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

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

Cricket: Saying goodbye to a little champion personally

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Tributes for Phil Hughes left outside the South Entrance at the Adelaide Oval (photo: Davis Harrigan)

It has been one of the most emotional weeks of cricket during my lifetime.

I did not know the man Phillip Hughes – aka “Hughesy” or “Boof” – but I saw him play many times live and on TV.  The situation that unfolded this week, bringing the cricket world to a standstill, truly hit home when I attended a women’s Twenty20 game between the South Australia Scorpions and the Australian Capital Territory Meteors on Friday, at Adelaide Oval No. 2, behind the spectacular main ground. Continue reading

Phil Hughes; talented and now gone at 25

Phil Hughes (photo: Cricket Australia)

Phil Hughes (photo: Cricket Australia)

The cricket world is hurting this week.  I’m hurting. The news rocked us all.

The age of 25 is far too young; what hurts even more is the death was on a sporting field, with the sportsman doing something he loved. Continue reading

Cricket: Cameron White is a no-brainer for the World Cup

Cameron White in action at ANZ Stadium (photo: Getty Images)

Cameron White in action at ANZ Stadium (photo: Getty Images)

The resurgence of the former Victorian skipper – first at state, and now at national level – over the last two years has been nothing short of sensational.

His last two domestic one-day competitions (accumulated) have seen him pile on 741 runs at an average above 67.  In the Big Bash League (past two seasons), he has 385 runs at an average above 25. Continue reading

Cricket: Why Australia v Pakistan is nothing more than a “warm-up”

Australia celebrate over Pakistan in the 3rd ODI (photo: Getty Images)

Australia celebrate over Pakistan in the 3rd ODI (photo: Getty Images)

The entire series feels as though it is squeezed somewhere in between the start of the Australian season and the wrapping up of the Champions League Twenty20, just to keep the fans engaged.

Of course, this is not the case, and it is proving to be beneficial for a few of the Australian players.  Steve Smith registered his first one-day international century with some superb shots in the first of three matches in the series. Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Sydney Sixers v Sydney Thunder Preview

Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers banner (Australia Free TV)

Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers banner (Australia Free TV)

Now titled the “Sydney Smash”, Saturday’s game between the two rivals gets an extra boost, with both Steve Smith (Sydney Sixers) and David Warner (Sydney Thunder) released from Australian duties. Continue reading

Cricket: Australian Domestic scene: Doug Bollinger and Ben Laughlin

Doug Bollinger in action during the 2013 Ryobi Cup (source: ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

Doug Bollinger in action during the 2013 Ryobi Cup (source: ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

They both play for the same Big Bash League team, the Hobart Hurricanes.  When it comes to the two longer forms of the domestic game, the left-arm and right-arm quick respectively are on opposing sides.

Enter New South Welshman Doug Bollinger, and Tasmanian Ben Laughlin.  One steams in with sheer determination, the other bowls extremely well at the death of 20 over and 50 over matches.

Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Season Three: the attraction

BBL 03 teams (photo from icricketbuzz.com)

BBL 03 teams (photo from icricketbuzz.com)

SHOWTIME

The Big Bash League (and a full-on summer of cricket) is ready to grab our attention once again.  Seven weeks of action include 32 group stage matches and three finals, from December 20 2013 to February 7 2014.

Reigning champions the Brisbane Heat have compiled another strong squad; the Melbourne Renegades continue to attract fans after a surprise BBL|02, and the Sydney Thunder have recruited batting superstar Mike Hussey. Continue reading