It is safe to say that Surrey haven’t had the ideal start to the domestic season. After a long hard fought draw against Essex in their first County Championship match, they began the road to Lord’s in the Royal London One Day Cup with two away encounters to Gloucestershire and Sussex. The trip up to Bristol initially went well as they bowled out the hosts for 235 with England’s Tom Curran and experienced seamer Rikki Clarke sharing 7 wickets. With Jason Roy opening and plenty of fire power and excitement to come, Surrey faltered badly and were subsequently bowled out for 88, Roy incidentally top scoring with 19.
Up to the picturesque Hove on Good Friday and my home team Sussex snatched a two wicket win from the visitors largely thanks to a splendid 92NO from Koplak David Wiese as yet again Sussex showed their strength in depth and competition for places. This was definitely an improved performance from Surrey with Sri Lankan series star wicketkeeper Ben Foakes top scoring with 64 alongside T10 pre season centurion Will Jacks who scored 56. Tom Curran starred with the ball but was very much a lone hand with Liam Plunkett struggling for form and rhythm ahead of the upcoming World Cup!
In a whirlwind tournament which features the 8 group matches plus finals, time is not on Surrey’s side with their last match in just over 2 weeks. The short turn arounds including travel and training means for these county players it is the most intense and gruelling stage of the season where the hard graft starts. Surrey have an injury problem with talented all rounder Jordan Clark from Lancashire still out with a knee injury whilst all rounder Scott Borthwick and spinner Amar Virdi have side and back issues – seamer Matt Dunn is also down with illness. They have some higher profile unavailability’s with Sam Curran playing in the IPL and overseas star Dean Elgar not arriving until next week.
Liam Plunkett has and is struggling from the winter with his form and rhythm in his bowling and has been very costly and expensive with the ball in the RLODC and in the last 5 ODIS. Stoneman and Burns have not had great records in List A cricket and with the injuries they occupy spots where they need to be aggressive and its perhaps not their natural game.
Its not all lost for Surrey (and I am only summarising in the opening month of matches) but they need their senior players to step up and make a difference for a side plagued with injuries and will be tested to the roots with their squad depth. Another injury plagued bowler Stuart Meaker will play a key role in his comeback along with all rounder Ryan Patel in all 3 formats. With the inclusion of Elgar next week and the returns of the injured players coming in the next few weeks, can Surrey revitalise and surge towards the qualification of the One Day Cup!
Cricket 19 has announced its first item of information and it is the release date for the new game. Big Ant Studios has released a short snippet of a trailer which makes for interesting viewing with some new features included in the 17 seconds – check it out below!
England will name their preliminary 15 man squad tomorrow which will enter the 2019 Cricket World Cup with the expectation of home pressure and the favourites tag to lift the cup at the end of the competition. Led by captain Eoin Morgan, England have changed fortunes since their disappointing 2015 World Cup campaign and have played an exciting and attacking brand of cricket which has seen world records broke and wins increased. Since the ICC World Cup in 2014/15, England have won 14 out of 20 series including the famous 5-0 Aussie whitewash at home last summer following the 4-1 away series victory in Australia from the lacklustre Ashes series! Players like Joe Root, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler alongside Morgan have confirmed their places with some stellar performances across the last 3 years and with the strength of the batting, Hales is likely to start as a reserve batsman with an average of 37.79…
However, in the bowling department, England have built a nucleus of seamers alongside the two spinners of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, but they have all come under pressure from newly eligible Englishmen Jofra Archer, with his availability almost nailing down a spot in the squad.
West Indies born Archer was fast-tracked through the registration system after hailing in Sussex for the last few years. Whilst he has only featured in 14 List A matches, his stints with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash and the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, has seen his hype increase and the pressure on the current incumbents as well. His most recent ongoing spell with the Royals has seen him wield 11 wickets including 3-15 against the Kings XI Punjab today!
Chris Woakes, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and Tom Curran have been the players which have made up the core of England’s seamers attack over the last 3 years and all have different roles which they have all performed expertly. Woakes’ skiddy pace and bounce with his line and length makes him a strong candidate for the new ball alongside Willey’s left arm alternative which provides the opportunity for swing early on. Liam Plunkett has mastered the middle to death over spell with his height and his variations which have deceived many batsman aiming to score high off him.
Mark Wood showed in the recent West Indies ODI series that he can also take the new ball and bounce out opponents whilst Curran’s T20 exploits have aided his variations with cutters and his death over experience is second to none. The question on everyone’s mind is who gets dropped for Archer to come in, if they want him??
In my opinion, I would bring in Archer for Tom Curran. Archer is a three dimensional player who can bat and bowl well as well as his fielding. Archer also has the versatility that he can bowl at any stage in the innings and be as effective as he would be starting or ending. He has been potent for Sussex with the new ball especially but he can cover Plunkett’s middle overs role with aplomb as well as bowling his deadly yorkers come the back end of the innings.
The shoo-ins for England are Woakes, Wood and Plunkett who have all performed admirably and superbly to cement their places in the cornerstone of England’s bowling attack. David Willey has only bowled his full quota of overs in the last 2 of 14 matches but specialises very well with the swinging ball in the opening overs and with his left arm option, he is a better alternative for England.
Curran would be terribly disappointed to miss out but he lacks the consistency on the International stage to take wickets at a regular basis unlike his fellow seam bowling partners. Jake Ball, Sam Curran and Chris Jordan have also been touted and used as options forEnglandpreviously — could they be the outsider in the squad.
With the strength in ability and calibre in England’s batting line up, Alex Hales’ fantastic ODI record will see him originally sitting on the benches of England and a more than adept replacement should Bairstow, Roy etc run into a bad spell or get injured. It is the second spare batsman/all rounder spot which is definitely up for grabs and could twist and change up until the May deadline for the official 15 man squad. https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1172161
Joe Denly took up the mantle in the West Indies but didn’t feature during the drawn series with his selection based upon the fact of his leg spin option. Liam Dawson held that role in the spinney Sri Lanka and performed well before injury curtailed his series and possibly his World Cup squad with only a home series against Pakistan and a one off match against Ireland left.
Pitches and conditions will be suitable to spin so having a player that can bat and give you a 6th bowling option along with Joe Root will be more than handy. Sam Billings is also being touted as a back up keeper with his runs coming recently in the T20I with an 87 against the Windies. http://m.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/297628.html
Billings’ average of 22.58 with a high score of 62 shows his lack of conversions despite the potential being there. The spot is certainlyup for grabs and I think it could be a spot if the ECB decide is best, that will change throughoutthe Royal London One Day Cup.
So with all my opinion made and my areaswhere I think England will be having some sleepless nights over – here are my squads for the World Cup, Pakistan ODI series and one off Ireland ODI.
World Cup Squad
Jonny Bairstow Jason Roy Alex Hales Joe Root Eoin Morgan (C) Jos Buttler (+) Ben Stokes Moeen Ali Liam Dawson Chris Woakes Adil Rashid Liam Plunkett David Willey Mark Wood Jofra Archer
Pakistan ODI 17man Squad
Resting Jason Roy + Adil Rashid
Jonny Bairstow Alex Hales Joe Root Eoin Morgan (C) Jos Buttler Sam Billings (+) Joe Denly Ben Stokes Moeen Ali Liam Dawson Chris Woakes Sam Curran Liam Plunkett David Willey Mark Wood Jofra Archer Jake Ball
Ireland ODI Squad
Resting Chris Woakes, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Liam Plunkett
Jonny Bairstow Alex Hales Jason Roy Joe Root Jos Buttler (+) Sam Billings Moeen Ali Jofra Archer Adil Rashid David Willey Mark Wood Jake Ball Sam Curran
So with the upcoming World Cup approaching in under a months time, will England have a smooth preparation or will they be forced to change at the last minute. Comment below your thoughts on my squad preview and add your own squad as well and we will find out who is “top dog”!!
After deciding not to participate in the Telegraph Fantasy Cricket, Short Leg turned his head towards Cricket XI and a bid to win the CC 2019 Morris Invitational launched by my good pal and other cricket blogger Silly Point. https://sillypointcricket.com/link is here so please if you haven’t already check out the blog and give it a follow!!
Following the early start to the English domestic summer with the upcoming World Cup and Ashes in the centre of the summer, the County Championship began on the 5th April and two rounds have been completed in both divisions. In this post, I will wrap up how I fared and the details of my players and my trades that I have made for when red ball cricket returns in 28 days.
(Disclaimer: Inexplicably, I failed to take out Dimuth Karunaratne out of my team after he withdrew from his Hampshire stint at least a week before the season began. I also then haven’t checked between rounds for players that were playing despite being quite keenly eyed on both divisions over the last two weeks, hence Dom Bess, Tom Helm and Mason Crane registering 0 points.)
Overall, I scored 1249 points which puts me last so far in the 2019 CC Morris Invitational League however you can only get better from here. Having 3 players in the XI, not playing over the 2 rounds hampered my point scoring total as well as the poor early form from the likes of Jake Ball and captain Matt Renshaw.
Zak Crawley, of Kent, top scored with 326 points aided with the century against Warwickshire. Liam Dawson proved a good pick as well with 319 points for his all round contribution. Dawson scored 64 in their opening round win against Essex whilst also bowling 31 wicketless but highly economical overs. In their innings loss against Yorkshire, Dawson toiled hard bowling 60 overs for 3-184 and then backing that up with 57 and then 92 in his two bats which has showed his red ball credentials or the season admirably… hint hint England!
Steven Mullaney performed respectably in the opening encounters alongside Tom Haines who scored points for his part time bowling over his opening batting. Coming into the next rounds, switching players out from trade and the bench will be beneficial in my quest to win with Critchley and Pope doing quite well!
In disappointment with the early round showing, Short Leg has opted to make all the 4 allowed trades for the team shaping up in 4 weeks.
In: Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Tongue, Will Davis and Amar Virdi.
Out: Dimuth Karunaratne, Dom Bess, Tom Helm and Mason Crane
Australian overseas Labuschagne piled on 121 with the bat in the mammoth run scoring match for Glamorgan against Northans which saw Glamorgan score 570 and Northans responding with 750. With 10 bowlers on show for Glamorgan, Labuschagne’s part time leg spin recorded figures of 44 overs 6 maidens 122 runs 3 wickets. He will be keen to pour on the runs in order to be selected for the Ashes. http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8204/report/1166973/day/4/undefined Josh Tongue took 6 wickets for Worcestershire with his pace and bounce disturbing the Leicestershire batsmen. Will Davis was on the receiving end of Tongue’s pace but took a wicket and has joined the Short Leg team for a cheap money buy not on form. Amar Virdi hasn’t featured for Surrey yet this season but has proved his selection at the back end of the last season with lots of wickets as spin becomes more important as the summer goes on!
The upcoming Royal London One Day Cup side has been shown on the site but will be changed up until the deadline as I will be checking all (yes each team) teams websites for the squads, which I will then align to my team in the bid for victory.
After defeating Pakistan in the International T20 Tri Series final, we embarked a two match test series in the UAE against Pakistan in Short Leg’s first coaching role for a Test match. Coming into the series, speculation was rife concerning who would make the squad and who would be missing out including the injured. The squad decided by the Chairman of Selectors and assistants Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh would be the team tasked with winning overseas without the big names:
1. Matt Renshaw 2. Joe Burns 3. Usman Khawaja 4. Peter Handscomb 5. Marnus Labuschagne 6. Travis Head 7. Tim Paine (C) (+) 8. Matthew Wade (+) 9. Glenn Maxwell 10. Mitchell Marsh 11. Steven O’Keefe 12. Nathan Lyon 13. Mitchell Starc 14. Josh Hazelwood 15. James Pattinson 16. Jhye Richardson 17. Jon Holland 18. Peter Siddle
When a Hafeezless Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl first, their decision was looking good early on with Hasan Ali completing a superb caught and bowled to dismiss Burns. Pakistan used their home expertise to their advantage with the selection of 4 seamers and a batting all round spinner which they would hope would prove crucial at the conclusion of the match. Their seamers troubled the Australians initially but the Queensland pair of Renshaw and Khawaja battled defiantly to see the tourists through to Lunch and then Tea on Day 1. Khawaja was the aggressor of the pair and showed some fine form in his shot making vindicating his selection. His 84, including 9 fours and 1 six, kickstarted a remarkable Australian collapse losing 8 wickets for just 91.
Hasan Ali made two breakthroughs at 202 Handscomb falling for a second ball duck after Khawaja. Opener Renshaw had batted patiently and intelligently before a lapse in concentration ended a 249 ball knock and his chances of a second Test match hundred. Travis Head was the next highest scorer behind the Queensland duo with a solid but unspectacular 28 whilst Glenn Maxwell (19), on his return to Test cricket, and captain/keeper Tim Paine fell to Mohammed Abbas. The double A’s Amir and Abbas removed Pattinson and Lyon respectively leaving Australia 291-9 before a sharp Amir bouncer prematurely ended the innings of Australia and resigning fast bowler Josh Hazelwood to the medical table, where he stayed for the rest of the match.
The typical Matt Renshaw innings with a strong presence on the offside.
With the added blow of losing fast bowler Josh Hazelwood, Australia had to turn to James Pattinson on his long awaited return to 5 day cricket to take the new ball with Starc and both started unconvincingly. Off spinner Nathan Lyon also began poorly as openers Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali capitalised on a sluggish start until the score was 67 when all rounder Glenn Maxwell found Ali’s edge caught by Renshaw. Aslam pushed on towards the final session of Day 2 with support by the talented Babar Azam – it was going to be a long field day for the tourists!
Sami Aslam struck his 16th four consequently bringing up his impressive ton but he soon fell for 112 with Starc swinging the old ball into the pads at 190-2. Azam and Shafiq guided Pakistan to the close of Day 2 but the latter was soon dismissed by Lyon early into the morning finding more bounce which clipped the back pad. Bowling in pairs, Maxwell shortly removed Azam’s off stump for a well made 74 and had Pakistan 232-4. Debutant Hussain Talat began in fine form wonderfully caressing the ball to the boundary despite losing partners. Mitchell Starc removed Sohail (16) with Joe Burns taking the catch before seaming partner James Pattinson took a remarkable caught and bowled of Captain Safaraz Ahmed (13).
Talat and Ashraf extended the hosts lead with a 47 run partnership and Hasan Ali provided lower order runs in a 33 run partnership with Talat. Glenn Maxwell took the crucial wicket of Talat for 83 shortly after Ashraf played a wild slash to Renshaw at leg slip for 24. Highlighting Lyon’s lack of profligacy, Maxwell wrapped up the innings with figures of 6-100 Ali (15) and Abbas (0) falling in successive balls but left the hosts 103 runs ahead.
With a large deficit in front of them the Aussies needed a solid start and had a comfortable opening before at 36-1 Burns was caught and bowled again this time by Amir. The reunion of Renshaw and Khawaja caused problems for the Pakistan as they looked to settle into their innings albeit some poor fielding and dropped catches. As reverse swing became a factor, Renshaw on 38 succumbed to Abbas’s in dipper and left the Australians 2 down and still behind their lead. Peter Handscomb quickly got himself of a pair and showed great maturity and composure. The ominous partnership reached 84 before Abbas this time held onto one from Khawaja (61) off his own bowling. Travis Head endured a tricky Test debut falling for 1 to Amir before a counter attacking knock from Maxwell was swiftly complete compiling 32 from 37 but exiting as the Aussies reached 207-5.
Cometh the hour when Australia needed a big and vital partnership, Handscomb and leader of men Tim Paine joined together in a 156 run stand prompting Pakistan frustration and disappointment in the field. Handscomb completed his ton with a splendid on drive and soon Paine had his half century, knocking the ball around expertly. Paine’s resistance was ended by Hasan Ali for 75 which was added by the departure of Handscomb for 134 to Ashraf completing the Pakistan fightback as Australia were 373-7. A valuable 41 runs were added between Starc, Pattinson and Lyon therefore pushing the score beyond 400 and leaving a 312 run chase on a degrading Day 5 pitch.
Amir’s 4 wicket haul giving Pakistan a strong chance at successfully chasing down 312 after Captain Paine’s hard fought resilience.
Encountering a difficult but manageable chase in home conditions on the final day, Pakistan set out their stall with aggressive but calculated batting from the openers against Starc and Pattinson’s pace and swing. Soon after an early 50 partnership, first inning centurion Sami Aslam (34) provided a thin edge for Paine to hold on to for Nathan Lyon’s first wicket. Another 50 run partnership between Azam and Azhar Ali had put Pakistan in a commanding position but were swiftly pegged back as Maxwell and Renshaw combined for the dismissal of Ali (39). Approaching 50 himself, Azam was at a loss to explain his decision to slog Pattinson which saw his stumps dismantled.
From 140-3, Talat and Shafiq gave Pakistan a fantastic platform to win from with an aggressive and quickfire 103 run partnership which took with it the diminishing hope of an Australian victory. Talat played a heavily off sided game in contrast to Shafiq’s leg side game ultimately creating a harder task for the tourists. However, the ever reliable Mitchell Starc through the game up in the air with back to back dismissals. Shafiq played on for 56 at 243 before 19 runs later Talat departed for 70 after being pinned on the pads. A mini lower order collapse was caused with Sohail (8) and Ashraf (1) falling to the deadly duo of Lyon and Starc. Hovering at 269-7 still requiring 42 to win in the final 11 overs, Lyon took the key wicket of the last remaining “batsman” in Safaraz Ahmed (10) at 280-8. However, Mohammed Amir and Hasan Ali remained strong in defence and resiliently blocked out the remaining half a dozen overs to end this classic Test match in a well fought out draw.
Almost but not quite for Pakistan who couldn’t get over the line!
Lyon and Starc were the key bowlers in Australia’s quest for a win ending in a draw.
Usman Khawaja produced two defiant, determined and profitable innings assisting Australia to a well earnt draw. In general, we played some fantastic cricket and the 156 run stand between Handscomb and Paine was crucial for setting Pakistan a total with the hope of bowling them out. As a team, we stood together firmly and strongly and helped to provide a spectacular Test match which ebbed and flowed. The loss of fast bowler Josh Hazelwood before he had bowled a ball hampered our chances but our main bowlers were ably supported by Glenn Maxwell and part time options which all contributed to a pleasing performance.
Heading into the final Test match of 2 in the series, it is likely that Hazelwood will miss the match supplying an opportunity for seamers Jhye Richardson and Peter Siddle to deputise or alternatively spin with Steve O’Keefe and Jon Holland waiting in the wings. Mitchell Marsh could come into contention as a bowling allrounder meanwhile Travis Head’s poor debut showing puts pressure on his spot in the side. Revisit the site to see the outcome of the second test match between Pakistan and Australia which will be a mouth watering contest to decide the victor of the series! The team are overwhelmed by the support.
With a rather bleak and disappointing looking table following our three consecutive losses in the Global Test Championship, England travel to Afghanistan looking to beat the rising and potentially great test side containing spin aplomb.
Whilst we will not name the official XI to encounter 3rd placed Afghanistan, we can confirm that Somerset’s left arm spinner Jack Leach will add to his caps gained in New Zealand and Sri Lanka (real life) and make his GTC debut. His left arm off spin gives us a different dimension to our line up which will be boosted by Leach’s consistency and variety with the pink ball.
His definite inclusion means that a change at least will occur in our bowling attack with experienced seamer Stuart Broad at risk ,after taking two wickets @ 180, of losing his place if we decide the pitch favours spinners over seamers. Alternatively, the option to replace a batter remains on the table with both openers under pressure with the certainty that both Moeen Ali ( 11 wickets) and Adil Rashid ( 10 wickets) will feature heavily with the ball.
