Mad as a Hatter!

There’s something about failure that appeals to me!

When a batsman rocks up on debut and is out for a duck or a bowler concedes over a ton of runs without taking a wicket, the thought of their Cricinfo profile page displaying those stats for eternity genuinely eats away at me. When others write them off and say “Never pick them again” or “Not good enough” I say “People learn from bad experiences”, “They’ve got imperfection out of their system” or “Marvan Atapattu”!

Why am I telling you this?

Step forward Nic Maddinson. Test average 6.25… and if you thought that Marcus Harris looked like a village cricketer when playing in the Ashes this year then Maddo wasn’t far behind when taking on South Africa a couple of years ago. Few players have looked so perfectly designed to fit the phrase ‘A rabbit in the headlights’ as the Victoria opening bat did against Kagiso Rabada and co. Redemption though could be on its way.

The 27-year-old has been named in the Cricket Australia XI to take on Pakistan in a three-day match and should he outscore incumbent Harris could realistically play in the first Test. Maddinson wasn’t an opener in his previous existence as a Test cricketer but with no time to stew on the balcony and things really not able to get much worse could the Nowra native make a belated impression on cricket’s greatest stage?

Ashes Cricket (PS4): Career Mode – 2024 Season

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Here’s a quick round up of the 2024 campaign.

In the One-Day Cup, I commenced the season with scores of 79 and a List A best of 174 from 86 deliveries at the top of the order. I then scored 27 and was promptly dropped to number four! I was pretty peeved at the demotion and some low scores then ensued. After only 21 runs in four outings, I then walloped 90 off 28 having reached 50 from 14 whilst passing 1000 career List A runs in the process.

I made a quick fire 46 in the quarter-final against Durham but that was as far as we got. I totalled 433 runs at 54.13 in the competition.

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I finally got the call to the Yorkshire T20 side and after a slow start, made 76 from 43 against Sussex.

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I dominated a rather one-sided partnership against Middlesex having equalled the world record for fastest fifty alongside Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh, just the twelve deliveries required. Later in the season, I went onto register a maiden ton from just 32 balls, two deliveries short of equalling Gayle’s record. I had a fantastic opportunity to smash the fifty record against Northamptonshire but having raced to 46 from nine, missed a free hit then failed to connect with the following two deliveries.

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I would go onto record another hundred, a career best 115 from just forty balls against Somerset. I was dismissed in the forties in both the quarter-final against Essex and semi-final against Derbyshire. Despite being favourites, we failed to get past Derbyshire in the semi and so yet again, there was to be no big day out for us.

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There were hundreds galore in the First Class arena. After a slightly slow start, I made 175 in a partnership of 209 against a Northamptonshire attack that included Australia’s Josh Hazlewood and my South African nemesis Tabraiz Shamsi.

Against Nathan Lyon and company at Worcestershire, I scored 175… again!

I made 99 against Surrey before being bowled around my legs. Having made 27 in the second innings I got dropped to four again. There must be something about the score of 27 and getting demoted from opener to four!

After a few low scores I was back to run-getting with 153 against Kagiso Rabada’s Derbyshire, then made 189 versus Leicestershire and 102 against Surrey. I reached fifty from twelve balls against Nottinghamshire and was then promoted back to opener. Against Glamorgan, I contributed my season high 216 having reached a century from just thirty deliveries. I fell for 95 in the second innings before scoring 92 in the final match of the season against Durham. I actually reached my half-century in a record breaking ten deliveries!

I was really satisfied with my ability to convert centuries into at least 150s more often than not. Unfortunately, as soon as the season finished, I was off to Australia and so couldn’t see the final County Championship standings or run charts! (Sort that out please Big Ant!)

I’ve signed as captain with Tasmania for the Sheffield Shield but then joined Auckland in the New Zealand T20 competition. This means that I’ll miss a load of Sheffield Shield matches. I’ve decided to sign up to as many T20 franchises as possible this winter to see how it works then review it and maybe be more selective next winter. I’ve signed for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash and Khulna in the Bangladesh Premier League but it looks like I’ll only play snippets of each competition. I’m guessing that if I sign up for the Ireland T20 that I’ll miss some of the English county season. Like I said, I’ll sign up to every league possible this term then try and manage things better the following season.

For the record, my career record is as follows:

First Class: 3963 @ 66.05 incl. 14×50 & 12×100, TS: 325

List A: 1134 @ 59.68 incl. 4×50 & 5×100, TS: 174

T20: 757 @ 42.06 incl. 3×50 & 2×100, TS: 115

All Broom but no Handle!

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It’s been a while since Neil Broom got a mention here at Silly Point. The New Zealand bat gained some airtime when he ditched a county contract to answer a recall to his nation’s limited overs side and promptly topped the run charts with 228 over the three-match series against Bangladesh. This included a maiden international hundred (109 not out in Nelson) followed by a run-a-ball 97, also in Horatio’s city.

Broom did register a score of 73 against Australia but in the absence of Ross Taylor, greeted the Test world off the back of a ODI series against South Africa that brought him scores of 2, 2 and 0, so it probably didn’t come as a surprise to many when he lasted only four runless deliveries against the same opposition in the second Test in Wellington, Rabada-de Kock the combination responsible for his downfall. For those of you missing our old favourite…

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… here’s an International Duck Watch special just for you, courteousy of Neil Broom!

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Career Catastrophe!

