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Well, where do I start? I think it’s a little bit of an understatement to say I was hoping for a better result, just the tiniest bit of improvement at The Adelaide Oval.

Instead, we were treated to Australia leading the way, just as we had done in the summer… oh how long ago that now seems.

Australia winning by 218 runs was not my prediction, neither was another great consecutive spell of bowling from Johnson, or Clarke and Warner yet again scoring runs aplenty.

And what’s happened to England? I’d rather not mention our batting if I can avoid it. It’s quite similar to a horror movie, in the sense that you want to hide behind the sofa, scared of what is coming next.

Again, there were glimpses of hope from Carberry, Root, Bell ad KP, but we can’t keep relying on those few individuals.

The question comes about whether we should change the team but I really do hope it’s just a phase – hope being the operative word.

We’ve already introduced debutant, Ben Stokes, into the fold but it looks as if we’ll have to wait and see what he has in store for the test team (runs would be lovely please).

With the third test at Perth arriving quickly it hasn’t left much time to get used to the idea that England are now 2-0 down in  the series already.

It’s not as if we’re renowned for winning at Perth either, 35 years since we last did in fact.

So England aren’t just going to want to win to break that spell but it just happens to be Captain Cook’s 100th Test, Captain Clarke’s too as it goes so Australia will be pulling out all the stops too I guess.

So two big momentous occasions for the captains, but it all depends on the result. Cook I couldn’t say it better myself.

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I don’t just want an England result, of course it would be great, but we need it too – lose at Perth and we lose the series and come on we don’t want that to happen now do we?

So all we can do is watch in suspense, oh and keep our fingers crossed to help secure that England victory.

If not I think I’m just going to stay behind the sofa…

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It was that time of the year again. The loud cheering crowds, cheesy music, the mascot race and of course some T20 cricketing action. Yes, T20 Finals Day has been and gone for yet another year. Through what was a very tense last few overs, it was Hampshire’s death bowling that proved too much for Yorkshire, as the former team won the coveted T20 title for the 2nd time in three years.

The battle for the T20 trophy was a tough one, and as the semi-finals got under way, we were yet to know whether Yorkshire, Sussex, Hampshire or Somerset were on the course for victory. In the first of the semis between Yorkshire and Sussex, it was clear to see which team dominated throughout. Despite falling to 118-4 after just 15 overs, Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow powered his side up to a very respectable 172, remaining on 68* from only 45 balls putting Yorkshire well in contention.  Sussex’s run chase failed to put them anywhere close to Yorkshire’s total, scraping to 136-8 from 20 overs, with Nash only the 2nd batsmen to reach double figures with 80*. An excellent win of 36 runs saw Yorkshire, never to have even reached the semi-final stages, into the final of the Friends Life T20.

So with one finalist already decided, it was up to Hampshire and Somerset to produce their all. With history between these two teams at Finals Day, it is fair to say all eyes were on Somerset to see if they could overcome their unlucky streak against Hampshire. Unfortunately for Somerset they fell at the final hurdle, not making it into the final for two years running as Hampshire’s bowling restricted the well sought after batting line up. Kieswetter with 63*, akin to Nash in the previous semi, was the only man to produce a decent score managing to take his side to 125-6, a score that was clearly not sufficient.  Katich, Carberry and Ervine with their powerful strike rates all aided Hampshire over the line with one over to spare, forcing Somerset out of the competition by a victory of 6 wickets.

It was decided, Yorkshire would take on Hampshire in the 2012 T20 final. It was a close fought contest as both teams vied for top spot, and it was Hampshire who chose to put runs on the board first. A wise decision it may seem now, as they compiled a decent score of 150 with the loss of just 6 wickets, as Adams, Vince, Ervine and Katich all made a large contribution to their team’s total with 125 runs between them. However, we had seen great talent in the Yorkshire side, and 150 could be beaten if their performance from the semi was repeated. This was not to be as Hampshire’s array of young talent, namely Briggs and Wood who restrained Yorkshire’s batting line up, as only Miller made a significant contribution, powering 72 from 46 balls. Wood kept his nerve in his final over of the match, with Yorkshire needing 14 runs Wood took 2 successive wickets leaving Yorkshire on 140-8 and 11 runs short of a T20 victory.

