My memories of Phil Hughes

Being overseas from April 2007 I missed Phil Hughes’ half century on Shield debut in November 2007, ¬†I missed him becoming the youngest century maker in the ¬†Shield final in March 2008¬†at 19 years old, and I missed him being named Shield player of the season for 891 runs with 4 centuries in 7 matches in the summer of 2008/09 –¬†I didn‚Äôt even know these facts until I read about them this week.

If I’d been in Australia, as an avid state cricket follower, I would have been all over this. I remember Michael Clarke piling up a big summer of Shield runs and Phil Jaques doing similar one year, before being called up to the national team.

I first remember hearing of Phil Hughes when he made his test debut, followed by twin hundreds in his second test, in South Africa. I was travelling in Africa the time and cricket news was difficult to come by ‚Äď text messages to an Aussie mate in the UK was the best¬†source and that was only on the odd occasion when phone reception was available.

As timing would have it I was in South Africa, Cape Town in fact, right when the third test of the series was being played there. Fresh from his twin centuries in the second test, in his third test Hughes scored twin 30’s. I went to the second day of the test and didn’t see Hughes bat, just Jacques Kallis and AB De Villiers destroying Bryce McGain in his only test.

After Africa, I headed back to London which was home base at the time. I might have missed Hughes’ run of Shield scores but what I didn’t miss was his amazing run of scores during his stint at English county team, Middlesex, prior to the 2009 Ashes.

I was job searching (unemployed) at the time so had some time on my hands and cricket was a great time filler. It felt like each day you would read about Hughes making a century. He made runs at Lord‚Äôs and at Southgate one of Middlesex‚Äôs county ‚Äėoutgrounds‚Äô, which was in the North London suburbs near where my housemate worked.

We said we‚Äôd get along to a game at Southgate or to the last day of the¬†county match at The Oval, but didn’t make it to either (missing a great finish at The Oval). I did however make it along to Hughes‚Äô last game for Middlesex at the home of cricket, Lords.

When I compiled this list I couldn’t believe Hughes‚Äô stint at Middlesex was just four weeks long.

Phil Hughes

Middlesex

April 22 ¬†‚Äď May 18, 2009

 

County Championship ‚Äď Division 2

Four day first class cricket

 

Game 1

Middlesex v Glamorgan at Lords,  April 22-25 (click on the link for the scorecard)

118 and 65 not out

Some great reports from this match and about Hughes’ exploits in his 1st first class game in England are here and here.

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Hughes on his way to a century on Middlesex debut

 

Game 2

Middlesex v Leicestershire at Southgate (outground) April 28 ‚Äď May 1

Hughes dropped down to number 3 to accommodate England captain, Andrew Strauss opening the batting. Hughes was on 99 overnight on day 2.

139

Hughes bowled 2 overs late in the game.

Waiting to bat on 99 not out
Waiting to bat on 99 not out

 

Game 3

Surrey v Middlesex at the Oval, May 6-9

195 and 57 (off 46 balls)

Middlesex had a victory target of 186 off 25 overs to win but finished on 9/184. We missed a great finish.

Hughes bowled 1 over in the first innings.

 Phillip-Hughes-Surrey-v-M-001 hughes-six-113681 Surrey+v+Middlesex+LV+County+Championship+o3VNG9MqohJl

First class record at Middlesex:

3 matches, 5 innings, 574 runs at an average of 143.5 including 3 centuries and 2 half centuries

Hughes only bowled 4 overs in cricket – First class, List A or T20 – 3 of them were in this stint for Middlesex.

 

Friends Provident Trophy

Group B – Somerset, Kent, Middlesex, Scotland, Warwickshire

List A, 50 over cricket

 

Game 1

Middlesex v Scotland at Lords, April 26

74 (78 balls)

 

Game 2

Middlesex v Kent at Southgate (outground), May 3

23 (36 balls)

Here are some great photo’s of Hughes at this match:¬†Photos: cricketbydmitri

 

Game 3

Somerset v Middlesex at Bath (outground), May  4

5 (10 balls) with Middlesex bowled out for 63

 

Then this play and travel schedule of 5 games in 8 days:

Game 4

Kent v Middlesex at Canterbury, May 11

12 (19 balls)

A televised game on SkySports, which I watched on TV. Eoin Morgan was amazing with various reverse sweeps and an array of inventive strokes.

 

Game 5

Warwickshire v Middlesex at Edgbaston, Birmingham, May 12

7 (14 balls)

 

I went to Surrey v Gloucestershire at the Oval on May 13. Mark Ramprakash made a century on  a pitch just 40m or so from one of the boundaries Рthe square leg umpire was half way between the stumps and the rope!

 

Game 6

Scotland v Middlesex at Edinburgh, May 14

11 (20 balls)

 

Game 7

Middlesex v Somerset at Lords, May 17 (Sunday)

119 (112 balls)

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Game 8

Middlesex v Warwickshire at Lords, May 18 (Monday)

57 (43 balls with 11 fours)

I went to this game ‚Äď perhaps I should have gone the day before too. It was the only time I saw Hughes¬†bat live. From memory the match had an unusual start time beginning at noon and finished early evening 7:30pm or so.

