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

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

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

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

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

Not too shabby for a 21 year old!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Analysis:

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

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

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

MOM: Sam Curran 

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

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

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

 

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Steady Scores!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamilton bowled 0 (2)

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

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

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

Hamilton caught and bowled T20

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

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

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

Watford T20 team celebration

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

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

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

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

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

Anderson 50 (2)

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

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

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

James Anderson Finale Test Match

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

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

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

  • ETHL will strive throughout the tournament to conserve light and energy with earlier timed matches and secure use of floodlights in day/night encounters.
  • They will also add to the Ocean Rescue project by supplying plastic bottles alongside cricket themed plastic stumps, balls and bat and England/Papua New Guinea wristbands and flags!
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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Twinning Half Tons on Debut!

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

Cricket 19 South East Cup Home Page.jpg

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

Hamilton 50NO 1st innings

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

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

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One of many new cutscenes in Cricket 19!

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

Hamilton 50NO 2nd innings

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

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

Marking my Guard

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

Match Analysis: 

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

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

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

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

Twickenham won by 158 runs MOM: Jamie Hamilton

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

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

 

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Cricket 19: Eastern Hemisphere Test League & Squad Selection

Cricket 19 Eastern Hemisphere Home Page

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Root (Captain)

Rory Burns

Luke Wells

Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)

Ben Stokes

Jos Buttler

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Liam Dawson

Sam Curran

Stuart Broad

James Anderson

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

England vs Papua New Guinea Opening.jpg

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

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

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

Jamie Hamilton , Selection Drafter and Designer, England 

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Bow and Archer – England World Cup Squad 2019

 

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England will name their preliminary 15 man squad tomorrow which will enter the 2019 Cricket World Cup with the expectation of home pressure and the favourites tag to lift the cup at the end of the competition. Led by captain Eoin Morgan, England have changed fortunes since their disappointing 2015 World Cup campaign and have played an exciting and attacking brand of cricket which has seen world records broke and wins increased. Since the ICC World Cup in 2014/15, England have won 14 out of 20 series including the famous 5-0 Aussie whitewash at home last summer following the 4-1 away series victory in Australia from the lacklustre Ashes series! Players like Joe Root, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler alongside Morgan have confirmed their places with some stellar performances across the last 3 years and with the strength of the batting, Hales is likely to start as a reserve batsman with an average of 37.79…

However, in the bowling department, England have built a nucleus of seamers alongside the two spinners of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, but they have all come under pressure from newly eligible Englishmen Jofra Archer, with his availability almost nailing down a spot in the squad.

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West Indies born Archer was fast-tracked through the registration system after hailing in Sussex for the last few years. Whilst he has only featured in 14 List A matches, his stints with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash and the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, has seen his hype increase and the pressure on the current incumbents as well. His most recent ongoing spell with the Royals has seen him wield 11 wickets including 3-15 against the Kings XI Punjab today!

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

Chris Woakes, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and Tom Curran have been the players which have made up the core of England’s seamers attack over the last 3 years and all have different roles which they have all performed expertly. Woakes’ skiddy pace and bounce with his line and length makes him a strong candidate for the new ball alongside Willey’s left arm alternative which provides the opportunity for swing early on. Liam Plunkett has mastered the middle to death over spell with his height and his variations which have deceived many batsman aiming to score high off him.

Mark Wood showed in the recent West Indies ODI series that he can also take the new ball and bounce out opponents whilst Curran’s T20 exploits have aided his variations with cutters and his death over experience is second to none. The question on everyone’s mind is who gets dropped for Archer to come in, if they want him??

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In my opinion, I would bring in Archer for Tom Curran. Archer is a three dimensional player who can bat and bowl well as well as his fielding. Archer also has the versatility that he can bowl at any stage in the innings and be as effective as he would be starting or ending. He has been potent for Sussex with the new ball especially but he can cover Plunkett’s middle overs role with aplomb as well as bowling his deadly yorkers come the back end of the innings.

