The 2014/15 domestic cricket season enters its fourth and final phase as the Sheffield Shield returns after a hiatus for another successful Big Bash season in BBL|04.
A number of coaching changes have taken place after the BBL.
Darren Berry has stepped down as coach of South Australia on indefinite family leave. Assistant coach Jeff Vaughan currently has the reigns. Also South African captain of South Australia, Johan Botha has been replaced by 21 year old batsmen Travis Head. It is somewhat surprising to change captaincy half way through a season. Botha was not selected for the match against Western Australia and his contract will not be extended at season’s end.
In Queensland, Bulls and Brisbane Heat coach Stuart Law was sacked after the Heat finished last in the BBL and the Bulls sit on the bottom of the Shield table at the half way point of the season. Law was said to have lost the support of the players and has been replaced by interim coach Justin Sternes. Sternes has been part of the Queensland coaching set up for 15 years and is on his third stint as interim coach following similar roles in 2010 when Trevor Barsby departed and 2013 when Darren Lehmann took on the Australian job.
Queensland v Victoria, Gabba
Queensland handed debuts to three players: opener Charlie Hemphrey, Michael Phillipson and Simon Milenko.
Batting first Victoria struggled to 260 all out thanks to a fighting 152 to captain Matthew Wade. It was his highest first class score and he held together the Bushrangers innings coming in at 4/31 and being last man out. The best bowler for Queensland was one test player Peter George who took 5/78.
In reply Queensland stumbled to 3/7 thanks to 2 wickets to James Pattinson. Then Chris Lynn took over. In his first Shield match of the season due to shoulder surgery in the off season, Lynn batted all day on Day 2 to score 250. He was supported by a fine 123 to keeper Chris Hartley, his 9th first class century, as Queenslands innings closed on 512.
James Pattinson was the pick of the Victorian bowlers with 4/96. It was his first match since injuring himself in the Test series in South Africa almost 12 months ago.
In their second innings the Bushrangers folded for 239 with only Chris Rogers and Wade offering resistance with half centuries. Queensland débutante allrounders Simon Milenko and Michael Phillipson shared 5 wickets between them.
Points: Queensland 9.56, Victoria 1.1
Tasmania v New South Wales, Bellerive Oval
For Tasmania, Tim Paine remains on the outer in 4 day cricket with Ben Dunk once again taking the gloves. All rounder Luke Butterworth made his long awaited return form injury to play his first match this season. In the absence of George Bailey, Xavier Doherty and Paine, Alex Doolan captained Tasmania (and made a 7 ball duck.)
Tasmania batted first and were dismissed for 272. Ed Cowan continued his fine form at the top of the order with 76, whilst at the opposite end of the order, number 9, Ben Hilfenhaus recorded a rare half century making 52.
In reply New South Wales were in deep trouble at 5/66. Enter wicket keeper Peter Neville. He scored 235 not out to guide NSW out of danger and to a commanding 9 declared for 576. He was ably supported by the tail in Steve O’Keeffe, who was dismissed for 99 just one short of a maiden first class century, and Doug Bollinger who chipped in with 41* at number 10, his highest first class score in 100 matches.
For Tasmania Jackson Bird and Ben Hilfenhaus took 3 wickets apiece.
In it’s second innings Tasmania were looking well placed to hold on for a draw at 1/148 but then Doug Bollinger dismissed opener Jordan Silk for 71 sparking a spectacular collapse. Tasmania lost it’s last 9 wickets for 65 to be all out for 213. Bollinger cleaned up with 5/56.
Points: New South Wales 8.91, Tasmania 1.72
Western Australia v South Australia, WACA
Travis Head took on the captaincy of the Redbacks and they compiled 328 thanks to 80’s in the top order to Mark Cosgrove and Callum Ferguson, a player who, I believe, was surprisingly overlooked for the state captaincy position.
Western Australia’s reply was based around it’s two veterans Michael Klinger, who made 190 and Adam Voges who made 101. For Voges it was his 3rd ton in 3 innings and 4th ton in his last 5 innings.
Western Australia were eventually dismissed for 467 with he only sour note being fast bowler Ryan Duffield breaking his thumb whilst batting – an injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season.
South Australia’s second innings was held together by another 80 to Cal Ferguson and a half century to Travis Head. But the Redbacks were dismissed for 260 with Michael Hogan the pick of the WA bowlers with 4/64 leaving the Warriors needing just 122 to win outright.
The Warriors ran down the victory target with ease in just 22 overs.
Points: Western Australia 9.14, South Australia 1.28
The Points Table
|New South Wales||28.03|
1. Ed Cowan (Tasmania)
In a bad round for openers, Cowan was the top scorere with 76
2. Michael Klinger (Western Australia)
190 runs for the 3 state veteran. He has proved his worth yet again.
3. Adam Voges (Western Australia)
Brought up his 3rd consecutive ton with 101 at the WACA
4. Chris Lynn (Queensland)
250 runs and batting throughout Day 2 in his first game of Shield cricket this season
5. Matthew Wade (Victoria)
152 for the Vics captain, his highest first class score
6. Chris Hartley (Queensland)
123 for Hartley his 9th first class ton
7. Peter Neville (new South Wales) +
235 for Neville, his highest first class score.
8. Steve O’Keefe (New South Wales)
Only picked up 3 wickets in the match but made 99 – missing his maiden first class hundred by just 1 run.
9. Micahel Hogan (Western Australia)
4 wickets in South Australia’s second innings went a long way to securing victory for WA
10. Doug Bollinger (New South Wales)
Ran through the Tasmanian batting order it eh second innings with 5/56 to take 7 wickets for the match and chipped in with 41* with the bat.
11. Peter George (Queensland)
George put the Vics on the back foot early with 5/78 in their first innings and took another 2 wickets in the second innings.
The round ahead
The World Cup begins so some Shield matches move to regional or suburban venues. Also different starting days for the first time in two seasons.
New South Wales v at Robertson Oval, Wagga Wagga
Tasmania v Queensland at Bellerive
South Australia v Victoria at Glenelg Oval, Adelaide