With five points apiece so far on the JLT Cup standings, this match promises to be an intriguing one whichever way you look at it.
The Redbacks will walk onto enemy territory after their two back-to-back matches in Queensland, this could fall in favor of New South Wales if you take the home ground advantage into consideration. The Redbacks still aren’t without their own problems though, whilst the bowlers did the job for them against the Bulls their batting order still remains a questionable one in terms of consistency. They’ve got all the makings of a dominant batting line-up, the problem is too many of South Australia’s highly rated batsmen have failed to deliver in their first two matches of the JLT Cup which continues to mount pressure on the under-performers. The most notable of them who can’t seem to buy a run at the moment is skipper Callum Ferguson who is yet to reach double figures in a game. You can also add Alex Carey, Jake Weatherald and Alex Ross to that list, even Jake Lehmann’s inconsistency can be a headache at times. After a wicketless start to the tournament against the CA XI, Joe Mennie responded in the best way possible with a five-wicket haul that made Queensland’s innings look like amateur hour. Maybe the best thing to come out of the match for South Australia was that all five of their bowlers managed to take a wicket, something they struggled immensely with in their opening match. Lastly, another brilliant display with the bat from Tom Cooper set up the Redbacks for the remainder of the match, Cooper was awarded man of the match for his unbeaten-115.
After blitzing the highest overall total for the tournament (only to be surpassed by Victoria a couple days later), New South Wales are on a massive high heading into this next match against South Australia. The controversial Nic Maddinson was the star of the show, blasting a scintillating 137 runs off 119 deliveries against Tasmania which saw him reach his new high score in a one-day innings. A brilliant opening partnership between Maddinson & Daniel Hughes that surpassed the one-hundred mark left the Blues in a position to attack, and that’s exactly what Ed Cowan did. In his newly-allocated spot in the batting order at no. 5, it seemed strange to see someone of Cowan’s ability that low in the line-up, but it’s turned out to be a smart move so far with the 35-year-old scoring consecutive fifties for New South Wales, the most recent of them being his most outgoing. With Moises Henriques over in India, former CA XI batsman Ryan Gibson has been left to fill the void which isn’t a bad replacement. the Blues have always had a strong batting line-up since the Waugh brothers, this year is no different with the top three batsmen all capable of scoring centuries, and Ed Cowan strengthening the order at no. 5 makes it an enormous task to knock them over cheaply. After an average first match with the ball, 22-year-old Mickey Edwards bounced back with a four-wicket haul along with Nathan Lyon and Sean Abbott who both took three wickets each.
Players To Watch…
Redbacks skipper Callum Ferguson is in desperate need of some runs, he looks horribly out of form and lacking a lot of confidence, but it only takes that one spectacular innings to turn all of that around. Only Tom Cooper has scored more runs then Ferguson in List-A matches in this current South Australian team. Jake Weatherald is another one who can really impact the scoreboard, unfortunately he’s managed just the one century and zero fifties in his eight one-day games. As an opening batsman, Weatherald is a required-performer who ticks all the boxes for being a great opener, but he tends to depart far to quickly when he’s set for a big innings. Another South Australian batsman who has the potential to turn it on at the top of the order. A maiden five-wicket haul may have just worked Joe Mennie into some serious form with the ball, bowling at first-change and wiping out Queensland’s middle order just when they looked to be fighting back. The Blues are a tough aspect to replicate those same scenarios against, but it’s Mennie’s job to inflict damage as one of the Redbacks strike bowlers. Cameron Valente is a classic example of your all-round cricketer, he’s brilliant with the bat when required, chips in with the ball and is an athletic fieldsman. A fighting century in South Australia’s first match against the CA XI got them back in the game, he’s arguably the Redbacks X factor alongside Alex Ross.
New South Wales
The shackles have finally been broken, the barriers are down and Nic Maddinson is finally starting to become the cricketer everyone expected him to be. It looks as if the move up the order has done the trick, Maddinson was easily the most impressive batsman for New South Wales in the last match with a hitting-onslaught that produced a stellar-137. This could be the turning point in his career (as cheesy as it sound), a solid innings against South Australia could see his game return to full confidence. Daniel Hughes and Ed Cowan could almost be put in the same brackets, they’re easily the Blues most consistent performers in this format of the game with the bat and can be heavily relied upon to get the job done almost every time. Cowan’s back-to-back fifties and Hughes recent 56 against the Tigers shows that New South Wales doesn’t need a lot of depth to be successful with the likes of these types of players in the team. Sean Abbott continues to get the job done for the Blue with the ball, he’s already racked up five wickets in his two JLT Cup games for the tournament. A crafty fast-medium seamer, Abbott once again outwitted the opposition batsmen (Tasmania) as he took out two major threats in the top order, Alex Doolan and George Bailey. The Blues will also receive a massive boost with the return of Superstar quick Mitchell Starc set to play the remainder of the JLT Series.
Top 5 fantasy picks | South Australia | JLT Cup | 8th match | Sydney
- Jake Weatherald
- Joe Mennie
- Cameron Valente
- Alex Ross
- Tom Cooper
Top 5 fantasy picks | New South Wales | JLT Cup | 8th match | Sydney
- Daniel Hughes
- Sean Abbott
- Ed Cowan
- Nic Maddinson
- Mitchell Starc
South Australia (possible) – 1. Jake Weatherald 2. Alex Carey (wk) 3. Callum Ferguson (c) 4. Tom Cooper 5. Alex Ross 6. Jake Lehmann 7. Cameron Valente 8. Joe Mennie 9. Michael Cormack/Tom Andrews 10. Nick Winter 11. Daniel Worrall.
New South Wales (possible) – 1. Daniel Hughes 2. Nic Maddinson 3. Kurtis Patterson 4. Ryan Gibson 5. Ed Cowan 6. Peter Nevill (c & wk) 7. Sean Abbott 8. Mitchell Starc 9. Gurinder Sandhu 10. Mickey Edwards 11. Nathan Lyon.