Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: T20 Blast 2018

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Here’s my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket team for the T20 competition.

Sticking to my tried and tested formula, I’ve selected batsmen that can bowl. Kent’s Joe Denly will surely contribute with the white ball and Ryan Higgins is definatley an all-rounder. He’s been opening the bowling for Gloucestershire in First Class cricket this year following his move from Middlesex. Ross Whiteley is a destructive T20 hitter who as broken into Worcestershire’s County Championship of late. He produced some strong innings in the One-Day Cup and has been collecting the odd wicket too. Sussex’s Harry Finch complete’s my batting line-up.

Tom Moores has seamlessly assumed Chris Read’s position behind the stumps at Nottinghamshire and he’s my gloveman this year.

Hampshire’s Liam Dawson has broke the record for England Lions One-Day bowling figures three times this year and fellow slow-left-armer Samit Patel performed superbly when opening the bowling in the Pakistan Super League last time out. With dry pitches all around the country these two should prosper and might be competing for a place on England’s tours of Sri Lanka and West Indies. Patel, with his all-round capabilities dons my captain’s armband.

AJ Tye didn’t have in easy against England in the ODI series or T20I but will come good for Gloucestershire at domestic level. Many county batsmen just can’t read what’s about to come out of his hand. Matt Coles has broke into the Essex XI and could actually be a useful option for England. He’ll take wickets and biff it with the bat too. Adam Zampa should enjoy the current Australian like English terrain Harry Brookes has broke into the Warwickshire side this year. He’s a capable willow wielder despite his listing s a bowler.

They’ll be an update at the end of the T20 Blast to see how my team performed.

Crane Sticks Neck Out in New South Wales!

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Hampshire spinner Mason Crane is currently making his Sheffield Shield debut for New South Wales at the SCG. The leg-spin bowler, just turned twenty, has been tipped by many in the game to be England’s spin saviour. A First Class average of 40.75 suggests that there’s still work to be done but regardless of the results, Crane will surely be a better bowler for his southern hemisphere experiences this winter.

In NSW’s match against South Australia, Crane has already snapped up the wicket of the useful Tom Cooper. The opportunity to see Australia’s limited overs specialist Adam Zampa twirling tirelessly for the opposition will be an education for Crane. There was outcry by some when Zampa was omitted from Australia’s squad for his country’s Test tour of India but it’s worth noting that for all Zampa’s ODI and T20I success that his First Class bowling average currently sits above Crane at 44.07 and at a less than desirable 4.05 per over.

To keep up to date with Crane’s travails then please click on the link below…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/sheffield-shield-2016-17/engine/match/1036419.html

International Duck Watch!

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Australia have assumed an unassailable 3-1 lead in their ODI series at home against Pakistan. The hosts totalled a formidable 353-6 (Warner 130, Maxwell 78, Head 51) then dismissed the tourists 86 runs short of their total, despite Sharjeel Khan’s 74 from 47 deliveries at the top of the order.

Our sole duckee at the Sydney Cricket Ground was Junaid Khan, the last wicket to fall as Josh Hazlewood (3-54) wrapped up victory. Spin bowler Adam Zampa, who has been omitted from Australia’s Test squad to tour India because the selectors accuse him of being a defensive bowler, claimed figures of 3-55 from his full allocation. Zampa now has 33 wickets in 20 ODIs at a very healthy average of just 26.93 but he’s too defensive for Test cricket so the selectors picked Mitchell Swepson instead. Well you can never have enough Mitchells!

Meanwhile in Johannesburg, Sri Lanka have levelled their 3-match T20I series against hosts South Africa. Skipper Angelo Mathews’ 54 not out was the deciding factor and only South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo merits a mention in today’s edition of IDW.

International Duck Watch!

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A resurgent Australia defeated neighbours New Zealand by 68 runs in the first ODI in Sydney earlier today. In the course of the match the following players were inaugurated into International Duck Club:

Australia

Aaron Finch

Only a few days after saying that he still hopes to play Test cricket, Finch fell to the third delivery of the match for a golden duck!

New Zealand

Mitchell Santner

Santner, who also went wicketless (9-0-40-0) but to be fair was New Zealand’s most economical bowler (4.44 rpo) as the hosts piled on 324-8, lasted seven deliveries before falling to spinner Adam Zampa.

Lockie Ferguson

Debutant Ferguson who had earlier recorded figures of 9-0-73-1, the one being David Warner, fell third ball to Mitchell Marsh (2-38) as the home side sealed victory.