Perth Scorchers review

The Summary

The Scorchers finished second on the home and away ladder after starting the season with two home losses.  Clearly they got their shit together as the season wore on and then managed to pull off a great heist in the Big SEMI edging out the Stars in a last ball thriller. A puss effort in the Big FINAL would have been slightly disappointing –  the only consolation would be the massive CLT20 pay day that  the Scorchers have now qualified for.

 

The hits

Shaun Marsh

Welcome back to the runs SE Marsh! Older Son of Swampy (OSOS to his mates) made the most runs in BBL|02 (412) and hit the most sixes (16). He also made the most 50+ scores with 5 and earned himself a national T20 recall. Not a bad season.

 

Adam Voges

The forgotten man of Australian limited overs cricket made a return to form with 200 odd runs at a decent clip. I look forward to the King of Northbridge bringing his “Party First, Cricket Later” attitude to the Australian T20 dressingroom after his somewhat surprising national team call up. I expect him to clash with The Governor,  George Bailey, skipper of the T20 side and his rigid discipline program.

 

Alphonso Thomas

Justin Langer said if he ever coached a T20 outfit he wanted The Fonse in his side. And what a good idea that turned out to be – 12 wickets at an average of 14 at 6.24 runs per over. AT muscled six catches to boot!

 

The Spin twins

Michael Beer opened the bowling in most innings and did a hell of a job – 10 wickets at an average of 21 at a tick under 6 runs per over. Brad Hogg did what Hoggy does best – took 11 wickets at 20 and kept the runs down. The new spin twins indeed.

 

 

The misses

Simon Katich

The curious case of The Sinker – disappearing into the depths of the batting line up. Captain Kato played all 10 games yet batted only 5 times. He made 82 runs for the BBL season which included his one half century (62 runs) and 2 ducks.

 

Tom Triffit

Kept the entire home and away part of the BBL then was dropped for the Finals with Mike Hussey taking the gloves. Perhaps Triffit’s batting was the reason he was axed: 7 runs in 5 innings at an average of 1.75, a top score of four and a strike rate of 50 plus 2 ducks. Not pretty reading. Admittedly he probably came in very late in an innings a few times but I can now appreciate why Mike Hussey was preferred.

 

A sixth bowler

The five front line bowlers were so good no part timers were used. Not the spin of Voges, North or Katich nor the military mediums of Mike Hussey. Unusual.

 

 

What they should do

Look for another keeper – maybe someone over the age of 33 to fit into the Dad’s army mould of the rest of the team. Mike Hussey perhaps?

Now that Mike Hussey has retired from international cricket, install him as Scorchers captain and close the door on Simon Katich.

Stop losing Big FINALS at The Furnace.

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Stars review

The Summary

Another good season for the Stars came a cropper in Perth in the Big SEMI in the strangest of circumstances. With the Scorchers needing 3 off the last ball to win, the 3, yes 3, Stars’ captains (Warne, White and Faulkner) converged to set the field and managed to stuff up the number of fielders inside the 30m circle. The bowler, Faulkner, then duly overstepped and so what should have been the last ball was a no ball twice over. Mike Hussey then smashed the next ball for 4 and it was season over for the Stars.

 

The hits

Lasith Malinga

Some withering spells including the spell of the tournament, 6/7 in Perth, meant Malinga finished with 13 scalps at the amazing average of 10.67 and at just a tick under 5 runs per over – no other Stars bowler could keep the runs under 7. He was sorely missed when national team duty beckoned at the business end of the season.

 

Brad Hodge

Hodgey just keeps churning out the runs with 342 at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 144. His colleagues n the top 6 couldn’t even get close and were mired in mediocrity with none average above 30 or scoring more than 200 runs. BH was a shining beacon of excellence in a star studded batting order that celebrated ordinariness across the BBL season. Hodgey was 3rd highest run scorer in the BBL and he also hit 31 fours and 13 sixes which ranked him 3rd in each category.

 

James Faulkner

For his bowling not his batting. 11 wickets at an average of 21.36 was a fine return with the ball. With the bat he played some curious innings – including a run a ball 11 when Hodge was bltzing the Strikers. Faulkner seemed incpable of playng a big shot – the first one he attempted he was duly caught.

 

 

The misses

Shane Warne

Where to start?  SK Warne bowled pies, got carted and dropped catches – and all that was just the first game! He refused to bat twice and then missed games for a white Christmas and through suspension. Warne created a massive bullshit all swearing all finger pointing bru-ha-ha with Marlon Samuels 90 minutes after he’d tugged D Hussey’s shirt then claimed that what is said on the field should stay on the field – your miked up Warney! And finally he masterminded not being captain in his last game, costing hmself a Cricket Australia fine, and didn’t bowl!

