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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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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 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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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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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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Cricket Captain 2018: Australia vs England ODI Stats and T20I result

Welcome to a recap of the series between Australia and England in 5 One Day Internationals and a single T20I. Joe Root starred in a lacklustre England side with the bat whilst D’Arcy Short and AJ Tye were the leaders with bat and ball in an Australian team without Smith and Warner.

Highest Run Scorers (England)

JOE ROOT 342 HS: 119 (2nd ODI) Ave: 68.40 1 100s  2 50s        JONNY BAIRSTOW 226 HS: 107 (3rd ODI) Ave: 45.20 1 100s 1 50  EOIN MORGAN 203 HS: 79 (5th ODI) Ave: 40.60 2 50s   ALEX HALES 177 HS: 70 (3rd ODI) Ave: 35.40 2 50s     JOS BUTTLER 134 HS: 61NO (5th ODI) Ave: 33.50 1 50 BEN STOKES 130 HS: 59NO (5th ODI) Ave: 43.30 1 50

Bowling (England)

ADIL RASHID 14 @ 19.36 BB: 5-56 (2nd ODI) E: 5.89 BEN STOKES 8 @ 36.12 BB: 3-58 (4th ODI) E: 7.05 CHRIS WOAKES 5 @ 58.00 BB: 2-74 (2nd ODI) E: 6.49 LIAM PLUNKETT 4 @ 54.75 BB: 2-59 (5th ODI) E: 7.47 SAM CURRAN 3 @ 87.00 BB: 2-65 (2nd ODI) E: 8.24 TOM CURRAN 1 @ 212.00 BB: 1-65 (4th ODI) E: 7.07

Highest Run Scorers (Australia)

D’ARCY SHORT 241 HS: 95 (2nd ODI) Ave: 48.20 3 50s GLENN MAXWELL 221 HS: 85 (4th ODI) Ave: 73.67 3 50s CHRIS LYNN 214 HS: 100 (4th ODI) Ave: 42.80 1 100 1 50 AARON FINCH 205 HS: 79 (3rd ODI) Ave: 51.25 2 50s TIM PAINE 178 HS: 52NO (3rd ODI) Ave: 54.33 1 50 ALEX CAREY 103 HS: 103 (5th ODI) Ave: 103.00 1 100

Bowling (Australia)

AJ TYE 12 @ 20.00 BB: 4-47 (1st ODI) E: 5.00 BILLY STANLAKE 7 @ 40.86 BB: 2-51 (4th ODI) E: 6.24 JHYE RICHARDSON 7 @ 42.29 BB: 3-56 (2nd ODI) E: 6.39 MARCUS STOINIS 3 @ 53.00 BB: 3-56 (1st ODI) E: 7.57 ADAM ZAMPA 3 @ 62.00 BB: 2-37 (3rd ODI) E: 6.00 GLENN MAXWELL 3 @ 70.67 BB: 1-34 (2nd ODI) E: 7.57 D’ARCY SHORT 1 @ 49.00 BB: 1-29 (4th ODI) E: 7.00

ONE OFF T20I RESULT

Craig Overton takes his maiden five wicket haul as D’Arcy Short’s rich vein of form continues.

Edgbaston hosted a one off T20I match as England handed debuts to bowler Craig Overton and controversy batsman Ben Duckett in a side led by temporary captain Jos Buttler ahead of Morgan and Root. Australia made several changes to freshen up their plans for their upcoming T20I tri series in Pakistan with experienced head James Faulkner making his return to International cricket with Matthew Wade also returning alongside debutant left arm Ben Dwarshuis.

Australia batted first which gave Wade a chance to make an early impression but … he was out first ball. At the other end, Short in particular made inroads into the powerplay and Carey followed the same suit smashing a six into the second tier but Woakes had him for 15 LBW. The ODI partnership were reunited and caused non stop havoc as the effective Rashid proved ineffectual going at above 10 an over alongside Plunkett. The introduction of Craig Overton halted the Australians progression first dismissing Finch (56) Head (0) and Maxwell (4) all in the same over as the Australians lost 3 wickets for 4 runs. Faulkner’s absence from the international arena didn’t effect him straight away but soon he was gone for 2 to Plunkett. Short motored on taking advantage of the strike he had but Overton’s dream debut continued picking up Zampa (1) and Jhye Richardson (1) in a magnificent spell of bowling 4-0-30-5. Dwarshuis contributed 6 in a 21 run partnership with Short before Stokes took him (6) and then Tye (0) to wrap up the innings led by an unbeaten 86 from Short and a half century from Finch.

