Posted by: nestaquin | March 1, 2010

FR Cup Final: Tasmania Slay Victoria

Tasmania are once again Australian 50 over champions after dominating Victoria from first ball to last at the MCG last evening. It was Victoria’s fourth 50 over losing final in succession and Tasmania’s second title in three years.

Traditionally, Tasmania find form after the Christmas break and this year was no exception with every member of the squad contributing to their unexpected (on the big island) run to the final.

George Bailey, in his first year as captain, has had an outstanding season and although he was out early yesterday he continued to show why he is forging a reputation as the country’s most creative young skipper.

With 304 runs in the bank his choice of opening the bowling with Jason Krejza proved a masterstroke with the craggy finger-spinner’s first three overs only conceding four runs. This tactic immediately added pressure to the Victorian chase which led to retiring veteran quick Gerard Denton cleaning up at the other end dismissing both openers and most importantly, Tasmania’s usual nemesis Brad Hodge in a damaging spell with the new ball.

With Victoria 35/3 after ten overs the game was effectively finished and Tasmania had the poise and class to make sure the favourites never even got close. In the end the 110 run winning margin was a fair reflection of the difference between the teams.

Australian selectors place additional emphasis on performance in finals with dominant displays often rewarded with a place in the national squad. Recently, both Peter Siddle and Phillip Hughes have benefitted and with Tim Paine scoring a first innings century to set up Tasmania’s win his place as Haddin’s deputy seems assured for some time to come.

As an opener Paine usually attacks from the outset in 50 over matches but in last night’s match circumstances led to him facing only 16 balls in the first ten overs. Recognising that Michael Dighton was in glorious touch at the other end he rotated the strike with adept placement, kept his head down and anchored the innings scoring an even 100 while getting his side to a score over the psychologically damaging mark of 300.

Dighton savaged England’s Darren Pattison to such an extent that I think it unlikely that he’ll ever play for the Vics again. Victorian captain Andrew McDonald’s actions illustrated this when he refused to give his opening bowler another spell and instead bowled the part-time spin of Hodge and Maxwell to fill the quota.

I could easily go on writing about Ed Cowan’s rising status or how Xavier Doherty is placing pressure on Hauritz for the spinner’s role in the national ODI squad. I should probably mention Brett Geeves, Travis Birt, Dan Marsh, Brendon Drew and Luke Butterworth’s contributions to the campaign and also of why Rhett Lockyear is a name you should all remember.

It would be nice to add that Tasmania has a population of a Melbourne suburb too but time is linear and there is free cold beer and a celebratory reception at Bellerive starting shortly. Even though Tasmania have won plenty these last few years I’d be a fool to miss the occasion as the sweet taste of success rarely lingers long.

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Responses

  1. I’m nuts about George Bailey. I want to see him promoted to Captain in Waiting of AU, and by tomorrow, please. The Tigers are such a cohesive mob, teamwork to the max. And I say this as a Blues fan!!. Along with the lovely lovely Timmy, who’ s head ought to be on a stamp somewhere.

    Well done , Tas. Very well done.

    And I don’t think it’s inappropriate to deflect a small amount of glory onto Ponting for this Tasmanian surge, either. Well. Merv, too.

  2. We want Cowan and Krejza back thanks, and we’ll have Hastings back from the Vics as well, ta. Congrats from the most erraticaly inconsistent State of the nation

    • Considering NSW didn’t think they were good enough I’m not certain they’d return voluntarily. That said, Krejza looks unlikely to have his contract renewed so you might see him at the SCG next summer.

  3. As Peter hints, is population that big a deal these days?

    Congratulations, anyway – it never hurts to see the Vics lose!

    • Population is a factor. Even when disregarding important factors like economics, opportunity and facility, Tasmania’s depth of local talent has proved superior to some of the more populous states this last half decade.

      Every year the successful States are often missing half their First XI when the finals arrive and this emphasises the quality of the Seconds and the Grade competitions. Tasmania’s small population puts them at a disadvantage in this regard yet they continue to produce the players when it matters.

  4. I cracked up at “England’s Darren Pattinson” – surely you mean “Pub Trivia’s Darren Pattinson”?

    And congratulations to Tasmania. I managed a to catch a bit of the match as amazingly, we get a lot of Aus domestic cricket down here in Singapore – the quality of cricket is just phenomenal.

