4 February 2011

Elephant Encounter: The Final Battle

Hrrumph! Pitbull wolfed down the half-baked Rana on a sauce of Naved Oranges
Big Bash preliminary final - NSW Blues v Tasmania [scorecard] /
Big Bash final - Redbacks v NSW Blues - preview

Deary me. I hope my fairly correct Cassandra call before the preliminary final does not prove any expertise of the game, because my next octopus oracle foresees a tough struggle on Saturday. David Warner and the NSW pacers have indeed beaten the Tigers at Hobart and bestowed my personal dream final upon me... but as I am watching the latest TASsacre I must admit my enthusiasm is rather stifled. Jebus help! If Pat Cummins bowls like that in the final the Redbacks will have a hard nut to bust.

Let's have a look at the details:

Both Steve O'Keefe and Usman Khawaja have been confirmed as absent due to injury, and while Uz will be replaced by Peter Forrest, the lack of SOK magic is hopefully going to nip the Blues in the butt. Remember, he defeated the Spiderboys almost single-handedly in their first encounter at Adelaide, and while the Redbacks spin battery is in full bloom and possibly going to thrive further in the final, NSW might be tempted to play Luke Doran this time, who has been a part of the squad for a while. However, after the bloodshed at Hobart they could be inclined to continue with the quicks and Thornely.

The Redbacks on the other hand have suffered the loss of Callum Ferguson, who is off to play the last dead rubber in the ODI series. That means a return of the Super Cooper; I'm not saying he is a weak link, but his form has been suboptimal in the last matches he played and he got dropped for Cameron Borgas. The Netherlands will be a tad worried one should guess...

11 wickets, avg. 11.54: are you kidding me? ^^
I don't feel a lot like juxtaposing the batting line-ups, just a few thoughts: Dave Warner and Dr. Daniel Harris are about head to head at the top of the batting order, and both sides have accumulators as well as pinch hitters at their disposal, with the Redbacks probably being a little more classical in their overall approach, while the Blues rely on the whacking power of Ben Rohrer, Daniel Smith aka The Mad Butcher, as well as Moises' muscles; with Phil Jaques filling the anchoring role that is embodied by Michael Klinger in SA.

But  the actual battle is imho fought between the two different types of attack, spin and pace. On the one hand I'm curious to see how this pans out, if the South Australian Tweaking Troika made up of Nathan Lyon, Aaron O'Brien and Adil Rashid manages to tie down the rampaging Pitbull; on the other hand I'm not keen to witness Pat Cummins, meanwhile the leading wickettaker of the competition, rip through the Saussies and leave yet another trail of blood behind. The RBs need to try and see him off and get the runs off Henriques, Coyte and Abbott, or whoever else is bowling and whose name isn't Stuart Clark.

Well well. Both of the finalists topped my personal wish list for the Champions League, and while some people might say that the Blues rather limped than stormed into the final one also has to consider their utter depletion, with large parts of the team being out injured or playing for the national side. Reaching the finals with the second and third string line-up deserves respect, and we know what they are capable of pulling off at the international level, if all key players are fit and available.

But now let's look forward to the weekend, go the Saussages! :)



Justin said...

Go Blue Baggers Go!

Maaz said...

Rana's figures!!! :O

Sidthegnomenator said...

Disappointed the Blues didn't win, but it's been a long time coming for the Redbacks. You must be a happy wee bunny.