Reflecting on our first innings struggles with the bat (winning the toss and bowling would be preferred), Joe Denly is yet again included and could replace either Jennings (93 runs @ 15.50 ) or Burns (99 runs @ 16.50) as a predominately opening batsman but also the option of some handy leg spin. He joins Sam Curran, who was incidentally picked as a batsman and fast bowler Mark Wood in the 15 man squad touring to Asia.
With pressure certainly increases on all concerned in the England setup, a win wouldn’t go a miss but will no doubt be very tricky against a capable Afghanistan who have already shocked Australia so far in the GTC. The imminent threat of spin trio Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will definitely not be an exciting prospect for our batsman but we will need to be on top of them to ensure victory. Left arm seamer Ahmed is also a threat with the new and old ball whilst opening duo Inshullah and Ahmadi will be hoping to continue their imperious form. Stay tuned for Game 4 of the Global Test Championship and the round up of the other fixtures right her eon the website in the short future.
After Sussex conceded a 79 run lead, 22 year old opener Salt sprinkled and smashed the ball to the boundary which alongside other opener Tom Haines gave Sussex a brilliant platform before he departed for 80 from 67 against Leicestershire.
It isn’t the first time that the aggressive, modern day style batting of Salt paid dividend for Sussex, this time in the 4 day format. Last year, Salt followed up a trailblazing 66 from 25 balls against Middlesex in the T20 competition with a sensational knock of 148 from 138 balls in the 4 day match against Derbyshire. Following Salt’s burst on to the scene worldwide, he was signed up for the PSL and the T10 league in Dubai where he performed well but not with the same kind of substance that saw him signed up.
Salt is a traditional modern day batter who can play admirably 360 degrees (his switch hit against South Africa in 2017 was incredible) but unlike many he has not curved his aggressive and counter attacking style in the longer format which has produced enough runs to see him flirting with the opportunity of an England call up. Now it may look unlikely especially with Salt batting in Division 2 and his lack of exposure to facing a higher calibre of bowling that he may contend with on International duty, but the young batsman is one of few currently around rubbing salt into the opening bowlers wounds!
His record of 2 hundreds and 4 fifties in First Class cricket will no doubt need to be improved to be in serious contention of higher honours but he has shown in glimpses that he is capable of producing consistent high scores at a quick rate. With Sussex currently leading by 219 runs at Lunch at eight down, it will be interesting to see how Leicestershire cope in a tricky chase – will Salt add to his single First class wicket?
England have survived plenty of storms in the past but this storm brought from the legendary Christopher Henry Gayle was too powerful and blew away the English in a hammering 7 wicket win for the West Indies in the latest round of Global Test Championship fixtures in the inaugural season – coming into this game, both teams were winless!
In true GTC fashion, the opposition won the toss and inserted us into a surprisingly bouncy and sprightly Old Trafford pitch. England set their stall out early to be determined and defensive against the new ball which backfired when Burns (8) edged Alzarri Joseph to the keeper at 23-1. West Indies captain Jason Holder exploited the bounce dismissing his opposite captain Root (5) after bouncing out home born Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings for 25. GTC debutant Bairstow stood firm and rode out a tricky lively opening session from the West Indies quicks and spinners with reminiscence of the glory West Indies days with Courtney Walsh and Micheal Holding. Spin proved the downfall of promoted batsman Moeen Ali (5) and Jos Buttler (20) arriving at Lunch five down for the third successive match.
Boundaries were hard to come by for England but wicket keepers Foakes and Bairstow built a 66 run partnership to ease the pressure on the batsman in the shed and the increasingly frustrated supporters. Bairstow reached 50 despite scoring no boundaries which was the theme for the majority of batsmen in the game (bar a few) and Foakes was seemingly following his understudy to a half ton before oddly attempting a sweep to a pretty straight delivery. Surrey keeper Foakes scored 85 against the Proteas but since then has struggled for a consistency with the bat which has contributed to the occasional drop with the gloves. His spot is safe for the moment…
As regular wickets fell in the innings, England were indebted to a gritty Adil Rashid 20 as he hung around long enough prompting Bairstow to increase his scoring rate. After Rashid’s dismissal, leg spinner Bishoo wrapped up Broad and just had Jimmy Anderson to go. But, Anderson confidently blocked and left which allowed Bairstow to reach his three figures containing only four fours – Anderson was soon out but it was Bairstow’s innings which propelled England up to a respectable total after an accomplished display from the West Indies bowlers. – (England 253 Bairstow 103NO Foakes 43 ; Bishoo 3-41 Joseph 3-60)
West Indies started brightly taking advantage of the wayward lines provided by Broad and Anderson. Chris Gayle on his Test return began an onslaught of hitting, attacking each length and line. Our seamers couldn’t extract the same pace and bounce the Windies bowlers found and soon the tourists raced to a 100 partnership. Top English GTC wicket taker Moeen Ali removed Braithwaite (41) at the end of play with a smart catch by Foakes. Day 2 came and the momentum hadn’t changed as Gayle motored to his 150! 226 was the next wicket with Ali and Foakes combining to dismiss Mohammad (43).
Spin was proving to be more beneficial on a degrading pitch with leg spinner Adil Rashid pitching in with the wicket of dangerous Shai Hope (25) – Foakes with a blinder! Gayle remained at the crease despite all possible tactics from captain Root and the bowling attack which proved to be at no avail. Rashid picked up his second at 315-4, Hetmyer departing (20) before the moment all Caribbean fans had been wishing for…
A remarkable innings rightly deserved after showing an unusual side to his game with patience blended in with amazing ball striking to perplex the England side. Blackwood (5) was Ali’s third victim and soon followed Gayle falling for 217 from 277 balls to a googly from Rashid – a match winning knock. England had restored some pride in their game and had successfully brought the game at least back to some small credibility. Keeper Shane Dowrich played an attacking innings of 70 to lift the West Indies into a 238 run lead which saw Ali and Rashid take 4 wickets each. (West Indies 491 Gayle 217 Dowrich 70 ; Ali 4-99 Rashid 4-110)
Staring down the barrel of a crushing home defeat, Jennings fell to Joesph for just 2 poorly attempting the pull, summing up our lack of runs. Other incumbent opener Burns showed his first sign of form in the GTC after being well set on 41 but his solid defence was ripped apart from part time off break bowler Braithwaite. Braithwaite was soon jumping for joy and had West Indies in hot pursuit of a wicket win catching Root LBW on his first ball.
Jonny Bairstow backed up his maiden GTC hundred with 78 at a high scoring rate and was the only real positive from this English display. Still about 100 runs behind, England then slipped to 169-7 with Foakes (4) and Ali (1) falling to the successful short ball theory from Holder before Woakes’ (7) resistance was ended by Bishoo. Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid added valuable lower order runs to the England side with Buttler closing in on a maiden GTC century in a return to form. But…
Buttler’s fantastic innings was ended by seamer Joseph whose extra height and pace troubled Buttler and sent him back for an impressive 87. When Rashid departed for a solid 42 to double centurion Chris Gayle, England were looking at setting a 50 run lead at best.
Broad and Anderson rolled back the years with two swashbuckling knocks to add some pressure to the top order batsman of the tourists successfully upping the total to chase a much better, respected total of 158 and ending the English resistance at all out for 395. (England 395 Buttler 87 Bairstow 78 ; Joseph 3-67 Braithwaite 2-22)
For the third game in a row, our opponents were chasing a total under 200 to win but we had early hope when Woakes zipped one through to the “Universe Boss” which found the edge to Foakes. England continued to add pressure and checked the tourists progress with Burns superbly running out Braithwaite (35). A 95 run partnership effectively ruined England’s chances of pulling off a massive victory with catches going down in the slips and the outfield. Shai Hope was removed for 49 on the cusp of victory by Anderson but Roston Chase (52 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (7 not out) guided the West Indies to a famous away victory and more importantly their first win of the championship.
Relatively new opening batsman Rory Burns has struggled to adapt to the pink ball in this championship so far scoring 99 runs @ 16.50 with a high score of 41. His form has improved since his opening matches and look composed in his 41 and was unfortunate to be dismissed. That innings may have boosted his chances of making the trip to Afghanistan where changes will need to be made to overturn this horrendous start. His batting partner Keaton Jennings place is also under question with 93 runs @ 15.50 with one fifty whilst batting order changes to our middle order will (hopefully) be the trick into scoring more runs especially in the first innings.
England need to get going in the Global Test Championship quickly in order to have any chance of finishing in a competitive spot aiming of course for the final. With the host’s pitch looking very conducive and beneficial to spin, the playing XI and squad of England will be no doubt intriguing and fascinating to see. An opportunity arises for our two main spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to continue their excellent wicket taking during the GTC. They could be accompanied by Somerset’s left arm spinner Jack Leach who comes into contention for a start alongside team mate Dom Bess and Hampshire spinner Mason Crane. Opening batsman Burns and Jennings will be sweating over their places with Joe Denly and Haseeb Hameed waiting in the wings but a recall for Sam Curran amongst others looks unlikely at this stage. Ben Stokes remains injured and will miss the following Trent Bridge encounter with the Australians but the focus shifts to England with the bid to score their first points of the Championship against the youthful and talent boasting Afghanistan squad.
Cricket Captain 2018 Mobile Sussex Career Mode in year 2020 – the varied emotions you can feel playing two 50 over matches is simply incredible!
I have played with Sussex since the arrival of this game on mobile and we have had a mix of results, narrowly missing out on promotion to Division 1 and coming runners up in the 50 over competition. (2018 FC: 7th 2019: 3rd ; 2018 OD: 2019 OD: ; 2018 T20: 2019: )
Sussex vs Kent 50 overs – The UP!
After restricting Kent to an above par 329 in their 50 overs thanks to some late death bowling, at 135 for 5 it looked unlikely that we were going to chase it down with only two all rounders left before they embarked on the tail. But it was these all rounders which caused jubilation in the Short Leg household!
Within 10 reality minutes and 5 virtual days, jubilation turned to devastation at the narrow 1 wicket loss against El Clasico Coast rivals Hampshire.
Following our below par 217, we started with fire and had Hampshire at 65-5 before a 95 run partnership derailed our momentum. But, a Jack Brooks burst with 4 fiery wickets turned the game to the Sharks with 46 required for the last pair to win. However, England’s forgotten and injured man Reece Topley stood firm to provide a remarkable comeback in the final wicket partnership alongside man of the match Chris Wood. The feeling of ecstasy was soon removed with the feel of dejection!
Oh Cricket Captain…
How can we lose to a No.11 with a batting average of 8. To be fair to Topley he did orchestrate a splendid partnership to bring joy to the Hamps with 7 fours.
Following Short Leg’s recent selection of my Cricket XI Fantasy side to take on the County Championship season, Short Leg himself has created sides for the imminent Indian Premier League T20 (as of writing I am just about to watch it) and the English Royal London One Day Cup 50 over Competiton. Short Leg has joined Silly Point’s competition in the fierce battle between Short Leg Cricket and Silly Point Cricket – who will win? Comment below…
IPL 2019 Side
Royal London One Day Cup Team
As Team Manager I am looking forward to giving regular updates on the three sides I have and hope to have some good success with them. With the IPL early in the year ahead of the World Cup and Ashes, what a year it is to be a Cricket fan. Thanks for reading and revisit to keep up with more cricket content.
Afghanistan’s winning streak continued in their crushing 473 run win against a stunned Bangladesh side. Opening pair Janet Ihsanullah and Javad Ahmadi destroyed the bowling attack scoring 75 and 69 in the first innings before a mammoth partnership in their second innings of 620-8 declared virtually winning the match with Ihsanullah scoring a magical 242. Left armer Fareed Ahmad’s took 6 wickets on debut alongside 17 year old spinner Mujeeb, who led the spin attack with 7-99. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim gave Bangladesh a single positive note with two half centuries but Afghanistan go 3 from 3!
Australia bounced back from their morale damaging loss to Afghanistan with a comfortable 5 wicket win against Zimbabwe. Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch’s centuries led a platform for Australia who then forced Zimbabwe to follow on after a Josh Hazelwood blitz. Ryan Burl maintained his big score making with anther century whilst spinners Hamilton Masakadza and Graeme Cremer led the attack with the ball for the visitors. Pat Cummins took his first 5 wicket haul of the GTC as Australia racked up their second win at home.
In a thrilling contest in the heart of Hong Kong, Sri Lanka held their nerve in a tight finish to record a one wicket win. Sri Lanka’s spin duo of Danajaya De Silva and Malinda Pushpakumara shone with 12 wickets between them but it was the Gunathilaka and Samarawickrama knocks which pushed the tourists across the line. Nadeem Ahmed and Eisaz Khan starred with the ball for Hong Kong with 6 and 4 wickets respectively alongside a Nizakat Khan blockbuster century which put Hong Kong into a respectable position. Hong Kong’s fearless nature for a debut nation was amazing to see and despite losing 3 from 3 they have performed admirably.
India’s comprehensively defeated South Africa by 233 runs in a record breaking contest at Eden Gardens. KL Rahul’s amazing century scoring was at the pinnacle of India’s 400+ innings with back to back centuries to go alongside his consecutive centuries against Scotland. Hardik Pandya and Chetseswar Pujara also made centuries whilst zippy bowler Jasprit Bumrah terrorised the Proteas batting with 8-195. Proteas captain Faf Du Plessis scored the GTC’s highest individual score with 285 in South Africa’s valiant chase of 760 which had been forced upon them from their poor first innings total.
Ireland returned back to earth from their impressive away victory against Pakistan with an 8 wicket loss to neighbouring country Scotland. Safyaan Sharif headlined Scotland’s impressive bowling display with 7 wickets including 4 big scalps in Ireland’s paltry 197. Matt Cross gave Scotland the upper hand with a blitzing century whilst Kyle Coetzer,George Munsey and Callum MacLeod registered half centuries in the game. Andy Balbirnie was Ireland’s only supporting act taking 3 part time wickets before notching up 186 which wasn’t enough to give the Irish hopefuls a sniff at a result.
A Sagar Pun and Sandeep Lamichhane masterclass led Nepal to a historic and world breaking victory against the experienced Pakistan. Pun scored an unbeaten 130 in the first innings before scoring 109 in the second innings which set the platform for the successful chase. Lamichhane took 7 wickets and spun the game back into Nepal’s favour after Pakistan had taken a 100 run plus lead. Asif Shafiq and Fakhar Zaman provided the dim spotlight on a shell shocking loss with 144 and two fifties respectively. Nepal’s debut win will be remembered long into the Nepalese cricketing history as they push Pakistan to 3 defeats in a row!
New Zealand produced an impressive performance to annihilate Netherlands by 10 wickets. Tim Southee was the standout of the seamers with a five wicket haul backed up admirably by the rest of the attack whilst Tom Latham smashed an almost run a ball 158. Colin de Grandhomme muscled a quick fire 81 as Netherlands struggled to match 552 in both innings with only last match double centurion Ben Cooper hitting a core of note with 107. New Zealand knocked off the measly 38 in no time and swiftly moved to 3 consecutive wins on the bounce.
England take on the West Indies at Old Trafford where the hosts and the tourists will be striving to pick up their first points of the Championship!
Liam Dawson. Since his surprise selection in the Twenty 20 World Cup squad in 2016, he has been in and out of the team and used sparingly by England over the past two or so years. But, with the World Cup approaching could some a late burst of form stand him in with a chance or will he continue to be the fringe player of England.
The Hampshire spinning all rounder has featured in 3 Test matches for England where he featured twice away in India (2016) taking 2-129 and then featuring at the start of Joe Root’s (2017) reign against South Africa where he took four key wickets but made a pair. His home Test debut was too be his last one up until now and unless he shows improvement in 4 day matches, England will look to him as a back up One Day player. His last T20I was February 2018 against New Zealand in the Tri Series and has played 6 T20I matches for England. Dawson recently featured in the opening 2 Sri Lankan away ODIS where he showed good form with the ball in the rain affected matches taking 1-26 from 6 overs. This couldn’t be his transformation into the side as a side strain ruled him out of contention for the rest of the series and seemingly the World Cup out with him.
But, after re-joining the Peshawar Zalmi for this year’s Pakistan Super League, Dawson began to find that performance level from the recent Sri Lanka ODIS. The 29 year old featured more heavily with the bat and showed his all round ability scoring 169 runs in 8 innings including a match winning 52NO. His bowling was tight and economical with 3 wickets @ 55.56 but at an accurate 7.26 economy rate, helping Peshawar make the finals.
Dawson is clearly behind the leading two spinners in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and is unlikely despite good PSL form to obtain a World Cup Spot. However, with his T20 reputation growing, will England take their chance with the all rounder who has shown (at times) that he can be valuable to the International side?
What if Moeen Ali or Adil Rashid get injured and are ruled out, is Dawson the shoe in? Will he make big strides in the early first class season? Can he make the T20I World Cup squad for Australia? He has shown he has the potential but he needs to maximise it and quickly!
It appears to be a traditional fantasy cricket game alongside the head to head leagues and will also feature the IPL (Indian Premier League 2019) and the ongoing JLT Sheffield Shield (Australia 4 day Domestic 2019) so if you didn’t want to just chance your arm at the county comp in England, these options are available for you.
With a busy year of Cricket for International players with the Ashes and the World Cup occurring, it will be a chance for some of the less experienced and younger players at the county clubs to step up and make a name for themselves. Likewise with the County season opening at the beginning of April, it is a fantastic opportunity for players to push their case for the Ashes squad (especially the top order!) later on in the Summer.
Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) is making his first County Championship performance in his career FC: 10510 runs @ 46.16 35 hundreds and 43 fifties Tests: 4074 @ 36.05 8 hundreds and 22 fifties
Zak Crawley (Kent) FC 2018: 755 runs @ 31.45 1 hundred and 4 fifties
Will Rhodes (Warwickshire) FC 2018: 972 runs @ 44.25 4 hundreds and 4 fifties
Tom Haines (Sussex) FC 2018: 319 runs @ 31.90 1 hundred and 1 fifty 1-82(33.0)
Matt Renshaw (Somerset 2018 + Australia / Kent 2019) FC 2018: 513 runs @ 51.30 3 hundreds and 1 fifty
Ollie Pope (Surrey + England) FC 2018: 986 runs @ 70.42 4 hundreds and 1 fifty
Tom Moores (Notts) FC 2018: 616 runs @ 29.33 1 hundred an 2 fifties
Steven Mullaney (Notts) 601 runs @ 30.05 1 hundred and 4 fifties – 11 wickets @ 36.54
Matt Critchley (Derbyshire) 705 runs @ 28.20 1 hundred and 4 fifties – 32 wickets @ 36.08
Tom Helm (Middlesex) 12 wickets @ 33.71
Ben Sanderson (Northans) 60 wickets @ 16.70
Dom Bess (Somerset) 11 wickets @ 54.72
Jake Ball (Notts) 28 wickets @ 22.25
Mason Crane (Hampshire) didn’t feature due to injury but did feature in one Test in the 2017-18 Ashes series for England
I will post updates throughout the season to see how team Short Leg Cricket fares in the English County World. Stay tuned for some upcoming articles on the site all involving the Cricketing world. Thanks for reading and visit soon!
Following last week’s teaser of a new console Cricket game, today England Cricket Twitter page confirmed the new game with the title of Cricket 19 with Big Ant Studios. This game is subjected to be released in May of this year, so well before the Ashes start and just before the beginning of the Cricket World Cup. Just the fact there is a new Cricket game to spend hours playing is simply fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I will link in the two videos with some analysis and the link of the information from the England Cricket website. Enjoy your days and week and I will be back at some stage next week.
