that whoever was determining the award just thought “Meh, she scored a ton yesterday”, and also noticed it was an even spread among the bowlers.

Still, complaining about who should be player of the match is a classic first world problem.

Game 3 (October 2)- Australia 2/226 (20) defeated Sri Lanka 7/94 (90) @ North Sydney Oval

POTM: Alyssa Healy (Aus) 148* off 61 (19 4s and 7 6s)

After 101 T20Is for Australia, Alyssa Healy finally did it, bringing up her maiden ton in the short format, and she did it with a flourish, reaching triple figures off just 46 balls, the second-fastest century in Women’s T20 history, and the fastest by any Australian in a T20 International, beating Aaron Finch’s 47 ball ton on his way to 156 against England in 2013.

As a sign of pure desperation, the Sri Lankans resorted to repeated Mankading attempts to get her out, which Healy responded to with repeated boundaries.

With the top order happy to let Healy farm the strike, she came within reach of beating Meg Lanning’s record T20 score of 133 from July of this year, which she eventually equalled with a 4, and then appropriately passed with a 6 down the ground…. All while Lanning was watching from the non-striker’s end, cheering her on.

Thanks to another dominant bowling performance from the Aussies, the Sri Lankans never looked a chance of getting into the chase, with Nicola Carey firing in yorkers to finish with figures of 3/15, as the Lankans finished on 7/94, losing to Alyssa Healy by 54 runs.

A dominant series for the hosts, to the extent that Ellyse Perry didn’t have to bat during the 2nd and 3rd games, and faced a grand total of 4 balls during the 1st game.

The fact that the Aussies still racked up a pair of 200+ scores just shows they don’t really need her anymore, and it begs the question as to why she hasn’t walked back to play for the Matildas?

Marsh One Day Cup

September 29

Queensland 9/322 (50) defeated Victoria 168 @ The Junction Oval

MOTM: Usman Khawaja (QLD)- 138 off 126

Looking at that scoreboard wasn’t the most painful thing for the Big V on Sunday.

Clearly it’s a case of contempt for umpires gone too far from the Big Show.

In hindsight, the Bulls had the game sorted when Sam Heazlett and Usman Khawaja put on 185 for the opening wicket, until Heazlett flashed at a Jimmy Pattinson delivery and was caught behind for 88.

Khawaja raced on to his century, and put on another 54 runs with Marnus Lambchampagne, but once the South African Steve Smith was dismissed for 36, what could’ve been a 350+ score fell away, as Khawaja was eventually dismissed after going big one too many times on 138 (Off 126), and in fairness, the Vics did well to slow down the scoring in the final 10 overs, keeping the Bulls to ‘only’ 322.

Unfortunately, outside of Aaron Finch in his first appearance since the World Cup, the Victorian top order resembled the outcome of my Year 12 exams.

Marcus Harris gone for a 3rd ball duck, Will Pucovski for 2, Pete Handscomb for 7, Nic Maddinson gone for a 4th ball duck, and Glenn Maxwell for 10 with an umpire’s foot.

5/37 by the 14th over, and it was done.

Finch and Will Sutherland did put on a good partnership of 55, until the ‘Thicc Boi’ Finch dragged on for 46 to become Mark Steketee’s 4th wicket, and although Sutherland did his best to bat out proceedings with the tail for a very good 66 off 67, it was a one-sided rout, as the Bulls won by 154 runs, claiming a valuable bonus point in the process.

Tasmania 5/229 (46.2) defeated South Australia 9/228 by @ Karen Rolton Oval

MOTM: Ben McDermott (103* off 140)

After easily defeating the Blues with a comprehensive bowling display up in Brisbane, the dead cat bounce well and trult kicked in for the Croweaters.

The damage was really done when Tassie left them reeling at 3/8 after 2 overs, and later 4/43, although it took a good impersonation of a rebuild from Jake Lehmann (50 off 72) and a gritty unbeaten 82 off 117 from Alex Ross to give the Croweaters a small form of hope with 228, as Faulkner finished with 3/28.

Ben McDermott and Caleb Jewell just about assured the result by putting on 132 for the opening wicket, Matthew Wade played his first game since his Ashes century with 20 off 24, and Tassie almost performed a repeat of the fabled Victoria game, losing 3/9 right at the end of the chase- However, as long as McDermott was at the crease, they were never seriously threatened, as last year’s Player of the Tournament finished with an unbeaten 103.

September 30

WA 6/210 (35) defeated New South Wales 7/235 (35) by 8 runs (Duckworth Lewis Method) @ Drummoyne Oval

MOTM: Dan Hughes (NSW)- 112* off 96

The one day it rains during a dry spell in Sydney is the one that wipes out the major advantage a completely stacked West Aussie side had.

