A Shaw Thing?

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Whilst Cameron Bancroft does okay opening the batting for Australia’s Test outfit, his predecessor Matt Renshaw is sniffing for a recall at the earliest opportunity. Since the turn of the year the nearly twentytwo-year-old has reeled off First Class scores of 56, 32, 170, 0, 112, 12, 3, 143* & 8. If the opposition get him early then fair enough but if they don’t then the Middlesbrough lad cashes in. Remember that he’s got a Test high of 184 and averages just shy of 37.

Back to Bancroft. He produced one good knock during the 2017-18 Ashes and under huge pressure for his place, has made starts and got one fifty in South Africa. It’s a good little battle for the Australian selectors to have being played out. Western Australia’s Bancroft has three or four years on Renshaw and experience of opening at county level in England for Gloucestershire that will serve him well. Queensland’s Renshaw is clearly made of tough stuff though, even if he recently rather naively conceded five penalty runs!

Don’t forget Renshaw’s domestic partner Joe Burns either. He had a bit of a stinker in his last Test but he’s still only 28 and has three Test tons to his name. South Australia’s Jake Weatherald is another one to keep an eye on, though he’s failed to convert starts this term. Travis Dean is another who despite not backing up the absurdly good start to his First Class career, has recently notched up a couple of hundreds. His average is a disappointing 34 exactly but six tons seven fifties is a good conversion rate. Remember that opening the batting isn’t easy. I should know because I’ve done it in Division Seven of the Nidderdale League and Division Five of the Harrogate and District Evening League!!!

Like Renshaw, another player from the north of England worth keeping tabs on is Charlie Hemphrey. Despite a duck on First Class debut, the Doncaster native registered a century early in his Australian domestic career and following a difficult time thereafter, has made hundreds in each of his last two outings. Twentyeight-year-old Hemphrey has produced these performances batting at four for Queensland. Burns, Renshaw and Hemphrey helping contribute to a strong batting order.

Current Test incumbent David Warner is only thirty-one so there’s life in the old dog yet and unlike some, he seems committed to the Test cause and not yet seeking a purely T20 franchise existence.

Competition for the opening slots for Australia’s Test side is scorching hot and the selectors will be chuffed at the tough decisions to be made.

Bell ‘n’ Brez Bash it Big!

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England discards Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan led from the front as Perth Scorchers claimed the 2016-17 Big Bash crown in resounding style.

Bresnan recorded figures of 4-0-40-3 as Sydney Sixers stumbled to only 141-9. Bell then saw the Scorchers comfortably over the line with a whopping 25 deliveries to spare, striking 31 not out from 25 balls.

No doubt Bresnan has had a little injury trouble but you would have thought given his experience and past performances in an England shirt that in the free spirited Trevor Bayliss era, England could still find room at least in their limited overs squads for a player possessing his all-round abilities. He seems, like Ravi Bopara, to be a player that having gained plenty of international experience, England just gave up on too soon and decided to start all over again with somebody else. Bresnan was only in the Scorchers squad as a replacement for current England squad member David Willey but the new Yorkshire vice-skipper made a positive impression on the west coast.

As well as Bresnan and Bell there was another Englishman that helped propel the Scorchers to victory. Doncaster born wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman clubbed 41 from just 21 balls including three sixes at the top of the order to jet start the Scorchers pursuit of the Sixers’ below par total. Whiteman moved to Oz aged three and has already represented Australia at various levels. He’s tipped to follow another Yorkshireman, Matthew Renshaw, into the Australian national side.

Another Englishman was involved in today’s final but for Sixers’ opener Michael Lumb, a former Yorkshire player of course, his 15-minute 5-run vigil at the top of the order, an innings that also included the run out of Nic Maddinson, helped the Scorchers more than it did the Sixers. Still, his ODI batting average of 55.00 is superior to both Bell (37.87) and Bresnan (19.79). It’s also higher than Nic Maddinson’s Test average of 6.75!