You might be wondering where the Ashes Cricket articles, the Cricket Captain reports and the events of International cricket overviews been. Well don’t fear I am still hear alive as ever! However, due to an upcoming exam in two weeks (I’m 15 by the way for those asking which might be none of you but it just helps to know), time is not at the moment falling my way and unfortunately I have not posted since last week. There will be a short lull in posts and I apologise for that whilst I prepare and then complete my exam but after that look forward to plenty of Cricket content coming your way.
This may include:
Ashes Cricket Global Test Championship report of England’s adventures at Old Trafford against the Caribbean fellows of West Indies.
Ashes Cricket Career Mode
Cricket Captain 2018 Australian Journey
T20 , ODI, Test and Domestic Opinions and Reports
Any other Cricket content really…
Thanks for the continued support, advice and guidance and I hope you understand my decision and I look forward to be posting once again!
On many other days, 194-6 would be a winning score and certainly one of the higher scores in T20I history. However, the chaos and carnage caused just over an hour before will remain in the record books for a long time!! Fans of bowling look away now!
278-3 – Highest Team Total
236 – Highest T20I Partnership
16 – Most sixes in individual innings
162NO – Second highest individual T20I score
42 balls – Third fastest men’s T20I ton
Take a bow Harzratullah Zazai! 162 from just 62 deliveries with 16 sixes and 11 fours. Take a lie down Irish bowlers and fielders! Zazai has been mentioned by other bloggers as one to watch htpp://www.sillypointcricket.com. and the fans certainly didn’t take their eye of him. 16 sixes and 11 fours at a strike rate of 261.3 has definitely boosted his stats.
In just his 5th T20I Match, Zazai has shown that he will be a cornerstone to Afghanistan’s future success with the bat and the upcoming World Cup could be the place to promote his name around the world.
This doesn’t make good reading for Ireland with 8.75 being the most economical. 8 bowlers were used in a run fest that Ireland just watched the ball sail into the crowd! Credit to the bowlers for giving it their all throughout the 20 overs.
Rashid Khan then showed Ireland and the rest of his team mates how to bowl taking 4-25. I’m pretty sure he was bowling on a different surface to everyone else …
Paul Sterling’s 91 from 50 was Ireland’s highest T20I individual score and his partnership with Kevin O’Brien of 126 was Ireland’s highest opening partnership. So Ireland still broke records in a record breaking loss!
What a crazy game and roll on Game 3 of this Twenty20 International Series!
Short Leg boldly predicts that Paul Sterling will make a ton and Usman Ghani will make another 50+ plus score. As for Zazai, he could make a 100 or a first ball duck- who knows?
Following the recent article on the conclusion of the Big Bash (link below), Short Leg returns to the topic of the Aussie T20 league to hand out various awards and reflect and roundup the action that happened during our winter.
Thank you for reading and enjoying the second part to the BBL roundup of Season 8 down in Australia. Stay tuned for more Cricket content including the outcome of the 3rd Global Test Championship between England and West Indies as well as the tales of the Cricket Captain 2018 journey with Australia against Pakistan! Until next time.
Following the conclusion of the Big Bash in Australia and a wait for the Australian side to be back playing in India, the Sheffield Shield provides a fantastic platform not only for the end of the season and league conclusion but what could come from it. A successful 4 day campaign and form at the end of the season could grab you a spot on the Australia A tour to England prior to possible selection for the Ashes. A lull in form could see you axed from the squad and out of contention with spots up for grabs for the Ashes tour. Short Leg will pick out players who will be ones to focus on in the final 4 matches of the Australian domestic season.
Wade has had an amazing season with the bat after topping the charts so far in the JLT Sheffield Shield amassing 571 runs from 12 innings with 1 century and 5 half tons. He also recently assisted the Hobart Hurricanes to top of the BBL Table before crashing out in the Semi’s with 592 runs in an instrumental top order partnership with Western Australian D’Arcy Short. Wade has been subject of a lot of press since his return to form as his determination to be in the Test squad has received mixed reviews. He made the good point to the coach Justin Langer about scoring runs = place in the side, which he had quoted from Langer from his arrival speech. With a sense of injustice of not being included in the International squad, a good finish to the season for Wade will further strengthen his case and will surely see him in the Australia A tour of England before the Ashes.
Conor McLnerney (South Australia Redbacks) 285 runs @ 25.90 HS: 63 50s: 2 1-57(15.0)
In a somewhat disappointing and poor performance from the South Australia side in the Sheffield Shield, the 24 year old left arm batsman has been a shining light in a dim bulb. Having registered 2 losses and 4 draws, the Redbacks are yet to find the winning formula yet McLnerney has been a mainstay at the top of the order in just his debut season. The born and bred home favourite batsman has shown a good temperament and steadiness at the top of the order alongside fellow experienced players Tom Cooper (501) and Jake Lehmann (461). His strike rate of 39.25 demonstrates his Matthew Renshaw like way of going about playing the Dukes ball early on but has yet to make a big, match winning score which will be his aim coming into the end of the season. A strong finish to a debut campaign and a few more wickets to compliment his status in the side could see him come into a T20 gig or a county stint in England.
Peirson has been in exceptional form for Queensland, leading from the front with the bat . His keeping has stayed consistent with some standout catches as well as some ingenious captaincy bringing the Bulls home to victories on occasions. Most notably, he played a typical captain’s innings in the previous Shield match with 75NO alongside Michael Neser 76NO which gave Queensland a brilliant win against Tasmania in a big 414 chase. At 26 years of age, Peirson seems to have been in the Australian domestic setup for a long time and his experience collated from the Big Bash will be invaluable for Queensland in the chase for the finals. A continuation of his early season form could see him in the reckoning for higher honours, a possible replacement for Tim Paine if he is injured?
Matthew Kelly (Western Warriors) 17 wickets @ 29.35 BBI: 5-61 BBM: 6-102 E: 2.79
Kelly’s fiery pace and accurate line and length has seem him go from strength to strength this season after a positive start to the first class life. As well as that, his Big Bash form went under the radar in a dismal display by the Perth Scorchers with his range of variations and genuine line and length gaining him 11 wickets in the 7 games he featured in. Changes have been made for Western Australian from their Big Bash side to their First Class side with regular coach Justin Langer in charge of Australia with former player Adam Voges taking over. Both teams have gone for youth and Kelly at 24 has shown his value to the squad with the age aside, he has shown his know how on many occasions. With 5 players in the squad poised to make debuts due to the unavailability of several Australia ODI squad players, Kelly will be destined to lead the line and with this chance he could possibly force himself into the future international sides.
What a revelation Pyecroft has been to the Tasmania side. Which ever scout picked him up seems to have found an early gem! I might be slightly bigging him up but taking a five fa in your debut first class match against an experienced Queensland side is no mean feat. His arrival to the crease saw Queensland collapse to 86-8, incidentally in a match the Bulls won. The 26 year old found five outside edges of the batsman in a controlled and rewarding spell of bowling announcing himself on the domestic scene! He has only played the last 2 matches but his introduction seems to have been a boost to the bowling stocks of Tasmania which includes wily bowler Jackson Bird, young gun Gabe Bell and Hobart Hurricanes T20 star Riley Meredith. Sitting in 5th place, the Tigers need some wins to propel them up the table and will be looking at their bowling attack including Pyecroft to compliment their experienced batting of Test captain Tim Paine and Matthew Wade.
Chadd Sayers (South Australia Redbacks) 11 wickets @ 32.36 BBI: 5-101 BBM: 6-155 E: 2.84
The forgotten man of Australian cricket returns with a point to prove! Caught up in the turmoil of the South African tour and the Sandpaper incident of Cape Town, Sayers flew out to the Proteas and performed admirably in the first innings in Johannesburg (final test) bowling 35 overs at an economy of 2.23 with 2 wickets. The recent subsequent test tours for Australia have seen Sayers exiled and return to the domestic scene. Following early injury, Sayers has played 3 matches and started in blistering form with the ball. At the age of 31, Sayers has experience on side and time and his future Australian aspirations seem to be slim. However, he has played 1 Test match for the Baggy Greens which many can say they haven’t and his return to form will be instrumental in his side’s chances of registering a victory in the Shield.
The Shield begins on Saturday evening and should be an exciting season ender with places for future tours and closer tours in the form of the Australia A tour of England and then the Ashes up for grabs. A lot of players will be jumping at the chance to have some late season form which could give them winter opportunities in England for a possible county stint.
555 runs scored, 10 wickets and a dropped catch. The Pakistan – Australia T20I Final had it all!
Final: Pakistan vsAustralia
Australia reverted back to their more favoured XI for the T20I final with Ashton Agar dropped in place of the towering fast bowler Billy Stanlake.
Zaman had previously shown signs in this Tri Series of making a huge score and backed up his destructive record with a blistering start against Short and Faulkner. He continued his onslaught leaving Farhan away from the strike which payed for his downfall as Finch took the catch at short cover from leggie Zampa for 8. Sohail joined Zaman and took a similar attack to the Australian bowlers, down on confidence from their two recent defeats.
Each bowler that came on was hammered from good and bad balls with Zaman targeting more obscurer areas than Sohail with intricate shots mixed along with the big slog. Sohail power housed his way to 50 taking no prisoners and his 69 was filled with boundaries. The crowd certainly saw some outstanding T20 batting! Pakistan were looking set for a mammoth score with 182 on the board but Australia weren’t down and out and sparked a collapse of 4 wickets for just 7 runs. Sohail’s aggression was halted by Faulkner with his leg cutter deceiving him before trapping young batsman Talat in front for a second ball duck. Faulkner soon had his third with Hafeez departing first ball behind to Carey as Pakistan looked to be overly attacking with each batsman that came.
3 in four balls for the left arm seamer restricted Pakistan from a potentially record breaking score.
Zaman reached his century with his 4th maximum before Richardson found his edge for a memorable century propelling Pakistan well ahead of the game. At 5-189, Australia had certainly restricted Pakistan but a 38 run partnership from just two overs swung the momentum back to the hosts as Ahmed 19 from 7 and Shadab Khan 20 from 8 showed glimpses of the early big hitting demonstrated by Zaman. 227-6 was a huge and very defendable score and gave Pakistan the upper hand with confidence and momentum on their side.
Australia were well aware that it would be a remarkable and memorable chase if they achieved it and seemed to have that belief and intent from the word go. Finch and Short quickly climbed into Amir and Hasan Ali in a destructive start punishing each length whilst running well between the wickets and keeping the pressure on the Pakistan fielding side. Usman Khan Shinwari had barely featured for the Pakistan T20I side before but bowled an incredible maiden in the midst of the carnage created by the opening duo. However, the duo were undeterred and duly attacked leg spinner Shadab Khan and seamer Ashraf and took advantage of some wayward bowling. Both reached their 50 before departing with in the space of three balls.
Finch left first for 58 trapped in front by Shadab Khan and then Short went for 58 likewise LBW to Khan. Finch gets the top run scorer thanks to his superior strike rate, striking at 232. At 118-2, Australia still needed 100+ runs with 10 or so overs to go and their task was made harder when Lynn succumbed to Khan’s googly. Travis Head looked impressive with two boundaries but was out for a brisk 14 leaving us 143-4 with chances slimming.
Cricket is a game where the game is not over until its over and with Maxwell and Carey at the crease, the game was still up for grabs. Capitalising on the bowling would be crucial and both were forced into aggression but their shots were effortless. Maxwell played a typical Glenn Maxwell innings of fire, power and sixes whilst Carey chipped in when Maxwell would miss out and the partnership was flowing perfectly.
With 20 needed off the last two overs, Pakistan’s hopes has faded when Maxwell bulldozed 14 off the over leaving Mohammed Amir’s bowling figures at 4-0-49-0 (very similar to Faheem Ashraf 4-0-65-1). Carey topped off the job with 3 balls to spare smashing Hasan Ali into the crowd sparking wild (the minority Aussies fans) and crazy scenes as the Australians had completed an all time great chase!
In a T20I tournament which ebbed and flowed, the Final summed up the action throughout the course of the week with wickets changing momentum but one batter was always one innings away from inflicting a defeat. Despite the disappointing losses after qualifying through to the Final, we made a great impression of ourselves in foreign conditions.
James Faulkner, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa led the charge with the ball whilst each batsman made a crucial knock throughout the course of the five matches all contributing to our final victory. Without some of our star players, we have performed incredibly well since the start of my tenure and long may it continue. Next, we tour Pakistan in October in a two match Test Series with a break for any players overseas in England to make an impression before the Test squad is announced. Thanks for the continued and overwhelming support.
Following successive defeats to South Africa and Sri Lanka in the opening rounds of the Global Test Championship fixtures, England return home to take on the West Indies at Jimmy Anderson’s hunting ground, Old Trafford.
We have made the 1 change to our playing XI which is enforced as Ben Stokes picked up an unfortunate hamstring injury whilst fielding late in the Sri Lanka game. This injury will side line Stokes for the next two matches as he looks to return and be ready for after the GTC fixture break. Stokes is only one of four batsmen to score over 100 runs in the England squad but was used sparingly and ineffectively with the ball and regardless of injury, his role was under pressure.
His replacement is the experienced wicket keeper Jonny Bairstow who makes the step up from the bench and straight into the line of fire at 3. An average of 39.77 with 17 fifties and 3 tons will undeniably improve our line up after not being selected due to the fantastic form of incumbent keeper Ben Foakes, who incidentally will keep the gloves.
Kent’s Joe Denly comes into the 15 man squad as a batsman (and occasional leg spin bowler) who is capable of playing anywhere in the line up. His versatility and experience at the age of 32, will unquestionably boost our chances at a successful GTC campaign yet his last international match was in 2010. He joins allrounder Sam Curran, fast bowler Mark Wood and fellow fast bowler David Willey, who replaces spinner Jack Leach due to the more favourable seaming conditions in Lancashire, on the side lines for the Windies encounter. The never give up motto has been applied by Denly!
West Indies come into the contest off the back of a devastating loss to Bangladesh, who chased down 431 for the loss of only 4 wickets on a degrading Day 4, and a 201 run defeat to the Australians and will be looking like England to get their campaign started. Leg spinner Devendra Bishoo replaces the out of sorts seam bowler Kemar Roach with the conditions at Old Trafford profitable to some turn.
Be sure to revisit the site to see if Joe Root and his men can bounce back from consecutive defeats and collect their first Global Test Championship points with a positive result against the Windies. Many thanks for your support.
Another BBL season over and what a year it was! Blazing sixes, smashing wickets, remarkable fielding and some sensational catches plus stories, BBL 08 was right up there. It cured our winter blues and reignited our Australian spirit for cricket after a chaotic year of cricket. It was our filling between a Test match series in West Indies and Sri Lanka! As per each year, there were some stand out players and others that flopped in the hot Aussie conditions as Short Leg will inform you on all the interesting stats from the Big Bash!
2 Hundreds were scored in BBL 08 and both were from Sydney Thunder (Callum Ferguson 113 NO vs Perth Scorchers + Shane Watson 100 vs Brisbane Heat)
3 Melbourne Renegades players made a fifty in their season winning campaign.
6.04 was the best economy rate achieved this year by Brisbane Heat and Afghanistan mystery teen spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
11.17 was the worst economy rate achieved this year by Sydney Thunder bowler Nathan McAndrew, who only featured in 4 matches.
524 was the amount of sixes hit with top run scorerD’Arcy Shortnotching up 22 just ahead of Chris LynnandMatthew Wade on 21.
1344 fours were scored with D’Arcy Short leading the way again with 65, 16 ahead of the second highest of Marcus Stoinis.
460 catches were taken throughout the competition however there was 125 catches dropped.
22 was the amount of players used by the victorious Melbourne Renegades
74 balls were faced by allrounder Simon Milenko (Hobart Hurricanes) who played in each game.
6 games the Hobart Hurricanes went unchanged before Jake Doran replaced Alex Doolan for their Melbourne Stars regular round robin match.
191 fours were hit by the Sydney Sixers whilst also taking third best 88 wickets.
166.07 was the highest Strike Rate scored by the flamboyant Adelaide Strikers leg spinner and power hitter Rashid Khan.
Finally, 120 was the top Highest Opening Partnership between D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade of the Hobart Hurricanes.
It was a ripper of a season down in Australia who now have the conclusion of the 4 day Sheffield Shield with 4 rounds left before the season closing Final. Following this BBL post, there will be a Team of the Season round up as well as Short Leg handing out a variety of awards including Fan Catch (or Attempt of the Year). Thanks for the continued support and I look forward to posting more cricket content soon…
Following our lame defeat at the hands of the touring South Africa side at Trent Bridge, we hit the road and the sky and travelled overseas for the first time in the Global Test Championship with the aim of registering our inaugural Championship points at the desirable curtailment of Sri Lanka.
For the second consecutive time, we were inserted into a bat and we made history in the GTC but not in the ideal way. Lahiru Kumara ripped through our top order leaving us reeling at 3-29 in similar circumstances to the South Africa match with Jennings (1), Burns (14) and Stokes (4) falling foul of the extra pace on show. Jos Buttler’s expertise against spin started expansively and captain Root looked in prime form before left arm spin curtailed his innings for the third successive time.
The tourists were 5-87 at home to the Proteas and found themselves 5-74 in Sri Lanka within the first session with Foakes (0) the fifth to depart having made 1 and 85 against South Africa. However, Foakes’ excellent glove work and standout innings in the two test matches so far leaves his place at the moment is unthreatened.
Chris Woakes bowled for a golden duck by Dilruwan Perera as Sri Lanka reduced us from 68-3 to 74-7
Spin was at the forefront of the Sri Lankan bowling and heavily speculated to who would fill the massive void of the experienced Rangana Hearth left. But, both Dilruwan Perera and Malinda Pushpakumara delivered when they needed to taking 9 combined wickets across both innings. Buttler fell LBW for 21 sweeping in front of the canny Perera who executed a great plan and his slower arm ball yorked Woakes (0) crushing England to 74-7
The tourists stabilized themselves from their precarious position with new inclusion Rashid combining with the Beard that is Moeen Ali and putting on an important 78 together momentarily denting Sri Lankan hopes of an early tea. Rashid has 10 first class centuries to his name alongside 37 half centuries and enhanced his batting credentials (mostly in the 2nd innings), one of the little positives we will take away from this encounter.
Moeen Ali smashed an unbeaten 90 and has been England’s most consistent performer in the GTC so far with 7 wickets @ 29.71.
Rashid departed for a gusty 13 and it seemed all hope was lost but Ali ventured on dominating the strike and hitting boundaries at aplomb. England’s tail was wrapped up quickly with Broad (2) and Anderson (0) failing to stay at the crease leaving Ali stranded on 90, which was exactly half of our total!
An image summing up our efforts and performances in the Global Test Championship
Sri Lanka made good use of the extended period to bat on Day 1 with just under half of the day to build a healthy lead reaching 50 within no time. Opener Karunratne fell for 23 to the leg spin of Rashid just after 50 but keeper Samarawickrama and exciting talent Danajaya Da Silva developing an untouchable partnership. We toiled hard in tricky conditions for bowling with the pitch flattening out and the batsman maintaining their control. Veterans Broad and Anderson failed to lead the line with their conventional accuracy and wicket taking success as our spinners led with favourable turn and bounce which complimented Ali and Rashid but to largely no avail early on.
We felt aggrieved at some umpiring decisions over the course of the match and this run out appeal from Burns was wrongly rejected or rightly dismissed?
