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 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: 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: IPL over, but entertainment galore

2014 champions Kolkata (photo: BCCI)

2014 champions Kolkata (photo: BCCI)

Let’s start off with a figure, and that figure is 714.  That’s the number of sixes hit across edition seven of the Indian Premier League, and 60 matches.

This tournament provided one of the greatest spectacles in the history of Twenty20 cricket.  From game one between the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, the stage was set. Continue reading

Cricket: IPL appeal in Australia still exists, just harder to find

Glenn Maxwell belts a six during his 95 (photo: BCCI/ESPN Cricinfo)

Glenn Maxwell belts a six during his 95 (photo: BCCI/ESPN Cricinfo)

The United Arab Emirates is the stage for the 2014 Indian Premier League – installment seven – and after just four matches, there has already been a platform set for all teams to play high quality cricket.

Let’s stop there for a moment, however.  How does the world see such a contest, and in particular, Australia? Continue reading

Cricket: World Twenty20: Did Australia blow expectations in Bangladesh?

The expressions from Bailey & Starc sums up Australia's campaign (photo: Getty Images)

The expressions from Bailey & Starc sums up Australia’s campaign (photo: Getty Images)

Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey had big shoes to fill, after the national side won an astonishing 12 of 13 games against England during the recent summer.

Travelling to Bangladesh red hot on form, things took a turn the moment Pakistan wielded the willow in their first group game in Mirpur. Continue reading

Cricket: VWCA Action (Premier 1sts) Round 6 and 7: Box Hill Mustangs Report

Australian, Victorian & Box Hill superstar Meg Lanning in action in the VWCA, Nov 17, 2013 (photo mine)

Australian, Victorian & Box Hill superstar Meg Lanning in action in the VWCA, Nov 17, 2013 (photo mine)

Game 1: Box Hill v Melbourne

(Albert Ground)

Box Hill 5/157 (M. Lanning 54, A. Lanning 49*, S. Tatchell 2/33) defeated Melbourne 4/113 (E. Jones 46 rt no, K. Black 32) by 44 runs

A last over knee injury to Melbourne opener Evelyn Jones was the only thing that overshadowed a strong Box Hill win at the Albert Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Sunny skies and a pleasant breeze greeted players and spectators, and Meg Lanning wasted no time, letting loose on the short boundaries.  Continue reading

Cricket: Shane Warne’s lashout will cost his BBL campaign

Shane Warne lashes out at Marlon Samuels. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Warne lashes out at Marlon Samuels. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Warne has had something of a nightmare week and a bit.  First a charge for speeding in his Jaguar over in the United Kingdom, and last night a massive verbal stoush at West Indian and Melbourne Renegade batsman Marlon Samuels in the Big Bash League.  He even let rip a few expletives that were caught by the mic he was wearing for Fox Sports.

We all love a little bit of banter and a bit of heat out on the cricket field, but the altercation last night, which in fact flared while the Melbourne Stars batted, went too far. 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

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