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Cricket 19: EHTL – Round Four Preview and Team Selection

After our clinical winning performance away in the happy country of Denmark, we return to home soils and will take on the South Pacific country of Fiji 🇫🇯 . Our match at the Kia Oval will be the premier pink ball day nighter showdown for the EHTL League and one we will hope becomes more of a regular fixture in our calendars. With this is in mind, myself, Ed Smith and James Taylor have selected a squad, via a video call, that will be tasked with the job of first and foremost winning and secondly closing the gap to leaders Hong Kong.

Our 14 man squad to take on the Fijians:

Rory Burns

Luke Wells

Joe Root (C)

Jonny Bairstow (+)

Ben Stokes

Jos Buttler

Moeen Ali

Liam Dawson

Sam Curran

Mark Wood

Jake Ball

Stuart Broad

Dawid Malan

Haseeb Hameed

Chris Woakes has been rested as a precautionary measure due to his long term knee niggle and we feel we have the strength in depth to be able to afford the Warwickshire seamer with a welcome break. He has taken 9 wickets @ 26.67 and his heavy workload so far on generally flatter wickets means we are giving him the opportunity to be fresh for our German adventure.

His replacement in the squad is Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball who has the ability to replicate Woakes’ imperious precision and accuracy. Ball has only played 4 tests in his career – the last coming in the dire 2017 Ashes but has been lighting it up in the County Championship and he will compete with Mark Wood for the third or fourth seamer spot. 

Our under pressure and under firing openers, Burns and Wells have been retained and will both test their ability against the pink ball. Both lefties will need scores of substances to preserve their spot in the side. A decision on whether we need two spinners in the day night clash or whether we will play an extra seamer will be taken on the eve of the toss. Liam Dawson performed admirably in the Danish game in a holding role (1-45 from 18) so he has a chance of holding down his position. 

We are very excited for our day night clash with our South Pacific friends and hope that we can put on a spectacle that will light up the night skies. 

Round 3 Review and Table: 

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Hong Kong 🇭🇰 recorded a mammoth 569 run victory versus the luckless Papua New Guinea. All rounder Tanwir Afzal (117), MOM Babar Hayat (169 +71) and Kinchit Shah (126) all scored centuries as they plundered 399 and 374-8 dec with good contributions with the ball all round. PNG 🇵🇬 were bowled out for 111 and 79 in reply with only Lakshman Som making respectable scores of 31 and 40 whilst Carlos Ahuja took 4-28. 
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At the Fiji 🇫🇯 home ground of Suva, a much tighter affair played out with the touring side Germany 🇩🇪 scraping home in a 3 wicket win in an entertaining chase. Amir Mangal scored a century for the away side to give them an initial first innings lead of 72 runs. Fiji responded in the second innings with 255 (highest innings score across the three days) thanks to Sevoke Ravoka ton (114) and Joesph Rika 50 – Asad Mohammed taking incredible figures of 8-67 with his swinging seam deliveries. Chasing 184 to win, Mangal made 60 and keeper Weston made a virtually run a ball 57 but the middle order produced a twist and turn with a mini collapse including a double wicket maiden from Viliame Manakiwai. However, Ollie Rayner steered the Germans over the line with 3 wickets to spare gifting the travelling fans a few bratwursts in the stands.


After an entertaining and record breaking Round 3, this is the current Table standings:

D0D7BD40-0881-495F-845C-894A54C911A1Hong Kong are top after three dominating performances with run scoring paramount to their success. We are second after some indifferent performances with Germany hot on our heels after their narrow win in Fiji. The Fijians and Denmark are both very tight in the standings and have produced some entertaining and exciting cricket as well as some personal milestones. Unfortunately, Papua New Guinea are bottom and the only side to not put together a series of wickets or runs. 

Stats Snippet: 

Batting
Babar Hayat 🇭🇰 532 runs @ 133 HS: 212* vs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 
Joe Root 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 263 runs @ 52.60 HS: 125 vs 🇩🇰 
Tanveer Ahmed 🇭🇰 251 runs @ 50.20 HS: 117 vs 🇩🇪
Metuisela Beitakai 🇫🇯 242 runs @ 40.33 HS: 136 vs 🇵🇬 
Karan Kumar 🇫🇯 232 runs @ 58 HS: 88 vs 🇵🇬 
Craig Meschede 🇩🇪 228 runs @ 76 HS: 134* vs 🇩🇰 
Amir Mangal 🇩🇪 216 runs @ 43.20 HS: 101 vs 🇫🇯  Tanwir Afzal 🇭🇰 213 runs @ 71 HS: 117 vs 🇵🇬 
Sevoke Ravoka 🇫🇯 175 runs @ 29.17 HS: 114 vs 🇩🇪 
Jos Buttler 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 173 runs @ 34.60 HS: 67 off 22 vs 🇭🇰 

Bowling
Sam Curran 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 20 wickets @ 16.80 BBI: 7-55 vs 🇩🇰 
Viliame Manakiwai 🇫🇯 19 wickets @ 10 BBI: 5-25 vs 🇩🇰 
Stuart Broad 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 17 wickets @ 18.65 BBI: 8-75 vs 🇵🇬 
Mohammad Ghazanfar 🇭🇰 13 wickets @ 13.38 BBI: 5-17 vs 🇩🇪 
Ehsan Khan 🇭🇰 12 wickets @ 18.75 BBI: 5-11 vs 🇩🇪 
Ehsan Nawaz 🇭🇰 12 wickets @ 19.50 BBI: 5-53 vs 🇩🇪 
Nirav Acharya 🇭🇰 11 wickets @ 16.36 BBI: 6-82 vs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 
Carlos Ahuja 🇵🇬 11 wickets @ 23.27 BBI: 5-71 vs 🇩🇰 
Yash Christian 🇩🇰 11 wickets @ 16.73 BBI: 3-13 vs 🇫🇯 Atticus Norris 🇵🇬 11 wickets @ 28.27 BBI: 3-35 vs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

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Lockdown Tournament Warmup Match

 

The Short Leg XI contested against Neptune Gaming in a warm up match and unfortunately we recorded our first and hopefully final loss of the tournament. 

After winning the toss and batting first, we lost D’Arcy Short (5) early in the piece but it was his opening and diminutive batting partner Temba Bavuma who marshalled the troops up to a competitive total. His contrasting style with the aggressive, flamboyant batting displays of the rest of the order worked well as he ran between the wickets very well and hit boundaries right at the times we needed them. 

Despite the losses of Joe Root (24 from 18) and Glenn Maxwell (10 from 10) in quick succession, Bavuma was undeterred and powered his way to a 41 ball fifty. Captain Shimron Hetymer produced flashes of his potential with a quick fire 19 before being outdone by a Jimmy Neesham slower ball.

Keeper Alex Carey started fluently at the crease and was unfortunate to lose the rock of the innings Bavuma for a well crafted yet on the slow side 60 from 49 just on the verge of the final three overs. We made up for our lack of runs in the overs preceding the power play through Carey’s innovation (34* from 20) and Perera’s quick flourish (9* from 6) to lift us up to a par score of 166-5 from our allocated overs. 

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Despite our par score, we needed power play wickets which we got one of of through a terrible mixup between Janneman Malan and Chris Lynn which saw the end of Lynnsanity courtesy of a Bhuvneshwar Kumar direct hit. Tim Seifert and Malan however motored on and attacked our bowling in and out of the power play as we lost control with some misdirected bowling and fielding. Jhye Richardson (0-31 from 3) and spinner Qais Ahmad (0-32 from 3) were on the recieving end of some brutal batting in particular for Malan as he passed his half century. 

With the chase down to 67 from 10 overs, a change in attack proved vital. Sri Lankan Thisara Perera mixed up his pace through his superbly executed cutters which bowled Seifert for 32 and then deceived Travis Head who holed out to Kumar for a second ball duck. All of a sudden the game had turned on its head when at 140-3, Kumar ran out Ian Bell to end his 11 ball cameo of 22. Part time chinamen D’Arcy Short was bravely put on to bowl and captain Hetymer was rewarded with the scalp of Neesham (3) a few runs later. 4 overs remained in the match and 36 runs were needed with Malan still at the crease. Were we still in this?

Despite some spirited bowling, Malan plundered and thundered his way through the target to finish up on 84* from 59 enabling Chris Morris 10* from 4 to hit the match winning six with an over to spare. 

Our warm up loss will be a good check in our reality and will allow us to prepare better for our first pool Group A match against Trump’s Fringe who have Jason Roy, Jasprit Bumrah and Neil Wagner among their ranks. Changes will be pondered but faith will still remain in the current XI to bring home Lockdown glory!

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Cricket 19: EHTL – Pastry Party on Root to Perfection! -Denmark vs England

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With both teams one from two and sitting comfortably in the middle of the table, something had to give as we contested Denmark at the picturesque and stunning ground of Hammerby Arena. As part of the EHTL philosophy, a lot of money was pumped into Danish cricket for their premier stadium which was primed to host a good battle between a top quality opponent and their home faithful. We took the bold route of offering Denmark to have a bat first upon winning the toss in the sunny coated skies but the boldest decision made at the toss was the exclusion of Mark Wood for the inclusion of a spinner in Liam Dawson. The conditions seemed to favour seam and swing but the home spinner Yash Christian had performed well on his home turf in Round 1 prompting Root to go with the Hampshire twirler.

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BOWLED HIM! 
Openers Marcus Kent and county cricket pro Ricardo Vasconcelos strode out to an avalanche of relentless line and length bowling from Curran and Broad. The score had trickled to 16 when Curran’s swinging red orb brushed the top of Kent’s stumps. Next batsman Kobi Larson was immediately under the pump and he only contributed a single boundary in a torrid 24 ball knock terminated by a precise yorker from the Surrey youngster.

Hammerby Arena providing a good wicket and lunch too!
Curran had his tail up at the pavilion end getting the ball to curve and swerve down the slope which did for new man Ellison his poor back foot drive landing in the safe mitts of a diving Jos Buttler for a duck. The new bowling pair of Curran and Broad caused ample problems for the Danish hitters with the seamers appearing to bounce off each other brilliantly both inducing false shots and edges with beautiful seam and swing. Broad was very unfortunate not to pick up a wicket in the first session, on numerous occasions beating the outside edge. Vasconcelos and fellow county pro Jonny Tattersall negotiated the rest of the attack with relative aplomb and despite some tight lbw calls from Woakes, the former reached a determined half-century from 82 balls lifting his side to 79-3 before feasting upon some traditional Aebleflaesk.

After the break, Root handed the ball to Curran who broke the 51 run stand by executing a beauty of a leg cutter which grazed the edge of Tattersall’s (16) bat through to Bairstow. Only 6 overs later, Denmark had lost their anchor in Vasconcelos (59) through some superb tight bowling from Broad leading to a small inside edge knocking over the ship. Keeper Gino Schneider and all-rounder Carl Fredericks combined together to produce a mini fightback as the second change bowlers entered the scene. Their 34 run partnership included some impressive shots and decision making something the top order could learn from. Broad ended Fredericks’ fun for 21 sending the stumps cartwheeling before striking again on the verge of the tea break with the crucial scalp of Gino caught well at gully by Stokes for a well made 34. Victor Kuipers and Yash Christian survived a barrage of swinging balls from Woakes and Stokes to reach tea 160-7.

Not too shabby for a 21 year old!

Four deliveries into the post tea session saw spinner Christian (7) walking back after gifting Curran his fifth for the innings and his second five wicket haul in 3 matches courtesy of a magnificent diving cath by Stokes at point. Kuipers decided to take on the swing in order to gain some quick runs and as the old adage goes – fortune favours the brave. His bravery was rewarded with some stylish boundaries through cover and down the ground. Shortly after reaching a first class high of 34, the innings was unfortunately closed by the ever present Surrey speedster who removed Rohit (6) and debutant Lotter (0) within a couple of overs to end the Danes innings on 190.

It was Curran and Broad who snared the 10 wickets with Curran’s special 7-55 creating a new Hammerby Arena record as well as a brilliant personal achievement. He has had an exceptional tournament t so far with bat and ball and has been the shining light for Root and his men particularly with the absence of Jimmy Anderson.

Another start without going on for Rory!
A tricky hour session awaited batters, Wells and Burns, as the sunset dawned in Denmark. Debutant left arm swinger Tyler Lotter replicated the seam movement Curran gained and with the shining yet delicate rock in hand he executed a superb caught and bowled to remove Wells (1). Rooty accompanied Burns at the crease and the pair squashed any threat of further loss by batting with healthy intent. Despite some tight lbw calls going in our favour, the Danish struggled to combine sustained pressure which saw the boys head into Day 2 50-1 on a commanding day.

Spin played little part in the first day’s proceedings but that didn’t stop Yash Christian getting the ball in his hand and making a difference early on. Burns had begun to show signs of pulling together a fluent, stylish inning until he was faced with Christian’s off spin. Christian beat both edges on at least five times before finally reaping the reward for his consistency by spinning out Burns for 34. Burns’ dismissal caps another start without going on a current theme of our batting lineup. Christian secured his second a dozen overs later breaking the Yorkshire men stand for 39 – Bairstow nicking off to keeper Gino.

Classic drive from Rooty!
Ben Stokes arrived to the wicket to a barrage of short balls and wides as the Danish lost their line and control with spinner Christian being hauled off. He and Root capitalised on the variety of lengths and directions being served up by the home bowlers and powered towards the lunch session in a strong position just behind the lead.

Lunch had ended yet the Root and Stokes show had just kicked into third gear with the 100 run partnership brought up with a sublime stroke through the onside by Root. The skipper had reached the 50 milestone before lunch from 76 balls and continued his dominance with an array of shot making. Stokes played a second fiddle role to Root but still enabled the partnership to blossom.

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Second top EHTL run scorer behind Babar Hayat (532 runs @ 133) 

Root looked to be closing in on a first ETHL century and was given a life by some fortuitous umpiring. Lotter had wrapped Root deep in his crease seemingly adjacent to leg stump on 97 but was turned down by umpire Ross Symons. A Danish review was set to remove Root yet the third umpire’s intervention went in favour of the Yorkshiremen citing there was a small inside edge. Replays suggested the spike on snicko was from Root hitting his back pad and not the bat… It would leave the Danes infuriated with the umpiring decisions to follow and Root fuelled that fire by whipping Lotter later in the over for four to celebrate another century of the highest quality.

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Applauding a packed home and away support!
Denmark brought on medium pacer 
Ricardo Vasconcelos and instantly saw their fire stoked in the removal of the Durham man for a satisfactory 37 from 78 caught by the luckless Matt Ellison at second slip. Jos Buttler’s attacking arrival to the crease didn’t faze the Danes who managed to apply pressure towards Root and finally secured his departure via an instinctive reaction catch by Lotter. He then castled Moeen Ali (5) stumps sending us into the last session 292-6 with a 102 run lead.

The platform set through the hard graft of Stokes, Burns and centurion Root paved the way for Buttler and Curran to take it to the hosts. 3 balls into the session Buttler was taking it back to the pavilion – the Lancastrian innovator falling for a combative 35 from 30 holing a Victor Kuipers’ off cutter into the mitts of deep square leg. Chris Woakes counterattacked his way to a quickfire 27 only to be ended by a sharp return catch from Kuipers – the third caught and bowled in the innings.

The recalled Liam Dawson (23) crunched a couple of fours through the off side and looked in impressive form until he chipped a leg side half volley into the hands of leg slip. All the while Curran had built a mature innings lifting us over 400 helped by a total of 66 extras including 58 wides. With his sights set on fifty, he hesitated whilst going for a comfortable second to the boundary and found himself at the same end as Broad allowing star bowler Lotter the chance to whip off the bails and end our entertaining batting innings on 413.

A comical end to a batting performance of two styles that combined to reach a pleasing total. Burns and Root dug deep initially and played a session of attritional cricket before upping the tempo into the second day’s play. We were aided by some wayward bowling at times but it was the partnerships of Root and Burns and Root and Stokes which gave a license to our middle and lower order batters to play their natural expansive game to further the lead. A particular mention for Root who silenced the critics by converting to a wonderful Test ton

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Bairstow completing a deflected catch off the left arm spin of Dawson – his 16th catch of the tournament.

