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.
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!
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!
A rather late but important piece of news – Cricket 19 will be here with us on the 28th May!
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!
I think Cricket 19 will be my year for fielding but you can still guarantee the odd comical run out and dropped catches.
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.
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?
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.
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?!
It appears to be a traditional fantasy cricket game alongside the head to head leagues and will also feature the IPL (Indian Premier League 2019) and the ongoing JLT Sheffield Shield (Australia 4 day Domestic 2019) so if you didn’t want to just chance your arm at the county comp in England, these options are available for you.
With a busy year of Cricket for International players with the Ashes and the World Cup occurring, it will be a chance for some of the less experienced and younger players at the county clubs to step up and make a name for themselves. Likewise with the County season opening at the beginning of April, it is a fantastic opportunity for players to push their case for the Ashes squad (especially the top order!) later on in the Summer.
Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) is making his first County Championship performance in his career FC: 10510 runs @ 46.16 35 hundreds and 43 fifties Tests: 4074 @ 36.05 8 hundreds and 22 fifties
Zak Crawley (Kent) FC 2018: 755 runs @ 31.45 1 hundred and 4 fifties
Will Rhodes (Warwickshire) FC 2018: 972 runs @ 44.25 4 hundreds and 4 fifties
Tom Haines (Sussex) FC 2018: 319 runs @ 31.90 1 hundred and 1 fifty 1-82(33.0)
Matt Renshaw (Somerset 2018 + Australia / Kent 2019) FC 2018: 513 runs @ 51.30 3 hundreds and 1 fifty
Ollie Pope (Surrey + England) FC 2018: 986 runs @ 70.42 4 hundreds and 1 fifty
Tom Moores (Notts) FC 2018: 616 runs @ 29.33 1 hundred an 2 fifties
Steven Mullaney (Notts) 601 runs @ 30.05 1 hundred and 4 fifties – 11 wickets @ 36.54
Matt Critchley (Derbyshire) 705 runs @ 28.20 1 hundred and 4 fifties – 32 wickets @ 36.08
Tom Helm (Middlesex) 12 wickets @ 33.71
Ben Sanderson (Northans) 60 wickets @ 16.70
Dom Bess (Somerset) 11 wickets @ 54.72
Jake Ball (Notts) 28 wickets @ 22.25
Mason Crane (Hampshire) didn’t feature due to injury but did feature in one Test in the 2017-18 Ashes series for England
I will post updates throughout the season to see how team Short Leg Cricket fares in the English County World. Stay tuned for some upcoming articles on the site all involving the Cricketing world. Thanks for reading and visit soon!
Following last week’s teaser of a new console Cricket game, today England Cricket Twitter page confirmed the new game with the title of Cricket 19 with Big Ant Studios. This game is subjected to be released in May of this year, so well before the Ashes start and just before the beginning of the Cricket World Cup. Just the fact there is a new Cricket game to spend hours playing is simply fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I will link in the two videos with some analysis and the link of the information from the England Cricket website. Enjoy your days and week and I will be back at some stage next week.
With the table hotting up, approaching the final two round robin matches, Australia encountered Pakistan in the UAE looking to qualify automatically for the final.
Pakistan began the innings with the same intent they showed at the end of their innings in the first game courtesy of a Sarfraz 61 as Zaman and Farhan took the mantle dispatching Short and Faulkner early on. Jhye Richardson has been the find of the season so far for Australia (in for Stanlake) and he delivered breaking a promising partnership with Farhan (22) sent back to the pavilion. Sohail had struggled adjusting to three in his first two matches and Richardson exploited that at 2-60 with his second LBW victim outside the powerplay.
Zaman’s scoring rate had stagnated from his early hitting with Farhan and Sohail falling and in an attempt to kickstart his innings and take spin out of the attack, he succumbed to the left arm spin of Agar for a brisk 34. Talat and Hafeez impressed against Zampa and Agar as the experienced head of Hafeez dispatched boundaries quickly. Zampa in particular bowled accurately and tightly for his 4-0-28-0 keeping the Pakistan side under control. With the 50 partnership up, the 7th bowling option of off spinner Maxwell made the breakthrough bowling Talat (31).
