The View From Down Here #26

Another week, another round of results. Brief this week because I started training again and I am sore after 4 weeks off! So, without further ado, here goes:

Well, I’ll never. A week with no more news, no more controversies, no nothing to come out of basketball circles. Maybe they realise the finals are coming up and they are still drawing crowds so small it would be embarrassing for korfball. The skills of the men are proving rather ordinary. And administration might as well not exist. Enough bitching… here’s some results:
NBL – Round 18
Melbourne 99 def Sydney 79
New Zealand 95 def Townsville 86
Cairns 79 def Adelaide 70
Gold Coast 107 def by Melbourne 116
Perth 114 def Sydney 84
Wollongong 94 def by Melbourne 108
Townsville 128 def Adelaide 105
WNBL – Round 14
Adelaide 78 def Townsville 73
Bulleen 88 def Bendigo 85
Dandenong 60 just lost to Bendigo 62
Logan 69 just over Sydney 66
Perth 66 def by Townsville 100
Some close matches this week, and some fine basketball skills being shown as well. A good round!

A-League Round 20
Wellington Phoenix 1 drew with Adelaide United 1
Newcastle Jets 2 def Perth Glory 1
Queensland Roar 3 hammered Sydney FC 1
Melbourne Victory 3 killed Central Coast Mariners 0
A League Round 16
Adelaide United 0 drew with Queensland Roar 0
            No, this is not a typo – round 16. This is the make-up match because Queensland actually put Australian soccer ahead of itself (unlike, say, Central Coast) and allowed Adelaide time off without immediate returns during Adelaide’s Asia Clubs campaign. Unfortunately, the draw was not the result Adelaide should have had, but they only had themselves to blame for that.
W-League Final
Queensland Roar 2 def Canberra United 0
            A record crowd of 4554, a physical contest, great skills… it lived up to the hype and then some. The men have a lot to live up to now… and still the media in this country do not give a rat’s arse…

International Cricket
The ICC has gone into damage control mode yet again. The rankings have been released and Matthew Hayden is now rated as the tenth best Test batsman of all time! And Sachin Tendulkar is ranked twenty-sixth! Now, look, rankings should be based on facts and figures, and while Hayden is a very good batsman, to say that there are twenty-five batsmen better than Tendulkar is crazy talk. Maybe five or six, but twenty five or six? Brian Lara not in the top ten? Gavaskar at number 20? Hussey better than Gavaskar? Border nowhere to be seen? Steve Waugh nowhere to be seen? I mean, Waugh and Border and Gavaskar only made more than 10,000 runs. Well, here is the top 20 list, and while few would argue with number 1, the rest are… let’s say up for debate…
1 D.G. Bradman AUS
2 L. Hutton ENG
= 3 J.B. Hobbs ENG
= 3 R.T. Ponting AUS
5 P.B.H. May ENG
= 6 C.L. Walcott WI
= 6 I.V.A. Richards WI
= 6 G.S. Sobers WI
= 6 K.C. Sangakkara SL
= 10 M.L. Hayden AUS
= 10 J.H. Kallis SA
12 Mohammad Yousuf PAK
= 13 R.G. Pollock SA
= 13 E.D. Weekes WI
= 15 A.D. Nourse SA
= 15 K.D. Walters AUS
= 17 R.N. Harvey AUS
= 17 921 M.E.K. Hussey AUS
19 D.C.S. Compton ENG
20 S.M. Gavaskar IND
Second Twenty20
South Africa 5/157; Australia 4/161 (18.5 overs) – Australia won by 6 wickets
            Australia win another meaningless Twenty20 match. One point of interest, however, comes out of this: the ‘Great Australian Hope’ from the first match – David Warner. I don’t want to pick on him because he is a player put into an unenviable position by the selectors, but he was dismissed for only 7 runs. The problem with Warner is that he appears to be a one-trick pony, and it did not take South Africa long to work that one trick out. But another fun match to watch, only this time without that dull half-time show; instead a nice tribute to departing test player Matthew Hayden.
First One-Day International
Australia 8/271; South Africa 7/272 (49.3 overs) – South Africa won by 3 wickets
South Africa were on their way to certain defeat until the last 12 overs, and then something happened and they started playing like men possessed. Great, great game with a thrilling result (3 balls to spare!) and even though some fielding was a little dodgy, that can be pout down to the sheer pressure put on both teams by the situation. It shows why these two teams are number one and two in the world in one day internationals.
Second One-Day International
Australia 9/249; South Africa 6/244 – Australia won by 5 runs
Another good match. Australia crashed at the end of their innings, losing eight wickets for less than a hundred runs, and South Africa came down to needing a 6 off the last ball of the match to force a tie. We were on the edge of our seats watching it, waiting for one team to win. Only downside was the Tasmanian crowd being so non-vocal, but that is a minor quibble. So two matches, one win a-piece, and the matches were really too close to call. This is proving to be a good series and rather exciting too, I might add!
            It’s good to be enjoying cricket again!
Australian Domestic
Twenty20 Big Bash
Getting close to the pointy end of this series now, but with one of the finalists yet to be decided. A good series, with some fun cricket… but no-one’s even pretending that it’s serious, except for the prize-money and some form of prestige that might come from winning it all…
Tasmania 7/194; New South Wales 8/166 – Tasmania won by 28 runs
South Australia 6/176; Tasmania 124 (19.3 overs) – South Australia won by 52 runs
Queensland 3/189; Western Australia 127 (17.5 overs) – Queensland won by 62 runs
New South Wales 8/128; Victoria 9/126 – New South Wales won by 2 runs

The Australian Open, first grand slam of the year, starts next week, so all the other tournaments wound up over the weekend. Some interesting results, and now it seems the Williams sisters are favourites for the women’s title, with no clear favourites for the men’s… Could be an interesting tournament. We can only hope…
Medibank International
David Nalbandian def Jarkko Nieminen – 6-3, 6-7 (9-11), 6-2
Heineken Open
Juan Martin del Potro def Sam Querrey – 6-4, 6-4
Womens Medibank International
Elena Dementieva def Dinara Safina – 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
Moorilla Hobart International
Petra Kvitova def Iveta Benesova – 7-5, 6-1
AAMI Kooyong Classic
Roger Federer def Stanislas Wawrinka – 6-1, 6-3

Tour Down Under
138,000 people gathered in Adelaide’s Rymill Park for the Cancer Council classic, the prelude to the Tour Down Under. To put it into perspective, that is a little more than 10% of our city’s population. What with the Twenty20 crowd and now this, maybe Adelaidians are finally supporting some sport instead of whingeing about how the events always go interstate! Lance Armstrong was, of course, the main drawcard, but the 30 lap, 51km race was won by Queenslander Robbie McEwen and his new team Katusha. The top three were:
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha
2 Willem Stroetinga (Ned) Team Milram
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank

Closing Paragraph
If anyone is in Adelaide for our Fringe Festival in a few months’ time, please come along to A Carnivale – Cirque de Gymnastique, where yours truly will be one of many dozens of performers. Barring injury on my part… Should be a good show. I’m sure you can find links on the computer thing you’re now using, and whatever, but if you can, come on down. Should be a hoot!
            Did I really say, “Hoot?” How embarrassing… too much old television I think… Oops..

And that’s this view!

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