Posted by: nestaquin | March 20, 2008

The Last Milk Cup

45 and counting

It is my intention to write a retrospective of the 2007/08 Australian season yet it would seem that the cricket world is a dynamic environment that keeps on turning.

Today the state of New South Wales is celebrating its 45th First Class title after defeating Victoria by 258 runs at the SCG. NSW, stacked with internationals, continued their undefeated run in the red-ball format after putting the Vics to the sword on the final afternoon of the match.

The Vics, consistent in all three formats this season, will be disappointed after making three finals and losing two. They were beaten in the 50 over competition in a nailbiter at Bellerive and can only console themselves with a successful defense of their T20 crown.

NSW’s captain Simon Katich finished a stellar season with the man of the match award and it may be time that he was forgiven for his failures in England in 2005 with a recall to the national squad.

Other star performers included Brett Lee with both bat and ball and West Australian recruit Beau Casson who took four wickets on the final day to back-up his 89 in NSW’s massive second innings total.

Stuart Magill continued his good form after wrist surgery and young Phillip Hughes made the selectors take notice with a stylish century when under pressure in only his seventh First class match.

The Victorian team were valiant in defeat but chasing 629 in the last innings was never a possibility. Nick Jewell batted well and was most unfortunate to fall one short of a memorable century.

370 is an excellent total on a last day Sydney turner but it should be noted that Katich set attacking fields from the outset and there were many cheap runs on offer.

Although stars like Pup Clarke, Brett Lee and Stu Clarke are now Shield winners a thought should be spared for the players they replaced like Doug Bollinger who played all ten matches only to be left out for the final. It is understandable when the bowling stocks also include Nathan Bracken and Stuart Magill. Such is the depth of cricket in NSW.

The sponsorship by the unmentionable dairy will not be renewed next season and there is a rumour that the competition will revert to its original title of the Sheffield Shield. I sincerely hope that is the case.

Congratulations to the Blues. A deserved win in the toughest First Class competition on Earth.

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Responses

  1. I felt for the players replaced, but Aus cricket is a hard school I know.

    Any comment on the ages of the NSW bowlers (and some of Vic’s)? I looked them up, and there aren’t many the right side of 30. Far be it from me to prompt articles, but I’d love to read a survey of how the season went for Aus’ younger bowlers.


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