The dangerous Ahmed (14) showed glimpses of his imperious ball striking from game 1 with two glorious boundaries but the fast Richardson took his third of the night decimating the leg stump. Another wicket fell with Nawaz (5) finding the gloves of Carey off to expensive Tye. Wickets at intervals had decreased the set batsmen scoring rate and Hafeez departed at 7-161 for 39 LBW to Faulkner from 26 with a leg side filled wagon wheel. Faulkner dismissed Shadab Khan for 4 as another leg before wicket in a strong comeback from Australia at the end of the innings with tight and economical bowling as Pakistan ended on 163-8 which was above par but they were certainly hoping for more on the board.
Jhye Richardson impressed with the ball with fast economical bowling taking 3 scalps for 19 runs in his first game of the series.
Pakistan knew the danger of a Finch and Short partnership blossoming and after some early treatment of Amir, the rejuvenated Hasan Ali dismissed Short for 14 who has been starting to look out of sorts from his beginning of the ODIs with a rest required soon. Carey had had a real Jekyll and Hyde series with a first ball duck in the first game and then an explosive 25 from 10 and Hasan Ali, who dismissed Carey in the first game, did the same on his first ball. The introduction of leg spin from Shadab Khan provided Pakistan with increasing momentum as set batsmen Finch (17) looked to take the attack but Sarfraz took a neat stumping.
Lynn and Head continued Australia’s fearless run scoring rate with the run rate least of the tourists problems as Amir and Ashraf felt the heat of the boundaries whizzing past. Lynn looked in the zone to make a big knock but Amir’s relentless pressure finally succeeded with Lynn (19) nicking behind and falling into a well executed trap. Ashraf backed up Amir’s wicket with the crucial wicket of Head (9) as Australia were wobbling at 5-61.
Maxwell and Faulkner played dissimilar roles with Faulkner the aggressor against the enthusiastic Pakistan attack. Maxwell’s conserved innings was over as he left for 5 LBW to Ashraf for his second. Faulkner’s aggressive style was bringing Australia faint hope but his 22 from 12 was “all she wrote” with Khan grabbing his second wicket leaving the Aussies 7-90. Agar was back in the hut for 2 as the young leggie took his third in an exciting spell of spin bowling. Zampa and Richardson used the long handle in an intent for boundary or bust and Zampa’s entertaining 13 from 5 was ended by Nawaz. Tye is not known for his big hitting but he delivered two lusty blows before Richardson curtailed the innings at 128 at a losing cause of 35 runs.
A disappointing batting innings where we never applied ourselves to the chase and batted with too much recklessness and not enough rotation of strike. A top order collapse was detrimental with no one stepping up to provide that winning knock. Nevertheless, we still play Zimbabwe with a spot in the final virtually guaranteed.
Expensive from the young leg spinner but a crucial spell with 3 important wickets in Pakistan’s tight victory.
Game 4: Zimbabwevs Australia
With Zimbabwe out of contention for the final, Australia will play Pakistan in the final but first was the chance for Zimbabwe to get some points and Australia to rest and rotate their squad around.
Solomon Mire starred against the Aussies in game 2 and started well against left arm spinner Short but fell soon after to Faulkner caught behind to returning keeper Matt Wade. Richardson picked up where he left off from the Pakistan game and ripped the middle stump of Zhuwao (5). Malcolm Waller made his T20I debut in this dead rubber and showed small glimpses of talent but Stanlake’s superior bounce found an edge flying to Finch at slip who took a smart catch. Zimbabwe were in trouble at 3-35 as Ryan Burl walked to the crease with memories of his entertaining knock fresh in both teams minds. Masakadza had witnessed the fall of the wickets at the non strikers end but wasn’t fazed with the task of setting a competitive score. Burl played second fiddle but Australia struck again with the inexperienced Dwarshuis catching Masakadza edge for 34.
