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.
Having reached the halfway point of the inaugural North Western Hemisphere Test Championship we now turn our attention to ODI Cricket. There are seven straight ODIs to be played as we complete the first half of the newly formed Global ODI Invitational.
I’m delighted to announce that in this format Jos Buttler will lead the side. With Joe Root captaining the Test side, it’s just too much to ask for one person to lead in both formats given the current volume of international cricket.
Our England squad for the opening match against Papua New Guinea at The Oval is:
Jos Buttler (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
There’s a strong emphasis on consistency with our Test squad and no compromise has been made in terms of selecting our strongest ODI XI, save for Stuart Broad and James Anderson focusing on Test cricket.
Dawid Malan and Jofra Archer, both of whom have featured in NWHTC squads without playing, come into the playing XI. Liam Dawson, who’s made one NWHTC appearance comes in to the team and Liam Livingstone, who was 12th man for our most recent Test in the Netherlands, will make his ODI debut.
Our man Buster van Dunk will make his First Class debut for Centurion this week at the age of just 19.
Wickets haven’t been easy to come by for the young off-spinner but his economy rate has caught the eye of many domestic sides who desire some control in their bowling ranks.
The left-handed lower order bat also has five fifties to his name and averages just shy of forty with willow in hand at club level.
On top of his batting and bowling exploits, South Africa’s great spin hope has demonstrated his nous when captaining club side Emalahleni to great effect during the current campaign.
Centurion have signed van Dunk for the pro 50-over competition too.
We’ll bring you further updates as van Dunk announces himself on the professional scene.
Buster van Dunk
Slam dunk da funk
He’s funkE with a capital E!
Buster van Dunk
Slam dunk da funk
He’ll take a shedload of wickets, you just wait and see!
Will the famous Emalahleni crowd chant make it to the stands of Centurion?
Unlike the grassy green decks across South Africa, the wickets dried up for our precocious young spinner in his first campaign, so he would’ve been keen to make an early impression in his second season on the club circuit.
It was with the bat that van Dunk got people talking though, making two undefeated fifties in the opening 3-day match and looking in phenomenal form. The nineteen-year-old finally ended his drought with the ball too, when he snapped up a wicket in the opening T20 match.
Given that Emalahleni won their opening match in each format, van Dunk was as surprised as anybody to be offered the captaincy. He duly assumed the responsibility though and opted to change the entire line-up for his first match as captain. This decision was in order to breed competition among the players. In the short term at least, it backfired spectacularly! Bowled out for scores of just 90 and a pathetic 41 in their second innings, Emalahleni succumbed to a whopping 435-run defeat!
Though Buster claimed a wicket in the next one-day game, another loss, the captaincy was clearly effecting both his mindset and performance. A corner was turned with a win in the T20s though. Remember that Emalahleni are the defending champions in that format and have now won eight on the spin.
Buster learns fast and now seems to know what his strongest XI is. The common consensus is that Ema will bounce back in their next 3-day game and they better make the most of having young Buster around. Pro South African domestic sides are sniffing around and even States in Australia are eyeing recruiting the Ginger Spin King as an overseas player. Watch this s e!
They call him ‘The Chancellor of the Exchequer’ because he’s good with the economy!
Season one in South Africa has reached its conclusion and it was a mixed bag for our teenage spin prodigee.
Buster’s best batting efforts, 75 not and 55 both came in thrilling 3-day and 50 over matches respectably, the latter of which was won in the final over. An average of 38.60 at a strike-rate of 102.65 suggests that the workmanlike left-hander is capable of batting higher up the order.
With the ball, off-spinner Buster was economical throughout the campaign in all formats. Officially his best figures were 2-19 but his highlight was actually astonishing analysis of 10-5-9-0 in a 50 over match. Unfortunately that was soon followed by a 3-day outing in which van Dunk sunk without a trace, conceding in excess of 100 runs and failing to claim a wicket. His average currently stands at an alarmingly high 66.71 but an economy rate of 2.71 across multiple formats is something to be proud of. A strike-rate of 145.71 isn’t though!
There was little to cheer overall in the 3-day and 50 over competitions but six wins out of six brought T20 Cup victory. What a sweet way to round off the season that was for South Africa’s next great hope and his teammates.
Next year Buster’s exceptional economy needs to be maintained but more wickets must be added to the menu if van Dunk is to push for a pro contract.
Following a hard fought win against Ireland we now travel to the Netherlands for round five of the inaugural North Western Hemisphere Test Championship. After defeat in our opening match we’ve since won three games on the bounce. We’re keen to get another win under our belt before switching our attention to the newly announced Global ODI Invitational.
Our squad for the NWHTC match in the Netherlands is as follows:
Joe Root (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
Ben Stokes returns to the side and will bat at three with Ben Duckett moving to his preferred position of opener. Essex’s Jamie Porter comes into the squad for his Test debut and will take the new ball alongside Stuart Broad. Porter replaces James Anderson who is rested as a precautionary measure following injury sustained against Ireland.
Liam Livingstone returns to the full England squad and provides strong cover should injury or illness occur. Liam is a versatile all-round cricketer capable of batting in a variety of positions, bowling both leg and off-spin and is an excellent fielder. Craig Overton also returns to the Test squad on the back of consistent contributions at domestic level. We envisage both players pushing for a place in the team during the Global ODI Invitational.
Unfortunately Rory Burns drops out of the squad. The door is not closed on Rory and it’s up to him to churn out the runs in the County Championship during the Global ODI Invitational in order to make a case to regain his Test spot. Liam Dawson, having acted as 12th man for the Ireland fixture, returns to Hampshire to get some game time ahead of our white-ball adventures.
We’re expecting a soft grassy pitch devoid of cracks in Northern Europe. It’s a tricky one in terms of selection but bring it on!
Following the huge success of the early stages of the North Western Hemisphere Test Championship, I’m delighted to announce our participation in another new cricket competition, the Global ODI Invitational. As well as ourselves the following national cricket teams will be competing in this exciting new 50 over tournament.
Papua New Guinea
United States of America
The competition will compromise two round robins, that’s fourteen matches each, seven on home shores and as many in far flung corners of the globe. There will then follow semi-finals and a final.
The first half of the league stage will be played at the halfway stage of the NWHTC. We’ll then return to the longer format before switching once again to the shorter format in what will be an exciting build up to the finals of each new tournament. We hope to feature in both.
I know that the team are extremely excited at the prospect of wearing our new kit!
For now though it’s back to whites as we aim for a fourth straight North Western Hemisphere Test Championship win, this time in the Netherlands. Our squad for that match will be announced shortly. Our squad for our opening Global ODI Invitational match will be named after the our Dutch exam.