After an unexpected turn of events at Allan Border Field yesterday, the CA XI have already bettered their win tally from last year after a winless 2016 Matador Cup and will now face the Queensland Bulls.
Last year saw everyone target the CA XI for some easy points on the board, well things might have taken a turn for the better for this young side which has seemingly made it a level playing field across the competition now. The Bulls finished on top of the table in last years Matador One-Day Cup and comfortably made the final which saw them cop an absolute belting from rivals New South Wales who took home the silverware. The CA XI might not have as much luck as yesterdays contest against the Redbacks though, Queensland currently have a sizable amount of Australian representatives in their side and shouldn’t lose to an inexperienced (albeit impressive) outfit such as the CA XI. One thing that will always guarantee Queensland are in the contest right up until the end is their depth in the batting order, Ben Cutting and Michael Neser usually bat around no. 8 & no. 9 and are very capable run scorers with the willow. Three batsmen are expected to dominate the 2017 JLT One-Day Cup for the Bulls, the trio have all represented Australia in test cricket which gives the top order significant strength compared to others. The three-featured stars are Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja who will captain the side for the tournament. Although he lost his spot in the test side as an opener, Joe Burns has been a domestic beast in these types of tournaments along with Usman Khawaja who in particular dominated in the 2015 comp. Unfortunately Renshaw was injured in last years Matador Cup, so this might be his chance to string-together some big scores ahead of the upcoming Ashes series. Sitting a level just below those three guys would be James Peirson, Sam Heazlett and Marnus Labuschagne who all managed to impress in last years tournament, Labuschagne in particular was very effective for the Bulls. Along with their all-star batting line-up, Queensland have a quality bowling attack which features big Billy Stanlake and the crafty leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson. Michael Neser and Ben Cutting are the other seamers teaming up with Stanlake.
We witnessed the first upset of the JLT Cup yesterday as the Redbacks were brought tumbling down by a hungry & relentless CA XI. Victorian seamer Jackson Coleman dominated proceedings with the ball as he went on to claim a four-wicket haul, finishing with tidy figures of 4/46 from his ten overs. Coleman’s two early top order wickets of Weatherald and Ferguson certainly set the tempo for the innings, the rest of the innings just fell into place nicely despite South Australia fighting back to crawl themselves over the 250-run mark. What’s even more impressive was they managed to chase the Redbacks total losing just three wickets in the process, one of the two centurions in the innings was Jake Carder who was also one of the only players to have represented the CA XI in last years Matador Cup. All-rounder Beau Webster came over from Tasmania looking for more of an opportunity, he certainly made the most of it straight away with a brilliant 121 batting at no. 3 along with a very economical bowling spell conceding just 25 runs in his ten overs to go with it. It’s worth mentioning that the CA XI used seven different bowlers in the Redbacks innings, it will be interesting to see if they take that approach against the Bulls who are jam-packed full of quality batsmen. With Harry Nielsen listed to come in at no. 8 as the wicketkeeper-batsman, this young side also possesses some batting depth as well. The big test for the green & gold side is how they fare against Billy Stanlake who’s deliveries tend to be played at an awkward height due to his tall physique, Michael Neser is also a bowlers who hones in on one particular area which tends to tie batsmen down. It was interesting that the CA XI decided to leave Mark Steketee out for the first game, he is probably the most experienced player in the team apart form Webster at domestic level.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Queensland | JLT Cup | 2nd match | Brisbane
- Matt Renshaw
- Usman Khawaja
- Michael Neser
- Joe Burns
- Billy Stanlake
Top 5 fantasy picks | CA XI | JLT Cup | 2nd match | Brisbane
- Beau Webster
- Jonathan Merlo
- Jackson Coleman
- Jake Carder
- Clint Hinchcliffe
Queensland (possible) – 1. Matt Renshaw 2. James Peirson (wk) 3. Usman Khawaja (c) 4. Joe Burns 5. Sam Heazlett 6. Marnus Labuschagne 7. Ben Cutting 8. Jack Wildermuth/Jason Floros 9. Michael Neser 10. Mitchell Swepson 11. Billy Stanlake.
CA XI (possible) – 1. Jake Carder 2. Max Bryant 3. Beau Webster 4. Clint Hinchcliffe 5. Param Uppal 6. Jonathan Merlo 7. Ben Pengelley 8. Harry Nielsen (wk) 9. Mac Wright/Daniel Fallins 10. Jackson Coleman 11. David Grant/Mark Steketee.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.