A team with fresh faces and fresh youth, Australia have injected three new players into their T20 squad for the upcoming series of South Africa.
Astounding performances in the Matador Cup from the likes of big-hitters Ben Dunk, Cameron White and Nathan Reardon, are the lucky three to get a gig for the Aussies.
In the squad to face South Africa next month, Dunk, Reardon and White have all been given a worthy chance to shine with the spotlight on them. Unable to pick David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson, due to the UAE tour Test matches, Australia have a new look team and are trying to make their make on the South Africans.
The Australian selectors have finally rewarded players for their domestic efforts, selecting a squad featuring a few of the shining stars from the Matador BBQs One Day Cup (the Australian domestic one-day competition).
Ben Dunk, one of the lucky three to get on Santa’s nice list, enters the squad on the back of a both ground-breaking and more importantly, record-breaking 229* in the Matador Cup on Saturday.
Playing for Tasmania against a Queensland side looking for some confidence, Ben Dunk whacked a double-century, hitting 13 gob-smacking sixes that made everyone look up from their newspaper. However, the extremely low crowds at recent Matador Cup games have been a disappointment.
The catalyst of Tasmania’s jaw-dropping total of 398-1 off 50 overs, Ben Dunk only faced 157 deliveries on North Sydney Oval, a rather small ground if you ask me. A century from opening partner Tim Paine really did the job for Tasmania. Less to the point of this article, Queensland amazingly got up on Tasmania, hitting 400 with 3 overs to spare.
Cameron White, on the other hand, has been constantly not knocking, but banging on the door of the national selectors, for the past 15 months. He got a chance in last summer’s international T20 festivities, but the big-hitting experienced Victorian is really making a name for himself now.
The last of the three stooges, Nathan Reardon, has hit 3 convincing half-centuries in the Matador Cup, and has made many more other contributions to cricket playing for Queensland.
With not the most polished T20 record, Nathan Reardon will have to prove to the selectors why they should keep him in the side.
After today’s match between Pakistan and Australia, the word ‘thriller’ has been redefined. Anyone who thought a close game was an absolute thriller, should think again.
In the third ODI between Pakistan and Australia at Abu Dhabi, the Aussies sealed a dramatic 1 run win after Glenn Maxwell bowled a gem of a final over. When the Aussies looked put to sleep, the Big Show turned up.
Batting first, Aaron Finch had yet another poor innings, going for 18. His partner, Dave Warner, was in superlative touch for 56. Steve Smith, the golden boy of the series, launched 77 to put Australia into a dangerous position.
However, a middle order collapse saw James Faulkner with 33, to be the highest score of the bottom 8 batsman.
A disappointing performance by Australia saw them at the insufficient total of 231, or so they thought it was insufficient…
Chasing down the minute total of 232, Pakistan were again off to a solid start, with both openers hitting 20s and 30s. A half-century at number 3 from Asad Shafiq saw Pakistan really rattle the Aussies.
A controversial catch by Steve Smith dismissing Fawad Alam, where smith sprinted across from slip to the leg side to take the catch, before the ball had reached the striker, saw everyone scratching their heads.
But, it was out, and Alam went for a duck, giving Australia some momentum. with Sohaib Maqsood hitting 34, Pakistan were looking the goods.
The tail chipped in with 10s and 14s, and everything was running smoothly for the Pakistanis.
With 1 over left and 2 runs for victory, 1 run to tie, Glenn Maxwell came on to deliver the ultimate over.
After missing the first delivery attempting an unnecessary slog sweep, Sohail Tanvir was out the very next delivery, bowled by the Big Show.
With 2 needed from 4 balls, Mohammad Irfan came in, with what seemed like a simple equation. Except, his first ball, delivered by Maxwell, was too good and forced Irfan to block. Second ball, Irfan misses comprehensively, going for another unnecessary big slog.
Third, ball, yep you guest it, swings and misses again. So, on Irfan’s fourth ball, the last ball of the over, Maxwell delivered a beauty on the stumps. This time Irfan hit it! But, it went straight up in the air and was caught by James Faulkner.
You may be hanging your mouth open now, but yep, I’m not lying. Maxwell defended 1 run and delivered a double-wicket maiden in the last over! Who said last year that ODI was dead? I think not.
This thrilling match had the whole cricket community on their seats, and I am sure Shahid Afridi and Pakistan will be very unimpressed with the performance of the last few batsmen. How could they lose?
Despite the fact that the last match was a dead rubber, Australia just rubbed it in Pakistan’s face with a 3-0 whitewash!
An all-round performance from a polished Australian team with mountains of confidence has absolutely obliterated and embarrassed Pakistan to take out the ODI series, in Dubai.
On a sweltering day in the UAE, reaching 36 degrees Celsius, the Australians were looking to win two on the trot to take out the three-match ODI series.
One could say the heat got the better of Pakistan, but no, this is their home ground. Pakistan, just learn from Mitch Johnson. The speedster had an icepack on his head during drinks!
Batting first, Pakistan got off to an absolute dream start, which was the embarrassing bit because they lost. With openers Ahmed Shehzad (61) and Sarfraz Ahmed (65) launching a 126 run first wicket partnership, Pakistan were racing along like they were at the Formula 1.
However, to cut a long story short, a brutal barrage of Australian wickets saw the Pakistanis plummet towards defeat. After being 0-125, Pakistan were 5-185, then 6-199. It was pretty bad…
Oh whoops! Sorry, I forgot the worst part. The Pakistanis were embarrassingly cleaned up for a very unreasonable score of 215 all out. They lost 10 wickets for about 91 runs. Wow. That’s all I can say.
Mitchell Johnson brought the heat to the game. If it already wasn’t hot enough in Dubai. Taking 3 wickets, Johnson destructed the Pakistan line-up when duties were required.
Going into bat with almost too much confidence, Australia eased their way to victory. With Dave Warner hitting 29 up the order, and George Bailey hitting 28, the two Aussies set it up for the Big Show.
Strutting to the crease with his bat under his arm, Glenn Maxwell smashed Pakistan’s bowlers around the park, on his way to a telling 76. This was the difference, apart from the 7 overs and 5 wickets Australia had left.
Pakistan were just blown out of the park today and they have sacrificed all 3 matches against Australia, the first being the T20.
Hopefully we will see a better, more competitive Test series, because Pakistan’s performance today was showing ’50 shades of England’.