In addition to our encouraging batting display, we made an early breakthrough and a vital breakthrough. The top scorer from the first dig Vasconcelos (8) was the victim of a cracking catch by Moeen Ali, who flung himself to his left and stuck out one hand as the ball landed straight into his outstretched palm, the rampant Curran the beneficiary. Marcus Kent and Kobi Larson, however, managed to fight their way to the close of play without further loss leaving them 187 in the red. Could we take the remaining 9 wickets or would Denmark produce a fightback and force us to bat once more?

Denmark’s overnight pair commenced the day in true test match batting style grinding our opening bowlers down through patience, grit and at times a slice of luck. The pair reached an admirable 50 run stand but that was as far as the stand would go as the relentless Curran steamed in and wrapped Marcus Kent on the pads for 27 to make the crucial inroad. What would be more frustrating for the Danes other than the loss of a set batsman would be the ball barely brushing the top off the stumps on ball tracking? How does it go – by the barest of margins (being a Kiwi in England that’s been drilled into me)...

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Bruns holding onto to dismiss the dangerous Fredericks keeping us in with a chance of an innings victory.

68-2 turned to 125-6 as the floodgates opened in more than one way with a record number of fans capitalising on the EHTL Day 4 free admission programme. The new man in Matt Ellison was jived and foxtroted out by the spin of Moeen for to keep his miserable run going (18 @ 3) including 4 ducks!! Broad continued the obliteration of the middle order at the other end nicking off Larson two short of a deserved half ton. A couple of overs later Broad had sent Tattersall back to the sheds for 6 with a superbly executed leg cutter finding the edge through to Bairstow. Gino Schneider and Carl Fredericks reunited and much like the first innings, they were in desperate need of a partnership which had only reached six when cometh the minute before lunch, Liam Dawson found Gino’s inside edge which deflected up to a puzzled Bairstow who eventually found his bearing to complete the catch. This curtailed a clinical hour of play where we persisted against the early rearguard to take five important scalps.

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Runs and wickers for the skipper!
Denmark trudged off to tenderloin beef and schnitzel 125-6 a further 108 runs behind before evening anticipating making us bat again – food for thought for sure. Fredericks and Yash Christian withstood the pace trio of Woakes, Broad and Curran who in their short spells were negotiated comfortably without any danger. The fans cheered with the announcement of free beers and burgers for all and seemed to not recognise the personal high scores of Fredericks and Christian as both methodically passed 20.

There was little cheering though afterwards when part time Root fizzed one into Christian’s pole for a hard fought 21. Root, in fact, started and completed 14 overs from one end at an incredibly economy of 0.8 with 10 maidens. His economy was rewarded with two further wickets, first removing the last noticeable batsmen in Fredericks who was well caught by Burns under the helmet at short leg. His 24 whilst not huge displayed a great amount of courage and fight which was rightfully acknowledged by the boozed up fans. The second and Root’s third saw Victor Kuipers fall for 11 via a tumbling catch by Curran. NO11 Tyler Lotter seized the opportunity of trying to make us bat again by swashbuckling his way to tea 15 not out from 17 a direct contrast to Patrick Rohit’s stoic defence of 0 from 15. A remarkable session where the fans had a good time watching their side battle to scoring 68 runs inside 29 potentially frustrating overs for the loss of only 3 wickets.

Shortly after tea, Root brought himself off with figures of (17-10-18-3) and opted for Ali and Broad to attempt to finish off the job. Lotter swung to the hills and connected with three more boundaries moving the hosts within 30 of escaping an innings defeat. Meanwhile, Rohit unlike his Indian namesake plodded and prodded like a village batsman on a splodgy wicket seemingly indicating he believed the draw was still on the cards with two days and a session to play. With the new ball only a couple of overs left and Ali causing several problems, Broad switched to around the wicket and first beat the edge of an uncomfortable Rohit – would he survive this angle?

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Unfortunately for the hosts, he couldn’t resist a little flirt at a worn battered orb with the catch being pouched by Bairstow ending his 46 ball vigil amounting 3 runs and ending the game with an innings defeat. Lotter ended up second top scorer with an entertaining 29 not out.

The scoreline is not an honest reflection of how the match played out and it doesn’t do the Danes any justice. They recorded two fifty run stands as well as a two 30+ run stands across both innings however they failed to push on and make a big contribution which was the telling difference in between the sides mirrored with the gulf of batting class we displayed through the likes of Root and Stokes. On the bowling front the decision to play Tyler Lotter seems to have been a masterstroke and a real positive for them to take away from the encounter as he took 4 wickets with his left arm boomerangs albeit at an expensive rate of 6.75 an over (4-189 from 28). Whilst they couldn’t sustain pressure and bowled on the whole too many wides they are a young nation with room to improve.

Match Analysis:

Denmark 190 (Vasconcelos 59, Kuipers 34; Curran 7-55, Broad 3-57) 

England 413 (Root 125, Curran 40, Stokes 37 ; Lotter 4-189, Christian 2-60)

Denmark 210 (Larson 48, Lotter 29* ; Root 3-18, Broad 3-40, Curran 2-64) 

MOM: Sam Curran 

After the humbling loss to Hong Kong, we are very pleased to get back on the winning train. Joe Root’s 125 and better display of captaincy was a big plus for us as well as two clinical showings with the garnish red ball. Sam Curran has been instrumental in our bowling showings with 20 wickets so far backed up by messer Broad with 17 and Woakes’ 9. One blemish from our performance was the opening positions with Luke Wells (117 @ 23.4) and Rory Burns (90 @ 18) not scoring enough runs of substance. Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan are waiting in the wings should the runs continue to dry up.

I’m proud of the team for ignoring the negative press and pulling through in an almost complete performance with stick and rock
. Fair play to the Danes who played well in parts and gave us a good challenge over the three days of play. We would like to thank both sets of fans for their support and engagement in the match which put EHTL on the map. The Barmy Army and the England faithful have been brilliant and we would like to thank them extensively for their songs and support!

Next up, we will be facing the surprise packages of the tournament Fiji 🇫🇯 (W1 L2) who have contested in some tight and thrilling games. We will announce the squad for the Oval clash very soon.

 

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Lockdown Tournament Cricket 19

Welcome to a preview and also an update of my adventures during the lockdown period as the Short Leg will be in action on the cricket field but not in person.

I have entered the Social Distancing T20 Shield competition on the Planet Cricket forums and will be up against 17 other Planet Cricket members to see who comes out on top in the short form tournament. This is an AI vs AI competition on Cricket 19 so while I won’t be putting my in game skills to use, I will be the manager, owner, coach and water boy for my newly created team: the “Short Leg XI”.

As part of the tournament, all the managers contested in a series of auction rounds to buy and select the players we wanted for our team. We all had W$T 1400 to spend on 16 players with one player at least coming from each category: Batters, Batting All Rounders, All Rounders, Bowling All Rounders, Keepers, Pace Bowlers and Spinners.

Auction Round 1:

Short Leg XI R1 Summary

In the first round, I had a very mixed round securing 8 players but missing out on some of the key signings that I had shortlisted as my important and star players. Kane Williamson, David Miller, Martin Guptill and Jonny Bairstow were all poached by other teams. I lost Williamson by only $2 as he went to Fire in Babylon for $112 which was incredibly disappointing. In terms of losing more players, my bids for Marcus Stoinis ($86) = $90, Mitchell Santner ($74) = $85, and Kagiso Rabada ($88) = $136 were unfortunately not enough to acquire their services. There was also another frustrating and heartbreaking loss as Trent Boult was poached for $90 following my unsuccessful bid of $88.

It was not all doom and gloom though as I secured some very good players and bargains. Most notably, Glenn Maxwell aka the Big Show has joined the ranks for a cheapish $100 as well as snapping up Aussie keeper Alex Carey $85 and West Indian extravagant batter Shimron Hetmyer for just $90. Sam Curran $87 was the most expensive all rounder in the first round however I think he will be a success whilst D’Arcy Short is set for a good tournament with bat and ball.

Aussie international and future Test keeper with a T20 average of 31. Can bat in the middle or up the top.

A left handed aggressive batsman with an average just below 40 who can also bowl some handy left arm chinemanns. Will be very useful in an opening partnership.

Best buy of my team by far. A true all rounder with incredible skills with the bat, ball and in the field. Will be the crucial cog if we will have success! One of the best all rounders in the world.

A young Afghan spinner most recently in the CPL and Big Bash. His googlies and leg spinners make him an exciting proposition.

Usually seen on the Test scene, Curran joins my team with his T20 skills on the rise from the IPL and his ability to score quick runs and take big wickets makes him a must buy.

A Sri Lanka big hitter who will be key with his pace off and slower deliveries as well. A well rounded player who could make a big impact.

A highly economical bowler who has a variety of skills and deliveries. Will be a leader in the bowling ranks.

The Short Leg XI Captain. An elegant yet explosive batsman with a lot of flare and promise. His middle order runs and playing of spin will be very valuable.

Auction Round 2:

Round 2 was underway and I had a big ambition to sign top order batsmen and sign them I did. Diminutive stroke maker Temba Bavuma joins the ranks for a lowly $82 for his ability to bat well and long at a more than adequate strike rate. I needed another good signing so I splashed the cash for a number 3/4 and Joe Root at $117 was the man that popped up and accepted the invitation. On the bowling side, Australian quick Jhye Richardson was a bargain at $86 whilst spinning all rounder Krunal Pandya $81 will be a good backup to Qais or a genuine all rounder in his own right.

With every win there is a loss and both Tim Southee and Mark Wood were snatched away very narrowly. Southee went to Ducks XI for $99 and only $3 more W$T than my bid whilst Wood was snaffled up by LLL on a tiebreaker after both parties bid $94. Nevertheless, Round 2 was a good improvement on Round 1 only leaving me two players to pick with seamers in short supply so far.

Likely to start as a backup but he is more than capable of featuring. The young Kiwi opening keeper batsman is a highly innovative and brute player who will be ready to fill in across the order.

The younger lesser known Pandya will be looking to make a name for himself in this tournament. Can provide runs down the order and bowl some helpful overs in the powerplay. The spinning all rounder will be in and about the team.

A promising and sharp Perth seamer who has made a good impression on the international stage. His raw pace will be providing nightmares for opposition opening batsmen.

The small batsmen looking to make substantial scores. The South African Bavuma is a very technical and smart cricketer who will bring some calm and sense to our onslaughts. Will be looking for him to rotate the strike, run well and bat the majority of the innings whilst operating at above a strike rate of 110. Could open with Short.

A cheap alternative at the top of the order who will start on the bench. Despite that, his flamboyant nature and ball striking will be hard to ignore and makes him a very useful squad player.

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Root may be a Test captain but his T20 record is nothing to be scoffed at. Root averages north west of 30 at a tidy strike rate as well which will be crucial in the overs after the powerplay. Hopefully, he can compliment Maxi in a formidable duo at 3 and 4.

Auction Round 3:

I was in desperate need of seam bowlers that could fill the void left by Boult, Rabada, Southee and Wood. Whilst Morkel, Hazlewood, Broad and Anderson were all available to pick, I decided to spend my remaining $190 on two impressive and experienced heads. Doug Bracewell is a quick hostile bowler with the ability to score some crucial lower order runs too. Steve Finn is becoming a T20 bumper bowler and I am confident his abilities and skills can match those of the international stars.

Both will start as backups but will certainly feature in the tournament for their experience and fantastic records with the ball.

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With our team complete, we will be playing in Group A against five other very good sides. Games will be streamed on Youtube and I will be linking my games to the site so you can watch them if you please. Alternatively, to catch up on any action from the Lodckown Tournament you can read the forum: https://www.planetcricket.org/forums/posts/3399740/

I would just like to say a huge thank you to the tournament organizer and creator Waste Your Youth who has put in hours of hard work and commitment to this tournament and deserves full credit for the start of this tournament. Just hoping his team will not take glory haha! Here is a link to some of his academy creations where he has made all of the International teams whilst keeping them all regularly updated for the Cricket 19 game. https://www.planetcricket.org/forums/posts/3398380/

 I am looking forward to seeing how we will fare in the tournament and I will be giving regular updates as the tournament progresses. Thank you for the support on this blog it is nice to see some new followers as well as my older followers and from me I hope you are all coping with lockdown and are staying safe. Thanks 

Short Leg

 

 

 

Selected Players joining other teams:

Alastair Cook $130 to Lucky Lockdown Lunatics, Virat Kohli $98 to Montreal Midgets, AB De Villers $100 and David Warner $98 to Gilly’s Grubs, Shikhar Dhawan $113 to Gilly’s Grubs

Hashim Amla $92 to Lockdown Losers, Rohit Sharma $121 and Aaron Finch $110 to Twelve Fine Legs, Steve Smith $113 to Ducks XI, Chris Lynn $100 to Neptune Gaming, Faf du Plessis $117 to Spartans, Keaton Jennings $78 to Lockdown Losers

Jos Buttler $110 to Twelve Fine Legs, Quinton de Kock $90 to Isolated XI, Jonny Bairstow $134 to Thunder,

Chris Gayle and Marnus Labuschagne $95 to Fire in Babylon, Marcus Stoinis $90 to Twelve Fine Legs, Suresh Raina $90 to Isolated XI

Nathan Lyon $85 to Ducks XI, Jack Leach $120 to Lucky Lockdown Lunatics, Harbhajan Singh $88 to Lockdown Losers, Rashid Khan $89 to Ducks XI, Yuhvensdra Chahal $150 to Trump’s Fringe, Imran Tahir $103 to P9 Panthers, Mujeeb $105 to Isolated XI

Hardik Pandya $82 to Gilly’s Grubs, Jason Holder $95 to Fire in Babylon, Tom Curran $85 to Lockdown Losers, Moeen Ali $110 to Lucky Lockdown Lunatics, Andre Russell $100 to Lockdown Losers, Ravi Jadeja $110 to Isolated XI, Shahid Afridi $87 to Montreal Midgets

Ben Stokes $137 to Blocktown Brotherhood, Dwayne Bravo $113 to San Francisco Suckers

Lockie Ferguson $83 to Lockdown Losers, Sheldon Cottrell $79 to Fire in Babylon, Trent Boult $90 to Montreal Midgets, Pat Cummins $110 to Ducks XI, Mitchell Starc $100 to Fire in Babylon, James Anderson $95 to Ducks XI

Neil Wagner $90 and Jasprit Bumrah $119 to Trump’s Fringe, Kagiso Rabada $136 to Thunder, Jofra Archer $140 to Blocktown Brotherhood, Tim Southee $99 to Ducks XI, Josh Hazlewood $97 to Lockdown Losers, Morne Morkel $115 to Gilly’s Grubs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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England Down Under 2021/22

Curran and Root pink ball

Whilst cricket is on the down-low and is not on the minds of many (understandably so), the Ashes 2021/22 will still remain at the forefront of England’s test teams’ planning when cricket eventually resumes when it is safe too.

After the excitement of the World Cup victory, the Ashes were disappointing especially from the position they were in at Edgbaston in the first test where Australia were reeling at 122-8 before Steve Smith stole the show and the Ashes. Ben Stokes at Headingley galvanised the country with his heroic and frankly world-class batting to keep us in contention of winning the Ashes but signs at Old Trafford of the old England crept back in with a demoralising loss before an encouraging yet insignificant win n the final test. In simple, Australia’s batting was catapulted into winning positions from the genius of Steve Smith, the courage of Marnus Labuschagne and the gritty nature of Matthew Wade skillfully supported by a pace brigade of Cummins, Hazlewood, Pattinson, Siddle to an extent Starc as well as the GOAT in the form of the top quality spinner Nathan Lyon. The bowling throughout the series was exceptional and there was little difference between the quality of each line up which highlighted the class and form of Smith and Labuschagne. England’s batting was certainly improved, showed through resilient and determined knocks up and down the order at Headingley and Old Trafford in particular, but other than Stokes’ incredible knock, England were outclassed in the batting department. 

