Queensland have won back to back Ryobi Cup titles with their 5 wicket win over New South Wales in the final at the North Sydney Oval. The Blues batted first and made 6/317 off their 50 overs, normally a great score in the 50 over format but only a par score on the small North Sydney Oval with it’s road for a pitch. Keeper Peter Nevill, recent Australian T20 debutante Nic Maddison and Steve Smith, captaining NSW in this game all made half centuries in the home team’s innings, Smith in particular impressive, some of his 5 sixes hit over long-on very reminiscent of Mark Waugh in his prime. An opening stand of 165 between former Blues batsman Usman Khawaja and Bulls keeper Chris Hartley set up the Queensland middle order for a late innings onslaught duly carried out by Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting who hit 7 sixes between them including the match winning hit by Lynn that saw the Bulls home. The great work in turning around Queensland’s fortunes by Darren Lehmann has been carried on by Bulls legend Stuart Law who has been a great replacement for the 2012/13 Ryobi Cup winning, now Australian, coach.
In the elimination/preliminary final held between 2nd & 3rd Victoria batted first and looked to have a foot in the final at 1/202 off 29.3 overs yet only managed 9/321 off their 50 overs. Once again just par at North Sydney. The Bushrangers new recruit Dan Christian was elevated to open for this match and hit 7 sixes in his career best 117 off 90 balls. His opening partner Rob Quiney made 89 off 100 balls with 42 by Cameron White the only other major contribution. David Warner pretty much single handedly led the Blues to a berth in the Final with a majestic 197 off 141 balls. With 3 needed to win the Test opener was well caught on the boundary by Jon Holland just inches from the turf and inches away from the first ever domestic one day double ton. Warner did break Jimmy Maher’s competition record of 187 set 10 years ago at the Gabba for Queensland against South Australia.
So to the reviews of each team. Queensland are a star team full of good average players who know their role. Ben Cutting was the standout, smashing lower order runs at will (his 98 off 48 balls against Victoria was the innings of the tournament and the sole reason the Bulls beat the Bushrangers in that game) and bowled well with 10 wickets for the tournament. A certainty to return to the one day team when in their next series against England in January. Usman Khawaja had a good tournament that was topped of by his excellent ton in the final. To this watcher he appears an opener only and needs red ball runs to be in Test contention given several are ahead of him in one-day contention. Chris Hartley continues to improve his batting and is a fantastic keeper but at 31 it is probably too late for a national call up given the wicket-keeping depth in this country. Nathan Hauritz was also impressive and can’t be written off for a return to International ranks in the short forms.
For New South Wales David Warner played the competition in two halves. For the first half he looked like a man totally out of form but rebounded to smash three tons in the later half of the Ryobi Cup to end with 541 runs at 67. Steve Smith returned from injury in the same form as he showed in the Ashes while the Blues were well served by quicks Josh Hazelwood and Gurinder Sandhu while all-rounder Sean Abbott took 16 wickets despite being expensive at times.
For Victoria Cameron White made a great return to form, smashing 387 runs including 5 half centuries to deservedly win the player of the tournament award. He didn’t bowl at all which was disappointing given his return to form at the bowling crease last season. Rob Quiney and discarded Australian keeper and now Bushrangers captain Matthew Wade were also superb with the bat, both also making over 300 runs for the tournament. Jon Holland took 12 wickets in his return from last season’s shoulder surgery and was duly rewarded with selection in the Australia A team to face England in a couple of weeks in Hobart.
Tasmania continue to be a strong domestic team but could only manage 4th in this competition. Alex Doolan and Tim Paine were their only batsmen to make over 200 runs while Evan Gulbis and Ben Laughlin both took 9 wickets with the ball with Gulbis also contributing with the bat.
Michael Klinger starred for South Australia with 380 runs at an average of 76.00 while Dutch International Tom Cooper made 294 runs at 49.00. The Redbacks were always competitive without being good enough to close out games.
Western Australia struggled throughout, the only good signs was the form of Shaun Marsh with 304 runs at 76 with a highest score of 119, while fast-medium bowler Andrew Tye continued to impress in the 50 over format, taking 13 wickets.
For earlier 2013/14 Ryobi Cup results, read http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/ryobi-cup-week-1
Game 5 at Bankstown
South Australia 6/268 (M Klinger 140*,TLW Cooper 65, CA Rose 2/33) lost to
Tasmania 8/269 (AJ Doolan 68, EP Gulbis 50, JM Mennie 2/52)
Game 6 at Bankstown
Queensland 4/202 (NJ Reardon 92*, CD Hartley 64, AJ Tye 2/32) def.
