Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: ODI World Cup 2019 Edition

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Hi followers… and new visitors!

The 2019 ODI Cricket World Cup takes place this summer in sunny old England. The first match sees hosts (And favourites!) England take on South Africa on May 30th.

Please find my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket teams for the 45-day (!!!) tournament below:

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I’ll be looking to captain Buttler to serve a treat!

I’ll be attending Afghanistan versus West Indies at Headingley, so I look forward to witnessing first hand the Caribbean trio of Gayle, Holder and Cottrell rack up the points for me!

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In my second XI, HOPEfully Shai Hope won’t be SHAI of runs!

I’ll also be voyaging to Leeds to see Afghanistan take on Pakistan, so HOPEfully (It never gets old!) Lewis, Hetmyer, Hope, Shahidi and Zazai will fire!

I’ll let you know how I got on come the conclusion of this summer’s ten team tournament.

Ashes Cricket (PS4): Global Test League – Calypso Calapsyco!

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Calypso music originated in Trinidad and that’s where England’s cricketers collapsed in epic fashion to squander a first innings lead and succumb to defeat against West Indies in the latest round of Global Test League fixtures.

Disclaimer: Let’s step aside from pretending this is all real for a moment. Ashes Cricket’s developers Big Ant Studios released a mid-match patch whilst I was sailing to victory against the home side. Ultimately Big Ant have made the game harder/better. Batting in Tests is now actually like batting in Tests in real life. Well maybe not quite but you get what I mean! I’m looking forward to playing more and adapting my game, having to graft with the bat but in regards to this match, when you’ve become used to smacking the ball to all parts, it’s a difficult habit to break.

In the first innings of the match, England reached 60-0 having chose to bat but lost both openers (Jennings 38/Stoneman 22) in quick succession before being bundled out for 222. Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes top scored with 55 and England were indebted to a career best 34 from Durham pacer Mark Wood on Global Test League debut.

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West Indies lost opener Kraigg Brathwaite before a run was scored and the wickets were shared around as England gained a 50-run first innings lead. The Caribbean side were aggrieved at a couple of umpiring decisions, including the one above that was given out would you believe? After David Willey claimed his first victim of the match, England actually took a team hat-trick that included back-to-back run outs!

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Mark Wood (11-3-34-2) claimed two wickets in two balls to mop up the West Indies’ tail in their first innings.

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As well as Wood, James Anderson (2-39), Stuart Broad (2-32) and the critic silencing David Willey (2-25) each claimed two scalps as did run outs.

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It soon went all wrong for England though. The visitors were 32-6 at one stage in their second innings before Dawid Malan (34) and Mark Wood (24) grafted 63 for the sixth wicket. On GTL debut, Wood put a number of senior batsmen to shame. Captain Joe Root’s horror show of a competition continued. Scores of just 5 and 1 bring the Yorkshireman’s tournament total to a paltry 211 runs at a woeful average of 16.23. This is the worst of any specialist batsman in the inaugural Global Test League. Root has been able to get away with this whilst his team have been winning but when the team starts losing, both his captaincy and place in the team will come under scrutiny.

West Indies were left needing 154 for victory and though England occasionally checked the hosts’s progress and hinted at pulling off a heist when reducing the home side to 107-4, a missed run out chance put paid to their chances. Shai Hope (54 not out) and Roston Chase (24 not out) saw West Indies to a famous victory.

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Young Hampshire spinner Mason Crane bowled respectably enough in the West Indies first innings but was let down by numerous misfields in the second. Crane finished with figures of 16-1-66-0 but in truth there was little threat. His Hampshire team-mate Liam Dawson (17 & 1) failed with the bat having been promoted to number six and barely turned his arm over (7.3-2-24-0) in this match. He now averages a competition high 382.00. A record not to be proud of!

Congratulations to West Indies on a thoroughly deserved victory. England now head to Zimbabwe having lost to them at home in the opening round of the competition. England need to get back to winning ways immediately at the race for the title of Global Test Champions hots up. With the hosts’ pitch expected to favour spin, the composition of England’s XI will be fascinating and may present an opportunity for England’s spinners to finally prove their worth. Mark Stoneman will be sweating over his place while the likes of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid amongst others will hope for a recall.

