Cricket 19: Which Way? Zimbabwe

Only T20I: Corsica

France: 195-9 (Phillipe 81/Williams 4-??)

Zimbabwe: ???-?

Won by ?? runs

Errr, sorry, made a mess of saving the scorecard but we won… honest!

1st ODI: Corsica

France 252 (Chevalier 37, Phillipe 27/Raza 3-24, Mpofu 3-32)

Zimbabwe 203 (Ervine 66/La Roux 2-37)

Won by 49 runs… courtesy of an extreme volume of extras!

2nd ODI: Corsica

Zimbabwe 208 (Masakadza 59, Raza 53*, Burl 46*/Chevalier 2-31)

France 214-2 (Gregory 103*, Chevalier 55/Chisoro 1-43, Ngarava 1-51)

Won by 8 wickets

Nearly made a mess of getting Gregory to his nation’s first ever ton in a full international but with the scores tied he got there with a six!

3rd ODI: Nantes

France 333 (Bernard 112, Chevalier 49/Chatara 4-99)

Zimbabwe 313-6 (Burl 65, Kamunhukamwe 58*, Musakanda 53/La Roux 1-47, L.Petit 1-50, Toure 1-59)

Won by 20 runs

A century on ODI debut for Maxime Bernard. Like Gregory he nearly didn’t get there but an epic last wicket stand of 71 with Anthony Toure (22*) elevated his and the team score. Had Zimbabwe played their reserves in the first two matches then maybe the series would’ve been more competitive.

Only Test: Nantes

France 247 (Le Tallec 75, Thomas 73, Georges 30/Mpofu 3-32, Ngarava 3-82, Raza 2-16)

Zimbabwe 241 (Masakadza 120, Taylor 51/Qadri 4-37, Toure 2-51)

France 117 (Chevalier 41, Thomas 22/Mpofu 5-47, Mavuta 4-29)

Zimbabwe 125-1 (Masakadza 83*, Taylor 25*/Qadri 1-22)

Lost by 9 wickets

We recovered from 41-5 in our first innings and they collapsed from 146-1 in theirs. As for our second innings… don’t ask! Having performed a clean sweep in the white-ball games, it was disappointing not to complete the set by winning the Test.

Next we head to Afghanistan for one Test, three ODIs and a single T20I with serious question marks hanging over our struggling batting line-up!

Disclaimer: Apologies but I just needed a break from full on match reports of every game!

Cricket 19: Signing Off in Style!

In the one-off T20I against Australia in Sydney, we started in a way that encapsulated the hit and miss nature of our tour. Following a double mis-field off the first delivery off the match, we ran David Warner out without facing a ball! Australia had opted to bat but for the second Sydney innings in a row, Warner blobbed having made 140 in the first Test in Perth.

From 0-1 Australia hardly got going as we effected three run outs in the innings. Captain Xavier Le Tallec set astute field placings as we reduced the hosts to 82-8. A stand of 40 between McDermott (34*) and Behrendorff (21*) lifted Australia to a potentially competitive 122-8 from their 20 overs. Skipper Aaron Finch top scored with 38 meanwhile Le Tallec was outstanding with the ball, claiming figures of 3-17. Georges (1-26) and Petit (1-15) also struck.

Petit was unfortunate to have a chance dropped by wicketkeeper Maxime Bernard but the gloveman redeemed himself with a run out and catch soon after. The luckless Phillipe La Roux finished with figures of 3-0-23-0 that included 8 overthrows… would they prove costly? Zidane Thomas’s (3-0-25-0) struggles with the ball continued but Christophe Martinez’s leg spin was a revelation. The Reunion Islander conceded just 15 runs from three overs. We required just over a run-a-ball to claim our first ever limited overs victory and end a tough tour on a huge high note…

Jean-Luc Chevalier and Hippolyte Gregory started sensibly before Gregory feasted on Adam Zampa’s vegan leg-spin. Gregory struck each of Zampa’s first three deliveries over the ropes for 6 as Zampa conceded 31 from his first over. Credit to Zampa, who only conceded 34 from his next three overs but his performance was costly! Having helped compile 49 for the first wicket, Chevalier (15) top edged a pull off Jhye Richardson to wicketkeeper Alex Carey. It hasn’t all been roses on this tour for Chevalier but he’s got enough about him to be better for it.