A stronger performance from the batting line up in the early overs may have seen a different result for both teams; however it was not to be for Yorkshire, as Hampshire celebrated their second win in the competition’s history. On a side note Yorkshire should definitely be proud of how far they have come in the competition, especially as they will now be off to the Champion’s League this year. But it was Hampshire’s day yesterday, and it looked like the best team won. Now all they have to do is retain their title next year!

Photo Credit: Getty Images (espncricinfo.com)

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Part 2 is finally here, it took a bit longer than expected but then it should theoretically be better shouldn’t it? I hope I’ve done the cricket season justice, and today’s look back at the summer assesses some of the best performances across the county scene in particular, as well as some of the key facts that have really made this year what it was.

So first up we had the LV County Championship, but who were the outstanding players…

  • Leading run scorer (Division 1) – Trescothick 1673
  • Leading run scorer (Division 2) – De Bruyn 1383
  • Leading wicket taker (Division 1) – Richardson 73
  • Leading wicket taker (Division 2) – Masters 93

Ahh Trescothick, the Somerset batsmen who can only be loved by every cricket supporter across the country, we all just want him to do great, well I do anyway; he topped Division 1 this year after countless superb performances year-round. Then we have Richardson, who outdid the rest to lie top of the wicket tables, after nearly ending his career this year’s performance truly showed off his abilities.

One moment that stood out to me – Carberry and McKenzie’s 2nd highest partnership for the 3rd wicket. A mammoth 523 runs were amassed by these two against Yorkshire in August, Carberry with an amazing 300* and McKenzie with 273. A great feat by Hampshire, who were unfortunately relegated into Division two as they failed to progress further in the competition.

The Clydesdale Bank 40 was next up, and there were a variety of great performances…

  • Leading run scorer – Nash 649
  • Leading wicket taker – Dernbach 23

Chris Nash took the batting accolade this year in the 40 over competition; in fact it was two Sussex boys, Nash and Joyce, taking first and second place. But it was Nash who was miles ahead with a stack of runs to keep him happy over the winter. Newfound England star Dernbach appears this year in the tables, as he has been bowling superb deliveries not just in the CB40 but in International ODI’s as well. One for England to keep hold of I feel.

One moment that stood out to me – Jonny Bairstow’s maiden one-day hundred against Middlesex, young Bairstow took Yorkshire to a wonderful 275 with a magnificent 114 off just 87 balls. This innings was Bairstow’s 2nd century in the space of a week; hitting 109 not out for the England Lions against Sri Lanka A in a four-day game. This surely was the pivotal moment that helped him seize his International debut this August, and has done nothing but progress since his call-up.

Then lastly the Friends Life Twenty20, which was brimming with brilliance…

  • Leading run scorer – McDonald 584
  • Leading wicket taker – Philips 26

So McDonald tops the table where runs are concerned, and what a great season he had in the T20 competition. With wickets in hand also, the Foxes overseas player had a fantastic year with the bat and it was truly great to see. Philips was the bowler to have in your team in T20 this year, with 26 wickets in hand. A great season overall this year, so this man surely has the skill. 

One moment that stood out to me – Abdul Razzaq’s amazing innings against Lancashire in a group game this July, he hit five sixes on his way to 62 not out of just 30 balls. After Cobb was dismissed for 0 off the first ball, Leicestershire could not really recover and looked to be beaten comprehensively. With a seemingly unbeatable total the Foxes needed 62 from four overs, but with Razzaq’s power-hitting he managed to take them over the line, also helping them towards their quarter-final place.

So there you have it, one concise overlook of the summer with all the key bits included!

 

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