Burl immediately took the mantle and put the Australian bowlers off their usual lines and lengths. His sweeping and innovation was the cornerstone for his innings alongside some genuine power hitting strokes. Dwarshuis was likened to by Burl with his length and pace targeted consistently alongside Moor who played the second fiddle role. Burl passed 50 at a strike rate of 200 and continued in that way before Dwarshuis had the last laugh trapping him in front for a match winning 58.
Moor couldn’t take the mantle from Burl and departed to Faulkner before Chisoro was comprehensively bowled by Stanlake for 4. Mavuta and Masakadza added 14 in the last over to get the Zimbabwe side up to 156 which was a good score epically coming from Burl after their early struggle.
2 wickets for James Faulkner who has been a revelation since his long awaited return to the Australian setup.
Despite calls for Short to be rested, he wasn’t and he opened with Finch against Kyle Jarvis but Finch lasted 3 balls before his leg stump was obliterated. Matt Wade hit a 100m maximum to kickstart a sign of form but an unfortunate piece of calling between the wickets with Hobart Hurricanes team mate Short left Wade out for 8. A fantastic opening spell from Jarvis and Mpofu set the standard for Zimbabwe and Mavuta’s tighter bowling restricted Short and his slow innings for 8 was over leaving the Aussies 3-35 just like their opponents.
Head and Lynn had had successful partnerships together and began developing another as momentarily Zimbabwe were on the back foot. Head dealt with the big maximums whilst Lynn hammered boundaries mainly off the spin bowlers as Australia were well above the required rate but needed to maintain their partnership.
Travis Head smashed 29 from just 9 deliveries before Mavuta took an important wicket with an extra hint of swing as the dangerous 40 run partnership was over. Jordan Silk had a chance to impress Australian selectors with an innings keeping him around the side but was out for a golden duck to Chisoro. From then Lynn was struggling to find the boundary and his innings was at an end when Wellington Masakadza bowled a googly which Lynn played all around. Faulkner couldn’t repeat his heroics from England all those years ago and departed for 10 from 10 leaving Australia down and out at 7-94.
Agar and Jhye Richardson joined together and took the boundary route in an unlikely chase with two huge sixes from the WA pair in the second biggest stand of the innings. Agar departed for an almost run a ball 15 to Masakadza with 37 required off four overs. Dwarshuis batted like he was in a test match leaving and blocking whilst Richardson pummelled the attack around the park in a 28 NO off 23. Dwarshuis was out for 2 off 12 before Zimbabwe closed the match with a narrow 17 run victory.
The slow left armer impressed in the dead rubber taking 2-21
The result though doesn’t change the standings as Pakistan qualify top to play Australia in the Tri Series final which has so far shown the promise and excitement a T20 series between nations can cause. Maybe there will be more tournaments and series like this in the future…Be sure to find out the result of the T20I final to see whether Australia can lift their first trophy under Jamie Hamilton.
Sri Lankan Test Cricket is on the verge of meltdown. Only winning 4 of the last 12 Test series, over a dozen (and more…)debutants and a lot of experienced faces departing the International scene. Gone of the days where Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara leading the team with the bat and in the field and Murali Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and Chaminda Vaas destroyed batting line ups at ease with Murali’s indispensable 795 wickets imperative to Sri Lankan success.
Now, Angelo Matthews leads a side with his 80 ,experienced but still young caps, with increasing debutants coming and going with a settled side seemingly lost at the selection policy. The recent Australian series saw plenty of debutants as the depth of Sri Lanka cricket was tested right to the bottom including a seam attack full of debut players and Kasun Rajitha in the final test.
Consistency seems to be at the heart of the issues in a non stop cycle. Injuries have also been a major problem in finding the right test players. Roshen Silva had been having an impressive summer for the Sri Lankans with important knocks against England and New Zealand but had been side lined with an injury from the conclusion of the Black Caps tour and then surprisingly dropped for the Proteas.
Schedule has been gruelling on the Test front with England visiting and then subsequent Oceania tours against New Zealand and Australia and then the upcoming visit to South Africa. On the field form has been an issue but off the field drama has captivated and engulfed the side with disgruntled and unhappy players, coaches and selectors of late with the team manager changing regularly.
