Thursday, December 22, 2011

NSW Breakers win again

I was headed to the oval at Drummoyne to watch the second of three matches on successive days between the NSW Breakers and the Queensland Fire.
In a similar match sequence a couple of weeks ago, NSW Breakers took on the Victoria Spirit team at Blacktown. The Breakers won two matches and the third was abandoned due to hail and rain.
Can they keep up their unbeaten run ?

I was getting to Drummoyne by ferry and bus for their 10am start.
While waiting at the ferry terminal this workboat was leaving the harbour.

Being a POM that normally supports the world beating English Womens Cricket Team ( easy to follow a team that wins most matches that they play), I decided to follow my local state womens team. They are the NSW Breakers captained by the very able Alex Blackwell. They are also an excellent team and a large number of their players seem to represent their country in the Oz national squad.

Here the match has got underway with the Fire at the crease in this 50 over match.

A play and a miss

The NSW Breakers celebrate another early wicket

Crikey, this is not the start that Queensland wanted with two wickets down and only five runs after five overs. This scoreboard was one of the few that was actually correct throughout the match. Having said that, in England we always show the number of runs first and then the wickets fallen. So it should say 5 for 2.

Jodie Fields came in and started to put up some resistance.

There must have been an uneasy feeling on the Queensland bench.

There was just me and a pair of Kookaburras on this side of the field.

Queensland Fire only managed 109 all out in their innings.
Once the Breakers took to the field they soon knocked off the runs for the loss of just two wickets in 23 overs. This easy win gave them bonus points.
Here is the final score. I was going home early

The Breakers won all three matches, that is two t20 matches and one 50 over match. They look unbeatable at the moment.

Here is the Drummoyne Oval and it is in an attractive setting. Unfortunately it was spoilt a couple of years ago by a concrete tsunami for the construction of the little used stand that now mainly blocks what was a good view across the harbour.

Here is the pre-concrete view from 2008


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Big Bash opener

So, I was planning to go to what was supposed to be a double header at the SCG.
I was hoping see both a Womens interstate T20 between the NSW Breakers and the Queensland Fire, followed by the first match in the Big Bash League between the Sydney Sixers and the Brisbane Heat. In fact the website was saying that this was happening even on the day of the match. However other cricket websites said the the Womens match was at Drummoyne. I was confused so after making some phone calls (SCG did not answer phone) and some tweets, I thankfully had a reply from the Breakers skipper Alex Blackwell. She said that there were three matches taking place against the Queensland Fire over Friday, Saturday and Sunday and that they were all at the Drummoyne Oval.

I thought about still going to both of the Friday matches but was foiled by the fact that Sydney Ferries were on strike.
So the BBL at the SCG at 7pm was where I would go.

Before setting off, this tanker came amazingly close to the nearby McMahons Point.

The crowd took a while to build up at the SCG

The opening ceremony involved some flames

Good viewing point

Half decent crowd here

The match got underway with Brisbane Heat batting and some greats such as Matthew Hayden and Brendan McCullum wielding the bat

At the end of the twenty overs, the Heat had scored only 139 with Dan Christian top scoring with 32

After a short interval the Sydney Sixers started to bat as the smoke from fireworks was slow to clear.

The scoreboard kept everyone up to date

Brad Haddin top scored with 76 and the match was easily won by the Sixers

The players shake hands at the end of the match

Later I heard that the NSW breakers had won the T20 match against the Queensland Fire.

In my next post I will report on the 50 over womens match from Drummoyne.


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Friday, December 09, 2011

Watching the test

Want to watch the test match without annoying commentary and the need to keep muting out the ads.

It is the 2nd test between Australia and New Zealand at the oval in Hobart, Tasmania.

Well the secret to enjoying the action in a relaxed manner is to watch the video on the truly awful Channel Nine and mute the sound. Then tune your radio to ABC Grandstand on the medium wave (Amplitude Modulated) band.

There is a slight time difference between the audio and the video following a second or so after, but this is a great way to enjoy the cricket.

During writing this short note, two NZ wickets fell and they are all out for 150 runs in their first innings.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Don’t eat the sausages

I have carried out some research on the sausages available in and around Sydney.
As a result I can only advise that you avoid them altogether. The main problem is that they are too salty. All you can taste is salt.
The best sausages that I have found have been in supermarkets where at least they often do put the salt content on the labelling. Typically pork sausages have approximately 750mg of sodium per 100 grams of product. That is way too salty. The best I saw was about 540mg per 100 grams and these were OK but hard to find.