  5. Congrats to Tas – how quickly the seasons finish in one hemisphere and start in the other!

  6. Well done to Tassi on the thumping win. But Nesta I do think the only reason the big islanders were supprised that Tasmania made the final was that no one saw Queensland losing their last 4 games on the spin, rather than looking down on Tasmania. I think that all stopped once they won the Shield.

    One another note – why the fug is that &!%£ little %£$* Jonny doing as the next ICC President?

    • Because he’s as cunning as a shit house rat. No other possible explanation. And the ICC best look out for the wife, she runs him, and in no time at all the family Howard will be demanding a seaside villa in every cricketing country. It was impossible to dislodge that woman from Kiribilli House, even though I trained my dog, Mango to bark across the water in the early hours of the morning for 11 years. Mango did sterling service to the cause, albeit unproductive.

  7. Anyone catch Eoin Morgan last night? Impressive doesn’t begin to describe his innings. It’s been a long time since I was this enthused by an English ODI batsman.

    And the concentration, man – he didn’t realise/bother when he reached his century (his first for Eng, to boot) , with 6-7 runs more still required. Not even the barest hint of acknowledgment. Now that is COOL.

    • Watched it RK and noticed the same when he reached his century. I wonder if he’ll be allowed to do a Kepler if Ireland are ever granted full status. If Ireland had a player of his calibre available I’m sure they’d win their fair share of T20s and even the occasional ODI.

      • Nesta, possible, but unlikely. He’ll probably need to have an extended break from the game to re-qualify for Ireland (ala Gavin Hamilton). Plus, would Morgan want to? Perhaps if he was out of the side like Ed Joyce has been.

        The sad thing is, since every player of “test” standard will move into the English setup, Ireland will probably never have a side consistently good enough to match even the weak full member nations, and therefore will probably never get full member status. Personally, as I have stated elsewhere, it is time we removed the artificial division between test and associate nations. It is a uniquely elitist cricket thing that is damaging the growth of the sport.

        • I see where you’re coming from, but would you care to sit through any South Africa v Scotland or India v Kenya or Australia v Netherlands Test matches? I don’t think it’s damaging the growth of the sport – it may be damaging it in the Home nations, but the 2 (or 3) tier system is probably the fairest way to open the game up to all teams and still preserve a competitive edge to most of the matches.

          • Rajesh, yes I would, but it depends on the context. Would I want to sit through dozens of uncompetitive tours of no particular import, forced on us (the public) by an FTP program that emphasises quantity of games, not meaning or competition? No.

            Would I sit through a three team, six game, group competition between Australia, Namibia and Kenya as an early season qualifying tournament for a regional championship once every four years? Sure. It would be fantastic.

            As for damage to the sport. Where is Kenya now? Having had a wealth of talent 10 years ago, and being rejected for test status? Where is Bangladesh, for that matter, given most of their talent retired almost immediately after achieving test status? What did the game lose out on by not letting David Houghton play more than a handful of games? Or Steve Tikolo any? What was lost in Danish cricket when they lost Amjad Khan? What will be lost to Dutch cricket if they lose Alex Kervezee, or Ryan ten Doeschate? Maybe those losses aren’t so great, but given they are entirely unnecessary, I think they matter.

            • I’ve been living in Dublin for 8 years now and it annoys me greatly that Ireland are basically forced to play OZ/SA and NZ ex-pats – as loyal and good for the local cricket scene that they are – because they are not able to pick local lads like Ed Joyce becuase they once played for England. All it does is serve to reduce local interest in the national team and in the sport. There has to be some mechanise for associates to pick their best team available for ICC tournaments.
              To have a fit Ed Joyce playing for no one when both England and Ireland qualify is a disgrace.

            • Russ – fairplay to you. I just think you’ll be in an overwhelming minority. There are a lot of very talented players in the associate nations – the law of averages say there’s bound to be some talent. But unlike a 90 minute game of football, you can’t haven everyone playing Test cricket – it just doesn’t fit the schedule. So, more first class matches among associate nations, more ODIs and even more T20s with all Test and associate nations, with a tangible promise of elevation to Test status – that seems to me to be sensible.

              Yea, the nationality issue is thorny, I confess I don’t know the answer. Free trade v protectionism isn’t quite as clear cut an argument – the economists plump for the former, but the latter is important too to nurture domestic industry.