I remember Hughes and Owais Shah batting well and after Hughes went out, I nodded off sitting in a nearly empty stand.  I also remember a flurry of boundaries bringing the game to an end in a successful run chase.

Jonathan Trott made 120 for the opposition, Warwickshire, but I don’t remember this. I do remember Trott making his test debut in the 5th Test at the Oval in August that year and making a century that won the Ashes.

 

Report from Cricinfo:

A fine 69 from Neil Dexter, along with blistering contributions from Phillip Hughes and Owais Shah, helped¬†Middlesex¬†chase down 277 to beat Warwickshire¬†at Lord’s¬†and keep their quarter-final hopes alive. Warwickshire’s challenging target was set up by Jonathan Trott’s superb 120 and a typically bullish innings of 68, from 44 balls, by Neil Carter. Middlesex lost Billy Godleman early before Hughes (57 from 43) and Shah (63 from 58) steadied their chase, but they then lost Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan within one ball of each other. And when Trott pulled off a stunning one-handed effort to send Gareth Berg packing, Middlesex’s quarter-final hopes appeared to be over. But Ben Scott suddenly rediscovered his touch with 28 from 18 balls, and along with Dexter helped Middlesex over the line with three balls to spare. This was Hughes’s last match this season for Middlesex, a remarkable period in which he scored 882 runs, and he could yet be back at Lord’s for next season.
Hughes (who was 20 years old in 2009) opened the batting with Billy Godleman (himself also just 20 years old) in all but one game for Middlesex. The name stuck in my memory as I had seen Godleman make a half century in my only previous visit to Lords in 2007.

The similarities between the two 20 year old openers was clear:  Godleman was also a prodigious talent at a young age being the second youngest débutante for Middlesex and gaining a county contract at just 17 years old.

Hughes didn’t return to Middlesex the following season, but he did play for Hampshire for a short stint late in 2010 and for Worcestershire in 2012.

 

List A, 50 over cricket for Middlesex:

8 matches, 8 innings, 308 runs at an average of 38.5 with a strike rate of 92.77, 1 century and 2 half centuries

 

Overall record for Middlesex:

20 days of cricket in 27 days.

882 runs in 11 matches at an average of 73.5, 4 centuries and 4 half centuries.

 

An amazing month with so much achieved in such a short amount of time, just like his life.

That’s my memory of Phil Hughes.

 

Footnote:

In the 2009 Ashes, I went to a day¬†of the test at Lords, Hughes’¬†fifth¬†test, but he didn’t bat that day and¬†Australia performed dismally.¬†I also went to the next¬†test at Edgbaston,¬†Birmingham but Hughes had been dropped. As in South Africa my timing wasn’t to be.

During his stint at Middlesex, ¬†Hughes’ record at Lords was outstanding: 4 matches, 5 innings, 433 runs at an average of 108.25, 2 centuries, 3 half centuries. However the venue was not a memorable one for him in test cricket.

Hughes scored 4 & 17 in 2009 and 1 & 1 in 2013 at Lords and was dropped from the Australian team after both matches.

The 2013 Lords test was his last test match.

2014/15 Sheffield Shield Round Up 3

The results

Tasmania v Western Australia at Bellerive Oval

Tasmania made four changes to their XI omitting Dom Michael, Evan Gulbis, Hamish Kingston and Xavier Doherty (national duty) and replacing them with Ben Dunk, James Faulkner Рplaying his first Shield game in a year РBen Hilfenhaus and Clive Rose.

Western Australia presented a more settled line up, swapping Ashton’s – Turner out for Agar – and young left arm quick Jason Behrendorf was rested replaced by Andrew Tye.

Western Australia¬†batted first ¬†and managed 301 thanks to an even 100 from Michael Klinger. In reply Tasmania managed just 247 with 6 players scoring in the 20’s and 30’s with their top scorers being Ben Hilfenhaus scoring 39 off 40 balls at number 9. ¬†Simon Mackin was the pick of the WA bowlers with 4/54.

In it’s second innings Western Australia accumulated runs on day 3 declaring during the first session on day 4 with Adam Voges on 109* . The Warriors had a lead of ¬†325 runs and 71 overs to bowl out Tasmania for outright victory. Tasmania stumbled to 8/190 in the 57th over but ¬†James Faulkner (63 not out) and Sam Rainbird (0 not out from 40 balls) managed to secure a draw for the Tigers with Faulkner dropped on the fourth last ball to a very tough chance at short leg.

Simon Mackin picked up another 4 wickets in the second innings but Western Australia may rue not giving themselves more time to bowl out Tasmania after not accelerating the scoring rate late on day 3 when, on a good pitch with tight but not threatening bowling Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh scored just 65 runs from 202 balls.