I tuned in to Fox Cricket, and just highlighting said advantage, of the WA 11 that played, 10 have played some form of International cricket for Australia, which is apparently some kind of record, beating the previous mark of 9 by New South Wales (Who also had a future Test player in Stuart Clark) against Tassie in 1998.

And that was despite losing Ashton Turner to a finger injury during training.

Comparatively, the Blues only had Moises Henriques, Peter Nevill and Sean Abbott, as they decided to rest most of their A-Graders for the start of the Sheffield Shield next week.

After Shaun Marsh was dropped on 5 by Ajun Nair, he teamed up with Mitch to power WA to 3/151 after 30 overs, just on 2 hours of play were lost thanks to annoying persistent rain, and when play eventually resumed, WA hit 59 off what turned into their final 5 overs to bring the Sandgropers to 210, led by the elder Marsh with 82.

Once Duckworth Lewis did it’s weird calculations, the Blues were left to chase 244 off 35, using effectively a B team against an international bowling line-up.

And I tell you what, for about 25 overs, they looked like they were going to get it with a leg in the air, as Dan Hughes and Mr Spotify (Henriques) delighted in clubbing the Sandgroper attack to all corners, especially Andrew Tye, who bloody well bowled in long sleeves, and was dispatched for 10 an over.

He’s just about on the Mitchell Starc level of maddening inconsistency- One game he’s Andrew Tye flinging down unplayable knuckleballs, the next he’s Andrew Pie getting carted everywhere,

Henriques and Hughes put on 142 for the 2nd wicket in 20 overs, until Coulter-Nile came back into the attack, and forced Henriques to pop one up for Richardson, departing for 75 off 65, leaving the Blues still with 90 to chase off 69 balls.

Denial is a river in Egypt, and de Coulter-Nile is a handy all-rounder from WA.

Outside of Hughes and Henriques, the middle order just wasn’t able to get going, and one thing that killed the Blues was the fact that Hughes was routinely off strike, as the likes of Matty Gilkes and Daniel Sams wasted too many balls trying to get going before they holed out.

I was extremely pessimistic when the Blues only needed 14 off the last over with Tye bowling, but old AJ oiled up and only conceded 6 runs, while dismissing Nevill and Sean Abbott (On the last ball), to keep the Sandgropers unbeaten.

A really weird match- The rain hit just as WA were pressing on towards 300, and ultimately, both teams were in positions to win during that 2nd innings, but it was that experience and class from the WA attack that decided the match, especially after regaining momentum following the Henriques wicket- The Blues were restricted to 3-21 in the final 3 overs.

October 1

Victoria 1-305 (44.2) defeated Queensland 6-304 (50) @ The Junction Oval

MOTM: Aaron Finch (Vic) – 188* off 151- 11 4s, 14 6s

It feels like just last month that the Bulls and the team formerly known as the Bushrangers played a One Dayer at the Junction Oval and Usman Khawaja scored a century.

112 off 125 balls this time for Ussie, but as it turned out, hitting back to back centuries would be an afterthought, thanks to the devastating performance of our ODI captain.

After once again racing to 180 off their first 30 overs thanks to half centuries to Heazlett and Khawaja, the Bulls somewhat bogged down, as the Vics rolled through the spinners’ overs (Maxwell and Short) in what seemed like 15 minutes, and only conceded 46 runs between overs 31-40, which probably prevented the Bulls from reaching another 320+ score.

Khawaja nonchalantly reached his ton, before eventually holing out to Harris at long-on, while Matt Renshaw carried on the scoring, before he too was dismissed for 66, and after slogging away and losing a few more wickets, the Bulls reached 306, their 3rd score of 300+ this season, which seemed ‘defendable’, given the Vics had only passed 200 once in 3 games.

The Vics made a key change from Sunday’s drubbing, dropping Will Pucovski and recalling wicketkeeper Sam Harper, who was handed the gloves in place of Peter Handscomb.

Vics coach Andrew McDonald switched up the top order this time, recalling Sam Harper to open with Renegades teammate Aaron Finch, and moving Marcus Harris to come in at first drop, in a bid to try and get something going after his really dull Ashes series.

Using Finch as the equivalent of police using a cow catcher to wipe out demonstrators, it worked out very well.

While the Thicc Man went to work on the Queensland attack, Harper popped one up to Mark Steketeesaurus off the bowling off Loosebuschange for a run-a-ball 44.

Finch blasted his century off 76 balls, including 9 fours and 6 sixes, and the Vics were 1/153 after 22 overs.

He reached his 150 off 121 balls after dispatching a few more rank deliveries into the traffic on Lakeside Drive, and after Harris reached his half-century (Which selfishly prevented a Finch double century), the Vics won with a leg in the air, as Finch, quite fittingly, finished off proceedings with a 6 a mile high and a mile long, to finish on an unbeaten 188, his highest List A score, and the 5th highest score in Domestic One Day history.

