One last review before the First Test!
Emily Smith’s ban
Obviously you’ve all heard about it- A 12 month ban, downgraded to 3 months, for an Instagram post before a Hurricanes-Thunder game in Burnie at the start of November, mocking her low batting position, which included the Hurricanes team list, which breached Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption code, because it was posted an hour before the official team sheets were released.
That’s the weirdest method of suspension I’ve heard of since Richard Gasquet got 9 months for a positive cocaine test, because he kissed a woman in a nightclub (Which got him cleared).
I hope Em learns her lesson from this ban.
Post the team sheet for a game that actually goes ahead.
I didn’t actually notice until Monday morning, but both the matches on Sunday were decided by 6 runs.
Victoria 265 defeated NSW 259 @ The MCG
POTM: Matt Short (Vic)- 88 off 85.
To my amazement, this was the first Domestic One Dayer at the MCG since February of 2013.
Obviously running up scores on the Junction Oval was more appealing than playing inside of a howling concrete canyon.
Jake ‘Two Dads’ Fraser-McGurk backed up his half-century on his Shield debut with a half-century on his One Day debut, Matt Short belted out 88 off 85, but the highlight of the night instead came during the Blues’ chase, when Moises ‘Spoitfy’ Henriques belted Will Sutherland into Bay 13, leading to a familiar scene in backyard cricket, as half the Victorian team went scampering for the ball, which was eventually discovered by Dutchy Holland.
It’s a good thing they did find that ball, because Moises looked like he was going to carry the Blues to a win, before Sutherland had the last laugh and clean bowled him with the last bowl of the 49th over for 98.
It was the metaphorical cutting of the life support for the NSW innings, and they never looked like getting 12 off the last over, with Andrew Fekete delivering the goods.
WA 252 (49.1) defeated South Australia 246 (49) by 6 runs @ Karen Rolton Oval
POTM: Nathan Coulter-Nile (WA)- 5/48 (10)
After Wes Agar and the Kane Train that is Kane Richardson left WA in an enormous hole at 73/5, young Cameron Green strolled to the crease finding himself in a familiar position- Having to save the arse of WA.
With Hilton Cartwright’s help, he did.
The pair added 85 for the 6th wicket until Cartwright fell for 43, and the Green Machine picked up the slack and carried on to a superb 86 off 78, getting WA past 200, and Jhye Richardson and Matt Kelly added another 24 runs, before WA were finally bowled out for 252, with Agar finishing with 5/40.
252 felt like a classic 50 over chase from the 2000s.
In a dazzling display, Nathan Coulter-Nile took 3 wickets in the opening 7 overs, and the Redbacks were in big trouble at 28/3, and later 76/5, but somehow, Callum Ferguson survived, and would drag the Redbacks back into the chase they seemingly never looked like chasing.
A major case of Agar on Agar crime occurred late in the chase, when Wes clubbed what looked like it was going to be a regulation catch for his younger brother, only for Ashton to misjudge the speed of the ball, slip at the worst moment, and cop an absolute mother of a falcon right between the eyes, which drew a nasty amount of blood.
First Wes bowled him out, and then he smacks him in the face.
He’s the worst behaved brother since Mark Waugh.
Wes would fall when Ashton Turner made the inspired call to bring on D’Arcy Short for the 42nd over, which drew dividends when the elder Agar was stumped, and the Redbacks were getting the Last Rites at 9/190.
Frankie Worrall then came in, and did his due diligence in allowing Ferguson to farm the strike, and the ageless wonder would reach his century, the second ridiculous ton he’s scored against a WA team this year, after that century for the Sydney Thunder at Perth Stadium in the Big Bash to easily chase down 200+.
With 2 overs to go, the Redbacks needed 23 off 12, and Ferguson was on strike.