From that entertaining series, England has lost in a poor series in New Zealand and signs were looking similar in the first test in South Africa. However, thanks to the introduction of pace spearheaded by Anderson and an injury-free Wood and proper, brilliant batting in challenging conditions led to a 3-1 series win. The new look top order of Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley (Biunrs injured after Test 1) showed promise, courage and a willingness to score runs whilst keeping their wicket intact. Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope in the middle order time and time again built healthy partnerships and both players scored valuable centuries with superb flair, technique and style. This was all accommodated from a firing low order and an exciting bowling attack backed up by the youth of Dom Bess in a real breakthrough series for the off spinner. The series was fun to watch at home but for the England side, it portrayed a winning formula through batting long to make a shed load of runs before knocking the opposition out into sheer obliteration. This is hugely encouraging and welcoming for England fans and players alike as the faith in youth has paid dividend so far…

England Team

Welcome to November 2021. Coronavirus is free, life has somewhat returned back to normality and sport is back on the table. Next up for the English side is Australia down under in a mouth-watering contest. The big question is who will make the England squad to hopefully gain revenge on the Aussies after they retained the urn in 2019 and thumped England in 2017/18. Here is who I will predict to see in that England touring squad to contest back for the urn: (22 players bit like Australia’s inter-squad friendly last year)

Rory Burns

Dom Sibley

Zak Crawley

Sam Hain

Joe Root (C)

Tom Abell

Bairstow - Stokes fist bump

Jonny Bairstow

Ben Stokes

Ollie Pope

Ben Foakes (2)

Ben Foakes (+)

James Bracey (+)Sam Curran 101 vs HK

Sam Curran

Dom Bess

Stuart Broad

Mark Wood

mark wood article

Jofra Archer

Olly Stone

Chris Woakes

Ollie Robinson

Saqib Mahmood

Moeen Ali

Jack Leach

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Joe Root remains my captain for the Ashes 2021/22 series because of his improving skills and tactical nous as well as his sheer quality with the ball and improving quality with the ball. Ben Foakes displaces both Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow as my premier keeper due to his superb keeping record and his ability to score runs at the high level as well as at county level (Sri Lanka 2018 maiden century ion debut). The opening trio of Burns, Crawley and Sibley for me is the perfect set of batters to score runs and take on the new cherry at the highest calibre providing platforms for our more explosive middle order batters. At a push, I would have Burns and Sibley opening due to their current record of scoring half-centuries and centuries especially the Surrey man who despite a tough start has really nailed down his place through substantial knocks. James Bracey is a young and promising keeper who has the right technique and temperant to succeed at Test level with bat and gloves.

Warwickshire’s Sam Hain and Somerset’s Tom Abell will play as reverse batsmen as both have amazing potential on the biggest stage of them all. Hain (24) currently averages 37 in county cricket and his ability to score runs consistently is ideal for England whilst Abell (26) averages just north of 31 at some tricky wickets at Taunton. Seamers Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone and Saqib Mahmood also feature in this squad. Robinson has had two incredible years of wicket taking 74 and 63 wickets apiece in first class cricket and most recently starred in the Lions tour of Australia. He is not the quickest of seamers but his ability to maintain an immaculate line and length should suit Australian wickets. Stone has been very unfortunate with injuries but he can reach 90mph and more so he is a prime candidate to add to his only test cap. Mahmood is very similar and will be able to provide competition in the bowling ranks. The rest of the squad is fairly familiar and I have trust in the likes of Broad, Wood, Curran and Archer to lead the pace attack as well as having depth in spin with Bess, Leach and maybe even Moeen.

So there is my squad for the next Ashes down under. I hope you enjoyed reading this and it took your mind off the current situation whilst excitiing you with the depth in England’s batting and bowling. Thank you for reading and see you guys soon.

 

Featured

Cricket 19: EHTL – Round Three Preview and Squad Selection

Following our discouraging drubbing at the hands of Hong Kong we now take a fun journey to Denmark for round three of the inaugural Eastern Hempsihere Test League. We have played two matches so far both at Lords’ and we are 1 from 2 hoping to make it two from three at the newly made test venue of the Hammerby Arena. With this in mind, myself, Ed Smith and James Taylor have devised a 13 man squad to throw down the gauntlet on Danish land.

Our squad for the EHTL contest in Denmark is:

Rory Burns

Luke Wells

Joe Root (C)

Jonny Bairstow (+)

Ben Stokes

Jos Buttler 

Moeen Ali

Sam Curran

Chris Woakes

Stuart Broad

Mark Wood

Liam Dawson

Dawid Malan

We have reintegrated experienced batsman Dawid Malan back into the England setup. He will provide good batting cover and will be pushing to break into the lineup through our net sessions and warm-up match against a Danish academy side. He also offers the option of an extra bowler with his more than handy leggies.

Depending on the type of conditions that greet us in Northwest Europe, Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson could come into contention to make his fourth test cap and his first in over three years. Dawson’s left arm angle could trump quick bowler Mark Wood who struggled to find any rhtyhm or rhyme in twelve wicketless overs against Hong Kong.

We are though expecting the game to be a competitive challenge against a strong Danish side full of county pros and happy individuals.

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In Round Two fixtures, Fiji recorded their premier win as a test nation with a crushing 449 run demolition away in Papua New Guinea. Opening batsman Metuisela Beitaki hit 136* and 62 along with runs from keeper Karan Kumar (88* and 82*) to rack up two scores above 300 before Villame Yabaki and Villiame Manakiwai both took five wickets in seperate innings to dispatch PNG.

Meanwhile at the Bochum Ground in Germany, the home side thrased opponents Denmark by an innings and 157 runs. All rounder Craig Meschede (134*) and Izatullah Dawlatzai (105) both scored centuries to amount 464. Meschede then took 5-56 in Denmark’s second reply as they could only muster 107 and 200 in their two digs, Gino Schneider the shining light with a dogged 62.

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Cricket 19: EHTL – Hong Kong Humilation!

England vs Hong Kong

Lords’ was the venue again as we returned to the Test arena against a jubilant Hong Kong side who made the long voyage to our Brexit turbulent seas after thumping the Germans. Durham’s Mark Wood travelled from the north to replace Lancastrian James Anderson in a five-man seam attack backed up with the turn of Moeen Ali. Spin would have a massive influence on the contest as the pitch offered intriguingarray of cracks s from the early indication.

Captain Root won the toss and our premier duo Rory Burns and Luke Wells strode out to the crease to safely negotiate the early bowler friendly conditions. Wells (18) had been lucky early on to Tanwir Afzal but his luck ran out as he miscued a pull shot straight into leg gully’s pouches. Root came out of the blocks with a hiss and a roar the fiery red orb flying to the smaller boundaries. Hong Kong’s bowlers strayed to short to the dismissive Root – jet lag maybe setting in for the visitors. Burns blocked and prodded enabling Root to move to his first EHTL fifty at a swift strike rate of 160. England’s confidence continued when Root overturned an lbw decision on the penultimate ball of the session leaving Hong Kong bemused walking off to their red pepper soup.

Root 87 vs Hong Kong.jpg

A change of session provided a change of fortune for the visitors as Burns curtailed his lengthy 101 ball stay for 27 nicking off to the left arm spin of Nirav Acharya falling just shy of a hundred partnership with the skipper. It was an odd innings for Burns as he failed to develop any fluidity leading to the rash shot. Jonny Bairstow (3) edged to the keeper soon after and Hong Kong smelt some fear when Root’s (87) fast-paced knock was ended by Acharya who extracted some extra bounce to remove the skipper.

Acharya (6-82) was the shining light for the visitors in the premier innings first unravelling Ben Stokes (18) and then removing Moeen Ali for 11. Seamer Ghazanfar (1-83) claimed an expensive wicket of Jos Buttler for an attacking yet unsubstantial 18 completing the second session subsidy. It was a disappointing hour for us succumbing to the opposition twirlers despite amassing 140 runs in the session. Sam Curran’s talent after his breakthrough performance with the ball against PNG started to show with the bat with boundary shots racing into the Lords pavilion. His 45 not out at tea provided food for thought about a promotion up the order and with Chris Woakes (23*), we were 280-7 scoring at over 4 and a half an over.

Sam Curran 101 vs HK.jpg

Chris Woakes (32) batted maturely to compile an 85 partnership with Curran propelling us to 298-8, seamer Afzal enticing the Warwickshire all-rounder into a lazy drive catching the outside edge through to the keeper. Curran raced to his fourth Test half-century off just 27 balls and dominated a 60 run partnership with Stuart Broad (21*). Curran had advanced through the eighties for a new high score thanks to bizarre field placements and overthrows and he entered the nervous nineties with consecutive nerveless slog sweeps of spinner Eshan Khan (0-112), who endured a chastening 15 overs with the ball.

Surely, could he reach his ton? The field setting was strange and offputting: 3 slips, a leg slip, a silly point with no mid-on. Curran, on 97, faced up against chief tormentor Acharya and defended the first four balls with aplomb. Then the moment came! A worn red orb kissed the sun stroked surface met by the ferocious blade of Curran agonisingly sueezed over cover which then sprinted off the surface one bounce into the rapturous crowd to claim his maiden Test century. Jubilation swiftly followed to dismay in the space of a ball when Curran skied his attempted sweep to the keeper to depart for a wonderful 101.

Wood was the final one dismissed (4) but it was the Surrey man’s 101 which would earn lavish praise in propelling us up to a more respectable total of 370 on a batting favoured pitch.

Woakes 5 for vs HK

Our swift run rate presented us the freedom to have an hour barrage of hostile bowling in order to gain some early wickets in the late diminishing daylight. Initially, openers Scott McKenchie and Tanveer Ahmed had provided a strong rearguard against the swing and seam of Curran and Broad until Curran’s change of angle to around the wicket paid instant dividend trapping Ahmed in front (13). Captain Root made an instinctive switch to Woakes from Broad and his skiddy seamers ignited into flames for McKechnie (23) whose edge narrowly carried to Bairstow. Woakes soon doubled his tally when he bagged Shahid Wasif at gully for 3 approaching the end of the day. Skipper Babar Hayat (16*) and Kinchit Shah (5*) guided the away side to close on 63-3 from 17 pulsating overs in a highly enthralling first day.

Immediately on the second day, Hayat led the response for his side driving through the covers convincingly on two separate occasions. His partner Shah (9) however couldn’t replicate instead falling over plumb in front off the jubilant centurion Curran (3-45). Hayat had an incredible aura that was felt around the ground and in the Hong Kong faithful who rested all their faith on their skipper as he intended to be the glue to their batting. However, as fifty loomed in the sunny summer skies of London, Hayat was undone six short of a half century by a ripping delivery from Moeen Ali – pundits alike rejoiced at the off spinner’s success.

We then pressed on in our attempt to force Hong Kong to follow on – Curran and Ali picking up one apiece at 144-7. No 8, Tanwir Afzal, decided to switch on the motor and attacked against the sluggish Wood and Broad proving that his average of 30 in first class cricket was not to be ignored. Fresh off his brace the night before, Woakes returned to the stage and saw early joy in removing Khan (13) at the other end. Afzal released the shackles and his attacking mentality purchased a stylish fifty to put his side clear of the follow on target.

Metronomic Woakes (5-47) cleaned up the ultra aggressive Afzal (55) through the deception of a slower ball before a stroke of brilliance at gully by Ben Stokes ended the innings exactly on 200. Stokes, as shown above, proved his remarkable abilities as a fielder flying himself to his right before holding onto a screamer which gifted Woakes his 4th five for.

After recording a 171 run lead, we were guilty of being naive and a tad complacent in our stroke play especially our openers. In a short yet high quality 12 over burst, Hong Kong had us stumbling at 37-3. Wells (11) highlighted his vulnerability against the short ball fending a rising Nawaz delivery to Hayat at slip. Root (3) succumbed to a beauty from Mohammed Ghanzafar before Burns (12) skied a pull on the stroke of tea gifting the seamer a simple return catch.

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes led a recovery and both had contrasting experiences against the spin duo of Khan and Acharya. Stokes and the spinners enjoyed a battle resulting in an absorbing period in the final session. Sweeps and reverse sweeps were counteracted by some tight lines from the twirlers who valiantly hung in the contest. They were rewarded with the scalp of Stokes (45) who tried one too many sweeps and was trapped adjacent to the stumps ending a pulsating knock and opening up another one.

Jos Buttler looked in excellent touch from his first ball and combined with fellow keeper Bairstow (who passed 50 shortly after Buttler) for a swashbuckling 96 run partnership. Buttler’s half century became the fastest ever test fifty providing the fans a unique and special moment and proved his credentials as a Test batsman. His maximums inside out over cover and a slog sweep took the sting out of the toiling bowlers who were spell blinded by the Lancastrian Freak. Unfortunately, approaching the close of play, Buttler couldn’t resist another chance for a six and holed out at cow corner for 67 off just 25 balls. Mark Wood was promoted to night watchmen and he comfortably saw out the day at 219-5.

The next morning we collapsed in true English style. Wood (4) set the tone nicking off to the premier delivery of the day before Bairstow (60) and Curran (13) succumbed to spinner Eshan Khan (4-49). Khan also picked up Woakes for nine and helped to effect the curtailing run out when Mo failed to ground his bat summing up our innings efforts and his fortunes with the bat. Not all was doom and gloom though with the insurmountable 438 left for Hong Kong to chase on a degrading Lords’ pitch with one and a half days left- right…..

It was 31-0 again when déjà vu struck, Curran’s left arm boomerang catching the snippet of McKechnie’s bat through to a gleeful Bairstow. This brought in crowd favourite Babar who along with opener Tanveer Ahmed seized upon some wayward bowling to mount a hefty partnership. Both played with flair and sophistication highlighting a growing belief that they could force a positive result. Ahmed, in particular, executed a series of stylish boundaries in his progression past half a ton mainly off the lacklustre Wood and Broad. The partnership was, however, terminated through the one and only Ben Stokes, whose sharp bouncer hurried Ahmed who could only watch in despair as the ball clipped his bat face to Bairstow. Ahmed (77) may have departed but he had set a template to how the remaining batters should play.

Stokes, (who had already had two caught behinds wrongly rejected by the third umpire) maintained his hostile bowling in the penultimate over of the session and he was rewarded with the scalp of Wasif (0). Wasif looked troubled at his short stay at the crease by Stokes’ ability to change up his lengths and lines accurately which resulted in a third snaffle for Bairstow. Maybe the bread and butter pudding was too tempting!

The question on many members lips at tea was whether Hong Kong could sustain their run scoring freedom and keep their wickets intact as their lord and saviour Babar remained at the crease. By the end of play, Hong Kong had racked up 105 runs in only 29 sunsetting overs for the loss of a singular wicket.

Despite the early wicket of Shah (16) courtesy of a Stuart Broad out-swinger, Babar spearheaded the battering and the bruising of our bowlers slowly caressing boundaries at aplomb. He gained the support of left hander Narinder Karpe who thwarted our fatigued bowling attack. Captain Root tried to mix and match his bowlers to produce a wicket but we struggled to find any penetration on a lifeless strip. A combination of overturned decisions from the third umpire, mainly off Mo, and some excellent batting from the pair put Hong Kong on 254-4 at the close of play. Babar reached his hundred in the final over to complete a pleasing and positive day for the opposition.

Joe Root came under some fire at the close of play for his decision to not bowl Stokes at all in the last session and only giving leading spinner Ali 15 out of 70 overs so far. He would look to make amends on the next day with Hong Kong still requiring 174 runs to pull of a mindblowing chase.

Babar and Karpe picked off where they left on Day 4 punishing more seam up bowling and nullifying the effect of swing or spin. Karpe had flown under the radar for much of his innings but was rewarded for his patience and stoic batting when he celebrated a well crafted 50. An inspired decision from Root followed briefly afterwards to hand the ball to the economic Woakes who duly responded with the scalp of Karpe (60) pouched well by heavily criticised skipper Root. Another leg cutter fooled the resilient leftie giving Woakes his sixth victim of the match. Ghanzafar (4*) joined Babar (140*) at the crease and guided the side to roasted lamb without any further loss. Pressure had suddenly been mounted onto us rapidly and there was an increasing belief that Hong Kong could pull this off especially if Babar was at the crease.