An unbeaten 86 carrying his bat through the innings.
A debut to remember with a five wicket haul in a troubling spell for the tourists.
England’s middle order collapses but Bairstow and Stokes stay strong to see England over the line.

A newly formed partnership of Bairstow and Buttler set off at a blistering rate scoring 67 from the powerplay. Immediately after though, Buttler’s (30) conserved approach was ended by Tye caught well by Zampa at long on. Soon England went from 1-80 to 5-82 as Hales (3), Root (0), Duckett on debut(1), Morgan (0) fell in quick succession. Zampa had Hales caught by Wade at slip before Maxwell magic in the field dismissed Root without facing before Faulkner almost had a hattrick after trapping Duckett and Morgan in front. Bairstow and Stokes rebuilt the ship and attacked instantly with boundaries flowing and Australian hopes going after looking so promising. A costly no ball from Tye in an over of 24 brought England’s target down to 5 from the final 2 overs. Jhye Richardson bowled impeccably going for just 1 run off the first 4 balls including taking the wicket of Stokes (48) in an important knock. However, Bairstow capped off an individually dominant performance with a four to guide England home to a 4 wicket victory despite an incredible loss of four wickets for only two runs.

All around the ground shots from Bairstow in a dominating innings.
Inches away from a historic hattrick, the Tasmanian bowled well on his return to the T20 side.

A frustrating end to what has been a superb series for us. The team played fantastically to seal the series against England early on with pleasing and impressive knocks from our experienced and inexperienced lads. Each player have shown their worth in each way and with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and Mitch Marsh all returning from injury soon, there will definitely be selection headaches for future tours. Next up we head off to UAE for a T20 Tri Series against Pakistan and Zimbabwe, they are overwhelmed from your constant support and ask you to continue the journey on the Australian redemption journey.

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Cricket Captain 2018: Big Billy Stanlake

Australia dominate a series in which they surprise and stun England on their home turf. England showed glimpses of the winning quality with individual performances but Australia had different players at different times contributing to a winning formula.

After England’s first victory of the series at County Durham, the crowd at Old Trafford were treated to an entertaining and thrilling match which went right down to the wire. Going into the dead rubber, changes were expected from both sides but yet again England were sticking to their rotation at NO3 as Malan re entered for Clarke whilst Sam came in for Tom in the Curran brothers swap. Australia made 3 changes as Hobart Hurricanes left arm spinner Clive Rose was handed his international debut in for Zampa whilst experienced Peter Handscomb replaced Stoinis and exciting and blistering wicketkeeper batsman Alex Carey in for Aaron Finch.

Aggressive hitting from Stokes and Buttler lift England above 300 after the platform was set from Morgan and Root.

Australia won their first toss of the series and elected to field which looked to have been the right decision when Stanlake removed the basher Hales for 2 caught behind by Paine. In the chop and change position at 3, Malan needed to cement the position for his own good and the good of the fans as the selectors continue to make puzzling choices for England. He started brightly and quickly overtook Bairstow at a fast scoring rate with quick running between the wickets the key. Bairstow was fairly content with keeping Malan on strike at first but had had enough which curtailed his innings as an attempted ramp off Richardson was failed and he was trapped in front. The imperious Root joined Malan at the crease looking to bring on the Australia’s lack of fifth bowler as soon as possible but the latter left England stumbling at 3-49 as Tye executed a perfect slower ball yorker bowling Malan for 22.

Morgan finding form at the end of the series in a patient knock mixed with boundary hitting.

Australia were keen to attack this crucial partnership which was diffident in the previous match which prompted the front line bowlers to have extra overs in a bid to run riot through the middle order. Morgan and Root had other ideas on a pitch where boundary hitting was tough to score from. After playing themselves in, Root and Morgan accelerated and took on debutant Rose and off spinner Maxwell in a bid to unsettle Australia’s lack of depth without Stoinis, scoring boundaries without pressure. With both passing half centuries and Morgan aiming for the ton, a change of attack by captain Paine allowed unusual fielding positions for Maxwell including two short midwickets and a leg gully and the latter position dismissed Morgan for 79 with an outstanding catch by Shaun Marsh to break the 143 run stand. A shift in momentum had taken shape as Root fell to Stanlake for 69 looking to upper cut the bowler but found Rose at third man.

