Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pensioner's Saturday night in

It is Saturday and early evening.
I have made myself a homemade pizza whilst enjoying a cool beer.
While I would love to be at the WBBL matches taking place in Tasmania and Perth, I am actually here in Melbourne.
So the best I can do is watch the scores tickover on my iPad.
I have been following the fortunes of the Hobart Hurricanes ably captained by the English vice captain Heather Knight. They are playing their third game having won the first two against the Melebourne Renegades. They are embarking on their second match of the day against tough opposition in the form of the Adelaide Strikers. I was in Adelaide back in January and I saw these ladies in action and was pretty impressed.
Crikey, Heather Knight has got her work cut out here with three ducks from her top order batsmen.

Meanwhile, what on earth is going on in the other match at Perth. I see that Grace Harris has scored 103 of just 55 balls with 4 sixes and 14 fours. The Sydney Sixers must be in shock. I reckon that I can predict the result of this match.

Heather Knight managed 50 runs and had good backup from Emma Thompson (I thought that she was an actress) who scored 41. A total of 117 runs looks very good considering the collapse of most of the top order.

Meanwhile, back in Perth, The Sydney Sixers did amazingly well to get 155 runs, especially the 61 achieved by Sara McGlashan but they were always going to fall short of the 190 clocked up by the Brisbane Heat.

Back in Launceston, The Adelaide Strikers could not quite get the required run total, and Heather Knight's Hobart Hurricanes made it an excellent 3 wins from 3 matches.

I am looking forward to seeing some of the remaining matches live in Melbourne.


Being in Melbourne

It feels great to have Melbourne at my fingertips.
Every day I can look out of the window, see what the weather is doing and then decide on a framework for the day.
A walk around Albert Park Lake is always good.

 A trip to a Melbourne store for some shopping
Bourke Street is traffic free apart from trams

My local tram stop. There seem to be several tram departures every minute.
Animal shapes in the Botanical Gardens
Christmas is approaching in Melbourne
A lego tree at Federation Square
An eight out on the Yarra.
I went to the Albert Ground near Melbourne University to watch a T20 cricket match between Melbourne and Dandenong. This was the first outing for Natalie Sciver playing for Dandenong and probably still jetlagged after arriving from England.
Dandenong won this T20 match
By the lake in the Botanical Gardens
My favourite store in the whole world.
The trams sometimes have their own space and are sometimes in the High Street.
One of the piers at St Kilda.
Cactus are flowering in the gardens.
Impressive seed pods
A reminder of home with these two Scotties, Nessie and Gordon.
The yacht pontoons at St Kilda
Must be a great place to sail from.
The inaugural Women's Big Bash League WBBL match at the Junction Oval
The Melbourne Stars were playing the Brisbane Heat.
Starman and Stargirl were there.
The Melbourne Stars won both of the two T20 matches with Meg Lanning picking up the Player of the Match award on each occasion. Natalie Sciver (from the England cricket squad) was playing for the Stars and scored the first six of the tournament.
I saw this floating by early on a Monday morning,
Moments later in landed a few hundred metres away in Albert Park.
A view of the city from a distance.
Jacaranda looking magnificent.
Tourists can take a ride in a horse drawn carriage.
Queen Victoria looking stately
Rowing practice.
Agapanthus in full bloom.
Ferry across the ditch.
I notice that it can be hot one day and cold the next here in Melbourne but I am sure that I will get used to it.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Summer in Melbourne

I'm back in Oz and this time I am staying in Melbourne for the summer. I have always wanted to visit Melbourne.

On arrival it was a question of sorting out my unfurnished apartment. I did want to rent somewhere fully furnished but was unable to find somewhere that would accept a six month lease. So it took a few days to sort out some basics and rent some furniture.

I am staying near Albert Park in this block.
 The view from my unit.
 Roof terrace views.

My plan is to watch some cricket, do touristy things and go to the F1 Grand Prix.
Some wine tasting and scenic trips are also on the cards.
I am interested in both men and women's cricket and there are quite a few Big Bash League (BBL) matches here. Can you believe that the last BBL match that I attended in Adelaide back in January was actually rained off. The driest capital of the driest Australian state and the match was called off. There is also the inaugural Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) and I will be attending the local matches.

After the first few days of mainly logistics and dealing with jet lag, I decided to just watch cricket on my first Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday I got the tram to the CBD and then had a pleasant walk alongside the Yarra River to the MCG.
I was watching the first day of a Sheffield Shield match. I new that even though there were some of the worlds best cricketers playing, that there would be a crowd of about 200 in a 100,000 seater stadium.
You might recognise some of the names.
There was a freezing cold wind blowing from the South and by midday I had had enough and gave in and left.
On Sunday, it was slightly warmer and the wind had reduced too.
I was off by tram to watch a match at Toorak Park between two Victoria Premier Women's teams.
A couple of English players were taking part. Danni Wyatt who is in the England squad was playing for Plenty Valley and Izzy Westbury (Captain of Middlesex Women's team) was playing for Prahan. Although I had seen Danni Wyatt play before, I had not seen Izzy in action on the field. I had heard her in commentary during the Women's Ashes series in England. She did sound extremely knowledgeable. I was not sure what to make of her plummy accent.
Anyway here are the teams just before the start of the match.
Plenty Valley were batting first and got off to a good start. It was a while before wickets fell and Danni Wyatt came in.
She only scored 7 and was caught out. I have seen those kind of dismissals a few times but know that she can get big scores although I have yet to see one.
It was Izzy Westbury's turn to bowl her spin.
She was soon getting wickets for a good low run rate.
Unfortunately a caught and bowled attempt went wrong and she got hit hard on the hand. Subsequently a fracture relating to the thumb was diagnosed, but during the match she soldiered on.
The final tally for Plenty Valley.
During the break I called in at the local convenience store and on return I checked out what was making a lot of noise on a Sunday. They were erecting this crane right next to the ground.
I moved to a more sheltered and quieter spot for the Prahan innings.
Jess Cameron was off to a steady start, but Emma Inglis lost her wicket quite early. They had moved Izzy up the order.
 Izzy scored some fours and the stance looked good, but I expect that hand was throbbing.
Danni Wyatt was looking on good form in the field.
There was even a free hit.
It all came to and end though when she was bowled out for 13.
Danni Wyatt with her spin bowling.
Jess Cameron proved strong and got the majority of the required runs.
This scoreboard must be wrong. 4+29+93+13+13 extras =152 in my maths.
However, Prahan won the match.
On Tuesday, I went for a walk around Albert Park. There was a strange cloud formation.
My apartment block is dwarfed by some others.
The swan tagging does seem overly severe.
There was an interesting sunset to end the day.
Today I had a walk around the Botanical Gardens.

Oh well, that is a week under my belt already.