Beef sausages seem popular over here but I have not tried them and would rather have beef in a purer form.

So what about all these premium butchers that you see is various high streets ?

I went to Penny’s in Mosman. They are well regarded in the area. The sad fact is that they do not know what is in their pork sausages. They buy the mix in and have no idea of it’s constituents. They will still quite happily want to charge you $20 per Kg for these mystery bags. I did not take the risk.

In UK supermarkets there is a traffic light colour coding system on foods that makes it easy to determine how much of your daily recommended intake of various ingredients are included in the product.
Here is an example of the labelling.

In Australia the food industry is resisting moves to introduce a similar arrangement as you can see here.
Once again the Australian government is just the mouthpiece of commercial interests.

The maximum that you will pay in a UK supermarket for the very best sausages is around £6.50 per Kg (approx $9.75 at current exchange rates).

Conclusion – Don’t eat the sausages.

If you know of a source of good quality, low sodium sausages in Sydney then please provide me with the details.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Feels like England

Apparently unless the temperature in Sydney goes above 23C tomorrow, this will officially be the coldest first week of summer in 50 years. It is not what I am used to. I only bought one jumper from England and it is getting dog-eared.

This last Sunday, I was only going to make the one hour rail journey from North Sydney to the Blacktown Sportspark (difficult to get to and in the sticks) if it was going to be sunny for the T20 match.

Well the weather looked OK so I set off. As you cross the bridge on the train, I could see my apartment building.

On arrival at Rooty Hill station there is a 25 minute walk along this rather bleak path.

On approaching the stadium the weather was still looking good.

The players took to the field at 10am.

There was not a fight to get the best seats.

Two balls before the end of the first 20 overs (Victoria Spirit batting) the umpires called the players off the field as it was very dark.
As the groundsmen were trying to cover the pitch, the hail started together with lightening.

The message on the scoreboard did seem a bit superfluous.

After the storm the skies were still black so play was delayed.

Eventually play got underway and the umpires had declared that just five overs were needed to complete the match. However after just one over the rain was back and the match was abandoned.

I felt disgruntled on my trip home with only watching 80 minutes of cricket and several hours of travelling.
Two days later and this was the scene at Circular Quay this morning. Uggghh.

Hope it clears up in time for Christmas when my other daughter is coming over from the UK for a visit.


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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Some of my week in photos

I headed off to Watsons Bay where I had a takeaway fish and chips that I managed to eat all myself this time without a seagull knocking the fish out of my hand.
A walk along Camp Cove beach to a kiosk where I got a choc ice.
On my walk to the South Head I saw this sign.

and a blue tongued lizard.

A view of Camp Cove.

The other evening the Opera House was lit up in red as part of Aids day.

The following evening I met daughter and we had a meal in Circular Quay.
The sun was setting as I was on the ferry home.

On Friday I decided to watch a T20 match between the womens teams of the NSW Breakers and the Victoria Spirit at the Blacktown International Sports Park.

Here is the venue. I emailed the venue asking for directions from the local Rooty Hill Station. They could not be bothered to respond. I have to give them 0 out of 10 for customer support.

Between these two teams there was a high percentage of the Australian national side in the match. An exception was the English International Danni Wyatt seen here.

Danni only managed to score 8 runs and I am sure that she was disappointed.
Here Ellyse Perry is bowling for the Breakers.

Jess Cameron did well with the bat before getting out.

Once the Spirit had batted for their 20 overs and scored 136, it was time for the NSW Breakers to bat. The scoreboard operator could not spell Leah Poulton's name correctly.

Eventually somebody must have said something and it was corrected.

Here Danni Wyatt is patrolling the boundary.

Eventually the NSW breakers had a fairly convincing win. The weather got cold and blustery as the match had proceeded. It reminded me of watching cricket in England.

Today the sun was back out and so I thought I would go and watch a local first grade match at the North Sydney oval. As is usual the scoreboard operator stood in front of the board for the entire match. Guess the score.

Sunny North Sydney oval.

Team Ibis.

I guess that will be OUT then.
The Paramatta team celebrate a wicket but having only scored 100 in their 50 overs, they were soon beaten by North Sydney and I was walking back down the road earlier than expected.

There is another T20 match between the Breakers and the Spirit at the same venue on Sunday. If the sun comes out maybe I'll make the trip.
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