THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #73 – Domestic Cricket & AFI Awards

A shorter view this week after the past few weeks of anger and ranting. Okay, so there’s still some things to be said about soccer, but I am complimentary of part of cricket. And as a favour to some ex-pats in New York (so they claimed), the AFI results. A short view.

Cricket
International
West Indians Tour Of Australia

Weekend off. You would have thought they would have booked some sort of tour match, but this is Cricket Australia and they probably didn’t see dollar signs in it.
Sheffield Shield
Tasmania v Western Australia
            Western Australia 8(dec)/442 & 4(dec)/201; Tasmania 5(dec)/ 296 & 9/351 – Tasmania won by 1 wicket (pts Tas 6, WA 2)
            A pair of sporting declarations made this match into a thrilling spectacle. It came down to the wire, and either team could have done it, but after some recent awesome play against South Australia, Tasmania have their confidence sky-high and it really showed in this one. Fantastic match.
Victoria v South Australia
South Australia 6(dec)/517 & 2(dec)/109; Victoria 6(dec)246 & 4/384 – Victoria won by 6 wickets (pts Vic 6, SA 2)
            Another pair of sporting declarations! After rain and a huge South Australian total looked set to make this into a non-event, both teams then put out fighting declarations and the match was another awesome spectacle of tactical cricket, the way it should be played. Two Shield games, two great matches, made so by captains who wanted to win and not just play to ‘not lose’. Special mention must also be made of South Australia’s Klinger (207 not out) and Cosgrove (103) who were the backbones of that fantastic first innings total.
Queensland v New South Wales
            NSW 5(dec)/451 & 184; Qld 468 & 1/168 – Queensland won by 9 wickets
            A real back and forth game with one team gaining the upper hand, then the other. Batsmen would get on top and then the bowlers would take over. A real tense game. And then came the New South Wales second innings when they collapsed completely and Queensland ran right over them on the final day. Disappointing end to an intriguing game.
Ford Ranger Cup
Queensland v New South Wales
            Queensland 258 (49.2 overs); New South Wales 6/259 (47.5 overs) – NSW won by 4 wickets
            Close game, with New South Wales managing the win because of a team bowling performance that saw six bowlers used and all six managing to get one or two wickets. The opening batsmen from both teams failed, and it really was down to the middle order batting well enough to make the scores look respectable. But the New South Wales bowling stocks are looking the goods.
Tasmania v Western Australia
            Western Australia 9/193; Tasmania 6/194 (48.2 ov) – Tasmania won by 4 wickets
            Again, Tasmania’s confidence is really coming to the fore, but this was not a brilliant game. Mitchell Marsh scored 92 for WA, two other players each scored 39 and no other batsman scored double figures. Tasmania then went out and did what they had to do to win.
Women’s National Cricket League Twenty20
Western Australia v Australian Capital Territory
            WA 8/140; ACT 8/133 – Western Australia won by 7 runs
New South Wales v Victoria
            Vic 6/123; NSW 7/116 – Victoria won by 7 runs
            New South Wales had this, but after the two openers were gone, they lost their way and collapsed.
Women’s National Cricket League
New South Wales v Victoria
            Vic 186 (49.4 ov); NSW 5/187 (36.1 ov) – New South Wales won by 5 wickets
            The Victorian batswomen just did not get it together with the highest score of only 56, second highest score of 20, and extras being 25 runs!
South Australia v Queensland
            Qld 3/240; SA 8/241 (42.1 ov) – South Australia won by 2 wickets
            Entertaining game! Both teams pulled out all stops, but Queensland’s great total looked to be quite daunting for the South Australians. But from the word go, they did not give up, with SA opener Shelley Nitschke scoring a quick 109 (after Qld opener Melissa Bulow scored 110), and the rest scoring near or better than a run a ball. Just great.
Western Australia v Australian Capital Territory
            WA 8/188; ACT 9/189 (49.5 ov) – Australian Capital Territory won by 1 wicket
            One ball remaining! The scores might not have been too high, but the drama and tension of this match made for another great game.
New South Wales v Victoria
            Vic 188 (43.2 ov); NSW 121 (34.3 ov) – Victoria won by 67 runs
            A game where the bowlers completely dominated.
South Australia v Queensland
            Qld 8/276; SA 174 (48.3 ov) – Queensland won by 102 runs
            After the excitement of their first encounter, this was a disappointing match.
Western Australia v Australian Capital Territory
            WA 167 (49.1 ov); ACT 7/168 (37.2 ov) – Australian Capital Territory won by 3 wickets
            The ACT took their momentum from the first close win to have a more dominant win over the Western Australians in the second game.
Overall
            Just a quick thing here – despite our test team looking like they are not the dominant force they once were, the domestic cricket scene is alive and well and full of amazing performances both from a team and individual perspective. Captains are willing to risk it all for the win, they are playing to win, they are not backing down. Men and women, it is such a great scene. Just a shame it does not seem to be translating into the national teams all that well.

