Monday, 14 November 2011

Brits Abroad: We're going Zimbabwe crazy.

It's Monday, so I guess it's time for Brits Abroad. From Ballance to Shafayat (well no Shafayat this time), it's your blogging round-up on what British country cricketers are up to in their off-season (so long as they're playing cricket).

First up, there's a few new signings, and players in places I didn't notice before to report. One of these being Phil Mustard who has signed for five weeks with Mountaineers, and has already got a game under his belt, scoring 9 opening in a Pro50 one day game. Meanwhile, also in Zimbabwe, Peter Trego has joined the Mashonoland Eagles, to play alongside Rory Hamilton-Brown in the Zimbabwe T20 competition.

Apologies to Leicestershire keeper-batsman Ned Eckersley who I completely missed in my first update, despite the fact that he's been in Zimbabwe playing for Mountaineers since the end of October. His best contribution so far has been an important second innings 85 to help his team to victory against Gary Ballance's Mid West Rhinos.

I already reported Ballance's 100 in that game last week, and his fine form has continued, with the opener scoring an unbeaten 108 to help Rhinos to an easy Pro50 win over the Tuskers. Also playing in that game were the Tuskers' two resident Brits: Adam Wheater of Essex and Lancashire's Paul Horton, neither managed a significant score.

Moving away from Africa and into New Zealand, where Steven Finn's spell with Otago continues, and his new miserly bowling style with it. After the one wicket he picked up in the early stages of the game with Canterbury, he added two tail-enders as they made it to 420-9 declared, before playing a part in demolishing them for 61 in their second innings, taking two top order wickets to finish with 2-10 in the innings, and match figures of 5-97.

Back to Africa, and Owais Shah's spell with the Cape Cobras is not going well for him, this week making scores of 8 and 7 in two Franchise 1-Day Cup matches. Despite this the Cobras won both matches, and with his team in good form, surely not too long until that rubs off on Owais?

Out of first class cricket now, and in to the competitive South Australian grade cricket competitions. This week I'll just run through the best performers, one of them being Matt Pardoe, who I didn't pick up on last week. So far, the Worcestershire batsman has been opening the batting for Northern Districts, and has taken a liking to the Adelaide and Adelaide University attacks, scoring 83 and 52 against them respectively.

For some reason I also seemed to think last week that Ben Cox and Neil Pinner were yet to play for Adelaide and Woodville respectively. Both of them had been playing and whilst Cox has only scored 49 runs in 3 innings, Pinner has been batting well, with a top score of 59 and a valuable couple of 40s and 20s.

That's it for this week folks, in two weeks time I'll have the start of the Zimbabwe T20 to cover, and next week I might be able to find some more Brits lodged somewhere in grade cricket. Cheerio.

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