Jhye Richardson bowled the penultimate over, and Ferguson went 6-Dot-Dot-6-4, to bring it down to 7 off 7 balls, but Richardson’s last delivery was the perfect revenge, a fuller ball that trapped Ferguson absolutely plumb LBW, the umpire had no hesitation raising the finger, Fergo slumped to his haunches, and the Sandgropers celebrated as if WA had finally achieved independence, because they were guaranteed a spot in the final!
I’ve got to say it, that was very good fun to watch- Wes Agar’s 5/40, Cameron Green saving the arse of WA cricket again, NCN’s match-winning 5/48, the mother of all falcons for Ashton, Ferguson producing one of the greater performances in a losing cause you’ll ever see, and the match being decided by a single digit margin.
To Fergo, I give the wisdom of Homer Simpson.
You tried your best, and failed miserably.
The lesson is, never try.
Queensland 226/6 (47.1) defeated Tasmania 223 @ Blundstone Arena
POTM: Ussie (QLD) 86* off 128
Tasmania’s innings was already flushed down the toilet with the afterwipe at 40/4 and then 116/6, by the time Gurinder Sandhu, who only seconds prior, had reached his maiden half-century in any form of limited overs cricket to help give some form of life to the very small total, perfected the Ben Stokes method of completely ignoring the fact you should probably ground your bat to negate the threat of a direct hit.
I think Gurinder and Plucka Duck have one thing in common.
People think they look like gooses.
But, all of that said, the Bulls were never in any serious danger of failing to chase the small total, and thanks merely to the continued presence of Ussie Khawaja, they got there with 17 balls remaining, and they’ll host the final next Tuesday against WA.
SA 4/322 (50) defeated Victoria 6/321 (50) by 1 run @ The MCG
POTM: Callum Ferguson (SA)- 122 of 128
With a tad more support than he got on Sunday, Callum Ferguson once again put the blowtorch to an opposing bowling attack, and brought up his 2nd ton in 3 days, and in the process, passed Darren Lehmann for the most runs by a South Australian in List A Australian cricket.
Another highlight was when Sam Harper had a chat to Tom Cooper, daring him to ramp John Merlo.
Thanks to Victoria’s dodgy field placement, he hit a boundary.
Sammy, you tried pulling a rabbit of the hat, but instead, you pulled a hair out of your arse.
Even after Ferguson finally went, in their last 4 overs, the Redbacks churned out a ridiculous 90 runs, with Cooper belting out 52 off his last 16 deliveries, to finish on an unbeaten 81 off 46.
Yet the real fireworks came from Tom Cooper in an extraordinary and ultimately decisive cameo with the veteran striking seven sixes, including five off the final eight balls he faced.
Victoria’s innings got off to a crap one, when Sam Harper batted as well as he goads people, getting dismissed for a 3rd ball duck, and then Marcus Harris went shortly after, and the Vics were suffering at 16/2.
Aaron Finch and Peter Handscomb set up the foundations of the Victorian chase with an aggressive 147 run stand, until Handscomb holed one straight to Cameron Vallente at mid-off, who defied all expectations, and filled himself with the spirit of Fatty Vautin plucking off Tim Horan, to take a one handed pearler, that will at least make the cut for the catch of the summer.
“The sort of bloody incident you see being replayed and replayed!”
As the chase wore on, Aaron Finch was dropped more times by the South Australian outfield than Mitch Marsh has been dropped from the Test team, which he took full advantage of, and powered his way to another century in this edition of the Marsh Cup.
Rather hilariously, Wes Agar nearly suffered the same fate as his brother, when Jake Fraser-McGurk arrived at the crease, and cracked one of his deliveries straight down the ground, and Big Wes somehow avoided several plastic surgeries and a few rounds with the dentist by a bare poofteenth.
Thank the maker that ball curved away from his head, because I’d imagine there would have been teeth flying like tracer bullets.
Finch would finally be caught by Kane Richardson for 119, leaving ‘Two Dads’ McGurk to try and pull a win out of the fire, and despite his youth, he did a damn good job of it!
