Super Over seals the deal for Stars against the Sixers

Michael Lumb scored 80 off 61 (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Michael Lumb scored 80 off 61 (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Having won the toss and deciding to bowl on a flat, hard MCG pitch, the Melbourne Stars needed early wickets to keep the Sydney Sixers on a leash.  No-one expected what was to come, or the Super Over.

After a last-ditch effort to score 15 runs in the final over of their innings, the Stars finished 4/150 – equalling the Sixers 6/150 earlier in the night.  The 22,098 fans in the stands made the noise of 50,000, such was the intensity of the Super Over. Continue reading

Renegades stop the Thunder in its tracks

Jacques Kallis is bowled for a duck by James Pattinson (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Jacques Kallis is bowled for a duck by James Pattinson (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Returning to Etihad Stadium proved highly fruitful for the Melbourne Renegades, who had lost their first two matches in Sydney and Perth respectively.

A comfortable eight wicket win against the Sydney Thunder on Tuesday night at the Docklands gave the red army its first victory for BBL|04.  Having lost the toss and being asked to bowl by the Thunder, the Renegades looked hungry in the field, and with the ball. Continue reading

Cricket: Jacques Kallis one of a Protea kind

Jacques Kallis (photo: The Guardian)

Jacques Kallis (photo: The Guardian)

When an international cricket player can score more than 25,000 runs and take almost 600 wickets across all formats, you know you have a keeper.

Jacques Kallis may have officially announced his retirement from all international forms of cricket (having stepped down from test cricket in December of 2013), but the presence and impact he made on the game is forever. Continue reading

Cricket: 2012 World XIII (Tests, T20’s, OD’s)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

Well, it is that time of year again.  The time where obsessed cricket fanatics (such as myself) sit down, ponder for hours, and then finally write some sort of scribble about the top players for the year.

This is a first for me, and I’ve decided to pick 13 players worldwide who will make up my inaugural World XIII.  They are in no particular order.

When some of you read this, you might ask ‘where’s Brendon McCullum, or perhaps Hashim Amla?’  Yes, I did consider them, but in my mind didn’t make the cut for 2012.  Their years were both excellent and helped lead their teams to some great victories, but in my mind they were beaten by others for consistency and other similar factors.  Add to the fact that picking just thirteen players is extremely difficult.

Amla was ahead of McCullum in breaking into the squad however. Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: Third Test Preview

Peter Siddle in Adelaide (photo from cricket.com.au)

Attention turns to the WACA on Friday as the third and final test between Australia and South Africa gets underway.

It has been a test of endurance and fitness this series, as bowlers and batters alike have toiled in the middle for hours on end.

For the Australians, the side injury to James Pattinson is a bitter blow for both the paceman and the Australian team.  After being injured last summer, Pattinson will once again sit on the sidelines for the majority of Australia’s summer campaign.

Here’s a look at the areas for both teams in which could prove vital in Perth:

Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: Second Test Preview

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke at Adelaide (ESPN Cricinfo)

(At the time of writing, the squad is unconfirmed)

Adelaide Oval will see a very fierce battle begin on Thursday, as the Aussies take on South Africa in the second test.

With the first match at the Gabba ending in a draw, Michael Clarke will be looking to put the South Africans back in their box.  Having had the entirety of Day 2 of the first test washed out, making the chance of an outright result small, both teams will be looking to stamp their mark on the series. Continue reading

Cricket: Analysis of the Gabba Test

Michael Clarke at the Gabba (sourced from Cricket Australia)

A lifeless start to the first test between Australia and South Africa panned out into an entertaining draw at the Gabba yesterday.

After skipper Michael Clarke declared 115 runs ahead in the first innings, the South Africans looked wobbly early, losing Alviro Petersen (5) and Graeme Smith (23) to slump to 2/55. However, the likes of first innings heroes Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis again proved to be the wall that could not be penetrated.

With Day 2 completely washed out, and Australia seemingly on the back foot, a possible result began to rise when the Australians pegged South Africa back on Day 3, but then looked in trouble themselves.  Clarke was the turning point of the Australian innings, scoring 259 not out, along with Ed Cowan, who posted his maiden test century.

Here’s my analysis of the test, Day by Day: Continue reading

Cricket: First Test Preview: Australia v South Africa

Ben Hilfenhaus-2010

The Gabba will be the first battleground for the Australians during their 2012-2013 home summer.  First opponent: South Africa.

The Proteas have begun the fiery banter, throwing several wild shots at the Australian team.  Some say the Aussies aren’t ready for the strong pace attack that is Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.  I say they’re wrong, and we won’t know the answer until the two teams clash starting the 9th of November.

On to the match now, and it looks as though there were will be plenty of fierce battles fought.  Let’s take a look: Continue reading

Cricket: The top ten cricketers in the last twenty years

It’s always difficult to pinpoint the greatest athlete in any sport: there are far too many.  However, it is a lot easier to choose those which have had such a stellar career it is extremely hard to overlook them as great.  In the last two decades, there has been a swathe of old and new generation cricketers.  Here are just ten of them. Continue reading