A measured knock completed with the class in boundary shots through the leg side and the posh side.

The mini collapse didn’t deter England as Stokes and Buttler put on a 124 run stand to lift England above 300 into a competitive score. Both batsman played entertaining and exiting strokes with Stokes playing sheer brute shots in comparison to Buttler’s controlled slogging. 82 was hit off the last 10 overs including a Buttler onslaught but the momentum was back into Australia’s favour with the last 3 going for only 10 in tight death bowling from Tye. England would be pleased with their efforts again finding form in their middle order from their more dangerous and top scoring batsman but Australia would be feeling confident to chase 323.

2 wickets for the speedster at an expensive rate though.
Australia get home in the most entertaining game of the summer with a thrilling end causing England pain and Australia gain.

Short’s bowling ability gained his spot in the side ahead of the rested Finch and he was joined at the top of the order by exciting batsman Alex Carey. The left hand pair began nervously especially between the wickets as Woakes and Stokes took the new ball to good effect. But it was the running that cost Short as his racing start was halted by a direct hit from Hales in a dodgy single. Handscomb was brought into the side and came into Lynn’s position at 3 but his stay was short as Stokes found swing to get him leg before for 1. With Australia teetering at 2-26, centurion Lynn joined inexperienced Carey and soon began to settle into the job in hand with Carey showing his potential and class through his hitting. The new ball pair were seen off before Carey played Rashid the best out the Australian batsmen throughout the series. The 100 run partnership was up soon enough alongside Carey’s maiden half century. Sam Curran proved ineffectual much like his brother throughout the series and in the game as Lynn and Carey picked him off at a canter.

A rathe pedestrian innings from Lynn but nonetheless a vital knock with Carey

However, Plunkett utilised his extra pace and bounce to effect dismissing Lynn for 61 caught on the boundary by Rashid. Shaun Marsh came into the 5th ODI hoping for some runs to cement a future trip however Plunkett’s in swinger fooled him and he was bowled for 6. Run machine Glenn Maxwell capped off a mini collapse as in the next over Stokes found his edge for a golden duck through to Bairstow. Australia were cruising at 2-171 but with Maxwell’s dismissal they found themselves at 5-180 with Carey stranded in the 90s.

A brilliant knock of sheer resilience and courage to reach triple figures for the first time in ODI cricket.

Momentum had swung once again into England’s favour but Captain Paine was determined not to succumb to the pressure and smashed the ball through all parts of the ground. Carey reached his triple figures citing a massive celebration but soon he was gone LBW to Woakes for an almost run a ball 103. Richardson was promoted to 8 where he showed his potential with the bat alongside Paine and scored 13 before Rashid mopped up his front pad. Rose is not generally known for his ball striking but he soon gave a glimmer of hope with 2 boundaries through the leg side. All hope seemed to be lost when Paine’s electric 39 came to an end dismissed by Sam Curran leaving the Australians 8-250.

Rose and Stanlake needed boundaries quickly and through fortune and somewhat good batting, it came! Rose targeted Rashid to the leg side hitting 2 maximums over deep midwicket whilst Stanlake knocked the ball around with 3 maximums and suddenly the chase was on! But, Rashid strung a killer blow into Australian hearts as the debutant Rose was caught well by Root at slip for a great 36 leaving 12 to win as AJ Tye strolled to the crease. After two singles and a near run out, Tye edged past third man for 4 leaving six required off the last. Sam Curran bowled 3 dot balls at Stanlake, an unusual sight in Big Billy’s knock, before bowling a slower bouncer picked by Stanlake and sent far into the crowd for the Australian win! 41 off 23 in an innings that will be remembered more than Carey’s amazing century, led the Aussies to a narrow yet ecstatic victory.

Rashid was the main danger with the ball throughout the series and his two late wickets put England in charge before the 2 last wicket partnerships.

An amazing victory snatched from the jaws of a defeat typifies the courage we showed throughout the series and 4-1 whilst some games were closer the score line reflects our whole team and their contributions. D’Arcy Short and Aaron Finch seamlessly opened together with Carey slotting in fantastically in the Final ODI whilst Lynn, Maxwell and Paine made vital runs as Tye amongst others lead with the ball. Our all-round ability led us to a dominant victory as England will be rightfully angry and disappointed at a poor series with only individual contributions particularly with the bat to look at positively. Their bowling attack was wayward but the indecision comes from the selectors above who have received slack for their chopping and changing.