Points: Western Australia 2.85, Tasmania 1.47

Adam Voges in action
Western Australia’s skipper Adam Voges in action

Queensland v New South Wales at the Gabba

The big news was Ryan Harris returned for Queensland along with a trio of Australian T20 representatives in leg spinner Cameron Boyce, fast bowler Ben Cutting and batsmen Nathan Reardon. Those to make way were Jason Floros, Alister McDermott and Nick Stevens.

20 year old batsmen Stevens can be considered a little unlcuky to be replaced by Reardon. Stevens scored a century in the first match of the season just his 4th Shield match and yet has lost his spot to 30 year old Reardon, who has a modest record of 1 century and an average of just 26 across 22 Shield matches in 6 seasons. Certainly Shield teams need to be a blend between youth and experience but I fail to see the benefit of playing Reardon ahead of Stevens in this instance.

New South Wales welcomed back internationals Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson and Sean Abbott.

Queensland batted first and totalled 9/472 declared thanks to 183 to Joe Burns, a patient 93 to Peter Forrest and a quick fire 95 to Nathan Reardon – vindicating his selection. In reply New South Wales managed 302 with the innings held together by 118 to Nic Maddinson and a half century to Sean Abbott. Best bowlers for Queensland were Luke Feldman with 5/83 and Ryan Harris with 3/59

Queensland slumped to 7/72 in its second innings before some late order hitting from veterans James Hopes (69 off 60 balls with 10 fours) and Ryan Harris (50 off balls) got the Bulls back on track and set NSW a victory target of 325. There were several contentious dismissals in Queensland’s second innings including Chris Hartley (for a pair) that lead to Bulls coach Stuart Law approaching the match referee for an explanation of the performance of umpire Shawn Craig – the former golden child of Victorian cricket.

It mattered not though with the Blues crumbling to 182 all out with only Peter Nevill providing resistance with 66 not out. Ryan Harris decimated the top order taking 4/59.

Points Queensland  8.86, New South Wales 1.02

South Australia v Victoria at Adelaide Oval

In their third consecutive game at Adelaide Oval to start the season, South Australia made two changes rotating fast bowlers again with Dan Worrall making way for Gary Putland who was fit again after a calf strain. Andrew McDonald missed due to illness and was replaced by Mark Cosgrove.

Victoria made four changes: Chris Rogers returned replacing rookie opener David King a the top of the order, Cameron White replaced Alex Keath, Clint McKay made way for Peter Siddle and spinner Jon Holland replaced fast bowler Scott Boland.

South Australia declared their first innings at 8/431 a total underpinned by fine centuries to two batsmen who have taken on greater responsibility this season. Callum Ferguson has been elevated to number three this year and scored 143, he was ably supported by wicket keeper Tim Ludeman who has moved up to the number 6 position as of last round. He scored his second first class century with 106.

In reply Chris Rogers showed he was in good form for the first Test against INdia with 107 his 71st fisrt class century. Peter Handscomb made 134 his second century of the summer, and was ably supported by Marcus Stoinis (90), Dave Hussey (81) and Dan Christian (89) as the Bushrangers batted South Australia out of the match declaring at a mammoth 6/607 during the first session on day 4.

South Australia had 81 overs to face to bat out a draw but were blown away in just 41 overs for 130 with Peter Siddle taking 5/31 and Fawad Ahmed 3/12.

Points: Victoria 7.24, South Australia 1.15

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Peter Siddle takes another wicket against South Australia

The points table

Teams Won Lost Draw Pts
Western Australia 2 0 1 19.64
Victoria 2 1 0 18.38
South Australia 1 2 0 10.7
Tasmania 1 1 1 10.65
Queensland 1 2 0 10.1
New South Wales 1 2 0 10.05

Journalists

Shield cricket doesn’t get a whole lot of ¬†media coverage until there is a biased article and an ensuing twitter fight.

Journalist, Richard Earle, didn’t appreciate Victoria’s tactics on Day 3 of the Shield match in Adelaide.

Screenshot_2014-11-19-16-04-27

The full article is here but unfortunately I can’t find a clip of Wayne Phillips singing on YouTube.

Victorian assistant coach Trent Woodhill, decided to stick the article on the change room wall to inspire the Vics. It seems strange to me that a newspaper article would be used to induce a better performance from professional athletes but there you go. Woodhill then decided to let Richard Earle know what he thought of his work.

Screenshot_2014-11-20-05-57-41

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Earle took it all in his stride but the same can’t be said for Courier Mail scribe Ben Dorries. He started with a valid point


Screenshot_2014-11-21-07-27-05

And then attacked Trent Woodhill in bizarre style, tangling with the Bushangers social media in the process.

Screenshot_2014-11-19-22-06-56

Bushrangers 1 – Ben Dorries 0

Futures League

A full round of 3 Futures League matches were played this week. Tasmania defeated New South Wales thanks to 3/23 and 4/45 to forgotten Australian paceman Jackson Bird, 171 to Dom Michael and 97 to 19 year old Sean Willis. Opening bowler Harry Conway was the sole shining light for New South Wales taking 6 wickets.