Gregory went onto make a career best 35 from 28 deliveries before being bowled by Coulter-Nile with the score 90-2. The run flow stymied somewhat as Matteo Phillipe batted sensibly but possibly got a little bogged down. He’d made 7 from 17 balls when he reviewed an LBW against Glenn Maxwell. Phillipe, like the rest of us on the balcony, was spewing his supper when he was given out. This was despite the video evidence clearly confirming that he’d got bat on ball before being struck on the pad. He’d flown a long way for just 7 runs and desperately wanted to be there at the end.

From 108-3 the supremely composed Zidane Thomas finished a tough winter by edging the ball… time stood still as everybody turned their gaze… for four to seal our first ever white-ball win. Thomas finished 49 not out from 44 deliveries with Zvonimir Pitko undefeated on 3 alongside him. The Iceman Pitko was of course at the crease when we won our first Test. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Australia’s bowlers: Behrendorff (4-0-10-0), Coulter-Nile (4-0-13-1), Richardson (3.1-0-14-1), Maxwell (2-0-8-1)and Short (1-0-2-0) all of whom keep things tight but Gregory’s onslaught on Zampa won us the match. That’s not to undermine what was a consummate team performance with contributions throughout.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch was humble in defeat but didn’t regret choosing to bat first. We struck immediately and never let Australia get away from us then batted sensibly without a hint of panic when chasing an historic victory.

The home fans were superb and for our supporters who’d travelled all the way from Europe, it was a special moment to be shared by all. President Macron was on the phone immediately… he’s never shy to share any glory!

This winter hasn’t always been easy but we’ve won a Test in India and a T20I in Australia. We’re ahead of where we expected to be. Bring on the summer!

Sliding Doors!

Hi all

Yesterday I watched a DVD (I know, old school!) of the 2010 T20I World Cup final between Australia and England in the Caribbean.

I’m delighted to announce that England won! Australia recovered from 8 for 3 to post a semi-competitive total, thanks in the main to the brothers Hussey. A proud day for their parents if not a victorious one. There was only the slightest hint of a wobble late in England’s run chase but not enough of one to really register on the Richter scale.

The performance of Craig Kieswetter lends itself to further analysis. He actually dropped a pretty straight forward catch off Shane Watson (2) in what I think was the first over of the match. Fortunately for England, an alert Graeme Swann who was positioned at slip, reacted magnificently to just about cling on. It was a sliding doors moment if ever there was one. If the ball had tumbled to the ground without Swann’s interception, would England’s heads have dropped? How many runs would Shane Watson have plundered? Would Kieswetter have recovered to produce the match winning batting display that he did?

For poor Kieswetter, his man of the match performance would forever remain a career high. Of course there would’ve been no shame in that but having to retire early courtesy of a horrific eye injury meant that opportunities to scale such heights again were cruelly cut short.

I’ve got the 2005 Ashes box set that I can watch now but also have a wife and two kids!

Cricket 19: Squad Announcement

The France squad for the two-match Test tour of Australia is:

Jean-Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain)

Enzo Petit

Gilles Smith

Youssef Rizvi

Zvonimir Pitko

Zidane Thomas

Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper)

Xavier Le Tallec (Captain)

Paco Georges

Louis Martin

Mehdi Qadri

Omar Sissoko

Christophe Martínez*

Maurice Noe

Maxime Bernard (Wicketkeeper)

Louis Petit

Phillipe La Roux*

Anthony Toure

*At the conclusion of the scheduled warm-up fixture Christophe Martinez and Phillipe La Roux will each join a Sydney based club side. We’d like to place on record our gratitude for the co-operation of the local amateur league and anticipate that the agreement will be mutually beneficial. This deal is subject to change however and messrs Martinez and La Roux can be called up to the Test squad at any time.

Itinerary

First Class warm-up fixture (Perth)

1st Test (Perth)

2nd Test (Sydney)

The France squad for the one-off T20I against Australia is:

Jean-Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain)

Hippolyte Gregory*

Christophe Martínez

Matteo Phillipe*

Zvonimir Pitko

Zidane Thomas

Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper)

Xavier Le Tallec (Captain)

Louis Petit

Paco Georges

Phillipe La Roux

Maxime Bernard (Wicketkeeper)

Anthony Toure

Mehdi Qadri

*Hippolyte Gregory and Matteo Phillipe will both attend a Sydney based five-day conditioning camp prior to the T20/T20I fixtures. The T20I squad is subject to change following the demands/workload of the Test series.