8 of the 17 man squad selected have played five tests or fewer
The surprise axing of Dinesh Chandimal as captain comes after taking charge in 2017 and despite team performances, his form has been above most other batsmen.
Four players selected are uncapped.
Ireland A matches and Premier League form seems to be at precedence to Test players
A pace attack containing an overall caps of just 8 caps (added to when Lakmal returns in the second test)
Angelo Matthews remains a key player missing through injury
Dilruwan Perera has 38 caps and has been a mainstay of the squad as spinners have drifted in and out of the squad but he has been axed
Wholesale changes indicate a more youthful look at the future.
Malinda Pushpakumara and Asela Gunaratne will surely be disappointed to miss out as Pushpakumara was touted as an experienced head to take the mantle of left arm spin from Herath and Gunaratne has an average of 56.87 in only 6 tests and a high score of 116.
Instead Lasith Embuldeniya takes the spinning mantle with other left arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan whilst batsmen Angelo Perera and Oshada Fernando take the batting spots. Some players have experience in age with Milinda Siriwanda returning from a 3 year hiatus and Kashual Silva returning from big scores in the Premier League. The tried and tested method has been chucked firmly out of the equation with chopping and changing the incentive for Sri Lanka’s demise but could be their turn around if the selected players perform against a potent South African attack and batting line up in foreign conditions.
On paper, it looks a comfortable victory for the Proteas in home conditions where the seamers create lively bounce and threatening pace whilst their batsman bat with poise and patience but don’t underestimate the Sri Lankans who all have an incentive to play for their spots.
BBL 08 has reached its half way stage in the extended season with plenty of sixes, wickets and many entertaining moments from the T20 Australian Tournament. Short Leg will reflect on the mid season turn point with a Team of the Season. There will be more Big Bash related articles very soon!
With 28 games or so to play including the final, Big Bash 08 proves to be another exciting and entertaining domestic competition to free up our winter blues. Be sure to revisit the site for more Big Bash articles as well as a variety of other topics including the outcome of the inaugural Global Test Championship coming very soon.
After the 3-0 series romp, County Durham was the venue for an England kickstart in what has been a disappointing start to their one day summer. Home pundits had been calling for changes in a poor showing from the Pommies so far against the under strength Australians and 2 were made. Joe Clarke replaces Malan in another vice versa switch from the 2nd and 3rd ODI- (will they choose who they want at 3?), and Tom Curran replacing brother Sam after an expensive start to his debut series. The Aussies made the singular change with Travis Head rested for experienced Shaun Marsh.
The lethal partnership of Finch and Short was reignited with Tom Curran and Stokes aiming to strike early after new ball woes in the series so far. Stokes, with confidence with his last bat, took the early wicket of Short on a good length delivery, with Short looking to kickstart his innings. Lynn hadn’t fired so far throughout the series but he seized on some abysmal lengths and lines from the opening pair. Finch played a cameo role feeding the strike well to Lynn, who took down Curran and began to take on Rashid. But, the bowler of the series for England, Rashid took the wicket of Finch with another googly as batsman have struggled to pick Rashid’s deliveries. Marsh made a positive start and brought the Australians up to 130-3 after 22 overs in a quick fire run rate. However, after dispatching Curran for a boundary, Marsh succumbed to Curran’s slower ball and was trapped in front for 15 leaving Maxwell to join Lynn at 3-139.
Fireworks begun with Lynn continuing his imperious ball striking and Maxwell showing his destructive nature as Rashid, for the first time in the series, was knocked off his usual line and length. The 50 partnership was reached off only 31 balls giving the Australians hope for 350-400. Lynn took 24 off Woakes’s over before dispatching returning bowler Stokes for his 15th four to bring up his maiden ODI century. However, his celebrations were short lived as a rejuvenated Stokes trapped Lynn for the 3rd LBW out of 4. Lynn’s wicket was the first of 3 to fall for 3 runs as the inform Paine failed to pick Rashid’s top spinner and was bowled before Stokes took another in the next over as Stoinis inexpiably played a failed ramp and was bowled for 1.