Tom Triffit played 10 first class matches for Tasmania ¬†including a Shield final victory across 2010/11- 2011/12 as a replacement for Tim Paine who suffered¬†multiple finger breaks. In April 2012 with Paine back fit, Trifiit moved to WA where there was a keeping vacancy due to Luke Ronchi moving to New Zealand. Triffit’s stint in Western Australia did not go smoothly, he was replaced by Sam Whiteman as keeper in all forms of the game and was sacked in January this year after a wild night during a Futures League match led to him being arrested and charged with theft.

Since then Triffit has returned home to Tasmania and this was his first interstate¬†game since that incident. Despite a first ball duck Triffit did take three catches in each innings. He’s now 3rd in line for the keeping gloves at Tasmania behind Paine and Ben Dunk but hopefully, at just 24 years old, he has his career back on track.

ACT were beaten by Western Australia who had Australian test spinner Michael Beer playing and young fast bowler, David Moody nephew of Tom. Hank Cartwright top scored for WA with 146.

South Australia and Victoria met in Adelaide in a high scoring draw. South Australia’s openers made plenty of runs with Kelvin Smith making 136 and 96 and Sam Raphael 149 not out. Victoria’s best batsmen was Matthew Brown with 10o exactly while the best performed bowlers with 5 wicket hauls each were Jake Haberfield for Victoria and Dan Worrall for South Australia.

Tour matches

This is one of the issues with the block format of the Sheffield Shield with games played simultaneously  in rounds Рstate teams are not able to play tour matches. Instead touring teams play against teams such as the Cricket Australia XI  which are generally a rag tag bunch of state 2nd XI/Futures League players, supplemented with a few experienced Shield players.

India are playing two 2 day warm up matches in Adelaide which seems to me to be wholly inadequate preparation for a Test series. Really a 4 day game against a genuine Australia A team (not some experimental line up full of all-rounders as per 2012) would be much better preparation.

India will face off against Cricket Australia XI on Monday November 24 and Tuesday November 25 at Glenleg Oval before playing the Cricket Australia Invitational XI at Adelaide Oval on Friday November 28 and Saturday November 29.

Both of these matches overlap with the next round of the Sheffield Shield which runs from Tuesday to Friday. So it is highly unlikely that the opposition in either match will be of first class standard. The squad announced included only Ryan Carters and Gurinder Sandhu from New South Wales who could be considered regular Shield players.

Also there is no Chairman’s XI match this season, most disappointing to purists who enjoy the annual tour match in Canberra.

The XI

1. Joe Burns (Queensland)

Burns recorded his highest first class score with 183

2. Chris Rogers (Victoria)

Rogers recorded his 71st first class century with 107 at the Adeliade Oval.

3. Callumn Ferguson (South Australia)

Ferguson has settled into the number 3 role for South Australia making his second century of the summer. Michael Klinger was unlucky having made 100 in Hobart.

4. Nic Maddinson (New South Wales)

The batsmen with the worst haircut in first class cricket made 116 in the NSW second innings.

5. Adam Voges (Western Australia)

The captain lead from the from in WA’s second innings with 109 not out but may regret not leaving enough time to bowl out Tasmania for the win.

6. Peter Handscomb (Victoria)

Handscomb continued his fine form this summer, he only has one score less then 96 so far this summer

7. Tim Ludeman (South Australia)

Acknowledged as being the best gloveman in the country, Ludeman showed his batting skills are suited to his elevation to the number 6 position with 106.

8. Ryan Harris (Queensland)

Returned to first class cricket with  7 wickets and biffed a quick fire half century with the bat

9. Peter Siddle (Victoria)

5/31 for Siddle in South Australia’s second innings took Victoria to outright victory

10. Luke Feldman (Queensland)

Took a five wicket haul at the Gabba

11.Simon Mackin (Western Australia)

8 wickets for the match against Tasmania in Hobart.

The round ahead

Most if not all of the Australian Test team should be playing in the 4th round of the Sheffield Shield.

Victoria v Western Australia, MCG

New South Wales v South Australia, SCG

Queensland v Tasmania, Allan Border Field, Brisbane

2014/15 Sheffield Shield Round Up 2

The results

The round was conducted in a day night format with a new variation of the pink ball used. This second trial of the pink ball in two seasons is in preparation for a potential day night test match against New Zealand next summer.

Tasmania v Victoria at Bellerive Oval

Victoria travelled to Hobart minus the services of wicket keeper and captain Matthew Wade, who was rested ahead of the Australian One day internationals. He was replaced by Alex Keath with Peter Handscomb taking the gloves and Dave Hussey, in his 100th Shield match for Victoria taking on the captaincy. John Hastings hurt his back last match and was replaced by Clint McKay. Tasmania also had one change with George Bailey rested for national honours, replaced by the returning Alex Doolan. Ben Hilfenhaus was unavailable for selection as he recovers from injury.

Batting first Victoria managed just 279 held together by a fine innings of 96 to Peter Handscomb. For Tasmania paceman Andrew Fekete continued his fine start to the season with 4/70 and Hamish Kingston claimed 4/79. In replay Tasmania could only manage 253 with little support for Ed Cowan who made 105 off 120 at the top of the order. The best for the Vics were Fawad Ahmed and Dan Christian with 3 wickets apiece.

