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  1. #451
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    Great write up. I'm looking for a lot from the bowlers. They will really need to step up.
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  2. #452
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    Season 3 Team Previews

    Auckland
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 1
    Although most would say they have a pretty weak team on paper they have managed to get themselves into the top division for both forms. This is a pretty remarkable efforts for a team boasting one of the poorest batting line ups in the game. They have gotten this far on the back of some good bowling and that will need to continue in season three if they are any chance of survival. Outside of Z Roberts they lack any quality batsman, the likes of Roach and Fleming are decent but you wouldn't think they are good enough to win many games. Letting Q Carver go was a crazy decision and I think that will show in their One Day performances. They didn't draft well either, this was their chance to strengthen heavily but instead picked up some poorer players in the likes of Guptill and Morgan.
    First Class Prediction: 8th
    One Day Predcition: 8th

    Cobras
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 2
    Powerhouses of the first class game will be hoping to win back their title this season. Consecutive top two finishes in this form has seen them almost unbeatable, they will need to win more home games this year to claim that title and with more favourable conditions for bowlers you'd think that's likely. Probably boast the most batting depth in WCC and with the addition of strike bowlers Ul-Hasan and Prassana they again look strong. Should also go better in One Day as they look to have focussed on that form with their draft pick, the likes of Hemp and Bacon will combine to provide runs in the middle order. Keeper M Wade is also expecting a big year as he steps up from Academy duties to replace the traded A Puttick in both forms of the game.
    First Class Prediction: 1st
    One Day Prediction: 2nd

    Kandurata
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 2
    Kandurata look to be going through a bit of a rebuilding phase this year, some of the older guys like Samaraweera, Fernando and Atapattu are gone while Darden, Bellson and Stollmeyer headline the young brigade. They should have a good year but the advantage of having the strongest bowling attack is gone now, most of the opposition teams have strengthened in this area while their batting looks middle of the road, they'll win games on the back of Muralitharan again but perhaps he is a mate or two short of first class silverware. I see a real breakthrough in their One Day history though, that elusive promotion to division one should come their way thanks to Bowes and Huckerby at the top of the order.
    First Class Prediction: 3rd
    One Day Prediction: 1st

    Karachi
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 2
    Sorry Karachi fans it's going to be a tough year. You don't have a shocking side and while you wont be far away from winning quite a few games your team is just that little bit weaker than anyone elses. With the likes of Bin Nazir, Chaminda and Denly there is the core of a good side but there are still too many passengers. Most of Karachi's opposition will have a tougher time deciding who to leave out rather than finding someone to pick, but for you guys it's the opposite. Karachi look weak in the 5th and 6th batting positions while the 4th bowler is also going to be a problem. The batting in one day cricket looks a lot more solid with Jeffrey, Patel and Ahmed in particular but I still see a lot more losses than wins. If I'm going to be wrong it will be in One Day cricket where there is potential but the first class side is in some trouble.
    First Class Prediction: 8th
    One Day Prediction: 8th

    Kent
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 2
    Kent have a real chance to push the big boys in both forms of the game this season, they have a good mix of established stars such as K Pietersen and R Llewellyn and couple of promising rookies such as wicketkeeper batsman R Fitzpatrick. What I like about their squad is that they are flexible and have depth. With the likes of Y Porter and A Mahmood around it gives them the oppourtunity to play an extra batsman or bowler depending on conditions and injuries. They have capable back up players too so suspensions and again injuries aren't a major concern particuarly in four day cricket. I think their first choice bowlers may just lack a little class to crack it into the top couple but they aren't far away. Their one day batting line up is among the best in the division but their bowling is where they will lose games, while Binny and co look decent there isnt a wicket taker there and it's hard to see who will take 25 wickets for them to be successful.
    First Class Prediction: 4th
    One Day Prediction: 5th