We face England next in a one off T20I before heading off to Pakistan and Zimbabwe for a T20I Tri Series in June and July. Be sure to revisit the site to see the progression of the Australian team in Cricket Captain and the other topics coming up on the website!!

Short Leg

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Cricket Captain 2018: The revive of England

England show resistance in a high scoring chase with Root and Morgan leading the victory.

After the 3-0 series romp, County Durham was the venue for an England kickstart in what has been a disappointing start to their one day summer. Home pundits had been calling for changes in a poor showing from the Pommies so far against the under strength Australians and 2 were made. Joe Clarke replaces Malan in another vice versa switch from the 2nd and 3rd ODI- (will they choose who they want at 3?), and Tom Curran replacing brother Sam after an expensive start to his debut series. The Aussies made the singular change with Travis Head rested for experienced Shaun Marsh.

Lynn top scoring with a rapid century backed up by Maxwell’s aggressive 85 and lower order runs to get Australia up to 334 in their 50 overs.

The lethal partnership of Finch and Short was reignited with Tom Curran and Stokes aiming to strike early after new ball woes in the series so far. Stokes, with confidence with his last bat, took the early wicket of Short on a good length delivery, with Short looking to kickstart his innings. Lynn hadn’t fired so far throughout the series but he seized on some abysmal lengths and lines from the opening pair. Finch played a cameo role feeding the strike well to Lynn, who took down Curran and began to take on Rashid. But, the bowler of the series for England, Rashid took the wicket of Finch with another googly as batsman have struggled to pick Rashid’s deliveries. Marsh made a positive start and brought the Australians up to 130-3 after 22 overs in a quick fire run rate. However, after dispatching Curran for a boundary, Marsh succumbed to Curran’s slower ball and was trapped in front for 15 leaving Maxwell to join Lynn at 3-139.

72 runs scored in a power hitting knock from the Queensland batsman

Fireworks begun with Lynn continuing his imperious ball striking and Maxwell showing his destructive nature as Rashid, for the first time in the series, was knocked off his usual line and length. The 50 partnership was reached off only 31 balls giving the Australians hope for 350-400. Lynn took 24 off Woakes’s over before dispatching returning bowler Stokes for his 15th four to bring up his maiden ODI century. However, his celebrations were short lived as a rejuvenated Stokes trapped Lynn for the 3rd LBW out of 4. Lynn’s wicket was the first of 3 to fall for 3 runs as the inform Paine failed to pick Rashid’s top spinner and was bowled before Stokes took another in the next over as Stoinis inexpiably played a failed ramp and was bowled for 1.

An innovative filled innings of destructive batting from Maxwell propelled the Australians out of the mini collapse.

Adam Zampa rebuilt the Australian innings in a cameo role with Maxwell taking the anchor with Plunkett in particular taking the brunt of Maxwell’s aggression. The run rate began to climb as England showed glimpses of anger and dispute with each other with 2 dropped catches of Zampa and a hard chance of Maxwell put down. 75 runs were added for the seventh wicket partnership before Woakes used his slower balls for success dismissing an impressive Zampa for 37. Maxwell’s onslaught continued whilst at the other end, Jhye Richardson contributed with a maximum of his own going into the final 5 overs.

Stokes with 3 valuable wickets and helped restrict Australia to under 350.

Plunkett had frustrated Maxwell in the previous over and his steeping bouncer managed to dismiss Maxwell in the penultimate over for an 85 boosting Australia’s score. Tye fell first ball to Plunkett a few balls later but Richardson promptly smashed 16 of the final over to bring the momentum back to the Aussies. Lynn and Maxwell starred with impressive ball striking whilst Finch, Zampa and Richardson played cameo roles in a 334 which would be tough to chase down. Stokes was the main contributor with the ball with 3 as Rashid and Plunkett chipped in with 2 but at an expensive rate.

Last over heroics give England the victory with experienced heads Root and Morgan leading the Pommies to a successful chase.

