Our first full international upon us, England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to field in this one-off Twenty20 International.
Our top order, having batted safely in the practice matches, attempted to instil a little more gusto into our short form batting. That’s what the powerplay is for right? It didn’t work!
We were soon 34-5 with all the fallen batsmen failing to reach double figures. Left-arm pace bowler Sam Curran (4-14) was destroyer in chief. Teenager Maxwell Khan (30) and wicketkeeper Rhodri Thomas (26) batted admirably however to save face and lift us to 76-6. After Thomas was bowled by Ben Stokes (3-12), Cai Hughes (13) batted with aggression alongside the more measured Khan but also fell to Stokes. The score 98 at the time. Our tail couldn’t wag and we finished a disappointing 104 all out from 19.1 overs on full international debut. Still, having been 34-5 it was a score of sorts at least.
In each of the first two overs of England’s chase, we conceded boundary overthrows as the visitors blitzed their way to 43-0. However, from that point on, we went about providing England with a scare!
Osain Williams (1-18) had the honour of claiming Wales’ first ever T20I wicket. The right-arm medium pacer clean bowled a frustrated Jason Roy for 14. Express paceman Dylan Alexander did the same for Jos Buttler (30).
Slow left-armer Cai Hughes then dismissed Jonny Bairstow (15) with his first delivery in international cricket. He then accounted for England skipper Eoin Morgan (11) as well. Leg-spinner Eifion Williams had Moeen Ali (7) caught behind to complete a trio of catches for gloveman Rhodri Thomas. The efficient stumper had pouched the edges of Bairstow and Morgan for both of Hughes’ wickets.
Ben Stokes (18*) and Chris Woakes (10*) saw England home by five wickets with 6.2 overs to spare. However, we can hold our heads up high after a nervous start with bat and ball. Clearly though, we need to inject more power into our T20 batting in order to post competitive totals.
Next up is a three-match ODI series against England. I’m confident that in that particular format, our batsmen possess the skillset to bat time and produce decent scores. Our bowling attack are clearly capable of keeping opposition batsmen on their toes if our own batsmen can play to their potential.
Thank you for your support and look out for a report on how the fifty-over affairs panned out come the conclusion of the series.
After a bright start in the County Championship we lost our way but once again dug deep in the final weeks of the season to fend off relegation. In the penultimate match of the campaign captain Gary Ballance (327) and bowling spearhead Ben Coad (Match figures: 9-86) all but secured our top flight status. Ballance (1430) topped the First Class competition run charts whilst Coad totalled 48 wickets.
Sadly we finished second last in the One-Day competition. With many players participating in The Hundred, a number of youngsters gained great experience including winning two matches and also thrillingly being involved in a tie. Teenager Jon Baldwin (101) registered a List A ton, Tom Loten racked up 301 runs in the competition while Matthew Waite (15 wickets) set the standard with the ball when captaining the side.
Despite winning five matches we placed last in the T20 tournament. For the second season running Matt Coles (21 wickets) excelled in the shortest form of the game but frustratingly retired at the end of the season.
Australian Nathan Ellis wasn’t our first choice signature before last season but grew into his role. The 27-year-old produced consistently excellent performances with bat and ball in all formats to become a firm favourite with the Yorkshire fans. So much so that we’ve burst the bank to keep him with his salary rising from 27k to 81k!
It’s with a heavy heart that Jonny Bairstow has left the club. The combination of salary/lack of availability just didn’t add up. George Lavelle joins from Lancashire to compete for wicketkeeping duties.
There’s a suggestion that if any international cricket is played in the near future that England could field multiple teams in order to play different formats on the same day.
Now whether or not that would be a crossover between red and white ball cricket or that ODI and T20I could clash obviously remains unclear. Let’s assume that each and every format was being played on the same day. Who makes which team? Oh, and for ease we’ll select for matches played in England… at the risk of being rather optimistic!
Joe Root (Captain)
Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper)
Dawid Malan (Captain)
Sam Billings (Wicketkeeper)
T20I (Which I’ve prioritised over ODI due to the impending World Cup)
Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper)
Eoin Morgan (Captain)
What are your thoughts on my selections? What would you do differently?
Best Bowling (Innings/Match): Tom Curran 6-9 vs. Papua New Guinea at Port Moresby
Best Bowling Average: Tom Curran 10.00(Minimum 10 wickets)
Leading Wicket Taker: Tom Curran – 22
Additional notes: Perversely, my leading run-scorer, best batting average, leading wicket-taker and best bowling average were all out of favour by the time we reached the semi-final. My leading catcher was also no longer my wicketkeeper. Maybe I’m not such a good selector after all!