In it’s second innings Victoria crumbled to 4/34 and then 173 all out with only Dan Christian providing any meaningful reisitance with 46. Set 200 for outright victory Tasmania did it easily reaching their target after an hours play on Day 5. At the start of Day 5 Jordan Silk was on 81 not out and Jon Wells on 17 not out, with Tasmania needing 46 runs for victory, somehow Silk managed to only score 16 of the required runs and so finished on 97 not out at the conclusion – the opportunity of a century went begging.

Points: Tasmania 8.03, Victoria 2.29

Dave Hussey didn't have a memorable 100th Shield match for Victoria despite being skipper.
Dave Hussey didn’t have a memorable 100th Shield match for Victoria despite being skipper.

South Australia v New South Wales at Adelaide Oval

South Australia made two changes to it’s line up dropping favourite son Mark Cosgrove for the returning Phil Hughes, and swapped fast bowlers with Dan Worrall replacing Gary Putland. New South Wales¬†regained the services of Steve O’Keefe at the expense of Patrick Jackson and Mitch Starc replaced Josh Hazlewood due to his national call up. Ben Rhorer missed due to his head knock in the previous game replaced by Daniel Hughes who made a century opening and captaining NSW in the Futures League the week prior.

New South Wales batted first and managed just 230 largely due to the outstanding bowling of South Australian captain Johan Botha who bolwed 32.2 overs, 14 maidens and took 6/34. In reply South Australia managed a first innings lead of 63 runs after making 293 thanks to 121 to Tom Cooper, Gurinder Sandhu and Mitch Starc were the best performed bowlers for NSW with 4 wickets each.

Nick Larken batting against South Australia
Nick Larken batting against South Australia

In it’s second innings New South Wales ran up 5/392 declared due to maiden centuries to opener Nick Larkin (142 in his second game) and 153 to number 3, Scott Henry. Set an unlikely 330 for victory off ¬†overs the South Australia were looking comfortable as openers Hughes and McDonald progressed to 78 without loss but then SA collapsed spectacularly losing 7/42 as numbers 3, 4 and 5 all recorded ducks.

With survival the key to force a draw, wicket keeper Tim Ludeman dug in and found a willing ally in number 9, Adam Zampa. Zampa was unlucky to be dismissed caught at midwicket after belting¬†the ball into the silly mid off¬†fielder only for it to ricochet to Mitch Starc. With just 5 overs remaining and 9 wickets down Ludeman shouldered arms to Starc and was bowled ending¬†a 136 ball vigil of 17 runs and handing New South Wales outright victory. Steve O’Keefe was the second innings destroyer taking 5/24 for the Blues.

Points: New South Wales 7.77, South Australia 2.43

Western Australia v Queensland at WACA

Western Australia lost Nathan Coulter Nile to national resting and he was replaced by debutante fast bowler Sam Mackin. Interestingly Ashes favourite Ashton Agar was dropped in favour of allrounder/spinner Ashton Turner with Warriors skipper Adam Voges stating that the decision was made because the pink ball doesn’t take as much spin as the red ball. For Queensland fast bowling all rounder Mick Nesser returned from injury replacing spinner Ryan Le Loux who had a comeback match to forget. Greg Moller replaced Ben McDermott at number 3 after he made 0 and 2 on debut and fast bowler Alister McDermott replaced Luke Feldman.

Batting first Queensland capitulated to 163 all out off 64.4 overs due to 5/27 to Nathan Rimmington and 3/44 to Jason Behrendorf. Western Australia replied with 357 thanks to 99 to opener Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh returned to form making 111 batting at number 5. Best for Queensland was evergreen skipper James Hopes taking 5/60. In reply Queensland were blown away by left armer Jason Behrendorf who took 7/70 and managed 210 with only Greg Moller providing reistance with 86 at number 3. Set just 17 runs to win WA lost 2 wickets in the small chase but still managed  to wrap up outright victory inside 3 days.

Points Western Australia 8.12, Queensland 0

Australia watch

The resting of Australian players from Shield cricket has become ludicrous.

First the Australian T20 squad was rested from the first round of the Sheffield Shield. The 4 day games ran from Friday to Monday and the T20 series started two days later on Wednesday. The first round of the Shield should have been brought forward by a day or two, and the Matador Cup final likewise so that players could play in both the Shield and the T20 internationals against South Africa. As it is, for example Queensalnd leg spinner Cameron Boyce has missed two Sheffield Shield matches or 20% of the first class season to play 3 T20 matches against a second string South African team.

Secondly the Australian One Day players were rested from the second round of Shield matches despite the Shield being played from Saturday to Tuesday and the one dayers not starting until Friday, 3 days later. Given the dire performances of most of the Test batsmen against Pakistan in the UAE some long format batting practice would surely be what is required a month from the first test against India at the Gabba.