With a difficult chase ahead for England, they got off to a less than ideal start as Stanlake ripped through Bairstow for a golden duck. The NO3 position had been highly talked about before the match and the constant changing between Malan and Clarke hadn’t payed off so far and failed once more as Clarke nicked behind to Paine off Stanlake for a mere 9. Root took the mantle of the aggressor in an unfamiliar role for the Test Captain with Hales following suit to drag England inline with the required run rate. Boundaries flowed off the seam bowlers from both batsman targeting the short boundary to the offside. Zampa was attacked early on but it was Tye who broke through as Hales’s free flowing 44 was ended by a deceptively slow slower ball by the WA paceman.

Untypical powerful innings from Root in a match winning 92.
A proper captains’ inning which contributed to England’s first victory

The Vice Captain and Captain were joined together to dampen the Australian spirits with the pitch beginning to show signs of wear making the batsman’s life easier. Morgan and Root began to form a flourishing partnership with Zampa and Stoinis going at 9-12 runs an over. The momentum had turned towards England with both batsman reaching their half centuries and motoring on. Maxwell and part timer Short had bowled tight overs back to back and the pressure created culminated in the downfall of Root for a fabulous 92 playing too an extravagant shot on this occasion and finding the edge to Paine off Maxwell. (131 run partnership) Stokes followed the platform from Root and put on a brisk 28 with Morgan before the latter succumbed to the left arm spinner Short in front for 76. With only 95 required with 15 overs left, the game was firmly in the balance but the momentum of the record breaking partnership swung England into control.

Buttler had struggled so far in the series to replicate the form shown in the IPL but with the pitch in favour of the ball striker, he flourished in a supporting role with Stokes. Stokes bulldozed 8 boundaries in his innings with Australia’s main bowlers failed to strike the crucial breakthrough as England looked destined to victory. Richardson though sparked a twist in the tale as Stokes became the third out of four victims of LBW for 42. Woakes struggled throughout his 36 ball stay as the Australians kept the pressure on well to him but it didn’t deter Buttler who brought the total to 10 off the last 3 overs before Tye dismissed him for 48 becoming the fourth LBW victim. Rashid, though, finished the game off in style with a second ball six to defeat Australia and give England some light in a darker tunnel.

Billy Stanlake took 2 early wickets but in a losing cause.

In a pleasing performance for England, the experienced heads found form and steered them to the big scoring chase with the Australians fairly disappointed to have bowled poorly especially at Root and Morgan with 7 bowlers used. Stoinis and Zampa in particular were too expensive and relied on part timers to fill up their allocation. The fault lied in the bowling and fielding performances as the batting was boosted by different contributors. We head off to Old Trafford in the final ODI with the Aussies intending to finish the series off 4-1. Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb and Clive Rose are expected to play a part in the final match with Rose on debut.

Be sure to revisit the site for more Cricket Captain reports as well as different cricket topics including Ashes Cricket, the Big Bash and International Cricket. Until next time Short Leg

Cricket Captain 2018: Tremendous Trent Bridge Success

3 from 3 for the Aussies in a remarkable series win with an understrength side against the Pommies.

Trent Bridge was the hosting venue for the 3rd ODI where in real life England hammered a world record 481-6 in their 50 overs. They would be hoping to replicate that form in the virtual game with a response required after going 2-0 down in the series. The hosts made 2 alterations with David Malan replacing Joe Clarke in a vice versa switch from the last ODI and under firing seamer Tom Curran being replaced by the experienced Liam Plunkett. Australia remained unchanged for the 3rd successive match as they aimed to wrap up an unlikely series victory.

England made 270 in their 50 overs with a brilliant century from Bairstow and a supporting knock of 70 from Hales

Stanlake and Richardson opened the bowling attack for the Australians after winning the toss but it was the opening partnership that provided a platform for England. The aggressive manner of Hales bounced off onto Bairstow as both played controlled but attacking shots taking the advantage of the extra pace and the powerplay. Deceptive bowler Tye couldn’t break through the shackles of either batsman as the ball was shot to the legside often. Their 100 run partnership came up after 15 overs and reached the 20th over with 138 on the board. But, the decisive change of Zampa’s field drew Hales into a false trap and was bowled around the legs for 70. Australia were galvanised and under pressure Malan was back to the pavilion after a swift 20 padding in front to Zampa’s googly. Steady Root joined Bairstow at the crease showing a variety of shots whilst Bairstow calmly made his way to his 7th ODI century coming off 115 balls as the pair negotiated each bowling change made by Finch.