The Drop Shop

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I’ve previously written about the value of persisting with players, particularly batsmen, specifically Shai Hope. Now it’s the turn of his brother Kyle. The elder Hope sibling totalled 41 runs during the Test tour of England, his average a paltry 6.83. A Test series in Zimbabwe provides an excellent opportunity for Hope to enhance his average and book himself a few more international caps. In the first innings of the first Test in Bulawayo he’d made it to 16 before becoming Solomon Mire’s maiden Test victim. With his average raised to 8.14, Hope arrived at the crease in West Indies’ second innings for potentially the last time. Two balls later he was dropped at short leg. Had Craig Ervine held the chance then Hope’s average would have been 7.13 and likely remained that way for eternity. As it was, he went onto make a career best 43, putting him on exactly 100 career Test runs. Following his dismissal courtesy of his namesake, the returning home side’s pacer Kyle Jarvis, his average has risen to 12.50. That 43 must be frustrating both for Hope himself and the West Indies’ selectors. It was an improvement, albeit with a little fortune but he’s not the first batsman ever to benefit from a drop however just seven more runs could have earned him another few Tests and filled him with confidence and relief for the second match of the series. As it is, you can’t help but feel that he remains in the proverbial last chance saloon. Come the second Test, either a maiden half-century is needed or some extremely pretty, gritty, stoic, classic or match winning 30s and 40s are required in order to prolong his Test career.

Utterly bizarrely, and this only highlights Kyle Hope’s struggles, despite the fact that he bats at three and his brother Shai at four, over the course of eight innings they are yet to bat together in a Test match!

Hoping England’s Selectors Learn!

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England’s discarded Test batsmen of recent times:

Michael Carberry: 345 in 6 Tests @ 28.75 (1 x 50, 0 x 100) 1 Test in Bangladesh/5 against a rampant Australia

Sam Robson: 336 runs in 7 Tests @ 30.54 (1 x 50, 1 x 100)

Adam Lyth: 265 runs in 7 Tests @ 20.38 (0 x 50, 1 x 100)

James Vince: 212 runs in 7 Tests @ 19.27 (0 x 50, 0 x 100)

Ben Duckett: 110 runs in 4 Tests @ 15.71 (1 x 50, 0 x 100) All in the subcontinent

Keaton Jennings: 294 runs in 6 Tests @ 24.50 (1 x 50, 1 x 100)

England’s next discarded batsman?

Tom Westley: 141 runs in 4 Tests @ 20.14 (1 x 50, 0 x 100)

West Indies persevered with batsman of recent times:

Shai Hope: 391 runs in 11 Tests @ 18.62 (1 x 50, 0 x 100)

Then…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10719/game/1031661/England-vs-West-Indies-2nd-Test

In the words of Kings of Convenience: “Failure is always the best way to learn”.

Patience Pays… Hopefully!

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This isn’t the first article I’ve written about Shai Hope and it probably won’t be the last. Here’s just one previous script about the Barbados born batsman.

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/hope-for-west-indies/

Before this Test, Hope had 391 runs in 11 Tests at an average of just 18.61. In the first Test against England he registered scores of 15 and 4 yet here he is unbeaten on 147 against England’s two leading wicket takers of all time (James Anderson & Stuart Broad) who have nearly 1000 Test wickets between them. Some may argue that opportunity has only presented itself because of lack of interest on the part of the T20 franchise globe trotters but West Indies’ selectors deserve credit for persevering with Hope. I thought that he was picked too early but it may be that those experiences gained are what have helped him reap the rewards at Headingley. England’s selectors should take note. Maybe had they stuck with any of Sam Robson, James Vince, Ben Duckett or pick from many others then those players would be scoring Test centuries right now. Something about Steve Waugh and 27 Tests, Marvan Atapattu starting with five ducks and a single, I know I know, I sound like a broken record. There is no better way to learn than failure. Tom Westley might be struggling now but international cricket is a step up and you have to adapt. Let’s provide our batsmen with the opportunity to do so otherwise we will continue on this merry go round of English willow men. One positive for England that stems from Hope’s Headingley run-fest is that it means Stoneman, Westley and Dawid Malan will have another opportunity to show that they belong on the Test scene and really step up when it matters.

Hopefully (Sorry!) England’s selectors will realise that there comes a time when a horse needs backing. I’ve moaned before about people wanting the unblemished. That’s why we keep moving onto another uncapped batsman. All these people campaigning for Stoneman, already he’s damaged goods and they want to move onto the next guy. That’ll be say Joe Clarke but the notion of recalling Vince or Duckett etc and the thought that they might be better for their tough experiences is beyond the comprehension of many. Imagine if Australia had not recalled Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn or Justin Langer or Sri Lanka had not recalled Atapattu, a man with over 5000 Test runs including five double tons and a ridiculously good conversion rate.

