NSW Blues v Redbacks (Ryobi Cup)
[cricinfo scorecard] [CA scorecard incl. commentary]
Dan Christian is a strange, merciless, brutal, unforgiving, vengeful, bloodthirsty, uncontrollable, archaic god from some weird ancient Lovecraftoid pantheon, and I am totally his victim. It is bad, really bad, I can hardly contain my, you know, joy, when looking at the scorecard: 85 from 40 with 9 fours and 6 sixes, i.e. 72 runs came from boundaries. He totally raped Brett Lee and Doug Bollinger in an attempt to chase a massive target of 318, and unleashed all the wrath he had dammed up earlier when the entirely unimpressed Usman Khawaja tore him apart.
Captain Klinger strung SA's chase together with a well-composed century, I can't say how glad I am to see this calm and friendly guy back reaping runs, he is never getting ahead of himself, always batting efficiently, serving the cause of the team and assuming the role of the lighthouse in the NSW bowling storm.
The eternally reliable Aaron O'Brien chipped in with 54, but due to the skipper's exit the whole responsibility to save the match rested on his solid shoulders, alas, he went out unluckily when he wanted to spare stand-in keeper Tim Ludeman the strike and shut the sack himself.
If you study the score carefully you will see that both batting sides evened each other out, Usman Khawaja played a beautiful match with 121 from 105, and put another huge exclamation mark behind his seductive name. I am sure his performance is messing with the selectors' heads massively again. Aided he was mainly by Nic Maddinson the U19 kid and his very fine 65; Warner made 40.
So why did SA fall short in both innings?
To harvest the first innings point they would have needed 9 runs from the 20th over... which was bowled by Brett Lee. To win the match they would have needed 8 runs from the last over... off Brett Lee. I think you can see a pattern emerging here! The grande olde dame still makes the difference with his death bowling and he might keep doing so for a fair while. I am sure he is dreaming of seeing his name listed in the World Cup squad. Well well.
Fantastic match, leaves you laughing, crying, raging... too bad the wrong team won, but the Redbacks have proven their competitiveness once again, nearly clinching victory against the star-studded Babyblues, next time you will cross that line again guys, won't you! :)
PS: Thank you again, Ben Edmondson, for putting your signature under the Redbacks contract!!!