Cricket 19: GODII Squad Announcement

Your England squad for the Global One-Day Invitational Round Six match against Nepal at Headingley is as follows:

Dawid Malan

Liam Livingstone

Ben Stokes

Joe Root

Sam Curran

Liam Dawson

Jonny Bairstow (Captain/Wicketkeeper)

Tom Curran

Chris Woakes

Lewis Gregory

Matthew Carter

Ben Foakes

I’m delighted to announce that Jonny Bairstow will captain the side for the first time on his home ground. Congratulations also to Matthew Carter who comes into the squad for the first time and Lewis Gregory who returns to the national set-up after a long absence and will hope to win his first cap.

Captain Jos Buttler as well as all-rounder Moeen Ali have been rested from this fixture. Both players have been an integral part of the ODI and Test side of late. With one more ODI to follow before returning to the Test format for the business end of the North Western Hemisphere Test Championship, the decision has been made to rest said players as we have done with the likes of Joe Root, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes in recent matches. Jofra Archer also drops out of the side that won convincingly in Namibia.

Cricket 19: GODII – Namibian Amphibians Flounder on Dry Land!

After four wins from four we headed south of the equator for the next stop on our global ODI adventure.

Hosts Namibia won the toss, chose to bowl and reduced us to 121-4 and 219-6 only to see Sam Curran (150) and Liam Dawson (125 not out) compile a record-breaking seventh wicket partnership of 284 (The previous record was 177!). The duo’s combo propelled us to a world record ODI score of 510-7!

The competition’s leading run-scorer Dawid Malan (54), Ben Stokes (54), Jonny Bairstow (53) and Moeen Ali (43) all scored quickly but blew golden opportunities to make a big score. Liam Livingstone (3) and skipper Jos Buttler (7) completely missed out whilst Test captain Joe Root was rested from the long voyage to Southern Africa.

Corben Cassim (1-119) set an undesirable new record for worst ODI bowling figures though Jayden-Lee Fitzpatrick (0-116) pushed him hard. Spinner Zaki George finished 0-99 from his ten overs (Would you like a flake on that?) but Magnus Mahomed (3-86) claimed 3 wickets. Rarely, all his dismissals were caught & bowled.

Namibia began their improbable run chase with all eyes on Lennox Larson. Larson had made two tons in the competition before this match and briefly displayed his ability before being clean bowled by Chris Woakes (2-22) for 13. Woakes then accounted for Mario Dollie for a duck. An example of the flow of runs well and truly running dry in the Namib Desert for the man they call Kart Sheep! (Kart Sheep, because of Mario Kart and Dolly the Sheep. Get it? Aargh forget it!)

Philip Yvonne (57) and Jayden-Lee Fitzpatrick (29) lifted the home side from 21-2 to 100-2 with a strong batting display. Stokes (2-26) accounted for Fitzpatrick however and Moeen (2-45) terminated Yvonne’s career best knock.

Stokes added another victim before it became the Tom Curran show for the second match running. The Surrey star ripped through the middle lower order to finish with figures of 4-17. Moeen then claimed the final wicket courtesy of supreme stumper Jonny Bairstow’s fifth catch of the innings. Though the match was played in Cheetah country, all wickets were taken legitimately!

154 all out was the sum total of Namibia’s batting efforts meaning an earth-shattering 356-run margin of victory. Their top order batsmen have talent but with such a weak bowling attack it makes it difficult for the likes of the imaginatively monikered Henrik Larson to prosper. For the record, all our players returned to England safely. We left no skeletons on the coast!

There were some competitive matches elsewhere in the competition with much improved run getting from the emerging nations. With five wins from five, we sit joint top alongside European rivals the Netherlands. They travel to Canada next whilst we host Nepal at Headingley. Will we both still be unbeaten when we meet in round seven, the final ODI before returning to the Test format?

Cricket 19: Career Mode – First Class Travel!

Our man Buster van Dunk put the negative press to one side this week and made his First Class debut for Centurion at the impressive Highveld Oval. Some pessimists in the media have criticised the teenager’s selection following some middling performances on the club circuit but the talent is clearly there in abundance.

BVD looked at ease against pace in his first innings, soon dispatching national spearhead Kagiso Rabada to the boundary but operated less comfortably against spin. He’d made 22 batting at 8 before an inauspicious end, out caught at slip when failing to execute a reverse sweep as intended.

