Drawn series, big wins, but England problems still remain

England's situation encapsulated by Gary Ballance (photo: Getty Images)

England‘s situation encapsulated by Gary Ballance (photo: Getty Images)

New Zealand catapulted themselves to victory at Headingley in the last match of their two-test series against England this week.  One game prior, at the revered Lord’s, they were brushed aside by 124 runs.

Social media was awash with fans giving New Zealand the upper hand headed into the first test.  Continue reading

Harris the weapon, everyone else playing follow the leader

Preparation is key.  Even more so for Australia’s line-up of pace bowlers as the Ashes series in England draws closer.

Some have already cemented their places with some fine performances over the past six months, Ryan Harris included.  Continue reading

EFL: Pressure and structure key for Bayswater win over Wantirna South

Wantirna South stopped in their tracks by Bayswater (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Wantirna South stopped in their tracks by Bayswater (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Bayswater secured a top four spot against the promoted Wantirna South Devils at home leading into the Queen’s Birthday weekend bye, taking home the four points with a 16.10.106 to 8.6.54 win.

Much of the scoring was thanks to Bayswater’s power forward Wayne McInerney (six majors), but the credit went to the delivery across the ground, with more than 60 tackles laid. Continue reading

England’s dizzy heights, and a new future coach: the time is now

Andrew Strauss & Peter Moores: into the fire (photo: PA)

Andrew Strauss & Peter Moores: into the fire (photo: PA)

After what has been a tormenting and agonising period in world cricket for England, both on and off the field, there’s the slightest glimmer of hope.

Peter Moores, sent packing by the England Cricket Board in the last week, continued to tread on razor-sharp glass shards as each day passed.  Continue reading

EFL: New look, new Lions

Doncaster East lines up for ANZAC DAY (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Doncaster East lines up for ANZAC DAY (photo: Davis Harrigan)

“We’re a work in progress,” says Doncaster East Lions coach Steve Buckle, into his second year at the helm of the club.

After four rounds, and heading into a match against Scoresby this week, the Lions sit in a chase pack behind ladder leaders Croydon.  A spate of new recruits have brought youth into the side, and Buckle says the re-appointment as head coach is allowing him to understand the players and club strategies to a deeper degree. Continue reading

Sharp Sharks put Pioneers to the test

The chase is on from Whitehorse as Park Orchards close in (photo: Davis Harrigan)

The chase is on from Whitehorse as Park Orchards close in (photo: Davis Harrigan)

The forecast morning rain never showed, allowing Springfield Park to play host to a dry but soft surface, as the Whitehorse Pioneers fell at a hurdle from the ruthless Park Orchards Sharks, and going down 12.10 (82) to 17.19 (121).

The scoreboard, however, belied the seven goal blitz slammed on by the Pioneers into the wind in the opening term.
Continue reading

Beyond Realisation’s 2015 IPL XII – Part 1 of 2

Brendon McCullum punishes one for six (photo:  BCCI)

Brendon McCullum punishes one for six (photo: BCCI)

Strategy in cricket’s shortest format is key.  There’s barely enough time to scratch out a guard and then face some thunderbolts or eye-poppers.  The battle between ball and fielder is almost always won by the little white pill, especially when a boundary line is involved. Continue reading

All about the cricket in IPL 8

Shane Watson smashes one through the covers (photo: BCCI)

Shane Watson smashes one through the covers (photo: BCCI)

It has taken just one-quarter of the 67 matches in the eighth instalment of the Indian Premier League to show cricket fans just why it was so highly touted in the lead-up.

Rajasthan Royals have blown everyone off the park, including the vaunted Chennai Super Kings, who have looked something of a shadow on their last season.  Mumbai Indians have finally registered a win, and the Delhi Daredevils have been up and down like a yo-yo on a child’s finger. Continue reading

EFL: North Ringwood go two from two at the Panther Pit

Max Otten (Blackburn) is pressured by his North Ringwood opponent (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Max Otten (Blackburn) is pressured by his North Ringwood opponent (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Determined to prove to the 11 unfamiliar Division One teams that they were no slouches, North Ringwood pulled out a memorable victory to send Blackburn home winless after the first two rounds of season 2015.

Yet the final scoreline of 9.13.67 to 6.13.49 belied what went on for 95 percent of the game.  The seesawing first quarter, which saw just four goals, was a scrap of a game, with ball handling errors and relentless pressure from the Panthers and Saints.  Sam Banfield opened the Blackburn account, and it only took an additional two minutes before Nick Murphy’s booming left foot slotted one through for North Ringwood. Continue reading

If England want the Ashes – or cricket – back, they can’t do it quibbling over the counter

Peter Moores, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook say it all (photo: Getty Images)

Peter Moores, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook say it all (photo: Getty Images)

Forget that there’s a changeover at the top of the chain in May; England will still look like a pack of seagulls fighting over the last delicious hot chip.  Except that chip isn’t delicious, and the men in blue aren’t close to setting themselves back on the rails just yet.

Welcome to the Ashes 2015, where the most dangerous issue on the table is whether England’s A-team will turn up in Cardiff for the first test.  Continue reading