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

Hong Kong vs Germany Kowloon.jpg

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

Mohammad Ghazanfar 5-17 from 6

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

Hong Kong vs Germany Scorecard

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

Denmark vs Fiji Hammerby Arena

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

Villiame Manakiwai 5 for 37 from 11.1.jpg

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

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

Denmark vs Fiji scorecard.jpg

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

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

Round 1 Table.jpg

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

Thanks for the continued support!

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Cricket 19: Eastern Hemisphere Test League – PNG Pummelling!

England vs Papua New Guinea Lineup

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

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

Sam Curran 5 for 18

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

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

Luke Wells fifty vs PNG

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

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

Jos Buttler 50 vs PNG.jpg

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

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

Broad and England team celebration

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

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

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

Stuart Broad 8 for 75.jpg

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

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

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

Luke Wells lbw hotspot

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

England 4 wicket win vs PNG.jpg

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

Match Analysis: 

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

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

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

England 155-6 (Wells 36, Stokes 34*, Root 33/ Sandhu 2-16, Ahuja 2-30, Rege 1-30)

England win by 4 wickets  MOM: Stuart Broad 

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

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

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

Jamie Hamilton ( Selection Drafter/Designer for England)

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

Moeen Ali (2)

England have survived plenty of storms in the past but this storm brought from the legendary Christopher Henry Gayle was too powerful and blew away the English in a hammering 7 wicket win for the West Indies in the latest round of Global Test Championship fixtures in the inaugural season – coming into this game, both teams were winless! 

Jonny Bairstow 50

In true GTC fashion, the opposition won the toss and inserted us into a surprisingly bouncy and sprightly Old Trafford pitch. England set their stall out early to be determined and defensive against the new ball which backfired when Burns (8) edged Alzarri Joseph to the keeper at 23-1. West Indies captain Jason Holder exploited the bounce dismissing his opposite captain Root (5) after bouncing out home born Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings for 25. GTC debutant Bairstow stood firm and rode out a tricky lively opening session from the West Indies quicks and spinners with reminiscence of the glory West Indies days with Courtney Walsh and Micheal Holding. Spin proved the downfall of promoted batsman Moeen Ali (5) and Jos Buttler (20) arriving at Lunch five down for the third successive match. 

Ben Foakes (2)

Boundaries were hard to come by for England but wicket keepers Foakes and Bairstow built a 66 run partnership to ease the pressure on the batsman in the shed and the increasingly frustrated supporters. Bairstow reached 50 despite scoring no boundaries which was the theme for the majority of batsmen in the game (bar a few) and Foakes was seemingly following his understudy to a half ton before oddly attempting a sweep to a pretty straight delivery. Surrey keeper Foakes scored 85 against the Proteas but since then has struggled for a consistency with the bat which has contributed to the occasional drop with the gloves. His spot is safe for the moment…

Jonny Bairstow 100

As regular wickets fell in the innings, England were indebted to a gritty Adil Rashid 20 as he hung around long enough prompting Bairstow to increase his scoring rate. After Rashid’s dismissal, leg spinner Bishoo wrapped up Broad and just had Jimmy Anderson to go. But, Anderson confidently blocked and left which allowed Bairstow to reach his three figures containing only four fours – Anderson was soon out but it was Bairstow’s innings which propelled England up to a respectable total after an accomplished display from the West Indies bowlers. – (England 253 Bairstow 103NO Foakes 43 ; Bishoo 3-41 Joseph 3-60)

Chris Gayle 103 (2)

West Indies started brightly taking advantage of the wayward lines provided by Broad and Anderson. Chris Gayle on his Test return began an onslaught of hitting, attacking each length and line. Our seamers couldn’t extract the same pace and bounce the Windies bowlers found and soon the tourists raced to a 100 partnership. Top English GTC wicket taker Moeen Ali removed Braithwaite (41) at the end of play with a smart catch by Foakes. Day 2 came and the momentum hadn’t changed as Gayle motored to his 150! 226 was the next wicket with Ali and Foakes combining to dismiss Mohammad (43).

Foakes catch 1st inns (2)

Spin was proving to be more beneficial on a degrading pitch with leg spinner Adil Rashid pitching in with the wicket of dangerous Shai Hope (25) – Foakes with a blinder! Gayle remained at the crease despite all possible tactics from captain Root and the bowling attack which proved to be at no avail. Rashid picked up his second at 315-4, Hetmyer departing (20) before the moment all Caribbean fans had been wishing for…

Chris Gayle 203 (2)

A remarkable innings rightly deserved after showing an unusual side to his game with patience blended in with amazing ball striking to perplex the England side. Blackwood (5) was Ali’s third victim and soon followed Gayle falling for 217 from 277 balls to a googly from Rashid – a match winning knock. England had restored some pride in their game and had successfully brought the game at least back to some small credibility. Keeper Shane Dowrich played an attacking innings of 70 to lift the West Indies into a 238 run lead which saw Ali and Rashid take 4 wickets each. (West Indies 491 Gayle 217 Dowrich 70 ; Ali 4-99 Rashid 4-110)

Jennings out (2)

Staring down the barrel of a crushing home defeat, Jennings fell to Joesph for just 2 poorly attempting the pull, summing up our lack of runs. Other incumbent opener Burns showed his first sign of form in the GTC after being well set on 41 but his solid defence was ripped apart from part time off break bowler Braithwaite. Braithwaite was soon jumping for joy and had West Indies in hot pursuit of a wicket win catching Root LBW on his first ball. 