            • Rajesh, that depends what you want from the schedule doesn’t it? If you expect to play every side in existence on some time frame, then no, it won’t fit. But football doesn’t have that expectation, so why should cricket? It is about structure and context for matches.

              Australia was playing football last night too, against Indonesia, ranked 120 places below them, without most of their first eleven. Yet 20 thousand people turned up to watch, because it was an important game (an must-draw Asia Cup qualifier). Football, is, admittedly, more competitive, or more luck driven, but not much more. Since 1974, only 6 teams have been in the final of the World Cup. Only another 9 have been in the top 4. Cricket has had the same number of teams reach their World Cup final, and (despite actively rigging the draw against smaller nations) another 6 reach the super-six stage. Yet football is happy to play Andorra off against England, because FIFA believes in expanding the game, while cricket is a closed shop at the top tier.

              I’ve been writing a lot about this on my own blog, so excuse the complete derailing of this thread. I am not, by any means suggesting that the major teams play 5 or 6 tests per year against associate minnows. What I am suggesting is that it is possible (and desirable) to structure cricket around a couple of key tournaments that would allow meaningful and competitive cricket, without the need for a full member/associate/affiliate distinction.

  8. I still haven’t seen it, but I’ve stated my view – the lad has played 23 ODIs for Ireland. That country should get the benefit of his talent.

  9. I thought the scoreboard was slow, when Morgan was batting?? He didn’t realise he’d hit 100, actually..

    NZ has to get 72 off 63… Styris batting.. you got to love Styris.

    • After the PowerPlay and that final six I’m finding it very difficult to like let alone love Scott Styris.

      What’s the point of Hauritz in the ODI team? Smith can bowl three overs and as Tasmania found out today he is a far better bat. Or if they need a competent and confident ODI spinner they could do worse than either of Tassie’s tweakers, Krejza and Doherty.

      • I disagree, I love Scotty Styris, he’s so fugly and is such a fighter. The Kiwis love stitching the Aussies up in Kiwiland.

        And if our bowlers have never learnt to bowl yorkers, what are any of them doing in international cricket? LENGTH at the end of the innings on a batsman’s wicket on a postage stamp ground. Up there for thinking lads.

        I didn’t see any of the Aus innings. Was the batting as difficult and the bowling as great as the Aussies made it sound from reading commentary?

      • It is odd and Punter has some front, saying earlier that he backed Hauritz for NZ, then bowling him for three overs.

  10. Ryan is bowling hideous stuff at Styris. .. 71 from 59 now.. game evenly balanced. A gettable chase…..

    *nailbiting*

  11. Styris!!… he does it for NZ!!

  12. Hmmm,
    Howard gets the job.
    Styris headbuts Johnson on the way to a kiwi victory.
    England getting beaten by Bangladesh…but then saved by an Irishman.
    Can someone wake me up when the bad dream is over?
    At least KP gave me another chuckle:)

    • And it needs to be emphasised – Australia LOST an ODI this season, just when I was beginning to resign myself to their resumed invincibility. Wonders will never cease.

  13. oh well. As I say.. boo-hoo. 19 wins, no one else has done it. NZ has always been a respected opponent of AU. They are such a quirky and mecurial mob of players. Drawn from a pool of 4 million, and a second string sport at that, if not third, they throw up some amazing stuff. For thinking women everywhere they are the pin up boys of cricket, as well. Each and every one of them. Lou, please confirm.

    But Ricky won’t like it, and Daniel , I see, is growing his beard to outrageousness, a sign of Daniel’s machismo in overdrive. He has shaved his curls off, always a sign of worry to an AU fan. And it will get rougher, too, because NZ and AU have always played it , and any other sport against each other as rough and hard and no worries with a bit of blood on the grass, NZ spectators demand this of their own team and anyone else who rocks up.

    *ps.. Kev’s out, re Fred. Another gobsmacking moment, for sure.. Still, he got to 18. This latest one was a new thing, I believe. He was looking somewhere off into the middle distance, what attracted his attention at that precise moment? I have no clue.

  14. KP is turning into Marcus bloody North who has a top score of about 29 in his last 6 or 7 state games to go along with his career shredder of a summer in the Aus colours.

  15. So Nesta,

    Will there be a write up about the Shield final?
    I see even England’s Darren Pattison got a couple of wickets in the match.


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