It’s a smorgasbord of cricket around the world, with seven international teams in action at present and the Pura Cup is under way.
Over at the TVS Cup in India, Australia has consolidated well after loosing the first match against India in style, with old favourites, Tendulkar and Laxman putting us to the sword. We prevailed in the next three encounters, twice overcoming the Kiwis and getting one back against India.
It must be said that we have enjoyed favourable bowling conditions against the Kiwis on both occasions. The Kiwis recovered very well in the second encounter to post 258 which Australia overhauled with one ball and two wickets to spare. A real rarity in one day cricket these days – a thriller!
A few interesting points on individual performances:
Brad Williams has made a big impact after an inglorious start with 1-67 as India slaughtered the Aussies in the first match. Since then he has taken 4-22 (9.4), 0-20 (5.0) and 5-53 (10.0), showing a particular liking for the Kiwi top order and a swinging ball.
Nathan Bracken has been just as impressive and took a wicket in his (and Australia’s) first over of the first three matches. In fact, showing steady improvement, he took a wicket with his third ball of the first match, the second ball of the second match and the first ball of the third match. And with nowhere but down to go from there, he managed no wickets in the fourth match.
His overall figures have been 3-53 (10), 3-25 (10), 4-29 (10) and 0-39 (10).
Shewag notched up gozzas in his first two outings against Australia.
Michael Clarke continues to look the goods – with both bat and ball. In Australia’s win against India he took 4-42 from his 10 overs. And in the second win against NZ, he steadied the ship with Bevan, scoring a stylish 70 runs. I am still puzzled at Katich’s selection ahead of Clarke for the 2nd Test in Sydney. Clarke seemed to have the inside running and is a useful bowler. At any rate, the selectors were proved to be geniuses and Katich enjoyed his time in the sun!
Damien Martyn scored some long awaited runs, making a brilliant even 100 against
India in game 4.
Further abroad, in Harare, Zimbabwe has made 9 dec for 507 against the West Indies. And that was after slumping to 5-154. Numbers 7 (Taibu), 8 (Streak) and 9 (Blignaut) made 83, 127* and 91 respectively. The West Indies are 0-11 in reply. Maybe Zimbabwe isn’t so bad after all! And remember they are without four world-class players for one reason or another: Goodwin (who just scored 201 against the Blues in Perth), the Flowers and Campbell.
I don’t think it is surprising that Zimbabwe has performed well against the West Indies, immediately following a sound beating at the hands of Australia. As long as it doesn’t break your spirit, competition against the very best opposition lifts your own game. Playing against the others doesn’t seem so hard! It went largely unnoticed that Bangladesh played two Tests against Pakistan immediately after their tour of Australia and were very competitive. They were in the game for three days in the first Test and lost the second Test by one lousy wicket. They then went on to push England in the first Test of the next series before totally capitulating in the second.
Nonetheless, their performances represent progress and is the reason why the top
teams must see fit to play the lowly ranked teams.
And getting back off the soap box, a quick progress score on the Pura Cup:
SA 236 & 1/191 v Tas 420. First innings points to Tasmania. Good to see one of the forgotten, Shane Watson making 103 coming in at number 3.
WA 376 v NSW 5/273. Goodwin 201*, Langer 4. NSW sixth wicket partnership of 146 is unbroken between Katich (101) and Pilon (70). Slater 45, S Waugh 0, M Waugh 10.
Qld 277 & 256 lost to Vic 374 & 5/160 by five wickets AT THE GABBA for the first time in 20 years. Love 11 & 24. Elliot 6 & 23.