Moeen Ali managed to rip one just enough to provide the edge which Foakes took comfortably with Samarawickrama departing for an elegant 56. Runs though were hard to stop with De Silva and now Gunathilaka settling against the varied England attack which caused threats with seam and spin but not sustained pressure. The Barmy Armythough stayed in full voice right until the end of the day and it was maybe the singing that caused bedlam at the wicket with De Silva playing a rash shot on 84 nicking behind off the bowling of Woakes (catch above.) The last over ploy from Woakes with men around the bat setting up for the bouncer before bowling a pin point leg cutter. Day 1 finished with Sri Lanka 209-3.
We started Day 2 on a high and our rejuvenated attack struck with the second ball of the day as Matthews succumbed to Woakes’ cunning ploy, Rashid taking a smart catch. Ben Stokes hasn’t featured with the ball much in the GTC but proved golden arm with the tenacious Gunathilaka nicking behind for a well made 36. Keepers Chandimal and Dickwella rebuilt after a mini collapse but weren’t given an inch by England in a spirited bowling performance.
A composed 59 run partnership was ended by Rashid who found enough turn to dismiss Dickwella (24) before the introduction of captain Joe Root worked a treat as his clever off spin bowling cannoned into Chandimal'(39) middle stump leaving Sri Lanka 6-280.
Foakes taking a remarkable catch ending the Sri Lankan 1st innings.
England swiftly wrapped up the tail as Lakmal (1) and Pushpakumara (19) falling to Rashid (6-109) for his fourth victim in the 1st innings whilst Kumara (2) failed to impress with the bat gaining Ali his 4th and promoting him to our leading wicket taker in the GTC.
Provided the rapid nature of the match, we were intent on getting off to a good start in order to build a respectful lead. After a promising start, Burns departed for a solid 22 to a vicious Lakmal bouncer and Ben Stokes (4 & 1) increased the pressure and questions over his role in the squad, departing for 1. Jennings and Root both needed to ease the pressure on their positions and duly set about creating a successful partnership. Root in particular displayed a different side to his innings playing a more aggressive role with Jennings methodically making his first half ton in a lot of matches.
However, Kumara proved the villain and broke the stumps off Jennings which left him bamboozled and England still 25 runs behind. What followed was the England we know and love! 136-3 to 170-7! Perera took both keepers Buttler (7) and Foakes (4) before 1st innings hero Moeen Ali was bowled for 6 by Pushpakumara and Woakes (5) nicked to 3rd slip off Kumara.
Root though stood tallest of all and whacked an important 114 in tough Sri Lankan conditions to temporarily restore English pride and passion into a lead which would be competitive chase. Adil Rashid merited his inclusion to the Test XI with a swashbuckling and attacking 68 with an 110 run partnership plus an 11th wicket partnership with Jimmy Anderson of 40 runs with Anderson adding 8. We ended up with 303 in a more spirited and determined batting innings yet we knew that 159 with 2 and a half days left would be a comfortable chase for the hosts if we didn’t take early wickets.
Jimmy Anderson had a disappointing time with the ball in the 1st innings but was clearly fired up and broke through the defence of Karunratne (6). Then, a fortuitous umpiring decision by Aleem Dar meant that De Silva (15) was dismissed to Rashid through to Foakes’ 5th catch of the match. Sri Lanka were then reduced to 3-52 when Anderson produced some magic to run out opener Samarawickrama (27) – a top quality effort from the England and Lancashire veteran.
A direct hit from Anderson (0-32 & 1-27) giving England some hope.
Gunathilaka and Matthews though had other ideas and put on a mammoth and crushing 100 partnership with Gunathilaka reaching 50 through innovation. Rashid capped off his impressive GTC start and dismissed Matthews (47) to end the match with 6-109 and valuable lower order runs. Gunathilaka then scored the winning runs sparking excitement on the Sri Lankan balcony and despair for England with two defeats on the bounce.
This was an emphatic and hammer blow win for Sri Lanka who seem to have found some form after their opening victory against Bangladesh. A first innings bowling display which saw the tourists all out within 50 overs set the tone for a big victory. It was the shortest GTC innings to date and a sign of collapse and frailty in the England line up. Sri Lanka mainly had contributions with the ball as Kumara, Perera, Pushpakumara and Lakmal took noteworthy wickets. With the bat, De Silva starred with 84 as their depth in batting wasn’t nearly as tested as their previous game against Bangladesh.
The first two matches have definitely been an experience and disappointing for us. 7 players have made individual half centuries whilst Root has been the only one to convert to a ton. In both matches, crumbling with the bat in the first innings has been the major difference between winning and losing as we scored over 300 in the second innings of both games. Joe Root is our top scorer with 168 with only Buttler, Ali and Stokes reaching above 100 runs. Our lower order do put on some runs though with Rashid and Broad scoring more than our two incumbent openers. In terms of bowling, Moeen Ali leads the way with 7 followed by fellow spinner Rashid as seamers Broad (2), Anderson (5) and Woakes (5) have struggled so far with the pink ball. There have been few influential and decisive contributions made so far. However, the atmosphere is still positive as we are intent on revenge to get our Global Test Championship rolling.
Our next match sees us return home to the sunny skies of Lancashire, for the Old Trafford Test Match, to take on the West Indies who are also in the same boat after being defeated in their first 2 encounters. Pundits and speculation is rife over the squad, and changes can be expected with Jonny Bairstow amongst others in contention to feature with the apparent injury to Ben Stokes ruling himself out of the next 2 matches. However, we will review conditions prior to confirming any amendments to the squad.
Kolkata Knight Riders 2019 Team courtesy of kkr.in
Chaitanya Bishnoi (Chennai Super Kings)
The 24 year old left arm allrounder has had a whirlwind career including making his First Class debut for Durham and has yet to progress into the CSK side and make his mark on the domestic T20 competition. A left arm orthodox bowler is more known for his gritty first class batting display in challenging times with crucial half centuries in the Vijay – Haraze Trophy over the past two years. He has made 15 First class fifties, 5 List A fifties and 1 T20 fifty but is missing that valuable century with a high score of 65. His record with the ball is also adequate but not spectacular and with the depth of CSK spinners (Ravi Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner and Kedav Jadav) he will struggle to find a place in the side. However, Bishnoi is an experienced domestic player who deserves a chance in this campaign to see if he is up to it.
Abhishek Sharma (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
A talented 18 year old who has already had some IPL experience looks set for some time at the crease with ball and bat. Another left handed allrounder who bowls some handy left arm leg spin to compliment his main batting ability. Having only played 7 First Class matches, Sharma has scored 326 runs with a high score of 94 with two fifties, but his List A record has an average of only 16. But, IPL 2018 showcased his potential as in 2 innings he scored 63 at a strike rate of 190.90 for Delhi including a masterstroke of an innings of 46NO. His debut match for First Class was 2017 and his rise through the ranks could help his chance of featuring as he plays alongside Rashid Khan, David Warner and Kane Williamson in an experienced line up.
Siddhesh Lad (Mumbai Indians)
At 26 years of age, Lad is one of the older and more experienced players that I have selected and he has had a long but infrequent career in the IPL. Having signed on for Mumbai Indians in 2015, the steady batsmen has featured only four times throughout the editions. He has made his name though in the First Class level as he brought up his 3000th run in November and completed the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 as Mumbai’s leading run scorer with 652 runs in 7 matches. Lad has 8 centuries and 22 half centuries at the first class level but his one day skills are equal if not better. In List A cricket, he averages 46.45 with 4 centuries and 3 half centuries whilst in T20’s he goes at a strike rate of 120.51. Known as a steady batsman, Lad provides a handy off spin option with his record in T20’s impressive with 7 @ 27. He is currently featuring for India A against the England Lions and if he continues his form, he could be a crucial player for the Indians.
Nikhil Naik (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Naik is a newer player who has featured sparingly in Indian competitions and formats across all levels however his promise has got him a contract at KKR. The 24 year old has played 2 IPL matches for the Kings XI Punjab but failed to impress there and up until this year, he hadn’t played a First Class match. An occasional wicketkeeper but his batting is him main strength with over 1000 runs scored across List A (640) and T20 (562) formats all together. With high scores of 78 and 70NO in List A and T20 cricket, Naik has performed admirably with a 30+ average. His ability to keep could see him feature more often this edition with only Dinesh Kartik the other recognised keeper. If Naik gets a chance, I hope to see him do well as his stats say he could be a fantastic player.
That is the conclusion of the IPL 2019 Indian players preview with an Overseas preview soon to be on the site which will analyse the choices from the 8 franchises. There will be plenty more content on this site and I am very grateful and thankful to those that have supported, helped, liked, commented and viewed as it has been instrumental in the continuation of this site.
अलविदा और आशा है कि आप जल्द ही वापस देख (goodbye and hope to see you soon)
With the table hotting up, approaching the final two round robin matches, Australia encountered Pakistan in the UAE looking to qualify automatically for the final.
Pakistan began the innings with the same intent they showed at the end of their innings in the first game courtesy of a Sarfraz 61 as Zaman and Farhan took the mantle dispatching Short and Faulkner early on. Jhye Richardson has been the find of the season so far for Australia (in for Stanlake) and he delivered breaking a promising partnership with Farhan (22) sent back to the pavilion. Sohail had struggled adjusting to three in his first two matches and Richardson exploited that at 2-60 with his second LBW victim outside the powerplay.
Zaman’s scoring rate had stagnated from his early hitting with Farhan and Sohail falling and in an attempt to kickstart his innings and take spin out of the attack, he succumbed to the left arm spin of Agar for a brisk 34. Talat and Hafeez impressed against Zampa and Agar as the experienced head of Hafeez dispatched boundaries quickly. Zampa in particular bowled accurately and tightly for his 4-0-28-0 keeping the Pakistan side under control. With the 50 partnership up, the 7th bowling option of off spinner Maxwell made the breakthrough bowling Talat (31).
The dangerous Ahmed (14) showed glimpses of his imperious ball striking from game 1 with two glorious boundaries but the fast Richardson took his third of the night decimating the leg stump. Another wicket fell with Nawaz (5) finding the gloves of Carey off to expensive Tye. Wickets at intervals had decreased the set batsmen scoring rate and Hafeez departed at 7-161 for 39 LBW to Faulkner from 26 with a leg side filled wagon wheel. Faulkner dismissed Shadab Khan for 4 as another leg before wicket in a strong comeback from Australia at the end of the innings with tight and economical bowling as Pakistan ended on 163-8 which was above par but they were certainly hoping for more on the board.
Jhye Richardson impressed with the ball with fast economical bowling taking 3 scalps for 19 runs in his first game of the series.
Pakistan knew the danger of a Finch and Short partnership blossoming and after some early treatment of Amir, the rejuvenated Hasan Ali dismissed Short for 14 who has been starting to look out of sorts from his beginning of the ODIs with a rest required soon. Carey had had a real Jekyll and Hyde series with a first ball duck in the first game and then an explosive 25 from 10 and Hasan Ali, who dismissed Carey in the first game, did the same on his first ball. The introduction of leg spin from Shadab Khan provided Pakistan with increasing momentum as set batsmen Finch (17) looked to take the attack but Sarfraz took a neat stumping.
Lynn and Head continued Australia’s fearless run scoring rate with the run rate least of the tourists problems as Amir and Ashraf felt the heat of the boundaries whizzing past. Lynn looked in the zone to make a big knock but Amir’s relentless pressure finally succeeded with Lynn (19) nicking behind and falling into a well executed trap. Ashraf backed up Amir’s wicket with the crucial wicket of Head (9) as Australia were wobbling at 5-61.
Maxwell and Faulkner played dissimilar roles with Faulkner the aggressor against the enthusiastic Pakistan attack. Maxwell’s conserved innings was over as he left for 5 LBW to Ashraf for his second. Faulkner’s aggressive style was bringing Australia faint hope but his 22 from 12 was “all she wrote” with Khan grabbing his second wicket leaving the Aussies 7-90. Agar was back in the hut for 2 as the young leggie took his third in an exciting spell of spin bowling. Zampa and Richardson used the long handle in an intent for boundary or bust and Zampa’s entertaining 13 from 5 was ended by Nawaz. Tye is not known for his big hitting but he delivered two lusty blows before Richardson curtailed the innings at 128 at a losing cause of 35 runs.
A disappointing batting innings where we never applied ourselves to the chase and batted with too much recklessness and not enough rotation of strike. A top order collapse was detrimental with no one stepping up to provide that winning knock. Nevertheless, we still play Zimbabwe with a spot in the final virtually guaranteed.
Expensive from the young leg spinner but a crucial spell with 3 important wickets in Pakistan’s tight victory.
Game 4: Zimbabwevs Australia
With Zimbabwe out of contention for the final, Australia will play Pakistan in the final but first was the chance for Zimbabwe to get some points and Australia to rest and rotate their squad around.
Solomon Mire starred against the Aussies in game 2 and started well against left arm spinner Short but fell soon after to Faulkner caught behind to returning keeper Matt Wade. Richardson picked up where he left off from the Pakistan game and ripped the middle stump of Zhuwao (5). Malcolm Waller made his T20I debut in this dead rubber and showed small glimpses of talent but Stanlake’s superior bounce found an edge flying to Finch at slip who took a smart catch. Zimbabwe were in trouble at 3-35 as Ryan Burl walked to the crease with memories of his entertaining knock fresh in both teams minds. Masakadza had witnessed the fall of the wickets at the non strikers end but wasn’t fazed with the task of setting a competitive score. Burl played second fiddle but Australia struck again with the inexperienced Dwarshuis catching Masakadza edge for 34.
Burl immediately took the mantle and put the Australian bowlers off their usual lines and lengths. His sweeping and innovation was the cornerstone for his innings alongside some genuine power hitting strokes. Dwarshuis was likened to by Burl with his length and pace targeted consistently alongside Moor who played the second fiddle role. Burl passed 50 at a strike rate of 200 and continued in that way before Dwarshuis had the last laugh trapping him in front for a match winning 58.
Moor couldn’t take the mantle from Burl and departed to Faulkner before Chisoro was comprehensively bowled by Stanlake for 4. Mavuta and Masakadza added 14 in the last over to get the Zimbabwe side up to 156 which was a good score epically coming from Burl after their early struggle.
2 wickets for James Faulkner who has been a revelation since his long awaited return to the Australian setup.
Despite calls for Short to be rested, he wasn’t and he opened with Finch against Kyle Jarvis but Finch lasted 3 balls before his leg stump was obliterated. Matt Wade hit a 100m maximum to kickstart a sign of form but an unfortunate piece of calling between the wickets with Hobart Hurricanes team mate Short left Wade out for 8. A fantastic opening spell from Jarvis and Mpofu set the standard for Zimbabwe and Mavuta’s tighter bowling restricted Short and his slow innings for 8 was over leaving the Aussies 3-35 just like their opponents.
Head and Lynn had had successful partnerships together and began developing another as momentarily Zimbabwe were on the back foot. Head dealt with the big maximums whilst Lynn hammered boundaries mainly off the spin bowlers as Australia were well above the required rate but needed to maintain their partnership.
Travis Head smashed 29 from just 9 deliveries before Mavuta took an important wicket with an extra hint of swing as the dangerous 40 run partnership was over. Jordan Silk had a chance to impress Australian selectors with an innings keeping him around the side but was out for a golden duck to Chisoro. From then Lynn was struggling to find the boundary and his innings was at an end when Wellington Masakadza bowled a googly which Lynn played all around. Faulkner couldn’t repeat his heroics from England all those years ago and departed for 10 from 10 leaving Australia down and out at 7-94.
Agar and Jhye Richardson joined together and took the boundary route in an unlikely chase with two huge sixes from the WA pair in the second biggest stand of the innings. Agar departed for an almost run a ball 15 to Masakadza with 37 required off four overs. Dwarshuis batted like he was in a test match leaving and blocking whilst Richardson pummelled the attack around the park in a 28 NO off 23. Dwarshuis was out for 2 off 12 before Zimbabwe closed the match with a narrow 17 run victory.
The slow left armer impressed in the dead rubber taking 2-21
The result though doesn’t change the standings as Pakistan qualify top to play Australia in the Tri Series final which has so far shown the promise and excitement a T20 series between nations can cause. Maybe there will be more tournaments and series like this in the future…Be sure to find out the result of the T20I final to see whether Australia can lift their first trophy under Jamie Hamilton.
Sri Lankan Test Cricket is on the verge of meltdown. Only winning 4 of the last 12 Test series, over a dozen (and more…)debutants and a lot of experienced faces departing the International scene. Gone of the days where Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara leading the team with the bat and in the field and Murali Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and Chaminda Vaas destroyed batting line ups at ease with Murali’s indispensable 795 wickets imperative to Sri Lankan success.
Now, Angelo Matthews leads a side with his 80 ,experienced but still young caps, with increasing debutants coming and going with a settled side seemingly lost at the selection policy. The recent Australian series saw plenty of debutants as the depth of Sri Lanka cricket was tested right to the bottom including a seam attack full of debut players and Kasun Rajitha in the final test.
Consistency seems to be at the heart of the issues in a non stop cycle. Injuries have also been a major problem in finding the right test players. Roshen Silva had been having an impressive summer for the Sri Lankans with important knocks against England and New Zealand but had been side lined with an injury from the conclusion of the Black Caps tour and then surprisingly dropped for the Proteas.
Schedule has been gruelling on the Test front with England visiting and then subsequent Oceania tours against New Zealand and Australia and then the upcoming visit to South Africa. On the field form has been an issue but off the field drama has captivated and engulfed the side with disgruntled and unhappy players, coaches and selectors of late with the team manager changing regularly.
8 of the 17 man squad selected have played five tests or fewer
The surprise axing of Dinesh Chandimal as captain comes after taking charge in 2017 and despite team performances, his form has been above most other batsmen.
Four players selected are uncapped.
Ireland A matches and Premier League form seems to be at precedence to Test players
A pace attack containing an overall caps of just 8 caps (added to when Lakmal returns in the second test)
Angelo Matthews remains a key player missing through injury
Dilruwan Perera has 38 caps and has been a mainstay of the squad as spinners have drifted in and out of the squad but he has been axed
Wholesale changes indicate a more youthful look at the future.
Malinda Pushpakumara and Asela Gunaratne will surely be disappointed to miss out as Pushpakumara was touted as an experienced head to take the mantle of left arm spin from Herath and Gunaratne has an average of 56.87 in only 6 tests and a high score of 116.
Instead Lasith Embuldeniya takes the spinning mantle with other left arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan whilst batsmen Angelo Perera and Oshada Fernando take the batting spots. Some players have experience in age with Milinda Siriwanda returning from a 3 year hiatus and Kashual Silva returning from big scores in the Premier League. The tried and tested method has been chucked firmly out of the equation with chopping and changing the incentive for Sri Lanka’s demise but could be their turn around if the selected players perform against a potent South African attack and batting line up in foreign conditions.
On paper, it looks a comfortable victory for the Proteas in home conditions where the seamers create lively bounce and threatening pace whilst their batsman bat with poise and patience but don’t underestimate the Sri Lankans who all have an incentive to play for their spots.
Disclaimer: The England result and report will always follow the overall round up of the Global Test Championship. Revisit to see the outcome of England’s travails in Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan took the cricketing world by storm in a shock 3 wicket victory against the touringAustralia.The sensational spin duo of Rashid Khan and debutant 17 year old Mujeeb Ur Rahman spun their web around the Aussiebatsman with Khan taking 5 in the second innings to put him second in the GTC bowling stats and Mujeeb taking match figures of 8-149. Rahmat Shah and Asghai Stanikazi scored centuries whilst forAustraliaAaron Finchsmashed a ton and Mitchell Starcprovided hope with ball and bat in a losing cause.