The off-spinner then toiled for 34 fruitless overs. He traveled at only two per over before leaking a little when experimenting with bowling around the wicket to the left-handed batsman but figures of 34-7-77-0 were by no means a disaster. Hosts Highveld declared just shy of 500 having lost only five wickets in a chastening experience for the Centurion bowlers. Experienced internationals Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen were amongst the runs. Generally Buster bowled with control and whilst the threat wasn’t persistent he did at least beat the bat on a few occasions.

It was van Dunk’s 35 not out from only 26 deliveries in Centurion’s second innings that ensured Highveld would have to bat again. They wobbled somewhat losing three wickets when chasing only 16 runs for victory but the result was never in doubt.

Next up it’s a home debut against Bloemfontein as Buster goes in search of his maiden professional wicket in front of his home fans.

Cricket 19: GODII – Too Strong for Hong Kong… but don’t chance Char!

414-9… which was actually somewhat of an archetypal England collapse having being 226-0 and 276-1. Dawid Malan (163) and Liam Livingstone (121) both hit maiden ODI tons when compiling a monster opening stand of 226. The stand was only ended when Char effected a run out with a direct hit from distance to terminate Livingstone’s knock. Ben Stokes (25) and Moeen Ali (31) both came out with the right attitude but wickets were lost in the quest for quick runs. Stokes, the second wicket to fall, was also the victim of Char’s golden arm. A counter-attacking cameo from Tom Curran (27 not out) lifted us past the big 4 double zero.

Credit to the Hong Kong bowlers who stuck to task and eventually reaped their rewards. Nori (3-92) and Acharya (3-74) went around the park but claimed some big scalps to savour. Poor Ahuja was less fortunate however, finishing with analysis of 10-0-94-0… ouch!

In reply, Hong Kong’s top order all got starts (Karpe 16, Raval 10 and Hayer 17) but lacked intent. Middle order figures Char (34) who required 23 deliveries to get off the mark and Subramaniam (29) kicked on a little but like the top three, took far too long accumulating their runs. Tom Curran (5-19) then entered the fray to take Hong Kong down from 118-4 to 129 all out. The Eastern batsman just couldn’t handle the Surrey man’s full and slow deliveries and were either bowled or nicked behind as Jonny Bairstow feasted yet again. The wicketkeeper bagged four catches as well as a stumping… off Chris Woakes! Liam Dawson claimed 2-23 whilst fellow spinner Moeen Ali (10-2-25-0) cruelly went unrewarded for some high class bowling. The margin of victory… 285 runs!

We sit top of the tree alongside the Netherlands with four wins from four. Next up it’s a trip to Namibia, a team with only one win to their name though batsman Lennox Larson is only four runs behind leading scorer Dawid Malan in the run charts.

Cricket 19: GODII – States of Play!

We posted 354-8 from our fifty overs before a confused American outfit delivered their Second Class reply.

The Trumpets spent about 45 overs of their chase seemingly under the impression that despite the coloured clothing (Their kit was beautiful by the way!) and white ball that this was a Test match, summed up no more so than opening batsman J-J Morrison’s 26 from, wait for it… 114 deliveries! “TEST MATCH”. They then switched into T20 mode for the final few overs led by Henry Wilks (54 not out from 61 balls) but still fell an agonising… 203 runs short!

All our batters chipped in after Dawid Malan (51) and Liam Livingstone (66) had compiled an opening stand worth 98. After that, Joe Root (69) and Moeen Ali (59) put on 120 in tandem. Spin bowler Tahla Pittman claimed figures of 10-0-74-2 with the cork and leather before later making a decent 22 with the willow. Rufus Suarez also collected a brace finishing with analysis 8-0-47-2 and was the visitors’ most economical bowler.

As regards our bowling unit, all were impressive: Stokes (2-23) was the pick whilst Moeen (2-41) and Archer (2-39) also snapped up two wickets each. Liam Dawson’s figures of 10-2-22-0 were also impressive and some consolation after he was run out without facing a ball. Moeen was superb in the field and Jos Buttler also had plenty of running to do.

Gloveman Jonny Bairstow claimed another seven (7SEVEN!) catches to cement his position as the world’s leading wicketkeeper.

That’s three wins from three and now it’s onto Edgbaston to take on opposition from the Orient in the form of Hong Kong.

Cricket 19: GODII – Canadian Capitulation!

Don’t worry England fans. It was our hosts that capitulated in the majestic surroundings of Ottawa Oval. Such a picturesque setting deserved far better than the syrup served up by the home team. Please don’t blame messrs Curran or Woakes though. They were only doing their job. Spare a thought for Joe Root as well. The Yorkshire lad flew all that way and didn’t bat or bowl.

