Renegades see Stars as they taste defeat in second derby

Kevin Pietersen flicks another one away at Etihad Stadium (Photo: CA/Getty)

Kevin Pietersen flicks another one away at Etihad Stadium (Photo: CA/Getty)

Kevin Pietersen was the Melbourne Renegades boogeyman at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, as cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars cantered home to an eight-wicket victory.

On Monday, Chris Gayle made headlines, and on Saturday night it was the man everyone knows as ‘KP’ who decided to change the tempo to one of sixes and big cheering. 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

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

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

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 see 112 Stars after New Year Derby clash

Melbourne Stars Captain Cameron White at Etihad Stadium (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Melbourne Stars Captain Cameron White at Etihad Stadium (photo: Davis Harrigan)

After winning the toss and electing to bowl on what was a sticky, warm night at Etihad Stadium, the Melbourne Renegades had to endure a painful 20 overs at the hands of the Melbourne Stars.

Cameron White (22) and Luke Wright (39) fired the Stars into a winning position early, and even when White was dismissed off the bowling of young Nick Winter, the damage had already been done, with the Stars run rate above eight an over. Continue reading

Cricket: BBL|04, and why KP is going for glory

Rob Quiney & Luke Wright, Melbourne Stars (Photo: Rediff.com)

Rob Quiney & Luke Wright, Melbourne Stars (Photo: Rediff.com)

When the Big Bash League changed to its current format before the commencement of the 2011/2012 Australian season, not much was certain.

There was a litany of changes – state teams became city-based teams, there were overseas imports, and a whole new ball game was born.

Perhaps the biggest story for BBL|04 is the Melbourne Stars signing former England batsman, and now gun-for-hire Kevin Pietersen.  The 34-year-old caused a controversy after the news was revealed, with the England Cricket Board reluctant to release him until the release of his book earlier this month. Continue reading

Cricket: England are being overcooked and then burnt

Alastair Cook's facial expression says it all (photo: The Mirror)

Alastair Cook‘s facial expression says it all (photo: The Mirror)

After a 95 run drubbing at the hands of India, and having not won any of their last 10 Tests, England are searching for answers that should have come six months ago.

Unfortunately, the management of the situation at the time, the Kevin Pietersen drama included, did not allow for the fresh overhaul that the England Cricket Board and on-field team needed. Continue reading

Cricket: England’s tour from hell is over

Ben Stokes in Perth (Photo: Getty Images)

Ben Stokes in Perth (Photo: Getty Images)

It started before the first test at the Gabba – but in reality audiences tuned in on November 21, 2013.  Never would anyone – even the Australian fans – have picked such an accomplished demolition job of the opposition as the final result. Continue reading

Cricket: The Ashes: Emphasis on a whitewash

Steve Smith & Australia will look to continue their good form on Boxing Day (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

Steve Smith & Australia will look to continue their good form on Boxing Day (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

The message has been simple, if not roundabout: Australia needs to keep the foot on the gas until the end of the Sydney test.

With the fourth Ashes test starting tomorrow at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), England faces – metaphorically – a do or die battle to regain some pride.  Continue reading