    New South Wales
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 1
    Could this finally be New South Wales' year? Several changes of management and non submitals have probably been the only thing costing them silverware in the first two WCC seasons, but now in Jamee Gray they have a top line manager who can bring them this glory. The team is lined with stars such as Katich, Jaques and Walters and they shouldn't have too many problems winning a lot of games. It seems to me though that they are putting a lot of faith in their spin duo of Casson and Belle, these guys are quality all rounders but neither is good enough to be a front line spinner in these days of WCC. I think in a full strength NSW's team there is room for one but not both. The OD side is good too but not outstanding, Jaques has been one of the premier one day players in WCC history but we have seen the bowlers struggle, they have cleared out some of the deadwood so theres every chance B Lee will get more help this year than he has before. The division is so close they may win it, but I'm gonna say they will lose a few too manly close ones.
    First Class Prediction: 2nd
    One Day Prediction: 6th

    North Zone India
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 1
    It's a make or break season for North Zone India, on paper they have one of the strongest squads in WCC but it has never really happened for them. In season two they recruited heavily for one day cricket but never really fired and as a result their four day form was down too. Despite being relegated to division two I cant see their first class performances picking up, while their batting is powerful there isnt the bowlers to win games, I expect a low finish with a lot of draws likely. Yashpal, Shewag and Gambhir are awesome but there is no quality in the bowling, R Wilson looks promising but you cant expect too much of a 17 year old quick with 5 games experience. I think their team is far too good to go badly in one day cricket again, VRV Singh is a fine OD bowler and could top the wicket taking charts this year, also dont discount E Johnson's all round ability, he had a fine All Star series with the Academy side and could fire again.
    First Class Prediction: 7th
    One Day Prediction: 2nd

    Queensland
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 1
    Some would argue they had a stronger team last year than this year. Some of the established stars such as Love, Watson and Zulch are gone and in comes the new brigade of Donald, Tanvir and Hasan. To me its a bit of a shock they had so much squad changes when they were very close to the top last year, if not for one or two tough games at the end of the season they could have easily walked away with the first class trophy while there was always potential in the One Day side. I really think the team overall will achieve about the same as last season, possibly slightly less as the other teams have improved more. Captain M Hayden will again lead from the front and score a lot of runs while I like the look of Tanvir with the ball. He should also score runs too. I'm slightly more optimistic about their One Day chances, most of the teams in the division are pretty similar and they do have quality, a look batting line up and some specialist OD bowlers will see them do ok. I'll be interested to see how much game time MacGill gets.
    First Class Prediction: 7th
    One Day Prediction: 5th

    Final 8 teams will come tomorrow.

  3. #453
    State Vice-Captain Umpire Money's Avatar
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    CHOPPER GETS A GIG

    Today is the day World Club Cricket has become a state. The Tasmanian Tigers have employed the services of Mark 'Chopper' Read as player body guard and speach writer. As rivalrys and threats exculate stemming from West Midland the tigers have taken the next step by making sure a physical threat does not worry them.

    The tasmanian tigers released this statement from their management:

    '...the possiblility of physical threats to our players and staff has never been bigger and we have taken the step to guard them from these esculating any further. Our players are professional and will not be dragged down by any person or club, therefore this appointment of Mark Read was necessary as he isn't. Our players can and if necessary will fight their own fight, but with Mark Read in our corner they won't have to.'

    With this appointment the WCC will be watching for any exculation of these threats to anything further. But with McTavish and Chopper who knows what could happen
    You have just read a post from Jason Pike, he is what you wish you were

  4. #454
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    South Australia
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 1
    The up and coming team in WCC for mine, heavily targetted one day promotion last season and got there on the final day, this season they are looking for First Class glory and it may very well happen. They picked up A Mukund in third round of the draft which is just criminal as he was the best First Class bat available from the start, he should have a cracking season, their second round pick K Demming was one of the leading wicket takers at last years academy while first round pick B Watts was player of the series in last years all star competition. That is an excellent mix. The retirement of M Elliott has been offset by gaining M Love, he is also expected to take over the captaincy. They also have one of the best One Day batting line ups going around, Watts, Rickman, Carter and Doshi is a powerful top four, while they wicket takers in the bowling line up with the likes of Tait, Demming and Bailey. They should do very well in both forms this year.
    First Class Prediction: 3rd
    One Day Prediction: 1st

