Apologies to anyone who may have been reading this series, Monday's have started getting quite busy for me, but I promise I'll try to get this back on track. This week, catching up, and the start of the Big Bash.
I'm going to start with someone who's got himself into form since my last post, Owais Shah has played an integral part in Cape Cobras' victory in the Franchise 1-Day Cup, with three fifties in their last four games, including a match winning 83 in the final of the competition. Now he's moved on to Australia, and scored 24 in his first Big Bash Game, run out by another Brit Abroad, Paul Collingwood. The former England batsman is playing in the Big Bash for Perth Scorchers, and whilst he didn't contribute with the bat or ball (4, and 0-20 off two overs) he ran out Owais and Rhett Lockyear, both guilty of a bit of lazy cricket.
Staying in the Big Bash league, we check on the fortunes of the two Brits Abroad at the Melbourne Stars: Luke Wright and Jade Dernbach. Wright made a useful contribution of 27 off 20 balls down the order to help the Stars to 153. Neither player had much luck bowling, ending up with 1-35 and 0-36 off their respective four overs, as the Stars lost to Sydney Hurricanes. Still, both bowled two more overs than a certain SK Warne, on the comeback trail.
The only other Brit in the BBL, is Michael Lumb and he made only 18, opening the batting in the first match of the tournament, caught at cover by Brendon McCullum, off a leading edge.
Across the Tasman Sea, and into New Zealand, as Steven Finn finished his spell at Otago with 0-55 and 3-71 in a Plunket Shield match against Wellington. His spell at Otago has not been a huge success, with only 9 wickets in 4 first class matches at the average of 36.22. One plus point is the continued emergence of more control, with an economy rate of 2.56 over the spell.
We move to Zimbabwe, and it's been a mixed bag for the Brits Abroad here, Gary Ballance made two quick 50s, with 53 off 25 and 67 off 34, but his Mid West Rhinos failed to make the finals. In the qualifying final it was the end of Adam Wheater's Matabeland Tuskers. Wheater failed to shine in the tournament, the naturally attacking batsman strangely has never taken to T20, and he only batted in two of his five matches, with a high score of nine.
Peter Trego and Rory Hamilton-Brown both failed to shine in any real way, with the best performance from either of them being a 71 not out from Trego. Hamilton-Brown is staying on in Zimbabwe though, to play first class cricket for the same team.
Now to the best Brits in Australian grade cricket, Monty Panesar has been playing for Randwick Petersham, his most impressive figures an astonishing 2-3 off four overs in a T20 match. Other than that, his performances look to have been pretty average, since he got eight wickets in his first three games he hasn't managed more than two in an innings since.
The other star performer this month has been Greg Smith whose 82 against Tea Tree Gully may have been the best score by any of our Brits Abroad in grade cricket yet... it's a tough old system.
Again, sorry about the wait for this post, hopefully the next one won't take as long... and will be a bit better. Cheerio!