It was a huge honour to lead the newly formed Global XI in India’s domestic Twenty20 competition (Not the IPL).
The team consists of a 16-man squad made up of players from beyond the Test world. Norshahrul Rashid of Malaysia, a leg-spinning all-rounder, is captain of the side.
We lost our first three games but recorded our first win at the fourth attempt. At home to Western Wolves, Cameroon fast bowler Ambroise Anguissa claimed figures of 3-22. In pursuit of our target of 133, German opening batsmen Mario Kuntz (68*), ably supported by Nigerian Moses Okocha (33*), saw us to victory with an undefeated partnership of 90.
We sadly made a mess of a similar run chase in our next game. Despite skipper Rashid’s 42 not out, we fell 13 runs short of chasing down 131 away to Northern Tigers.
We won our sixth game at home to Central Foxes, defending our highest score to date, 148-5. Debutante Brazilian batsman Phillipio struck 48 from just 40 balls whilst Mexican wicketkeeper Javier Jimenez boosted our total with 43 from 34 deliveries. Our entire bowling unit then played their part as we held on for victory by 10 runs.
We then lost a couple of games, the first being our heaviest defeat, the second a game we really should’ve won. Defending 146-7, in the main courtesy of a second-wicket partnership of 107 by Kuntz (50) and Phillipio (55), we had Eastern Buffalo in peril at 98-5 but they got home with four balls to spare.
Stand-in skipper Kuntz then captained us to victory in our penultimate game. Though we only took one wicket as Western Wolves posted 142-1, in-form Phillipio (69*) aided by a 17-ball 28 from Okocha, saw us to a seven-wicket win with 15 deliveries to spare.
Captain Rashid then returned to lead us to our fourth victory of the competition. A solid bowling (And fielding) performance all round saw us restrict Northern Tigers to just 119-6. Despite slipping to 35-3 come the chase, that man Phillipo (58*) and Chinese off-spinner Wu Xu (25*), who earlier claimed figures of 2-19 from four overs, put on 44 undefeated runs to get us over the line.
Below are some of our statistical highlights from the competition:
Highest Team Score: 148-5 vs. Central Foxes at Global Arena
Highest Partnership: 107 (2nd wicket), Mario Kuntz (Germany) and Phillipio (Brazil) vs. Eastern Buffalo at Global Arena
Leading Run-scorer: Phillipio (Brazil) 232
Best Batting Average: Phillipio (Brazil) 77.33
Best Strike-rate: Phillipio (Brazil) 119.58
Best Batting Innings: Phillipio (Brazil) 69* (51b) vs Western Wolves at Western Park
Leading Wicket-taker: Norshahrul Rashid (Malaysia) 9
Best Bowling Average: Norshahrul Rashid (Malaysia) 16.78
Best Strike-rate: Norshahrul Rashid (Malaysia) 15.33
Best Bowling Innings: Ambroise Anguissa (Cameroon) 3-22 vs Western Wolves at Global Arena
Most Dismissals: Javier Jiminez(Mexico) 10 catches/0 stumpings
Most Catches (Non wicketkeeper): Ambroise Anguissa (Cameroon) 2
After starting the competition with three defeats when we fell a bit short of being genuinely competitive, the team improved immensely as they gained more and more experience. There’s still a lot of work to do, a little more bite from our opening bowlers would be nice whilst a couple of batsmen particularly struggled. However, I’d like to thank those in India that made it possible for our players to gain such fantastic exposure at the same time as helping develop cricket across the globe.
Next it’s onto Pakistan for another six-team Twenty20 competition with the domestic (Non PSL) teams and it looks like the standard of opposition may be a little bit tougher. We’ve retained the same squad but some players will need to display signs of improvement before the competition that follows Pakistan!