    South Zone India
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 2
    Hung on to their division one status in first class last season and it could be a similar fight this time around. They have good players in the batting line up but their bowling is probably the weakest in the division, they should draw quite a number of games again on the back of Dravid, Badrinath and Chalker but outside of youngster L Hatch the bowling lacks a wicket taker. M Cleary has been out of WCC for a year and had a fine academy season but it remains to be seen wheather he truly learnt anything in his time away and if he can lead a bowling attack. Same sort of story in one day cricket, they did get relegated so in theory the opposition should be easier, I cant see them having a much better time of it though. Balaji is a genuine strike bowler and they again have some good bats, but so does everyone else. Theres no one in this squad who will strike fear into opposition teams, they will go into most games as the underdogs and will probably win some, but not enough to get them into the top half of the table.
    First Class Prediction: 6th
    One Day Prediction: 7th

    Tasmania
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 2
    Recovered last year to post some more than respectable results, they seem to me to be plotting for something big in the future, some very astute signings in the draft look to have them going even further on the up. Pathirana will finally give them some balance in their bowling attack, he shuould start as the spinner in front of Subramanya although a spin duo could be likely given that some of their bowlers are more than capable batsmen. Ponting needs to finally stand up, hes got support in Midlane, Adhikari and Le Roux so he has no excuses for not scoring a lot of runs this season. They are pretty similar in strength to their opposition but I like their balance and depth, I'm expecting a good year. We're unlucky to miss out on promotion last season in One Day, they were top three all year and just missed out, again with a bit more strengthening they look like they may be finally ready to take that step up. L Bond is a key member of this team, now thats its likely he wont have to worry about FC matches he can fully concentrate on One Day cricket and give it his all. Another guy looking to cement his spot in the team is L Butterworth, after a stint at the academy he is now a genuine all rounder.
    First Class Prediction: 2nd
    One Day Prediction: 3rd

    Titans
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 2
    Last year they looked genuine title contenders the whole way but just fell at the final hurdle in both forms, this year much is expected again. I can't be confident they'll do as well as season two though, the Darden trade in hindsight was a huge mistake and could cost them dearly this season. They look slightly worse if anything in First Class but not terribly. LF Simpson was a good get in the draft and you'd expect him to be the leading wicket taker, but Steyn needs to produce more than he did last year. Holland was super at the top of the order in season two and he has to be again, without runs from him they will struggle. Titans have a well rounded one day side, plenty of guys who can bat and bowl but perhaps again lack a star. Can't see a whole lot of match winners, rather just a bunch of guys who have some ability. The fast bowling looks to lack a bit of bite, with the likes of Nel, Steyn and Akram all being no better than solid. R Tate could be the X Factor for this team, can bat and can bowl very well and if he performs then they might do better than expected.
    First Class Prediction: 4th
    One Day Prediction: 4th

    Victoria
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 1
    If any team can be classed as one day specialists its Victoria. Last seasons division 1 champions were bottom of the pile in division 2 of the First Class game and I think thats something they will want to change. Theres no reason they cant be a better First class team with Hussey, Hodge, Raza and North in the batting line up. Theres plenty of runs in the team this year while the bowling looks to improved with the aquisions of Rabie and Pattinson. With a batting line up they have they should be a top four side however its hard to ignore their bowling, outside of their front line four there is practically nothing and it's going to cost them big time this year. I see them having some good results early in the campaign but falling away in the middle part of the season. They should again go well in One Day, the team is built for one day cricket, Francis and Beasley are top notch with the stick while all the bowlers are classy, North dominated with bat and ball last year and could do so again. I get the feeling they may end up just short this year of where they were in season two though.
    First Class Prediction: 6th
    One Day Prediction: 3rd

    Western Australia
    First Class: Div 1
    One Day: Div 1
    One of the few teams to be in division one in both forms have been under rated in this competition since day one. Most teams go into matches against them expecting to win but WA have pulled off more than one surprise in the past two seasons. They again will win a good number of games this season but it will be more of the same, not challenging for titles but doing enough to stay away from the bottom. It's hard to ignore their batting line up, you'll be hard pressed to find another team with Langer, Pomersbach, Hussey and Watambwa's numbers. It's again probably their bowling where things fall apart, although picking up one of WCC's all time leading wicket takers N Tahir, there isnt much to be excited about. Thompson looks a likely prospect but hes very inexperienced and may take some time to settle. Everything in One Day rests on the shoulders of Voges, he has been brilliant thus far but you'd think something would have to crack again, I'd be surprised if they have won many games where he has failed. The bowling is pretty good, Suraj is a genuine star in this form of the game and again Thompson could be a great if he has a good first year. They are a hard team to judge but I'm expecting this year is the one where something might finally give way.
    First Class Prediction: 5th
    One Day Prediction: 7th

