A rampaging Victoria led by skipper Cameron White who produced one of the knocks of the tournament so far managed to get themselves back on track after thrashing Tasmania, Queensland on the other hand were on the receiving end of a cataclysmic defeat from the Redbacks.
Undoubtedly the most efficient run scorer in this particular tournament that is the one-day cup, Cameron White shown the competition once again why he’s a dominant figure for the Bushrangers in white-ball cricket. His opening partner Marcus Harris also feasted off Tasmania’s poor start with the ball as he racked up a considerable score of 75, but it was White who stole the show from then onwards. Notching up the highest individual score of this years JLT One-Day Cup, Cameron White scored an astonishing 165 runs off 154 deliveries as he accumulated an individual masterclass against a clueless Tasmania who had no answers for the Victorian skipper which cost them dearly. White peppered the boundary as well as heaving it over the rope six times, the Tigers let White off the leash and payed the ultimate price, there’s no two ways about it. It’s not often you see a batsman back up a performance like that with a similar innings in one-day cricket, so the Bulls might be able to get a lucky break after White’s star-studded knock against Tasmania. Looking down the Bushrangers batting order, they are really dependent on the openers scoring well with a lot of unknown names that follow. Apart from Seb Gotch who managed a fifty in Victoria’s first game, they are a high possibility of collapsing. A fresh-looking Peter Siddle has made a solid start to the JLT Cup, managing 2/48 in the first game and backing it up with 3/27, both performances have been very economical as well. Chris Tremain isn’t far behind Siddle, he also picked up three wickets in the Bushrangers previous match and strangled the batsmen for runs in their tournament opener against the Warriors.
Queensland are in desperate need of a win after they capitulated against a determined Redbacks outfit who were also coming off a lackluster performance. In a match that was hard to find any real positives due to an 83-run shellacking, 24-year-old Jack Wildermuth did a handy job with the ball picking up career-best figures of 4/39 as the Bulls restricted South Australia to 240 in their innings. What was to follow those proceedings was a nightmare, they had a fail-proof batting line-up (or so we though) that took a distant back seat to the task at hand. Two of their Australian test representatives were bundled out cheaply with Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw contributing next to nothing to the scoreboard. Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns attempted to revive the Bulls innings, but they to couldn’t handle the pressure and each buckled in the 20’s which left Queensland’s chances of winning on a knifes edge. Having opened for the majority of his domestic career in this format, wicketkeeper-batsman Jimmy Peirson managed to show some much-needed composure which left him with a miracle task at hand that was unfortunately just that. Peirson battled his way to 60 with nine boundaries in that knock, he was eventually trapped in front by Mennie and that pretty much signaled the end for the Bulls. It’s obvious that the likes of Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw need to kick-start the innings this time around, but the responsibility also falls onto players like Jack Wildermuth and Ben Cutting who both went for ducks at a time when they were desperately required to stand up.
Players To Watch…
Nobody expected to see Peter Siddle coming back as well as he has in this years JLT Cup, but to his credit he has shocked a few proving the point that he still has what it takes to manufacture wickets. His recent performance against the Tigers is easily the best I’ve seen him bowl in quite a while, he took out two specialist batsmen for single digits in the first six overs. We saw similar scenes in last years Matador Cup where Cameron White managed to string together some big scores for the Bushrangers, he’s already managed to beat last years highest score of 145 and looks to be on the verge of replicating that 2016/17 tournament. The Victorian skipper recorded a career-best high score of 165 in List-A cricket, can he surpass last years efforts of 457 runs? Another who should be closely monitored is Marcus Harris, he’s had two solid outings at the top of the order for the Bushrangers and continues to impress despite having never scored a century in this format. It would be great to see the 25-year-old reach triple figures, but as long as he’s scoring around the 40-80 run-mark with some consistency it isn’t effecting his teams performance.
A player who has previously dominated this tournament with his classy stroke-play and damaging scoring ability, Usman Khawaja finds himself on the back foot after two consecutive failures with the bat. The Bulls skipper managed 27 in the first match and just 8 against South Australia, continuing his poor form run since the ODI series against Pakistan back in January. Khawaja is an elite Australian batsman, his next big score should be just around the corner. Another batsman who hasn’t quite reached his lofty-expectations in the tournament so far is Joe Burns, he needs to convert his good starts into big scores, period. Burns aggressive nature makes him an extremely damaging prospect at no. 3, it’s just a matter of not hauling out to a fielder just because the runs aren’t coming. If both Khawaja and Burns get the scoreboard ticking over, Queensland will be very hard to beat. Ben Cutting is a player who has never quite lived up to expectations, he has all the makings of being a quality all-rounder but lacks a lot of things in the key areas of the game. There’s no doubt Cutting is a match-winner, he’s one of the most damaging strikers in Australian state cricket with the bat and has the height to be a genuine seamer.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Victoria | JLT Cup | 9th match | Sydney
- Marcus Harris
- Peter Siddle
- Chris Tremain
- Matt Short
- Cameron White
Top 5 fantasy picks | Queensland | JLT Cup | 9th match | Sydney
- Usman Khawaja
- Joe Burns
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Ben Cutting
- Mitchell Swepson
Victoria (possible) – 1. Marcus Harris 2. Cameron White (c) 3. Travis Dean 4. Will Pucovski/Blake Thomson 5. Seb Gotch 6. Matt Short 7. Sam Harper (wk) 8. Chris Tremain 9. Peter Siddle 10. Scott Boland 11. Fawad Ahmed.
Queensland (possible) – 1. Usman Khawaja (c) 2. Matthew Renshaw 3. Joe Burns 4. Marnus Labuschagne 5. Jimmy Peirson (wk) 6. Jack Wildermuth 7. Ben Cutting 8. Michael Neser 9. Jason Floros 10. Mitchell Swepson 11. Brendan Doggett.
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.