Cricket

Australian Cricket Review: 31st October

Gideons Bibles foretold that David Warner returning to form was a sign of the apocalypse

Bloody hell, the advertising for this Sri Lanka T20 series was as non existent as a successful Bunnings store in the UK.

You wouldn’t even know Australia are playing Pakistan next week as well.

On the bright side, I wasn’t getting adverts for shithouse reality TV shows.


Australia vs Sri Lanka T20s


Australia 2/233 (20) defeated Sri Lanka 9/99 (20) by 134 runs @ The Adelaide Oval

POTM: David Warner (Aus) 100* off 56

In a welcome sign for the future, David Warner not only reached double figures, but he joined some elite company, as one of only three Aussies to score an international century in all 3 formats of the game, alongside Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson.

Now people are gonna say, “Oh it’s only Sri Lanka”, but we have to remember that the Sri Lankans handled World No.1 Pakistan in a recent T20 series, and they’ve never lost a T20 series to Australia in Australia.

Another weird fact about Warner’s innings, he was 7 off 8 balls before he started teeing off.

Warner and Finch were scoring at well over 11 an over until the Thickset captain departed for 64, after which Glenn Maxwell came in at No.3 over Steve Smith, which despite public conjecture, was a very common sense decision, considering there was half an innings left, they were on for a 200+ score, and Maxi has proven that like Rod Stewart, he can score freely and quickly and produce results.

He did just that.

62 off 28 for Maxi, Ashton Turner’s lone delivery helped get Davey his last ball ton, and the Aussies posted 233, their highest-ever T20I score in Australia, beating out the 5/221 they scored in those iconic grey uniforms with the nicknames on the back, against England way back in January 2007.

To think occurred in the same week as an Ashes whitewash.

Capping off the pain for Sri Lanka, Kasun Rajitha was carted for 0/75, the worst ever figures in a T20 International.

That really was the Mick Lewis of T20 bowling performances.

With the world’s biggest cushion, the Aussie bowling attack beat the Sri Lankans so thoroughly, that Dave Warner’s innings alone was enough to defeat them.

Back in 2017, it would’ve been “Wow, Dave Warner outscored you”, but the events of the last 4 months, it’s turned into “Hahahaha, Dave Warner outscored you.”

As if the Sri Lankan people haven’t suffered enough.

A first T20I century on his 33rd birthday adds Warner to the list of great performances on birthdays, which include that Peter Siddle Ashes hat-trick in 2010, and forever the greatest birthday performance…

Dizzy bringing up that Chittagong double ton on the same day he turned 31.

A batsman or batswoman, or possibly even a Batman, could carve out a triple century on their birthday, and it still wouldn’t hold a candle to how utterly magical Dizzy’s performance was.

Australia 1/118 (13) defeated Sri Lanka 117 (19) by 9 wickets @ The Gabba

POTM: Dave Warner (Aus)- 60* off 41

Mitchell Starc missed the match so he could attend his brother Brandon’s wedding, which leads many people to the realisation that his brother is named Brandon Starc, who, if he wasn’t a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal-winning high jumper and the brother of a highly erratic fast bowler, would be known as that guy who coincidentally has the same name as the resident cripple of Game Of Thrones.

I still can’t believe that George RR Martin named one of his characters as a tribute to Mitchell Starc’s brother.

As a result, the Banana Bending Beanpole Billy Stanlake came into the team, and was ramped by Danuska Gunathilaka into the bleaches.

The 7 foot Willy got his revenge next over.

From there the wickets went flying regularly, and about 10 overs in, Blind Freddy could’ve seen the Lankans were on for another struggle.

Like many people worldwide, I’ve noticed that Lasith Malinga’s physique now resembles David Boon’s, but surprisingly, he batted like the Keg on Legs, dispatching Richardson to the rope in consecutive deliveries… before he was promptly stumped.

The innings ended when Pat Cummins actually remembered the laws of the game, running out Sadakan by pulling the stump out of the ground after the bails had been dislodged.

We all knew it was out, but for some reason the 3rd Umpire kept zooming in, just so he could get a look at Cummo’s majestic arse.

Formula One designers marvel at how aerodynamically sleek that lower body is.

Chasing 117, Aaron Finch somehow managed to flick Malinga’s second delivery down leg straight to Perera for a golden duck., but Warner and Smith, finally batting in an International match in Australia for the first time since the opening of Optus Stadium 21 months ago, had absolutely no worries mowing down the small target, especially when Sandakan found himself in exactly the same situation as Cummins, and forgot what to do.

And absolutely nothing of note has happened since

Summing up the Sri Lankan night, the Aussies wrapped up the chase when Hasaranga bowled a wide with 7 overs still to go.

