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March 13, 2008
In a domestic season filled with retirements, several of the departing players were among the best performers of the summer. In the lead-up to the announcement of the Australian Cricketers' Association state all-star teams, Cricinfo chooses its versions of the 12 top Pura Cup and FR Cup players from 2007-08
Pura Cup XI
Michael Di Venuto
One of the most in-form retirees in recent memory. Scored 947 runs, only 14 fewer than his best Pura Cup season ever, which was last summer. Averaged 52.61 and left a big gap in Tasmania's top order when he announced he was departing.
Less remarkable than his prolific 2006-07, but still one of the best openers in the country with 744 at 43.76. Narrowly beats his newly-retired Western Australia team-mate Justin Langer for this position, and was recognised with his first Test call-up this season.
Simon Katich (capt)
Simply outstanding. Scored 1328 at 94.85 and is a chance in the final, which starts on Saturday, of breaking the all-time Pura Cup record for most runs in a season. Struck five centuries including a career-best 306 against Queensland, an innings that unbelievably included 184 in a 150-minute session.
Continued to be a domestic run-machine with 955 at 59.68. Was disappointed not to strike a higher score than 104 - his best came on the first day of Victoria's campaign - but it also highlighted how consistent he was to maintain such an average.
Daniel Marsh (vc)
After a couple of modest summers with the bat, last season's Pura Cup-winning captain fought back with 758 at 54.14. Made three centuries and played his part in trying to help Tasmania defend their title, but had too little support.
Had an eventful year: was given a month-long state ban for ignoring a team curfew, earned a car-park call-up for his Twenty20 international debut, won the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award, and was axed from the Warriors' one-day team due to lack of form. Importantly, just kept making runs in the Pura Cup, with 743 at 61.91.
Brad Haddin (wk)
National ODI duties meant he was only available for six games, but was still the most dangerous wicketkeeper-batsman in the competition. Scored 422 runs at 60.28 and secured 30 dismissals to confirm himself as Australia's best option in the post-Gilchrist era.
Incredibly, finished ninth on the run tally with 686 at 45.73 and second on the wicket list with 43 at 21.25. Made his second first-class century, earned his initial international call-ups, and on occasions made the dismal Queensland at least vaguely competitive.
Was one of very few bright spots for South Australia. Grabbed 37 wickets at 29.86 and averaged 24.20 with the bat, rescuing the Redbacks from embarrassment several times after top-order failures.
Went from IT specialist to full-time cricketer at the age of 35 and was the biggest surprise packet of the summer. Spun his way to 35 wickets at 32.77 and was suddenly being talked about as a potential Test bowler.
Missed the last two-and-a-half games of the season with a broken foot and still finished on top of the wicket tally. Needed only seven matches to grab 45 victims at 15.44, enjoyed two ten-wicket games and was to 2007-08 what Ben Hilfenhaus was to 2006-07.
Mathew Inness (12th man)
Enjoyed an amazing turnaround after playing no games last season, finishing behind only Bollinger and Noffke with 40 wickets at 20.12. Given his form and age - he is only 30 - surprised with his decision to retire at the end of the campaign.
FR Cup XI
Player of the Series for the second FR Cup in a row but won't make it a hat-trick after retiring this season. Scored 521 runs at 74.42 and blasted two centuries, including 133 in a memorable stand with Darren Lehmann in the latter's farewell match.
The tournament's leading run scorer with 549 at 54.90. He was an integral part of Tasmania's FR Cup triumph and his 146 at North Sydney Oval even overshadowed Ricky Ponting's hundred that day.
Brad Hodge (vc)
Came home with a bang thanks to two consecutive centuries that helped Victoria into the final, and finished with 352 at 50.28.
Belted the second-fastest century in Australia's domestic one-day history with a 60-ball effort against New South Wales. Completed the season with 484 at 44.
Daniel Marsh (capt)
Guided his team to the one-day title and was a solid contributor with 330 runs at 41.25.
Regular compiler anywhere in Victoria's order and finished with 380 at 47.50. Did not manage a century but four scores of 50-plus are testament to his consistent summer.
Brad Haddin (wk)
His 314 at 62.80 showed why he was given games as a specialist batsman for Australia. The Blues' disappointing campaign might have been saved had he been available for more than six matches.
Finished equal top of the wicket tally with 15 victims at 25.53. Was a key man in Tasmania's final triumph, claiming 4 for 18 as Victoria collapsed.
The standout fast bowler in Tasmania's successful line-up, he too collected 15 wickets at 25.20. Grabbed 3 for 28 in the decider and helped his team over the line with the bat to be named Man of the Match.
Continued to anchor the Western Australia attack with 14 victims at 27.21, a strong effort from nine appearances.
His decision to quit cricket indefinitely left him with only five games but he still managed a remarkable 12 wickets at 18.91 that would surely have earned him more ODIs had he been available.
Bryce McGain (12th man)
Surprised even himself with his one-day prowess. Equal leading wicket-taker with 15 at 24.40, and nearly won the final for Victoria with a brilliant spell in the dying overs.
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