The resumption after lamb saw Mo take the ball and extract some unbelievable turn and bounce yet none inducing a false shot or providing a crucial wicket. He was not backed up though at the other end as Root alongside his seamers were releasing pressure when shots off Babar’s bat motored towards the rowdy away support.

The target steadily kept reducing like the hands on a clock and with it seemingly went our small hopes and thoughts. Ali continually racked up maiden after maiden unfortunately without any breakthrough until he produces an almighty swipe from Ghanzafar which caught the inside edge bobbling up to leg slip. Yet Stokes had already moved himself to slip during the delivery and the edge landed safely to the despair and frustration of many in the arena. A couple more half chances were presented by the relentless Ali but eventually to no avail.

Numerous records were smashed when Hong Kong reached 400 for 5 but captain Babar remained intent on seeing the job through. He needed partners with him to guide them home and worry surely would have flooded his mind when Broad delivered an in-swinging seed to trap Ghanzafar lbw for a gritty 27 from 90 balls,. Maybe there was a chance for England – maybe the floodgates would open…

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It wasn’t to be though as Babar first reached 200 with a helicopter six off Stokes warmly received by all sections of the ground. First innings top scorer Afzal came together with Babar and whacked a quickfire 18 not out putting the tourists a boundary away from a mesmerising win. Ali (0-64 from 33) delivered two maidens to ramp up some late pressure but it was off the bowling of Curran where Babar seized the moment and caressed a half volley into the Lords’ advertising to send Hong Kong into euphoria.

Hong Kong had done it!  Every field tactic,  bowling combination, change of angle were all dispatched in a ruthless and incredible display of batting from the tourists duly led by their amazing skipper Babar Hayat who finished 212 not out.

After effectively being 171-0 at the start of our second innings our collapse was frustrating but definitely not match-defining. Our lack of potency and attack with the ball coupled with an abysmal fielding effort, poor decision making and genius batting from Babar meant we were resigned to a shocking loss in our backyard. Moeen Ali and Joe Root were very unlucky to not pick up a wicket in the second innings after extracting fruitful turn and bounce on the final day. Our main seamers and strike force were largely ineffectual in our second dig with Wood only completing 12 expensive and wicketless overs in the match.

Full credit though must go to the Asian side who applied themselves in a perfect manner to stun the cricketing world and chase down a world record total at the Home of Cricket. Babar Hayat as captain marshalled his troops well in their bowling comeback but importantly led from the front with the blade in hand in an unbelievable knock that will go down in history no doubt as one of the greatest innings ever.

Match Analysis: 

England 371 (S Curran 101, Root 87, Woakes 32; Acharya 6-82, Afzal 3-36)

Hong Kong 200 (Afzal 55, Babar 44, McKenchie 23; Woakes 5-47, S Curran 3-41)

England 266 (Buttler 67, Bairstow 60, Stokes 45; E Khan 4-49, Ghanzanfar 2-45)

Hong Kong 440-6 (Babar 212*, Ahmed 77, K Shah 60; Stokes 2-48, Broad 2-84)

Hong Kong win by 4 wickets MOM: Babar Hayat

The result is going to haunt us for a while and will hopefully provide a learning curve so we can improve and put in substantially better performances in order to put ourselves back in contention for the EHTL title. Despite the loss, there are positives to take from this game most notably the explosive nature of Jos Buttler, the all-round talents of Sam Curran demonstrated via a wonderful maiden century and the reliability of Chris Woakes with the orb.

Our next battle will see us venture across Europe where we will be entering the heart of cricket in Denmark at the Hammerby Arena. We will be pondering some personnel changes off the back of this defeat and the uncertain conditions that we will encounter in the happiest country in the world. Thank you for the continued support and we will endeavour to return emphatically to winning ways very soon.

Jamie Hamilton (Coach and Selector of England)

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Steady Scores!

When in Richmond , we were destroyed by double centurion Harry Koch in the limited overs showdown but home fortunes and the return of the longer format proved too strong for Koch and his side.

In the top of the table clash, wily spinner Axel Dickson led the way in front of the ever developing and growing Twickers army’ with 4-48 including the vital scalp of Koch for 39 and opener Roy for 72. Dickson was well supported by the other 4 main bowlers as I wasn’t required to roll my arm over for some little twirlers in either innings.

Usually, we have been at similar levels with the ball in our sweaty palms and when we have had the stick in hand but crucially we secured a 60 run advantage spearheaded by skipper Jace Young’s fluent instrumental knock of 93 ably supported by the compact sturdy defence of opener Carter Flynn with 73. My contribution was as brief as the length of my innings 1 off 2 deliveries before nicking off. Nate Knight took my wicket and the bustling left arm bowler was the knight in shining armour collecting 7-43 to cause an unfortunate collapse.

Just when the Richmond resistance and fight back seemed to have sprung into life, it was decimated within the space of a session! Wickets tumbled and were spread pretty evenly as John Barker continued his searing hot form. The marvel Maverick Cook at the age of 31 contributed 3-13 in 4 overs as his off breakers provoked a late innings subside leading to a slender 62 run leverage. Our batting was safe and measured and meant that my recent good 3 day form was not needed as we cruised to a second day victory taking us top of the table.

Our extra day rest granted us the chance to play another round of four ball golf which much like my cricket against Richmond was long yet successful as Mildenhall and I defeated Young and Barker 3&2 to level up the mini series.

We made the 40 minute journey the following day up to the Brent Park Bowl via the A406 and prepared ourselves to go toe to toe with the 50 over leaders. So far, we had lost both of our opening games in the limited overs format and that rot unfortunately continued despite an improved outing.

Young won the toss and inserted the home side which looked initially like a very good decision when Cook dismissed both in form batsman Micah Wesley (36) and Lachlan Lyon (8).

My leg breaks had been expensive with small reward in all competitions but that all changed when I induced a reckless attempt at a slog from other opener Austin Garrett which resulted in his turmoil – stumped by Mildenhall for 34. Despite probing away, middle order batter Hudson Cunningham (129*) slowly manipulated the turn and the bounce to single handily plunder the hosts to 280-7 in their 50 overs. After some tough spells with the orb, I feel like I am getting the ball ripping in the right areas and the 1-21 from 10 was a good sign of that.

Left arm newly Middlesex bowler Muhammad Wiley removed Hempenstall and Lawson in the first over and we were teetering when I joined the crease at 31-3. I decided to slowly get myself in and bat time whilst wickets seemed to fall at the other end. In particular the Wiley led pacers were extracting varying degrees of bounce and swing even after the opening power play and forced me in turn to play more conservatively to rebuild.

With the arrival of Maverick Cook to the crease at 67-4, I tried to up my scoring rate and push more singles and twos to apply some more pressure to the on top fielding side. Cook looked in ominous form which allowed me to settle in with more time to adapt to the fruitful bounce. However, on 29 after a few quick singles, a gap opened up at short third man and despite my best efforts to execute a reverse sweep on numerous occasions, I managed to glove behind to the keeper. It was a disappointing end to my innings but I felt I was forced to showcase attacking intent to provide us an opportunity to push the match deeper.

Chasing 100 off the last 10 with only Mildenhall left as a recognised batsman, the challenge appeared impossible yet Mildenhall dismantled the Brent Park attack launching 65 off 5 overs including 6 maximums. Surely he couldn’t…. and cruelly he didn’t when No.11 John Barker fell to Wiley (4-64) to curtail our innings with a minor 35 run deficit.

From the last T20 super over thriller, captain Young won the toss and elected to pad up first on a inviting pitch for batting. Gael Dunkley’s hectic first game saw him called up to the Middlesex squad so Juan Hempenstall made his T20 debut. After two early losses of the skipper (7) and Lawson (13), Flynn and Hempenstall reached a fifty run partnership to steady the ship. Two runs later though, I was facing the music replacing Flynn (23) looking to prove my worth in the shorter format. Unfortunately, I was quickly involved with the run out of Hempenstall for 28 – not an ideal start.

I was keen to make up for that lapse in judgment and I was determined to value you my wicket and be the batsman to take the innings deep to enable the more attacking minded players the chance to express their shots. Cook showed glimpses of that in his 14 before his failed attempt at a dive pushing for 2 spelt his downfall. Keeper and golf partner Mildenhall joined me and instantly the tempo was increased as the runs steadily flowed.

Once I passed my run a ball 20, I felt better at the crease and promptly whacked two fours through mid wicket adding to the stack of runs being plundered by Mildenhall. With two overs to go, I went ultra aggressive to try and accumulate as many runs as possible however it backfired with my off pole flying through the air. I didn’t need to worry as Mildenhall (37* off 15) and Tristan Hunter (20* off 9) pumped us up to a ominous looking 190.

Hampstead had other ideas and attacked from ball 1 dismissing all of our frontline bowlers into the car park over and over again. The introduction of spin with myself and Axel Dickson turned the tide of the match when Dickson had set batsman Lachlan Williams (47 off 29) and Parker Hester (59 off 47) caught Cook and trapped lbw. 105-0 turned to 116-2.

116-2 changed to 183-3 in the 16th over as I eventually induced Eli Andrews (35 from 19) out of his crease stumped safely by Mildenhall to cause some small panic in the Hampstead dressing room. They didn’t have to worry though as off my bowling in the 18.3 over, Hudson Wallace counter attacking 36* guided the opposition to a comfortable victory.

To lose all 3 of our shorter format matches in both competitions is bitterly disappointing especially after our amazing performances in the 3 day season. Personally, I am starting to find my feet in the limited overs format as the anchor man who can bowl some handy overs when needed. I am enjoying my journey and the varying challenges I land into in the club cricket circuit.

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – First and Last Super Over!

Hamilton bowled 0 (2)

The wild scenes of the week before where we produced an unbelievable team comeback led by seamer John Barker, who took 6 wickets for 11 runs to provide a stunning 3 day victory, were soon forgotten when we took to the field for the limited overs double header.

Attempting to chase down 290, we stumbled to 30-3 as Aiden Aitken ripped through the opening pair. I entered the TCG cauldron hoping to rebuild a platform for the team however Aitken’s rip roaring pace saw my stumps cartwheeling off to fine leg resulting in a 2 ball duck. We ended up falling 120 shy despite another solo half century innings from wicketkeeper Hayden Mildenhall, who has become my new golf partner!

The final showdown against Watford came on the T20 scene. Captain Jace Young correctly called the coin toss and stuck the pads on. Opening pair Lucas Lawson and Carter Flynn propelled us to 60 from the opening powerplay as Watford’s bowlers looked visibly fatigued from their gruelling past encounters. Both soon fell after the powerplay and wickets became a regular occurrence throughout the innings. Young and I contributed a quick scoring 50 run partnership and as I began to aim to be expansive, I was caught and bowled by spinner Kayden McKnight for 22 looking to lift it over the top of the infield. 3 day bowling star John Barker demonstrated his all round ability with a quick fire 20* from 6 contributing to 46 from the last 5 overs to boost our score up to 186-8 in our 20 overs. Young finished 64 not out in a typical captain’s innings!

Hamilton caught and bowled T20

Upcoming star Marcus Jennings continued to inflict pain to our bowlers as he commenced his innings in an ultra attacking style blitzing the ball to the boundary. Our seamers struggled to contain the stroke play of Jennings but following the powerplay, I bowled in tandem with fellow spinner Axel Dickson to restrict the run rate considerably. The pressure of a run chase slowly began to overwhelm the Watford top order with Dickson taking 2 quick wickets (2-24 from 4).

Jennings stood firm though and with Wyatt Walter built a partnership taking them to 10 from the final two overs – not quite super over territory or was it? Cue captain Young who used his tactical nous to bring me on with Jennings on strike and it worked instantly as he chipped a simple return catch straight to me ending his 70 run knock. Walter and Parsons needed one from four but it was wily seamer again John Barker who delivered 3 dot balls and a run out to send us to the first ever South East Cup Super Over! I finished with figures of 1-20 from 4 overs.

Marcus Jennings and Charles Mullaney scored 15 from John Barker’s 6 balls which left Carter Flynn and Jace Young requiring 16 to win. 

Watford T20 team celebration

2 1 1 1 4 6 – the pulsating over finished with two Young boundaries however due to Watford losing less wickets in their first innings, the visitors reigned out victorious on comeback.

An epic week of club cricket was sadly over but would never be forgotten in hard core Twickers army fans memories, following scintillating hattricks super overs and golden ducks all contributing to a fantastic image for Middlesex’s future stars. Personally, I was unhappy to have not made a telling score with the bat as my form from the 3 day cricket showed signs of translating into the limited overs. However, the main focus for me from this week was the enjoyment that these exciting, finger biting matches have given all of Twickenham.

After the triple header showdown, the results left us joint top of the 3 day circuit with 2 wins from 2. On the other hand, the limited overs formats have produced good personal highlights but no team wins and we sit bottom of the 50 over and 20 Over Cups in this early stage of the competiton.

Thank you for reading the latest instalment of Cricket 19 Career Mode in Middlesex and keep following the blog for the next update on the club cricket travels and the outcome of the next fourball competition for my team…

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Predicting England’s Squads for the Winter Tour of New Zealand

England Team

The World Cup, the Ashes and the Vitality T20 Blast Finals have all concluded, the biggest summer of cricket has come to a close! Amazing life long memories were made including Ben Stokes and Jack Leach’s heroics at Headingly as well as the World Cup Super Over drama against New Zealand.

New Zealand in fact will be the opponents when England begin their winter tour in November. 5 T20I’s and 2 Test matches have been scheduled with a chance for the uncapped to stake their claim as rotation will be paramount for the selectors of the World Cup winning and Ashes players. A new interim or permanent coach could be in place for the Kiwi tour and it will be interesting to see which way England will go with the focus – white or red ball cricket. My predicted squads are listed down below:

T20I 

Jason Roy

Jonny Bairstow 

Tom Banton

Phil Salt

Dawid Malan

Eoin Morgan (C)

Sam Billings (+)

Moeen Ali

David Willey

Sam Curran

Tom Curran

Tymal Mills

Toby Roland Jones

Pat Brown

Matt Parkinson

In Tom Banton and Phil Salt, we have two of the most exciting and talented modern day openers who deserve a chance at higher honours after exceptional eye catching performances in the T20 Blast with the latter going to play the Big Bash for the Adelaide Strikers in the winter. Also rewarded for brilliant T20 blast form are Lancashire’s leg spinner Matt Parkinson who plays instead of Rashid (injury) with 21 wickets at an average of 14 in this years blast as well as slower ball specialist Pat Brown who impressed yet again on Finals Day.

Roland Jones has starred with the ball this year ( 19 wickets at 19 a piece) and is also a Test candidate after showing glimpses of potential in 2017 versus South Africa. Mills is a fast skilful bowler who guided Sussex to the top of the group table before injury and has demonstrated amazing ability in the shortest form.

I have rested a lot if not most of the England World cup Squad and Ashes team to give them an extended break and recharge them for the Test series and then the Test Championship fixtures.

New Zealand Team

Test

Rory Burns

Dominic Sibley

Joe Denly

Joe Root (C)

Ben Stokes

Jonny Bairstow (+)

Jos Buttler

Chris Woakes

Jack Leach

Jofra Archer

Stuart Broad

Ollie Pope

Ben Foakes (+) 

Sam Curran

Craig Overton

Dom Bess

England ODI

Warwickshire’s Sibley must be a shoo-in after his fantastic season amassing 1575 runs with 6 centuries including last week’s 215 not out against Notts, carrying his bat. Burns and Sibley have great Test futures and their ability to stick around at the crease striving to score big runs is an ideal platform for England. Denly deserves to keep his spot following his determined half century knocks in the Ashes and can bat anywhere in the top 4. 

The middle order conundrum is still out for jury but I have decided to stick faith with Bairstow and Buttler as both have run scoring talent and will have a point to prove to the selectors down in New Zealand. Ben Foakes is in the squad as a reserve keeper batsman who can fill the void if needed.