Itinerary

T20 warm-up fixture (Sydney)

Only T20I (Sydney)

Double (Or Triple?) Trouble!

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!

Test

Rory Burns

Dominic Sibley

Zak Crawley

Joe Root (Captain)

Ollie Pope

Sam Curran

Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper)

Mark Wood

Jack Leach

Stuart Broad

James Anderson

Sam Northeast

Jamie Porter

ODI

Dawid Malan (Captain)

Tom Banton

James Vince

Sam Hain

Dan Lawrence

Sam Billings (Wicketkeeper)

Craig Overton

Lewis Gregory

Oly Stone

Saqib Mahmood

Matt Parkinson

Liam Livingstone

David Willey

Dom Bess

T20I (Which I’ve prioritised over ODI due to the impending World Cup)

Jason Roy

Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper)

Jonny Bairstow

Eoin Morgan (Captain)

Ben Stokes

Moeen Ali

Tom Curran

Chris Jordan

Chris Woakes

Jofra Archer

Adil Rashid

Phil Salt

Joe Denly

Pat Brown

What are your thoughts on my selections? What would you do differently?

Wales Granted International Status by ICC!

After years of knocking down the door, Welsh cricket has finally been granted independent international status by the ICC. No longer will the country be merely a feeder club for the England team.

Cardiff born captain Geraint Williams-Hughes couldn’t hold back the emotion, “It’s what we’ve all dreamed off, from Cardiff to the valleys, from Swansea to the top of Mount Snowdon. The dream has finally come true”, said the 27-year-old tear-drenched truck driver.

Newly-wed Bristol born teenage wicketkeeper Owen Jones, who qualifies through his wife’s grandma’s adopted cousin, was equally looking forward to playing full international cricket, “The ability is here in the camp. We’re literally flooding with talent. I’m looking forward to touring. I’ve never left the confines of Gloucestershire before but my wife has taught me some Welsh and she’s got family in Sydney so I hope to make the squad for Australia. I’ve asked our vice-captain Evan Evans (A qualified accountant) to counter-sign my passport application. I can’t wait!”.

Puffin Island born batsman Peter Zeta-Jones will be trying to dodge ducks not puffins when Wales grace the international stage. It’ll be on the shoulders of him and the likes of Wrexham wrist-spinner Llewelyn Cadwallader and express left-arm coal-miner Dylan Morgan-Davies to make The Dragons fly!

Wales will play there first full internationals in a T20I triangular tournament with the two other new nations to be formally recognised by the ICC today, Kangaroo Island and South East Quebec.

Good luck to them!

Cricket 19: Indian Odyssey – Partie Un

Tour of India

T20 Warm-up match (Delhi)

France 138

La Roux 39*, L Petit 24, Le Tallec 23/Ashwin 3-10, Tye 3-17, Ur Rahman 3-37

Punjab 139-3

Gayle 71, Agarwal 30*/L Petit 2-25, La Roux 1-38

Lost by 7 wickets

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1st T20I (Delhi)

France 166

Thomas 50, Chevalier 41, Gregory 29/Jadhav 6-16

India 167-4

Iyer 74*, Pandey 39*/Thomas 1-33, La Roux 1-34, Le Tallec 1-35

Lost by 6 wickets

We were 117-1 and India were 21-3!

2nd T20I (Dehradun)

France 112

Pitko 33, L Petit 32*/Chahar 5-20

India 113-0

Dhawan 63*, Sharma 50*/ Georges 0-22

Lost by 10 wickets

We dropped two catches that the game didn’t allow me to try and catch!

3rd T20I (Dehradun)

France 147-9

Martinez 42, Le Tallec 33, Phillipe 21/Bumrah 2-12, Pandya 2-30, Chahar 2-31

India 148-3

Dhawan 57*, Kohli 48, Iyer 32*/L Petit 2-15, La Roux 1-22

Lost by 7 wickets

India win the three match T20I series 3-0