At least Jos Buttler got to toss a coin! To think that there were those that questioned the decision to bowl. Though paying fans may wish that we’d batted first.

If it weren’t for two out of control top edges off ‘throw the kitchen sink’ hook shots from Darcy Harris off the hostile bowling of Jofra Archer then Canada wouldn’t have even totalled the paltry 38 all out that they did.

New ball duo Chris Woakes (3-11) and Sam Curran (3-3) did the damage at the top of the order before slow-left-armer Liam Dawson, having replaced Tom Curran in the side, chipped in with 2-8. Archer (1-14) then got in on the act before Moeen Ali struck first ball. It’ll come as no surprise to anyone that wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow took the innings ending catch to make it seven for the day (A new ODI record!) and already into double figures just two outings into the competition.

Dawid Malan (19 not out) and Liam Livingstone (18 not out) saw us comfortably to a ten-wicket win.

Such as a one-sided affair has led to questioning the integrity of the competition from some quarters. We’re only two matches in and there have already been some reasonably high scoring close encounters so far in the tournament. We’re participating in order to help promote the game across the globe. I guarantee that Canada will perform better when we meet again later in the competition.

Next for us we host USA at Old Trafford. You can expect a strong squad to be named for that one.

Cricket 19: GODII – Living the Dream!

We commenced the Global ODI Invitational with a resounding 177-run victory over Papua New Guinea at The Oval. It was a long trip for PNG and that may have taken it’s toll, particularly on their batsmen who looked severely jet lagged.

Having been put into bat we posted 272 but were disappointed to be bowled out in just 39.4 overs. Nearly all our batsmen need to reflect on their dismissals and ask themselves if they could’ve avoided getting out at that stage of the game. It’s only game one though in this format and ultimately we produced enough runs to win the match but we’ll likely face sterner tests (Or ODIs!) as the tournament progresses.

Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan were our new opening combo and the pair batted with measured intent to reach 55 without loss. Lancashire’s Livingstone (33) was given out caught behind and frustratingly replays seemed to suggest that had he reviewed then the decision would’ve been overturned. Following the debutante’s departure, Ben Stokes was needlessly run out for 27 before Joe Root nicked behind for 10.

Soon after, Dawid Malan, who looked on course for a century, inexplicably through his wicket away having compiled 64 from only 56 deliveries. Moeen Ali (29) was another who got started but soon got out. He, the first wicket to fall to the persistent Caspar Sandhu.

Sandhu would finish with impressive figures of 5-64 and also claimed an excellent catch on the boundary to dismiss skipper Jos Buttler for 56.

Right-arm medium-pacer Sandhu ripped through our lower order adding the scalps of Jonny Bairstow (8), Tom Curran (15), Sam Curran (4) and Chris Woakes (1) to that of Buttler. Meaning no disrpesect to Sandhu but all our batters could’ve avoided getting out. Jofra Archer was dropped early on but finished undefeated on 19.

In pursuit of overhauling our total Papua New Guinea started reasonably well before Kaidan Donahue (11) nicked behind off Chris Woakes with the score on 17. Bairstow claimed his first competition catch and would go onto claim three in the innings.

The Yorkshireman has forty-one catches in only five North Western Hemisphere Test Championship matches and transferred that form to the GODII. As the competition progresses however we may occasionally rest our premier gloveman both from keeping and/or the playing XI altogether.

Wickets fell at regular intervals but amongst the chaos opening batsman Carlos Ahuja (49) bounced back from a tough time with the ball (7-0-51-0) but fell agonisingly short of a deserved fifty when he was caught by one Curran brother, Sam, off the bowling of another, Tom, both of whom were playing on their home turf.

Jayant Rege (13) was the only other batsman to reach double figures.

Livingstone (2-7) wrapped things up with some impressive leg-spin while Woakes (2-27) and Sam Curran (2-10) also picked up two wickets each.

Moeen, Stokes, Archer and Tom Curran all claimed one wicket each as PNG folded for just 95.

It was a decent start to the ODI festivities but our batsmen will need to kick on and last the full allocation in future if we’re to post the sort of seismic scores we strive for.

Next up for us it’s Canada away. We thoroughly enjoyed playing a Test match in the beautiful surroundings of Ottawa Oval and look forward to revisiting the area. We’ll take a reasonable touring party with us as travelling so far from home we need to cover for all eventualities.