The Northern Territory news Fri 18 Nov 2016
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54 SPORT FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18 2016 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Tiwi Islands get a good crack at cricket NT Cricket is continuing to expand its footprint, with weekly trips to the Tiwi Islands on the agenda in the lead-up to the 2017 Imparja Cup. NT Cricket staff will deliver after-school activities, coaching courses, training clinics and Super 8 matches in the communities of Pirlangimpi, Wurrumiyanga and Milikapiti, and they have also had nominations from Tiwi Island cricketers for the National Indigenous Cricket Championships female squad. Im really pleased that we are able to strengthen and support cricket on the Tiwi Islands, and I would encourage everyone to get involved, NT Cricket game and market development manager Mitch Farnell said. Providing the National Indigenous Cricket Championship female squad with specific training sessions will also be an important part of the visits, within NT Crickets pathway program. The weekly cricket trips began on Wednesday and will continue until early February. The National Indigenous Cricket Championships will be held in Alice Springs from February 6-13, and the Imparja Cup from February 5-11. Meanwhile, Devils Marbles had their first defeat in the Tennant Creek Twenty20 competition, with Rovers Spitfires enjoying a big 61-run victory. And the second-placed Dexter Barnes beat BOBS by 53 runs, Andrew Baker starring with 27 runs from 15 balls, before taking 3-8 opening the bowling from his four overs. HE didnt get a chance to further his top-order credentials yesterday, but Jake Weatherald has not been forgotten by one of Australias top betting organisations. The former Darwin junior is off to a bumper start this summer unlike some of Australias Test batsmen scoring a Matador Cup and Sheffield Shield ton, against the CA XI and Tasmania respectively. While Weatherald (pictured) spent the day in the field for the Redbacks on day one of roundtwo Shield a c t i o n a g a i n s t Queensland at the Gabba yesterday, his batting exploits have not gone unnoticed. Sportsbet posted him at $34 in a list of uncapped Australians most likely to first score a Test ton. The 22-year-olds Redbacks teammate Travis Head is the most favoured at $4, with fel low South Australian and national head coach Darren Lehmanns son Jake Lehmann posted at $26. Fellow young guns Cameron Bancroft ($5.50), Nic Maddinson ($6.50) and Kurtis Patterson ($7) led the list. Meanwhile, NT Strike star Luke Robins missed out on selection for South Australias Future League Under-23 match against Queensland in Brisbane starting on Monday. Robins made his Futures League debut against the ACT last month, taking 3-84. Weatheralds odds-on for Test ton JOSH SPASARO PETER Handscomb might have British blood running through his veins, but he now has one hand on a baggy green cap after giving Australian selectors the hundred they wanted at the SCG. The Victorian was already right at the top of the queue for generation next, and an unbeaten century against a Test quality NSW attack might have booked him Adam Voges vacant No.5 place in the Aussie batting order Blues hopeful Kurtis Patterson will be desperately hoping Peter Handscomb made 110 not out for Victoria during day one of their Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales yesterday Picture: DANIEL MUNOZ / GETTY IMAGES Eyes on Test spot prize for a bat today so he can push his claim, but Handscomb (110 not out) and Victorian opener Travis Dean (134 not out) arent done with yet, and fellow Bushrangers Matt Wade and Glenn Maxwell also have it all to bat for. Burly Yorkshire-born opener Matt Renshaw has emerged as the smoky for the Test side after grinding out a brilliant century for Queensland, while Bulls captain Usman Khawaja showed tremendous leadership to return from Test duty and also hammer out a ton. Selectors demanded runs, and now they have options. Greg Chappells addition to the panel suggests a sharp turn in focus towards blooding young talent. Australia are after a big fish to replace Rod Marsh as Chairman of Selectors, with Jason Gillespie, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh all being talked about in dispatches, but the process of settling on a new boss could take until the end of the summer. With the whips cracking in Australian cricket, yesterday belonged to 25-year-old righthander Handscomb, who, despite holding a British passport due to his parents heritage, is within touching distance of fulfilling his Australian dream. If it happens, I feel pretty good. Id love to take the opportunity and get out there and give it a crack at the next level, said Melbourne-born Handscomb, who has never considered playing for England. I was trying not to think about (the pressure) to be perfectly honest. A hundred is a hundred as they say, but Handscombs wasnt without a fair slice of luck dropped twice by Trent Copeland off the bowling of Dougie Bollinger, once in the teens and then again as he neared triple figures. However, even on a flat track that offered little for either the spinners or quicks, Handscomb did respond to the spotlight of a Test shootout and that confirms the faith selectors have long had in him. Incumbent opener Joe Burns did himself no favours with an untimely failure for Queensland, and his stress levels would have only increased as he watched his partner Renshaw cash in at the other end. Highly fancied West Australian opener Cameron Bancroft also failed to answer the call, with another low score for the season. BEN HORNE Ex-coach could get last laugh MICKEY Arthur could extract the sweetest of revenge on the people who sacked him as Australian coach. Should Arthurs Pakistan side follow South Africas lead and triumph in Australia this summer, he may ironically bring about the axing of those who unceremoniously showed him the door three years ago. Arthurs messy split with Cricket Australia culminated in a wrongful dismissal compensation case at the Fair Work Commission in Sydney in 2013 after James Sutherland and Pat Howard had given him his marching orders and ushered in Darren Lehmann as coach on the eve of an Ashes series. Lehmann had nothing to do with Arthurs ousting and in fact felt uncomfortable about the circumstances surrounding his appointment, however, the three-pronged power base with Howard and Sutherland is now under threat. If Australia were to lose two series in the one home summer for the first time in their 140-year Test history, heads would almost certainly have to roll. The board is holding fire on knee-jerk reactions for now, and were rocked by Rod Marshs sudden resignation. They are due to meet again on December 8, a week before the Pakistan Test series gets under way, but frank and earnest discussions are already taking place behind the scenes about potential changes to Australian cricket. At the moment its the playing XI that is set for the first transformation, but that doesnt mean the focus wont eventually shift to the men pulling the strings. Former Test opener Ed Cowan, who played on the infamous Homeworkgate tour of India that marked the beginning of Arthurs demise, told Fox Sports that Australia is experiencing a bigger crisis now than it did even then. This is as bad as it gets, Cowan said. This is the darkest day that I can remember. CA punted Arthur claiming he did not resolve disciplinary issues and declining standards in the team and allegedly did not understand the Australian way. BEN HORNE Voges playing future uncertain after head knock in Shield WESTERN Australia medical staff are confident Adam Voges is not seriously injured despite suffering one of the most sickening blows to the head since the Phillip Hughes tragedy. Voges appeared in distress at the WACA yesterday after being struck on the back of the helmet and dropping to the ground. The 37-year-old has been ruled out of the rest of the Sheffield Shield match with concussion and after enduring a previous head trauma issue earlier this year, his future in the game is in question. Voges Test career was most likely over before he even took the field in Perth, after failing in the opening two matches against South Africa. But yesterdays incident shapes as a sad way for a cham pion player and character in the game to farewell his brief but successful cameo in international cricket. There is no suggestion Voges wont play on at domestic level, but he may have some decisions to make about his health, with fellow veteran Chris Rogers admitting recently that repeated head knocks late in his career made him think twice about whether playing on was worthwhile. He got a bit of a headache and hes not feeling 100 per cent, but hes fine and sitting up, WA staffer Ben Oliver said. BEN HORNE Domestic performances in the spotlightDomestic performances in the spotlight