Halestorm!

England’s Alex Hales produced a storming innings for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League today.

Hales (102 from 48), in the company of Rilee Rossouw (100 from 51), took the Chittagong Viking bowlers to the cleaners whilst compiling a monstrous 174-run second wicket stand…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8653/scorecard/1169408/chittagong-vikings-vs-rangpur-riders-30th-match-bangladesh-premier-league-2018-19

As England’s Test batsman struggle in the West Indies, Hales, who’s no longer a shoe-in for white-ball selection for England, served a timely demonstration of his qualities.

In today’s other match in the BPL, there were also runs for another England batsman, in the form of Surrey’s Jason Roy. Roy, for so long Hales’ partner at the top of the order for England in limited overs cricket, before the latter was unceremoniously dethroned by Jonny Bairstow, made 42 from 28 deliveries for Sylhet Sixers…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8653/scorecard/1169407/rajshahi-kings-vs-sylhet-sixers-29th-match-bangladesh-premier-league-2018-19

Now if England’s Test batsman could score 100, heck, even 42 would be nice!

Evans Above!

Sussex batsman Laurie Evans smashed a scintillating 104 not out from only 62 deliveries for Rajshahi Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League today…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8653/scorecard/1169401/comilla-victorians-vs-rajshahi-kings-23rd-match-bangladesh-premier-league-2018-19

Former Surrey and Warwickshire player Evans has gained a reputation for being a reliable limited overs player in county cricket and it’s great to see someone outside of the England squad making waves on the global franchise scene.

If Evans can deliver another productive summer then maybe he could come into contention for England, possibly after this summer’s World Cup, though aged 31, time isn’t on his side!

Ashes Cricket (PS4): Career Mode – 2024 Season

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Here’s a quick round up of the 2024 campaign.

In the One-Day Cup, I commenced the season with scores of 79 and a List A best of 174 from 86 deliveries at the top of the order. I then scored 27 and was promptly dropped to number four! I was pretty peeved at the demotion and some low scores then ensued. After only 21 runs in four outings, I then walloped 90 off 28 having reached 50 from 14 whilst passing 1000 career List A runs in the process.

I made a quick fire 46 in the quarter-final against Durham but that was as far as we got. I totalled 433 runs at 54.13 in the competition.

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I finally got the call to the Yorkshire T20 side and after a slow start, made 76 from 43 against Sussex.

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I dominated a rather one-sided partnership against Middlesex having equalled the world record for fastest fifty alongside Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh, just the twelve deliveries required. Later in the season, I went onto register a maiden ton from just 32 balls, two deliveries short of equalling Gayle’s record. I had a fantastic opportunity to smash the fifty record against Northamptonshire but having raced to 46 from nine, missed a free hit then failed to connect with the following two deliveries.

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I would go onto record another hundred, a career best 115 from just forty balls against Somerset. I was dismissed in the forties in both the quarter-final against Essex and semi-final against Derbyshire. Despite being favourites, we failed to get past Derbyshire in the semi and so yet again, there was to be no big day out for us.

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There were hundreds galore in the First Class arena. After a slightly slow start, I made 175 in a partnership of 209 against a Northamptonshire attack that included Australia’s Josh Hazlewood and my South African nemesis Tabraiz Shamsi.

Against Nathan Lyon and company at Worcestershire, I scored 175… again!

I made 99 against Surrey before being bowled around my legs. Having made 27 in the second innings I got dropped to four again. There must be something about the score of 27 and getting demoted from opener to four!

After a few low scores I was back to run-getting with 153 against Kagiso Rabada’s Derbyshire, then made 189 versus Leicestershire and 102 against Surrey. I reached fifty from twelve balls against Nottinghamshire and was then promoted back to opener. Against Glamorgan, I contributed my season high 216 having reached a century from just thirty deliveries. I fell for 95 in the second innings before scoring 92 in the final match of the season against Durham. I actually reached my half-century in a record breaking ten deliveries!

I was really satisfied with my ability to convert centuries into at least 150s more often than not. Unfortunately, as soon as the season finished, I was off to Australia and so couldn’t see the final County Championship standings or run charts! (Sort that out please Big Ant!)

I’ve signed as captain with Tasmania for the Sheffield Shield but then joined Auckland in the New Zealand T20 competition. This means that I’ll miss a load of Sheffield Shield matches. I’ve decided to sign up to as many T20 franchises as possible this winter to see how it works then review it and maybe be more selective next winter. I’ve signed for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash and Khulna in the Bangladesh Premier League but it looks like I’ll only play snippets of each competition. I’m guessing that if I sign up for the Ireland T20 that I’ll miss some of the English county season. Like I said, I’ll sign up to every league possible this term then try and manage things better the following season.

