One of the reasons that we’re doing round-by-round reviews of the Big Bash is that seven rounds of fixtures, followed by two semi-finals and a final, is a manageable amount of cricket. We don’t need to think of too many jokes before the whole thing is wrapped up and we can go back to talking about proper cricket.
So it’s annoyed the hell out of us to see that Cricket Australia has been considering expanding next year’s competition, considering adding sides from one or more of Canberra, Newcastle, Geelong, the Gold Coast, Tom Price, Mullewa and Christmas Island. It’d be nice to say that Cricket Australia are just greedy fools, blindly following the more games = more cash theory, but they’re not the only ones. Despite the number of T20 games per county in the UK decreasing to 10 for the upcoming season (driven by dwindling crowds) the Morgan report has recommended this number be increased back up to 14 by 2014. We’ve already bought ourselves a special ‘indifference hat’ to wear throughout the endless series of meaningless games. We won’t even be able to talk about chicken, unless Friends Provident develops some very specific types of life insurance.
So having already pencilled in the 2012/13 Big Bash as a disaster, in which too few top quality players are spread between too many teams, we should probably get around to talking about round six of this year’s version. And where better place to start than Hobart, best known as the birthplace of Errol Flynn and hideously disfigured former wicketkeeper Tim Paine? Hobart can now add being the site of the fastest hundred in Aussie T20 history, scored off 44 balls by none other than 51allout favourite Luke Wright.
To be fair to the Melbourne Stars man it really wasn’t a bad knock. His policy of smashing the ball straight up in the air and letting the wind blow it out to sea worked perfectly, assisted by the home’s sides cack-handed attempts at catching. Wright finished on 117 from just 60 balls, as the Stars racked up 203/3 from their 20 overs. The Hurricanes had a decent stab at chasing it down, led by 55 from Owais Shah and 51 from Travis Birt, an innings that resembled a home run derby at times, but fell 19 runs short.
The second game of the round wasn’t quite as exciting, the Syndey Sixers making 151/8 before skittling the Adelaide Stinkers for just 87, using a five man spin attack. Even Steve Smith picked up a wicket, which we could describe as a classic leg-spinner’s wicket, were it not for the fact that that would be bullshit. Here’s Cricinfo’s description:
“15.2 to Richardson, full toss hit in the air down the throat of Henriques at long on.”
With just a single round of fixtures to go, it’s looking rather good for the Perth Scorchers, who sit top of the table with ten points, almost guaranteeing them a home semi-final. The last set of games start from Tuesday, with the semi-finals on the Friday and Saturday, followed by the grand final the following weekend. And then that’ll be it, all neatly wrapped up in time for February, a month that will see us abstaining from fried chicken altogether and turning our thoughts towards life insurance, although only those policies that don’t require passing a medical to start with.