Welcome to our weekly review/preview of sport in general. The football nerds get their turn later in the week, but now it’s time to cover the rest of the sporting landscape. A bit harder in summer with just Cricket and A League for company, but if anyone can turn nothing into even less it’s us.
That and the best sporting multi money can buy.
BIG BASH RETURNS
A few games into the annual colourful slogfest and what a welcome addition to some dull weekday nights. Also welcome is some of the performances on the field.
There’s been quality batting, like opening combinations of Ludeman and Simmons for Adelaide in their first match, or the old guard of Kallis and Mike Hussey for Sydney Thunder. Or lusty cameos like Goerge Bailey’s 71 from 44, leaving Australian selectors in the dangerous position of having to pick Bailey for form for the upcoming World Cup.
The Channel 10 commentary and coverage has been quite good, and certainly better than Channel 9, although given our love for Michael Slater it was always going to be.
A couple of whinges though heard around the water cooler, photocopier and toilet, the first being that games haven’t been live into Qld. Whilst it would be nice to get live sport all the time, it is not the TV station’s fault, but the people of Qld who failed to embrace Daylight savings, and given the results of recent polls and comments made on news websites, it is unlikely to ever be implemented. So don’t blame TV, blame yourself.
Secondly, there’s only been one close game in the first week which has been disappointing. Although the favourites have been getting a workout with all underdogs winning, it would be nice if the games weren’t over halfway through the second innings.
Thankfully the Melbourne Stars, the Manchester United of T20 have lost both of their opening games, with Glenn Maxwell completing his overrated skills circle from NATP test number 3 to bench warmer for Melbourne.
More to come, and inevitably you’ll lose interest, so enjoy it now before it comes tedious if not already.
AUSTRALIA 2 – MITCHELL JOHNSON 1 – INDIA 0
India were full of confidence, and why not. After bashing Australia into a heat stress submission on Day 1 with injuries and accusations of softness leading to the most negative of outlooks for the Aussies, prospects looked good.
But just as in Adelaide, there was a twist or two ahead, and some of them revolved around Mitchell Johnson. After taking a back seat to Josh Hazlewood’s heroics in the first bowling stint, Mitchell Johnson came to the crease after another Haddin failure with Australia in trouble. India also handily reminded him of how many wickets he had taken on the same pitch he was about to face. Some many hours later, and after all tailenders had their piece of pie, and likely large 1st innings deficit was turned into a healthy lead. Mitchell Johnson’s 80, and yet another century to the newly promoted captain Steve Smith turned the game our way.
Armed with a score over 50, from which his bowling average the next inning after scoring 50 was just 16, a brief spell on the opening of the 4th day effectively swung the game completely in Australia’s favour. Help from his mates left a small run chase.
Although Australia tried their hardest to lose with some plays from the book of Maxwell, they got home and took a lead that required only one more win for the series and two for a clean sweep.
A congrats to Qld’s Joe Burns who the Gurgler has been keen to see in Green for some time now, after many sessions at Allan Border field. And to Steve Smith the obvious choice for captan, as he is one three who can be guaranteed to be in the side in 12 months time based on form or fitness, and passes the dickhead test.
ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY
The most underrated sporting event in the world is on and continues over the very festive period.
The Darts World Championship is on and is the Ultimate sporting contest with many boxes ticked for the Gurgler.
Featuring dressing up, long Oktoberfest tables full of rowdy darts fans and beer, and those advertising placards that fans can write their messages on giving a taste of the pre-twitter world, it is an event we hope to cover at one stage of our lives.
For now, we’ll have to look on with envy on Foxtel and dream of a time where we can be part of that Where’s Wally drunken crew, and learn those traditional British dancing moves that begin and stop with the pumping of arms up and down to forgotten 90’s tunes.
For the record our favourites and tips for the trophy are the Pre-Skiing Michael Schumacher of Darts – Phil the Power Taylor (short at $2.10), Raymond (Barney) von Barneveld (at a generous $26) and Mervyn King at the unlikely $51.
Some of the Red Bull trophies were found in the bottom of the lake somewhere in England. Apparently the only ones retrieved were the Constructor trophies and the Japanese driver wins. The suspect is still at large. Police also located other sporting things in the same lake as part of the search.
Alastair Cook’s World Cup Campaign and Kevin Pietersen’s England Career along with Ian Thorpe’s comeback and Glenn Maxwell’s test career were also found at the bottom of the lake.
Here’s a taste of what’s coming up….
– BOXING DAY TEST – the best cricket + sloth day of the year is Boxing Day. Make it even better with our famous Boxing Day Drinking Game.
– SYDNEY TO HOBART – it’s time to care about yachting for the smallest possible time with the start of the Sydney to Hobart. Read our Guide to the Big Event.
– MORE BIG BASH – a perfect nigh time accompaniment to the test during the day.
– FOOTBALL FEAST – whilst the snooty European Leagues take a winter/Xmas break, the English and the Aussies give the punter’s what they want, plenty o sport.
To round off the weekly does of sporting gripe, here’s our famous multi. See if we can better our $580-1 one from earlier in the year.
SYD to HOB – Wild Oats XI – first through the head
A LEAGUE – BRISBANE ROAR to win v Central Coast
A LEAGUE – MELBOURNE VICTORY to win v Newcastle
BIG BASH – PERTH SCORCHERS to win v Melb Renegades
BIG BASH – MELBOURNE STARS to win v Brisbane Heat
TEST MATCH – AUSTRALIA to win v India
TEST MATCH – SOUTH AFRICA to win v West Indies
TEST MATCH – SRI LANKA to win v New Zealand
$1 multi pays $210