Foakes’ teammate Ollie Pope is in as a reserve batsman who has played some consistent (221 not out) innings for Surrey and needs a chance to show his talent on the international stage. Dom Bess has played for Yorkshire and Somerset this county season and has replicated the sort of form that saw him make his Test debut in 2017. Overton will pip out any other county seamers due to his knack of taking partnership breaking wickets and overall consistency.

A lot of players can fill these roles more than adequately and I am sure that both of these squads would give the Kiwis a big test. English cricket needs people to be pushing constantly for positions or else the standard drops. It will be intriguing to see who is selected when the squads are released on Monday…


 

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Cricket 19: EHTL – Round Two Squad Selection

Bairstow - Stokes fist bump

Following our opening round victory at the hands of Papua New Guinea, we return to a familiar venue, the Home of Cricket, to entertain Hong Kong with the aim to win consecutive games on the bounce.

After consulting with Ed Smith and James Taylor, we have decided to alter our squad slightly with the aim of using home advantage and knowledge of conditions to bring a winning formula. Test great and our stalwart James Anderson has retired following the PNG match and we would like to take the chance to congratulate Jimmy on his fantastic record breaking career and note he will be sorely missed in our future plans.

The playing squad for our EHTL math against Hong Kong is: 

Joe Root (Captain)

Rory Burns

Luke Wells

Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)

Ben Stokes

Jos Buttler

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Liam Dawson

Sam Curran

Stuart Broad

Mark Wood

Additional Squad Members: David Malan, Ben Foakes, Jake Ball

Fast bowler Mark Wood makes his eagerly anticipated return to Test Cricket in place of Anderson. Wood’s hostility and extra pace/bounce will make him a valuable asset to our bowling group as Lords is quite two paced. The Durham man is a dynamic player who provides a different point of attack which could be crucial against a strong Hong Kong outfit should he make the XI. 

Hampshire’s Liam Dawson retains his place and provides healthy competition for incumbent spinner Moeen Ali and should Lords take a twist towards spin favouring conditions, Dawson is more than capable of stepping up.

The team look forward to gracing the field again in the inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League and are excited by the competition created for spots which should push our players to their best. We are extremely grateful and thankful for the support shown in the opening match and hope the fan base can deliver once again whilst we hope to have two wins on the bounce.

Jamie Hamilton, Selection Drafter and Designer, England

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Golden Ducks!

Twickenham - Watford 3 day

After my man of the match winning performance at Enfield, we returned to our home cauldron for our triple header week starting with a 3 day match against visitors Watford. Captain Jace Young won the toss and opted to bat first bodily inviting debutant Juan Hempenstall to bat at 4 replacing batting all rounder Eric Leon. I joined the crease at 91-3 with spin certainly playing a decisive role taking the scalps of the openers and Young. I had to be watchful early on with left arm spinner Kayden McKnight getting fruitful bounce and turn which did for Hempenstall (10) just after my arrival. It was my 11th ball which sprung me into life as I began to feel more comfortable against the spin.

Hamilton 47 (69) ran out

White ball star Hayden Mildenhall was soon in with me at 116-5 and we settled into our partnership well. I decided to look to drive off the seamers through the covers which brought instant success – the ball racing to the boundary. However, the frightening forties this time took its toll on me as I pushed the ball to extra cover and took off only to be ran out by a direct hit. Replays confirmed I was marginally out – very frustrating! After making 3 good contributions to the 3 day team,  I was annoyed I couldn’t add to my starts with a big score. Keeper Mildenhall 62NO steered us to a respectable 238 as McKnight exploited the spinning surface with 6-70.

Mullaney bowled by Hamilton.jpg

Watford found themselves reduced to 52-2 when my leg break abolished the stumps, Mullaney playing all around a straight delivery. No.3 Marcus Jennings demonstrated his early season form as he anchored the Watford innings skilfully bashing boundaries and pinching singles. We did superbly to try and restrict his fluency by dismissing his partners but it didn’t prevent him notching a magnificent 129. His wicket though sparked the Watford collapse as seamer Ashton Kenny wrapped up the tail to leave them 20 short of our total.

Hamilton 5 (16)

Day three’s early start hampered us as we were reduced to 24-3 before debutant Hempenstall inexplicably ran himself out for a 10 ball duck. The lowest score in the South East cup was on the horizon when Maverick Cook was dismissed for a second ball duck – 25-5! Myself and Mildenhall set about settling into the innings and providing a healthy lead to defend on the wearing TCG pitch. A cover drive narrowly fell short of the close fielder on the off side but Kettleborough soon had me unsuccessfully driving as I aimed to replicate the shot that had brought me some success in my short career, this time finding Mullaney in the slips. 49-6 became 102 all out as Mildenhall played a counter attacking gem of an innings of 69NO leaving Watford a tricky 123 run chase.

Short leg catch

Duck was on the menu at lunch and it needed to be repeated on the field if we were going to force an unlikely memorable victory. Mullaney (8) and Watkin (12) avoided duck and went for geese instead before Walter (6) opted for lamb (enough of the jokes) as a result the victim of a great grab by Hunter at short leg. Walter gave me my second wicket of the match and reduced Watford to 41-3. Unfortunately first innings centurion Jennings was an immoveable object and alongside Johnson, they put on 67 valuable runs. The Twickers Army were in full voice and provided entertaining and encouraging support.

Watford 2nd innings 119.jpg

Wily seamer John Barker was brought on by captain Young in a last ditch effort to save the game and what an inspired decision that was! Barker first removed the Jennings – Johnson partnership before letting loose on the tail including a scintillating hat trick with rip roaring pace bowling. An astonished Twickers army raised their voice and were being treated to an epic climax as I held my nerve delivering a maiden at Parsons. Barker decimated the final three within 4 balls as I held the catch on the square leg boundary for the final wicket sparking wild celebrations and scenes in the local Twickenham bar!

Dismal batting and skilful bowling between both sides added to the excitement and entertainment for the club cricket crowd and ultimately Mildenhall’s two counter attacking knocks hugely contributed to our second 3 day victory. Personally, I was happy with my first innings score but knew that on a pitch that you have to play yourself into to make runs, I should have gone onto to score more. My second innings dismissal was disappointing but we put a line through the sand and move on. I am satisfied to be picking up the odd wicket to aid our bowling performance.

Match Analysis:

Twickenham 238 (Mildenhall 62*, Flynn 52, Hamilton 47/ McKnight 6-70, Johnson 1-26, Parsons 1-49)

Watford 218 (Jennings 129, Mullaney 23, Walter 22/ Kenny 3-53, Dickson 2-38, Barker 1-35)

Twickenham 102 (Mildenhall 69*, Flynn 10, Young 7/ Aitken 4-41, Parsons 3-10, Kettleborough 2-28)

Watford 119 (Jennings 61*, Johnson 20, Watkin 12 / Barker 8-32, Hamilton 1-12, Kenny 1-17)

Twickenham won by 3 runs MOM: Marcus Jennings

Thanks for the continued support and be sure to check out the next career update when we take on Watford in a double header limited overs showdown!

 

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Cricket 19: EHTL Fortnightly – Danish Delight and Hong Kong Hammering!

Hong Kong vs Germany Kowloon.jpg

The Eastern Hemisphere Test League is all about spreading the beautiful game of cricket across the world and giving smaller nations exposure to the top levels of the game and mixing it in with the best. Hong Kong vs Germany pulled in record crowds of over 4,000 supporters as both nations made their Test debuts at the Kowloon ground. Throughout the 2 days of cricket, the supporters were treated to plenty of wickets and exciting action which will set the tone for the rest of the competition.

Mohammad Ghazanfar 5-17 from 6

England beware – Mohammad Ghazanfar is in deadly form! A ripping display of fast bowling decimated the middle to lower order of the Germans batting as they were rolled out for 63. Targeting the pads, Ghazanfar used his probing lines and lengths to assists Germany’s collapse from 34-3 to 63 all out! Tanveer Ahmed (117) proved the pitch wasn’t as bad as the Germans batting display showed and held the Hong Kong first innings together to guide them to 307 before bowling Germany out for 63. Unsurprisingly, the Germans were sent in for a second dig on a free admission second day’s play and fared slightly better scoring 96 all out. Spinner Ehsan Khan took figures of 9 – 5 – 11 – 5 and was well supported by other seamer Ehsan Nawaz 9.4 – 0 – 53 – 5. All rounder Craig Meschede (18 + 23) and opener Amir Mangal ( 10 + 12) were the only two batsman to pass double figures in both innings as their were 6 ducks for the Germans.

Hong Kong vs Germany Scorecard

A thumping win for Hong Kong who travel to Lords to play England whilst Germany head back to the nets to score some more runs!

Denmark vs Fiji Hammerby Arena

The Hammerby Arena also became a new Test ground as nations Denmark and Fiji contested in an entertaining and exciting match over the course of 2 days. Spinner Yash Christian 3-22 and seamer Victor Kuipers 3-43 gave the hosts the upper hand as Fiji were bowled out for 151 in the opening two sessions – credit due to top scorer Sakiusa Dokosobau’s 123 ball vigil for 37.

Villiame Manakiwai 5 for 37 from 11.1.jpg

Fiji exploited the first day bowling conditions and promptly bowled out Denmark for 166 yielding just a slender 15 run lead for the hosts. Seamer Villaime Manakiwai bowled superbly and led the Danish collapse of the lower order with some precise lengths and lines. However, the free admission crowd on Day 2 for all (well done EHTL administrators) witnessed some fantastic bowling and abysmal batting as Fiji crumbled to 67 all out incidentally the 4th score of under 100 across the league. Christian yet again starred with 3-13 as only Sekove Ravoka (13) and Karan Kumar (10) passed double figures as bowling headlined the first round of fixtures.

Denmark had struggled early on in the chase of 54 falling to 20-3 at the hands of Manakiwai (3-25) but it was English county cricket regulars Vasconcellos and Tattersall who guided the Danish home in front of their jubilant home fans. Both teams played a fair and tough contest and the score line doesn’t represent well how Fiji played.

Denmark vs Fiji scorecard.jpg

Yorkshire’s Jonny Tattersall played two important knocks of 62 and 15* to give Denmark their first ever Test match victory. 

Following our (England) 4 wicket victory at the expense of Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong’s Tanveer Ahmed leads the batting statistics from his only innings of 117. Luke Wells is our leading run scorer after his Test debut whilst Stuart Broad (9 wickets) tops the chart narrowly ahead of Fiji seamer Manakiwai (8 wickets). The EHTL prides itself on bringing through the lesser and new nations and giving them a taste of Test cricket and providing a platform to expand International cricket and the game itself. It is pleasantly encouraging to see players like Manakiwai go toe to toe with the likes of the highly respected and brilliant Broad. As a team, I am delighted we decided to participate in this competition and we hope to bring home the glory come the finals stage.

Round 1 Table.jpg

Papua New Guinea will look to bounce back from their narrow 4 wicket defeat against England and head towards home advantage at Port Moresby against Fiji – the battle of the bottom two. Bochum ground becomes the first ever ground in Germany to host a cricket match let alone a Test match as the Germans will look to exploit and face their new conditions and ground to land victory against the delighted Danish side. Finally, England will lock horns with Hong Kong as Lords holds its second EHTL match (a fixtures bug of England home stadiums). Sam Curran and Stuart Broad will no doubt be aiming to take more wickets in the absence of Anderson whilst captain Joe Root leads the batting ranks.

Thanks for the continued support!

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Cricket 19: Eastern Hemisphere Test League – PNG Pummelling!

England vs Papua New Guinea Lineup

22 players stood proudly in front of the retrospective flags at the iconic Lords ground  awaiting an exciting new preposition.  England and Papua New Guinea took the field at the Home of Cricket to begin the inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League match.  The dry and hard surface that was presented to us meant that second spinner Liam Dawson was omitted from the playing XI for left arm seamer Sam Curran.  Sussex’s opening batsman Luke Wells was invited to open alongside Rory Burns whilst a makeshift top order took place with captain Joe Root at NO.3 and wicket keeper Jonny Bairstow at an unfamiliar NO.4 role.  However, the wait would continue to see the English batting order as the opponents won the toss and elected to bat.

In his final game before retirement, James Anderson set the tone perfectly dismissing captain Carlos Ahuja inside the opening over for a 6 ball duck.  The visitors, slightly jaded from the 22 hour flight, negotiated the first 10 overs without the loss of a further wicket and paused for rain.  Stuart Broad, though had other ideas and accounted for the second PNG wicket after the rain delay bowling Shekar Biswas for 13.  Lakshman Som and Kaiden Donahue combined together through until lunch in a shortened session.  The resumption of the session saw the outcome of the game dramatically change in the space of an hour.  Left armer Sam Curran struck with Donahue departing LBW for a patient 12 before bowling Marnus Dave two balls later.  At the other end, Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes entered the attack immediately trapping Timothy Upadhyay (1) LBW and then removing Akbar Vig for a three ball duck curtailing the extraordinary collapse of 4 wickets for just the 1 run in 9 balls!  Som had watched wickets fall at the non strikers end and that probably had affected his shot selection as he tamely edged Surrey’s Curran through to Jonny Bairstow for a spirited 20.  Som and Donahue’s 24 run partnership through rain and beverage breaks was the highest in the innings.  Jos Buttler took two smart catches at second slip off Curran and then Woakes to leave PNG hovering at 67-9 (Sandhu 5 Norris 3) before fittingly Curran sealed his five wicket haul and wrapped up the innings with the wicket of Jayant Rege (7) – 69 all out!

Sam Curran 5 for 18

After beginning as the 4th choice seamer, Sam Curran had increased his stocks with a devastating spell of out and in swinging deliveries unsettling the PNG batsman in their rain affected innings.  Woakes bowled with good accuracy and finished with outstanding figures of (5-2-7-3).  We dominated in early home favouring conditions but there was an even contest between bat and ball until the end of the Som – Donahue partnership.  Papua New Guinea gifted a too many easy wickets to us especially in the nine ball period where Curran and Woakes rained havoc with disciplined lines and length which got our rewards.  We were happy to have rolled PNG over but would have liked more of a challenge however the game was certainly not over.

A tricky 40 minute session before lunch was ideal for the confidence of the incumbent Rory Burns and debutant Luke Wells but the pressure told. Papua New Guinea had bravely opted not to bowl left arm seamer Naryaan Palla and went with Caspar Sandhu and Rege which worked with instant success as Burns played all around a straight Rege delivering dismantling his stumps for 3.  The removal of our opening combo saw captain Joe Root stride to the crease and he started freely and flowingly with his trademark cover drives on show. Disappointingly, Root could not build on his early platform as he edged behind off the relentless Sandhu for 15 in the final over of the second session.

Luke Wells fifty vs PNG

Teas and scones had been gobbled and now it was back to the task in hand at 30-2 to build a healthy first innings lead. Wells and Jonny Bairstow batted with patience and determinedness to see off the threat of seamers Sandhu and Rege. With evident seam movement and bounce on show it was definitely a tricky pitch to get a start on. On debut, Wells (51) ploughed through to register his maiden Test match fifty with a gorgeous leg glance which pierced the boundary rope but celebrations were short lived as a leading edge found bowler Rege’s diving hands. The introduction of slow seamer Atticus Norris had dire effects…

Norris first removed Bairstow (42) with a deceiving slower ball cheaply chipped into the hands of mid off before Ali dragged on for a 2 ball duck. In the midst of that, Ben Stokes (2) was guilty of casually grounding his bat and Ahuja exploited that with a direct throw. From 117-2 we had plummeted to 126-6 in an abysmal middle order batting display. More measured and sensible batting followed by Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes however the latter was dismissed in the final over of the day by Naryaan Palla to leave us at stumps on 158-7 (41). An epic 17 scalps had taken place over the course of the first day however EHTL pitch inspectors and head groundsmen were satisfied with the pitch citing batsman errors on both sides and consistent nagging bowling lengths culminating in the downfall of wickets.