    West Midlands
    First Class: Div 2
    One Day: Div 2
    under the guidance of loudmouth manager Hamish McTavish they have put together a team capable of challenging this year. The squad barely resembles anything that was put out last year with only a few youngsters kept. The most important signing for me was Y Khan, a class wicketkeeper batsman with experience could make all the difference this season. Their batting is pretty immense for a division 2 side though, with Samaraweera most likely coming in at 8 with a career average in excess of 40. The bowling has improved out of sight, it looks very spin dependant though and injuries to fast bowlers would see them brought back to the field a bit. D Dabengwa could be the make or break player for West Midlands, he was an absolute star at the academy last year and is one of the few genuine all rounders going around. At just 17 years old though it could be a big ask for him. The one day team isnt nearly as strong, it definitely looks a work in progress with the likes of Dredge and Lance needing good performances to imrpove and become future stars, the batting has some good bits and pieces players but outside of youngster T Pratt no one that is going to score big. It could be a long One Day season if things dont go right.
    First Class Prediction: 1st
    One Day Prediction: 6th

    Yorkshire
    One of the stranger sides in WCC. Have had a good First Class team on paper but have been poor in that form while have massively over achieved in one day cricket. Its hard not to think that they may have disadvantaged themselves by largely ignoring the trading periods, it's practically the same squad as last year and while others have improved they haven't. Atapattu was a good signing for them in the draft but hes pretty much just replacing the retired M Vaughan. EP Van Wyk could be the player to turn their fortunes around though, a swing bowling all rounder is capable with both bat and ball but again is probably not a huge stand out with either. J Patel looks to be a matured wicket keeper batsman and runs from him could be vital. They have been very good in one day cricket largely thanks to their top order, C Taylor is Yorkshire's star here and he again needs runs for them to be a force. The bowling has never been more than solid and the changes here look to be for the worse. Pyrah is still part of the attack though and he togethher with Mushtaq should take enough wickets for Yorkshire to win half their games this season.
    First Class Prediction: 5th
    One Day Prediction: 4th


  5. #455
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    One Day Round 1 Match of the Day

    vs

    Australian Derby
    South Australia and Western Australia come into this clash on the back of very different seasons last year. South Australia are looking to build on the one day dominance they started in division two while the Warriors were fighting against relegation the whole way. This should be an interesting clash, Redbacks will start favourites but they will have to pick up pretty quickly that division one is a whole new ball game. WA have scrapped their way through the first two seasons and may finally offer something more than average performances, they are coming off a confidence building win in their opening first class match and expectations would be high going into this game. South Australia will themselves be confident of getting the two points, you only have to look at their batting line up to see why, they have some real talent in there.

    Past Matches
    Season 1 Round 4
    Western Australia 4/317 (43) defeated South Australia 4/315 (50)
    In one of the most entertaining one day games in WCC history the home side claimed victory on the back of another great knock from number three batsman A Voges. his 124 not out from 111 balls saw the Warriors cruise to victory in the 43rd over. The pitch was flat and the outfield was quick and we could expect something similar again this week at the WACA. The stars that day for SA, Elliot (146) and Cosgrove (94*) have since moved on so it will be up to the new brigade to show the way.

    This Week's Game
    I'm really looking forward to this one, some people, even their own manager, seem to have written off Western Australia's chances this season and they come up against one of the most powerful one day sides going around, on paper it looks a foregone conclusion. The Warriors have enough quality in them to be right in this game, while their batting isn't as strong as the Redbacks they have enough good players with the likes of Voges, Hussey and Langer to post themselves a good score. I also believe that WA's bowling may be a touch stronger but neither of the attacks set the world on fire, SA really look to be carrying one or two guys with someone like P Lane not really up to being a front line bowler now and the same can be said for P Boxall. WA's chances probably rest of the shoulders of key bowlers M Suraj and P Thompson.

