31 January 2011

The Clash Of Clashes

Actually it's the preliminary final in a few hours that bears the greater significance than the actual final of the Big Bash, as it will determine the second team travelling to the Champions League. The Saussies have already qualified, so now it's about Tasmania or New South Wales.

At the start of the Big Bash I had hoped, but not dared to expect, my fav three teams to knock at the final door. Well now they are there and I'm trapped in two minds. 

The Baby Blues must win so SOK can go to the CL. Tassie must win, too, because of Cossy and Bailey.  

The Baby Blues must lose because otherwise, as mentioned before, they will seek to inflict a repetition of the Adelaide defeat on South Australia, because the Adelaide Oval for some reason seems not to provide a real home advantage to the hosting team (neither SA nor Aus). But that is just my gut feeling and I can't be bothered to check any stats, and with Adil Rashid eventually firing chances of a spin win improve dramatically. Tassie on the other hand must lose because I fear they might cock up in the CL, and they will also want to take angry revenge on the Redbacks for the clobbering they received at Hobart.

So who is likely to make it to the final? 

Frankly, I have no clue, but a closer look makes me tilt towards NSW. 

The Blues have struggled a bit throughout the tournament, their batting order is more or less of the makeshift kind and under permanent tinkering. Tassie have picked up confidence, but they will need to fend off the light blue attack, for which they require solidity with the bat. 

Hobart has shown to offer good chances to both, seamers and spinners (oh the memories), and provided Rana is fit the Tigers' bowling should suffice. Cosgrove is due another score, so are ten Inches and Cowan, Bailey rules, Birt is helpful, and an attack comprising of Rana Naved and the K, ten Doeschate and possibly Faulkner/Hilfenhaus could be enough to take the NSW batting apart. 

However:

Here's the NSW squad:
Stuart CLARK (C), Sean ABBOTT, Tim ARMSTRONG, Scott COYTE, Patrick CUMMINS, Moises HENRIQUES, Phillip JAQUES, Usman KHAWAJA, Stephen O’KEEFE, Ben ROHRER, Daniel SMITH, Dominic THORNELY, David WARNER

IMHO Armstrong and Thornely will miss out, which leaves NSW with a massively exciting line-up... if you like surprises of either kind. In terms of bowling I think the NSWers with their fiery young pace attack, reinforced by His SOKness and the razor-sharp Stuey Clark, should get decent results out of the Hobart pitch. The batting unit consisting of Warner, Uz, Rohrer, Jaques, Henriques, D. Smith and Steve O'Keefe isn't making me jump in triangles, but sounds decent enough especially if the top order gets going; Warner MUST stick around, but he has shown some new-found patience and maturity, 50+ would be a good start, I'd like to see him partner up with Usman.

So overall I would say NSW should emerge victorious... but if Cossy makes 100 off 46 they can as well shoot themselves.

Ah well. All the best to both teams... whoever wins, see you in Adelaide!


Cheers,
Wes

Edit: SOK has been ruled out! FARKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
He's replaced by Luke Doran. So I reckon NSW will go in with pacers only. Farksake!!!

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