Adam Zampa rebuilt the Australian innings in a cameo role with Maxwell taking the anchor with Plunkett in particular taking the brunt of Maxwell’s aggression. The run rate began to climb as England showed glimpses of anger and dispute with each other with 2 dropped catches of Zampa and a hard chance of Maxwell put down. 75 runs were added for the seventh wicket partnership before Woakes used his slower balls for success dismissing an impressive Zampa for 37. Maxwell’s onslaught continued whilst at the other end, Jhye Richardson contributed with a maximum of his own going into the final 5 overs.
Plunkett had frustrated Maxwell in the previous over and his steeping bouncer managed to dismiss Maxwell in the penultimate over for an 85 boosting Australia’s score. Tye fell first ball to Plunkett a few balls later but Richardson promptly smashed 16 of the final over to bring the momentum back to the Aussies. Lynn and Maxwell starred with impressive ball striking whilst Finch, Zampa and Richardson played cameo roles in a 334 which would be tough to chase down. Stokes was the main contributor with the ball with 3 as Rashid and Plunkett chipped in with 2 but at an expensive rate.
With a difficult chase ahead for England, they got off to a less than ideal start as Stanlake ripped through Bairstow for a golden duck. The NO3 position had been highly talked about before the match and the constant changing between Malan and Clarke hadn’t payed off so far and failed once more as Clarke nicked behind to Paine off Stanlake for a mere 9. Root took the mantle of the aggressor in an unfamiliar role for the Test Captain with Hales following suit to drag England inline with the required run rate. Boundaries flowed off the seam bowlers from both batsman targeting the short boundary to the offside. Zampa was attacked early on but it was Tye who broke through as Hales’s free flowing 44 was ended by a deceptively slow slower ball by the WA paceman.
The Vice Captain and Captain were joined together to dampen the Australian spirits with the pitch beginning to show signs of wear making the batsman’s life easier. Morgan and Root began to form a flourishing partnership with Zampa and Stoinis going at 9-12 runs an over. The momentum had turned towards England with both batsman reaching their half centuries and motoring on. Maxwell and part timer Short had bowled tight overs back to back and the pressure created culminated in the downfall of Root for a fabulous 92 playing too an extravagant shot on this occasion and finding the edge to Paine off Maxwell. (131 run partnership) Stokes followed the platform from Root and put on a brisk 28 with Morgan before the latter succumbed to the left arm spinner Short in front for 76. With only 95 required with 15 overs left, the game was firmly in the balance but the momentum of the record breaking partnership swung England into control.
Buttler had struggled so far in the series to replicate the form shown in the IPL but with the pitch in favour of the ball striker, he flourished in a supporting role with Stokes. Stokes bulldozed 8 boundaries in his innings with Australia’s main bowlers failed to strike the crucial breakthrough as England looked destined to victory. Richardson though sparked a twist in the tale as Stokes became the third out of four victims of LBW for 42. Woakes struggled throughout his 36 ball stay as the Australians kept the pressure on well to him but it didn’t deter Buttler who brought the total to 10 off the last 3 overs before Tye dismissed him for 48 becoming the fourth LBW victim. Rashid, though, finished the game off in style with a second ball six to defeat Australia and give England some light in a darker tunnel.
In a pleasing performance for England, the experienced heads found form and steered them to the big scoring chase with the Australians fairly disappointed to have bowled poorly especially at Root and Morgan with 7 bowlers used. Stoinis and Zampa in particular were too expensive and relied on part timers to fill up their allocation. The fault lied in the bowling and fielding performances as the batting was boosted by different contributors. We head off to Old Trafford in the final ODI with the Aussies intending to finish the series off 4-1. Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb and Clive Rose are expected to play a part in the final match with Rose on debut.
Be sure to revisit the site for more Cricket Captain reports as well as different cricket topics including Ashes Cricket, the Big Bash and International Cricket. Until next time Short Leg
Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was the hosting venue for the second ODI between England and Australia. After winning the series in Australia, England would be looking to replicate that winning formula with the tourists taking the opening match at the Oval. . Australia remained unchanged with D’Arcy Short and Marcus Stoinis looking to repeat their impressive start of the series with bat and ball respectively. England made one change as David Malan will be rueing his inability to cash in on his start and was replaced by Worcestershire’s up and coming star Joe Clarke, who was handed his international debut. Conditions early on are conducive for the spinners whilst later on seamers play a part on the flattening wicket and with that in mind, Morgan elected to bowl first.