An example of the strangeness of this situation was Nathan Coulter-Nile who is in the Australian one day squad. He didn’t play for WA against Queensland at the WACA in the Shield even though the one day matches are also at the WACA so there was no travel to factor for Coulter-Nile and he wasn’t part of the squad in the UAE. George Bailey was running water for Tasmania on the first day of their Shield match rather than playing. As Tasmania wrapped up victory in Hobart on Day 4, Bailey was on a boat in Perth posing for selfies with fans. Cricket Australia priorities…

George Bailey was too busy with 'fan engagement' to play a Shield match
George Bailey was too busy with ‘fan engagement’ to play a Shield match

If the first round of the Shield had been brought forward one day then the second round could have also started one day earlier on Friday which could have made it easier for the players to play in both the second round of the Shield and the one dayers against South Africa.

There is no excuse for the Australian players not playing in the second round of the Shield given that Glenn Maxwell turned out for the Australian T20 team on Friday and Sunday after returning from the test series in the UAE.

The resting of players from first class cricket should have been done on a case by case basis not a blanket rule. Most batsmen who were in UAE could have done with some match practice, whilst some of the bowlers like Mitchell Johnson probably could have had a rest.

Cricket Victoria

Cricket Victoria are playing politics with their Shield games in a battle to get funding from the State government to upgrade the Junction Oval.

Victoriawill play 3 of there home games outside Victoria due to the unavailability of the MCG during the World Cup. Two games will be played in Alice Springs and  one game at Glenelg Oval in Adelaide. The reason given is Cricket Victoria say there are no venues in Victoria up to first class standard and therefore games had to be taken interstate. How this has been determined is bewildering.

The Junction Oval hosted the Shield final in 2009 and Women’s International matches two season’s ago as well as List A games between Victoria and the England Lions, Central Reserve in Glen Waverley has also hosted a match between Victoria and Sri Lanka, Toorak Park occasionally hosts 2nd XI matches. It is hard to imagine these venues are not of a similar standard to Drummoyne Oval or Bankstown Oval in Sydney or Glenelg Oval in Adelaide which¬†have hosted first class cricket.

The World Cup is not taking games to regional centres but why couldn’t Cricket Victoria take these three Shield matches to country Victoria rather than interstate.

Ballarat, Bendigo , Taralgon and Geelong have all previously hosted state limited overs games.Melbourne Premier cricket has already had a regional round this season so that would have been a perfect opportunity to test potential regional venues to be suitable for first class matches. New South Wales, for example, ¬†is taking one of it’s games to Wagga Wagga during the World Cup.

Women’s T20 Internationals

Despite progress in the promotion and coverage of Women’s cricket there remains plenty of room for improvement. The¬†recently completed men’s T20 series against South Africa were played as double headers with women’s T20 Internationals between Australia and West Indies. However the women’s matches started a full 5 hours before the men’s matches and finished 2 hours before the mens’ match started. It seems highly unlikely the average fan would have been at the ground in time to see the curtain raiser. The first T20 between Australia and West Indies was played at North Sydney Oval prior to a men’s T20 tour match between a Cricket Australia XI and South Africa. The order of these matches should have been reversed – the international match should not have been a curtain raiser to a tour match

Why were this Women’s International and Tour match held at North Sydney Oval? Well that’s because the semi finals and finals of the Sydney grade T20 competition were being played at the same time at SCG. Strange priorities indeed – an International match was relegated to a suburban venue so a Test venue could host grade cricket. The Women’s International should have been played as the main event at the Test venue, the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The XI

1. Ed Cowan (Tasmania)

Cowan scored 105 off 120 balls out of Tasmania’s first innings total of 253 to make it centuries in consecutive matches. Fellow openers Cameron Bancroft ¬†who made 99 and ¬†Jordan Silk 97* were unlucky to miss out on centuries.

2.Nick Larken (New South Wales)

Made his maiden Shield hundred in just his second match with 130 in the second innings. Larken also made 78 in the first innings for 208 runs in the match.

3. Scott Henry (New South Wales)

Henry also made his maiden first class hundred with 142 and also scored a half century in the first innings to finish with nearly 200 runs for the match.

4. Tom Cooper (South Australia)

Made 121 in South Australia’s first innings

5. Shaun Marsh (Western Austrlaia)

Marsh returned to form with 111 after a duck in the previous Shield match.

6. Peter Handscomb (Victoria)+

Handscomb took the gloves for Victoria and scored 96 in Victoria’s first innings.

7. Johan Botha (South Australia)

The SA skipper took 6/34 and 3/93 for match figures of 9/127. His batting was not as strong (6 and 1) as he moved down the order from number 6 to number 7 for this match.

8. James Hopes (Queensland)

The Queensland veteran loves bowling with the pink ball, opening the bowling in both innings to take 5/60 and 2/10

9. Nathan Rimmington (Western Australia)

Rimmington’s 5/27 in Queensland’s first innings set the tone for Western Australia’s domination of the match

10.¬†Steve O’Keefe (New South Wales)

Cleaned up the South Australian second innings with 5/24 with his left arm orthodox spin to lead NSW to outright victory

11. Jason Behrendorf (Western Australia)

The tall left arm paceman ripped through the Queensland batting line up in the second innings taking 7/70 following up from his 3/44 in the first innings to give him a 10 wicket haul.

