Six to Watch: T20I Status – Men’s Special

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From 1st January 2019, all Associate cricket nations will have full T20 International status. These are really exciting times for cricketers as well as fans throughout the globe. As I do each year when the county season comes around, I’ve identified six players to keep an eye on as T20 Internationals start to be played out across the world.

Simon Ateak (Ghana)

24-year-old Ghanaian Simon Ateak was Player of the Tournament at the 2018 ICC World Twenty20 African Sub Regional (North-Western) Qualifier. Ateak notched back-to-back fifties against Sierra Leone and Nigeria in Lagos. Ateak had actually been in poor form in ICC World Cricket League Division Five prior to the T20 Qualifier but delivered when needed to help Ghana reach the finals. Simon’s younger brother Vincent also chipped in with the ball during the Qualifier.

Harrison Carlyon (Jersey)

Still only seventeen-years-old, Jersey’s Harrison Carlyon made his international debut against Oman in Los Angeles at the tender age of just fifteen. The off-spinner’s father and uncle have both represented the island’c cricket team and injuries even meant that father and son turned out for the same side. Carlyon has since appeared for Jersey U-19s and made some useful contributions in ICC World Cricket League Division Four. He’s also been in and around the youth set ups at Sussex CCC.

Ahmad Faiz (Malaysia)

How about this for form: 50, 86, 20, 47, 45 & 50. Those were the batting contributions of Malaysian skipper Ahmad Faiz in ICC World Cricket League Division Four earlier this year. The right-handed batsman clearly enjoys the surface in Kuala Lumpur. Admittedly those were one-day matches and his T20 form beforehand wasn’t quite as strong but Malaysia will be relying on their former U-19 World Cup captain when it comes to run-getting.

Andrew Mansale (Vanuatu)

Andrew Mansale is Vanuatu’s experienced leader, having debuted for his country when just fifteen years of age. Now 29 and having gained experience of playing club cricket in Australia, Vanuatu will be looking to Mansale’s leadership as well as his right-hand batting and off-spin to help them rise to prominence in T20I cricket. Joshua Rasu, another right-hand bat who has played for the same Australian club as Mansale is another Ni-Vanuatu worth looking out for.

Calum MacLeod (Scotland)

Scotland’s Calum McLeod already has 28 T20I caps as well as double that amount of appearances in ODI Cricket where, for the record, he’s notched an impressive six centuries. His attacking nature was imperative in Scotland qualifying for the 2015 ODI World Cup and there were glimpses of his talent at the ICC World Cup Qualifier in March of this year. As with many Scots, he’s been around the English county second XI circuit, most recently representing Hampshire.

Carl Sandri (Italy)

34-year-old Carl Sandri’s experience will be vital if Italy are to develop as a T20I nation. Australian born Sandri, a right-hand bat and off-spin bowler represented Sydney Thunder in the 2013 edition of the Big Bash. He was Italy’s leading wicket taker in the most recent ICC World Cricket League Division Five. Peter Petricola, who has played alongside Sandri in Ozzie club cricket, is another old head that Italy will look at to spearhead their efforts.

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Elsewhere, could county players such as Middlesex’s Ollie Rayner (Germany) and Gloucestershire’s Benny Howell (France) be eligible to represent the countries of their birth?

Could Hampshire’s Gareth ‘Ice’ Berg return to the Italian side alongside Sandri and Petricola having played with them six years ago? Berg claimed figures of 4-20 against Uganda and scored 47 against Namibia in 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in UAE. He’s been an underrated performer on the English county circuit (First Class, List A, T20) for a number of years.

If USA can sort out their political infighting, could Durham’s Cameron Steel or Hampshire’s Ian Holland represent the Stars and Stripes in T20I Cricket? It seems inconceivable that USA aren’t a cricketing nation to be reckoned with.

Once T20I status has really taken ahold, look out for future posts to see how Ateak, Carlyon, Faiz, Mansale, McLeod and Sandri have got on… and who I should have previewed!

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In the near future, I’ll also be compiling a Six to Watch for the T20I Women’s game as well as a team special. Be sure to look out for those posts soon.

Attention Cricket!

There’s talk of a tent being held up by a hot air balloon above cricket grounds in order to prevent matches being interrupted by rain. The city of Atlanta seem to have had a better idea!

Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium people…

http://mercedesbenzstadium.com/fly-through-mercedes-benz-stadium/

Watch, learn and get with the times cricket world!!!

Hold that thought, there’s a stadium in Los Angeles that’s even better…

Don Bradman Cricket 17: New York City Pioneers – Franchise Disbanded!

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There is nothing new about cricket in USA not working out as planned and so it is that the New York City Pioneers franchise has disbanded after just one match, a defeat at that. You can read about the team’s sole venture to the crease and how it all began by clicking on the link below…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/category/new-york-city-pioneers-dbc17ps4/

On a positive note however, rumours are circulating regarding the possibility of a city based T20 franchise appearing on the North American horizon within the next few months. Could it be that the Stateside Smash is about to become a reality?

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/stateside-smash/

With the release of Ashes Cricket on the PS4 and Xbox One looming, it could be a convenient time to launch a razzmatazz league from New York to Los Angeles!

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Jake has a Ball!

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A squad of twelve jetted into Adelaide to take on Papua New Guinea. We made just one change to the team following the humbling defeat at the hands of West Indies. Jake Ball, 12th man in LA, came into the XI at the expense of Mark Footitt. Spinner Jack Leach, who went wicketless against the Windies, kept his place.

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Jake Ball (32 not out) and Jack Leach (11) put together a vital last wicket partnership of 48 in our first innings total of 212.

Our first innings was a familiar story of twenties, thirties and forties. Two run outs, including that of skipper Joe Root didn’t help our cause. Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow top scored with 42 and Jake Ball made a crucial 32 not out from number ten, ably supported by number eleven Jack Leach (11) in a heartening last wicket stand of 48.