Finch and Short began their assault on the opening bowlers of Tom Curran and Stokes and much like the first ODI, they began in an aggressive style with boundaries galore. But, Stokes fought back by taking the wicket of Finch for a quickfire 28 off 22 and then the wicket of the power hitting Lynn for 8 four balls later. Head backed up Short’s start by rotating the strike well and allowing Short to target the Currans. At a crucial time in the match, the spin of Rashid turned pivotal and bowled Head out for 17. Maxwell began in typical fashion with 2 fours and a six before falling foul of Rashid’s googly to leave the Aussies in trouble at 4-134. Captain Paine joined the crease and nullified the effect of Rashid as Short went from strength to strength with some outstanding hitting.
Their 54 run partnership was broken with the big wicket of Short, who will be disappointed he couldn’t make three figures, for a fantastic 95 caught behind off Woakes. An innings nonetheless he will remember in his debut series.
Paine and Stoinis began rebuilding with the latter playing counter attacking shots to up the dwindling run rate. Stokes’s return to the bowling crease brought about the wicket of Paine who was looking to increase the scoring rate LBW for 41 breaking another 54 run partnership. Adam Zampa arrived and with Stoinis added entertainment for the crowd with boundaries hit against Stokes and Woakes. Rashid returned at the conclusion of Stokes’s spell and immediately struck with Zampa leg before for a swashbuckling 26 off 21 adding Australia some lower order impetus. With the tail in, Rashid took advantage and cleaned up Jhye Richardson and Tye in the same over to bring up his 5 wicket haul leaving Stoinis to be joined by Stanlake.
Against the odds, Stanlake proved to be useful as he handed the strike to Stoinis with the aim of 300+. Stoinis brought up his 50 with a front foot slog for 6 off Woakes and built from there adding 39 for the last partnership with 9 boundaries from Marcus. Stanlake weighed in with 4 proper boundaries but come the penultimate ball, Woakes had the last laugh bowling Stanlake for 18 and concluding the Australian innings for 326. Short led the way at the top of the order with a stunning 95 ably supported by Stoinis counter attacking 68NO and handy contributions from Paine and big Billy Stanlake.
After a top order show in Surrey, it was a different story for both Bairstow and Hales as communication issues led to cheap runouts. A direct hit from AJ Tye to dismiss Bairstow for 3 at short cover started the train as debutant Clarke was caught up in Hales’s poor running but wasn’t the victim as Hales attempted a near impossible single as Maxwell cleaned up. England became in trouble at 3-38 with Clarke impressing with 3 boundaries but then falling leg before to Richardson with the extra pace. Eoin Morgan’s lane run scoring form continued with a brilliant return catch by Richardson for 4 and Stokes fell early again for 2 trapped in front for 2 by Tye. England were 5-57 with Root watching 3 dismissals quickly! An attempted relaunch was underway as Stoinis was smashed for 39 off only 3 overs mainly by Buttler and Zampa targeted to the short boundaries. But this positive contribution from the wicketkeeper batsman was over with Tye’s variations catching the edge to Paine.
Woakes joined Root and the latter carried on taking the attack to the Aussies and throwing Zampa off the attack for just the five overs going for 55. Rashid showed the more comfortable start to the ball and Zampa struggled with length and line. In a 107 run partnership, Root showed his permanent class and his ability to convert in the shorter forms of the game with his century coming off 67 balls. Just when England seemed back into the contest with Woakes backing up Root, Jhye Richardson produced a marvellous run out of the Test captain for 119 kickstarting the tail. As Woakes closed in on his half century, he fell for 49 to Richardson with the extra pace playing dividend. Rashid and Sam Curran put up small resistance but it was Maxwell who broke through Rashid, as he set himself to clear the fence, who was well caught by Head. The 2 brothers didn’t stay for much longer as big Billy finished the job off finding the edge of Tom Curran and wrapping up a 58 run victory for the Aussies.