Bairstow 78 (2).jpg

Jonny Bairstow backed up his maiden GTC hundred with 78 at a high scoring rate and was the only real positive from this English display. Still about 100 runs behind, England then slipped to 169-7 with Foakes (4) and Ali (1) falling to the successful short ball theory from Holder before Woakes’ (7) resistance was ended by Bishoo. Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid added valuable lower order runs to the England side with Buttler closing in on a maiden GTC century in a return to form. But…

Buttler 87 (2)

Buttler’s fantastic innings was ended by seamer Joseph whose extra height and pace troubled Buttler and sent him back for an impressive 87. When Rashid departed for a solid 42 to double centurion Chris Gayle, England were looking at setting a 50 run lead at best.

Broad and Anderson rolled back the years with two swashbuckling knocks to add some pressure to the top order batsman of the tourists successfully upping the total to chase a much better, respected total of 158 and ending the English resistance at all out for 395. (England 395 Buttler 87 Bairstow 78 ; Joseph 3-67 Braithwaite 2-22)

 

For the third game in a row, our opponents were chasing a total under 200 to win but we had early hope when Woakes zipped one through to the “Universe Boss” which found the edge to Foakes. England continued to add pressure and checked the tourists progress with Burns superbly running out Braithwaite (35). A 95 run partnership effectively ruined England’s chances of pulling off a massive victory with catches going down in the slips and the outfield. Shai Hope was removed for 49 on the cusp of victory by Anderson but Roston Chase (52 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (7 not out) guided the West Indies to a famous away victory and more importantly their first win of the championship. 

Rory Burns (2).jpg

Relatively new opening batsman Rory Burns has struggled to adapt to the pink ball in this championship so far scoring 99 runs @ 16.50 with a high score of 41. His form has improved since his opening matches and look composed in his 41 and was unfortunate to be dismissed. That innings may have boosted his chances of making the trip to Afghanistan where changes will need to be made to overturn this horrendous start. His batting partner Keaton Jennings place is also under question with 93 runs @ 15.50 with one fifty whilst batting order changes to our middle order will (hopefully) be the trick into scoring more runs especially in the first innings.

 

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

England need to get going in the Global Test Championship quickly in order to have any chance of finishing in a competitive spot aiming of course for the final. With the host’s pitch looking very conducive and beneficial to spin, the playing XI and squad of England will be no doubt intriguing and fascinating to see. An opportunity arises for our two main spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to continue their excellent wicket taking during the GTC. They could be accompanied by Somerset’s left arm spinner Jack Leach who comes into contention for a start alongside team mate Dom Bess and Hampshire spinner Mason Crane. Opening batsman Burns and Jennings will be sweating over their places with Joe Denly and Haseeb Hameed waiting in the wings but a recall for Sam Curran amongst others looks unlikely at this stage. Ben Stokes remains injured and will miss the following Trent Bridge encounter with the Australians but the focus shifts to England with the bid to score their first points of the Championship against the youthful and talent boasting Afghanistan squad. 

 

 

 

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Ashes Cricket (PS4) GTC: Oh Jonny Good!

 

England - West Indies Squads

Following successive defeats to South Africa and Sri Lanka in the opening rounds of the Global Test Championship fixtures, England return home to take on the West Indies at Jimmy Anderson’s hunting ground, Old Trafford.

Stokes Injured

We have made the 1 change to our playing XI which is enforced as Ben Stokes picked up an unfortunate hamstring injury whilst fielding late in the Sri Lanka game. This injury will side line Stokes for the next two matches as he looks to return and be ready for after the GTC fixture break. Stokes is only one of four batsmen to score over 100 runs in the England squad but was used sparingly and ineffectively with the ball and regardless of injury, his role was under pressure.

Jonny Bairstow NO.3 (2)

His replacement is the experienced wicket keeper Jonny Bairstow who makes the step up from the bench and straight into the line of fire at 3. An average of 39.77 with 17 fifties and 3 tons will undeniably improve our line up after not being selected due to the fantastic form of incumbent keeper Ben Foakes, who incidentally will keep the gloves.

Joe Denly

Kent’s Joe Denly comes into the 15 man squad as a batsman (and occasional leg spin bowler) who is capable of playing anywhere in the line up. His versatility and experience at the age of 32, will unquestionably boost our chances at a successful GTC campaign yet his last international match was in 2010.  He joins allrounder Sam Curran, fast bowler Mark Wood and fellow fast bowler David Willey, who replaces spinner Jack Leach due to the more favourable seaming conditions in Lancashire, on the side lines for the Windies encounter. The never give up motto has been applied by Denly!

England - West Indies Intro (2)

West Indies come into the contest off the back of a devastating loss to Bangladesh, who chased down 431 for the loss of only 4 wickets on a degrading Day 4, and a 201 run defeat to the Australians and will be looking like England to get their campaign started. Leg spinner Devendra Bishoo replaces the out of sorts seam bowler Kemar Roach with the conditions at Old Trafford profitable to some turn.

Be sure to revisit the site to see if Joe Root and his men can bounce back from consecutive defeats and collect their first Global Test Championship points with a positive result against the Windies. Many thanks for your support.