    Predictions
    This is a hard one, it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Western Australia get up and win but I just can't look past South Australia's batting, Watts, Rickman, Carter and Doshi are all talented youngsters averaging around 50 and I think they might just be too good. It will be close though, if SA bat first i think they can win by between 15-30 runs while batting second they could chase down a good score losing 6 or 7 wickets, they do have a strong tail too.

    Focus On
    Career WCC Stats
    A Voges (WA) Matches: 20 - 1193 runs @ 79.53
    M Suraj (WA) Matches: 2 - 1 wicket @ 84
    F Rickman (SA) Matches: 10 - 635 runs @ 79.38
    S Tait (SA) Matches: 20 - 20 wickets @ 52.80

    Betting
    Western Australia $2.80
    Tie $51
    South Australia $1.45

    Most Runs
    A Voges (WA) $2.25
    F Rickman (SA) $2.75
    B Watts (SA) $4.50
    M Doshi (SA) $6.50
    G Carter (SA) $7.00
    M Hussey (WA) $7.00
    J Langer (WA) $10
    N Pothas (WA) $13
    Others on request

    Most Wickets
    K Demming (SA) $3.75
    M Suraj (WA) $4.00
    S Tait (SA) $4.50
    P Thompson (WA) $5.00
    Q Adam (WA) $5.00
    M Cameron (SA) $7.50
    P Lane (SA) $10
    C Bailey (SA) $12
    S Parkis (WA) $13
    Others on request

  6. #456
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    First Class Round 2 Match of the Day

    vs

    Titans: 7th (3 points)
    Yorkshire: 1st (19 points)

    Heavyweights Clash
    Two of the outstanding teams in the division two first class competition come into this clash after very different opening round performances. Yorkshire were one of the most impressive teams in round one as they easily disposed of lowly fancied Karachi, however what was impressive was the manner they did it in, their batting, bowling and fielding were all superb as they took 19 points away from the clash. Titans has a major struggle in their game against Tasmania, they eventually lost by 51 runs but there was enough in their performance to suggest they will be more than a match for Yorkshire this week. These two teams are expected to feature in the top four this season so this may well be a crucial clash in shaping the table.

    Past Matches
    Season 1 Round 3
    Titans 218 & 314 defeated Yorkshire 165 & 289 by 78 runs
    Bowlers dominated the first class between these sides early in season one. Both of these teams were division one hopefulls at this time and lack of batting for in this game demonstrated why they were both relegated at the end of the campaign. D Steyn took 6 wickets and wicketkeeper Ab De Villiers scored 80 runs in the second innings for the Titans as they just had a little too much for the Englishmen in this clash, Yorkshire will this week be without J Rudolph who is missing through injury and he was their top scorer in this clash with 79.

    Season 1 Round 10
    Titans 354 & 2/85 defeated Yorkshire 155 & 280 by 8 wickets
    This was the final nail in the coffin for both teams as they went down after this game. Titans showed why they had a little more to offer in the higher division but it wasn't enough. Yorkshire's batting again let them down as they were asked to follow on. This game will best be remembered for the great bowling effort by Yorkshire all rounder Craig White as he took 7/70, AB DeVilliers showed why he loves batting against Yorks which was evident in his 98, captain M Van Jaarsveld also just missed out on a century, he scored 95. 5 wickets to spinner I Tahir was the bowling highlight for Titans as they won easily.

    Season 2 Round 5
    Yorkshire 469 & 4/142 defeated Titans 268 & 341 by 6 wickets
    A six wicket victory in last seasons clash failed to show the domination that Yorkshire had in this game. They have a 201 run first innings lead and asked Titans to bat again, following on the South Africans showed some fight but this four day game was one way traffic. Young quick bowler L Smythe put in his best WCC performance in taking 8 wickets as did spinner A Rashid who scored an unbeaten century and took a couple of wickets for Yorkshire. Titans star batsman A Holland scored 111 & 70 in this game as he showed why he is one of the premier batsman in the game.