England put up great resistance in the latter end of their innings with Root and Woakes in particular providing a positive ,after being 5-57, to a disappointing defeat where batsman struggled to convert their starts. After 2 successive wins, we are very pleased with our start and the contributions of D’Arcy Short, Jhye Richardson, Glenn Maxwell and AJ Tye have been the standout performances heading into the 3rd ODI. We will look to wrap up an unlikely series win at Trent Bridge which should be set for a high scoring contest. The team continued to be impressed by the support shown and hope to wrap up the series for the travelling fans!
Short Leg discusses the Test Cricket Arena with the coveted Test Team of 2018 revealed.
Happy New Year and welcome to the first post of hopefully many on Short Leg Cricket where we discuss various topics. As we embark on a Cricket filled year with the World Cup and the Ashes the highlights, Short Leg reviews the 2018 Test matches with a Test Team of the Year and the major factor in 2018 of the “Sandpaper gate”. 2018 saw new nations Ireland and Afghanistan play their first official test match in a positive step by the ICC to include more nations whilst other nations experienced top quality cricket in challenging conditions for the contest between bat and ball. From the conclusion of the Ashes , to the ban of Smith, Warner and Bancroft, to away series wins for England and New Zealand in Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively and the current test match series in Australia and New Zealand, 2018 showed Test Cricket still has a place in the game for the future.
A lone star in the most recent home series defeat against England scoring 256 in 6 innings ranking him just behind England debutant keeper Ben Foakes. At the top of the order, Karunratne showed his experience where others struggled as he weathered off the attack with seam and spin scoring 3 fifties. He was the unfortunate victim of being on the receiving end of England’s outstanding fielding by Stokes and Jennings on 3 occasions. However, his most impressive innings was his undoubtedly a match winning 158NO against South Africa in Galle. This came in the first innings and in the second made 60 where no other batsman passed 50 in the game. In a tough year for Sri Lanka, on and off the field, Karunratne led the battle from the front and still has some years left to convert those fifties into hundreds.
Tom Latham (New Zealand) M: 7 Runs: 658 Ave: 59.81 HS: 264NO 100s: 2 50s: 2 4s: 62 6s: 2 SR: 43.06What a gusty year from Latham when he needed to cement his position in the New Zealand line up. Coming off 83 against England, he underperformed in the series win against Pakistan and was rumoured to be replaced by Will Young heading into Sri Lanka at home. But he quashed those rumours with a 264 unbeaten knock in Wellington with pure class and elegant strokes. He backed up his form with 176 the next week, in a winning cause. His gritty determination in his spirited performances, shows he has undeniable talent at this level. And whilst more than two thirds of his runs came in the most recent series with Sri Lanka, he has a knack of making big runs when needed.
Classy stats for a classy player! Williamson plays with such ease in a smooth and steady nature and is surely the most consistent batter at this time. He edges out Kusal Mendis who played 6 more matches and his brilliance leading from the front is rewarded by Short Leg as captain. 2 very important centuries led to historic wins against England and Pakistan, most notably the 139 scored against Pakistan in challenging batting conditions to win the series. His contributions, ably supported by others, led to a breakthrough year for New Zealand who for the first time had won 4 successive Test Series and was untouchable at times.
The world’s best batsman delivers again. Unlike Ian Poulter, he delivers every day (including Sundays) scoring a shade over 300 more runs than anyone else. In a tough looking schedule for India playing South Africa, England and Australia away in a calendar year, Kohli was in a class of his own scoring centuries for fun, just when India needed them. Questions were asked about his previous records, but he outlined his supreme qualities silencing each critic one by one. With a match winning 153 in South Africa to a crucial 123 in tricky Perth conditions, Kohli did it all and saved many of the negatives highlighting India’s current performances (excluding their current lead in Australia) with a flamboyant yet perfectionist style.
