Cricket Captain 2018: Cardiff Stuffing for England!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time Short Leg

Cricket Captain 2018(PC): Revenge on the Pommies


Cricket Captain has arrived and I will be taking on the role as Australian head coach and Selector in a time of turbulence leading the Aussies in all 3 formats (Test, ODI and T2OI). Starting in the summer of 2018, Australia embark on a 5 match ODI series against England away followed by a one off T20I. Join me on a rollercoaster ride to restore some faith and pride back into the national side as well as winning some games (hopefully)?

Australia ODI Squad

Following the Sandpaper incident in Cape Town, Darren Lehmann stepped down from his role as Coach and Selector and opened the door for rookie Jamie Hamilton to take over in a challenging situation with the aim to bring back Australian love for cricket. With the bans to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft leaving them unavailable as well as frontline senior players in fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc due to long term injury, the Aussies were depleted and fresh faces were required to replace them. Tim Paine will captain and keep for the side with Hobart Hurricanes duo D’Arcy Short and Clive Rose called up for their impressive form for their domestic sides. Added to that, inexperienced players like Jhye Richardson, Alex Carey and Billy Stanlake have the chance to don the cap for their second time whilst power hitter Chris Lynn finds himself in the squad. WA duo in Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar were left out by Hamilton in a bold move to add experience with inexperience with Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh completing the stocks. A youthful Australian squad (in terms of caps) needed to prove themselves on the big stage for future competitions and the upcoming World Cup in 2019. England chose both Currans and left out Jason Roy and Mo Ali in their starting XI.

England batting first scoring 290 in the 1st ODI. AJ Tye taking four wickets and Jonny Bairstow leading the way with the bat with 95 for England.

After losing the toss, Australia were sent out into the baking hot Oval and didn’t start brightly with Bairstow and Hales targeting young speedster Jhye Richardson in the powerplay. England were going at a rate of 9 and 10 an over come the end of the powerplay and continued in that fashion for a little while yet. It took a deceptive slower ball from Tye to dismiss Hales for a brisk 51 to slightly lift the spirits to break the opening partnership. Malan, on debut, showed patience at 3 and slowed down the scoring rate in fact contributing to his dismissal with ambitious running seeing D’Arcy Short, on debut, running him out. With a variety of bowlers being chopped and changed, Zampa impressed and maintained his end economically picking up Root for 27. A promising partnership begun between Bairstow and Morgan but as both neared milestone, up step Marcus Stoinis to create havoc. He first picked up the dangerous Bairstow for a superb 95 and then swiftly followed working his magic to dismiss Stokes for a golden duck, with an even better catch by Paine. The aggressive natured pairing of Morgan and Buttler were at the crease to revive England out of trouble but Stoinis continued his rampage and the mini collapse was complete with Morgan departing for 44 also caught by Paine.

England just didn’t recover from their middle order collapse with the dangerous Buttler dismissed by the variation bowler Tye for 5. Rashid and Sam Curran on debut, fell to Tye for 1 and 0 respectively bowled looking to attack in the final overs. Stanlake got in on the action dismissing Tom Curran for a duck with a smart catch from Lynn to leave Woakes stranded on 19 and England all out for 290. After being 3-263, England lost 7-27 in a spell led by Stoinis and backed up ably by Tye and Stanlake. A very good latter half to the bowling innings from Australia brought them back into the game!

Australia’s new look opening partnership in Short and Finch began electrically with new ball bowlers Tom Curran and Ben Stokes hammered to all parts of the ground. 91 was brought up after the 10th over with Short in particular going aerial with Finch playing some classical shots for 4. England made their breakthrough at 1-98 as Finch was bowled by an in swinging delivery from debutant Sam Curran for a fantastic 57 from 46 including 10 boundaries. Short took the mantle from Finch and with Lynn looked to target Curran and leggie Rashid in an aggressive manner. Short brought up his maiden ODI 50 on debut with a glance onto the onside but fell soon after a 91m six off Curran, aiming to sweep Rashid but got a top edge to Sam Curran.

Left hander Travis Head began a more patient knock with boundaries and rotation of the strike blending in with Lynn’s counter attacking style. Nearing 50, Lynn went for one shot too many and fell to Sam Curran in front for a well made 41. Head was soon dismissed to Rashid caught on the boundary by Malan for a productive 28. Maxwell and Paine led the charge to the victory in a 101 run partnership with attacking shots a plenty. Maxwell brought up a swashbuckling 50 but it was Paine who finished the job with a four to win the match by 6 wickets with 15 overs left. Australia finished with a very high run rate taking all bowlers out of the ground in an imperious victory to begin the Aussie winter.


With the current predicament of the cricket in Australia, we played fantastically well to provide a comeback in England’s innings with a super 7-27 eliminating the attacking middle order. We then continued the momentum with an aggressive nature at 9-10 per over with the loss of only 4 wickets and plenty of pleasing scores. We head off to Cardiff from the 2nd ODI, looking to repeat our heroics with the aim for a 2-0 series lead going into the crucial 3rd ODI. The team are humbled by the renewed support and look to continue their winning start. Be sure to revisit the site to see how the rest of the series plays out!

Short Leg