    This Week's Game
    Both teams have a lot to prove in this game, Yorkshire would love to go 2-2 against Titans and given round one form is a real posibility. They'll miss Rudolph though, he does a good job in their middle order so it will be up to the likes of R Beetson who is playing just his second WCC game to make the difference. Titans wouldnt be overly concerned by their round one loss, they got good contributions from a number of players, it will just be a case of those guys turning their 40's into 80's and their 2fers into 4fers and I think they will be right in it. Titans batting depth isnt quite as good as Yorkshire's though, EP Van Wyk has already showed his talents with a good performance in round one, I think whoever performs better between he and A Morkel could go a long way to deciding this game.

    Predictions
    Ive had a hard time picking a winner in this game, Titans are better than most people probably think, they have some good batsman and decent bowlers, LP Simpson could be the X Factor, he has the ability to take a lot of wickets, however he's still young and inexperienced, I think the likes of Atapattu, Bradshaw and Tendulkar can cope with he and Steyn. Right now theres probably just a bit more quality in Yorkshire's team overall, L Kumar is a bit of a worry as a back up batsman but he showed good form in round one. I'm tipping Yorkshire to win by about 100 runs batting first or 8 wickets chasing in the fourth innings.

    Focus On
    WCC Career Stats
    M Atapattu Matches: 19 - 1205 runs @ 37.66
    S Mushtaq Matches: 21 - 86 wickets @ 28.30
    A Holland Matches: 21 - 1731 runs @ 45.55
    U Indrasiri Matches: 15 - 45 wickets @ 27.78

    Betting
    Titans $3.50
    Draw $3.25
    Yorkshire $2.30

    Most Runs (First Innings Only)
    A Holland $2.50
    M Atapattu $3.25
    AB DeVilliers $4.00
    J Bradshaw $5.50
    W Tendulkar $6.50
    J Patel $7.50
    M Van Jaarsveld $9.00
    G Gow $11
    K Rangnekar $11
    R Beetson $13
    Others on request

    Most Wickets (First Innings only)
    EP Van Wyk $2.00
    D Steyn $2.25
    U Indrasiri $3.00
    LF Simpson $4.50
    S Mushtaq $6.50
    O Clarke $9.00
    B Virdi $11
    P Joubert $13
    A Morkel $13
    T Gruggen $13
    Others on request

  7. #457
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    Fantastic write up, Simon! Only problem is that it's the biggest jinx, ever
    President of SKAS - Kat is King | Proud member of CVAAS - One of the best | LRPLTAS - Rosco rocks!
    Go Tigers!
    R.I.P. Fardin & Craig

  8. #458
    International Captain luffy's Avatar
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    Cheers Simon,

    Do that for next match for the Titans, yeah? Secure the win.

  9. #459
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    One Day Round 2 Match of the Day

    vs

    North Zone India: 1st (2 points NRR +5.29)
    New South Wales: 5th (0 Points NRR -0.72)

    Valuable Points on the Line
    Despite it only being round two these sides come into this game with a lot to gain. Both sides are among the favourites to take this title out and it's expected that any side wanting to finish first will have to lose fewer than four games this season. North Zone India had a crushing round one win over Yorkshire and as expected they look hard to beat this season. For New South Wales it was tough going in round one as they were edged out by Auckland, certainly not a game they would have thought they would drop two points in. If NSW lose this week they will be giving a four point head start to the leaders and that may be too much to peg back despite there being still 12 games to go.

    Past Matches
    Season 1 Round 2
    NSW 3/187 (26) defeated NZI 186 (33) by 7 wickets
    The first meeting between these two sides in WCC was an easy win to the Australians. New South Wales were expected to be heavyweights in season one but off field problems cost them the title despite some good on field performances. Phil Jaques (85) & Simon Katich (79) both batted brilliantly in trying conditions to chase down a modest North Zone India total, the game was set up for them after Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken took 3 wickets each. The only joy for the Indians was 42 not out to K Goel and a couple of wickets to VRV Singh.

    Season 1 Round 9
    NZI 2/317 (48) defeated NSW 8/315 (50) by 8 wickets
    The return clash between these sides saw NZI produce one of the most amazing chases in WCC history. With chasing traditionally tough at the SCG North Zone chased down NSW's huge total with ease and won by 8 wickets. The star was opener Akash Chopra who batted through the innings for 135 not out, wicketkeeper U Kaul blasted his way to 91 at the top of the order and S Dhawan made 60 in the record chase. VRV Singh bowled the best spell of the day as he took 3/37 off 9 overs. Blues batsman Ed Cowan made his first WCC century in this game as he scored 111 not out, he shared in a hundred run 6th wicket partnership with youngester Phil Hughes (48) in what was the only highlight for the Australians.