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Jake Ball, having belted 32 not out with the bat in our first innings, then recorded figures of 5-43 with the ball in PNG’s.

Ball was then the chief destroyer with the… ball, claiming excellent figures of 5-43 but PNG, in making 213, edged ahead by one run. They may have made more had Charles Amini not shockingly allowed himself to be run out to the very last ball of the day. In PNG’s second innings he would also be dismissed to the final ball of a session, playing an inexplicably expansive shot on the cusp of tea!

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In our second innings, captain Joe Root lead from the front with 57 from just 44 deliveries.

In our second innings we lost both openers, Keaton Jennings (5) and Haseeb Hameed (10) early but Ben Duckett (29) and captain Joe Root (57) put on a match defining combination that totalled 65 before the former was run out. Not for the first time Duckett wasted a promising start in the Test arena. Bairstow (27) hit two huge sixes and Sam Curran (23) and Stuart Broad (39), in a partnership worth 54, bolstered our total to a competitive 249. That meant that PNG would need to make 248 to claim a famous victory.

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Lega Siaka determinedly scored Papua New Guinea’s first ever half-century in Test match cricket.

Though we chipped away at the PNG batting line-up with regular wickets, composed opening batsman Lega Siaka stood firm, compiling his country’s first ever half-century in the Test arena.

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It would be Jake Ball however, who for the second time in the match would cause panic amongst the PNG side. Despite the best efforts of our fielders to prevent him from claiming a ten-for, a catch was eventually held to take us to our first Test victory and Ball (5-48) to Man of the Match figures of 10-91. Ben Stokes also stepped up, finishing with match figures of 5-80. It was a tougher experience for spinner Jack Leach though, the Taunton twirler ended the match with analyses of 25-3-85-0. That’s now two wicketless Tests in a row for Leach and questions will have to be asked regarding his place in the team come the selection meeting ahead of our next Test outing. In truth he looked extremely inaffective with the ball. His support of Jake Ball in a last wicket stand of 48 in our first innings in a match that we won by just 44 runs should not be forgotten though.

On behalf of the team, I’d like to thank those fans that flew to Adelaide and indeed all our followers, after what has been a string of frustrating results. We look forward to finding some consistency now and providing our supporters with more positive results in the future.

Don Bradman Cricket 17: West Indies v England Test Match in L.A.

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Hi, my name is Stereo Mike.

Yeah, we got three tickets to the Bran Van concert…

After putting in a vastly improved performance against Kenya, the team headed to Los Angeles full of hope to take on West Indies. Ben Stokes and Mark Footitt were recalled at the expense of Ollie Rayner and James Anderson. Ben Duckett was provided one last chance to prove himself as a Test cricketer.

… happening this monday night at the Pacific Palisades.

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Despite the early losses of opening batsmen Haseeb Hameed (2) and Keaton Jennings (9), Duckett (40) and captain Joe Root (27) resisted. Duckett finally displayed the temperament required for Test match cricket but like James Hildreth (33) he could only assist a delivery from spinner Nikita Miller onto his stumps. Our total of 249 summed up the fact that nearly all our batsmen got starts but nobody reached 50. Sam Curran (Pictured above left) was frustratingly left 34 not out after Jack Leach (Pictured above right) was run out.

Give us a ring-ding-ding. It’s a beautiful day.

Needing to make inroads into the West Indies batting line-up late on day one, Sam Curran took a caught and bowled chance off debutant Kyle Hope after the ball ballooned into the air off the face of the bat. Outrageously, the decision was not given by the umpire and Hope refused to walk. He promptly went on to make 172 on Test debut and put on a double century stand for the opening wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite (143). Only an obsession with nightwatchman helped us claim four wickets as the Windies declared on exactly 500. Of the ten bowlers that we used, just Stuart Broad (2-107) and Mark Footitt (2-111) were able to claim any wickets.

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I got the fever for the flavour…

In our second innings we soon found ourselves in trouble at 27-3 but a stoic Keaton Jennings (Pictured above right) and a positive but not reckless James Hildreth (Pictured above left) put on 50 and battled through to lunch on day three.

… the payback will be later, still I need a fix.

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With my mind on my money…

For the second time in the match however our batsmen failed to build on solid starts. Jennings top scored with 44 after Hildreth (41) had fallen when sweeping for the second time in the match.

… and my money on my… beer, beer!

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In the end we went down by an innings and 47 runs. Hope got his comeuppance when, despite his epic innings, he missed out on the Man of the Match award to teammate Miguel Cummins (Cummins hit an undefeated half-century as well as recording match figures of 7-139).

The application of our batsmen in occupying the crease for excess of 60 overs in our first innings and the fact that we actually managed to take a game well into day three should at least bode well for the future. Though it may be hard to believe, there were signs of improvement in the bowling department too!

What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A?

Amsterdam’s America Overcome Oman

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USA have won ICC World Cricket League Division Four after defeating table topping Oman by just 13 runs in the final in Los Angeles. Alex Amsterdam (You can guess what letter his two middle names begin with!) top scored for the Americans with exactly 50 but USA required some lower order contributions from Timroy Allen (45) and Jasdeep Singh (37 not out) to propel them to a competitive total. In reply to the host’s 208 Oman succumbed for 195, Zeeshan Siddiqui top scoring with 58 from 75 deliveries. Jasdeep Singh and Timil Patel both claimed three wickets to secure victory for USA and their captain Steven Taylor (No, not the former Newcastle United defender!)

USA winning is all very apt as Silly Point is on the verge of posting the long awaited and highly anticipated Stateside Smash article. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few hours as Silly Point presents the way forward for cricket Stateside.