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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 – Golden Ducks!

Twickenham - Watford 3 day

After my man of the match winning performance at Enfield, we returned to our home cauldron for our triple header week starting with a 3 day match against visitors Watford. Captain Jace Young won the toss and opted to bat first bodily inviting debutant Juan Hempenstall to bat at 4 replacing batting all rounder Eric Leon. I joined the crease at 91-3 with spin certainly playing a decisive role taking the scalps of the openers and Young. I had to be watchful early on with left arm spinner Kayden McKnight getting fruitful bounce and turn which did for Hempenstall (10) just after my arrival. It was my 11th ball which sprung me into life as I began to feel more comfortable against the spin.

Hamilton 47 (69) ran out

White ball star Hayden Mildenhall was soon in with me at 116-5 and we settled into our partnership well. I decided to look to drive off the seamers through the covers which brought instant success – the ball racing to the boundary. However, the frightening forties this time took its toll on me as I pushed the ball to extra cover and took off only to be ran out by a direct hit. Replays confirmed I was marginally out – very frustrating! After making 3 good contributions to the 3 day team,  I was annoyed I couldn’t add to my starts with a big score. Keeper Mildenhall 62NO steered us to a respectable 238 as McKnight exploited the spinning surface with 6-70.

Mullaney bowled by Hamilton.jpg

Watford found themselves reduced to 52-2 when my leg break abolished the stumps, Mullaney playing all around a straight delivery. No.3 Marcus Jennings demonstrated his early season form as he anchored the Watford innings skilfully bashing boundaries and pinching singles. We did superbly to try and restrict his fluency by dismissing his partners but it didn’t prevent him notching a magnificent 129. His wicket though sparked the Watford collapse as seamer Ashton Kenny wrapped up the tail to leave them 20 short of our total.

Hamilton 5 (16)

Day three’s early start hampered us as we were reduced to 24-3 before debutant Hempenstall inexplicably ran himself out for a 10 ball duck. The lowest score in the South East cup was on the horizon when Maverick Cook was dismissed for a second ball duck – 25-5! Myself and Mildenhall set about settling into the innings and providing a healthy lead to defend on the wearing TCG pitch. A cover drive narrowly fell short of the close fielder on the off side but Kettleborough soon had me unsuccessfully driving as I aimed to replicate the shot that had brought me some success in my short career, this time finding Mullaney in the slips. 49-6 became 102 all out as Mildenhall played a counter attacking gem of an innings of 69NO leaving Watford a tricky 123 run chase.

Short leg catch

Duck was on the menu at lunch and it needed to be repeated on the field if we were going to force an unlikely memorable victory. Mullaney (8) and Watkin (12) avoided duck and went for geese instead before Walter (6) opted for lamb (enough of the jokes) as a result the victim of a great grab by Hunter at short leg. Walter gave me my second wicket of the match and reduced Watford to 41-3. Unfortunately first innings centurion Jennings was an immoveable object and alongside Johnson, they put on 67 valuable runs. The Twickers Army were in full voice and provided entertaining and encouraging support.

Watford 2nd innings 119.jpg

Wily seamer John Barker was brought on by captain Young in a last ditch effort to save the game and what an inspired decision that was! Barker first removed the Jennings – Johnson partnership before letting loose on the tail including a scintillating hat trick with rip roaring pace bowling. An astonished Twickers army raised their voice and were being treated to an epic climax as I held my nerve delivering a maiden at Parsons. Barker decimated the final three within 4 balls as I held the catch on the square leg boundary for the final wicket sparking wild celebrations and scenes in the local Twickenham bar!

Dismal batting and skilful bowling between both sides added to the excitement and entertainment for the club cricket crowd and ultimately Mildenhall’s two counter attacking knocks hugely contributed to our second 3 day victory. Personally, I was happy with my first innings score but knew that on a pitch that you have to play yourself into to make runs, I should have gone onto to score more. My second innings dismissal was disappointing but we put a line through the sand and move on. I am satisfied to be picking up the odd wicket to aid our bowling performance.

Match Analysis:

Twickenham 238 (Mildenhall 62*, Flynn 52, Hamilton 47/ McKnight 6-70, Johnson 1-26, Parsons 1-49)

Watford 218 (Jennings 129, Mullaney 23, Walter 22/ Kenny 3-53, Dickson 2-38, Barker 1-35)

Twickenham 102 (Mildenhall 69*, Flynn 10, Young 7/ Aitken 4-41, Parsons 3-10, Kettleborough 2-28)

Watford 119 (Jennings 61*, Johnson 20, Watkin 12 / Barker 8-32, Hamilton 1-12, Kenny 1-17)

Twickenham won by 3 runs MOM: Marcus Jennings

Thanks for the continued support and be sure to check out the next career update when we take on Watford in a double header limited overs showdown!

 

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Cricket 19: Career Mode – Harry’s double too much to Koch!

