High flyers in domestic season to remember

Brydon Coverdale chooses his best Pura Cup and Ford Ranger Cup performers for 2006-07

Brydon Coverdale
Brydon Coverdale
In the lead-up to the announcement of the first state all-star teams, Brydon Coverdale picked his best from the past summer. Several standout performers ensured their place in the Pura Cup XI but there were few limited-overs stars this season, meaning a wide range of choices for the Ford Ranger Cup XI. The Australian Cricketers' Association named its versions on Friday.
Pura Cup XI

Chris Rogers: the leading Pura Cup run-scorer © Getty Images
Chris Rogers
The best batsman in the competition this season. His 1202 runs from ten games means Rogers deserves to be Australia's first choice to replace Justin Langer. Opened with an awesome 279 against Victoria and went on to pass fifty at all six Pura Cup venues.
Phil Jaques
Fought back well from a shaky first half of the season. Made three big centuries - his best was 192 against Tasmania - and finished with 900 runs, narrowly beating the resurgent Michael Di Venuto for this place.
Simon Katich
Missed the first few games while on national duty but still managed 673 runs at 74.77. Captained his side to the Pura Cup final and showed that at 31 his best form is not necessarily behind him.
Brad Hodge
The standout batsman until his ODI recall in January. Like Katich, played only six of a possible ten games and topped the averages with 765 runs at 85. Was outstanding against South Australia at Melbourne with a first-innings century then 84 in Victoria's successful fourth-day chase.
David Hussey
Another who came good in the second half of the season and finished second behind Rogers on the run tally. Led by aggressive example when filling in as captain, especially at Sydney in January when his unbeaten 125 helped Victoria chase down 360 on the final day.
Brad Haddin
Still head and shoulders above the other wicketkeeper-batsmen. Only made one century but consistent enough to average over 55 and again reliable behind the stumps.

Andrew McDonald: had a breakthrough year with both bat and ball © Getty Images
Andrew McDonald
Enjoyed a breakthrough year in which he made his first hundred, averaged 57.69 with the bat and was Victoria's leading wicket-taker. Became only the fourth player in the competition's 115-year history to make 750 runs and take 25 wickets in a season.
Ashley Noffke
Struggled early with back problems but found his rhythm and with Andy Bichel provided one of the most dangerous new-ball combinations. Added to his 30 dismissals were fighting half-centuries in two Man-of-the-Match performances against Victoria.
Andy Bichel
Was a shade below his incredible 2005-06 but still worried batsmen more than many of his younger rivals. His 45 victims put him second in the Pura Cup tally but just one five-wicket haul highlighted his consistency.
Ben Hilfenhaus
In a truly even Tasmania outfit that earned Pura Cup final hosting rights, he was the standout. Was the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 53 and his movement of the new ball troubled top-order batsmen all over Australia.
Ben Edmondson
Sometimes wayward with the swinging ball but always dangerous. He and Steve Magoffin were an impressive opening pair but Edmondson, with 41 victims, was the pick of the two. Skittled Tasmania with 6 for 28 at Hobart in December. Tasmania proved they were the best side and did so without a first-rate spinner and the lack of quality slow bowling in the competition means an all pace attack is justified.

Ford Ranger Cup XI

Matthew Elliott: the Ford Ranger Cup's Player of the Series © Getty Images
Matthew Elliott
The leading run-scorer in the qualifying games and the Player of the Series. He somehow found limited-overs runs easy to come by while struggling terribly in the Pura Cup. Was the only man to make two centuries this season.
Jimmy Maher
An ordinary year became a perfect one as he came home with a bang. His well paced 108 in the final earned Queensland the title and in a season with few superstar batsmen, that was enough to make him one of the best.
Brad Hodge
Almost as dominant in one-dayers as he was in the Pura Cup. Averaged 72.20 at a strike-rate of over 95 - figures the Australia selectors could not ignore. Was the attacker in a terrific opening pairing with the technically correct Michael Klinger.
Clinton Perren
One of the more consistent state batsmen around, his 470 runs were the most of any player. Aggression might not be his natural game but he made it work and his 75 in the final win over Victoria was important.
Brad Haddin
Would vie with Hodge and Luke Ronchi for the title of most damaging striker. His 406 runs came at a strike-rate of 104. Batting at No. 4 he had less chances for huge scores than some but his cracking 115 against Western Australia was superb.
Marcus North
Deserves to be one of the next in line for national consideration, like his team-mates Ronchi and Adam Voges. Had a strike-rate of 95 and was never better than against Tasmania at Hobart, when he made a century from 74 balls and finished with 115. His part-time offspin was also a useful tool.

James Hopes: an impressive all-round season © Getty Images
James Hopes
The competition's leading wicket-taker with 20 dismissals at 21.05, Hopes was a handful for batsmen Australia-wide. Played a couple of match-winning innings but more consistency at the top of the order would have made him a shoo-in for Player of the Series.
Nathan Hauritz
In a season when spinners struggled in the Pura Cup, they were more effective in the one-day arena. Hauritz was not a regular match-winner but he kept things tight and managed 14 wickets at 24.
Shane Harwood
Played only six of a possible 11 games but when he was fit he was outstanding. Averaged 16.3 runs for each of his 13 dismissals and was one of the very few strike bowlers who went for under four an over. Used the bouncer to great effect as a means of restricting runs.
Ben Hilfenhaus
His economy rate was 3.65 - even better than Harwood's - and top-order players were not comfortable attacking him. There were no big bags of wickets but he was rewarded for his consistency with an ODI debut during the summer.
Shaun Tait
Injury and Australian selection restricted his availability but he bowled some fearsome spells and proved dangerous with the swinging white ball. Not necessarily the most consistent bowler this season but an average of 21.08 and economy rate of 4.89 - acceptable considering his pace - were impressive.

Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant of Cricinfo