BBL|04: The big final heads to Canberra and neutral territory

Nic Maddinson at the MCG (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Nic Maddinson at the MCG (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Manuka Oval.  The “one in the middle of nowhere”, as most cricket purists and watchers might say.

For the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers, the middle of nowhere is home tomorrow night.  One of the two sides will be vying for their second Big Bash League trophy, though the Scorchers won’t want to lose hold of their defending champion’s title.

Last time they met, at the Sydney Cricket Ground before the New Year, the Scorchers upset the Sixers, much to the chagrin of the home fans.  It was a night for the bowlers, with no batsman scoring over 36. Continue reading

Quiney works seagull magic as Stars burst into life

Peter Handscomb tees off on his way to 103 at the MCG (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Peter Handscomb tees off on his way to 103 at the MCG (photo: Davis Harrigan)

The 33,580 fans that flocked to the MCG on Wednesday night went to see a Stars win – but they got a lesson in “bird handling” as well.

As the Stars – with much of the thanks to Peter Handscomb, who scored a career-defining and magnificent, unbeaten 103 – powered to a three wicket win after an early struggle, the entertainment, for a time, was front and centre on a seagull. Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: time to test the mettle

Dale Steyn has to be a threat come November (picture: Google)

Dale Steyn has to be a threat come November (picture: Google)

Raise your hand if you’re excited for the summer of cricket to hit the shores of Australia.

If you did, then the first visitors won’t disappoint; the ever talented South Africa.

Three Twenty20s and five One-Day matches means no long form test matches, but Dale Steyn will come prepared.  So will Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers. Continue reading

Cricket: Australian Champions Trophy 2013 Squad Preview

ICC CT13 Logo (from thenewstribe.com)

ICC CT13 Logo (from thenewstribe.com)

It’s almost “the battle before the Ashes“.  Australia will be in England from June 3-23 for the very last installment of the ICC Champions Trophy.  If you wanted Ashes preparation, this is it.

While a few players in the Champions Trophy squad will not be participating in the coveted test series, a fair majority of the team will have several matches to adjust to both the playing and weather conditions in England.  Perhaps not outright favourites for the Ashes, Australia still boasts a very good one day record at the tournament, and will be looking to secure another piece of silverware.

The following is a look at each player in the squad and how they can help Australia to victory: Continue reading

Cricket: Players In Focus: James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile

Here’s two players who have been making their mark on the state scene

Nathan Coulter-Nile

Solid without being spectacular, Coulter-Nile has been a valuable asset to both his West Australian state team and the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) Perth Scorchers.

Nathan Coulter Nile (sourced from Google Images)

Nathan Coulter Nile (sourced from Google Images)

Having spent four seasons in the yellow and black of the Warriors outfit, Coulter-Nile uses his 191cm to generate awkward bounce.  No slouch with the bat either, Coulter-Nile hit an enormous six against the Brisbane Heat in the BBL to help secure victory in a rain-affected match. Continue reading

Cricket: State v State back again after the Big Bash Final

Usman Khawaja, for the Sydney Thunder, 8 Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Usman Khawaja, for the Sydney Thunder, 8 Jan 2013 (photo mine)

The bright colours will be gone next week from the Australian state scene, with domestic one-day cricket and first-class competitions kicking off after the furious Big Bash League.

Even with the quality of cricket on show for the better part of six weeks, it will be a welcome switch for a lot of the traditional cricket fans out there.  State cricket is by no means dwindling, and seriously needs to be the platform from where the next generation of cricketers are selected.

Now, I have nothing against the Big Bash; it’s fun, allows a whole heap of players to get a taste of top level cricket, and can draw some big crowds and new faces. Continue reading

Cricket: Under The Microscope: Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers

Perth Scorchers

Perth Scorchers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this final Big Bash League series of previews, the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers go under the hammer as we near the start of BBL|02.

The Strikers had a strong team but were somewhat underwhelming in terms of results.  The Scorchers, meanwhile, made the BBL|01 and took it right up to eventual champions the Sydney Sixers.

The Strikers will be facing some tough competition, after losing key all-rounder Andrew McDonald to injury.  The Justin Langer (coach) lead Scorchers have got firepower once again.

Key players include: Continue reading