New Zealand made it 2 from 2 with a thumping 292 run victory against the young Nepalese team. Colin de Grandhomme deservedly took MOM with two attacking centuries in big innings scores for the Kiwis whilst keeper BJ Watling narrowly missed out on 150 in the 581/7. Trent Boult shot his way up to first in the GTC bowling stats with 6 wickets added to his 10 against Ireland whilst Nepal saw Anil Sah make his maiden century and young leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane taking 8-246 in a high scoring match in Eden Park.
Ireland stunned Pakistan away in a spirited and fantastic all round performance. Andy Balbirnie took a surprising but emphatic 3-4 in 4 overs to bowl Pakistan out for 207 before NO.10 Tim Murtagh played an amazing knock to guide his team into a leading position. Murtagh then took 3 in the second innings as Pakistan were bowled out for scores less than 250 twice. Babar Azam made a lone 73 as Imad Wasim proved his selection with an all round display but were comprehensively beaten by the Irish who made their home country singing and dancing on the street!!
In a record breaking match, India emphatically crushed Scotland in a 693 run victory many thanks to a second innings stand out score. Their 708/6 declared broke record books for the highest scores as KL Rahul, Shaw, Kohli, Pujara and Pandya made tons as Scotland were made to toil hard. The isolated 708 came after both sides were bowled out for below par scores before Scotland were set a mammoth 834 runs to win. Michael Leask was the only major contributor with the bat for Scotland who were simply blown away by India’s run scoring after the first innings.
South Africa continued their impressive start with a dominant display against the inexperienced Hong Kong team. Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram hit fifties with the latter scoring consecutive half centuries following his 70 against England. Keshav Maharaj wasn’t fazed by the unsuitable spinning conditions and took 7 wickets added to his 8 at Trent Bridge and played a crucial act with the bat in the second innings. Hong Kong performed admirably for a young nation with Naweez Ahmed taking 6 wickets and Nizakat Khan continuing his run scoring streak and brought it up to 320 for the competition in match 2.
Bangladesh defied the odds on a degrading pitch with a dogged batting display to defeat West Indies in another high scoring game. Chris Gayle’s reintroduction to the Test team looked to have payed off with a handy wicket and a century. Shai Hope scored a special century giving Bangladesh a tough and near impossible chase. However, Litton Das made 87 in the first innings before an extraordinary 209NO leading his team home alongside Mushfiqur Rahim who shrugged off last match’s disappointment with another century, leaving West Indies 0 from 2.
Zimbabwe’s test home form continues to impress with a 248 run victory over the Netherlands who succumbed on a lively wicket. Chamu Chibhabba led the run scoring for Zimbabwe with a boundary filled 193 alongside Peter Moor who made 124 in the first innings alongside Ryan Burl who made two substantial knocks elevating Zimbabwe into a 632 run lead. Kyle Jarvis starred again with the ball with 7 wickets whilst captain Cremer took 5. Batting was short lived for the Dutch as the lower order contributed in both innings as Ben Cooper made an outstanding 236, one of the lowly positives for the Dutch on their travels.
England’s travails against spinning Sri Lanka in Colombo will be the next source of Ashes Cricket content in an intriguing match. Until next time…
Cricket Captain returns and so does the winning formula as we headed to UAE to face Pakistan and Zimbabwe in a T20 competition where each team plays each other twice before the two highest points team play each other in the final.
A squad, without Pat Cummins, Mitch Marsh, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood (all long term injuries), gave the opportunity for experienced Sydney Sixers batsman Jordan Silk and exiled Test keeper Matt Wade a chance to don the cap alongside Silk’s team mate Dwarshuis and spinner Ashton Agar, in an attempt to find the next generation of players.
Aggressive batsman Zaman and Farhan kickstarted the tournament but the former was soon walking back as the rejuvenated Faulkner to a LBW for 5. Sohail tried to go big from the get go however the approach failed and he nicked behind to Carey for a second ball duck. Promising batsman Talat joined Farhan and set about rebuilding after the early departures. Talat played an expansive role at the expense of Tye and Zampa scoring boundaries in quick succession. Farhan played a conservative manner in second fiddle to Talat picking off the lengths and line on occasion as Tye, Zampa and Agar struggled with the foreign conditions. 95 runs had passed since the Faulkner blitz of 2-7 before part time leg spinner Short made a blitz of his own. Farhan was dismissed inexplicably playing a rash shot to a quicker leggie (52) before getting revenge on Hafeez after a first ball six with his googly striking the pad right in front (6).
Talat was unfazed and soon found himself playing second fiddle to captain Sarfraz Ahmed who played an innings memorable to those who watched and those who were sent to the car park! 61 off 24 balls. 9 fours and 3 mammoth sixes which catapulted Pakistan to an above par 187 with Talat finishing on a mature 60 not out in a punishing 80 run partnership.
Momentum is an important part of cricket and soon Pakistan were in full control as they knocked over the successful partnership of Short (1) and Finch (6) before ODI centurion Carey (0) departed leaving the Aussies reeling at 3-28. All three wickets taken by Hasan Ali in a fast bowling spell of fire. Travis Head walked to the wicket in need of runs and started in a positive manner striking two boundaries from his first two balls. Lynn had witnessed the carnage unfold and made some of his own, dispatching leg spinner Shadab Khan and fast medium bowler Faheem Ashraf into the stands frequently. The evolving stand between them was ended as Head found Hasan Ali for 29 of the expensive Ashraf.
Lynn and Maxwell continued a fiery and fearsome onslaught as the run rate was the least of the tourists worries with boundaries flowing and hopes of Pakistan going. Lynnsanity had picked up gears since moving to 50 but on 68, Pakistan got their man as Hasan Ali couldn’t stay out of the action, running Lynn out at deep cover. Faulkner took the attack to Pakistan with a free flowing 21 off 11 balls with 3 fours and 1 big maximum before at 5-155 Amir executed a yorker which cannoned into off stump.
Tighter overs from Pakistan saw the pressure get to Maxwell who was dismissed for 33 at 7-170 by Hasan Ali and Pakistan had the momentum. Agar’s poor display with the ball wasn’t matched with the bat but after three successive boundaries he departed for 14 at 8-176. Conserved T20 batting from Zampa and Stanlake pushed the target closer with relative ease before Zampa smashed a boundary of Amir in the last over to guide Australia home with 3 balls left.
Despite making a big score, Pakistan will be disappointed from their bowling attack which allowed the Australian’s batting to score runs at a very quick rate and was the subtle difference between the teams.
Hasan Ali bowled phenomenally well for his four wickets but wasn’t supported by the rest of the attack as Australia snuck home for an important victory.
Pakistan had beaten Zimbabwe in the first game of the tournament but with a game in hand for both sides, the competition was all up for grabs!
Game 2: Zimbabwe – Australia
Australia faced Zimbabwewith the Aussies looking to go two from two and Zimbabwe looking to avenge their defeat to Pakistan.
After being trounced by Pakistan, Zimbabwe started brightly with Solomon Mire and Hamilton Masakadza taking advantage of the Powerplay. The opening bowlers were dispatched to the boundary with any width pummelled towards the crowd. Length was also smashed as momentum was firmly in favour of Zimbabwe as attacking and innovative shots were created. Tye’s clever bowling and variations caused the most threat and dismissed Masakadza for a flowing 34 from 18 trapped in front with the swing and deception. Zhuwao fed the strike straight to Mire who attacked the spin of Zampa and Agar alongside the fearsome pace of Stanlake and a score of 200+ was looking very promising. Agar, though, set up Zhuwao with dot balls and the pressure culminated in a risky ramp which struck his pad leaving Zimbabwe 2-109. Musakanda joined Mire at the crease but lasted one ball as Zampa found extra turn to knock him over. In a crazy period of cricket, Ryan Burlproduced an innings that had everything. First ball 6, Second ball 4, Third ball dropped, Fourth ball LBW as Zampa got his second victim.
Mire reached his fifty and took hold of the innings from the mini collapse but didn’t last as long as he or the team required as Zampa’s ability to turn the ball ended with the dismissal of Mire (63) LBW in a fantastic spell of spin bowling. Peter Moor played a swashbuckling knock to recover Zimbabwe from 5-133 with 6 boundaries for 29 before Zampa took his 4th – 4-41(4.0).
With plenty of overs left in the hand, Zimbabwe were faltering as Mavuta (5) was bowled by Tye leaving them 7-164. Wellington Masakadza hit two quick fours before a Faulkner blitz promptly ended the innings at 177 from 17 overs. Masakadza (9) , Jarvis (0) and Mpofu (0) were his victims as incredibly 7 of the 10 wickets were LBW.
Australia started in a similar if not more aggressive manner with Jarvis and Mpofu smashed around to the short and long boundary. After racing to 48-0, a rare mix up between Finch and Short saw the former ran out for a promising 18. Short continued his ball striking exploits with Carey as the pair raced towards the competitive total. Mavuta in particular was susceptible to the boundary hitting shots mixed with the rotation of strike as Zimbabwe were looking helpless to prevent the runs flowing. Taking a leaf out of Zimbabwe’s book, Short and Carey were miles above the run rate and brought up the 50 partnership within 8 overs. With the success Zampa had, Chisoro started well against the pair and broke through at 88-1 as Carey’s powerful 25 off just 10 balls was ended. Short (48) was soon gone in a momentum change as Mavuta’s expensive spell provided the wicket as he neared his half century.
Lynn and Head resumed from their partnership against Pakistan when they both looked in good touch and the same was said against Zimbabwe. Head dominated the strike playing aggressive but controlled shots towards the offside and through the covers whilst Lynnsanity was turned down a gear yet boundaries were still hit. As the pair continued, the total became nearer and Head brought up a special 50 at a 160 strike rate and duly finished off the game with his 4th maximum of the match. Australia had wrapped up the match with 14 balls to spare in a dominating performance with impressive striking and boundary hitting from all.
A lone positive in a disappointing bowling performance after an above par showing with the bat for Zimbabwe.
Australia sit top of the Tri Series Table with 2 wins from 2 with Pakistan 1 from 2 and Zimbabwe struggling with 2 losses from 2 matches.
Be sure to revisit the site to see how Australia fare in the final 2 round robin matches in the bid to make the final as well as many other cricket related topics including Ashes Cricket and the travails of the International Cricket world.
With the disappointing ODI series loss to India rumbling on, New Zealand have named two debutants for their T20I Squad which will face India between February 6 to 10. Rotation was key in selection as captain Kane Williamson returns but Trent Boult is rested. However, they have surprisingly left out in form batsman Henry Nicholls and allrounder Jimmy Neesham for Daryl Mitchell (not the Worcestershire captain) and Blair Tickner.
Leg Bye: Laurie Evans’s continued his scintillating form in the Bangladesh Premier League with a man of the match 76 NO for the Rajshahi Kings. Evans has scored 339 runs during 11 matches with a highest score of 104 NO with 2 half centuries and 1 ton at a impressive average of 37.66.
No Ball: Cameron Boyce had been in good form with the ball for the Melbourne Renegades and had shown glimpses of big hitting from the spinning allrounder in previous games but his innings against Sydney Thunder got him the spotlight. 51NO from 22 deliveries boosting the Renegades up to 140 before taking 2 wickets to beat the Thunder by 27 runs.
Wide: England’s one day specialist Alex Hales had been playing in the Bangladesh Premier League for the Rangpur Riders with one century and two half centuries at a strike rate of 167.03. However, frustratingly for Hales he has sustained a back injury ruling him out of the rest of the BPL and putting his place for the One day tour of West Indies in doubt.
4 Wides: Rassie van der Dussen’s South African ODI series debut against Pakistan was a dream showing which has surely established his World Cup squad. Scoring 241 runs in four innings at an average of 120.50 with three half centuries including a 93NO. His aggressive hitting and ability to see out a winning performance when chasing has boosted his stocks for the Proteas.
Ton up: Paras Khadka has become a national hero! A maiden ODI ton against UAE in their ODI series led his team to a memorable victory in an emphatic chase. His landmark moment was also Nepal’s first ever ODI century which will live long in the players and fans dream as the century capped off a series victory, their first, since gaining ODI status.
Here’s my avatar – (could be worse I guess!) A batting allrounder in the middle order and bowling part time dross.
There’s only one way to go now and its up! Yes that will be the motto of the career mode. Much like Don Bradman Cricket 17, Career mode in Ashes 17 have the usual six local team structure with the formation of the South Australian Shield. However, this year career mode has more depth with five Three Day matches alongside One Day and T20 competitions which is fantastic to improve my player’s skills in all formats (which will be important.) I have joined the Mount Barker side and with no geographical knowledge or research of other teams in the South Australian Redbacks area, I will be enjoying the pleasure of visiting Renmark,Adelaide, South Adelaide, Kensington and Whyalla, get the sun cream and floppy hats out!
Spin was a major issue in the Global Test Championship against left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and whilst the level of ability is much lower in the Australian club cricket, it doesn’t change the fact it is a major problem for me. A conservative 21 balls were faced as decision making against the elusive spin will need to improve to stand a chance of making big runs and progressing.
They say spin to win and when I was chucked the ball late in the Renmark innings with a 100 + lead with 3 wickets left and I did just that.
With an interesting field with leg slips and short legs and no cover, Quinn was out to my second ever delivery sweeping straight into the hands of the short leg fielder in roles reversed from the first innings. For a batting allrounder, the ball comes out quite nicely and turned even late in the innings on a newer pitch.
Much like his namesake (England international Adil Rashid), Steven Rashid made an indifferent duck as Brian Charles took another grab at short leg from an around the wicket doosra. The variety on this game is impressive however I would like to see more delivery options when it comes to spin and pace to nail those slower yorkers as well as your cannon ball.
I capped off an expensive yet rewarding spell of bowling (10-0-57-3) with the key wicket of keeper Rutherford who had made a good 77 with Charles yet again profiting another catch in a crucial area for spinners at short leg.
Two single figure scores to begin my 3 day campaign.
The second innings didn’t last longer than the first and I was subsequently out for two again to the mysterious spin which I can’t seem to grasp yet at any level with off spinner Webster taking the wicket. Whether or not I edged the ball or it hit my gloves remains to be seen as the umpiring and technology is still far behind that of International level.
First 3 day match result went to the visitors Renmark who bowled and batted in a higher quality to ours with their spinners backing up their main seamer Carl Blake who took 7 of our victims. There was a definite gulf in class and we will look to improve and impress in our next game against Kensington.
With the career mode, the emphasis and focus for me will be on the batting as with the bowling from the early indications I will be chucked on when we need to break a partnership or take a prized wicket. Just to point out I do very much enjoy bowling but being a batting allrounder the batting will be the main point in further teams selections into the future. Against seam, I feel confident and can score all around the grounds and I have improved my batting against spin over the course of the game’s release but it is still quite poor. With the low batting ability, sweeps will be unsuccessful until my player improves their skill set so I am thinking I will need to go with touch and precise shots to score my runs and rotate the strike.
I am really enjoying playing Ashes Cricket and my new Global Test Championship and hope the content provided is interesting and easy to enjoy and understand. Thanks for your continued support and be sure to revisit the site to see how my player progresses in South Australia.
With the Big Bash coming to its end soon and International cricket back with a bang (not for England) and one day formats, Short Leg looks at the next franchise league in the lucrative Indian Premier League 2019. Photos from @cricbuzz with Kolkata’s team missing so Short Leg will select players without the image of team. ( 1 from each squad – part 2 will have the other 4 teams.)
Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals)
Shaw shot his way to prominence when he was just 14 after scoring 546 from 330 balls in a Harris Shield match for his school Rizvi Springfield. That innings contained 85 fours and five sixes – and since then has risen dramatically through the Indian ranks all the way to the Test squad at the age of 19. In those two test matches, he hammered a debut century and became the youngest Indian since Sachin Tendulkar to score a Test century. Shaw plays in an attacking style with fearless ball striking with his maiden Test century the third fastest 100 on debut in history. Despite missing out of the recent Australian Test series through injury, Shaw remains an integral part of the squad at such a young age. He featured 9 times in IPL 2018 for Delhi scoring 245 runs at a strike rate of 153.13 with a highest score of 65. Opening for Delhi was successful and his confidence from his performances for the national side as well as his domestic sides explain the reasons he is compared to Tendulkar and is expected to shine in IPL 2019.
Varun Chakravarthy (Kings XI Punjab)
The 27 year old mystery spinner has got his chance in the IPL 2019 season to kickstart his domestic and possible international aspirations. Making his List A debut in 2018 for Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare – Trophy, he performed consistently well becoming leading wicket taker for the competition with 22 in 9 matches. His bamboozling action and spin, predominately bowling leg spin but constantly fooling batsman, made him sought for around the IPL. Last year he got experience and featured as a net bowler for the Chennai Super Kings as well as the Kolkata Knight Riders and coach Carl Crowe was quoted saying, “The millionaire Varun.” Sold to the Kings XI at a massive 8.4 Crore, his chances of playing will be at a restricted rate with spinners Shadab Khan, Ravindra Ashwin and Mujeeb Ur Rahman ahead in the pecking order but his potential should get him a shot.
Shivam Dube (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Dube is a 25 year old all round package bowling right arm medium fast (mid 130s) and batting powerfully as a left hander in the middle order. Like Chakravarthy, Dube’s name didn’t get around in the youth system as he took a 5 year break before returning at 21. He also played in the 2018 Vijay Hazare and shined with his array of variations at a fantastic economical rate of 4.53 with 13 wickets – striking at over 135 in strike rate with the bat as well. His most impressive outing was in the Ranji Trophy where he has scored 454 runs and 21 wickets with two centuries and two five wicket hauls. His all round ability will be under scrutiny but the experience he will gain from playing with AB de Villers, Virat Kohli, Colin De Grandhomme and co will be invaluable in his quest for a spot.
Manan Vohra (Rajasthan Royals)
Vohra was labelled early on in his career by Yuvraj Singh as an outstanding talent which has yet to been utilized and proven to its best potential. Making his IPL debut in 2013, he played an eye catching 43 for the Kings XI Punjab and from there has had an indifferent career after moving onto to RBC and now the Royals. He is an experienced campaigner of IPL cricket, playing 49 matches at an average of 23.53 with a high score of 95 in the IPL 2017 for the Punjab side. After joining RBC in 2018, he featured very little as the team had a wealth of opening batters and when his chance came, he failed to make a good enough impression. The Royals have made significant changes to their side and Vohra will be aiming to replace D’Arcy Short (not retained) at the top of the order in a year where he will play for Lindfield in the Sussex Cricket League following the conclusion of the IPL.
The IPL 2019 is set to be another fascinating domestic competition to cure our winter blues and kickstart our summer excitement. One Indian player from the Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings will feature in Part 2 which you can see alongside many other topics on this site very soon.
Following the indifferent performance leading to a 4 wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa in the opening round of Global Test Championship fixtures, England now battle Sri Lanka in an away encounter at the Colombo Stadium.
We have made 3 changes to the squad and 1 singular alteration to the playing XI. All rounder Sam Curran burst onto the test scene in the summer of 2018 scoring runs and taking wickets in valuable contributions but struggled at Trent Bridge against the Proteas. His inconsistency with the ball resulted in two wicketless spells and his woes with the bat meant in subcontinent spin conditions, Curran is best suited in the 12th man role before the next GTC match.