Valente bowled the last over, and despite getting carted with the ball for most of the match, he came through with the goods, as Two Dads needed 3 off the last ball to win, but the inexperience shone through when he got a full toss on his pads, which he misjudged, and could only conjure a leg bye to short leg with no chance of a second run, and the Redbacks would win by a run, despite another fantastic knock from the 17-year-old, who finished on 41 off 24 balls.
That also had a small effect on the finishing order for the Marsh Cup, as the Croweaters claimed 3rd place, with the Vics in 4th.
Not knowing those Croweaters, they’ll probably rank this as an achievement alongside those State Of Origin wins in 1993-94.
That failed attempt at smack talk may look hilarious, but if Harper hadn’t baited Cooper into actually pulling off a ramp, then based on the scoreboard, Victoria would have won with 2 balls to spare.
Think about that.
Tasmania 251/9 (50) defeated NSW 131 by 120 runs @ Blundstone Arena
POTM: Mac Wright (Tassie)- 104 off 117
Looking at the comparison between NSW in the Shield and the Marsh Cup is like looking at the comparison between the coaching careers of the Scott brothers.
They’re like Chris Scott before a Finals Series in the Shield, a perfect 4/4…. and this Marsh Cup, they’ve been the equivalent of Brad.
Or in cricketing brotherly terms, in the Shield they’re Steve Waugh, and in the Marsh Cup, they’re Dean Waugh.
The last game of the regular slate of Marsh Cup matches, and Gurinder Sandhu was a no-show, replaced by someone who can actually remember to ground his bat.
Just as they were on Monday, Tassie were in a major hole batting first, limping to 4/53 and then 5/96, but in just his second game for Tassie, Mac Wright, from some unknown part of the South Coast of NSW, was joined by James ‘Definitely Not Gay’ Faulkner, and they dragged Tassie past 200, with Wright posting his maiden ton, before falling shortly afterwards for 104, but his work was not in vain, as Tassie finished up on 251.
And then in reply, I could sum up the Blues’ innings in four words.
Dismissed by Jackson Bird.
6 for bloody 25, the Blues getting pigrooted for 131 inside 32 overs, Tassie winning in a landslide, and Mac Wright’s century earned him the POTM nod.
That Mac Wright, he’s all right.
So, Tassie end the Marsh Cup on a winning note, and the Cockroaches, without most of their top line players for all of one match (That they lost), were never really in the hunt this season, and ended up with at least 1 trophy this season- The wooden spoon in the Marsh Cup.
WBBL Highlights: Round 6
The Renegades beating the Sixers off the last ball on Sunday
The best match of this week’s slate of WBBL fixtures was the rematch of last season’s Semi Final, that was decided by a crazy last ball direct hit, but this time, the Renegades had their revenge in the most utterly glorious way possible.
A 6 off the last ball.
Needing 5 to win, Courtney Webb had somehow survived and gained the strike, despite scoring at under a run a ball, and took full advantage of the smaller boundaries, and gave Marizanne Kapp a flaying she won’t ever forget, latching on to a good length delivery, which just kept on floating into some part of Drummoyne.
That was only the second-most painful thing the Sixers took away from the game, which feeds into my next point.
Ellyse Perry’s injury
She’s out for between 1-3 weeks, putting the rest of her tournament in serious jeopardy, and I’d imagine 75% of the WBBL’s viewership base will now have no idea who any of the other players in the league are… aside from Allysa Healy.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sixers fell to crap without her, because she’s the player that takes them from being ‘Greg Norman not in the last round of Augusta’ good, to ‘Steffi Graf after Monica Seles got stabbed’ good.
Based on their loss to a struggling Hurricanes team this evening, the rot may have already started- Amazingly enough, that was the first time the Hurricanes had ever beaten the Sixers in the WBBL.
Reminds me of how the Renegades took 7 years to finally beat the Scorchers in the BBL.
Standings After Wednesday
Thanks to 4 wins from their last 5 games, the Scorchers have jumped into 4th, level on 6 wins with the Sixers, although if it gets close, that Run Rate will come back to cripple them.