Cricket 19: GODII – Final Statistics

Having reached the conclusion of the inaugural Global One-Day Invitational here are our statistical highlights…

Highest Team Total: 510-7 vs. Namibia at Windhoek

Highest Individual Innings: Dawid Malan – 163 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston

Highest Batting Average: Liam Livingstone – 45.29 (Minimum 250 runs)

Leading Run-scorer: Dawid Malan – 425

Most Catches: Jonny Bairstow – 31

Best Bowling (Innings/Match): Tom Curran 6-9 vs. Papua New Guinea at Port Moresby

Best Bowling Average: Tom Curran 10.00 (Minimum 10 wickets)

Leading Wicket Taker: Tom Curran – 22

Additional notes: Perversely, my leading run-scorer, best batting average, leading wicket-taker and best bowling average were all out of favour by the time we reached the semi-final. My leading catcher was also no longer my wicketkeeper. Maybe I’m not such a good selector after all!

Chris Woakes was named England player of the competition (20 wickets @ 13.65) for his consistent threat and penetration with the new ball.

Cricket 19: GODII – Semi-final

Only days after defeating the Dutch on home turf in London we jetted to neutral territory in the form of Perth, Australia to take them on once again in the first Global One-Day International Invitational semi-final.

We made one alteration to the playing XI that prospered in match 14 with Jofra Archer replacing the unfortunate Tom Curran. Archer’s inclusion ensured that we had all bases covered in terms of speed, swing, right and left-arm bowling for what looked an intriguing deck in Western Australia. Contrary to perceived wisdom we opted to bat first after Netherlands called incorrectly at the coin flip.

What followed was a haphazard batting performance that undermined all that we had achieved upto this point. Jonny Bairstow was run out for 3 which begun a procession of wickets and left us in peril on 77-7 on Perth’s unpredictable surface. Only an eighth-wicket partnership of 56 between James Hildreth (36) and Jofra Archer (38) lifted us to an ugly 136 all out. Paceman Paul van Meekeren claimed 3-40 while spinner Pluto Schmidt registered figures of 2-7.

Netherlands reached 28 without loss to put themselves firmly in control but slipped to 39-4 in a passage of breathtaking cricket. Chris Woakes fed the hands of James Hildreth twice and Moeen Ali had the thinnest edge in history pouched by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler from his second delivery after the skipper had dropped one off the bowler’s first. There was also a run out courtesy of a sensational throw from the boundary by Jofra Archer. The Dutch recovered somewhat but when Pluto Schmidt (22) needlessly fell to Liam Trevaskis attempting an unnecessary and unorthodox shot they looked in trouble again at 86-6. Bryan Long (26) and Suman Engels (23 not out) steadied the ship but Joe Root of all people prized out Long before Lewis Gregory returned to claim the eighth wicket with Netherlands on 121. Fred Klaassen (5 not out) saw them home alongside Engels however to take the Dutch to the inaugural Global ODI Invitational and send us packing.

Having won the North Western Hemisphere Test Championship to lose at the semi-final stage of the GODII was a bitter pill to swallow but we only have ourselves to blame for not applying ourselves better with the bat. Congratulations to the Netherlands who although we pushed them hard thoroughly deserved to win.

Netherlands, led by Bryan Long’s 98 not out, would go onto thrash an insipid Hong Kong in the final.

Disclaimer/Excuse: A recent patch has made the game harder. With a wife and children constantly walking around the room and clambering all over me I didn’t apply myself with the bat as I needed to. I’m going to play the game in shorter more committed chunks in future in order to post competitive totals. I also intend to take more control over field placings and possibly play on the hardest level. Having concluded my custom Test/ODI competitions I just need to decide how I’m going to play the game going forward.

Cricket 19: GODII – Matches 8-14 Scorecards

Match 8 – Port Moresby (Won by 10 wickets)

Papua New Guinea 59 all out (Ahuja 22/Curran.T 6-9, Archer 2-17)

England 60-0 (Gubbins 30*, Livingstone 28*)

Match 9 – Colwyn Bay (Won by 97 runs)

England 317 all out (Buttler 71, Curran.T 54*, Archer 50/Klein 5-65)

Canada 220-8 (Anderson 50/Woakes 2-30, Stokes 2-61)

Match 10 – New York (Won by 4 wickets)

United States of America 167-6 (Suarez 42*/Moeen 3-27)