    Season 2 Round 2
    NZI 5/269 (47) defeated NSW 268 (48) by 5 wickets
    Chasing again proved the order of the day as North Zone India recorded their second win in a row against New South Wales in one day cricket. Season 2 saw the Indians firmly concentrate on the short format as they recruited specifically for the game. Batsman Yashpal Singh was the ultimate hero for them in this game though with a match winning century at better than a run a ball, K Goel made another significant contribution in the chase with 40 runs. Man of the match was all rounder H White who took 4/34, opening bowler D Withe also took four wickets which included a hat trick to end the New South Wales innings. The Blues had a centurion of their own in this clash with Michael Clarke scoring 106 after being promoted to opener, the lack of any real bite with the ball cost NSW any chance of winning with Stuart Clark (2/51) the only multiple wicket taker.

    Season 2 Round 9
    NSW 6/175 (48) defeated NZI 169 (30)
    Teams chasing made it 4 out of 4 in one day clases between NZI and NSW at the SCG in round 9 last year. NSW also made sure the squared the ledger against the Indians with a comprehensive victory. Brett Lee was at his brilliant best as he claimed 4/15 which included three wickets in a fiery opening spell to leave NZI in trouble at 4/46. Greg Belle also produced a good bowling performance to contatin the powerful middle order and take 3/43. 88 from number 3 T Vaughan ensured New South Wales got the points and walked away happy. It was a long flight back to India for North Zone as they couldnt even get into the game, H White (38) top scored while L Harris (2/48) were their best performing players.

    This Week's Clash
    Win the toss and bowl first will be the call! This should be a good game between two good sides. North Zone have a similar team to last year but have probably improved in several key area's, while New South Wales are different team under the guidance of Jamee Gray. I really think whoever bats first will win this time, its certainly the strength of both teams but I dont think 315 will be chased down this week. Both sides have capable players in all positions but it may be a case of the weakest link, New South Wales' perhaps dont bat as long as North Zone while the Indians bowling options look limited. I'm expecting the Blues to target the change bowlers such as Harris and Johnson, if they can take a good ammount of runs from them and not lose wickets to Singh and Wilson then I think they'll win.

    Predictions
    There is a lot of good players on display in this game it's hard to make a solid prediction. I did tip both sides to be in the top four come seasons end, so with that in mind theres probably more for NSW to play for this week. They would be disappointed with the round one loss and manager Gray reacted by making changes, I'm pretty sure the Blues players will not want to be the next ones to be dropped so they'll put in a better display this week. Inconsistency has dogged NZI for two years and I think that will continue into this week, with all things considered I'll pick a NSW win and with relative ease.

    Focus On
    WCC Career Stats
    S Yashpal Matches: 19 - 503 runs @ 45.73
    VRV Singh Matches: 20 - 33 wickets @ 25.45
    E Cowan Matches: 17 - 592 runs @ 45.54
    B Casson Matches: 4 - 19 runs @ 6.33 & 3 wickets @ 38.67

    Betting
    North Zone India $1.80
    Tie $51
    New South Wales $1.90

    Most Runs
    P Jaques (NSW) $2.75
    A Chopra (NZI) $3.00
    U Kaul (NZI) $3.50
    Q Carver (NSW) $4.75
    A Ur-Rehman (NSW) $6.00
    K Goel (NZI) $6.00
    S Yashpal (NZI) $7.00
    J Neill (NZI) $9.00
    E Cowan (NSW) $9.00
    T Vaughan (NSW) $11
    G Belle (NSW) $13
    L Harris (NZI) $13
    Others on request

    Most Wickets
    B Lee (NSW) $2.10
    VRV Singh (NZI) $2.30
    G Belle (NSW) $4.50
    B Walters (NSW) $5.00
    R Wilson (NZI) $5.50
    A Ardley (NZI) $7.00
    D Gamage (NSW) $8.50
    B Casson (NSW) $12
    Others on request

  10. #460
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    25,155
    Tenner on Carver for most runs.

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