 

Bob Quiney

Scratched around like an old chook at the crease to record only 122 runs in 8 innings at an average of 17. Didn’t bowl which was surprising given how much bowling he did in the Tests he played but he did keep when the pressure of having so many great Australian representatives to squeeze into an XI meant Peter Handscomb got the chop.

 

Cameron White

The Tony Ronaldson look alike was batting at 5 for most of the tournament but opened in the TRUCK final to record half his runs for the BBL season with 88. White, who skippered the side in Warne’s absence, did nothing else of note with bat or ball but did take four catches – a strange path he now treads, the former captain of the Australian T20 team.

 

John Hastings

Didn’t get much of a run with the bat usually coming in a t No8 but was very expensive with the ball going for 8.69 runs per over and only taking 3 wickets at an average of nearly 52. Ouch!

 

 

The Quote

“Warnie didn’t bowl tonight, refused to bat twice and dropped four catches. Thank God for his tweets otherwise his BBL would have been a waste”

Doctor Turf on twitter about SK Warne’s Big Bash.

 

 

What they should do

Pension off Warney and look to get a decent spinner.

Forget about names and Australian representatives how about playing some batsmen who can make runs and some bowlers who can take wickets and keep the runs down.

The Stars should look to address the slow starts they have had in their past two seasons. It has cost them the opportunity to host a Big SEMI at the MCG. Also it would mean they won’t have to go to Perth where they have now gallantly lost two Big SEMIS.

Also as per Cricket Australia rules, the Stars should stop trying to be clever with the captaincy and teach James Faulkner how to get his foot behind the line when bowling.

 

 

Clarke and Hussey

People have been pestering me to get the real story of what happened with Clarke and Hussey after the Sydney Test. I couldn’t be farked but as a wise man once said to me “We are all busier than a Beruit bricklayer but people need to be informed” So I put down my pen and picked up the phone to call a contact of mine who is close to the Australian Cricket team. I can’t reveal my sources and I have to be careful to protect his identity so I have given him a code name. The code name is Steve Rixon. Here’s how the phone call went:

 

Steve Rixon: Hello Steve Rixon speaking

 

Me: Steve mate how are ya? How is everything going?

 

Steve Rixon: Great. What do you want?

 

Me: Look I’m hearing a lot of stuff about this Clarke versus Hussey thing after the Sydney Test what can you tell me about it?

 

 

Steve Rixon: Right well, as Hussey is an older guy he wanted to stay around the club rooms and as Pup is a younger guy he wanted to go home and have a few “pre drinks” with Matty Wade and James Pattinson before going out to “Trak” nightclub at 1:00am for 3 hours and then go home. Hussey said, “You never put back into this club Pup! Stay here and have a few froths get around the guys and put back!”

Pup then said, “Get f*cked Huss, it’s just a sausage party here and you only ever listen to Crosby, Stills and Nash. Where’s that song that goes “I don’t care! I love it” that’s on the ad for the upcoming ODIs? That goes off at Trak! Oh and by the way you’re not playing in the ODIs Huss”

Huss followed with, “Fine then, f*ck off, see if I care. Eddie and Nathan are still here having a froth with me!”

As Pup was leaving the change rooms, Hussey said, “Kids these days”.

Me: Mate are you sure about that? Sounds like something that would go on at a local cricket club?

 

Steve Rixon: It’s all true, I was there. Hussey treats the Australian Cricket team like a local cricket club because he is Mr Cricket, OK.

 

Me: OK, what about John Williamson playing “True Blue” in the rooms?

 

Steve Rixon: Not true, we haven’t played that stuff since Tugga retired. Punter made it clear that anyone who played John Williamson or Redgum after a game would be beaten with their own cricket gear.

 

Me: Right and is it true Huss handed the singing of ‘Under the Southern Cross’ over to Nathan Lyon? Bit surprising I would have thought someone like Warner or Wade might have got the job?

 

Steve Rixon: Look there’s no chance Wade would get the gig – he’s far too busy learning how to catch for him to have to learn how to sing as well. 8 months I’ve been working with him on his keeping and still no sign of improvement. What do they teach these blokes at state level? Nothing?

 

Me: Yeah. So will Lyon be leading the song?

 

Steve Rixon:  Well James Pattinson  had ‘Under the Sothern Cross’  remixed by some hip-hop outfit with a dance track put over the top of it, all the young blokes have downloaded it to their iPhones and they listened to it with their earphones in while Huss lead the team song for the last time.

I’m not sure if ‘Under the Southern Cross’  will actually be sung after a Test victory anymore I think  everyone will just stick their earphones in and listen to the remix on their iPhones.

