Old news I know but for those of you on another or planet, or who simply don’t care much about the Pura Milk Cup, The Blues have taken it out in a thriller.
I write especially as the match was drama packed.
First drama was the Brett Lee “situation”. It seems Ponting and Lee wanted Lee to play in the Pura Cup final for the Blues. The Blues probably wanted him too (except for one of the Blue’s quicks). The trouble was that as twelfth man for Australia, Lee could not be released until the Test actually started and the Blues didn’t want Lee unless he could be there from the first ball – and the matches started on the same day. Now, NZ is 3 hours ahead of Queensland but as it turns out, the first day of the Test was washed out.
Furthermore, the Blues put the Bulls in on a sticky Brisbane day and the Bulls were rolled for 102, with Nathan Bracken swinging the ball up to a metre and taking six!! Lee wasn’t really missed.
The Blues took a lead with 188 on the back of 68 not out from Haddin – the only player to pass 40 at the half way point of the match.
Queensland made a match of it by making 268 (Love a splendid 116) and setting the Blues 183 for victory.
The Bulls were in it, taking wickets regularly for the first 97 runs. Then NSW consolidated with a 61 run partnership between Haddin (45) and Packman (25 – not bad for a prehistoric computer game!) and looked comfortable at 4-158.
Then an almighty collapse. The Blues lost 5-3 in 17 balls including two golden ducks. It seemed that the Bulls would win the day with the Blues needing another 22 runs with just one wicket in hand, and the all of momentum with the Blues.
But MacGill (11) and Bracken (11) held firm and saved the day. But not before a final twist. Seccombe grassed a diving catching with the score on 181 in what turned out to be the penultimate over.
Congratulations to the Blues on winning the Pura Milk Cup.
As a postscript, it was not surprising that Michael Bevan, now a Tassie Tiger, was named the Pura Milk Cup player of the year. He scored an incredible 1464 runs in 9 matches at 97.60, including 8 centuries and 2 fifties. Next were three Blues: Thornley and Jacques both topped 1000 runs for the season and were a major factor in the Blues making the final. Haddin was next best with 902 at 60.13. He is an impressive cricketer, out of the same mould as Gillie and must be the front runner for the keeper’s job should Gillie ever need to retire, God forbid.