Chris Woakes was named England player of the competition (20 wickets @ 13.65) for his consistent threat and penetration with the new ball.
Only days after defeating the Dutch on home turf in London we jetted to neutral territory in the form of Perth, Australia to take them on once again in the first Global One-Day International Invitational semi-final.
We made one alteration to the playing XI that prospered in match 14 with Jofra Archer replacing the unfortunate Tom Curran. Archer’s inclusion ensured that we had all bases covered in terms of speed, swing, right and left-arm bowling for what looked an intriguing deck in Western Australia. Contrary to perceived wisdom we opted to bat first after Netherlands called incorrectly at the coin flip.
What followed was a haphazard batting performance that undermined all that we had achieved upto this point. Jonny Bairstow was run out for 3 which begun a procession of wickets and left us in peril on 77-7 on Perth’s unpredictable surface. Only an eighth-wicket partnership of 56 between James Hildreth (36) and Jofra Archer (38) lifted us to an ugly 136 all out. Paceman Paul van Meekeren claimed 3-40 while spinner Pluto Schmidt registered figures of 2-7.
Netherlands reached 28 without loss to put themselves firmly in control but slipped to 39-4 in a passage of breathtaking cricket. Chris Woakes fed the hands of James Hildreth twice and Moeen Ali had the thinnest edge in history pouched by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler from his second delivery after the skipper had dropped one off the bowler’s first. There was also a run out courtesy of a sensational throw from the boundary by Jofra Archer. The Dutch recovered somewhat but when Pluto Schmidt (22) needlessly fell to Liam Trevaskis attempting an unnecessary and unorthodox shot they looked in trouble again at 86-6. Bryan Long (26) and Suman Engels (23 not out) steadied the ship but Joe Root of all people prized out Long before Lewis Gregory returned to claim the eighth wicket with Netherlands on 121. Fred Klaassen (5 not out) saw them home alongside Engels however to take the Dutch to the inaugural Global ODI Invitational and send us packing.
Having won the North Western Hemisphere Test Championship to lose at the semi-final stage of the GODII was a bitter pill to swallow but we only have ourselves to blame for not applying ourselves better with the bat. Congratulations to the Netherlands who although we pushed them hard thoroughly deserved to win.
Netherlands, led by Bryan Long’s 98 not out, would go onto thrash an insipid Hong Kong in the final.
Disclaimer/Excuse: A recent patch has made the game harder. With a wife and children constantly walking around the room and clambering all over me I didn’t apply myself with the bat as I needed to. I’m going to play the game in shorter more committed chunks in future in order to post competitive totals. I also intend to take more control over field placings and possibly play on the hardest level. Having concluded my custom Test/ODI competitions I just need to decide how I’m going to play the game going forward.
Many thanks to those of you who voted in my latest poll and now the results are in I can confirm that there’s not much to choose between the contenders. I can also confirm that it won’t be the man in the above image donning the gloves!
33% of voters plumped for Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow to don the gloves in New Zealand. I’m sure that some will want him to use the disappointment of being dropped from the Test side to fire him up in the T20Is and potentially retake the Test gloves come the tour of South Africa.
33% also went for uncapped Somerset star Tom Banton. Banton lit up English county cricket last year and has already earned some franchise gigs for the winter that lies ahead. It’ll be interesting to see how his role in a team be it county, franchise or international and his career as a whole pan out in this ever-changing cricket landscape.
17% of you want Kent captain Sam Billings to keep wicket which may be appropriate because 17 sounds like the kind of score he might make! There’s lots of competition for top order batting slots. Will Billings get one let alone get the gloves?
17% of you also want to see the gloves shared around between Bairstow, Banton and Billings during the T20I series in Aotearoa.
Many thanks once again and look out for my next poll soon.
Disclaimer: Admittedly six votes is a small sample size. Be sure to share the link to my next poll with all your friends. Thank you!
Your England squad for the Global One-Day International Round Seven match against the Netherlands in Amsterdam is as follows:
Jos Buttler (Captain)
Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper)
Jos Buttler returns to captain the side having been rested from our last match against Nepal. It’s now the turn of Jonny Bairstow, who led the side in said match to take a well earned respite. That presents an opportunity for Ben Foakes to finally get on the field having performed 12th man duties recently. The Surrey man will don the gloves for this fixture. Moeen Ali and Jofra Archer also return to the travelling party with Chris Woakes rested. Lewis Gregory and Matthew Carter retain their places in the squad having impressed on debut against Nepal.