Adil Rashid replaces Curran and adds a handy leg spin option to compliment our off spin attack of Ali and part time Root. Rashid is known in the red ball world as a luxury spinner who can provide late order runs on his day.
Two other changes were made to our training/playing squad with James Vince replacing Jonny Bairstow (who was injured on tour in the football warmup… ) and spinner Jack Leach replacing Jake Ball, but both alongside Curran and Dom Bess were not required due to our belief that the pitch would prefer more seamers than out and out spinners.
Rashid’s inclusion is a controversial one and has and will be highly discussed by many pundits as he has not played a red ball county match since the start of last year. But, Rashid is that luxury leg spinner that can wipe out the tail and even the top order batsman and after our opening defeat, he will be crucial in our attempt to kickstart our championship.
Be sure to revisit the site to see if Rashid and co can bounce back from defeat against the Proteas and score our first ever Global Test Championship points with a positive result and performance against the inconsistent Sri Lankans. Many thanks for the continued support!
Disclaimer: (I am trying a new format with new rules and one of the ideas I had was having domestic competitions matches from all 16 nations in break weeks. Breaks would come after every 5 GTC rounds and would allow domestic players the chance to climb into the national selection. Teams would play two four day matches over the course of the break which means all leagues would be inline with the International tournament. They would play under similar GTC conditions with the day/night conditions with the pink ball to allow players to prepare before the national side games. Now, whilst it wouldn’t work in real life, on the virtual game it will work so get ready for County Championship matches in January! More details will be released soon!)
The highly anticipated competition that is the Global Test Championship has arrived. In the first match of the GTC, and my first match in charge of the England side, it was pivotal that we started as we meant to go on in search for global glory.
James Anderson (3-63 & 1-29) had a very odd match in the field with 3 drops and 2 catches in a contrasting set of catching from the veteran.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, we got off to a bad start with Burns and Jennings departing for single figures. The visitors had the ball swinging and seaming around and were causing havoc amongst the ranks. With the fast bowling trio of Steyn, Philander and Rabada dominating early on it was a big surprise to see the next wicket to fall to spin. Up step Keshav Maharaj.
Root was emphatically bowled for 13 in Maharaj’s first delivery.
Stokes had adapted nicely into his innings in his unfamiliar role at 3 with signs that he could become a future top order batsman. Steyn had continued to run in from the Pavilion End steaming up towards and in excess of 90mph and was rewarded as Stokes was dismissed from a flying catch by De Kock. With lunch looming, Buttler was the next to go for an unspectacular 21, Maharaj taking his second of four victims in the first innings.
Quinton De Kock (17 & 31) took 7 sharp catches behind the stumps including Stokes in an error-free display.
We were hovering at 89-5 at Lunch and the return didn’t inspire immediate confidence. Foakes couldn’t replicate his Sri Lanka heroics, falling to Maharaj for 1 and left us 105-6 coming into the tail. Woakes and Moeen Ali contributed the highest partnership of the innings with 42 but the pressure from the accurate Proteas was relentless with Mo departing for a composed 34 to the consistent Philander.
An incredible performance from Keshav Maharaj (4-26 & 4-28 ) including 12 maidens in 37 economical overs, spinning English batsman inside out and winning MOM.
South Africa wanted to wrap up the three remaining wickets and support for the lower order was in short supply, Curran (1) and Broad (11) falling before Woakes trying to accelerate was out for 40, the top score in the innings. We had been bowled out inside 60 overs from hostile, accurate and economical bowling mixed in with poor shot selection and stroke play. (England 181 Woakes 40 Stokes 35 ; Maharaj 4-26 Philander 3-30 Steyn 3-50)
We needed early wickets but Anderson and Broad couldn’t find a good line and length in home conditions for Broad. The breakthrough was made as Foakes cushioned an outside edge from Elgar off Broad. Unlike South Africa, we were expensive and poor with our bowling and were made to pay.
Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla scored at a flowing rate with catches going down and edges flying through slips and gullies especially of Woakes. Sam Curran (0-44) struggled with the slope and terrain that Trent Bridge posed and his pace differential from the rest of our seamers was evident to see as he was an easy picking with his left arm seam. Markram’s half century demonstrated his onside preference scoring over half of his runs through the vacant midwicket area. Amla soon brought up his fifty with the Proteas taking full control of the Test match.
South Africa had been positive whilst laying a strong platform for the Proteas to build on and reached 144-1 before two quick wickets gave us a glimmer of hope. Moeen Ali found some extra turn and bounce to find the leading edge to Curran at short leg before Jimmy Jimmy Anderson, roared on by the Barmy Army, found the prized wicket of Markram in the penultimate over with Curran and Root juggling a catch at slip together.
England’s fielding was a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly costing vital South African runs.
A peach of a delivery from Woakes cannoned into Bavuma’s stumps in the opening overs of the second day giving England the upper hand for the first time in the match. Roared on by the home Barmy Army, fans favourite James Anderson picked up 3-63 in South Africa’s first innings including the valuable wicket of Faf Du Plessis. du Plessis was peppered with consecutive bouncers before succumbing to LBW to a slower and straighter delivery in a well constructed plan from England’s head honcho of the attack.
Moeen Ali (4-61 & 1-36) plus 45 with the bat, kickstarted a mini collapse in South Africa’s first innings, extracting similar bounce and turn to Maharaj but not to the same reward.
Ali found the edge of De Kock (17) through to Foakes before a huge ripping delivery from the off spinner turned viciously off the rough and into the off stump of left handed Phehlukwayo (1) as South Africa had collapsed from 144-1 to 199-7 in a spell of accurate and improved bowling from the hosts.
Philander and bowling heroic Maharaj derailed the England storm towards a lower deficit punishing a variety of lengths and lines but crucially remaining composed and patient – a demonstration to the middle order perhaps? 53 runs came from the 8th wicket partnership with Philander reaching his 9th half century frustrating the home faithful. Maharaj’s (18) resistance was broken by Anderson with another clever set up by the wily seam bowler.
Anderson had halted England’s charge dropping two earlier catches from Woakes, but the Warwickshire seamer took his second of the match as Philander edged to gully where Ali took the catch – a position Anderson was removed from.
A lot had been made of our catching during and before the GTC began and Anderson finally caught one but annoyingly for England, 45 runs were put on for the last wicket with NO.11 Dale Steyn hammering 33NO off 37 in a counter attacking knock leaving the Proteas leading by 133. (South Africa 314 Markram 70 Philander 59 ; Ali 4-61 Anderson 3-63.)
Keaton Jennings had a difficult start to the GTC with his place under threat with his vulnerability to seam despite his heroics in the Sri Lankan series.
Burns and Jennings opened up aiming to improve on the first innings but Burns (7) went down in flames to half centurion Philander. We were soon two wickets down as Lancashire opener Jennings was well caught for 6 by fielding specialist Bavuma from the bowling of Steyn.
Test captain Root was undone once again by Maharaj with a googly not picked and finding the edge through to De Kock, in a tough test for England’s top order against an accurate and hostile bowling attack.
Stokes and Buttler defied expectations from the crowd and the pundits, playing maturely and aggressively when necessary as the Proteas showed the first signs of vulnerability in the face of attack. Stokes was the higher scorer of the pair and made his first half century at 3 and continued to motor on.
Two impressive performances from Stokes as his batting was valued more than his bowling in an unfamiliar role at 3.
With the fifty run partnership up, Stokes counter attacking knock was ended as a lacklustre shot towards mid on resulted in a very lame dismissal and a chance of a century seemingly thrown away. Maharaj replicated his first innings form taking a key wicket in Moeen Ali as captain Faf took a superb catch at second slip as England edged over into the lead.
Foakes and Buttler progressed on England’s lead with the aim to add on runs to be in the game when the Proteas bat. Both played in a conservative style defending and leaving well whilst attacking on the occasions the seamers and Maharaj strayed away from the tight length and lines. Successfully seeing out Day 2’s close, the pair continued to add on the runs most notably off Rabada and Phehlukwayo.
South Africa captain Faf dropped Buttler not once but…
twice in a remarkable turn of events catching the Anderson virus (highly recommended to get treatment on.) Phehlukwayo was the unfortunate bowler and remained wicketless in the game. What might have been Andile!
Buttler completed his half ton in a workmanlike innings with only the four boundaries scored with the value of his wicket most important. However, Kagiso Rabada had other ideas. He first bowled Buttler out for 53 ending his partnership with fellow keeper Foakes of 62 runs before top scorer in the first innings Woakes departed for a third ball duck.
Buttler bowled by a fantastic delivery from Rabada who turned his first innings blues around taking 4-113 in an expensive spell.
Foakes registered a half century alongside Sam Curran who added the mere 10 in the partnership of consolidation before the latter fell to the left arm spin of Maharaj as 28 was added of 71 balls.
Sam Curran’s wicketless return and struggle with the bat leaves him unlikely to feature against Sri Lanka in unfavourable conditions.
Foakes was joined by Broad and the latter played second fiddle as Foakes attacked on against the wayward seamers and played Maharaj out of the attack. At an almost run a ball partnership, nearing his second Test century, Maharaj returned to the attack and got the wicket of Foakes for a superb knock of 85 with shots of class and skill all around the ground.
In a bid to add late order runs to make the South African chase harder, Stuart Broad wowed the home and away fans at his home ground with a quick fire 50 coming off only 49 balls as Anderson watched on at the non striker’s end. The 48 runs for the last wicket came off 42 balls as Broad was sent packing by Rabada for a run a ball 50, with South Africa requiring 178 to win with two and a half days of action left. (England 310 Foakes 85 Stokes 72 ; Maharaj 4-28 Rabada 4-113)
Foakes not looking as happy as the slip cordon with the wicket of Elgar.
A relatively small total to chase for South Africa caused problems in the opening spell of bowling as Broad, fresh off the 50, dismissed Elgar for a second ball 1 as the opener struggled despite playing County Cricket in the previous year. The 119 run partnership duo were reignited at the crease but what followed saw ripples in the Proteas dressing room thanks to Moeen Ali.
After dropping the ball onto the onside, Amla stayed firmly in his ground but as slip fielding Moeen Ali retrieved the ball, he bizarrely stepped out of his crease which gave Mo a shy at the stumps and he hit in a freakish wicket. But it was deja vu for Ali and England as Markram repeated the same action and Ali promptly obliged leaving South Africa in trouble at three down.
Captain Faf and Temba Bavuma steadied and rebuilt their innings and took away hope of an English comeback with every run scored. Faf reached his half century in a true captain’s innings playing sophisticated and counter attacking shots to reach a vital 50 for his side.
England though never threw the towel in as James Anderson had Bavuma (25) caught behind in a smart catch by Ben Foakes, who showed his worth to the side, with sharp glovework and an impressive half century. Faf du Plessis was the next to depart with the score hinging on 5-115 as Moeen Ali found the outside edge through to Foakes in a crucial wicket for the hosts.
De Kock and Philander weren’t fazed by the relentless pressure and attacked away from the close fields set and played smartly to get within touching distance in the final overs of the day. Any throw of the dice from England was seen off from the Proteas well as bowling changes were aplenty.
England were celebrating for the last time as De Kock lost his patience from clever and economical bowling from Woakes finding the edge to Ali in a terrific catch.
However, Philander and Phehlukwayo guided the Proteas home for a fantastic four wicket victory over the hosts in a match where their variety of attack and ability to score runs in a timely fashion gave them a deserved victory.
In the end, we were outclassed in every department by the ruthless Proteas. Our batting, in particular the first innings, was lazy with too many players giving away their wicket to rash shots. Whilst we improved in the second innings most notably Foakes and Stokes, to win matches we need to bat time and be more patient against top quality attacks with spin giving us the run around. Furthermore, our bowling was a juxtaposition at times being too expensive and then too defensive with our lines and lengths but taking good wickets. We did perform in both innings and gave the Proteas a run for their money as Ali, Anderson and Woakes contributed to an above par bowling display. Our fielding – we won’t dwell!
Zimbabwe 14th, Ireland 15th and Pakistan 16th.
The squad to Sri Lanka will be named after careful consideration has been dwelled and provided on. Changes to our batting continues to be of importance to find the right XI as we look to sustain a more permanent line-up with some batters failing to deliver. Thoughts of adding a second or even third spinner in conducive Sri Lankan conditions will also be weighed up to find the right team balance. The team continue to be overwhelmed by your support!
On a personal note, thanks for the continued support as I really enjoy doing this blog and have some exciting adventures ahead with my content and be sure to revisit the site to see the performance against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Disclaimer: Please note that there have been numerous issues with the England vs South Africa match report but Short Leg and the team (only me) have now sorted them and will be out very soon . Apologies to keep you waiting and we hope to have the report out shortly.
Afghanistandefeat Zimbabweby 6 wickets thanks to MOMRashid Khan who took match figures of 10-212. Brandan Taylor played an outstanding first innings knockof 244 at a strike rate of 91.39 as Zimbabwe’s second innings below par score, ultimately cost them a shot at victory after initially leading. A special mention to Mohamad Nabi who scored 208 which shot the Afghans close towards Zimbabwe’s first innings score.
Australia thrashed theWest Indies by 201 runs in another run fest. Pat Cummins’s maiden Test century elevated Australia into a 552 run lead alongside other valuable contributions which proved too much for theWest Indieswho hadShimron Hetmyerscore 75NO in the first innings before a standout 112 in a losing side. Mitchell Starc starred with ball and bat taking 6-153 and Nathan Lyon turned Australia into a 17 run lead with another five wicket haul.
Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 280 runs in a crushing victory which didn’t reflect the overall score line of the match. Danuska Gunathilaka, Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal hammered big centuries whilst Dilruwan Perera shined with the ball taking 7-212. Mushfiqur Rahim came agonisingly short of a double ton for as Bangladesh fell in a disappointing second innings – the match had 1798 runs scored.
The two debuting Test nations fought out in a good contest which saw Scotland prevail by five wickets. Nizakat Khan was instrumental in Hong Kong’s effort scoring two consecutive not outs (92) and (108) whilst Cam McAuslan was the next highest scorer with a maiden half century. Dylan Budge led with the bat scoring 136 whilstGloucestershirerecruit Stuart Whittinghamtook 4-40 as the seamers all took scalps in a winning performance.
India’s all round performance steered them to a smashing 258 runs against a feeblePakistanteam. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored important centuries whilst young gun Prithvi Shaw hit an attacking 89 leading to a declaration. All Indian bowlers impressed especially the unorthodox Jasprit Bumrah whereasPakistan couldn’t convert their good starts,with Shafiq, Zaman, Ahmed and Shadab Khanscoring half centuries meanwhileHasan Alitaking 6-128 against a mighty victorious India.
Malahide hosted Ireland’s opening GTC match as the visiting New Zealand took a convincing 7 wicket win. Trent Boult took charge with the ball with back to back five wicket hauls with match figures of 10-122 and Mitchell Santner toiled hard to take 7-239. Henry Nicholls scored a sensational century alongside two half centuries by Ross Taylor as Gary Wilson scored an amazing 135 in the second innings to back up his 80 in the first innings. Max Sorensen and Andy Balbirnie require a mention also with their contribution with ball and bat.
Netherlands rounded out the run fest of the GTC with a 231 run victory against Nepal where NO.10 Michael Rippon was the deserved Man of the Match. Taking 8-178 in the match, he backed it up with his batting with a stunning 105 lifting the Netherlands to 571, the highest total of the championship. Wesley Barresi also made a ton whilst Nepal bizarrely scored 295 in both innings as Paras Khadka scored outstanding back to back tons and Shakti Gauchan took two five wicket hauls in a positive showing for the lowest ranked side in the Championship.
Be sure to revisit the site for more Ashes Cricket and Global Test Championship action as England host South Africa and then head off to Sri Lanka.
Short Leg will provide match reports from the inaugural Global Test Championship round as England entertain South Africa desperate to start in winning ways at Trent Bridge in day/night pink ball conditions in a match including 10 dropped catches and plenty of maidens!
Cricket Captain Australia
Short Leg will continue the match reports in the travails of the Australian Cricket Side in Cricket Captain 2018 as the T20I Tri Series with Pakistan and Zimbabwe precedes the two Test match tour against Pakistan.
Big Bash 08
Short Leg will also review the Big Bash season at completion and update you on who is hot and who is cold down in OZ.
International Cricket – Tests and ODIS
Short Leg will be reporting on the “real life” test match series in Australia – Sri Lanka, West Indies – England as well as other topics involving the domestic and international competitions.
Who to Watch
An introduction of “Who to Watch” series of articles will begin across all levels and competitions of the cricketing world.
Ashes Cricket (PS4) Career Mode
Finally, more Ashes Cricket will begin with reports on my Career Mode as I take on the Adelaide club level with Mount Barker.
Welcome to a recap of the series between Australia and England in 5 One Day Internationals and a single T20I. Joe Root starred in a lacklustre England side with the bat whilst D’Arcy Short and AJ Tye were the leaders with bat and ball in an Australian team without Smith and Warner.
Edgbaston hosted a one off T20I match as England handed debuts to bowler Craig Overton and controversy batsman Ben Duckett in a side led by temporary captain Jos Buttler ahead of Morgan and Root. Australia made several changes to freshen up their plans for their upcoming T20I tri series in Pakistan with experienced head James Faulkner making his return to International cricket with Matthew Wade also returning alongside debutant left arm Ben Dwarshuis.
Australia batted first which gave Wade a chance to make an early impression but … he was out first ball. At the other end, Short in particular made inroads into the powerplay and Carey followed the same suit smashing a six into the second tier but Woakes had him for 15 LBW. The ODI partnership were reunited and caused non stop havoc as the effective Rashid proved ineffectual going at above 10 an over alongside Plunkett. The introduction of Craig Overton halted the Australians progression first dismissing Finch (56) Head (0) and Maxwell (4) all in the same over as the Australians lost 3 wickets for 4 runs. Faulkner’s absence from the international arena didn’t effect him straight away but soon he was gone for 2 to Plunkett. Short motored on taking advantage of the strike he had but Overton’s dream debut continued picking up Zampa (1) and Jhye Richardson (1) in a magnificent spell of bowling 4-0-30-5. Dwarshuis contributed 6 in a 21 run partnership with Short before Stokes took him (6) and then Tye (0) to wrap up the innings led by an unbeaten 86 from Short and a half century from Finch.
A newly formed partnership of Bairstow and Buttler set off at a blistering rate scoring 67 from the powerplay. Immediately after though, Buttler’s (30) conserved approach was ended by Tye caught well by Zampa at long on. Soon England went from 1-80 to 5-82 as Hales (3), Root (0), Duckett on debut(1), Morgan (0) fell in quick succession. Zampa had Hales caught by Wade at slip before Maxwell magic in the field dismissed Root without facing before Faulkner almost had a hattrick after trapping Duckett and Morgan in front. Bairstow and Stokes rebuilt the ship and attacked instantly with boundaries flowing and Australian hopes going after looking so promising. A costly no ball from Tye in an over of 24 brought England’s target down to 5 from the final 2 overs. Jhye Richardson bowled impeccably going for just 1 run off the first 4 balls including taking the wicket of Stokes (48) in an important knock. However, Bairstow capped off an individually dominant performance with a four to guide England home to a 4 wicket victory despite an incredible loss of four wickets for only two runs.
A frustrating end to what has been a superb series for us. The team played fantastically to seal the series against England early on with pleasing and impressive knocks from our experienced and inexperienced lads. Each player have shown their worth in each way and with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and Mitch Marsh all returning from injury soon, there will definitely be selection headaches for future tours. Next up we head off to UAE for a T20 Tri Series against Pakistan and Zimbabwe, they are overwhelmed from your constant support and ask you to continue the journey on the Australian redemption journey.