The round ahead

A return to day games and a red ball with matches commencing on Sunday

South Australia v Victoria at Adelaide Oval

Tasmania v Western Australia at Bellerive Oval

Queensland v New South Wales at the Gabba

2014/15 Sheffield Shield Round Up 1

The 2014/15 Sheffield Shield season commenced with a new points system a host of débutantes and outright home victories in all three games.

New points system

Cricket Australia launched a new points system on a two year trial with the biggest change being the scrapping of first innings points effectively replaced by batting and bowling bonus points in the first 100 overs.

  • Outright win: 6 points
  • Draw: 1 point
  • First innings win: 0 points
  • Batting bonus in¬†first 100 overs: .01 for every run above 200
  • Bowling bonus in first 100 overs: 0.5 points awarded at fall of fifth wicket, seventh wicket and ninth wicket

Débutantes

With Australia playing a Test against Pakistan and another XI Australians preparing to play in the three T20 internationals against South Africa (and for some reason unable to play Shield cricket before hand) the playing stocks of some Sheffield Shield teams were severely tested resulting in a number of débutantes and long forgotten bit part players returning to first class action.

New South Wales

Nick Larken  Рmade his first class debut as an opener but had represented Ireland in two list A games against Sri Lanka A in July and then played for ACT against Ireland in World Cup warm up matches in October.

Patrick Jackson  Р 30 year old left arm orthodox spinner who played one List A game in 2007.

William Somervile  Р30 year old off-spinner from New Zealand who played four first class games for Otaga from 2005-2008.

Queensland

Injuries to Chris Lynn (shoulder) and Usman Khawaja (broken finger) lead to some batting slots opening up for Queensland.

Marnus Labuschagne Р20 year old South African débutante opened the innings and made 83 and 0.

Ben McDermott – 19 year old batting at number three is the second son of Craig McDermott and made a first ball duck in the first innings.

Nick Stevens – 20 year old playing in his fourth first class game.

Ryan Le Loux – 30 year old leg spinner who played 2 first class matches in 2004-05

Peter George – switched states from South Australia to Queensland and played his first first class game since Round 1 last year which was also SA v QLD in Adelaide.

Western Australia

Michael Klinger – made his debut for his 3rd state after stints at Victoria and South Australia

Tasmania

Dom Michael – the 27 year old former Queensland batsmen slotted in at number 5 for the Tigers.

Hamish Kingston – the 23 year old right arm pace bowler made his first class debut for Tasmania after playing 6 Matador Cup matches this season.

Victoria

David King – the 24 year old got his opportunity to open the batting for Victoria following a mountain of runs for Ringwood in premier cricket and a century for the Victorian 2nd XI in October.

Chris Tremain – the former NSW fast bowler made the move to Victoria in the off-season

Results

Victoria and New South Wales met at the MCG with Matthew Wade winning the toss and choosing to bowl. The move looked to have back fired until Scott Boland ripped through the lower order taking 4/15 with the second new ball. New South Wales were looking at a low total at 9/277 but keeper Peter Neville and number 11 Josh Hazlewood combined for an 89 run stand to give NSW a competitive first innings total of 366. In reply Victoria managed 5/507 declared thanks to 129 to David Hussey and centuries to Peter Handscomb and Dan Christian, who shared an unbeaten 206 run partnership off just 43 overs.

Victoria bowled New South Wales out for 271 in their second innings with Tremain taking 3/63 and ending Ben Rhorer’s day with a nasty bouncer that hit him behind the ear. Fawad Ahmed also took 3 wickets leaving Victoria a victory target of 131.Victoria were able to knock off the required runs in just 22 overs thanks to a quick-fire 84 off 63 balls by Marcus Stoinis.

Points: Victoria 8.85, New South Wales 1.26

South Australia hosted Queensland at the Adelaide Oval and Queensland’s first innings started disastrously with Chadd Sayers taking a hatrick to reduce the Bulls to 3/27. Queensland recovered brilliantly thanks to a huge partnership and twin centuries to Nick Stevens, 158 his maiden century in his 4th first class game, and keeper Chris Hartley, 142, who has been in fine form with the bat to begin the season. In all Queensland managed 8/443 declared and in reply South Australia declared at 4/366 thanks to a century from Cal Ferguson and 86 from Andrew McDonald playing in the unfamiliar role¬†¬†of opener.

In the second innings Queensland looked in a strong position at stumps on Day 3 at 2/128 with Joe Burns on 88 not out and Peter Forrest on 38 not out. That was to change dramatically on the morning of day 4 with Queensland losing 8/24 to slump to be all out for 152 with Burns left stranded on 98 not out. Queensland’s second innings featured 5 ducks while the destroyers for South Australia were leg spinner Adam Zampa with 4 wickets and Chadd Sayers with 6. Sayers’ wickets included an amazing leg side stumping from keeper Tim Ludeman standing up to the stumps. South Australia knocked off the 228 runs for outright victory thanks to half centuries to Cosgrove, Ferguson and Cooper.