Patto also got his mate to cut an 8 minute trance like thing that just doesn’t seem to ever end. After Sydney all the young blokes got up on the podium at Trak with their low cut t-shirts and jeans hanging off their ass to show off their designer jocks and danced in a circle while sipping breezers.

That will be how the Australian cricket team will celebrate a Test victory from now on – dancing on a podium wearing their latest fashion purchases with a premixed alcopop drink.

 

Me: Sounds shit.

 

Steve Rixon: Yeah well that’s young blokes these days. By the way can you put a multi bet on for me for the one dayers?  Australia to lose in Adelaide into Mitch Starc to top score in Brisbane into a No Result in Sydney

 

Me: Can do, see ya.

 

 

Melbourne Renegades review

The Summary

An excellent second season by the Renegades.

It all kicked off with a Motorcross event at Docklands followed by a belting of the Stars and finished with a belting of the Sixers to finish the home and away season with a 7-1 record. Unfortunately they couldn’t get the job done when it mattered most – in the Big SEMI – losing to Brisbane Heat and missing out on the Champions League.

One thing that certainly did help the Renegades was the remarkable consistency of their line up. Six players played all 9 games and another three played 8 games. Really the only spots in the line up that varied for the tournament were the opening partner for Finch and who batted at No 3.

 

The hits

Aaron Finch

Finch kick started the season with a masterful hundred against the Stars and never looked back. He racked up 300 odd runs at a decent clip and skippered the side with aplomb. Finch even managed to winkle out 3 wickets with his gentle spin and earned an Australian T20 call up for his efforts

 

Ben Rhorer

The NSW journeyman was a revelation batting at No 4. He provided runs and in quick time knocking up 295 runs at a strike rate of 150+. He skippered the side in Finch’s abscence and was a bit stiff not to receive a call up for national duty.

 

Alex Hales

He only played the two matches but won the game against the Sydney Sixes off his own bat with a whirlwind 89 off 53 balls. He could be the opening partner for Finch the Renegades need.

 

The Bowling Unit

This was a remarkably consistent bowling unit of 6 players  and mainly no names to boot: Murali – O’Brien- Rimmington – D Pattinson – Sheridan – Samuels. All took between 8 and 11 wickets, had economies between 5.96 and 7.67 and had averages between 17 and 26. They all had strike rates between 16.5 and 21 balls and their best bowling efforts were all 3-fors ranging from 3/15 to 3/34. Truly amazing consistency and a big reason behind the Renegades success.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/big-bash-league-2012/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=7457;team=4847;type=tournament

Unsurprisingly the best among this tight knit unit was Murali but surprisingly dumped SA & NSW  off spinner Aaron O’Brien was next best.

 

The misses

Doc Harris

The good doctor opened the batting in the first 6 games and managed 32 runs at an average of 5.33 and at a strike rate of 48.88 – his highest score was 10. Next year he should drop the playing aspect from his playing/team doctor role and stick to the medical stuff.

 

Marlon Samuels

He courted controversy at every turn, firstly by throwing down 130 km/h darts off two steps which raised the ire of two BBL coaches Chuck Berry & Boof Lehmann. Then he decided it would be a good idea to pull on Dave Hussey’s shirt when Hus was trying to go for a run – somehow he only got a reprimand for this. The handbags at 10 paces that took place 90 minutes after this was complete Shane Warne manufactured bullshit. To finish the evening Samuels got smashed n the bongo by Mailnga and is still convalescing from a fractured eye socket – missing the Renegades Big SEMI.

Despite being a self proclaimed legend Samuels efforts in the BBL were, in fact, crap – he batted at No 3 yet in 6 digs he managed only 73 runs with a top score of 21. His throwing fared much better with him taking 8 wickets at an average of 18.

 

The Quotes

“All the talk in the Victorian camp was how shit we were going to be, how we had no good players.”

Aaron Finch’s brutally honest assessment of what people were thinking about the Renegades prior to BBL|02

 

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/huge-strides-made-finch-20130116-2csvi.html#ixzz2IwE3wrNs

 

 

“He’s [Warne’s] supposed to be a legend in Australia. What he did was give me the stripes, so I am the legend now.”

Marlon Samuels proclaiming he is a legend. [Give me the stripes?? The 1920’s rang Marlon – it wants its terminology back!]
http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/melbourne-renegades-batsman-marlon-samuels-escapes-punishment-for-jumper-tug/story-e6frfkp9-1226558768264#ixzz2IwEsj1mz

 

 

What they should do

Try to keep the squad together.

Another opener to partner Finch and a Number 3 would be the keys recruiting requirement batting wise. The answer could lie within – one slot could well be filled by Alex Hales if he can be secured as one of the internationals. Squad batsmen like Alex Doolan and Michael Hill who had tasters in BBL|02 would need to make a sizeable step up in output to get a permanent position in the batting order.

