BBL|04 delivered, sparkled, thrilled and excited: the moments of madness, records and big, big scores

Ben Rohrer takes a bouncer on the rise against Brisbane (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Ben Rohrer takes a bouncer on the rise against Brisbane (photo: Davis Harrigan)

When the competition was a fledgling hatched from the egg, now all the way back in the 2011-2012 season, the criticism that a city-based team tournament wouldn’t work came from every which way.  Geoff Hutchison, writing for ABC show The Drum a little over three years ago, wrote that “At the Big Bash, anything goes.  Everything is great; but the cricket was secondary to everything else.”

Everything about it has gone upwards and onwards – not to stardom, but to a level where the fans are breaking ground crowd records, and the overseas imports have been stepped up a level. 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

Beyond Realisation is turning two, and still going

Hannah Willmott (LTU) & her RMIT opponent at SUG 2014 (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Hannah Willmott (LTU) & her RMIT opponent at SUG 2014 (photo: Davis Harrigan)

At the end of August, Beyond Realisation hits its second birthday.

It does not feel like two years since I began writing on this blog, focusing on issues and discussions beyond the general reviews and previews.  On top of that, 20,500 views might not seem like a lot either, but it’s the culmination of hard work and passion. Continue reading

Cricket: Big Bash League: Round One View

The star of BBL|03 round 1, Chris Lynn (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

The star of BBL|03 round 1, Chris Lynn (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

The entertainment started on Friday, December 20, and concluded two days later.  It was not the smoothest opening round, with the Hobart Hurricanes and Adelaide Strikers match washed out in Hobart. 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: 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

Cricket: India the proving ground for Ashes

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo  mine)

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo mine)

India.  The dustbowls.  Home of the raging turner or the swinging sensation.

Also the proving ground for a host of Australian players before the Ashes series in England in July.

Questions will include; do both spinners get played, which pacemen get the gig, and who is going to open the batting?

Nathan Lyon will relish the challenge of really getting the chance to prove why he is Australia’s number one spinner.  Michael Clarke returns to the country where he burst onto the test scene in 2004.

Will it be the left arm combination, the Mitchell’s, Starc and Johnson, who can undo India with pace and swing?  Or perhaps Peter Siddle will enjoy steaming in and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Chennai is the first venue between these two rivals.  And if there is going to be any indication of form, it is going to be the sub continent.

Here’s a player by player preview (the entire 17 man squad): 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: Big Bash League: Home and Away Team Reviews

Brad Hodge v Melbourne Renegades, Jan 6, 2013 (photo mine)

Brad Hodge v Melbourne Renegades, Jan 6, 2013 (photo mine)

It was a competition full of surprises, monster sixes, and above all, some great cricket (even if there was a bit of controversy, but hey, that’s normal!)

In this review I’ll take a look at all eight teams during their ‘home & away’ campaign during their eight matches.  There was a whole lot of mayhem throughout.  On the upside, TV ratings for the Big Bash were fantastic.  The crowds were also very engaged, especially at the two Melbourne Derby clashes.

Fox Sports once again has provided us with excellent, if not biased, coverage of every game.  The insights that the likes of Damien Fleming and Brendon Julian offer is second to none.

Continue reading

Cricket: Round 1 Big Bash League action wrap-up

Aaron FInch bats against the Melbourne Stars (sourced from The Australian)

Aaron FInch bats against the Melbourne Stars (sourced from The Australian)

Some massive sixes and exciting chases brought round one of the 2012/13 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League to a close.

Stars v Renegades:

It started with the Melbourne Derby-Stars v Renegades at Etihad Stadium.  I was at the game, and the 23,584 fans there weren’t disappointed.  After a well-made 53 to English import Luke Wright, as well as 42 and 28 respectively to veterans David Hussey and Brad Hodge, the Stars set the Renegades a total of 168 to win.

After a poor BBL|01, the Renegades have assembled a workhorse team, with only the one real big name; Muttiah Muralitharan.  Nathan Rimmington and Darren Pattinson, despite some low-wicket figures, displayed great composure and bowled a consistent line and length.  The Stars batted without any real trouble, but the score didn’t seem to be enough. Continue reading