Jos Buttler 50 vs PNG.jpg

On the second morning, Curran joined Buttler who looked in impressive form. A counter attacking lofted offside innings was the key to the limited overs batsman’s success as Papua New Guinea eased the pressure with some poor field setting and numerous dropped catches. Left arm pacer Naryaan Palla (3-32) was thumped into the members pavilion twice in a row from Buttler to bring up his fifty but much like Wells he fell the following ball attempting to repeat his shot making. Palla was on a hattrick as first innings bowling demon Curran (13) edged behind off the fellow left armer and despite Jimmy Anderson smashing the hattrick ball for a huge maximum, he fell for 8 bowled by Norris to curtail our innings.

The 205 had come from just the 50 overs and had subsided dramatically from 117-2. Only double JB and Wells converted their starts and demonstrated the fair even wicket Lords had produced for ball and bat. Poor shot choices and lack of application didn’t aid our cause with Bairstow’s clumsy dismissal the cornerstone of our batting effort. In our opening EHTL match, we had already collapsed in true English fashion but were on the whole content with our 136 run lead.

Broad and England team celebration

Sandwiches had been eaten and the debrief was completed when we returned to the field and had an instant impact with the promoted inform Sam Curran striking in the 5th over, Ahuja (3) the victim of a vicious in swinging delivery which found the edge to Bairstow.  Wicketkeeper Kaiden Donahue was joined by the new man Biswas and began to look comfortable against the swinging ball from Curran and Anderson abolishing the near memory of the first innings.  The pair combined for a healthy 55 runs but were fortunate to be on the receiving end of overthrows and the edges dropping short.  In a 10 over spell, Curran ended on a high note breaking the partnership, rearranging Biswas’s stumps for a respectable 26.  Top scorer of the first innings, Som entered the field and safely negotiated Papua New Guinea over the dreaded 69 total to warm cheers from all sections of the Lords crowd.  Som batted with the most fluency of any PNG batsman and took advantage of Stokes and Woakes’ bad balls to relive the pressure.  Donahue’s patient innings payed off securing a well fought 50 but as the partnership had reached 51, on the stroke of tea, Stuart Broad bounced back from his poor first spell with a ripping over of swing and seam bowling which accounted for Som’s (25) departure via Root at first slip. Having been 69 all out in the first dig, Papua New Guinea had reached a much improved 119-3 at tea but still 17 runs away from possibly making us bat again…

In the final session, Broad had begun in very similar fashion seaming and swinging the ball round the PNG batsman who had little reply.  Marnus Dave avoided a pair but just made 10 before Buttler took a smart catch at 3rd slip to remove the all rounder.  Broad then struck again soon finding the edge of Timothy Upadhyay (8) through to keeper Bairstow.  Donahue meanwhile resisted well against the fired up Broad who had his fourth victim of the innings when Akbar Vig (4) well caught by Bairstow. And when Donahue grew frustrated at the lack of batsman applying themselves against the moving ball, he took a wild swing at a loose Broad ball which landed in Bairstow’s gloves ending his 135 ball vigil for 82. Next man Casper Sandhu smoked the ball to the boundary on three occasions only to become Broad’s sixth victim and Bairstow’s fifth catch a short while later. Sandhu’s wicket had restricted Papua New Guinea to 183-8 in an all too familiar collapse of the middle order. Atticus Norris (10NO) and Jayant Rege (2NO) prevented any more wickets from falling as they steered PNG to the close of play at 196-8 with a 59 run lead to sit on.

A quick word for Broad whose blistering 12 over spell accounted for 6 Papua New Guinea wickets in a display of high class quality bowling. Regularly beating the bat and constantly causing concerns to the stumps was the cornerstone of Broad’s bowling as he obliterated the middle order including the crucial wicket of well set Donahue for 82. He was ably backed up by Woakes (0-47 from 12), Ali (0-21 from 8) , Curran (2-84 from 22) and Stokes (0-7 from 3) at the other end who dried up the runs effectively.

Stuart Broad 8 for 75.jpg

The jubilant scenes from the previous day seemed to be forgotten when Norris and Rege demonstrated resilient batting against the older and wearing ball. Broad’s threat from Day 2 had been diminishing with Norris in particular playing some fine strokes. These fine strokes along with his entertaining batting technique culminated in a maiden Test match fifty which was richly deserved and set the example for how the middle order should have played. Rege had fallen beforehand for a gallant 25 from 44 balls with the returning Broad and Bairstow combination striking once more.

At 235-9 Papua New Guinea had a small 99 run lead but a partnership of 55 runs between Norris (58NO) and Naryaan Palla (14 from 66 balls) catapulted PNG to 290. Skipper Joe Root persisted with the seam prolonged attack and it paid off at 290 when Broad pierced Palla’s edge through to Bairstow for the 5th time in the innings. A good bowling performance by us was spearheaded from the sensational Broad who bowled immaculately and consistently to remove PNG batsman via their outside edge. 290 had become the top score in the match and would give England an achievable but potentially dangerous 154 runs to wrap up the Test match.

Burns and Wells opened up for us hoping to cement their places and add some valuable runs to their current position. PNG were searching for early wickets with attacking and sometimes bizarre field settings at stages aimed to bamboozle the openers. Norris backed up his superb 58NO in the second innings by immediately striking as the second change bowler nicking off Burns (14) to second slip at 29-1. Captain Root settled instantly and began to up the run rate with quick running and glorious cover drives for 4 the key to his innings. Seemingly in control at 72-1, we became 111-5 and still 43 runs short of a victory.

Luke Wells lbw hotspot

Joe Root’s counter attacking 33 from 31 balls was ended by Jayant Rege (1-30 from 6) who found Root’s edge through to keeper Donahue. Fellow keeper Bairstow fell quickly for 6, Sandhu the wicket taker, before Luke Wells’ dogged nature was cruelly and wrongly ended by the third umpire following a bat pad review off the seamer Sandhu (2-16 from 9). Replays seem to suggest that Wells had edged the ball onto his pad but the third umpire thought otherwise and he was judged lbw for 36. Jos Buttler ambitiously attempting to sweep leg spinner Ahuja away but was pinned plumb in front for 3. Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali steadied the ship but didn’t relent from their attacking mindset in getting the game completed.

England 4 wicket win vs PNG.jpg

Though Ali fell for 6 abysmally edging to keeper Donahue from Ahuja (2-30) however it was Chris Woakes (15NO from 9) who hammered the ball over the fence to secure victory by 4 wickets in the opening EHTL contest. Ben Stokes found some form finishing up on 34NO from 45 in an encouraging knock for him but most importantly guiding us home despite wickets walking around him.

Match Analysis: 

Papua New Guinea 69 (Som 20, Biswas 13, Donahue 12/ S Curran 5-18, Woakes 3-7, Anderson 1-18)

England 205 (Wells 51, Buttler 50, Bairstow 42/ Palla 3-32, Norris 3-50, Rege 2-36)

Papua New Guinea 290 (Donahue 82, Norris 58*, Biswas 26/ Broad 8-75, S Curran 2-84, Ali 0-21)

England 155-6

England win by 4 wickets 

Despite our victory, there are a lot of areas to improve on as Papua New Guinea gave us a very good test after seemingly looking very distant second bests after their first knock. However, they applied themselves fantastically (Donahue and Norris in particular) in the second innings to post a difficult and tough chase for us. We didn’t bat well in both innings and failed to apply ourselves well enough to secure a emphatic win and instead found ourselves creeping towards victory. Our bowling was spot on in both innings led by Sam Curran and Stuart Broad who both obliterated promising partnerships and found the outside edge towards the slips and Bairstow on several occasions. This means that we have very suitable candidates to step up in Anderson’s absence and shape the future of English bowling for good. 

In the other two matches, Hong Kong thrashed Germany by an innings and 148 runs with a Tanveer Ahmed century leading the way whilst Mohammad Ghazanfar (5-17) and Ehsan Khan (5-10) demolishing an English county studded German line up. The Hammerby Arena hosted Denmark versus Fiji and saw the home side cruise to a 7 wicket victory. Yorkshire’s Jonny Tattersall starred with bat (62) whilst spinner Yash Christian (6-36) put the icing on the Danish cake. Fiji’s bowler Villaime Manakiwai was unfortunate to be on the losing side after figures of 5-37 and 3-25.

Next up for us is Hong Kong yet again at the Home of Cricket with a fixture error leaving our first 3 home games at Lords…. We will ponder team changes and will have one enforced with the retirement of Jimmy Anderson. Scouts and analysts were sent to the Hong Kong – Germany match to gain insight and knowledge to where we can be successful against the tourists. The team are grateful and thankful for the support in the newly formed league and look forward to our upcoming match aiming to right the wrongs from our victory against PNG.

Jamie Hamilton ( Selection Drafter/Designer for England)

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Cricket 19: EHTL Weekly – End of an era for Jimmy!

Anderson 50 (2)

Ahead of our inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League debut against Papua New Guinea at Lords (match report to be released soon), prolific fast bowler James Anderson has announced his retirement from international cricket following the PNG encounter. Anderson is the leading wicket taker in English history and will finish his star studded career with a final match fitting at the Home of Cricket, Lords. Lords was incidentally the exact venue where Anderson clinched his 500th Test wicket against the West Indies – Kraigg Braithwaite the unfortunate victim!

He will leave the game after securing 575 wickets and possibly more if he secures a PNG batsman’s wicket with fond memories of a blazing 55NO against the West Indies from 59 balls in the Global Test Championship played on Ashes Cricket 17.

Ashes Cricket GTC (PS4): Storms and Gayle’s! – England vs West Indies

James Anderson Finale Test Match

The legendary Anderson and Broad new ball partnership will be separated after the Papua New Guinea encounter so who waits in the wings. Do we go to familiar faces to take up the opportunity – Toby Roland Jones, Tom Curran, Jake Ball? Do we go the opposite way and hand a county player their debut with Jamie Porter, Ben Coad and Craig Overton amongst others regularly churning out the wickets or does pace and bounce fit the bill alongside the fiery Broad with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood fitting this criteria. These are just some of the questions and possibilities that will no doubt swirling around in the England selection committee for the future.

Regardless of his replacement, James Anderson will be remembered as an England legend for his constant and consistent wicket taking and his deadly partnership with Stuart Broad, who will now look to become the leading England bowler. At the end of the PNG Test match, Lords will broadcast each and every wicket that Anderson has taken on the big screen with the EHTL sponsoring the end of match presentation including Anderson’s selection of beer. 

So come and join us on this blog, for the inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League match as well as the departure of one of the world’s best in James Anderson.

  • ETHL will strive throughout the tournament to conserve light and energy with earlier timed matches and secure use of floodlights in day/night encounters.
  • They will also add to the Ocean Rescue project by supplying plastic bottles alongside cricket themed plastic stumps, balls and bat and England/Papua New Guinea wristbands and flags!
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World Cup Sundries

Chris Gayle 203 (2)

Bye: Chris Gayle has dusted off the cobwebs from his whites it seems as he has reversed his retirement decision and will continue on after the World Cup. He has hinted at a future Test match against the imperious India and will be looking to add to his two triple centuries in a Test career where his last appearance came 5 years ago – however he might want to inform his captain.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/27058640/chris-gayle-says-definitely-playing-odis-maybe-test-post-world-cup

south africa win by 4 wickets

Leg Bye: South Africa have been a well talked story in the World Cup but for all the wrong reasons as their talented side crashed miserably out of the World Cup with games to spare. Losing Dale Steyn to injury was a blow but it has been the incumbent players that have not delivered with only Rassie Van der Dussen and Imran Tahir having a  successful time. 4 fifties and no hundred alongside key players not performing as (wickets) Rabada (6) and Ngidi (7) haven’t adjusted to the conditions. Back to the 4 year drawing board!

Gopal bowled

No Ball: Previously banned David Warner leads the tournament currently for most runs scored with 500 followed by Australian batting partner Aaron Finch (496). Warner holds the highest score (166) whilst Shakib Al Hasan has been in super form becoming only the third player to score a hundred and take a 5 wicket haul in the tournament. 

Wide: We have some amazing cricket matches with some nail biting matches including New Zealand’s pair of brilliant chases against South Africa and Bangladesh led well by Captain Kane Williamson! England’s collapses against Sri Lanka and Australia as well as a poor showing against Pakistan have had an old era about them. Cricket is on the up and it is a sensational sport!

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Harry’s double too much to Koch!

 

Richmond vs Twickenham 50 Over Match Opening

We embarked on the beginning of the carousel of matches in the South East Cup with a short journey of 18 minutes to Richmond Cricket Ground for a double header weekend with a 50 over and T20 over match. Driving via the A316, we opted not to book a hotel and instead played golf at the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club on the Friday with some of the lads also entertaining us in some tennis doubles match at Richmond lawn -its fair to say, cricket was not our main focus in the build up to the match. Richmond 50 over batting innings
As early morning rain converted our match to an old school 40 – 40, Richmond exploited the flat conditions and attacked opening bowlers Ashton Kenny and John Barker. Bizarrely, my part time leg spin was required in the opening powerplay and yielded 18 from 3 overs. Despite my relatively tight bowling, I was not needed again and the runs kept piling on. Harry Koch led the way with some audacious and inventive shots on his way to a huge score. Tristan Hunter (0-60 from 6) and Lars Bender (0-51 from 5) had a shocker of a time from Koch’s master knock. Barker halted the progressing threat of an opening stand beating 250 with two wickets including Jax Roy (63). However, Koch motored on and reached 200 with a stunning scoop shot ending the innings on a ominous 302-3 in 40 overs.

Hamilton out sweeping Whites in a white ball match – not what I selected.

Chasing an imposing 7.5 runs an over, we stumbled to 78-3 where I joined the crease alongside captain Jace Young. Young has batted fluently and continued in that merry way as I aimed to translate my 3 day early batting form into the limited overs games. I planned to score my runs at a quick rate and did so with a gorgeous cover drive for 4 off my second delivery. However, Ian Warwick struck! Warwick (3-45 from 7) had removed the set opening pair of Carter Flynn (34) and Lucas Lawson (26) and added my wicket bowling me around my legs from a conventional sweep. I played a high risk shot from my 6th ball to ease the pressure on the partnership and the team and it didn’t pay off. In hindsight my 7 from 6 was not what we needed and I had to stick around and anchor the unlikely run chase.

Following another wicket leaving us at 105-5, wicketkeeper Hayden Mildenhall came to the crease and brought some fireworks! Mildenhall and Young (81) complied a mammoth 152 run partnership which gave us a small shot at victory. However Young’s departure in the 37th over effectively ended our chances and sparked a huge collapse to 261-9. Mildenhall (112NO from 66) though thumped 27 runs from the final over to complete a sensational century in a losing cause by 14 runs. In an incredible run scoring game, we were unfortunate to end up on the losing side despite Koch’s 202NO as Mildenhall played an equally brilliant knock. I was personally disappointed with my short knock and would look to make amends in the T20 the following day.

Match Analysis: 

Richmond 302-3 from 40 overs (Koch 202*, Roy 63/ Barker 2-63 Kenny 1-56)

Twickenham 288-9 from 40 overs (Mildenhall 112*, Young 81/ Deli 4-43 Warwick 3-45)

Richmond won by 14 runs MOM: Harry Koch

Richmond vs Twickenham T20 Result

After scoring the winning goal in the football warm up, captain Young gave batsman Gael Dunkley his debut and elected to bat first. Lawson (7) was bowled early by Yearwood but early indications were that this pitch was a belter for batting much like the 40 over contest. Opening partner Flynn (49) fell agonisingly short of a half ton whilst Young accelerated our total alongside debutant Dunkley. Dunkley played an anchor role in the innings scoring a productive 35NO from 31, allowing captain Young to play expansively and expressively too good outcome! Twickenham scored 45 from the final 4 overs to propel us to 179-2 and give Richmond a tricky 180 run chase. Mildenhall and I were not needed to provide fireworks and felt that personally my leg spin would come in handy if we were to defend this total.

