Don Bradman Cricket 17: King Kong’d by Hong Kong!

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Following the debacles of both the Irish Test and Home Nations ODI tri-series, the boys looked to restore some pride to English cricket when we hosted Hong Kong at Scarborough. Test debuts were presented to teenagers Sam Curran and Mason Crane as well as county veteran Ollie Rayner.

After James Anderson made the early breakthrough, Hong Kong applied themselves well but we checked them with regular wickets. Though Stuart Broad found the going tough, Ollie Rayner tightened things up with back to back maidens to commence his Test career. He soon had his first wicket and went onto claim impressive debut figures of 3-93. However the less said about his batting (4 and 0, both run outs, the latter without facing) the better!

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James Anderson struck in consecutive deliveries under lights and Mason Crane was unfortunate to only claim the one wicket on debut as Hong Kong looked to attack the young leg-spinner.

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Frustratingly, a recurring theme occurred for us as we let the tail get far too many. Hong Kong’s Haseeb Amjad made 131 batting at number nine before we eventually dismissed the tourists for 498!

Our openers Haseeb Hameed (42) and Keaton Jennings (64) put on 103 for the first wicket but the loss of Jennings started a steady decline. Ben Duckett fell to the very next ball and only an assured 45 from Sam Curran helped lift the score to 268.

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Rather embarrassingly we were invited to follow on and soon lost KJ first ball.

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He could possibly have reacted quicker and cleared the ball away from his stumps!

Under pressure Duckett, having being dismissed for a golden duck in the first innings, looked comfortable in composing 18 but lasted only two deliveries against spin, missing a sweep and looking back to see his stumps shattered.

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With wickets tumbling around him, James Hildreth displayed the value of years of toil on the county circuit. However the right-hander was dismissed the very ball after reaching a maiden Test half-century.

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Tail-enders Stuart Broad (38) and James Anderson (38 not out) helped us make the visitors bat again.

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After a disappointing match with the bat (0 and 18), Ben Duckett was presented with a surprise opportunity to open the bowling and clearly surprised the Hong Kong batsman as Kinchit Shah fell in single figures for the second time in the match, caught and bowled by the off-spinning all-rounder Duckett!

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It was too little too late though as Hong Kong knocked off the mammoth eight runs required for victory to seal a humbling nine-wicket win.

P.S. The Share button on the PS4 controller has come to my attention so I hope to make use of this and possibly YouTube in the future rather than taking photographs of the computer screen!

P’Tang Yang Kipperbang!

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I struck the ball in the dark, off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

I hit the ball over the rope, evading the dive of Shai Hope.

I deflected the ball with an edge so fine, off the bowling of Dale Steyn.

I glanced the ball for four, evading the gloves of PJ Moor.

I played a shot that was just stellar, out of the reach of Niroshan Dickwella.

I stole a run like a thief, off the bowling of Steve O’Keefe.

I belted the ball out of the ground, off the bowling of Toby Roland-Jones, such a sweet shot oh what a sound, all the way to The Road of Bones.

I searched the internet for batting tips, so looked at the faq, flicked the ball off my hips, past the outstretched Misbah-ul-Haq.

I defended the ball then ran a single, straight past my partner no time to mingle.

I ran three at Adelaide, off the bowling of Tony Dodemaide.

I avoided a bouncer from Brett Lee, on a sunday morning at the SCG.

I pulverised the bowling at the WACA, off the ball came the lacquer.

I scored a double century at Perth, took me a week or two to come back to Earth.

My stumps were shattered, oh what a pain, clean bowled all that mattered, bloody Mark Alleyne!

Used to watch Serie A on Channel 4, lots of goals by Beppe Signori, went to New Zealand on tour, got clean bowled by Daniel Vettori.

I punched the ball with lots of power, off the bowling of Grant Flower.

I swatted the ball with a bang, off the bowling of Bryan Strang.

I bowled the ball, it was a ripper, did for the off-stump of Trevor Gripper.

Running in week after week, ever so dependable was Heath Streak.

A crocodile under the bed, it wasn’t so little, eight foot long they said, guest of Guy Whittall.

The batsman was far too ponderous, nicked one behind at The Wanderers.

Batting at Scarborough, put the ball in the sea, Ian Salisbury’s leg-spin, no mystery to me.

Woke from my slumber, when I received a beamer from Carl Mumba.

You need a wicket, if you want to play cricket!

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Career Catastrophe!

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Firstly, yes that is me in the image above. The disadvantage of being a rather nondescript looking person in real life is that amongst other things any avatar that you create, in this case the Don Bradman Cricket 17 version of yourself, is that you don’t look particularly far removed from the default character. I look like I need a good meal, maybe I should have beefed up my chest and shoulders a bit.

Anyway, you know that game I’ve been banging on about for weeks, Don Bradman Cricket 17 (Yeah that one) and telling everyone to buy it… well hold your horses! At the risk of sounding like a proper gamer, there are bugs and glitches galore (I know all the terminology now).

Having made it to 10 not out in the first game of my career I suddenly looked up at the screen to see myself stood at the non-striker’s end. The problem was that I wasn’t the non-striker and despite a desperate (In fact I didn’t even bother!) effort to get back I got stumped. The same thing happened a few matches later but as it was a pace bowler and the wicketkeeper was stood back I managed to scramble home. After all this chaos seemed to have stopped it later happened again but fortunately for my batting average my teammate was the one short of his ground!

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Art imitating life.

In career mode you start at T20 club level. You can’t just waltz into the Yorkshire side. I signed up for Leeds and was asked to select some other local club sides to join the league. I chose Doncaster, Hull, Scarborough, Sheffield and York so was a bit miffed when I found myself playing the likes of Consett, Southport and Outer Vietnam or whoever else was in the Northern League.

Earlier in the day I played a women’s Five5 match then two men’s games in the same format. Two of the three matches kicked me out of the game at the innings break.

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That’s me on the left (Yeah I’m walking off not out!)

All of this is a great shame because the gameplay is great. I’ve seen others criticise the graphics but some of the catches are far better looking than DBC14. If only the fielders would take some off my bowling! The only other game I play is FIFA so I can’t really compare against much but I think it’s an amazing achievement for people to have made cricket playable on a computer and hopefully after a patch (There’s that gamer terminology again!) DBC17 can become the great game that it should be.

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Have some of that! (A nose bleed inducing strike rate if such preposterousness were to occur in real life!)

Oh! I nearly forgot. It wouldn’t let me download the Academy so there’s no Virat Kohli or Kagiso Rabada etc. I’m stuck with Vincent Krohl and Kingston Radebe or whatever wonderful names Big Ant have provided…

… and on the subject of names it was a pleasure to bowl to Mr Sod Wesley, even if he did smack me for back to back fours on the leg-side!

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A cheeky little not out in my final innings of the season sent that average soaring skywards (Or towards 20!).

P.S. Proper YouTubers etc would provide smooth images and video of the experience. I am not proper so you will have to make do with actual photos taken using an actual camera that was held in one hand whilst the PS4 controller was in the other and let me tell you, this game is hard enough with two hands on the controller…

… “wide. That ball was headed for the car park”. (Again!)