Queensland spinner Ryan Le Loux did not have a happy return to first class cricket after nearly a decade in the wilderness. He returned match figures of 1/141 off 22 overs.

Points: South Australia 7.12, Queensland 1.24

Western Australia hosted Tasmania at the WACA ground and bowled the Tigers out for 215, with no batsmen making more than 37, thanks to five wicket to Nathan Rimmington. In reply Western Australia were ably led by 22 year old opener Cam Bancroft who made his maiden century with contributions from veteran skipper Adam Voges iwth 79 and some late order hitting from Nathan Coulter-Nile with 64 off 48 balls including 12 fours to post a total of 353. Fast bowlers Andrew Fekete (5/80) and Sam Rainbird (4/83) proved  difficult to handle through out the match particularly with the new ball. In their second innings Ed Cowan held the Tasmanian batting order together with an even 100 but when he departed the team subsided to be all out for 242. Despite stumbling to 3/11 Western Australia knocked off the 105 runs for victory thanks to an unbeaten half century to Michael Klinger in his first game for his new state.

Points:  Western Australia 8.67, Tasmania 1.15

Futures League

A full round of Futures League matches was played prior to the first round of the Sheffield Shield with Shaun Marsh playing 8 days of cricket in a row. For the Futures League team he scored 157 against Victoria and followed up with a duck against Tasmania in his only visit to the crease batting at number 5.

Ben McDermott had a similar experience making 161 in the Futures League before making a first ball duck on Shield debut as the middle man in the hatrick of Chadd Sayers.

Micahel Phillipson, the ¬†28 year old brother of better known Craig, made a century in each innings for Queensland Futures League batting at number 5 and didn’t get a Shield game.

For Tasmania, their Futures League team was captained by experienced allrounder Luke Butterworth on the comeback from injury and Ben Dunk took the gloves for the team – no doubt keen to get some time behind the stumps ahead of his role as wicket keeper in the Australian T20 team.

For South Australia, Harry Nielsen took the gloves, he is the son of former SA keeper and national coach Tim Neilsen.

In recent seasons the Futures League has moved from 3 day games to 4 day games and relaxed age restrictions that made it a almost entirely U23 competition. However the Futures League season consisting of just 4 games per team it is time the competition expanded so that each of the 7 teams Рthe 6 states plus the ACT Рplay each other once during the season, a total of 6 games per season. The desire for additional games is clear as Victoria and NSW already play additional 2nd XI games against one another each season.

In addition to increase the number of games played to 6 there should also be a final timed to be played the week prior to the last Shield round of the season. It could be played at Manuka Oval if their are ground availability issues in each state and just like Shield final performances are rated more highly it would be great to see a first class career launched through a strong performance in the Futures League final.

Chadd Sayers celebrates after his hatrick
Chadd Sayers celebrates after his hatrick

The XI

1. Cameron Bancroft (Western Australia)

The 22 year old scored his maiden first class century in his 12th game.

2. Ed Cowan (Tasmania)

Made an even 100 in Tasmania’s second innings. Joe Burns was unlucky to miss out with 98* in Queensland’s second innings.

3. Callum Ferguson (South Australia)

100 not out for Ferguson who has stepped up to bat number 3 for South Australia this season.

4. Dave Hussey (Victoria)

Hussey proved that age is just a number by peeling off a century for Victoria at age 37.

5. Nick Stevens (Queensland)

The 4th gamer rescued Queensland with 158 for his maiden first class century

6. Chris Hartley (Queensland)

Hartley takes the gloves in this team and continued his fine form from the Matador Cup with 142 not out.

Peter Handscomb is unlucky to miss out after his fine century at number 6 for Victoria.

7. Dan Chirstian (Victoria)

Christian made 107 off 139 balls including 7 fours and 6 sixes. Interestingly he bowled 8 wicket less overs in the first innings and did not bowl in the second innings, but there were no all round performances of note to take the number 7 position.

8. Adam Zampa (South Australia)

The best performed spinner in the first round of the shield leg spinner Zampa returned 3/103 and 4/45

9. Nathan Rimmington (Western Australia)

The underrated Western Australian pace bowler set the tone for WA’s victory with 5 wickets against Tasmania on Day 1

Andrew Fekete of Tasmania was unlucky to miss out after taking a five wicket haul in the same match

10. Scott Boland (Victoria)

Boland was Victoria’s best bowler in the first innings against NSW taking 6/49 including 4/15 with the second new ball.

11. Chadd Sayers (South Australia)

Sayers ripped through the Queensland top order on the first morning taking a hatrick and then took South Australia to an outright victory  by shredding the Queensland batting line up on the morning of Day 4. In all he took 3/48 and 6/34 for match figures of 9/82 off 47 overs.

The round ahead

Three day night matches using a pink ball, play starts at 2:00pm on Saturday

Tasmania v Victoria at Bellerieve

South Australia v New South Wales at Adelaide Oval

Western Australia v Queensland at WACA