Harry Koch, fresh off his outstanding 202NO the previous day, started in similar blistering form but lacked support from the rest of the top 4 as we took wickets to halt their progress to 82-3 with 12 overs to go. Koch and Flynn Milne though began a crucial partnership and brought the game away from us with attacking and entertaining batting. Milne (52* from 31) played the more aggressive role as Koch continued to pile misery on our bowling attack becoming a thorn in our side. I came on to bowl at the 16th over and provided some late tense pressure with just the 8 runs coming from my 2 overs at the death. However, despite bringing it down to the last three balls, Richmond saw themselves home as Koch (85* from 48) hit the winning runs to seal a double header win for the home side!

Not getting a bat in the T20 match might have been a blessing in disguise as we head back into the 3 day format which is my preferred run scoring source. I am enjoying career mode in Middlesex and hope to find some of the new features on Cricket 19 including headlines and sponsorships!

Keep following the blog to see Cricket 19 career mode updates and an incoming report from our first Eastern Hemisphere Test League match.

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Twinning Half Tons on Debut!

Jamie Hamilton batting debut TwickenhamHello and welcome to Jamie Hamilton’s career – a batting all rounder with part time leggies. I am grateful of your support and I embark on the English club cricket scene where I will look to set a platform aiming towards the sky! All jokes aside the plan is to gain a county contract with my in game local side Middlesex maybe with some T20 franchise gigs along the way before chancing my arm at some international cricket.

Cricket 19 South East Cup Home Page.jpg

We begin our journey in the South East Cup of Middlesex where we battle Brent Park, Enfield, Hampstead, Richmond and Watford in the hope to bring home glory in all three formats. Unlike the previous career in Ashes Cricket 17, we entertain Enfield in a 3 day game before playing a 50 over game preceded by a 20 over game. The rest of the season follows suit in a carousel of matches which is a great new feature for the game and also an exciting proposition for the club cricketers in Middlesex. 

Hamilton 50NO 1st innings

To start off my career, I made my Twickenham debut in a 3 day encounter away against Enfield. Following the 1 hour and 40 minute journey (approximately) via the M25 and our legendary football kickabout, we were inserted into bat and found ourselves precariously hovering at 1-2. After coming in at 58-3, I slowly got myself in and found my first club cricket run from my 16th ball with a leg glance. Alongside opener Lucas Lawson 79 (from 195), we negotiated the tight and tricky bowling from Enfield and gradually acuminated runs as the overs ticked by.

Hamilton 50 (111) Wagon Wheel 1st innings.jpg

Once entering the frightening forties, I decided to increase the pace and put some pressure on the fielding side with a few drop and runs in order to bring up a happy moment with my debut half century. However, my gutsy knock was ended three balls later by spinner Tyler Pierce finding my outside edge.

Twickenham fielding drinks.jpg

One of many new cutscenes in Cricket 19!

After my dismissal we faltered to a satisfactory 203 all out which was disappointing after the 106 run partnership between Lawson and myself had put us in a strong position at 164-4. However, our bowling attack banished the disappointment ruthlessly bowling Enfield out for 75 led by off spinner Axel Dickson who took 5-12 from 8 overs including 5 maidens. 

Hamilton 50NO 2nd innings

Starting with a 128 run lead, I came to the crease at 46-3 and played with more positivity from the outset and looked to increase my runs to ball ratio from the very steady first innings. As regular wickets fell around me, I looked to shepherd the strike and add to our total with second top run scorer NO.8 Tristan Hunter (18) ably supporting me – in the process becoming the only man below NO.6 to make double figures! A beautiful off drive through the covers brought up my third boundary but more importantly a consecutive half century to match my first 50.

I went on to add 5 more runs before misexceuting an aggressive slog to the onside which caught the leading edge off spinner Sawyer Howell ending our innings with a poor 138. In both my innings, I have looked to value my wicket and be positive in defence and play myself in before looking to accelerate and increase the scoring rate.

Marking my Guard

Chasing an unlikely but still achievable target of 265, Enfield were 3-2 before collapsing from 70-3 to a paltry 108 all out. My leg spin attributed 10 overs 0-41 which was probably 5 overs too many with the hunt for my maiden club cricket wicket still truly on – left armer Ashton Kenny and Hunter sharing 6 wickets. Enfield’s dismal batting across both innings combined with our tight accurate bowling ultimately saw us gain a 135 run victory to commence the 3 day campaign. Personally, I was very satisfied to have made two half centuries in my opening two knocks and hope to continue my good form into the limited overs formats. 

Match Analysis: 

Twickenham 203 (Lawson 79, Hamilton 50, Leon 31/ Pierce 2-42, Fitzpatrick 2-35, Howell 2-51)

Enfield 75 (Graham 22, Dietrich 17, Pierce 16*/ Dickson 5-12, Kenny 3-24, Hunter 1-7)

Twickenham 138 (Hamilton 55, Hunter 18, Flynn 17/ Curtis 2-9, Perkins 2-24, Pierce 1-12)

Enfield 108 (Dietrich 48, Perkins 16, Curtis 12/ Hunter 3-7, Kenny 3-32, Leon 1-1)

Twickenham won by 158 runs MOM: Jamie Hamilton

Keep following the blog to see updates on how my player progresses through the low ranks of club cricket in the home of cricket!

Disclaimer: Playing on Veteran with batting and bowling on Hard, I have found a significant difference in the difficulty of batting on Cricket 19 as it has become harder to score more runs especially boundaries which makes for a fantastic contest between bat and ball!

 

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Cricket 19: Eastern Hemisphere Test League & Squad Selection

Cricket 19 Eastern Hemisphere Home Page

Hello and welcome to all fans of cricket around the world. Strap yourselves in this will be a good’un!

Following my recent appointment as Selection Drafter and Designer for the England men’s cricket team, in a freshly accommodated role, I am thrilled to announce our participation in the exciting opening of the Eastern Hemisphere Test League. The League has been created between the partnership of the MCC and the ICC with the aim to and advance and expand the game of cricket across all nations. Our team are enthusiastic and passionate to be the inaugural Eastern Hemisphere champions and can’t wait to contribute to a new era of international cricket alongside our fellow debuting nations. 

We launch the league against new ODI and T20I ranked nation Papua New Guinea and will follow up with Tests home and away against Denmark, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong and of course PNG. These 10 Test matches will take place in the space of a couple of months and will transform Test cricket for the better including a headline grabbing Final which alongside the League, will definitely propel cricket in these lower ranked countries.

I am pleased to confirm that Joe Root will retain his Test captaincy and alongside him, myself and James Taylor have deliberated and decided of our playing squad for our first encounter.

The playing squad for our inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test encounter against Papua New Guinea at Lords, the Home of Cricket, is:

Joe Root (Captain)

Rory Burns

Luke Wells

Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)

Ben Stokes

Jos Buttler

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Liam Dawson

Sam Curran

Stuart Broad

James Anderson

Additional Travelling Squad Members: Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Mark Wood, 

England vs Papua New Guinea Opening.jpg

This squad has been designed to be flexible and bring variety to our cricket in the circumstance where the surface is unexpected or injuries crop up. We have the options available in our players to be as balanced as possible and adapt to a world of situations and scenarios. The opportunity to give Sussex opening batsman Luke Wells an international debut will remain the big question on many lips especially pundits whilst Dawson and Ali vie it out for the spinning all rounder spot. 

As we embark on an exciting adventure, be sure to follow our journey online and in person around the eastern hemisphere whilst we hope to make noise and sing songs with the Barmy Army!

There will be detailed match reports of all England games in the newly formed Test league on this website and match analysis from the other remaining matches, including Germany’s expedition to Hong Kong with three English domestic players: Ollie Rayner (Middlesex) Craig Meschede (Glamorgan) Dieter Klein (Leicestershire) and Denmark’s first ever 5 day game at the Hammerby Arena against opponents Fiji! We are thankful and grateful of the support and hope to deliver at the Home of Cricket against a competitive Papua New Guinea.

Jamie Hamilton , Selection Drafter and Designer, England 

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Under the Helmet

Gopal bowled

In my absence, the world of cricket awaits a major summer of cricket filled action as the World Cup kicks into gear on Thursday with pre tournament hosts and favourites England entertaining the South Africans at the Kia Oval. The inclusion of Jofra Archer, whilst highly inevitable, has created unknown realms of possibility with a gutted and determined David Willey exiled and sure to be playing some fierce cricket for Yorkshire.

With all 10 teams now in England for the highly anticipated World Cup, the numerous amounts of fans have rolled in, some booing the much discussed return of formerly banned Australian pair Steve Smith and David Warner. Players like Trent Boult, Virat Kohli, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle and Rashid Khan headlining, Cricket has never seen a more exciting year yet!

Cricket 19 is now officially out! I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this tomorrow when it arrives. Looking at initial videos, opinions in the enhanced and new game, I think we are in for a real treat. In terms of the blog, you can expect to see a variety of reports and posts about Cricket 19 including: (A rookie English career mode, Test World Championship (much like the Global Test Championship started on this blog under Ashes Cricket 17), A World Cup Mode, Scenario Modes and plenty of created Test matches, ODI’s and T20I as head coach of an international side…

Cricket 19 Plans

11 around the bat

Last ball of the Final Day in the Victoria – South Australia clash, hometown hero Hamilton finds the edge through to the keeper of the No.11 batsman to win and lift the Sheffield Shield! Make your own memories on Cricket 19 with an enhanced career mode, World Championship, Ashes modes and fully personal customisable competitions, tours and modes. What will you do?

Flying into Cricket.jpg

The pinnacle of cricket that is Test Cricket will feature quite heavily in this blog with Cricket 19 at the helm. However, there are 3 Ashes Cricket Global Test Championship reports needing to be released in the imminent future alongside the final standings from the 6 games played. Plans for another Test League and Test Championship are looking very good and plausible in my mind along with handing out lots of caps to young and inexperienced players and also some returning faces.

Ashes Cricket GTC (PS4): Storms and Gayle’s! – England vs West Indies

Disclaimer: Being at secondary school has some limitations to the amount of posts I can get out regularly and I have some Year 10 Mocks from the start of June until late June (oh dear I have revealed my age) so to begin with posts will be when I have time but following that the grind to play, enjoy and report will certainly be in full swing. Playing cricket as well quite frequently won’t help my cause but might feature in the blog.

Hamilton 29 Appealing

HOWZAT!!!!!! Probably going to miss all 3 as usual. Updates on the real world cricket will resume and be in full swing with a vast amount of games during a long English summer. Alongside the World Cup, the T20 Blast and 4 day County Cricket will still take place and my blog will possibly extend myself to opinions, previews, reports and predictions. 

Bow and Archer – England World Cup Squad 2019

Salt Vaults Towards England!

Auckland vs Wellington Result

Back to the virtual console and PC world and Cricket Captain 2019 is released on the commence of the World Cup on Thursday. I am very indifferent about the game and it might feature sparsely on the blog as I would like to focus on the real world and Cricket 19. 

https://www.planetcricket.org/forums/

As I end this “Under the Helmet” post, I want to thank and show my support for every single person that offers their help and hours to the XBOX and PS4 communities for these cricket games. They do an incredible job and the game would be nothing if it wasn’t for those guys – keep up the good work!

 


 

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Cricket 19 Plans

Hey Keaton

A rather late but important piece of news – Cricket 19 will be here with us on the 28th May!

Root 100

More Joe Root hundreds coming your way and the understated news that players will take their helmets off when scoring a hundred… very minor but exciting nonetheless!

Moeen Ali (2)

I think Cricket 19 will be my year for fielding but you can still guarantee the odd comical run out and dropped catches.

Jamie Hamilton 2nd innings

A delevoped career mode awaits us in fact as Big Ant CEO Ross Symons said: “Enhancements to the career mode build a story around your player; how you look in the news headlines affects your potential career trajectory.” In Ashes Cricket 17, I had completed a career mode which wasn’t posted due to my progress before I started blogging and I went from Canberra to New South Wales to Australian captain. Hopefully in Cricket 19, I will blog more often about my career mode from the outset.

Hamilton 466 (241) South Melbourne

Stand up out of chairs or your couch or sofa or whatever you are on and applaud this masterstroke genius of an innings from me taking a solid 4 hours but paying significant rewards. I’m pretty certain scores like this won’t be seen from any one individual again. A career mode where I begin in England as a batting all rounder with the handy leg spin or a quick bowler with lower order hitting – who knows?

Table after Round 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the real life Global Test Championship arriving to Cricket in 2020, I will be looking to continue my Test League into the new game with possibly two Test divisions consisting of 8 – 12 possible teams in it. As 80 nations have now been ranked in the T20I standings with plenty of new nations registered in status to play International T20 matches, I will explore the opportunity to have T20I and ODI leagues plus a World Cup mode. 

Run out sri lanka batting

So, will Cricket 19 be a six out of the park and a smashing success or will we be run out of ideas come August?! 

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/t20i

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/odi

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/test

https://www.planetcricket.org/forums/forums/cricket-19.316/

A link to the Planet Cricket website where most Cricket Academy creations and users of Ashes Cricket 17 discuss and play the game – check it out!

 

 

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Injury plagued Surrey turn to experience!

 

tom curran

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. 

Plunkett

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!

 

 

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Cricket 19 Release Date and Trailer!

Moeen Ali (2)

https://www.ecb.co.uk/england/men/news/1187136/release-date-revealed-for-cricket-19-the-official-game-of-the-ashes

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!

https://twitter.com/i/status/1118817741207564289

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Bow and Archer – England World Cup Squad 2019

 

England ODI.PNG

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.

Archer.PNG

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!

These stints came from bursting on the scene at Sussex, most notably in club cricket for Horsham before he came Sussex’s star pace man and handy lower order batsman. Archer has seen lots of support for securing a spot for the World Cup adventure from pundits.  https://www.skysports.com/cricket/news/12080/11695248/jofra-archer-has-david-willey-liam-plunkett-and-tom-curran-in-world-cup-jeopardy-says-nasser-Hussain However, he hasn’t seen such public support from the current England bowlers which have guided England towards the World Cup as the favourites. 

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??

tom curran.PNG

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 for England previously — could they be the outsider in the squad.

Hales

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 certainly up for grabs and I think it could be a spot if the ECB decide is best, that will change throughout the Royal London One Day Cup.

So with all my opinion made and my areas where 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”!!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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Cricket XI CC Review after Round 2

Cricket XI CC after Round 2

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!

Cricket XI CC changes R2

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. 

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Cricket Captain 2018: Pakistan – Australia Test 1

1st Test Line ups

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

Aus 1st innings scorecard.jpg

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.

Usman Khawaja 1st innings.jpg

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.

Matt Renshaw 1st innings

The typical Matt Renshaw innings with a strong presence on the offside. 

Pak 1st innings scorecard.jpg

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 1st innings

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).

Glenn Maxwell 1st innings bowling

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.  

Aus 2nd innings batting scorecard

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.

Peter Handscomb batting 2nd innings.jpg

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. 

1st Test Match result.jpg

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.

Hussain Talat 2nd innings batting.jpg

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. 

Pak 2nd innings batting scorecard

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 1st innings.jpg

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.

 

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Ashes Cricket PS4 (GTC): To change or to not change? Afghanistan vs England preview

Table after Round 3

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.

Leach.jpg

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. 

Broad 50 (2)

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. 

Denly

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.



 

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Salt Vaults Towards England!

Phil Salt
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?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44819

 

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Ashes Cricket GTC (PS4): Storms and Gayle’s! – England vs West Indies

Moeen Ali (2)

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! 

Jonny Bairstow 50

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. 

Ben Foakes (2)

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…

Jonny Bairstow 100

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)

Chris Gayle 103 (2)

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).

Foakes catch 1st inns (2)

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…

Chris Gayle 203 (2)

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)

Jennings out (2)

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. 

Bairstow 78 (2).jpg

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 87 (2)

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. 

Rory Burns (2).jpg

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.

 

Congratulations to West Indies on a rightly deserved thumping 7 wicket win! England now head away to the undefeated Afghanistan side which posses centurions Ihsanullah and Ahmadi and spinning sensations Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman Ashes Cricket (PS4): Global Test Championship Round 3 Review

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. 

