In anticipation of the release of Big Ant’s latest cricket game titled Ashes Cricket, slated to hit PS4s and XboX Ones come November 16th, I thought we’d celebrate by looking back at some of the highlights from Don Bradman Cricket 17. There were some classic matches featuring England against a variety of opposition from all corners of the globe. Some matches ended with victory for England, some ended with defeat… and some neither!
A Lyth Less Ordinary!
Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth wrote his name in the history books as England totalled in excess of 300 when chasing against Nepal in a One-Day-International but was it enough…
Cancer survivor Michael Carberry returned to England colours for a T20I against USA…
Haseeb Hameed batted slickly against Greece but could his teammates back him up in Corfu…
Thai’d in Knots!
Hameed continued his fine form against Thailand at London’s Olympic Stadium in ‘The Test of the Century so Far’…
Paper, Scissors, Stoneman!
On his international debut in Liverpool, Mark Stoneman batted like Mark Stoneman as England’s ODI against Vanuatu went to the wire…
Oh and this guy scored a couple of First Class centuries…
Gary Ballance (123, foreground) compiled a 146-run stand with debutant Ben Foakes (62, background) to propel England to an encouraging first innings total of 367.
Following our Greek tragedy in Corfu, we headed to yet more exotic isles, this time Jersey shores. Unfortunately the home side milked our bowling ’til the cows came home and we went down by nine wickets. It was the familiar fable of building up our hopes only to have them knocked back down again. We posted a very respectable 367 in our first innings, courtesy in the main to an epic 146-run partnership between Gary Ballance (123) and debutant Ben Foakes (62). The recalled Toby Roland-Jones came next in the scoring charts with 43. Eight of our wickets fell to spin.
Debutant stumper Ben Foakes made scores of 62 and 44, claimed three catches and effected a run out.
We then had the home side in peril at 155-6 but somehow they went on to total 445. Sam Curran (3-99) bowled exceptionally well whilst Liam Plunkett (3-108) and Roland-Jones (2-75) plugged away. Despite Moeen Ali taking a wicket in his first over, the last ball before lunch, our spinners again disappointed. Foakes dropped a regulation chance early on but responded by claiming two catches, one each off pace and spin, as well as performing a clever run out. Captain Joe Root held four catches.
In our second innings we simply fell apart. Once again batsmen got starts but only the impressive debutant Foakes really looked comfortable. He made 44, Root 33 and Haseeb Hameed 22… for the second time in the match. Sadly the next highest score wasn’t 11!
Jersey were left requiring 91 to win and we presented our spinners with the opportunity to save their Test careers as the match headed into a fourth day. Adil Rashid did at least snap up a wicket (Another catch for Foakes) and Liam Dawson was economical but the Test careers of both of them as well as Moeen and batsman Ben Duckett (20 & 15) now hang by a thread.
It is with great shame that I find myself once again defending the efforts of our players when the performance as a whole simply wasn’t good enough for this level. In truth, we should have selected an extra pace bowling option at the expense of either a spinner or the extra batsman we had at number six. Wholesale changes will be made come our next outing. We can’t go on like this!
Haseeb Hameed stroked 131 but we collapsed from 131-1. Coincidence?
We were 130-1 at lunch on day one. Guess how this story ends?!
Having made 27, James Vince (Bowled off a no ball on 15) went for a wander the first delivery he faced after his salad and promptly got run out. Cue a collapse of epic proportions as 131-1 became 258 all out. It would be an understatement to say that it’s a good job Haseeb Hameed turned up. He constructed a chanceless and quite simply, in the face of all the carnage around him, magnificent 131.
We then chipped away at the opposition batting order and following a quick double strike from Liam Plunkett we had the Grecians in peril at 196-7 but they would go onto claim a vital 68-run first innings lead by totalling 306. Plunkett was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-44. Fellow pacers Mark Footitt (2-63), Mark Wood (2-65) and Sam Curran (2-55) also performed well but spin trio Adil Rashid, Liam Dawson and Moeen Ali failed to claim a wicket between them. More plates were spun at lunch than the ball turned for the twirless threesome!
We then stumbled to 258 in our second innings at Corfu Stadium. First innings hero Hameed (12) left a straight one, Vince (5) vanished and Gary Ballance (18) hit two of the most majestic fours you’ll ever see then offered slip catching practice. Moeen Ali (42) again looked good but got out and Sam Curran (16) briefly flirted with doing well. Captain for this match Jonny Bairstow (31) put on 60 with Liam Dawson before the former fell in spectacular fashion when attempting an audacious ramp and becoming the premier spin victim in the Test. Dawson battled away and reached fifty but fell soon afterwards for 52. Liam Plunkett made 8 having quacked in the first innings before Mark Wood (18) put on 45 with Adil Rashid. Rashid was dropped behind on 34 but when Wood was out Rashid couldn’t get back on strike before Mark Footitt was bowled without troubling the scorers. Rashid was left stranded on 35 not out from 80 deliveries.
That left the Greeks requiring 191 for a famous victory. Footitt struck early but though wickets fell every now and again there wasn’t the clatter required for us to pull of a heist. Footitt (2), Wood and Plunkett each claimed a wicket and there was one solitary wicket via spin courtesy of Liam Dawson.
Well played Greece. They thoroughly deserved their five-wicket win. We were 131-1 in the first innings of the match, were gifted 36 extras, had Vince bowled off a no ball and had Rashid dropped yet we still lost! The team as a whole offer their sincerest apologies to our fans, particularly those that made the trip to Corfu in the hope of a good time.
The selection committee will review the events of the past four days prior to announcing the squad for our next Test match.