The shoo-ins for England are Woakes, Wood and Plunkett who have all performed admirably and superbly to cement their places in the cornerstone of England’s bowling attack. David Willey has only bowled his full quota of overs in the last 2 of 14 matches but specialises very well with the swinging ball in the opening overs and with his left arm option, he is a better alternative for England.

Curran would be terribly disappointed to miss out but he lacks the consistency on the International stage to take wickets at a regular basis unlike his fellow seam bowling partners. Jake Ball, Sam Curran and Chris Jordan have also been touted and used as options for England previously — could they be the outsider in the squad.

Hales

With the strength in ability and calibre in England’s batting line up, Alex Hales’ fantastic ODI record will see him originally sitting on the benches of England and a more than adept replacement should Bairstow, Roy etc run into a bad spell or get injured. It is the second spare batsman/all rounder spot which is definitely up for grabs and could twist and change up until the May deadline for the official 15 man squad. https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1172161

Joe Denly took up the mantle in the West Indies but didn’t feature during the drawn series with his selection based upon the fact of his leg spin option. Liam Dawson held that role in the spinney Sri Lanka and performed well before injury curtailed his series and possibly his World Cup squad with only a home series against Pakistan and a one off match against Ireland left.

Pitches and conditions will be suitable to spin so having a player that can bat and give you a 6th bowling option along with Joe Root will be more than handy. Sam Billings is also being touted as a back up keeper with his runs coming recently in the T20I with an 87 against the Windies. http://m.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/297628.html

Billings’ average of 22.58 with a high score of 62 shows his lack of conversions despite the potential being there. The spot is certainly up for grabs and I think it could be a spot if the ECB decide is best, that will change throughout the Royal London One Day Cup.

So with all my opinion made and my areas where I think England will be having some sleepless nights over – here are my squads for the World Cup, Pakistan ODI series and one off Ireland ODI.

World Cup Squad

Jonny Bairstow Jason Roy Alex Hales Joe Root Eoin Morgan (C) Jos Buttler (+) Ben Stokes Moeen Ali Liam Dawson Chris Woakes Adil Rashid Liam Plunkett David Willey Mark Wood Jofra Archer

Pakistan ODI 17man Squad

Resting Jason Roy + Adil Rashid

Jonny Bairstow Alex Hales Joe Root Eoin Morgan (C) Jos Buttler Sam Billings (+) Joe Denly Ben Stokes Moeen Ali Liam Dawson Chris Woakes Sam Curran Liam Plunkett David Willey Mark Wood Jofra Archer Jake Ball

Ireland ODI Squad

Resting Chris Woakes, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Liam Plunkett

Jonny Bairstow Alex Hales Jason Roy Joe Root Jos Buttler (+) Sam Billings Moeen Ali Jofra Archer Adil Rashid David Willey Mark Wood Jake Ball Sam Curran

So with the upcoming World Cup approaching in under a months time, will England have a smooth preparation or will they be forced to change at the last minute. Comment below your thoughts on my squad preview and add your own squad as well and we will find out who is “top dog”!!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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Cricket XI CC Review after Round 2

Cricket XI CC after Round 2

After deciding not to participate in the Telegraph Fantasy Cricket, Short Leg turned his head towards Cricket XI and a bid to win the CC 2019 Morris Invitational launched by my good pal and other cricket blogger Silly Point. https://sillypointcricket.com/ link is here so please if you haven’t already check out the blog and give it a follow!!

Following the early start to the English domestic summer with the upcoming World Cup and Ashes in the centre of the summer, the County Championship began on the 5th April and two rounds have been completed in both divisions. In this post, I will wrap up how I fared and the details of my players and my trades that I have made for when red ball cricket returns in 28 days. 

(Disclaimer: Inexplicably, I failed to take out Dimuth Karunaratne out of my team after he withdrew from his Hampshire stint at least a week before the season began. I also then haven’t checked between rounds for players that were playing despite being quite keenly eyed on both divisions over the last two weeks, hence Dom Bess, Tom Helm and Mason Crane registering 0 points.)

Overall, I scored 1249 points which puts me last so far in the 2019 CC Morris Invitational League however you can only get better from here. Having 3 players in the XI, not playing over the 2 rounds hampered my point scoring total as well as the poor early form from the likes of Jake Ball and captain Matt Renshaw.