On a ground not noted for chasing, the Vics didn’t just chase down 300, they utterly demolished it, and with the way Finchy played, they were a good chance of chasing down 350.

In the grand scheme of things with the national team, Khawaja and Finch both come out with some very good credits in the bank ahead of the T20 series later this month.

South Australia 2/257 (38.4) defeated Tasmania 7/255 (50) by 8 wickets @ Karen Rolton Oval

MOTM: Alex Carey (SA)- 80 off 52

Caleb Jewell hit his maiden century for Tasmania, but outside of a massive 3rd wicket partnership of 162 with Jordan ‘Giraffe Neck’ Silk, no Tassie batsman passed 20, and only 3 other players got into double figures.

As a result, the Tigers half-languished along to 7/255 in their 50 overs, with Kane Richardson and Cam Valente each claiming 2 wickets.

Unlike on Sunday, The Redbacks were able to get a solid foundation out of their top order, with Jake Weatherald and Callum Ferguson providing a 50-run stand at just on a run a ball, until Ferguson was dismissed for 28, bringing in Travis Head, who combined for a 77 run stand with Weatherald, who reached his half century, before falling for 53, leaving the Redbacks in a very good position at 2/127 with 27.3 overs to go.

Alex Carey strolled to the crease, and from there, he teamed with Head to teach these Tigers how to chase down a target and pick up a bonus point, cleaving the Tassie attack to reach the remaining 130 runs in just 16.2 overs, mainly thanks to Carey taking the reins and belting out 80 off 52, with 14 boundaries, giving him a well-earned Man of the Match award.

A crucial and pretty comprehensive win for the Croweaters, who now sit in 3rd on the table.

October 2

NSW 6-348 (50) defeated WA 271 (44.3) by 77 runs @ Drummoyne Oval

Part 2 of the Double Header, and with two unchanged lineups, WA won the toss and sent the Cockroaches into bat, and funnily enough, their top order performance was pretty much the dead same as Monday.

Edwards was out for not too many, leaving Henriques to come in, form a tag team with Hughes, and pummel WA’s attack like nobody else has done so far this Marsh Cup.

1-64 after 14 overs became 1/180, as Hughes looked the goods to score another ton, which very nearly didn’t happen, when he edged a Mitch Marsh inswinger on 78, which Philippe put down behind the stumps, and the ball raced away for another boundary.

The Sandgropers finally got results when Marsh brought on Marcus Stoinis for the 33rd over, and the Big Rig bowled Moises for 67.

In the meantime, Hughes did score his 2nd ton in 3 days, and the Blues reached 250 with 10 overs to go, as a 350+ score looked realistic, especially with Matty Gilkes looking settled and teeing off on Richardson.

Hughes powered on to a career best 152, when he was baited into slogging a slower full toss to end Tye’s 7th over, which was taken by a diving Stoinis at mid wicket.

From there it was just hit out and get out, as Gilkes carried on to 82 off 50, before he chopped a Coulter-Nile delivery onto his stumps, and the Blues finished on an imposing 6/348.

Thanks to his latest century, Hughes now has the highest ever Australian List A average, pushing up to 58.95 from the small sample size of 22 innings- Still, he’ll have to murder Warner and Finch to have a crack at an ODI debut.

Josh Phillipe signalled his intent early on in the WA chase, when he abused Sams for 24 in the 4th over, and he powered on to 64 off 49 as ‘Arsey’ Short watched on before falling for 19, and Philippe soon joined him when he clubbed a short ball from Harry Conway down the leg side, straight to Dan Fallins at deep square leg.

That sparked a top order collpase, as Mitch Marsh was gone next ball when Jack Edwards took a flying one hander at square leg, Stoinis was gone shortly after for 1 when he tried clubbing Fallins, only to pick out Henriques, and Bancroft nicked an Abbott delivery straight through to Nevill for 1.

In all, the West Aussies lost 4-18 to fall to 5/103, and their hopes of victory had taken a shotgun blast to the head and chest, with only Shaun Marsh, Hilton Cartwright and Agar The ‘Orrible to go.

At the same time, there was an outside chance that WA might be outscored by our ladies doing the job across town, but a steady partnership from Paris Hilton Cartwright (‘Bout bloody time) and Ashton Agar ruled out that hilarious possibility, which eventually ended when Agar holed out on 30.

Cartwright moved on to 74, until he joined M’Marsh and Stoinis in the stupid dismissals club, when he attempted to reverse sweep Nair, and was caught dead in front LBW.

A few small contributions from the tail delayed the inevitable just a little bit longer, and Abbott eventually bowled Tye to finish off proceedings, as the Blues got a win on the board for the season.

So as we head into the Shield break, here’s the table:

I’m pretty sure (By pure coincidence), Queensland and WA are also the teams with the most international experience in their line-ups.

Categories: Cricket

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