Wagon wheel of Jonny Bairstow’s 107 off 126 with 15 fours and 1 six.

Shortly after reaching the ton, Bairstow succumbed to the tempting pressure of increasing the run rate as he attempted an ambitious ramp to Tye. Morgan’s indifferent form was exploited by the intelligent Tye as he lured him into a lofted drive just for the ball to cannon back into the pads for a golden duck. Root’s unusual 100+ strike rate was promising for England but he fell at 5-248 to Jhye Richardson LBW (the 4th out of the top order.) Australia then began to keep the batters under a tight scoring rate with clever off pace deliveries and the occasional bouncer which Stanlake used to dismiss Buttler for 1. Stokes held one end up aiming for the boundary but his support was thin as Richardson had Woakes caught on the boundary for 1 before Rashid fell into Tye’s trap edging behind again for 1.

Canny bowling from Tye mixing up his off pace deliveries got him the reward of 3 valuable wickets.

Stokes finished with a flourishing boundary but an under par last 10 overs brought the Aussies back with the momentum after an impressive and flowing opening partnership between centurion Bairstow and aggressive Hales.

4 half centuries from the top 6 in a dominant display leading Australia to a series win.

Much like England’s opening pair, the inform duo of Finch and Short repeated their spectacular combinations. Sam Curran and Ben Stokes opened up but swing was in short supply which nullified their threat. 86 runs came from the opening 10 overs as momentum began to roll towards the tourists. Groans from the home crowd were soon silenced as standout bowler Rashid took Short’s wicket for 57 with 11 boundaries in an 117 run partnership. In the same over, Rashid removed Lynn to swing the momentum back towards England and galvanising the crowd. Finch’s free flowing attitude didn’t stagnate as the run rate was maintained in chase of 271. Head never got going and lost his head to a rash shot (mind the puns) as Rashid took his third. Finch and Maxwell joined in an entertaining knock shooting down the bowlers until Finch nicked behind from Woakes for an energetic 79.

Finch’s free flowing 79 came with innovative shots in a counter attacking style.

When hope seemed brighter for England, a 97 run partnership from Maxwell and leader Paine led the Australians to victory. Paine’s knock in particular showed the class of a middle order batsman with boundary hitting shots combined with simple singles whilst Maxwell played a boundary filled innings completing the contest with a punch down the ground off the expensive Plunkett.

Rashid starred in a lacklustre England attack taking 3 at a neat economy rate.

Australia complete the series with 2 games to go in a dominant display of all round quality with each player showing their worth on the field of play. England had their moments but they came in very short supply with Rashid, Root and the opening combo the highlights in a disappointing poor series loss in home conditions. D’Arcy Short led the way for the Australians in his debut series with valuable contributions from all in a real team showing grit, passion and determination.

With two games to go, they will be covered in the same article but be sure to revisit the site to see how the games play out with the options of Handscomb, Care, Marsh and Clive Rose poised to make their mark on the series but also a possible charge back from England?

Until next time Short Leg

Cricket Captain 2018: Cardiff Stuffing for England!

Cardiff provides an entertaining match but England lose on home ground for the consecutive occasion.

Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was the hosting venue for the second ODI between England and Australia. After winning the series in Australia, England would be looking to replicate that winning formula with the tourists taking the opening match at the Oval. . Australia remained unchanged with D’Arcy Short and Marcus Stoinis looking to repeat their impressive start of the series with bat and ball respectively. England made one change as David Malan will be rueing his inability to cash in on his start and was replaced by Worcestershire’s up and coming star Joe Clarke, who was handed his international debut. Conditions early on are conducive for the spinners whilst later on seamers play a part on the flattening wicket and with that in mind, Morgan elected to bowl first.

Australia making 326-9 with D’Arcy Short renewing his fine form with 95 as Rashid takes 5-56 in a spinning wicket

Finch and Short began their assault on the opening bowlers of Tom Curran and Stokes and much like the first ODI, they began in an aggressive style with boundaries galore. But, Stokes fought back by taking the wicket of Finch for a quickfire 28 off 22 and then the wicket of the power hitting Lynn for 8 four balls later. Head backed up Short’s start by rotating the strike well and allowing Short to target the Currans. At a crucial time in the match, the spin of Rashid turned pivotal and bowled Head out for 17. Maxwell began in typical fashion with 2 fours and a six before falling foul of Rashid’s googly to leave the Aussies in trouble at 4-134. Captain Paine joined the crease and nullified the effect of Rashid as Short went from strength to strength with some outstanding hitting.

