Our JLT Cup Team of the Tournament

With the finals of the domestic 50-over competition still to play, we’ve put together our best XI from the group stage

1. Nic Maddinson (NSW)

Matches: 6 | Runs: 398 | Average: 66.33| 100s: 2 | 50s: 1| Strike-rate: 96.13 |High score: 137

After making his Test debut last summer, the NSW batsman pushed his case for consideration in Australia's limited-overs sides with a terrific start to the 2017-18 season. After belting 137 – 98 of which came in fours and sixes – against Tasmania in the Blues' second match of the tournament, Maddinson torched the Cricket Australia XI two games later to the tune of 123. The left-hander finished the group-stage as the JLT Cup's leading run-scorer, finishing just two runs short off the 400 mark.

Maddinson tames Tigers with brilliant hundred

2. Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)

M: 6 | R: 380 | Ave: 95.00 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 3 | SR: 88.37 | HS: 132*

Another leftie with a point to prove, Shaun Marsh begun this one-day campaign with scores of 132 not out, 88, 62 and 69. It was little wonder the Warriors didn't lose a game until he was finally dismissed for a tally below 50. While he appears only an outside chance to regain his place in Australia's Test side for the start of the Magellan Ashes, Marsh could well come into contention for an ODI recall given his standout efforts in the JLT Cup.

Super Shaun continues stellar early-season form

3. Daniel Hughes (NSW)

M: 6 | R: 379 | Ave: 63.16 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 2 | SR: 90.45| HS:  122

It was a tournament dominated by openers and while Daniel Hughes thrived in that position for the Blues, the selection panel believes he can adapt his tremendous form to the first drop position. While hardly a household name, Hughes had the best start to a List A career in Australian cricket history with his batting average sitting at more than 70 after his 13th career match. That mark has since dipped to 65.16 after his only single-digit score for the JLT Cup on Sunday against Victoria. Before that, he'd managed scores of 25, 56, 105, 68, 122 to form a devastating opening partnership with Maddinson.

Hughes crashes his second ton of JLT Cup

4. Usman Khawaja (Queensland)

M: 6 | R: 380 | Ave: 63.33 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 2 | SR: 94.52 | HS: 138

Having sat on the sidelines during Australia's Test tour of India, the ensuing Indian Premier League campaign and then being dropped after the first Test in Bangladesh, Usman Khawaja could have been forgiven for showing signs of rust. A slow start may have reflected that but the elegant left-hander soon found his groove, notching scores of 85, 81 and then a bumper 138 against his former side NSW. The Bulls captain opened the batting during the JLT Cup but slots into No.4 in our team.

Clinical Khawaja cracks 138 against Blues

5. Mitch Marsh (Western Australia, c)

M: 6| R: 258 | Ave: 129.00 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 1 | SR: 115.69 | HS: 124

In his first campaign as Warriors captain, Mitch Marsh has taken to leadership with apparent ease, guiding Western Australia to a top-placed finish. The allrounder gains selection in this side despite not bowling a single ball in the tournament as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery. His powerful striking has proven the perfect complement to WA's dominant top-order in the JLT Cup and, among batsmen who scored at least 200 runs, he's the only one with a strike-rate greater than 100. His 124 against South Australia was his highest List A score and a timely reminder of his supreme hitting ability.

Mighty Marsh smashes some monster sixes

6. Peter Handscomb (Victoria, wk)

M: 4| R: 172 | Ave: 57.33 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 0 | SR: 121.12| HS:  103*

Catches: 7 | Stumpings: 2

While Peter Nevill equalled a List A 'keeping world record during the tournament, Peter Handscomb has been handed the gloves due to his superior numbers with the bat after returning from Australia's ODI tour of India. Taking the reins as skipper for the first time since being named Victoria’s full-time captain, Handscomb struck a 72-ball century to lead the Bushrangers to a bonus-point win over the Cricket Australia XI. The 26-year-old was also tidy behind the stumps, claiming nine dismissals in his four games. 

Handscomb hits hot form with terrific ton

7. Michael Neser (Queensland)

M: 6 | R: 153 | Ave: 51.00 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 0 | SR: 119.53 | HS: 122

Wickets: 8 | Bowling average: 35.50 | Economy rate: 5.16 | Best bowling: 2-27

With Mitch Marsh unable to bowl this side needs an allrounder and Neser's incredible century for Queensland – arguably the innings of the tournament – and his solid returns with the ball gets him the nod over the Redbacks' Cameron Valente. Arriving at the crease with the Bulls 5-63 chasing 302 to win against WA, Neser crashed 122 off just 81 balls in a remarkable display of hitting. It wasn't quite enough to get Queensland over the line but Neser had made his mark. And although he didn't make headlines in their final match against Tasmania, Neser's 2-27 off 10 overs saw him named player of the match in that game too to cap an impressive tournament.

Neser's epic maiden ton nearly rescues Bulls

8. Sean Abbott (NSW)

M: 6 | W: 12| Ave: 24.75 | Econ: 6.02 | BB: 3-29

A terrific campaign from Sean Abbott, cementing his status as one of the domestic scene's best limited-overs bowlers after leading the wicket-taking charts in last summer's KFC Big Bash League. His 12 scalps in this season's JLT Cup is the joint-highest tally. While his economy rate is a touch high, the right-armer generally bowled during tough periods for the Blues and did an admirable job to make inroads though the middle and death overs.

9. Joe Mennie (South Australia)

M: 5 | W: 12| Ave: 19.00 | Econ: 4.57 | BB: 5-36

The fast-bowling standout of the JLT Cup, Mennie claimed just one of two five-wicket hauls for the series and led the way for the second-placed Redbacks. His 5-36 against Queensland was the highlight of the right-armer's tournament and his ability to go at just over four-and-a-half runs per over was a testament to his relentless accuracy.

Mennie tames Bulls with bag of five

10. Peter Siddle (Victoria)

M: 6 | W: 8 | Ave: 25.12 | Econ: 3.35 | BB: 3-27

Returning from injury, Peter Siddle just edges out his Victorian teammate Chris Tremain (12 wickets at 27.75) due to his superior – and quite frankly, astonishing – economy rate. Going at 3.35 per over is unheard of in the modern era of one-day cricket but Siddle was the Bushrangers trump card when it came to putting the brakes on their opponents. The mark can hardly be put down a small sample size - Siddle was the only bowler in the tournament to bowl a maximum complement of 60 overs in his side's six group-stage games - and he remarkably conceded just 14 runs from his 10-over allotment against NSW. His numbers could have been even better had he not gone for 10 runs before he'd even bowled a legal delivery in the tournament after uncharacteristically opening with two balls that went for five wides against WA in the Vics’ first game.

Siddle's shocker as first over leaks 18

11. Fawad Ahmed (Victoria)

M: 6 | W: 11 | Ave: 26.63 | Econ: 5.32 | BB: 3-24

The Pakistan-born leg-spinner gave the Bushrangers a major boost considering wasn't even named in Victoria's original squad for 50-over tournament. But after fellow spinner Jon Holland went down with injury before the start of their campaign, Fawad proved a more-than-capable replacement. His economy rate of 5.32 is a solid figure for a wrist-spinner and he picked up three wickets in an innings on three separate occasions to help lead Victoria to the elimination final.