Soccer
            Richard Hinds writing in the weekend Age newspaper made this absolutely brilliant analogy – soccer is the McDonalds of world sport. It is quick to prepare and easy to play. Some may say there are special skills and nuances in soccer, but McDonalds claim that in their special sauce on Big Macs. FIFA coming in and demanding that the local football codes be set aside for soccer is like McDonalds going into a country and demanding that the national dishes be set aside while they establish themselves. Perfect analogy – soccer is the fast food, the junk food of world sport. Everyone occasionally likes a Big Mac; everyone occasionally likes a game of soccer. But if you have it all the time it’s no good for you. (That last bit’s mine, and I’m sticking to it!) (And by everyone, I mean many people, and by likes, I mean tolerates. Sorry for any confusion.)
A-League – Round Eighteen
North Queensland Fury 1 def Perth Glory 0
Wellington Phoenix 0 def by Sydney 1
Central Coast Mariners 0 def by Melbourne Victory 3
Brisbane Roar 0 def by Adelaide United 1
            Adelaide’s first win in too long, but it might very well be too little too late.
Newcastle Jets 3 def Gold Coast United 2
            A surprisingly entertaining game.
W-League – Semi-Finals
Sydney 3 def Canberra United 0
            Despite being down to ten women, Sydney still pulled out the gutsy win.
Central Coast Mariners 0 def by Brisbane Roar 1
            Top of the table one week (yes, I made a mistake last week and put Sydney first – my bad), bundled out the next. Not good for Central Coast.

Boxing
Super-Flyweight
Vic Darchinyan v Tomas Rojas
            Darchinyan, originally from Armenia, now an Australian, beat Rojas from Mexico in two rounds to defend his WBC/WBA titles. Another excellent result from an Australian boxer.
            On the same card Vitali Klitschko defended his WBC heavyweight title against Kevin Johnson and said he wants WBA champ David Haye next. That is a match I will be paying money to see.

Basketball
NBL Round Twelve
Gold Coast 80 def Adelaide 72
New Zealand 100 def by Perth 106
Cairns89 def Melbourne 74
Adelaide 85 def by New Zealand 92
            And with this loss Adelaide have now fallen into Melbourne territory and look like being out of the finals race as well.
Townsville 89 def Melbourne 79
Wollongong 109 def Perth 84
WNBL Round Ten
Bendigo 80 def  by Bulleen 90
Logan 67 def by Townsville 79
Sydney 94 def Townsville 75
Perth 64 def by Canberra 102
Bulleen 83 def Dandenong 64

Other Sport
Golf – Australian PGA
            Robert Allenby won this tournament for the fourth time, by four strokes.
Surfing – Mick Fanning has won his second world championship at the Hawaiian Pipeline.

Australian Film Institute Awards 2009
            These are the Australian equivalent to the BAFTAs or Golden Globes.
The winners were:
AFI AWARD FOR BEST FILM: Samson & Delilah
AFI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION: Samson & Delilah. Warwick Thornton
AFI AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Samson & Delilah. Warwick Thornton
AFI AWARD FOR BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Balibo. David Williamson, Robert Connolly
AFI AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE: Mao’s Last Dancer. Christopher Gordon
AFI AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR: Anthony LaPaglia. Balibo
AFI AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS: Frances O’Connor. Blessed
AFI AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Oscar Isaac. Balibo
AFI AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Rachel Griffiths. Beautiful Kate
AFI AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES: East West 101, Season 2. SBS
AFI AWARD FOR BEST TELEFEATURE, MINI SERIES OR SHORT RUN SERIES: False Witness. UKTV
AFI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN TELEVISION: East West 101, Season 2 (Episode 13, Atonement). Peter Andrikidis. SBS
AFI AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION: Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Episode 11, The Brotherhood). Kris Mrksa. Nine Network
AFI AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Roy Billing. Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities. Nine Network
AFI AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Susie Porter. East West 101, Season 2. SBS
AFI AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Damian de Montemas. Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Episode 11, The Brotherhood). Nine Network
AFI AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Anni Finsterer. 3 Acts of Murder. ABC1
AFI AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY: Glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts.
AFI YOUNG ACTOR AWARD: Marissa Gibson & Rowan McNamara. Samson & Delilah
BYRON KENNEDY AWARD: Ray Brown
NEWS LIMITED READERS’ CHOICE AWARD: Mao’s Last Dancer. Jane Scott
AFI INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR: Russell Crowe. State of Play
AFI INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS: Toni Collette. United States of Tara. ABC1
AFI HIGHEST GROSSING FILM AWARD: Australia.
            I highly recommend seeing Underbelly, either 2009’s number 2, or 2008’s number 1. I also recommend Balibo, but prepare to be depressed. Samson & Delilah is also worth a watch.

That’s this view – December 8 through December 13.

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