Theunis De Bruyn. A hard hitting South African batsmen who has conquered the domestic level yet on the International stage – its a different story. With the exception of his maiden Test century against Sri Lanka in July 2018, De Bruyn has failed to hit the heights so far of what was expected of him.
From making his debut in March 2017 against New Zealand to his most recent caps against Pakistan at home, De Bruyn has been in and out the team without cementing a place in the Proteas top order. With the retirement in 2018 of AB De Villers freeing up a top order spot alongside JP Duminy’s retirement from the national team in early 2017, places have been up for grabs. South Africa have been very successful in Test matches and bar the lost series against Sri Lanka, South Africa had won 6 on the bounce. Different formats of selection were chosen with De Bruyn featuring twice in England (2017) as a specialist batsman before the role being taken for 3 series by allrounders. AB De Villers retirement led De Bruyn straight into the team for the Sri Lankan series where he scored his first contribution to the Proteas. However, an underwhelming Pakistan series with debutant Zubayr Hamza impressing in the final test has led to reports De Bruyn will be dropped for the return of captain Faf De Plessis.
De Bruyn’s record at first class level is second to none with an average of 45.55 backed up with 12 centuries and 19 half centuries. An experienced campaigner of the domestic level at 26 shows his potential and undoubted ability at higher levels yet for South Africa so far an average of 20.55 only registering the sole hundred in a stand out match. As mentioned before, South Africa with the loss of a key fast bowler tend to have an allrounder at 6 and De Bruyn certainly hasn’t put up a case to be the fifth bowler. His first class level saw 11 wickets taken at 38.31 but his test bowling has been disappointing wicketless from 17 overs at an expensive 4.35 per over.
Whilst coach Ottis Gibson is backing De Bruyn, his poor form and his failure to replicate the first class form he has shown consistently will lead to questions about his spot in the side. With captain Faf returning from a one match suspension, either Hamza or De Bruyn are likely to be axed and with Hamza performing well on debut, De Bruyn looks certain to be dropped.
Be sure to revisit the site with more international and domestic cricket topics and articles as well as virtual gaming coming very soon! Short Leg
Mark Wood. A promising player that so far his international career hasn’t taken off due to predominately longer term injury and less match time in 4/5 day formats. He has pace – 90mph+ to be precise and has bounce that can frighten any top order batsman around the world. He has 156 first class wickets at an average of 27.83 and 8 five wicket hauls. His impact for England has come mainly in shorter formats with ODI being his stronger suit. Yet, going into 2019 his place at the Cricket World Cup looks in doubt due to his lack of match time and the better form from the likes of Tom Curran, Olly Stone and David Willey. Speculation before and during the 2017 Ashes series didn’t prove to be the case as he didn’t feature. At the age of 29, Wood’s playing days are shortening due to his various injuries and something needs to click for such a promising player.
His call up to the West Indian Test Series comes as Warwickshire’s Olly Stone flies back home with a stress fracture in his back. Stone has had limited opportunity on the International stage with his debut series coming in Sri Lanka (October 2018) and impressed with his pace and heavy bounce in the ODI series. Wood comes in as a like for like replacement but his lack of match practice in the Test arena might mean he plays as a back up seamer.
However, Wood brings a new dimension to West Indies which England should take advantage of with his old and new ball skills alongside his quick pace which will test the inexperienced West Indies batsmen. Whilst, England might not use Wood to change a winning formula, this will be Wood’s chance to show he can be an England Test fast bowler in a permanent position. He has the attributes but not the performances in the arena to show his worth to the side.
Away from Wood, England will be faced a tricky challenge with West Indies making wholesale changes to fix a losing team. But, England’s impressive form in Sri Lanka most notably with their spinners leaves them favourites in similar away conditions to make it 2 on the bounce.
Wood’s chance has come and he will be sure to make the most of it as his International selection hangs in the jungle. To read more articles cricket related, revisit the site and comment below whether Wood will start in West Indies?
BBL 08 has reached its half way stage in the extended season with plenty of sixes, wickets and many entertaining moments from the T20 Australian Tournament. Short Leg will reflect on the mid season turn point with a Team of the Season. There will be more Big Bash related articles very soon!
With 28 games or so to play including the final, Big Bash 08 proves to be another exciting and entertaining domestic competition to free up our winter blues. Be sure to revisit the site for more Big Bash articles as well as a variety of other topics including the outcome of the inaugural Global Test Championship coming very soon.
After England’s first victory of the series at County Durham, the crowd at Old Trafford were treated to an entertaining and thrilling match which went right down to the wire. Going into the dead rubber, changes were expected from both sides but yet again England were sticking to their rotation at NO3 as Malan re entered for Clarke whilst Sam came in for Tom in the Curran brothers swap. Australia made 3 changes as Hobart Hurricanes left arm spinner Clive Rose was handed his international debut in for Zampa whilst experienced Peter Handscomb replaced Stoinis and exciting and blistering wicketkeeper batsman Alex Carey in for Aaron Finch.
Australia won their first toss of the series and elected to field which looked to have been the right decision when Stanlake removed the basher Hales for 2 caught behind by Paine. In the chop and change position at 3, Malan needed to cement the position for his own good and the good of the fans as the selectors continue to make puzzling choices for England. He started brightly and quickly overtook Bairstow at a fast scoring rate with quick running between the wickets the key. Bairstow was fairly content with keeping Malan on strike at first but had had enough which curtailed his innings as an attempted ramp off Richardson was failed and he was trapped in front. The imperious Root joined Malan at the crease looking to bring on the Australia’s lack of fifth bowler as soon as possible but the latter left England stumbling at 3-49 as Tye executed a perfect slower ball yorker bowling Malan for 22.
Australia were keen to attack this crucial partnership which was diffident in the previous match which prompted the front line bowlers to have extra overs in a bid to run riot through the middle order. Morgan and Root had other ideas on a pitch where boundary hitting was tough to score from. After playing themselves in, Root and Morgan accelerated and took on debutant Rose and off spinner Maxwell in a bid to unsettle Australia’s lack of depth without Stoinis, scoring boundaries without pressure. With both passing half centuries and Morgan aiming for the ton, a change of attack by captain Paine allowed unusual fielding positions for Maxwell including two short midwickets and a leg gully and the latter position dismissed Morgan for 79 with an outstanding catch by Shaun Marsh to break the 143 run stand. A shift in momentum had taken shape as Root fell to Stanlake for 69 looking to upper cut the bowler but found Rose at third man.
The mini collapse didn’t deter England as Stokes and Buttler put on a 124 run stand to lift England above 300 into a competitive score. Both batsman played entertaining and exiting strokes with Stokes playing sheer brute shots in comparison to Buttler’s controlled slogging. 82 was hit off the last 10 overs including a Buttler onslaught but the momentum was back into Australia’s favour with the last 3 going for only 10 in tight death bowling from Tye. England would be pleased with their efforts again finding form in their middle order from their more dangerous and top scoring batsman but Australia would be feeling confident to chase 323.
Short’s bowling ability gained his spot in the side ahead of the rested Finch and he was joined at the top of the order by exciting batsman Alex Carey. The left hand pair began nervously especially between the wickets as Woakes and Stokes took the new ball to good effect. But it was the running that cost Short as his racing start was halted by a direct hit from Hales in a dodgy single. Handscomb was brought into the side and came into Lynn’s position at 3 but his stay was short as Stokes found swing to get him leg before for 1. With Australia teetering at 2-26, centurion Lynn joined inexperienced Carey and soon began to settle into the job in hand with Carey showing his potential and class through his hitting. The new ball pair were seen off before Carey played Rashid the best out the Australian batsmen throughout the series. The 100 run partnership was up soon enough alongside Carey’s maiden half century. Sam Curran proved ineffectual much like his brother throughout the series and in the game as Lynn and Carey picked him off at a canter.
However, Plunkett utilised his extra pace and bounce to effect dismissing Lynn for 61 caught on the boundary by Rashid. Shaun Marsh came into the 5th ODI hoping for some runs to cement a future trip however Plunkett’s in swinger fooled him and he was bowled for 6. Run machine Glenn Maxwell capped off a mini collapse as in the next over Stokes found his edge for a golden duck through to Bairstow. Australia were cruising at 2-171 but with Maxwell’s dismissal they found themselves at 5-180 with Carey stranded in the 90s.
Momentum had swung once again into England’s favour but Captain Paine was determined not to succumb to the pressure and smashed the ball through all parts of the ground. Carey reached his triple figures citing a massive celebration but soon he was gone LBW to Woakes for an almost run a ball 103. Richardson was promoted to 8 where he showed his potential with the bat alongside Paine and scored 13 before Rashid mopped up his front pad. Rose is not generally known for his ball striking but he soon gave a glimmer of hope with 2 boundaries through the leg side. All hope seemed to be lost when Paine’s electric 39 came to an end dismissed by Sam Curran leaving the Australians 8-250.
Rose and Stanlake needed boundaries quickly and through fortune and somewhat good batting, it came! Rose targeted Rashid to the leg side hitting 2 maximums over deep midwicket whilst Stanlake knocked the ball around with 3 maximums and suddenly the chase was on! But, Rashid strung a killer blow into Australian hearts as the debutant Rose was caught well by Root at slip for a great 36 leaving 12 to win as AJ Tye strolled to the crease. After two singles and a near run out, Tye edged past third man for 4 leaving six required off the last. Sam Curran bowled 3 dot balls at Stanlake, an unusual sight in Big Billy’s knock, before bowling a slower bouncer picked by Stanlake and sent far into the crowd for the Australian win! 41 off 23 in an innings that will be remembered more than Carey’s amazing century, led the Aussies to a narrow yet ecstatic victory.
An amazing victory snatched from the jaws of a defeat typifies the courage we showed throughout the series and 4-1 whilst some games were closer the score line reflects our whole team and their contributions. D’Arcy Short and Aaron Finch seamlessly opened together with Carey slotting in fantastically in the Final ODI whilst Lynn, Maxwell and Paine made vital runs as Tye amongst others lead with the ball. Our all-round ability led us to a dominant victory as England will be rightfully angry and disappointed at a poor series with only individual contributions particularly with the bat to look at positively. Their bowling attack was wayward but the indecision comes from the selectors above who have received slack for their chopping and changing.
We face England next in a one off T20I before heading off to Pakistan and Zimbabwe for a T20I Tri Series in June and July. Be sure to revisit the site to see the progression of the Australian team in Cricket Captain and the other topics coming up on the website!!
After the 3-0 series romp, County Durham was the venue for an England kickstart in what has been a disappointing start to their one day summer. Home pundits had been calling for changes in a poor showing from the Pommies so far against the under strength Australians and 2 were made. Joe Clarke replaces Malan in another vice versa switch from the 2nd and 3rd ODI- (will they choose who they want at 3?), and Tom Curran replacing brother Sam after an expensive start to his debut series. The Aussies made the singular change with Travis Head rested for experienced Shaun Marsh.
The lethal partnership of Finch and Short was reignited with Tom Curran and Stokes aiming to strike early after new ball woes in the series so far. Stokes, with confidence with his last bat, took the early wicket of Short on a good length delivery, with Short looking to kickstart his innings. Lynn hadn’t fired so far throughout the series but he seized on some abysmal lengths and lines from the opening pair. Finch played a cameo role feeding the strike well to Lynn, who took down Curran and began to take on Rashid. But, the bowler of the series for England, Rashid took the wicket of Finch with another googly as batsman have struggled to pick Rashid’s deliveries. Marsh made a positive start and brought the Australians up to 130-3 after 22 overs in a quick fire run rate. However, after dispatching Curran for a boundary, Marsh succumbed to Curran’s slower ball and was trapped in front for 15 leaving Maxwell to join Lynn at 3-139.
Fireworks begun with Lynn continuing his imperious ball striking and Maxwell showing his destructive nature as Rashid, for the first time in the series, was knocked off his usual line and length. The 50 partnership was reached off only 31 balls giving the Australians hope for 350-400. Lynn took 24 off Woakes’s over before dispatching returning bowler Stokes for his 15th four to bring up his maiden ODI century. However, his celebrations were short lived as a rejuvenated Stokes trapped Lynn for the 3rd LBW out of 4. Lynn’s wicket was the first of 3 to fall for 3 runs as the inform Paine failed to pick Rashid’s top spinner and was bowled before Stokes took another in the next over as Stoinis inexpiably played a failed ramp and was bowled for 1.
Adam Zampa rebuilt the Australian innings in a cameo role with Maxwell taking the anchor with Plunkett in particular taking the brunt of Maxwell’s aggression. The run rate began to climb as England showed glimpses of anger and dispute with each other with 2 dropped catches of Zampa and a hard chance of Maxwell put down. 75 runs were added for the seventh wicket partnership before Woakes used his slower balls for success dismissing an impressive Zampa for 37. Maxwell’s onslaught continued whilst at the other end, Jhye Richardson contributed with a maximum of his own going into the final 5 overs.
Plunkett had frustrated Maxwell in the previous over and his steeping bouncer managed to dismiss Maxwell in the penultimate over for an 85 boosting Australia’s score. Tye fell first ball to Plunkett a few balls later but Richardson promptly smashed 16 of the final over to bring the momentum back to the Aussies. Lynn and Maxwell starred with impressive ball striking whilst Finch, Zampa and Richardson played cameo roles in a 334 which would be tough to chase down. Stokes was the main contributor with the ball with 3 as Rashid and Plunkett chipped in with 2 but at an expensive rate.
With a difficult chase ahead for England, they got off to a less than ideal start as Stanlake ripped through Bairstow for a golden duck. The NO3 position had been highly talked about before the match and the constant changing between Malan and Clarke hadn’t payed off so far and failed once more as Clarke nicked behind to Paine off Stanlake for a mere 9. Root took the mantle of the aggressor in an unfamiliar role for the Test Captain with Hales following suit to drag England inline with the required run rate. Boundaries flowed off the seam bowlers from both batsman targeting the short boundary to the offside. Zampa was attacked early on but it was Tye who broke through as Hales’s free flowing 44 was ended by a deceptively slow slower ball by the WA paceman.
The Vice Captain and Captain were joined together to dampen the Australian spirits with the pitch beginning to show signs of wear making the batsman’s life easier. Morgan and Root began to form a flourishing partnership with Zampa and Stoinis going at 9-12 runs an over. The momentum had turned towards England with both batsman reaching their half centuries and motoring on. Maxwell and part timer Short had bowled tight overs back to back and the pressure created culminated in the downfall of Root for a fabulous 92 playing too an extravagant shot on this occasion and finding the edge to Paine off Maxwell. (131 run partnership) Stokes followed the platform from Root and put on a brisk 28 with Morgan before the latter succumbed to the left arm spinner Short in front for 76. With only 95 required with 15 overs left, the game was firmly in the balance but the momentum of the record breaking partnership swung England into control.
Buttler had struggled so far in the series to replicate the form shown in the IPL but with the pitch in favour of the ball striker, he flourished in a supporting role with Stokes. Stokes bulldozed 8 boundaries in his innings with Australia’s main bowlers failed to strike the crucial breakthrough as England looked destined to victory. Richardson though sparked a twist in the tale as Stokes became the third out of four victims of LBW for 42. Woakes struggled throughout his 36 ball stay as the Australians kept the pressure on well to him but it didn’t deter Buttler who brought the total to 10 off the last 3 overs before Tye dismissed him for 48 becoming the fourth LBW victim. Rashid, though, finished the game off in style with a second ball six to defeat Australia and give England some light in a darker tunnel.
In a pleasing performance for England, the experienced heads found form and steered them to the big scoring chase with the Australians fairly disappointed to have bowled poorly especially at Root and Morgan with 7 bowlers used. Stoinis and Zampa in particular were too expensive and relied on part timers to fill up their allocation. The fault lied in the bowling and fielding performances as the batting was boosted by different contributors. We head off to Old Trafford in the final ODI with the Aussies intending to finish the series off 4-1. Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb and Clive Rose are expected to play a part in the final match with Rose on debut.
Be sure to revisit the site for more Cricket Captain reports as well as different cricket topics including Ashes Cricket, the Big Bash and International Cricket. Until next time Short Leg
Trent Bridge was the hosting venue for the 3rd ODI where in real life England hammered a world record 481-6 in their 50 overs. They would be hoping to replicate that form in the virtual game with a response required after going 2-0 down in the series. The hosts made 2 alterations with David Malan replacing Joe Clarke in a vice versa switch from the last ODI and under firing seamer Tom Curran being replaced by the experienced Liam Plunkett. Australia remained unchanged for the 3rd successive match as they aimed to wrap up an unlikely series victory.
Stanlake and Richardson opened the bowling attack for the Australians after winning the toss but it was the opening partnership that provided a platform for England. The aggressive manner of Hales bounced off onto Bairstow as both played controlled but attacking shots taking the advantage of the extra pace and the powerplay. Deceptive bowler Tye couldn’t break through the shackles of either batsman as the ball was shot to the legside often. Their 100 run partnership came up after 15 overs and reached the 20th over with 138 on the board. But, the decisive change of Zampa’s field drew Hales into a false trap and was bowled around the legs for 70. Australia were galvanised and under pressure Malan was back to the pavilion after a swift 20 padding in front to Zampa’s googly. Steady Root joined Bairstow at the crease showing a variety of shots whilst Bairstow calmly made his way to his 7th ODI century coming off 115 balls as the pair negotiated each bowling change made by Finch.
Shortly after reaching the ton, Bairstow succumbed to the tempting pressure of increasing the run rate as he attempted an ambitious ramp to Tye. Morgan’s indifferent form was exploited by the intelligent Tye as he lured him into a lofted drive just for the ball to cannon back into the pads for a golden duck. Root’s unusual 100+ strike rate was promising for England but he fell at 5-248 to Jhye Richardson LBW (the 4th out of the top order.) Australia then began to keep the batters under a tight scoring rate with clever off pace deliveries and the occasional bouncer which Stanlake used to dismiss Buttler for 1. Stokes held one end up aiming for the boundary but his support was thin as Richardson had Woakes caught on the boundary for 1 before Rashid fell into Tye’s trap edging behind again for 1.
Stokes finished with a flourishing boundary but an under par last 10 overs brought the Aussies back with the momentum after an impressive and flowing opening partnership between centurion Bairstow and aggressive Hales.
Much like England’s opening pair, the inform duo of Finch and Short repeated their spectacular combinations. Sam Curran and Ben Stokes opened up but swing was in short supply which nullified their threat. 86 runs came from the opening 10 overs as momentum began to roll towards the tourists. Groans from the home crowd were soon silenced as standout bowler Rashid took Short’s wicket for 57 with 11 boundaries in an 117 run partnership. In the same over, Rashid removed Lynn to swing the momentum back towards England and galvanising the crowd. Finch’s free flowing attitude didn’t stagnate as the run rate was maintained in chase of 271. Head never got going and lost his head to a rash shot (mind the puns) as Rashid took his third. Finch and Maxwell joined in an entertaining knock shooting down the bowlers until Finch nicked behind from Woakes for an energetic 79.
When hope seemed brighter for England, a 97 run partnership from Maxwell and leader Paine led the Australians to victory. Paine’s knock in particular showed the class of a middle order batsman with boundary hitting shots combined with simple singles whilst Maxwell played a boundary filled innings completing the contest with a punch down the ground off the expensive Plunkett.