For the record, my career record is as follows:

First Class: 3963 @ 66.05 incl. 14×50 & 12×100, TS: 325

List A: 1134 @ 59.68 incl. 4×50 & 5×100, TS: 174

T20: 757 @ 42.06 incl. 3×50 & 2×100, TS: 115

Could Gleeson Gleam?

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Not making your professional debut until the ripe old age of twenty-seven has a distinctly Australian vibe about it but no, Blackpool born former Cumberland representative and now England Lions wicket-taker Richard Gleeson is English and pushing for what would be an inspiring national selection.

Gleeson averages sub-28 in all three formats (First Class, List A and T20) at domestic level and has claimed ten wickets in four outings for England Lions in West Indies on the current tour.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/473191.html

This on a trip where it’s been the spinners that have done most damage but right-arm-fast-medium bowler Gleeson hasn’t been able to help himself.

As raw as he was in senior cricket in 2016, Gleeson got a gig with Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League. There are some who may scoff at the notion of an England call-up for a thirty-year-old with less than sixty professional outings spread across the three formats to his name but it could be that having earned this chance, having waited so long that Gleeson wants it more than some, that in a way he’s younger than his years such will be his enthusiasm and passion to seize an opportunity that he may well have thought would never come. A full England cap for Gleeson would be an inspiring tale to all minor county cricketers out there and indeed to the equivalent in various countries the globe over. The likes of Chris Woakes, Tom Curran and Mark Wood etc won’t make it easy for Gleeson to win a full cap but given the injuries to the likes of Liam Plunkett and with some rotation likely in T20Is at least as England focus on the 2019 ODI World Cup, an England debut for Gleeson might not be as far fetched as some would have thought only a short time ago.

Denly’s Destiny?

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England Test captain Joe Root has opted to take a break from international cricket during the upcoming T20I Tri-Series against Australia and New Zealand. With all-rounder Ben Stokes also likely to be unavailable, there could be a vacancy for a batsman who bowls a bit, someone who has been in form whilst playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and Big Bash recently, somebody who has improved dramatically since last floundering in international T20 cricket against Australia. Look no further than another Joe, Kent’s Joe Denly.

In last season’s T20 Blast, the former Middlesex man totalled a whopping 567 runs at an average of 43.62 complete with strike-rate of 150.80. Nobody aggregated more runs than the thirty-one-year-old. The Canterbury native averaged a decent 31.16 at 105.64 for Dhaka Dynamites in Bangladesh before Christmas and has just smashed 73 not out from 45 deliveries for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash, leaving him with a tournament average of 72.00 from four games. He was only dismissed twice during his short Sydney stint. It’s not just the shortest format that Denly has improved at either, last season he averaged 55.48 in the County Championship. The right-hander contributed 1168 runs including four centuries and five half-tons. His domestic career stats aren’t great, generally averaging mid-thrities and neither are his international figures all too impressive: 20 runs in five T20I innings and an average below 30.00 in ODIs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/12454.html

That was nine years ago however and Denly wouldn’t be the first player to reinvent himself and improve. He’s a useful spin bowling option too and if the England selectors fancied trying the same selection policy as Australia, i.e. picking players on BBL form, then Denly is well worth a shout. If Gary Ballance and James Vince etc can have recall after recall then surely Denly merits another opportunity. Having been included in the Test squad for New Zealand, it could be that Liam Livingstone earns a return to the T20I side and I’d have no qualms about that. Off the back of such form for Denly in Oz though, a recall for the Kent man seems like a no-brainer!

It’ll be Alright on the Sylhet Night!

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Ross Whiteley playing for Worcesterhsire Rapids against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley last summer.

The 2017 instalment of the Bangladesh Premier league is under way and there are a few England players, some more household names than others to keep an eye on.

England limited overs regulars Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett are both there. Of course there are many who would have had at least one of the Yorkshire duo in their Ashes Squad.

Joe Denly and Sam Hain are amongst some of the other England qualified players to be participating in the tournament. Denly has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in English county cricket though an international recall still seems rather unlikely. Hain has long been touted as an international prospect but some underwhelming domestic campaigns have left him well down the pecking order.

It’s Worcestershire’s Ross Whiteley who could benefit most from the exposure however. I was at the match against Yorkshire where he took spinner Karl Carver to the cleaners. Truth be told it was a ridiculously short boundary but Whiteley, despite a modest career record, possesses a fearsome reputation for clearing the ropes. Even if he doesn’t regularly make massive scores, if his twenties and thirties are scored at 200% plus then he can be of real value to his side. A good showing for Sylhet Sixers in the BPL could earn him gigs in the Pakistan Super League or Big Bash. Come the end of a long Ashes tour and five-match ODI series, there’s some T20Is in the shape of the Trans-Tasman Tri-Series that involves New Zealand as well as England and Australia. If he can pull the trigger to effect on the global franchise scene then left-hand-bat Whiteley could be in with a realistic shout of winning a T20I cap.