 

 

 

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The Ups and Downs of Cricket Captain (Mobile)

Cricket Captain 2018 Mobile Sussex Career Mode in year 2020 – the varied emotions you can feel playing two 50 over matches is simply incredible!

Partnerships

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!

Scorecard Sussex Hamps.png

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!
Thissara Perera

The Sussex overseas Sri Lankan had made an uneventful start to life in England before the Kent match but holy smoke did he come out firing! 14 fours and 5 maximus were scored by Perera whose batting exploits were seen in the real life against New Zealand. http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18812/report/1153841/new-zealand-vs-sri-lanka-2nd-odi-sri-lanka-in-nz-2018-19 A blockbuster show no doubt won us the match in fantastic fashion. Before this match his average was 21.87 – that innings shows us that he is not a 21 average player!

David Wiese

Wiese was the partner in this 198 run duo and has produced some exceptional performances for me over the last 3 seasons in both departments. After initially starting tentatively, he began to pummel runs alongside Perera ending up with 12 fours and 3 sixes. Definitely a miss for South African fans after signing the Koplak deal with the Sharks. http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/18435269/david-wiese-joins-sussex-three-year-kolpak-deal

Sussex vs Hampshire 50 overs – The DOWN!

Hampshire partnerships.png

Within 10 reality minutes and 5 virtual days, jubilation turned to devastation at the narrow 1 wicket loss against El Clasico Coast rivals Hampshire. 

Hampshire scorecard.png

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!

Reece Topley

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.

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Cricket XI Fantasy IPL 2019 and Royal London One Day Cup Sides

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

Cricket XI IPL.PNG

Royal London One Day Cup Team 

Cricket XI RLODC.PNG

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.

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Ashes Cricket (PS4): Global Test Championship Round 3 Review

Afghanistan - Bangladesh.jpg

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 - Zimbabwe

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. 

Hong Kong - Sri Lanka.jpg

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 - South Africa

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 - Scotland

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. 

Nepal - Pakistan.jpg

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!

Netherlands - New Zealand.jpg

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!

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Dawson Dawning on the World Cup!

Liam Dawson

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. 

 http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8679/report/1168840/islamabad-united-vs-peshawar-zalmi-21st-match-pakistan-super-league-2018-19

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?

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/cricket/45861329

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cricket XI County Championship Fantasy Team

Capture.PNG

Short Leg is back with a bang and in case Telegraph Fantasy Cricket isn’t for you or is too expensive like me, CricketXI is the alternative free to play classic Fantasy game. 

https://cricketxi.com/

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 

Liam Dawson (Hampshire) FC 2018: 385 runs @ 25.66 1 fifty – 20 wickets @ 31.35

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!

 

 

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Cricket 19

Root bowling

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.

https://www.ecb.co.uk/news/1087746/big-ant-studios-to-deliver-cricket-19-the-official-game-of-the-ashes

 

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Little Update!

Ball confusion

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

IPL Previews

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!

 

 

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Ironed and Fired – Irish crushed in Afghanistan! (Photos courtesy of Cric Info and ECB Cricket)

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?

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Big Bash 08 Roundup!

@cricinfoMelbourne renegades

 

 

 

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. 

Big Bash 08 Season

Batter of the Season: D’Arcy Short 637 runs @ 53.08 (Hobart Hurricanes) 50s: 6 HS: 96NO SR: 140.62

Bowler of the Season: Kane Richardson 24 wickets @ 17.71 (Melbourne Renegades) BB: 3-22 E: 7.75

Young Batter of the Season: Josh Philippe 304 runs @ 30.40 (Sydney Sixers) 50s: 2 HS: 86 SR: 158.33

Young Bowler of the Season: Rashid Khan 19 @ 18.11 (Adelaide Strikers) BB: 3-19 E: 6.14

Young Gun of the Season: Max Bryant 335 runs @ 27.92 (Brisbane Heat) 50s: 1 HS: 71NO SR: 150.22

All Rounder of the Season: Dan Christian 254 runs @ 31.75 + 15 wickets @ 23.13 (Melbourne Renegades) / Chris Green 8 wickets @ 31.88 + 172 runs @ 43 (Sydney Thunder) 

Comeback Player of the Season: Steve O’Keefe 21 wickets @ 17.52 (Sydney Sixers) BB: 3-19 E: 6.57

Unsung Player of the Season: Sam Harper 341 runs @ 22.73 (Melbourne Renegades) 50s: 1 HS: 56 SR: 139.75

Overseas Player of the Season: Tom Curran 20 wickets @ 19.85 + 185 runs @ 30.83 (Sydney Sixers)

Match of the Season: Sydney Thunder 4-182 beat Perth Scorchers 4-181 96 from Shaun Marsh and 113NO by Callum Ferguson

https://www.bigbash.com.au/match-results

Performance of the Season: Brisbane Heat’s opening duo of Ben Cutting and Max Bryant whacking 158 for the loss of 0 wickets to crush the Melbourne Stars inside 10 overs.

Underperformers of the Season: Perth Scorchers and the Adelaide Strikers

Catch of the Season: The award goes to Nathan Coulter Nile (Perth Scorchers vs Adelaide Strikers) and Josh Philippe (Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder)

https://www.bigbash.com.au/video/bbl08-top-ten-catches/2019-02-13

Wicket of the Season: Qais Ahmed to Marcus Stoinis 

https://www.bigbash.com.au/video/qais-ahmad-spell-hobart-hurricanes-melbourne-stars-big-bash-blundstone-arena-video-highlights/2019-02-14

Shot of the Season: Glenn Maxwell six off the bowling of Clive Rose.

https://www.bigbash.com.au/video/bbl-big-bash-league-biggest-sixes-chris-lynn-glenn-maxwell-shane-watson-aaron-finch/2019-02-13

Fan Catch / Attempt of the Season: Actions speak louder than words!

https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/cricket-news/must-watch-fan-almost-completes-the-greatest-catch-in-sporting-history-in-big-bash-league

Player Interaction/Banter of the Season: Melbourne Renegades Tim Ludeman channels his inner Richie Benaud and Tony Greig !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcTaJUhr5uU

Short Leg’s Team of the Season

1- D’Arcy Short

2- Matthew Wade

3- Marcus Stoinis

4- Callum Ferguson 

5- Ashton Turner

6- Jonathan Wells

7- Dan Christian

8- Rashid Khan

9- Kane Richardson

10- Josh Lalor

11- Steve O’Keefe 

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.

 

 

 

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Ones to Watch: Sheffield Shield


@cricinfo
Sheffield ShieldFollowing 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.

Matthew Wade (Tasmania) 571 runs @ 63.44 HS: 137 100s: 1 50s: 5 

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. 

Jimmy Peirson (Queensland Bulls) 297 runs @ 37.12 HS: 82NO 50s: 2 22 catches

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?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8043/report/1150125/day/4/tasmania-vs-queensland-18th-match-sheff-shield

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.

Alex Pyecroft (Tasmania Tigers) 10 wickets @ 15.50 BBI: 5-28 BBM: 6-103 E: 2.29

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. 

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/cricket/chadd-sayers-wont-bow-to-knee-injury-or-national-contract-snub-in-quest-for-test-recall/news-story/dcc778ec0810d03622863156606417c8

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Cricket Captain 2018: A Ripper of a Match – Pakistan Australia T20I Final

Final Result

555 runs scored, 10 wickets and a dropped catch. The Pakistan – Australia T20I Final had it all!

Final: Pakistan vs Australia

Aus Final line up

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. 

Final Pak batting scorecard.jpg

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. 

Final Fahkar Zaman batting

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. 

Final James Faulkner bowling

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.

Final Aus batting scorecard.jpg

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. 

Final Aaron Finch batting.jpg

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. 

Final Shadab Khan bowling

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. 

Final Glenn Maxwell batting

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!

Final Result.jpg

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.

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Ashes Cricket (PS4) GTC: Oh Jonny Good!

 

England - West Indies Squads

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.

Stokes Injured

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.

Jonny Bairstow NO.3 (2)

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.

Joe Denly

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!

England - West Indies Intro (2)

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.

Featured

Big Bash 08 Season

 

Melbourne renegades @cricinfo

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!

https://www.bigbash.com.au/stats

Top Run Scorers 

D’Arcy Short 637 (Hobart Hurricanes) Matthew Wade 592 (Hobart Hurricanes) Marcus Stoinis 533 (Melbourne Stars) Callum Ferguson 442 (Sydney Thunder) Daniel Hughes 399 (Sydney Sixers) Chris Lynn 385 (Brisbane Heat) Ashton Turner 378 (Perth Scorchers) Ben McDermott 376 (Hobart Hurricanes) George Bailey 363 (Hobart Hurricanes) Jono Wells 359 (Adelaide Strikers)

Top Wicket Takers

Kane Richardson 24 (Melbourne Renegades) Sean Abbott 22 (Sydney Sixers) Steve O’Keefe 21 (Sydney Sixers) Josh Lalor 20 (Brisbane Heat) Tom Curran 20 (Sydney Sixers) Rashid Khan 19 (Adelaide Strikers) Jofra Archer 18 (Hobart Hurricanes) James Faulkner 18 (Hobart Hurricanes) Andrew Tye 17 (Perth Scorchers) Riley Meredith 16 (Hobart Hurricanes)

Wicket Keeper Dismissals

Josh Philippe 12 (Sydney Sixers) Alex Carey 11 (Adelaide Strikers) Matthew Wade 10 (Hobart Hurricanes) Sam Harper 8 (Melbourne Renegades) Peter Handscomb 6 (Melbourne Stars) Jimmy Peirson 6 (Brisbane Heat) Seb Gotch 6 (Melbourne Stars) Cameron Bancroft 5 (Perth Scorchers) Jay Lenton 3 ( Sydney Thunder) Baxter Holt 3 (Sydney Thunder)

Catches win Matches

Melbourne Renegades = 69 ; 18 dropped Melbourne Stars = 65 ; 18 dropped Sydney Thunder = 60 ; 14 dropped Adelaide Strikers = 60 ; 15 dropped Brisbane Heat = 58 ; 17 dropped Perth Scorchers = 53 ; 17 dropped Sydney Sixers = 53 ; 14 dropped Hobart Hurricanes = 47 ; 12 dropped

Season in Numbers

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 scorer D’Arcy Short notching up 22 just ahead of Chris Lynn and Matthew 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.

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ashes Cricket GTC (PS4): England vs Sri Lanka – A new Smiling Assassin!

Opening picture

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. 

Root 4 for 56

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. 

Foakes 5 for 74

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. 

Woakes bowled

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 

Rashid and Ali 50 partnership

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 50 to 90

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!

Ball confusion.jpg

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.

Run out or Not

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?

dhanjaya de silva 84

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 Army though 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.

Root bowling

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.

Flying Foakes

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. 

Jennings 50.jpg

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.

Hey Keaton

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 100

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. 

Umpire sri lanka batting

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. 

Run out sri lanka batting

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. 

scorecard

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who to Watch: IPL 2019 Special! – Indian Players Part 2

chennai super kings

sunrisers hyderabad

mumbai indians

KKR

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)

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Cricket Captain 2018: Disappointing Defeats – T20I Series Round Robin

Game 3: Pakistan vs Australia 

Game 3 result

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.

Game 3 Pak batting scorecard

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).

Game 3 Mohamad Hafeez batting

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. 

Game 3 Jhye Richardson bowling

Jhye Richardson impressed with the ball with fast economical bowling taking 3 scalps for 19 runs in his first game of the series. 

Game 3 Aus batting scorecard

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. 

Game 3 James Faulkner batting

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. 

Game 3 Shadab Khan bowling

Expensive from the young leg spinner but a crucial spell with 3 important wickets in Pakistan’s tight victory.

Table after Game 3

Game 4: Zimbabwe vs Australia

Game 4 result

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. 

Game 4 Zim batting scorecard

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.

Game 4 Ryan Burl batting

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. 

Game 4 James Faulkner bowling

2 wickets for James Faulkner who has been a revelation since his long awaited return to the Australian setup. 

Game 4 Aus batting scorecard

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. 

Game 4 Chris Lynn batting

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. 

Game 4 Wellington Masakadza bowling

The slow left armer impressed in the dead rubber taking 2-21

Table after Round Robin end

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. 

 

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Struggling Sri Lankans Selecting Rookies for Fun!

sri lanka.PNG

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.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25929049/sri-lanka-drop-chandimal-south-africa-tour-karunaratne-made-captain

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.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25920260/two-double-tons-first-class-game-angelo-perera-achieves-rare-record

South African Squad Analysis

  1. 8 of the 17 man squad selected have played five tests or fewer
  2. 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.
  3. Four players selected are uncapped.
  4. Ireland A matches and Premier League form seems to be at precedence to Test players
  5. A pace attack containing an overall caps of just 8 caps (added to when Lakmal returns in the second test)
  6. Angelo Matthews remains a key player missing through injury
  7. 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
  8. 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. 

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25696950/malinda-pushpakumara-bags-all-10-wickets-innings

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. 

http://www.srilankacricket.lk/news/sri-lanka-test-squad-for-south-africa-series

A recipe for disaster or a recipe for success!

 

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Ashes Cricket (PS4): Global Test Championship Round 2 Review

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 vs Australia (2)

Afghanistan took the cricketing world by storm in a shock 3 wicket victory against the touring Australia. The sensational spin duo of Rashid Khan and debutant 17 year old Mujeeb Ur Rahman spun their web around the Aussie batsman 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 for Australia Aaron Finch smashed a ton and Mitchell Starc provided hope with ball and bat in a losing cause.

New Zealand vs Nepal (2)

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.

Pakistan vs Ireland (2)

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!!

Scotland vs India (2)

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 vs Hong Kong (2)

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. 

West Indies vs Bangladesh (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 vs Netherlands (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…

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Cricket Captain 2018: T20 Round Robin – No signs of Pak-ing up in a Bad-we way! (first 2 games)

Game 1 of the Tri -Series heads towards the tourists. Apologies in advance for the title, I didn’t want to use Zim so Bad-we represents Zimbabwe

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.

Australia’s 15 man squad for the Tournament

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.

An early blitz gave Australia the upper hand before Sarfraz’s blockbuster innings

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.

game 1 chris lynn batting

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.



game 1 hasan ali bowling

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.

Table after Game 1.jpg

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

game 2 result

Australia faced Zimbabwe with the Aussies looking to go two from two and Zimbabwe looking to avenge their defeat to Pakistan. 

game 2 zim batting scorecard

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 Burl produced an innings that had everything. First ball 6, Second ball 4, Third ball dropped, Fourth ball LBW as Zampa got his second victim. 

game 2 solomon mire batting

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).

game 2 adam zampa bowling

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. 

game 2 aus batting scorecard

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.

game 2 travis head batting

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. 

game 2 tendai chisoro bowling

A lone positive in a disappointing bowling performance after an above par showing with the bat for Zimbabwe.

table after game 2

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. 

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Sundries

Australian way for saying EXTRAS!

Extras.jpg

Bye:

new-zealand-cricket-logo4322-845x486

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.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25881371/daryl-mitchell-blair-tickner-make-nz-t20-squad

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. 

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8653/report/1169416/rajshahi-kings-vs-sylhet-sixers-38th-match-bangladesh-premier-league-2018-19

thundervsrenegades

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. 

https://live.cricket.com.au/match/2205/44015/melbourne-renegades-men-vs-sydney-thunder-men-kfc-bbl-08/scorecard

hales

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.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25891502/alex-hales-suffers-shoulder-injury-bpl-stint-rangpur-riders

van der dussen.PNG

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. 

http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/337790.html

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.

khadka.PNG

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19082/report/1170456/undefined

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Ashes Cricket (PS4): Career Mode – Part time spin shines but batting fright!

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!

jamie hamilton 1st innings

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. 

jamie hamilton bowling

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. 

matt quinn out to jamie hamilton

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. 

steven rashid out to jamie hamilton

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.

jamie hamilton 2nd innings dismissal

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. 

renmark vs mount barker result.

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. 

round 1 table

jamie hamilton 2nd innings

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. 

 

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