England 168-6 (Hildreth 51*, Bairstow 36, Root 30/Kennedy 2-47, Jeffries 2-47)

Match 11 – Kowloon (Lost by 140 runs)

Hong Kong 279-2 (Karpe 155*, Char 64*/Curran.S 1-48)

England 139 all out (Bairstow 33, Jacks 23/Kadakia 5-27)

Match 12 – Durham (Lost by 81 runs)

Namibia 230-7 (Larson 108/Stokes 3-64)

England 149 all out (Buttler 32, Stokes 23/Cassim 7-69)

Match 13 – Kathmandu (Won by 336 runs)

England 401 all out (Stokes 82*, Root 82, Hildreth 72/Kohli 3-67)

Nepal 65 all out (Murthy 31/Woakes 3-22, Trevaskis 2-6)

Match 14 – London (Won by 4 wickets)

Netherlands 141 all out (Long 40/Curran.T 2-8, Gregory 2-23)

England 142-6 (Moeen 49, Bairstow 22/Klaassen 1-27)

Who Should Captain England? – The Results

Screenshot 2019-12-04 at 19.48.24

The results of my latest poll are in and… errr, we’re none the wiser!

To be fair to Joe Root, he’s tied at the top so possibly deserves to retain his place. Most of the votes were submitted in between the first and second Test in Aotearoa, so after England lost and before Root struck 226 as England drew the second match. I’m not convinced that this should effect whether or not he retains the captaincy. Of course Root was never likely to be stripped of the role mid-winter but with such a cramped international schedule the seasons almost role into one. Could a hiding in South Africa result in Root being out of a job (Or at least one of his roles) come Spring?

The alternatives are limited though. I backed Jos Buttler (As a player not to be captain) for the New Zealand series but South Africa may be the right time to get behind Ben Foakes as gloveman with Ollie Pope returning to solely batting duties. Is Ben Stokes fit enough to assume the role? Is Rory Burns proven and, not meaning to be rude, but respected enough by his teammates just yet to take on the burden? Would it really help Stuart Broad and the team to make him skipper?

Of course the system doesn’t really allow a player to be groomed as captain. The best players make their respective international sides when still young before domestic captaincy opportunities have presented themselves. If a player lingers at county or state level and does well as captain then they’re playing catch up in regards to proving themselves as international cricketers once selected.

Root will lead England in South Africa and likely for years to come. I’ll back him but like many I’m not convinced that leadership comes naturally to him. Just because his teammates like him isn’t really a good enough reason for him to remain captain, particularly when the side isn’t in the habit of winning!

Who Should Captain the England Test Team in South Africa?

img_6070

Following a heavy defeat in the first Test in New Zealand the question marks over Joe Root’s captaincy are now firmly written in bold font and possibly in red ink! Root registered his lowest Test aggregate score, dropped out of the top ten batsmen in the world for the first time in five years (I’m surprised that it’s taken that long!) and was once again lacking inspiration in the field.

Does the Yorkshireman remain the best man to lead England or would he and the team as a whole be best served if he returned to being just one of the ranks?

Such a move has the potential to rid Root of the additional strain of leadership and allow him to thrive as the high quality batsman that we know he can be though in turn it obviously burdens someone else… or possibly brings out the best in them. Captaincy certainly isn’t bringing out the best in Joe Root.

Ben Stokes is currently vice-captain, Jos Buttler has stood in for limited overs matches, Stuart Broad has captained England in T20Is and Rory Burns is a County Championship winning captain.

Who do you think should lead England?

Emily Smith Ban – The Results

IMG_4089

Hi folks

Thanks for voting on my latest poll. Let’s take a look at the results…

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 13.20.45

Well it’s unambiguous then. 83% of voters feel that the one-year ban (Nine months suspended) applied was appropriate.

Numerous people have had their say on the matter and I do have some sympathy for Smith but ultimately naivety, casualness or lack of professionalism (Call it what you will) can’t be used as an excuse. That may seem harsh but once again please don’t forget the extreme monetary value that rides on WBBL matches. Women’s cricket may still be playing catch-up to that of their male counterparts in regards to many aspects of professionalism but Smith is old enough and experienced enough to have avoided all this.

I think that there’s little doubt that there wasn’t any sinister motive related to the Victorian born’s actions and ultimately I’m sure that we all want to see Smith back on the cricket field as soon as possible, ban considered. I know that I do.