At last… another audiocast. Enjoy!
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At last… another audiocast. Enjoy!
Thanks for listening.
Having reached the halfway point of the round robin stage of the inaugural Global ODI Invitational, here are some statistical highlights from our performances.
Highest Team Total: 510-7 vs. Namibia at Namibia Stadium
Highest Individual Innings: Dawid Malan – 163 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston
Highest Batting Average: Sam Curran – 84.00
Leading Run-scorer: Dawid Malan – 387
Most Catches: Jonny Bairstow – 31
Best Bowling (Innings/Match): Tom Curran, 5-19 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston
Best Bowling Average: Matthew Carter – 6.00
Leading Wicket Taker: Tom Curran – 13
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.
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.
Here’s my suggested England Test squad for the match against Ireland and ultimately the start of the Ashes…
Joe Root (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
Mark Wood/Jofra Archer
James Anderson/Chris Woakes
The suggestion is that Archer and Woakes have injuries that need managing and may have to wait their turn. Of course Anderson is currently out of action and Wood is not going to play five consecutive Tests. Extremely good players are going to have to miss out and that may be the case for Sam Curran. I think that variety is essential in an attack but with slow left-armer Leach meriting selection ahead of Moeen that doesn’t help fellow leftie Curran’s case. I still believe in Moeen but he’s gone AWOL as a batsman and Leach should’ve played in West Indies. His batting and fielding have come on too. Moeen would be best served getting some county cricket under his belt. If somebody in the top/middle order fails after a few Tests then the others could be shuffled to accommodate Moeen as a second spinner or even allow Curran to come into the side. He himself is capable of batting at least as high as six.
On the batting front, Sibley merits selection. His ‘form’ isn’t just that. His sensational run started last year and included a hundred overseas. He clearly has a lot of ambition and concentration and could be just what England need. I’d have no concerns about tempo from the openers. Test matches last five days!
I also firmly believe that Malan is good enough to succeed at this level but his optimum batting position is number four. That’s why Root must move to three and embrace it. He might not like it but he’ll have a better team for it. Yes Malan has played before and averaged 27 like everybody else but he hinted at being good enough and is knocking the door down with an axe. You only have to look at the likes of Mark Butcher, Justin Langer and Marvan Atapattu, even Jonny Bairstow for players that came back stronger and age wise look at Mike Hussey, Kumar Sangakarra and Misbah-ul-Haq, even Andy Flower. Malan could yet have his peak years ahead of him. His inclusion helps maintain a good left-hand/right-hand balance throughout the batting order.
The likes of Gary Ballance and Toby Roland-Jones as well as Dom Bess could all be hitting form at the right time to keep incumbents on their toes. Sam Northeast is another one for whom a place in the XI is a genuine possibility. Like I say though, good players will have to miss out. That’s theory of numbers. Coad, Gregory, Porter, Denly and Roy etc, you cant squeeze them all in.
Regarding Roy, he simply can’t be trusted to be fit enough to field long enough to be allowed, in accordance with the rules of the game, to open the batting thus rendering his inclusion pointless if everybody else has to move higher up the order than they want too.
One more thing. What a shame that the England Lions players as well as most county squads can’t watch the World Cup final. Who scheduled this?!
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.
Following injury to the unfortunate Dawid Malan, England have called up Sussex’s Philip Salt for the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan tomorrow.
Salt has a top score of 74 in domestic T20 cricket, spent some time on the franchise circuit during the winter and regardless of format, has a habit of getting Sussex off to some brisk starts. Hopefully he can do the same for England if he makes the playing XI.
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