Another POTM award to Warner, and that’s his spot pretty much secure, which he probably would’ve retained even if he’d scored a pair of ducks, given there aren’t any openers in domestic cricket shooting a flare into the night’s sky saying ‘pick me’.

And of course, that’s the first time the Aussies have ever defeated the Sri Lankans in a T20I series in Australia.

An achievement that will be remembered on par with the ’89 Ashes win.


WBBL: Round 2


Saturday (The Brisbane Festival)

Adelaide Strikers 8/113 (20) defeated Hobart Hurricanes 7/110 (20) by 3 runs @ Allan Border Field

MOTM: Sarah Coyte (Strikers)- 24 off 13 and 1/28 (4)

It’s 4 days on, and I still can’t believe the Hurricanes found a way to wet the bed and sleep in the puddle.

They had the Strikers at 7/78 with 4 overs to go in the 1st innings, then let Sarah ‘Russell’ Coyte provide some late heroics and get Adelaide to triple figures, then they still only needed 6 an over with 5 overs to go with skipper Nicola Carey leading the way… and then after Amanda-Jade Wellington completely fooled Fran Wilson in the 16th over, they somehow couldn’t get the runs if they ate a 3-week old curry.

They would fall 3 runs short, and everyone felt indifferent at such a failure.

Coyte earned Player of the Match honours for her late burst of 24 off 13 to push the Strikers into triple figures, and then took the wicket of Corinne Hall late in the Hurricanes’ chase.

Sydney Sixers 2/108 (17.1) defeated Melbourne Stars 9/107 (20) by 8 wickets @ Hurstille Oval

POTM: Marizanne Kapp (Sixers) – 3/16 with a hat-trick

The Stars lost 8/19 after batting first, and the best part of all is that it wasn’t the funniest collapse by a Stars team in 2019.

Even the former executives of Ansett marvelled at that Big Bash Final collapse.

In amongst the tumbling wickets, Marizanne Kapp popped up to claim the 4th hat-trick in WBBL history, and based on her reaction, you wouldn’t even have known she’d taken a wicket.. let alone 3.

Funnily enough, one of those other three is her wife (and teammate) Dane van Niekerk, who also took 2/18.

I heard that Marizanne went straight to a judge and got her name changed by deed poll to Marizanne Kapp-Trick.

Anyway, thanks to that historic bowling performance, the Sixers were never in any trouble during the chase, set up by Alyssa Healy’s attacking start with 27 off 18, before Ellyse Perry and Ash Garder ensured they reached the small target with 17 balls in hand.

Perth Scorchers 1/147 (18.2) defeated Brisbane Heat 7/146 (20) by 9 wickets @ Allan Border Field

POTM: Amy Jones (Scorchers) 60* off 49

In the second leg of the Brisbane Festival, the Scorchers won the toss and sent the hosts in to bat, but outside of a 70-run partnership between Beth Mooney (Top scored with 67) and Maddy Green, the Heat kept losing wickets at regular intervals, with Jemma Barsby returning to Brisbane to claim 2/19.

After Green fell to Heather Graham to finish the 15th over, the Heat lost 4/26 in the next 4 overs, and went from looking at a score of 160, to needing last over theatrics just to reach 140.

In the best English/Australian partnership since Air Supply, Amy Jones and Meg Lanning powered the Scorchers to what turned into a pretty emphatic chase, with both reaching half-centuries in an opening partnership of 129, which came to end when Lanning popped a Prestwidge delivery straight to Amelia Kerr at mid-off on 56, which brought Sciver to the crease needing 18 off 26 balls, and she would finish off the chase with a pair of boundaries in the 19th over.

Fairly elementary stuff, with Jones earning Player of the Match honours for an unbeaten 60, and making sure the Scorchers didn’t get bogged down at all while chasing.

Sydney Thunder 8/132 (20) defeated Melbourne Renegades 8/129 (20) by 3 runs @ Blacktown

POTM: Shabnim Ismail (Thunder)- 3/14 (4)

After Sophie Molineux and Maitlan Brown took 3 wickets each and restricted the Thunder to 132, the Renegades’ prospects of victory looked bleaker than an English summer, as they were left reeling at 4/25 in the 7th over, before skipper Jess Duffin risked permanent back injuries carrying her team over the line, in an 88 run partnership with Courtney Webb.

Now that’s the mark of a captain- Putting the team before their health.

As fate would have it, only Duffin and Webb cracked double figures in that Renegades batting card, which absolutely killed them in the end, despite Duffin’s heroics.

Needing a boundary off the last ball to win, Duffin gave herself half a chance by dispatching Farrell a mile high and a furlong short, but ultimately, Hannah Darlington took a very nice catch on the long off boundary staring into the floodlights to seal the deal.

Despite 69 off 56 balls, Michael Bevan, Duffin was not.