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Firstly, yes that is me in the image above. The disadvantage of being a rather nondescript looking person in real life is that amongst other things any avatar that you create, in this case the Don Bradman Cricket 17 version of yourself, is that you don’t look particularly far removed from the default character. I look like I need a good meal, maybe I should have beefed up my chest and shoulders a bit.

Anyway, you know that game I’ve been banging on about for weeks, Don Bradman Cricket 17 (Yeah that one) and telling everyone to buy it… well hold your horses! At the risk of sounding like a proper gamer, there are bugs and glitches galore (I know all the terminology now).

Having made it to 10 not out in the first game of my career I suddenly looked up at the screen to see myself stood at the non-striker’s end. The problem was that I wasn’t the non-striker and despite a desperate (In fact I didn’t even bother!) effort to get back I got stumped. The same thing happened a few matches later but as it was a pace bowler and the wicketkeeper was stood back I managed to scramble home. After all this chaos seemed to have stopped it later happened again but fortunately for my batting average my teammate was the one short of his ground!

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Art imitating life.

In career mode you start at T20 club level. You can’t just waltz into the Yorkshire side. I signed up for Leeds and was asked to select some other local club sides to join the league. I chose Doncaster, Hull, Scarborough, Sheffield and York so was a bit miffed when I found myself playing the likes of Consett, Southport and Outer Vietnam or whoever else was in the Northern League.

Earlier in the day I played a women’s Five5 match then two men’s games in the same format. Two of the three matches kicked me out of the game at the innings break.

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That’s me on the left (Yeah I’m walking off not out!)

All of this is a great shame because the gameplay is great. I’ve seen others criticise the graphics but some of the catches are far better looking than DBC14. If only the fielders would take some off my bowling! The only other game I play is FIFA so I can’t really compare against much but I think it’s an amazing achievement for people to have made cricket playable on a computer and hopefully after a patch (There’s that gamer terminology again!) DBC17 can become the great game that it should be.

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Have some of that! (A nose bleed inducing strike rate if such preposterousness were to occur in real life!)

Oh! I nearly forgot. It wouldn’t let me download the Academy so there’s no Virat Kohli or Kagiso Rabada etc. I’m stuck with Vincent Krohl and Kingston Radebe or whatever wonderful names Big Ant have provided…

… and on the subject of names it was a pleasure to bowl to Mr Sod Wesley, even if he did smack me for back to back fours on the leg-side!

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A cheeky little not out in my final innings of the season sent that average soaring skywards (Or towards 20!).

P.S. Proper YouTubers etc would provide smooth images and video of the experience. I am not proper so you will have to make do with actual photos taken using an actual camera that was held in one hand whilst the PS4 controller was in the other and let me tell you, this game is hard enough with two hands on the controller…

… “wide. That ball was headed for the car park”. (Again!)

International Duck Watch!

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Welcome to Test cricket Nic Maddinson! One of three Australian debutantes Maddinson lasted twelve deliveries before falling victim to South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada in the third Test at Adelaide. For the record the home side’s other debutantes, Middlesbrough born opening batsman Matthew Renshaw and former Gloucestershire middle-order player Peter Handscomb faired little and much better, registering scores of 10 and 54 respectively. Let’s not forget that successful Test players such as Graham Gooch, Phillip Hughes and Marvan Atapattu all registered ducks on their Test bows so all is not yet lost for Maddinson though the state of the game could leave the twenty-four-year-old without a second innings opportunity.

In Hamilton New Zealand opening batsman Tom Latham fell first ball to Mohammad Amir in his side’s second Test against Pakistan. Latham made scores of 1 and 9 in the first Test so is currently averaging a mighty 3.33 in the series! New Zealand were 77-2 in their first innings when rain curtailed play.

Finally, in a crucial Tri-Series match in Zimbabwe the home team’s Sean Williams fell first ball to Ashley Nurse, caught by our man Shai Hope. As a result Williams will need nursing better! West Indies had their own goldie in the form of Johnson Charles. Charles was caught and bowled by Zimbabwe hero Tendai Chisoro. Chisoro scored 42 not out off 35 deliveries batting at number ten, putting on an unbroken stand of 91 with Sikander Raza before recording figures of 6-1-23-2 as Zimbabwe claimed a spot in the final.

Australia 0-1 South Africa

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South Africa have gained a 1-0 lead in their Test series in Australia with a 177-run victory at Perth. Australia had actually been 158-0 in their first innings response to South Africa’s 242 but suffered an Englandesque collapse losing all ten wickets for just 86 runs and so finishing 244 all out, a lead of just two. Dean Elgar (127) and Jean-Paul Duminy’s (141) partnership of exactly 250 helped South Africa soar to 540-8 declared against the Birdless Ozzies (See previous post: The Bird and the Lyon). Despite 97 from Usman Khawaja and 60 not out from wicketkeeper Peter Nevill, Kagiso Rabada’s 5-92 saw the hosts bundled out for 361.

Australia’s selectors will now surely ponder possible changes to the side for the second Test and might do no worse than to ‘Go West’ as the Pet Shop Boys would say. Western Australia’s Ashton Agar (Remember him?) was unlucky to finish on the losing side as his team were beaten by New South Wales in Sydney in the latest round of First Class fixtures down under. Agar recorded career best bowling analysis of 6-110 in the first innings and match figures of 10-141. He also registered scores of 15 and 35 batting at number five. The Australian selectors might be tempted to bring the twenty-three-year-old back into the fold though national selector Mark Waugh already seems to have confirmed that it won’t be at the expense of Mitchell Marsh.

The second Test of the three match series commences on November 12th at Hobart down in Tasmania, down in Tasmania!