Ever since Victoria lost the 1976/77 Gillette Cup final to Western Australia - in a low scoring game Mick Malone and Wayne Clark put on 26 for the last wicket to get the 'Gropers home with three balls to spare - I have expected the Vics to lose close matches. No idea what the statistics really are, it could be the Vics are actually ahead in the close match head-to-head, but 33 years down the track it still feels to me that they will lose the close ones.
Same again in tonight's Ford Ranger Cup final (Where, coincidentally, a key player for the Bulls was Ben Laughlin, the son of Trevor Laughlin who made a duck for Victoria in the 1976/77 final.) If I was a betting man I would have put a handful of magic beans on Queensland when they were 5/56, and would certainly have gotten on board when they managed to scramble a workable target of 187.
That makes the KFC Big Bash final where NSW cheated themselves to a last ball win courtesy of Aaron Bird thieving wickets; today's Ford Ranger Cup where the Vics bottled it; and next month's Weet Bix final where the Vics will undoubtedly lose to whoever they end up playing.
(Off topic: Melbourne Victory have spanked the Adelaide Reds all year, and the Melbourne media have already called the grand final for Melbourne. That's not even taking into account Aurelio Vidmar's "pissweak" dummy spit. But get on the Reds to beat the Victory next Saturday at the Dome.)
Watching the Bulls celebrate the last wicket, jumping into each others arms and whooping it up was similar to last year's Sydney Test, and reminded me of Spanky Roebuck's mad, hysterical Wild Dogs article where, out of spite, the Spank concocted the crime of over-celebration. Tonight, ironically, the only person not going off was Sideshow Roy. But did Shane Harwood and Jon Holland slink away like Kumble and Instant? Did they fuck. They waited calmly and politely while the Bulls rightfully celebrated their well-earned win, then once the Bulls boys broke up, Harwood and Holland moved over to shake hands. Will Roebuck and Coward get stuck into the Bulls like they got stuck into Australia 13 months ago? No, and nor should they.
This just in! Marcus North got six-fer in Stroom.