Zak Crawley, of Kent, top scored with 326 points aided with the century against Warwickshire. Liam Dawson proved a good pick as well with 319 points for his all round contribution. Dawson scored 64 in their opening round win against Essex whilst also bowling 31 wicketless but highly economical overs. In their innings loss against Yorkshire, Dawson toiled hard bowling 60 overs for 3-184 and then backing that up with 57 and then 92 in his two bats which has showed his red ball credentials or the season admirably… hint hint England!

Steven Mullaney performed respectably in the opening encounters alongside Tom Haines who scored points for his part time bowling over his opening batting. Coming into the next rounds, switching players out from trade and the bench will be beneficial in my quest to win with Critchley and Pope doing quite well!

Cricket XI CC changes R2

In disappointment with the early round showing, Short Leg has opted to make all the 4 allowed trades for the team shaping up in 4 weeks. 

In: Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Tongue, Will Davis and Amar Virdi. 

Out: Dimuth Karunaratne, Dom Bess, Tom Helm and Mason Crane

Australian overseas Labuschagne piled on 121 with the bat in the mammoth run scoring match for Glamorgan against Northans which saw Glamorgan score 570 and Northans responding with 750. With 10 bowlers on show for Glamorgan, Labuschagne’s part time leg spin recorded figures of 44 overs 6 maidens 122 runs 3 wickets. He will be keen to pour on the runs in order to be selected for the Ashes. http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8204/report/1166973/day/4/undefined  Josh Tongue took 6 wickets for Worcestershire with his pace and bounce disturbing the Leicestershire batsmen. Will Davis was on the receiving end of Tongue’s pace but took a wicket and has joined the Short Leg team for a cheap money buy not on form. Amar Virdi hasn’t featured for Surrey yet this season but has proved his selection at the back end of the last season with lots of wickets as spin becomes more important as the summer goes on!

The upcoming Royal London One Day Cup side has been shown on the site but will be changed up until the deadline as I will be checking all (yes each team) teams websites for the squads, which I will then align to my team in the bid for victory. 

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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!

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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!

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

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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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Dawson Dawning on the World Cup!

Liam Dawson

Liam Dawson. Since his surprise selection in the Twenty 20 World Cup squad in 2016, he has been in and out of the team and used sparingly by England over the past two or so years. But, with the World Cup approaching could some a late burst of form stand him in with a chance or will he continue to be the fringe player of England. 

The Hampshire spinning all rounder has featured in 3 Test matches for England where he featured twice away in India (2016) taking 2-129 and then featuring at the start of Joe Root’s  (2017) reign against South Africa where he took four key wickets but made a pair. His home Test debut was too be his last one up until now and unless he shows improvement in 4 day matches, England will look to him as a back up One Day player. His last T20I was February 2018 against New Zealand in the Tri Series and has played 6  T20I matches for England. Dawson recently featured in the opening 2 Sri Lankan away ODIS where he showed good form with the ball in the rain affected matches taking 1-26 from 6 overs. This couldn’t be his transformation into the side as a side strain ruled him out of contention for the rest of the series and seemingly the World Cup out with him.

But, after re-joining the Peshawar Zalmi for this year’s Pakistan Super League, Dawson began to find that performance level from the recent Sri Lanka ODIS. The 29 year old featured more heavily with the bat and showed his all round ability scoring 169 runs in 8 innings including a match winning 52NO. His bowling was tight and economical with 3 wickets @ 55.56 but at an accurate 7.26 economy rate, helping Peshawar make the finals. 

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

Dawson is clearly behind the leading two spinners in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and is unlikely despite good PSL form to obtain a World Cup Spot. However, with his T20 reputation growing, will England take their chance with the all rounder who has shown (at times) that he can be valuable to the International side?

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

What if Moeen Ali or Adil Rashid get injured and are ruled out, is Dawson the shoe in? Will he make big strides in the early first class season? Can he make the T20I World Cup squad for Australia? He has shown he has the potential but he needs to maximise it and quickly!