It’s been a massive week throughout the sporting world. We had the summer of cricket continue with a bang as the Aussies put themselves in a dominant position to secure a second straight win against Pakistan, while Group One racing headed West for the Railway Stakes.
In the NBA, Carmelo Anthony made his much awaited return and Anthony Davis played his first game in the purple and gold against his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans. We also witnessed a touch of NFL greatness as Lamar Jackson continued to prove his haters wrong with another outstanding all around QB performance as the Ravens notched another convincing win.
It was as comfortable as it gets for our Aussies in the first test last week as Tim Paine’s men took Pakistan to the cleaners. The second test is currently underway with the Australians again dominating the battle between bat and ball.
It was dejavu for Pakistan with David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne doing all the damage with the willow. Coming off 154 in the first test, Warner created history, positing the second highest-ever test score by an Australian. The left-hander put his Ashes woes behind him to belt 335 not out as the Pakistan bowlers had no answers to Warner’s 360-degree stroke play.
Not to be outdone, the new kid on the block, Marnus Labuschagne posted another century himself (162) as he cements himself as Australia’s long-term number 3. With the forecast of rain predicted, Tim Paine decided they had enough runs and declared at a mammoth 3/589.
Yet again, Pakistan’s openers struggled against the pace and precision of the Aussie quicks and were quickly reduced to 4/69 at the end of the Day 2.
Pakistan we’re finally bowled out for a fighting 302 as Australia quickly enforced the follow-on. Unfortunately for the tourists their second innings didn’t get off to a great start finishing the day of play reeling at 3/39 and still trailing by 248 runs. The Aussies will look to wrap up the match later today sitting in a dominant position only need 7 wickets to win.
With the Spring Carnival all but finished, punters turned their attention West as the G1 Railway Stakes was held at Ascot in Perth last Saturday. It was a wide-open affair with bookies listing The Velvet King as favourite at around the $5 quote.
With the race run along at a solid tempo it was set up for the swoopers and who else but the wizard from the West Willy Pike to get Regal Power home. It was Pike’s 8th G1 win and his 2nd in a row for this race. Those who backed ‘Pikey’ would’ve been pretty chuffed with Regal Power saluting at $10, ahead of Godolphin trained Best Of Days and the Parnham-trained Gelding, Platoon.
Last week’s NBA action was full of thrilling storylines. Melo re-entered the NBA suiting up for the Portland Trailblazers, alongside Lillard Time & CJ, adding a third offensive weapon to the Trailblazers prowess. We also witnessed the Monobrow’ (I mean ‘The Brow’) return to New Orleans to make a statement as the Lakers faced off against the Pelicans for the first time this season.
It’s a feel-good story for the ages. Carmelo Anthony finally returned to the NBA, signed by the Portland Trailblazers on a non-guaranteed deal worth $14,490 USD for each day is active on the Trailblazers roster. The deal will become 100% guaranteed on January 7th ‘if’ Melo is still on the Portland roster.
Melo’s first game back would see him battle the New Orleans Pelicans. Game one was rough for Melo, shooting just 28.6% from the field and finishing with 5 personal fouls and 5 turnovers in just 24 minutes of action. It had his fans questioning, can he still survive in the NBA? Fast forward to Game 5 and guess what? It’s time to cancel your Gumtree sale and rock that 2005 -2006 Melo jersey like never before!
Melo looked like his old-self against the Bulls, shooting 8-16 (50%), tallying 4 assists and stealing 11 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside in 37 minutes, in the Trailblazers last outing.
Anthony Davis made his return to New Orleans on Thanksgiving eve, however the 6’10” big-man was welcomed by Pelicans fans by an echo of boos’ after fighting for a trade last season. The added emotions of the game saw Davis display his full athletic brilliance. Right from the tip-off, you could tell The Brow had a chip on his shoulder. Davis was on fire in the first half, scoring 27 points. Davis finished the game with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and 3 steals as the Lakers jumped to an NBA best 16-2.
That’s all folks….
Special mention… How good is Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens?! If you’re an NFL enthusiast, this guy is everything you’d want your franchise quarterback to be. If you’re not sold, check out this highlight below.