England to Name Squads for India ODIs/T20Is

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England will name their squads for the post Christmas ODI and T20I series’ against India, both three-match affairs, on monday. England are likely to avoid too much experimentation and save that for the matches against West Indies and Ireland in February and May. That’s not to say that there won’t be a little squad rotation.

Captain Eoin Morgan as well as opening batsman Alex Hales will come straight back into the side after opting out of the Bangladesh tour because of security concerns. Joe Root, rested for the limited overs leg of that tour will also return. That means that for the ODIs at least, perennial starter James Vince will pay the price for not going onto makes scores of substance. England will be keen to persist with many of their limited overs specialists and provide opportunity to those that have mostly sat on the bench during the Bangladesh / India Test tours. That means Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow, both of whom are burdened with great responsibility in the Test arena may be amongst those that have earned a respite.

Adil Rashid’s continued progress may grant him further responsibility in the ODIs without the safety net of Moeen to back him up. Liam Dawson, who has been playing T20 in the Bangladesh Premier League and was this week added to the Test squad, will be in the party and Joe Root can provide an occasional off-spin option.

Sam Billings recorded a maiden ODI fifty (62) in the deciding match in Bangladesh but will have to drop down the order to make way for the return of Hales and Jason Roy who was injured for that match. Both deserve to recombine at the top of the order for England. Billings of course provides wicket-keeping cover for Jos Buttler as does Ben Duckett who despite his travails in Test match cricket merits retaining his place in the ODI side. He made scores of 60, 0 and 63 in Bangladesh and like Billings will hope to avoid being dropped the match after registering a career best. All that adds upto Jonny Bairstow sitting out. Scores of 0,35 and 15 in Bangladesh didn’t quite make Bairstow demand a regular place in the ODI side as ridiculous as it might seem to omit him.

England will be keen to provide Jake Ball (5-51 on ODI debut Bangladesh) and Steven Finn with game time as well as Liam Plunkett. Plunkett was injured for the first two matches of the Bangladesh series and didn’t have a game to remember (0-51) in his sole outing in the third but merits retention in the squad. David Willey (15-2-82-0 in the series) is another one who didn’t have an outstanding time against the Tigers but his left-arm provides variety in the attack and again he is one who England will feel it is worth further investment. England may also be tempted to rest Chris Woakes and that could benefit Surrey’s Tom Curran. The Surrey man recently took 5-16 as well as scoring 40 with the bat for England Lions against UAE in Dubai.

For the T20Is summer debutant Tymal Mills, currently playing in New Zealand and like Dawson having played in the BPL last month will come into the squad and could simply be an addition rather than sending anyone home. If England do decide to tinker then Dawid Malan who made the squad but not the XI in the summer and has produced a couple of match winning innings in the BPL could also come in. Moeen and Woakes would likely come back in for Duckett and Curran with the likes of Adil Rashid and Ben Stokes taking a rest. James Vince might also sneak back into the T20I squad.

What was I saying about avoiding too much experimentation?!

Predicted ODI Squad:

Eoin Morgan (Captain), Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey

Predicted T20I squad:

Eoin Morgan (Captain), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Liam Plunkett, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes

Malan Mauls Vikings

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England hopeful Dawid (AC) Malan smacked 78 not out from just 48 deliveries to guide Barisal Bulls to a seven-wicket victory over Chittagong Vikings in the Bangladesh Premier League earlier today. Middlesex’s Malan struck three fours and seven (Yes seven!) sixes. He shared a partnership of exactly 150 with Sharhriar Nafees (65) after his fellow opener, another Englishman, Leicestershire’s Josh Cobb had been dismissed for just six. Malan had made starts in his previous outings for the Bulls (16, 26 and 13) but crucially went big today. Malan was included in England’s T20I squad to play Sri Lanka earlier this year but didn’t make the final XI. The twenty-nine-year-old will be hoping that the England management are keeping an eye on any Englishmen that are plying their trade in the various T20 tournaments being played across the globe this winter. Given the competition bread by the performances of players like Ben Duckett and Sam Billings during the ODI series in Bangladesh last month, Malan may be reliant on England resting some players come the ODI / T20I series’ against India at the conclusion of the five-match Test series if he’s to have any chance of making either squad.

Tymal Mills is another Englishman currently plying their trade in Bangladesh. Limited overs exclusive Mills, who did make his T20I debut against Sri Lanka earlier this year has picked up wickets in both of his appearances for the Vikings so far but was absent from the match against Malan’s Bulls.

Ravi Bopara, Matt Coles, Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, Benny Howell, Samit Patel and Riki Wessels are some of the other England qualified players signed up in Bangladesh though some of the less experienced players on that list are still awaiting their first outing.