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Cricket 19: EHTL – Round Four Preview and Team Selection

After our clinical winning performance away in the happy country of Denmark, we return to home soils and will take on the South Pacific country of Fiji 🇫🇯 . Our match at the Kia Oval will be the premier pink ball day nighter showdown for the EHTL League and one we will hope becomes more of a regular fixture in our calendars. With this is in mind, myself, Ed Smith and James Taylor have selected a squad, via a video call, that will be tasked with the job of first and foremost winning and secondly closing the gap to leaders Hong Kong.

Our 14 man squad to take on the Fijians:

Rory Burns

Luke Wells

Joe Root (C)

Jonny Bairstow (+)

Ben Stokes

Jos Buttler

Moeen Ali

Liam Dawson

Sam Curran

Mark Wood

Jake Ball

Stuart Broad

Dawid Malan

Haseeb Hameed

Chris Woakes has been rested as a precautionary measure due to his long term knee niggle and we feel we have the strength in depth to be able to afford the Warwickshire seamer with a welcome break. He has taken 9 wickets @ 26.67 and his heavy workload so far on generally flatter wickets means we are giving him the opportunity to be fresh for our German adventure.

His replacement in the squad is Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball who has the ability to replicate Woakes’ imperious precision and accuracy. Ball has only played 4 tests in his career – the last coming in the dire 2017 Ashes but has been lighting it up in the County Championship and he will compete with Mark Wood for the third or fourth seamer spot. 

Our under pressure and under firing openers, Burns and Wells have been retained and will both test their ability against the pink ball. Both lefties will need scores of substances to preserve their spot in the side. A decision on whether we need two spinners in the day night clash or whether we will play an extra seamer will be taken on the eve of the toss. Liam Dawson performed admirably in the Danish game in a holding role (1-45 from 18) so he has a chance of holding down his position. 

We are very excited for our day night clash with our South Pacific friends and hope that we can put on a spectacle that will light up the night skies. 

Round 3 Review and Table: 

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Hong Kong 🇭🇰 recorded a mammoth 569 run victory versus the luckless Papua New Guinea. All rounder Tanwir Afzal (117), MOM Babar Hayat (169 +71) and Kinchit Shah (126) all scored centuries as they plundered 399 and 374-8 dec with good contributions with the ball all round. PNG 🇵🇬 were bowled out for 111 and 79 in reply with only Lakshman Som making respectable scores of 31 and 40 whilst Carlos Ahuja took 4-28. 
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At the Fiji 🇫🇯 home ground of Suva, a much tighter affair played out with the touring side Germany 🇩🇪 scraping home in a 3 wicket win in an entertaining chase. Amir Mangal scored a century for the away side to give them an initial first innings lead of 72 runs. Fiji responded in the second innings with 255 (highest innings score across the three days) thanks to Sevoke Ravoka ton (114) and Joesph Rika 50 – Asad Mohammed taking incredible figures of 8-67 with his swinging seam deliveries. Chasing 184 to win, Mangal made 60 and keeper Weston made a virtually run a ball 57 but the middle order produced a twist and turn with a mini collapse including a double wicket maiden from Viliame Manakiwai. However, Ollie Rayner steered the Germans over the line with 3 wickets to spare gifting the travelling fans a few bratwursts in the stands.


After an entertaining and record breaking Round 3, this is the current Table standings:

D0D7BD40-0881-495F-845C-894A54C911A1Hong Kong are top after three dominating performances with run scoring paramount to their success. We are second after some indifferent performances with Germany hot on our heels after their narrow win in Fiji. The Fijians and Denmark are both very tight in the standings and have produced some entertaining and exciting cricket as well as some personal milestones. Unfortunately, Papua New Guinea are bottom and the only side to not put together a series of wickets or runs. 

Stats Snippet: 

Batting
Babar Hayat 🇭🇰 532 runs @ 133 HS: 212* vs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 
Joe Root 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 263 runs @ 52.60 HS: 125 vs 🇩🇰 
Tanveer Ahmed 🇭🇰 251 runs @ 50.20 HS: 117 vs 🇩🇪
Metuisela Beitakai 🇫🇯 242 runs @ 40.33 HS: 136 vs 🇵🇬 
Karan Kumar 🇫🇯 232 runs @ 58 HS: 88 vs 🇵🇬 
Craig Meschede 🇩🇪 228 runs @ 76 HS: 134* vs 🇩🇰 
Amir Mangal 🇩🇪 216 runs @ 43.20 HS: 101 vs 🇫🇯  Tanwir Afzal 🇭🇰 213 runs @ 71 HS: 117 vs 🇵🇬 
Sevoke Ravoka 🇫🇯 175 runs @ 29.17 HS: 114 vs 🇩🇪 
Jos Buttler 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 173 runs @ 34.60 HS: 67 off 22 vs 🇭🇰 