It may not get any better than this for Hope and he’ll continue to average around 20 but I believe that he’ll go onto average 30 plus and score a few Test hundreds. The West Indies now need to show the same sort of commitment to his brother Kyle and one or two others whilst England need do the same with their contingent… hopefully!

Chasing Hope

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The West Indies made it to within one over of a series draw against Pakistan before the Angel Gabriel had his wings clipped by Yasir Shah.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/west-indies-v-pakistan-2017/engine/match/1077955.html

The hosts’ failings were all too familiar. Batsmen failing to make significant scores (I know how you feel boys!) and despite having an array of spin bowlers possessive of outlandish First Class bowling averages, Devendra Bishoo only really came to the party late in the day… and just to ruin the farewells of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan!

I’m not convinced that opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite should be playing ODIs. It compromises his strength, that is to occupy the crease in the longest form of the game. He failed to pass 50 and averaged sub 17 in the series.

Kieron Powell’s flame flickered. He made starts but like Brathwaite failed to find 50. An average of 26.83 tells its own story. He made starts but failed to go on. That’s no fifty in sight for Windies openers across 12 innings. Of course maybe if things had been handled differently then KB and KP could have been opening for WI for years already. A few years ago they contrasted well and could have developed into a lethal pair. KP got disillusioned then and it will be interesting to see if the selectors persist with him. They’ll probably have to and should do because they might feel it necessary to make changes elsewhere in the order.

20-year-old Shimron Hetmyer clearly has talent but he also has only one First Class century. He’s a very attack minded player. Was first drop the right place to baptise him on the international stage? His top score: a quarter century at an average of 16.00. Even if he’s not retained for the time being his time can come again.

Domestic dominant and Zimbabwe slaying Shai Hope did at least at last record a maiden Test half century, a 90 in fact. In his five other innings he totalled 59 runs combined.

Vishaul Singh was supposed to be the middle order rock. The middle order sandcastle with the tide coming in fast more like. He made 32 runs in one innings but only 31 across the other five. He’s 28 years old and his First Class batting average is an underwhelming 33.45. His conversion rate is good though: 6 centuries to 9 fifties but can he get to fifty in the international arena in the first place? His First Class strike rate is literally 34 runs slower than Hetmyer’s. Call me old fashioned but maybe they would have each prospered had they been positioned the other way around.

Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich made 56 in one innings but didn’t total 56 across the other five. There’s a theme developing here isn’t there? These guys have got the ability but not the consistency, not yet anyway.

Then there’s Roston Chase. Wow, just wow! How good is this guy? Ten Tests into his career and he’s got three hundreds to two in the First Class game. Some people just thrive the tougher the challenge. He’s averaging 48.53 as well as claiming a more than useful 17 wickets at 52.23 apiece. At the risk of raining on the parade, I’m going to hazard a guess that in a year’s time that figure of 48.53 will have dipped. I hope that it doesn’t but he’s really going to have to excel to maintain such a strong start.

Where WI go from here, who knows? Actually, it would appear not very far, they’re hosting Afghanistan for some T20Is and ODIs. Then post Champions Trophy they take on England. Jermaine Blackwood could come back in but the others out there in the domestic game all seem much of a muchness, averaging in the mid twenties. That’s even the case for Jason Mohammed despite his success in recent ODI fair. Vishaul Singh had stepped up to the plate in A and Board or Chairman XIs but didn’t deliver against Pakistan. Remember though that both Hetmyer and Singh have had far better starts to their Test careers than five time Test double centurion Marvan Atapattu. I think that the West Indies selectors will do well to persist with these players and provide them further opportunity. Even the likes of Jacques Kallis, Steve Waugh and Matthew Hayden didn’t hit the ground running in the Test arena.

The West Indies might not be Singhing but they can always Chase Hope!

Extras

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Bye: Now I’ll admit that we weren’t the first website to bring you Napoloen Einstein but Samoa’s Pritchard Pritchard anybody!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/519045.html

Leg Bye: Branching out from cricket, here at Silly Point we’re now providing fashion advice…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/England-Cricket-Champions-Trophy-T-Shirt/dp/B01IIGGMHC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1487507558&sr=8-3&keywords=england+champions+trophy

No Ball: Cricket for Commoners… so people like me then!

http://www.cricketcountry.com/news/birmingham-to-make-cricket-part-of-commonwealth-games-2026-577785

Roll on 2026!

Wide: 63,56,62, 125 in the semi and 101 in the final… told you he was good!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/super50-2017/content/story/1083209.html

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/hope-for-west-indies/