The Renegades also need one of their top 5 to be able to bowl some useful part timers. If one of their bowling unit does get belted about a 6th bowling option is required that is a little better than Finchy’s very hittable doorknobs. Marlon Samuels was the answer this campaign but will the legend be back  BBL|03?

Three internationals into two slots won’t go so I’d keep Murali and Hayles and ditch Samuels.

Bowling wise I’d keep the status quo. Will there be room for the injured cult figure, fast medium bowler Jayde Herrick to be welcomed back into the fold for next year or will he just do all the promo work and not play like this season?

Marto Watch 2

First there was Media Watch now there is Marto Watch – keeping  Damien Martyn and his website www.martondistribution.com honest.

 

 

Dear Damien,

I find your website to be amatuerish. When you say you played in no less than 67 international tests do you mean you played in greater than 67 international tests, greater than or equal to 67 international tests or exactly equal to 67 international tests?
I feel this is unclear and as we both know being mathematically correct is the best kind of correct.
Yours in cricket,

Marto Watch 1

First there was Media Watch now there is Marto Watch – keeping  Damien Martyn and his website martondistribution.com honest.

 

Dear Damien,

Why is your website called martondistributon.com and not martyndistribution.com – ie using the same spelling as your name?

Are you ashamed of the spelling of your name?

Y?

 

That is all.

 

Yours in cricket,

 

 

Luke Butterworth Diary 19/01/13

Dear Diary,

It’s great getting down and playing under Geevsey at Glenorchy in the Tasmanian Premium League. No its not another new T20 league, the Tasmanian Premier League is Hobart grade cricket just in case you were unfamiliar, Diary. I’m not sure why I am explaining things to you like you are a person Diary but it’s been tough since Liam Pickering let me down and didn’t get me a Big Bash contract and you have been very supportive during this difficult time particularly for my pen and my hand when I have been writing.

On Saturday we played Kingborough and Geevsey had the boys pumped up for a big one. We were playing at their dunghill and Geevsey had got to the away rooms nice and early with his coloured chalks to write up our inspirational quote for the day – a sort of mantra we are to play the day by. Geevsey had the blackboard covered with a bedsheet as we all filed in to the change rooms for the mandatory team meeting 220 minutes before the first ball. You need plenty of time to warm up for cricket and Geevsey is meticulous in his preperation – he makes all the boys follow his routine:

20 minutes – team meeting

10 minutes  – studying the form guide

10 minutes – update on the NBA

12 minutes – indulge in sponsors product (KFC)

6 minutes – toilet time (seated)

15 minutes – power nap

34:30 minutes – listen to “Odyssey No 5” album on iPod

6 minutes – put on whites

12 minutes – sunscreen application

17 minutes – re cut toe out of bowling boot.

2 minutes – toilet time (standing)

1 minute – jog on spot

Then Geevsey is ready to walk onto the field if we are bowling and if we are batting he just restarts the process fromt the top (minus the team meeting obviously)

Anyway the team meeting started and Geevsey whipped the bedsheet off the blackboard.  It said: “I HATE KINGBURRA (sp)” Well it didn’t have the little (sp) thingy, Dairy, I just put that in to show what Geevesy had written and that I knew that he’d spelled Kingborough wrong. There were a few grunts of acknowledgement and Geevsey roared, “Read it with me, boys: I HATE KINGBURRA”, ” Repeat it “I HATE KINGBURRA”, “And again “I HATE KINGBURRA”  by now most, but not all of us had got the gist of the quote but we were none the wiser who it had come from. David Boon? Michael Di Venuto? Shannon Tubb? Not sure

So then we went and warmed up for 200 minutes and by the time we took the field to bowl first I had completely forgotten about the blackboard and its inspirational message. What did get my attention was the unkind words of Kingborough’s opening batsmen – Sean “Puffy” Shelton. “Shelts” is known for his trash talking but this barrage was something else. He said I wasn’t good enough to get a Big Bash contract, he said I didn’t take wickets and couldn’t make quick runs and he said Liam Pickering didn’t care about me.

Geevsey came straight over to me and punched me hard in the arm and said “Don’t take that shit – we owe these blokes. Remember  that one day final in 03-04″ Well I needed no more motivation, I remember that one day final like it was 8 years ago. I think we batted first or maybe they did. Anyway it all got very tense and I just can’t recall if we won or lost in the end.

Just for good measure Geevesy threw in a ” Just get ’em out”

So I did. And I batted a bit too – take that “Puffy” Shelton

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2013/01/20/370690_cricket.html

Pity they couldn’t get a photo of me to go with the article. Bloody Evan Gulbis!!

*Sigh*

Buttsy out