We may mock the KFC Big Bash relentlessly, and with very good reason, but we can’t argue with the fact that we’re still watching the bloody thing. The second round of fixtures was disappointing from an England perspective, but still contained some interesting games.
In the first game of the round Luke Wright (playing for the Melbourne Chuzzwozzers) contributed a mighty 0* and 0/42 from his four overs. Despite his best efforts, it was still enough to overcome the Brisbane Heat by eight runs, in a match most noticeable for its ongoing commentary from Shane Warne, who bowled an excellent spell. A figure of fun he may be at times, but Warne’s reading of the game made for fascinating listening. You can see the best bit here:
We’ll discretely draw a veil over Jade Dernbach’s performance (taking 1/44 and dropping two simple catches).
Hobart Hurricanes vs. Sydney Sixers was a bit less interesting. Owais Shah managed to make it through six deliveries without running himself out, finishing on 8*, and Michael Lumb made just 3. Ashes star Steve Smith actually captained the Sydney Sixers and proved his astuteness by refusing to bowl himself.
The following day’s game in Melbourne, Perth Scorchers taking on the Renegades, produced a genuinely tight finish with the away side overcoming their traditional lack of ability to win by eight wickets with just four balls to spare. Paul Collingwood didn’t get to bat and conceded 13 from his only over, but at least he’s not Ashes star Marcus North (22 from his six deliveries). Perth’s best bowler was actually 63 year old Brad Hogg, who finished with 1/22 from his four overs.
Last but not least, yesterday saw Adelaide Strikers take on Sydney Thunder. The Thunder, including 51allout favourite Bryce McGain in their ranks, stumbled to 155/8 from their 20 overs. In return Adelaide blasted their way to a six-wicket win, led by Chris Gayle’s 100* from 54 balls with an incredible eleven sixes.
Gayle is one of those divisive figures among the 51allout writers. Some of us can’t get over his ‘not a single f**k was given that day’ attitude while others love it. Either way it’s hard to argue with this sort of innings. With Mark Ealham now sadly retired, Gayle is probably the only player capable of that level of crowd-threatening batting.
Eight games in and we’re still quite enjoying the KFC Big Bash. However, we should probably mention that the vast quantity of greasy chicken we’ve eaten thus far has played havoc with our acne. For the next round of games we should actually have a in-person report from the WACA, unless we suceed in drinking ourselves to death over the next few days.
Merry Xmas everybody!