Glorious Gillie

Sunday, April 29, 2007 | 3:01 pm

Gillie flays the attack
One of the greatest attacking displays of a batsman in a final led the Aussies to their third World Cup victory in a row yesterday. Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist was in a monstrous mood, and flayed the Sri Lankan attack for 149 off 104 balls, leading the Aussies to a big total in a rain reduced match. Sri Lanka never laid down, but chasing 382 off 38 overs means they could not take the foot off the gas for a second. That continual pressure was hard to withstand for their spirited young team, and the total got beyond their reach as the big wickets fell.

And I got to watch the whole damn shindig, my first live-televised cricket viewing in the US of A. Bliss, thy name is widescreen.

Ponting, McGrath and Gilchrist

And so it is "cheerio" to one of our greatest fast bowlers, Glenn McGrath, who retires on the high he so richly deserved, even picking up the man of the series award. Thanks for the service Ooh Aah, you were the Maestro

The Aussies, now undefeated in 29 consecutive World Cup games, dominated this event, and never really had an opponent seriously challenge their ruthless efficiency. Everytime a crack appeared, someone stepped up to close it, and the machine powered on with daunting self-belief. Have no doubts, this is one of the greatest one-day teams in the history of the game, but they can also deliver when under pressure, and on the biggest stages, putting silverware in the cabinet when it matters most.

As cricket writer Rahul Bhattacharya said over on the always excellent (and surprisingly witty) CricInfo: " was also ultimately scary. If the Australians are going to keep this up there is no point lopping a week or ten days off the next World Cup. It may as well be scrapped altogether."

Appreciate the gesture mate, but we'll just be happy with another victory, thanks. After all, what's the point if the fans don't have somewhere to go and consume large quantities of alcohol?

Ponting, McGrath and Gilchrist


The Post You Knew Was Coming...

Friday, April 27, 2007 | 5:50 pm

Haydo sends another one to the boundary
I have been very good, and you know it.

I didn't even scrape the surface of my blog with Australia's recent 5-0 whitewash of the English in the Ashes Series, which was bloody generous after covering their first Ashes defeat in the last 24 years ad- nauseum in 2005.

Even more generous is how I have spared you all the details of the Cricket World Cup over the past 8 weeks in the Carribean, where the pitilessly-ruthless Australians have swept all before them. But this Saturday is the World Cup Final, against crowd favourites and deserved #2, Sri Lanka. This is our fourth consecutive final appearance, and we are going for the first ever 'three-peat'.

If you believe such things, the stats are in our favour:
— Aussies haven't lost a World Cup game this century (which covers two World Cups, 2003 and 2007).

— We have bowled out every opposition side but one this event (a rain reduced game). We hold three of the top 5 bowler rankings this tournament.

— This is also the last hurrah for one of our greatest-ever fast bowlers, Glenn "The Metronome" McGrath. He is the leading wicket-taker this tournament, bowling like he is a 27 year old (but still looking 37).

— We have the most red-hot batsman in the tournament also, by a long shot. Matty Hayden (pictured) is heading towards a World Cup record runs total. He has been monstrous. Our Super-Captain Ricky Ponting secures the third best batsman spot this tournament (and is ranked as the Worlds Best).
Mbr />— We beat the Lankans convincingly in the lead up game, but they held back the two players you are going to read about next.

But before we get too cocky... — Out of those top 5 ranked bowlers, Sri Lanka hold the other 2 places. In Malinga, they have one of the best up and coming speedsters around who we haven't really faced yet. And Murali is the best spinner in the World (nod to retired-Warnie). Although "Murali" suffers at the hands of the Australians more than any other team, he can change a game in an few overs.

— They are no slouches with the bat, having the second highest scorer this tournament.

— They are a young side brimming with 'youthful vigour', coached by an Aussie World Cup winner. Will add to their fearlessness, (and hopefully some nerves).

— We haven't really been tested this World Cup, which may make a difference in a close match. I would like to believb our team is too experienced for that to play a big part though.

— Australia have lost just one game to SL in World Cups, unfortunately that was the 1996 final.

If all goes to plan, we should be lifting the Trophy again this time tomorrow after a game that may be dominated by the bowlers, with one or two stand out batsmen to turn the tide. But as every commentator on earth is fond of saying: "It's a funny old game, cricket, anything can happen."


Man Begone!

Thursday, April 12, 2007 | 1:34 am

Here's a quick touch up I did a number of months ago for a colleague of GW, who had "parted ways" with her ex. You'll have to excuse the rather flat change of brightness and the sloppy hair work. Like I said, it was quick (for me: retouching amateur, which means ages).

Mouse over image for the before version.

I have to say, I felt kind of guilty when I did it, removing this poor bloke from the lives of (what are presumedly) his children, although it does hint at the human drama that surrounds us all. Hopefully he has his own photos. Look carefully though, she is definitely happier now. ;)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | 11:59 pm

I think my one copy of Digital Photo Pro is trying to tell me something.
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I didn't renew.

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