Western Australia 118 (MJ North 33, JS Floros 3/37, BCJ Cutting 2/8, NM Hauritz 2/19)
Game 7 at Bankstown
South Australia 210 (M Klinger 74, TLW Cooper 31, AL Fekete 4/38, B Laughlin 3/33) lost to
Tasmania 9/211 (TD Paine 56, AJ Doolan 40, PR George 3/27)
Game 8 at North Sydney Oval
Queensland 8/305 (BCJ Cutting 98*, UT Khawaja 62, PM Siddle 3/43, JM Holland 2/39) def.
Victoria 279 (RJ Quiney 59, CL White 51, PSP Handscomb 45, JW Hastings 45, LW Feldman 5/57)
Game 9 at Hurstville Oval
Western Australia 8/233 (MJ North 51, GS Sandhu 3/66) lost to
New South Wales 5/234 (SPD Smith 73, SA Abbott 47*, MA Beer 1/31)
Game 10 at Hurstville Oval
Queensland 9/241 (UT Khawaja 66, GD Moller 50, EP Gulbis 4/36, AL Fekete 2/60) lost to
Tasmania 8/245 (JC Silk 62, TD Paine 50, MG Nesser 4/50, RJ Harris 3/61)
Game 11 at North Sydney Oval
Victoria 8/331 (CL White 76, MS Wade 74, MP Stoinis 63, JP Behrendorff 3/66, AJ Tye 3/80) def.
Western Australia 272 (SM Katich 67, SE Marsh 47, JM Holland 4/48)
Game 12 at North Sydney Oval
New South Wales 253 (DA Warner 139, JR Hopes 4/38) lost to
Queensland 5/256 (CA Lynn 78, UT Khawaja 63, NM Lyon 2/33, SA Abbott 2/37)
Game 13 at Drummoyne Oval
Western Australia 5/285 (SM Katich 66, CT Bancroft 63, SE Marsh 54, PR George 2/41) lost to
South Australia 4/286 (TLW Cooper 101, M Klinger 91, NJ Rimmington 2/50)
Game 14 at North Sydney Oval
Queensland 8/273 (JJ Pierson 85, JR Hopes 49*, J Botha 3/42) def.
South Australia 183 (A Zampa 66, NM Hauritz 3/31)
Game 15 at Blacktown International Sports Park
Western Australia 8/256 (SE Marsh 84, JW Rogers 68, EP Gulbis 3/37) def.
Tasmania 204 (EP Gulbis 47, TD Paine 38, AJ Tye 5/46)
Game 16 at North Sydney Oval
Victoria 8/311 MS Wade 85, DJ Hussey 71, CL White 50, PSP Handscomb 46*, JR Hazelwood 4/57, SA Abbott 3/61) lost to
New South Wales 3/314 (DA Warner 138, SPD Smith 65*, PM Nevill 53, PM Siddle 1/48)
Game 17 at North Sydney Oval
Western Australia 9/212 (SE Marsh 119, HWR Cartwright 35) lost to
Quesland 3/145 (UT Khawaja 88*, AJ Tye 2/36)
Queensland won by Duckworth/Lewis method
Game 18 at Drummoyne Oval (D/N)
New South Wales 8/252 (NJ Maddinson 75, SA Abbott 50, JM Mennie 4/58) def.
South Australia 198 (TLW Cooper 73, TP Ludeman 34, SA Abbott 3/32, NM Lyon 3/64)
Preliminary Final at North Sydney Oval
Victoria 9/321 (DT Christian 117, RJ Quiney 89, CL White 42, JR Hazelwood 3/62, SA Abbott 3/53) lost to
New South Wales 6/324 (DA Warner 197, PM Nevill 46, Fawad Ahmed 2/64)
Final at North Sydney Oval
New South Wales 6/317 (NJ Maddinson 76, PM Nevill 70, SPD Smith 61, JR Hopes 3/64, RJ Harris 2/40) lost to
Queensland 5/319 (UT Khawaja 104, CD Hartley 78, CA Lynn 58*, BCJ Cutting 41*, DE Bollinger 2/53)
Queensland win the 2013/14 Ryobi Cup
Player of the tournament: CL White (Victoria)