Their 54 run partnership was broken with the big wicket of Short, who will be disappointed he couldn’t make three figures, for a fantastic 95 caught behind off Woakes. An innings nonetheless he will remember in his debut series.

Paine and Stoinis began rebuilding with the latter playing counter attacking shots to up the dwindling run rate. Stokes’s return to the bowling crease brought about the wicket of Paine who was looking to increase the scoring rate LBW for 41 breaking another 54 run partnership. Adam Zampa arrived and with Stoinis added entertainment for the crowd with boundaries hit against Stokes and Woakes. Rashid returned at the conclusion of Stokes’s spell and immediately struck with Zampa leg before for a swashbuckling 26 off 21 adding Australia some lower order impetus. With the tail in, Rashid took advantage and cleaned up Jhye Richardson and Tye in the same over to bring up his 5 wicket haul leaving Stoinis to be joined by Stanlake.


Against the odds, Stanlake proved to be useful as he handed the strike to Stoinis with the aim of 300+. Stoinis brought up his 50 with a front foot slog for 6 off Woakes and built from there adding 39 for the last partnership with 9 boundaries from Marcus. Stanlake weighed in with 4 proper boundaries but come the penultimate ball, Woakes had the last laugh bowling Stanlake for 18 and concluding the Australian innings for 326. Short led the way at the top of the order with a stunning 95 ably supported by Stoinis counter attacking 68NO and handy contributions from Paine and big Billy Stanlake.

Joe Root led the one man band with a boundary filled 119 with speedster Jhye Richardson taking his best of 3-56.

After a top order show in Surrey, it was a different story for both Bairstow and Hales as communication issues led to cheap runouts. A direct hit from AJ Tye to dismiss Bairstow for 3 at short cover started the train as debutant Clarke was caught up in Hales’s poor running but wasn’t the victim as Hales attempted a near impossible single as Maxwell cleaned up. England became in trouble at 3-38 with Clarke impressing with 3 boundaries but then falling leg before to Richardson with the extra pace. Eoin Morgan’s lane run scoring form continued with a brilliant return catch by Richardson for 4 and Stokes fell early again for 2 trapped in front for 2 by Tye. England were 5-57 with Root watching 3 dismissals quickly! An attempted relaunch was underway as Stoinis was smashed for 39 off only 3 overs mainly by Buttler and Zampa targeted to the short boundaries. But this positive contribution from the wicketkeeper batsman was over with Tye’s variations catching the edge to Paine.

Root taking 80 runs in boundaries all around the park in a scintillating knock

Woakes joined Root and the latter carried on taking the attack to the Aussies and throwing Zampa off the attack for just the five overs going for 55. Rashid showed the more comfortable start to the ball and Zampa struggled with length and line. In a 107 run partnership, Root showed his permanent class and his ability to convert in the shorter forms of the game with his century coming off 67 balls. Just when England seemed back into the contest with Woakes backing up Root, Jhye Richardson produced a marvellous run out of the Test captain for 119 kickstarting the tail. As Woakes closed in on his half century, he fell for 49 to Richardson with the extra pace playing dividend. Rashid and Sam Curran put up small resistance but it was Maxwell who broke through Rashid, as he set himself to clear the fence, who was well caught by Head. The 2 brothers didn’t stay for much longer as big Billy finished the job off finding the edge of Tom Curran and wrapping up a 58 run victory for the Aussies.

The WA paceman taking 3 crucial wickets and inflicting the most important wicket of Root with a run out.

England put up great resistance in the latter end of their innings with Root and Woakes in particular providing a positive ,after being 5-57, to a disappointing defeat where batsman struggled to convert their starts. After 2 successive wins, we are very pleased with our start and the contributions of D’Arcy Short, Jhye Richardson, Glenn Maxwell and AJ Tye have been the standout performances heading into the 3rd ODI. We will look to wrap up an unlikely series win at Trent Bridge which should be set for a high scoring contest. The team continued to be impressed by the support shown and hope to wrap up the series for the travelling fans!

Until next time Short Leg