So last Monday (and the Monday before) I truly meant to write some Brits Abroad, then I was on Twitter and there were other things on the internet, and before I knew it was Tuesday. So I waited until now instead. Sorry for the delay (not that you really care that much)
In the two weeks I've been missing there have been some very notable performances, and I think it's only right to start with the best of them from none other than Luke Wright. No, I'm not joking, it's actually Luke Wright who blasted a scintillating 117 off just 60 balls. I don't think anybody believed he had an innings like that in him, especially given the fact that his best score in the rest of the Big Bash has been 27* and his bowling has managed just one wicket in the four innings he's bowled in.
ESPNCricinfo said that "The consistency of Wright's hitting was astonishing" and he broke the record for the fastest century in Australian domestic T20 history, reaching his ton in 44 balls. In the same match Owais Shah managed a creditable 55, the culmination of a good run of form for Shah playing for Hobart Hurricanes. Despite this Wright's innings took the Melbourne Stars to a 19 run win.
Elsewhere Paul Collingwood is having a tough time of it, failing to have got past twenty with the bat in any game so far, and his medium pacers not yielding many wickets. Michael Lumb hasn't got past a top score of 25, for Sydney Sixers, that score coming against the Melbourne Renegades. Jade Dernbach meanwhile has proven that his magic box of seventeen different slower balls isn't as good as it seems, having not played for the Melbourne Stars since mid-December.
Nothing to report from many of the Brits in Zimbabwe, with many of them having either gone home or been dropped. Actually playing, and very well at that, has been Gary Ballance who continues his brilliant form of all winter, scoring 124 in a 7 wicket win in the Castle Logan cup and a match clinching 77 in the Pro50, both in wins over Southern Rocks, who must be sick of the sight of him at the crease.
Other than that, there have been two new Brits arriving on the scene in Zimbabwe, Riki Wessels, the Australian born son of Aussie/Saffer Kepler... but for the purpose of this he's British since he's played for Northants as a home grown player since 2004. His best contribution so far has been in partnership with Ballance for Mid West Rhinos, scoring 133 in the same innings as Ballance's 124. Possibly the biggest partnership by two Brits Abroad this winter, I haven't been keeping count.
Another newcomer to Zimbabwe is Essex's Mark Pettini who has scored a 55 and 33 so far playing for the Mountaineers in a first class and one day double header against the Mashonoland Eagles.
Moving to grade cricket in Australia, Neil Pinner seems to be the only Brit who has done anything at all since 17th December, scoring 33 and DNB in a two innings match. Either something's wrong with the website and the scores aren't up yet, or Brits are really out of fashion in Australian cricket.
I'll get another post up next Monday if there's enough to report on, if not definitely the week after.