Australia complete the series with 2 games to go in a dominant display of all round quality with each player showing their worth on the field of play. England had their moments but they came in very short supply with Rashid, Root and the opening combo the highlights in a disappointing poor series loss in home conditions. D’Arcy Short led the way for the Australians in his debut series with valuable contributions from all in a real team showing grit, passion and determination.
With two games to go, they will be covered in the same article but be sure to revisit the site to see how the games play out with the options of Handscomb, Care, Marsh and Clive Rose poised to make their mark on the series but also a possible charge back from England?
Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was the hosting venue for the second ODI between England and Australia. After winning the series in Australia, England would be looking to replicate that winning formula with the tourists taking the opening match at the Oval. . Australia remained unchanged with D’Arcy Short and Marcus Stoinis looking to repeat their impressive start of the series with bat and ball respectively. England made one change as David Malan will be rueing his inability to cash in on his start and was replaced by Worcestershire’s up and coming star Joe Clarke, who was handed his international debut. Conditions early on are conducive for the spinners whilst later on seamers play a part on the flattening wicket and with that in mind, Morgan elected to bowl first.
Finch and Short began their assault on the opening bowlers of Tom Curran and Stokes and much like the first ODI, they began in an aggressive style with boundaries galore. But, Stokes fought back by taking the wicket of Finch for a quickfire 28 off 22 and then the wicket of the power hitting Lynn for 8 four balls later. Head backed up Short’s start by rotating the strike well and allowing Short to target the Currans. At a crucial time in the match, the spin of Rashid turned pivotal and bowled Head out for 17. Maxwell began in typical fashion with 2 fours and a six before falling foul of Rashid’s googly to leave the Aussies in trouble at 4-134. Captain Paine joined the crease and nullified the effect of Rashid as Short went from strength to strength with some outstanding hitting.
Their 54 run partnership was broken with the big wicket of Short, who will be disappointed he couldn’t make three figures, for a fantastic 95 caught behind off Woakes. An innings nonetheless he will remember in his debut series.
Paine and Stoinis began rebuilding with the latter playing counter attacking shots to up the dwindling run rate. Stokes’s return to the bowling crease brought about the wicket of Paine who was looking to increase the scoring rate LBW for 41 breaking another 54 run partnership. Adam Zampa arrived and with Stoinis added entertainment for the crowd with boundaries hit against Stokes and Woakes. Rashid returned at the conclusion of Stokes’s spell and immediately struck with Zampa leg before for a swashbuckling 26 off 21 adding Australia some lower order impetus. With the tail in, Rashid took advantage and cleaned up Jhye Richardson and Tye in the same over to bring up his 5 wicket haul leaving Stoinis to be joined by Stanlake.
Against the odds, Stanlake proved to be useful as he handed the strike to Stoinis with the aim of 300+. Stoinis brought up his 50 with a front foot slog for 6 off Woakes and built from there adding 39 for the last partnership with 9 boundaries from Marcus. Stanlake weighed in with 4 proper boundaries but come the penultimate ball, Woakes had the last laugh bowling Stanlake for 18 and concluding the Australian innings for 326. Short led the way at the top of the order with a stunning 95 ably supported by Stoinis counter attacking 68NO and handy contributions from Paine and big Billy Stanlake.
After a top order show in Surrey, it was a different story for both Bairstow and Hales as communication issues led to cheap runouts. A direct hit from AJ Tye to dismiss Bairstow for 3 at short cover started the train as debutant Clarke was caught up in Hales’s poor running but wasn’t the victim as Hales attempted a near impossible single as Maxwell cleaned up. England became in trouble at 3-38 with Clarke impressing with 3 boundaries but then falling leg before to Richardson with the extra pace. Eoin Morgan’s lane run scoring form continued with a brilliant return catch by Richardson for 4 and Stokes fell early again for 2 trapped in front for 2 by Tye. England were 5-57 with Root watching 3 dismissals quickly! An attempted relaunch was underway as Stoinis was smashed for 39 off only 3 overs mainly by Buttler and Zampa targeted to the short boundaries. But this positive contribution from the wicketkeeper batsman was over with Tye’s variations catching the edge to Paine.
Woakes joined Root and the latter carried on taking the attack to the Aussies and throwing Zampa off the attack for just the five overs going for 55. Rashid showed the more comfortable start to the ball and Zampa struggled with length and line. In a 107 run partnership, Root showed his permanent class and his ability to convert in the shorter forms of the game with his century coming off 67 balls. Just when England seemed back into the contest with Woakes backing up Root, Jhye Richardson produced a marvellous run out of the Test captain for 119 kickstarting the tail. As Woakes closed in on his half century, he fell for 49 to Richardson with the extra pace playing dividend. Rashid and Sam Curran put up small resistance but it was Maxwell who broke through Rashid, as he set himself to clear the fence, who was well caught by Head. The 2 brothers didn’t stay for much longer as big Billy finished the job off finding the edge of Tom Curran and wrapping up a 58 run victory for the Aussies.
England put up great resistance in the latter end of their innings with Root and Woakes in particular providing a positive ,after being 5-57, to a disappointing defeat where batsman struggled to convert their starts. After 2 successive wins, we are very pleased with our start and the contributions of D’Arcy Short, Jhye Richardson, Glenn Maxwell and AJ Tye have been the standout performances heading into the 3rd ODI. We will look to wrap up an unlikely series win at Trent Bridge which should be set for a high scoring contest. The team continued to be impressed by the support shown and hope to wrap up the series for the travelling fans!
Cricket Captain has arrived and I will be taking on the role as Australian head coach and Selector in a time of turbulence leading the Aussies in all 3 formats (Test, ODI and T2OI). Starting in the summer of 2018, Australia embark on a 5 match ODI series against England away followed by a one off T20I. Join me on a rollercoaster ride to restore some faith and pride back into the national side as well as winning some games (hopefully)?
Following the Sandpaper incident in Cape Town, Darren Lehmann stepped down from his role as Coach and Selector and opened the door for rookie Jamie Hamilton to take over in a challenging situation with the aim to bring back Australian love for cricket. With the bans to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft leaving them unavailable as well as frontline senior players in fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc due to long term injury, the Aussies were depleted and fresh faces were required to replace them. Tim Paine will captain and keep for the side with Hobart Hurricanes duo D’Arcy Short and Clive Rose called up for their impressive form for their domestic sides. Added to that, inexperienced players like Jhye Richardson, Alex Carey and Billy Stanlake have the chance to don the cap for their second time whilst power hitter Chris Lynn finds himself in the squad. WA duo in Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar were left out by Hamilton in a bold move to add experience with inexperience with Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh completing the stocks. A youthful Australian squad (in terms of caps) needed to prove themselves on the big stage for future competitions and the upcoming World Cup in 2019. England chose both Currans and left out Jason Roy and Mo Ali in their starting XI.
After losing the toss, Australia were sent out into the baking hot Oval and didn’t start brightly with Bairstow and Hales targeting young speedster Jhye Richardson in the powerplay. England were going at a rate of 9 and 10 an over come the end of the powerplay and continued in that fashion for a little while yet. It took a deceptive slower ball from Tye to dismiss Hales for a brisk 51 to slightly lift the spirits to break the opening partnership. Malan, on debut, showed patience at 3 and slowed down the scoring rate in fact contributing to his dismissal with ambitious running seeing D’Arcy Short, on debut, running him out. With a variety of bowlers being chopped and changed, Zampa impressed and maintained his end economically picking up Root for 27. A promising partnership begun between Bairstow and Morgan but as both neared milestone, up step Marcus Stoinis to create havoc. He first picked up the dangerous Bairstow for a superb 95 and then swiftly followed working his magic to dismiss Stokes for a golden duck, with an even better catch by Paine. The aggressive natured pairing of Morgan and Buttler were at the crease to revive England out of trouble but Stoinis continued his rampage and the mini collapse was complete with Morgan departing for 44 also caught by Paine.
England just didn’t recover from their middle order collapse with the dangerous Buttler dismissed by the variation bowler Tye for 5. Rashid and Sam Curran on debut, fell to Tye for 1 and 0 respectively bowled looking to attack in the final overs. Stanlake got in on the action dismissing Tom Curran for a duck with a smart catch from Lynn to leave Woakes stranded on 19 and England all out for 290. After being 3-263, England lost 7-27 in a spell led by Stoinis and backed up ably by Tye and Stanlake. A very good latter half to the bowling innings from Australia brought them back into the game!
Australia’s new look opening partnership in Short and Finch began electrically with new ball bowlers Tom Curran and Ben Stokes hammered to all parts of the ground. 91 was brought up after the 10th over with Short in particular going aerial with Finch playing some classical shots for 4. England made their breakthrough at 1-98 as Finch was bowled by an in swinging delivery from debutant Sam Curran for a fantastic 57 from 46 including 10 boundaries. Short took the mantle from Finch and with Lynn looked to target Curran and leggie Rashid in an aggressive manner. Short brought up his maiden ODI 50 on debut with a glance onto the onside but fell soon after a 91m six off Curran, aiming to sweep Rashid but got a top edge to Sam Curran.
Left hander Travis Head began a more patient knock with boundaries and rotation of the strike blending in with Lynn’s counter attacking style. Nearing 50, Lynn went for one shot too many and fell to Sam Curran in front for a well made 41. Head was soon dismissed to Rashid caught on the boundary by Malan for a productive 28. Maxwell and Paine led the charge to the victory in a 101 run partnership with attacking shots a plenty. Maxwell brought up a swashbuckling 50 but it was Paine who finished the job with a four to win the match by 6 wickets with 15 overs left. Australia finished with a very high run rate taking all bowlers out of the ground in an imperious victory to begin the Aussie winter.
With the current predicament of the cricket in Australia, we played fantastically well to provide a comeback in England’s innings with a super 7-27 eliminating the attacking middle order. We then continued the momentum with an aggressive nature at 9-10 per over with the loss of only 4 wickets and plenty of pleasing scores. We head off to Cardiff from the 2nd ODI, looking to repeat our heroics with the aim for a 2-0 series lead going into the crucial 3rd ODI. The team are humbled by the renewed support and look to continue their winning start. Be sure to revisit the site to see how the rest of the series plays out!
The two squads ahead of the debut match in the Global Test Championship. Both teams play 1 spinner at Trent Bridge. Ben Foakes’s impressive debut series in Sri Lanka means he is retained ahead of the experienced Jonny Bairstow. South Africa prefer allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo to seamer Lungi Ngidi.
Welcome to the new Global Test Championship. 16 nations will compete against each other, once home and away, in a total of 30 games for each nation to decide the best Test team in the globe. In usual Test match format, there will be 5 days of gruelling competitive action with 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw and an extra bonus point for a first innings lead (full rules can be seen at the bottom of this post.) In a major twist to the regular Test matches, each match played will be a Day/Night match with the pink Kookaburra ball use, for only the 11th time in an official Test match. Along with the 12 full Test members, the GTC gives an opportunity for Nepal, Netherlands, Scotland and Hong Kong to join the elite in their historic debut test matches. The GTC is all about opening cricket onto a wider platform in exciting conditions and contests with the introduction of new Test nations only further supporting the objective.
As Team Manager and Chairman of Selectors of the England team, there will be regular updates of the trails and travels of the side and how they perform. We will be looking to be challenging and be in contention for the finals come the end of the 30th round of action. County form for all countries and domestic competitions will lay an integral part in the selection of squads. For each side in the GTC, an initial squad of 15 will be chosen and then a 13 man squad selected on the eve of the match to decide the playing XI.
For the playing sides (seen at top of page), England omitted wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow, leg spinner Adil Rashid (12th man), seamer Jake Ball and allrounder Dom Bess, who were all released back into the County Championship. South Africa chose to leave out seamer Lungi Ngidi (12th man), allrounder Thenuis De Bruyn, wicketkeeper batsman Henrich Klassen and up coming seamer Duanne Oliver.
100 overs per day ; New ball at 80 overs ; Pink ball ; Various batting and bowling bonus points applied to each inning ; Demerit and disciplinary points and deductions + Flashing zing bails!
Trent Bridge will be the home to the GTC beginning but be sure to revisit the site for further updates on the outcome of not only this Test match but the rest in a highly anticipated competition. I hope you look forward to joining me on the quest to be the best in the globe as we take on the Proteas!
(Disclaimer): Information regarding the other Test matches will be in supply but not in as much detail as the main England side. The team are humbled by the support and hope for a positive start.
Short Leg discusses the Test Cricket Arena with the coveted Test Team of 2018 revealed.
Happy New Year and welcome to the first post of hopefully many on Short Leg Cricket where we discuss various topics. As we embark on a Cricket filled year with the World Cup and the Ashes the highlights, Short Leg reviews the 2018 Test matches with a Test Team of the Year and the major factor in 2018 of the “Sandpaper gate”. 2018 saw new nations Ireland and Afghanistan play their first official test match in a positive step by the ICC to include more nations whilst other nations experienced top quality cricket in challenging conditions for the contest between bat and ball. From the conclusion of the Ashes , to the ban of Smith, Warner and Bancroft, to away series wins for England and New Zealand in Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively and the current test match series in Australia and New Zealand, 2018 showed Test Cricket still has a place in the game for the future.
A lone star in the most recent home series defeat against England scoring 256 in 6 innings ranking him just behind England debutant keeper Ben Foakes. At the top of the order, Karunratne showed his experience where others struggled as he weathered off the attack with seam and spin scoring 3 fifties. He was the unfortunate victim of being on the receiving end of England’s outstanding fielding by Stokes and Jennings on 3 occasions. However, his most impressive innings was his undoubtedly a match winning 158NO against South Africa in Galle. This came in the first innings and in the second made 60 where no other batsman passed 50 in the game. In a tough year for Sri Lanka, on and off the field, Karunratne led the battle from the front and still has some years left to convert those fifties into hundreds.
Tom Latham (New Zealand) M: 7 Runs: 658 Ave: 59.81 HS: 264NO 100s: 2 50s: 2 4s: 62 6s: 2 SR: 43.06What a gusty year from Latham when he needed to cement his position in the New Zealand line up. Coming off 83 against England, he underperformed in the series win against Pakistan and was rumoured to be replaced by Will Young heading into Sri Lanka at home. But he quashed those rumours with a 264 unbeaten knock in Wellington with pure class and elegant strokes. He backed up his form with 176 the next week, in a winning cause. His gritty determination in his spirited performances, shows he has undeniable talent at this level. And whilst more than two thirds of his runs came in the most recent series with Sri Lanka, he has a knack of making big runs when needed.
Classy stats for a classy player! Williamson plays with such ease in a smooth and steady nature and is surely the most consistent batter at this time. He edges out Kusal Mendis who played 6 more matches and his brilliance leading from the front is rewarded by Short Leg as captain. 2 very important centuries led to historic wins against England and Pakistan, most notably the 139 scored against Pakistan in challenging batting conditions to win the series. His contributions, ably supported by others, led to a breakthrough year for New Zealand who for the first time had won 4 successive Test Series and was untouchable at times.
The world’s best batsman delivers again. Unlike Ian Poulter, he delivers every day (including Sundays) scoring a shade over 300 more runs than anyone else. In a tough looking schedule for India playing South Africa, England and Australia away in a calendar year, Kohli was in a class of his own scoring centuries for fun, just when India needed them. Questions were asked about his previous records, but he outlined his supreme qualities silencing each critic one by one. With a match winning 153 in South Africa to a crucial 123 in tricky Perth conditions, Kohli did it all and saved many of the negatives highlighting India’s current performances (excluding their current lead in Australia) with a flamboyant yet perfectionist style.
A contender for most improved player of the year as his sensational performances have aided the Kiwis to a record 4 successive Test Series victories. Much like Latham, Nicholls needed to have a good year to cement his spot and boy did he do just that. In an outstanding year, he partnered Latham in a mammoth partnership contributing a record high 162 runs taking the match away from the toiling Sri Lankans. A huge century in Pakistan in spin friendly conditions, allowed the New Zealanders a chance to win the away series which they duly did so. With the highest average of any batsman in 2018, Nicholls firmly sealed down his spot in the middle order.
At the beginning of the IPL 2018, Jos Buttler wasn’t expecting to make Short Leg’s team let alone being involved with the test side. However, the shrewd pick from a high scoring IPL tournament, Buttler made his presence on the test side batting as a specialist batsman. His mix of counter attacking and aggressive shots with defensive and mature batting to rotate the strike, Buttler had a phenomenal year. He saved and revitalised England when they need it a home and away with his ability to adapt to the conditions special to watch. Making 6 fifties was fantastic but he achieved his aim in a wonderful century capping off a spectacular year where he became an integral part of England’s Test team.
A captain certainly leading from the front for West Indies and his best year yet at test level. Constantly performing with the ball, taking crucial wickets with his accurate medium pace at a fantastic economy rate of below 3. As a captain, he led with his heart on his sleeve, consistently outperforming the main strike bowlers and impressively taking 1 of 4 five wicket hauls against the mighty India including the scalps of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. It was his batting which took most by surprise entering the top 50 for the year with two valuable knocks returning to the shades of the former batsman of a few years ago. A player sought after and admired by many nations.
In a turbulent year for Australia, Cummins showed their is life, hope and promise in the national test side with some emphatic performances highlighting his credentials. In the ongoing Indian series, he registered his highest knock of 63 in a gritty and courageous innings to give Australia some cheer. He has also led with the ball with fiery spells including a test best 6/27 against India to gain the Aussies some pride. In the field, he has set high standards and exceeded with some beautiful pieces of fielding. A true a cricketer has woke up into the Test arena and been a solid rock and warrior throughout their tours especially South Africa. An athletic and energetic player has sparked the Aussies into form and is a genuine allrounder.
The leading wicket taker in the world and he is only 23! The energetic, dynamic fast bowler caught the eye early in the year with a fantastic spell of fast hostile bowling against Australia prior to the Sandpaper incident. His bowling does catch the eye of the match referee as well due to forthcoming altercations after taking a wicket and has ended up in a match ban during that series. Home conditions usually suit Rabada’s nature but away from home was the real sign of a great bowling in the maker taking the most wickets in Sri Lanka which is suited for spin. At this tender age, his progression is sky-high and could become one of the best fast bowlers in the world and history if this form continues.
Dilruwan Perera is a near miss but what brings Lyon is the fact he has played less test matches in the sub continent fortress of spin that Perera has. Year after year, the Australian tweaker continues to bring spin to Australia in most times less conducive wickets for spin. With back to back 5 wicket hauls against NO.1 ranked side India and his stunning burst of 4 in 6 balls against Pakistan, Lyon has ripped the heart out of many batsmen. His undoubted experience is improving his game and continues to make positive strides forwards. How long though can Lyon go on for before he heads to the inevitable retirement and is there someone ready to replace him?- I don’t think so!
How is this his first year of test cricket? Why have India waited so long to bring in a fast, zippy bowler? He has been so impressive over the year especially in Australia where he has bowled bouncers, fast pace deliveries and variations to fool and take the wickets of the Australian inexperienced batsmen. India had a tough and gruelling schedule away from home, but Bumrah has stepped up to the plate when experienced heads like Umesh Yadav have struggled to replicate wicket taking balls. His zippy action is durable for the long forms of the game and has taken 5 wicket hauls in South Africa, Australia and England showing his asset to each team he play
Men that miss out and are 12th man : Mohamed Abbas (Pakistan) Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka) Joe Root (England) Chetseswar Pujara (India) Tim Southee (New Zealand) Dilruwan Perera (Sri Lanka) Mohamed Shami (India) Taijul Islam (Bangladesh) Jimmy Anderson (England) Babar Azam (Pakistan)
There will be more articles and posts coming out soon all about cricket and moving into the 2019 season.