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:
Joe Root (C)
Jonny Bairstow (+)
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:
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.
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:
Hong 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.
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 🇭🇰
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 🏴