In a match that was slightly lacking in quality, Shabnim Ismail was a standout, dismissing Molineux and Tammy Beaumont for single figures, and then returning to break up that vital 5th wicket partnershp, finishing with 3/14.

Obviously it’s not hip giving a POTM to a losing player, but seriously, for that knock, I’d have given it to Duffin.

Sunday

Strikers 3/114 (14.3) defeated Scorchers 9/115 (20) @ Allan Border Field

POTM: Tahlia McGrath (Strikers) – 1/24 (4) & 65* off 46

Day 2 of the Captain Grumpy Field slate of matches commenced with a classic battle for control of the Nullarbor, and it would be the South Australian ladies who emphatically

The seed of destruction was sown when Amy Jones and Meg Lanning were both taken out in single figures within the opening 3 hours, pretty much consigning the Scorchers to a low total, and despite some sustained batting performances from Nicole Bolton and Natalie Sciver, the Scorchers managed to avoid getting bowled out before finishing on 115.

Sarah ‘Russell’ Coyte backed up her efforts from Saturday with 3/18 from her 4 overs.

The Strikers ended up digging a hole of their own, as they fell to 3/22 inside the opening 3 overs (Sophie Devine went for a golden duck), as the Scorchers’ Irish import Kim Garth overcame the natural disadvantage the Irish have faced since the dawn of time, and that’s competing in above 15 degree sunny weather.

For the record, Garth claimed 2 of those 3 wickets.

But McGrath, with a supporting role from English international Lauren Winfield, would steady the innings before firing it towards the conclusion that had pretty much been coming since the Scorchers innings, belting out an unbeaten 65 off 46 balls, including 8 fours and 2 sixes, and with their 94 run partnership, the Strikers cruised to victory with a healthy 5 overs still in hand.

After leaving me dumbstruck at seeing a McGrath that could actually bat, Tahlia was named player of the match for her efforts for her all round efforts, and it’s also quite ironic that a team would get smoked by a Winfield.

And a Winfield in Blue, nonetheless.

Sydney Thunder 6/142 (19.4) defeated Melbourne Stars 5/141 (20) @ Blacktown

POTM: Alex Blackwell (Thunder) 45* off 36

Captain Ellyse Villani and her opening partner Lizelle Lee got the Stars off to a great start with half centuries to leave them motoring at 2/114, but just like 24 hours prior, their innings suffered badly with cheap and quick middle order wickets, and as a result, they fell a good 10-20 runs short of what they really should’ve reached, and left the Thunder chasing 142 at home.

Thanks to Rachel Priest’s quickfire 45 off 36, the Thunder looked right on track at 3/72 at the halfway mark, as the 16-year-old Tess Flintoff took her first domestic wicket, and it was a handy one- Rachel Haynes for 7, thanks to a sharp catch from Erin Osborne.

From there, things bogged down badly, as 19-year-old Madeline Penna, who wasn’t in the Stars team prior to Friday, had never played a Big Bash game, and according to cricket.com.au doesn’t exist, claimed the first case of a player taking 4/20 on Sunday, left the Thunder just about smoked at 5/88.

And now that I’ve mentioned 420, I suppose I should say Blaze It!

The Thunder still needed 48 off 26 balls, but fortunately, they still had Alex Blackwell at the crease, and she took up the chase with Hannah Darlington and Rene Farrell farming the strike.

Still needing 10 off 7, Blackwell pretty much destroyed any form of hope the Stars had of breaking their winless run, when she sent Kristen Beams’ last delivery flying into the sight screen.

Needing only 4 off the last over, Blackwell and Farrell got there in 3 singles and a bye, and for playing the role of life raft once again for a Thunder chase, Blackwell earned Player of the Match honours.

Heat 5/124 (19.5) defeated Hurricanes 8/123 (20) by 5 wickets @ Allan Border Field

POTM: Jess Jonassen (Heat)- 4/20 (Blaze It!)

A Heat win set up by Jess Jonassen’s highly destructive 3rd over, in which she tore through the Hurricanes’ middle order, taking 3 wickets in a 5 ball span.

Jonassen finished with the second case of 4/20 (Blaze it), but the Heat ended up in a bit of trouble chasing the relatively low 124, falling to 4/41 8 overs in, before Beth Mooney once again provided the rock of the Heat innings, in a 41 run stand with Kirby Short.

With the Heat still needing 29 off 18 and not even going at a run a ball, Amelia Kerr took flight, and promptly hit four boundaries off Belinda Vakarewa’s last over.

As I said last week, with her record for New Zealand, the Big Bash is probably going to be a piece of piss, and four boundaries in an over at the death is just more proof.

They got there with a ball to spare, moving to an even 2-2 record, and Jonaissen earned POTM figures for honouring marijuana lovers worldwide with figures of 4/20…. Blaze It!

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