A contender for most improved player of the year as his sensational performances have aided the Kiwis to a record 4 successive Test Series victories. Much like Latham, Nicholls needed to have a good year to cement his spot and boy did he do just that. In an outstanding year, he partnered Latham in a mammoth partnership contributing a record high 162 runs taking the match away from the toiling Sri Lankans. A huge century in Pakistan in spin friendly conditions, allowed the New Zealanders a chance to win the away series which they duly did so. With the highest average of any batsman in 2018, Nicholls firmly sealed down his spot in the middle order.
At the beginning of the IPL 2018, Jos Buttler wasn’t expecting to make Short Leg’s team let alone being involved with the test side. However, the shrewd pick from a high scoring IPL tournament, Buttler made his presence on the test side batting as a specialist batsman. His mix of counter attacking and aggressive shots with defensive and mature batting to rotate the strike, Buttler had a phenomenal year. He saved and revitalised England when they need it a home and away with his ability to adapt to the conditions special to watch. Making 6 fifties was fantastic but he achieved his aim in a wonderful century capping off a spectacular year where he became an integral part of England’s Test team.
A captain certainly leading from the front for West Indies and his best year yet at test level. Constantly performing with the ball, taking crucial wickets with his accurate medium pace at a fantastic economy rate of below 3. As a captain, he led with his heart on his sleeve, consistently outperforming the main strike bowlers and impressively taking 1 of 4 five wicket hauls against the mighty India including the scalps of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. It was his batting which took most by surprise entering the top 50 for the year with two valuable knocks returning to the shades of the former batsman of a few years ago. A player sought after and admired by many nations.
In a turbulent year for Australia, Cummins showed their is life, hope and promise in the national test side with some emphatic performances highlighting his credentials. In the ongoing Indian series, he registered his highest knock of 63 in a gritty and courageous innings to give Australia some cheer. He has also led with the ball with fiery spells including a test best 6/27 against India to gain the Aussies some pride. In the field, he has set high standards and exceeded with some beautiful pieces of fielding. A true a cricketer has woke up into the Test arena and been a solid rock and warrior throughout their tours especially South Africa. An athletic and energetic player has sparked the Aussies into form and is a genuine allrounder.
The leading wicket taker in the world and he is only 23! The energetic, dynamic fast bowler caught the eye early in the year with a fantastic spell of fast hostile bowling against Australia prior to the Sandpaper incident. His bowling does catch the eye of the match referee as well due to forthcoming altercations after taking a wicket and has ended up in a match ban during that series. Home conditions usually suit Rabada’s nature but away from home was the real sign of a great bowling in the maker taking the most wickets in Sri Lanka which is suited for spin. At this tender age, his progression is sky-high and could become one of the best fast bowlers in the world and history if this form continues.
Dilruwan Perera is a near miss but what brings Lyon is the fact he has played less test matches in the sub continent fortress of spin that Perera has. Year after year, the Australian tweaker continues to bring spin to Australia in most times less conducive wickets for spin. With back to back 5 wicket hauls against NO.1 ranked side India and his stunning burst of 4 in 6 balls against Pakistan, Lyon has ripped the heart out of many batsmen. His undoubted experience is improving his game and continues to make positive strides forwards. How long though can Lyon go on for before he heads to the inevitable retirement and is there someone ready to replace him?- I don’t think so!
How is this his first year of test cricket? Why have India waited so long to bring in a fast, zippy bowler? He has been so impressive over the year especially in Australia where he has bowled bouncers, fast pace deliveries and variations to fool and take the wickets of the Australian inexperienced batsmen. India had a tough and gruelling schedule away from home, but Bumrah has stepped up to the plate when experienced heads like Umesh Yadav have struggled to replicate wicket taking balls. His zippy action is durable for the long forms of the game and has taken 5 wicket hauls in South Africa, Australia and England showing his asset to each team he play
Men that miss out and are 12th man : Mohamed Abbas (Pakistan) Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka) Joe Root (England) Chetseswar Pujara (India) Tim Southee (New Zealand) Dilruwan Perera (Sri Lanka) Mohamed Shami (India) Taijul Islam (Bangladesh) Jimmy Anderson (England) Babar Azam (Pakistan)
There will be more articles and posts coming out soon all about cricket and moving into the 2019 season.