The Perth franchise’s other star performers in today’s final are at different ends of the playing career spectrum. 36-year-old Gloucestershire run-machine Michael Klinger carried his bat in making 71 not out from just 49 deliveries including five fours and an equal amount of sixes. It seems incredible that Klinger will finish his career without an international cap (We’ll come to that later), incredible but likely, in which case days such as these and 2015’s One-Day cup victory at Lords with Gloucestershire (Although Klinger ducked in the final after a monstrous tournament) will be days to saviour for a fine batsman.

Paceman Jhye Richardson is, at 20, nearly half Klinger’s age. He has just one First Class and only one List A appearance to his name but now has a grand total of nine T20 exposures under his belt. His 3-30 in the final saw him snap up the Man of the Match award and English batsman will surely have to face him at international level in the future.

Both Klinger and Richardson merited a mention in a previous article here at Silly Point about the possible make-up of Australia’s T20I squad for the Sri Lanka series that clashes with the Test series in India…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/follow-the-yellow-brick-road/

Performances such as those from Richardson and even no spring chicken Klinger, in a match of such magnitude must surely put them in with a chance of making the cut.

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Career Catastrophe!

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Firstly, yes that is me in the image above. The disadvantage of being a rather nondescript looking person in real life is that amongst other things any avatar that you create, in this case the Don Bradman Cricket 17 version of yourself, is that you don’t look particularly far removed from the default character. I look like I need a good meal, maybe I should have beefed up my chest and shoulders a bit.

Anyway, you know that game I’ve been banging on about for weeks, Don Bradman Cricket 17 (Yeah that one) and telling everyone to buy it… well hold your horses! At the risk of sounding like a proper gamer, there are bugs and glitches galore (I know all the terminology now).

Having made it to 10 not out in the first game of my career I suddenly looked up at the screen to see myself stood at the non-striker’s end. The problem was that I wasn’t the non-striker and despite a desperate (In fact I didn’t even bother!) effort to get back I got stumped. The same thing happened a few matches later but as it was a pace bowler and the wicketkeeper was stood back I managed to scramble home. After all this chaos seemed to have stopped it later happened again but fortunately for my batting average my teammate was the one short of his ground!

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Art imitating life.

In career mode you start at T20 club level. You can’t just waltz into the Yorkshire side. I signed up for Leeds and was asked to select some other local club sides to join the league. I chose Doncaster, Hull, Scarborough, Sheffield and York so was a bit miffed when I found myself playing the likes of Consett, Southport and Outer Vietnam or whoever else was in the Northern League.

Earlier in the day I played a women’s Five5 match then two men’s games in the same format. Two of the three matches kicked me out of the game at the innings break.

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That’s me on the left (Yeah I’m walking off not out!)

All of this is a great shame because the gameplay is great. I’ve seen others criticise the graphics but some of the catches are far better looking than DBC14. If only the fielders would take some off my bowling! The only other game I play is FIFA so I can’t really compare against much but I think it’s an amazing achievement for people to have made cricket playable on a computer and hopefully after a patch (There’s that gamer terminology again!) DBC17 can become the great game that it should be.

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Have some of that! (A nose bleed inducing strike rate if such preposterousness were to occur in real life!)

Oh! I nearly forgot. It wouldn’t let me download the Academy so there’s no Virat Kohli or Kagiso Rabada etc. I’m stuck with Vincent Krohl and Kingston Radebe or whatever wonderful names Big Ant have provided…

… and on the subject of names it was a pleasure to bowl to Mr Sod Wesley, even if he did smack me for back to back fours on the leg-side!

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A cheeky little not out in my final innings of the season sent that average soaring skywards (Or towards 20!).

P.S. Proper YouTubers etc would provide smooth images and video of the experience. I am not proper so you will have to make do with actual photos taken using an actual camera that was held in one hand whilst the PS4 controller was in the other and let me tell you, this game is hard enough with two hands on the controller…

… “wide. That ball was headed for the car park”. (Again!)