 

Richmond vs Twickenham 50 Over Match Opening

We embarked on the beginning of the carousel of matches in the South East Cup with a short journey of 18 minutes to Richmond Cricket Ground for a double header weekend with a 50 over and T20 over match. Driving via the A316, we opted not to book a hotel and instead played golf at the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club on the Friday with some of the lads also entertaining us in some tennis doubles match at Richmond lawn -its fair to say, cricket was not our main focus in the build up to the match. Richmond 50 over batting innings
As early morning rain converted our match to an old school 40 – 40, Richmond exploited the flat conditions and attacked opening bowlers Ashton Kenny and John Barker. Bizarrely, my part time leg spin was required in the opening powerplay and yielded 18 from 3 overs. Despite my relatively tight bowling, I was not needed again and the runs kept piling on. Harry Koch led the way with some audacious and inventive shots on his way to a huge score. Tristan Hunter (0-60 from 6) and Lars Bender (0-51 from 5) had a shocker of a time from Koch’s master knock. Barker halted the progressing threat of an opening stand beating 250 with two wickets including Jax Roy (63). However, Koch motored on and reached 200 with a stunning scoop shot ending the innings on a ominous 302-3 in 40 overs.

Hamilton out sweeping Whites in a white ball match – not what I selected.

Chasing an imposing 7.5 runs an over, we stumbled to 78-3 where I joined the crease alongside captain Jace Young. Young has batted fluently and continued in that merry way as I aimed to translate my 3 day early batting form into the limited overs games. I planned to score my runs at a quick rate and did so with a gorgeous cover drive for 4 off my second delivery. However, Ian Warwick struck! Warwick (3-45 from 7) had removed the set opening pair of Carter Flynn (34) and Lucas Lawson (26) and added my wicket bowling me around my legs from a conventional sweep. I played a high risk shot from my 6th ball to ease the pressure on the partnership and the team and it didn’t pay off. In hindsight my 7 from 6 was not what we needed and I had to stick around and anchor the unlikely run chase.

Following another wicket leaving us at 105-5, wicketkeeper Hayden Mildenhall came to the crease and brought some fireworks! Mildenhall and Young (81) complied a mammoth 152 run partnership which gave us a small shot at victory. However Young’s departure in the 37th over effectively ended our chances and sparked a huge collapse to 261-9. Mildenhall (112NO from 66) though thumped 27 runs from the final over to complete a sensational century in a losing cause by 14 runs. In an incredible run scoring game, we were unfortunate to end up on the losing side despite Koch’s 202NO as Mildenhall played an equally brilliant knock. I was personally disappointed with my short knock and would look to make amends in the T20 the following day.

Match Analysis: 

Richmond 302-3 from 40 overs (Koch 202*, Roy 63/ Barker 2-63 Kenny 1-56)

Twickenham 288-9 from 40 overs (Mildenhall 112*, Young 81/ Deli 4-43 Warwick 3-45)

Richmond won by 14 runs MOM: Harry Koch

Richmond vs Twickenham T20 Result

After scoring the winning goal in the football warm up, captain Young gave batsman Gael Dunkley his debut and elected to bat first. Lawson (7) was bowled early by Yearwood but early indications were that this pitch was a belter for batting much like the 40 over contest. Opening partner Flynn (49) fell agonisingly short of a half ton whilst Young accelerated our total alongside debutant Dunkley. Dunkley played an anchor role in the innings scoring a productive 35NO from 31, allowing captain Young to play expansively and expressively too good outcome! Twickenham scored 45 from the final 4 overs to propel us to 179-2 and give Richmond a tricky 180 run chase. Mildenhall and I were not needed to provide fireworks and felt that personally my leg spin would come in handy if we were to defend this total.

Harry Koch, fresh off his outstanding 202NO the previous day, started in similar blistering form but lacked support from the rest of the top 4 as we took wickets to halt their progress to 82-3 with 12 overs to go. Koch and Flynn Milne though began a crucial partnership and brought the game away from us with attacking and entertaining batting. Milne (52* from 31) played the more aggressive role as Koch continued to pile misery on our bowling attack becoming a thorn in our side. I came on to bowl at the 16th over and provided some late tense pressure with just the 8 runs coming from my 2 overs at the death. However, despite bringing it down to the last three balls, Richmond saw themselves home as Koch (85* from 48) hit the winning runs to seal a double header win for the home side!

Not getting a bat in the T20 match might have been a blessing in disguise as we head back into the 3 day format which is my preferred run scoring source. I am enjoying career mode in Middlesex and hope to find some of the new features on Cricket 19 including headlines and sponsorships!

Keep following the blog to see Cricket 19 career mode updates and an incoming report from our first Eastern Hemisphere Test League match.

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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.

Hamilton 50 (111) Wagon Wheel 1st innings.jpg

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.

Twickenham fielding drinks.jpg

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!