Bowling
Sam Curran 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 20 wickets @ 16.80 BBI: 7-55 vs 🇩🇰 
Viliame Manakiwai 🇫🇯 19 wickets @ 10 BBI: 5-25 vs 🇩🇰 
Stuart Broad 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 17 wickets @ 18.65 BBI: 8-75 vs 🇵🇬 
Mohammad Ghazanfar 🇭🇰 13 wickets @ 13.38 BBI: 5-17 vs 🇩🇪 
Ehsan Khan 🇭🇰 12 wickets @ 18.75 BBI: 5-11 vs 🇩🇪 
Ehsan Nawaz 🇭🇰 12 wickets @ 19.50 BBI: 5-53 vs 🇩🇪 
Nirav Acharya 🇭🇰 11 wickets @ 16.36 BBI: 6-82 vs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 
Carlos Ahuja 🇵🇬 11 wickets @ 23.27 BBI: 5-71 vs 🇩🇰 
Yash Christian 🇩🇰 11 wickets @ 16.73 BBI: 3-13 vs 🇫🇯 Atticus Norris 🇵🇬 11 wickets @ 28.27 BBI: 3-35 vs 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

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Ashes Cricket PS4 (GTC): To change or to not change? Afghanistan vs England preview

Table after Round 3

With a rather bleak and disappointing looking table following our three consecutive losses in the Global Test Championship, England travel to Afghanistan looking to beat the rising and potentially great test side containing spin aplomb.

Leach.jpg

Whilst we will not name the official XI to encounter 3rd placed Afghanistan, we can confirm that Somerset’s left arm spinner Jack Leach will add to his caps gained in New Zealand and Sri Lanka (real life) and make his GTC debut. His left arm off spin gives us a different dimension to our line up which will be boosted by Leach’s consistency and variety with the pink ball. 

Broad 50 (2)

His definite inclusion means that a change at least will occur in our bowling attack with experienced seamer Stuart Broad at risk ,after taking two wickets @ 180, of losing his place if we decide the pitch favours spinners over seamers. Alternatively, the option to replace a batter remains on the table with both openers under pressure with the certainty that both Moeen Ali ( 11 wickets) and Adil Rashid ( 10 wickets) will feature heavily with the ball. 

Denly

Reflecting on our first innings struggles with the bat (winning the toss and bowling would be preferred), Joe Denly is yet again included and could replace either Jennings (93 runs @ 15.50 ) or Burns (99 runs @ 16.50) as a predominately opening batsman but also the option of some handy leg spin. He joins Sam Curran, who was incidentally picked as a batsman and fast bowler Mark Wood in the 15 man squad touring to Asia. 

With pressure certainly increases on all concerned in the England setup, a win wouldn’t go a miss but will no doubt be very tricky against a capable Afghanistan who have already shocked Australia so far in the GTC. The imminent threat of spin trio Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will definitely not be an exciting prospect for our batsman but we will need to be on top of them to ensure victory. Left arm seamer Ahmed is also a threat with the new and old ball whilst opening duo Inshullah and Ahmadi will be hoping to continue their imperious form. Stay tuned for Game 4 of the Global Test Championship and the round up of the other fixtures right her eon the website in the short future.



 

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Salt Vaults Towards England!

Phil Salt
After Sussex conceded a 79 run lead, 22 year old opener Salt sprinkled and smashed the ball to the boundary which alongside other opener Tom Haines gave Sussex a brilliant platform before he departed for 80 from 67 against Leicestershire.

It isn’t the first time that the aggressive, modern day style batting of Salt paid dividend for Sussex, this time in the 4 day format. Last year, Salt followed up a trailblazing 66 from 25 balls against Middlesex in the T20 competition with a sensational knock of 148 from 138 balls in the 4 day match against Derbyshire. Following Salt’s burst on to the scene worldwide, he was signed up for the PSL and the T10 league in Dubai where he performed well but not with the same kind of substance that saw him signed up. 

Salt is a traditional modern day batter who can play admirably 360 degrees (his switch hit against South Africa in 2017 was incredible) but unlike many he has not curved his aggressive and counter attacking style in the longer format which has produced enough runs to see him flirting with the opportunity of an England call up. Now it may look unlikely especially with Salt batting in Division 2 and his lack of exposure to facing a higher calibre of bowling that he may contend with on International duty, but the young batsman is one of few currently around rubbing salt into the opening bowlers wounds!

His record of 2 hundreds and 4 fifties in First Class cricket will no doubt need to be improved to be in serious contention of higher honours but he has shown in glimpses that he is capable of producing consistent high scores at a quick rate. With Sussex currently leading by 219 runs at Lunch at eight down, it will be interesting to see how Leicestershire cope in a tricky chase – will Salt add to his single First class wicket?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44819