Cricket 19: Practice Makes, Errr… ?

Our first match, an unofficial T20, ended in a six wicket defeat.

We posted 106 from 19.1 overs. Five batsmen reached double figures but Dylan Roberts’ 16 was the top score. Though our batsmen displayed competence, an ability to find the boundary was almost non-existent. Opener Aled Edwards (13) struck our solitary six. The opposition wicketkeeper claimed 8 (EIGHT) catches… in a T20!

Despite defending less than a run-ball, our bowlers and fielders stuck to task. Three bowlers each claimed a wicket. Left-arm seamer Rhys Evans had the honour of claiming our first (Though admittedly unofficial wicket) by clipping the top of off stump, courtesy of a beautiful inswinging delivery to the right-handed batsman. Roberts, who dropped a straight-forward catch, also executed a run out. The amateur opposition eased home however with more than five overs to spare.

We fared a little better in our second game. This time we totalled 125, only losing our final wicket to the last ball of the innings. Once again Roberts (20) looked assured at number three, after both our openers had fallen for single figure scores. For the second game in a row, a number of batsmen made starts but it was fast bowler Dwayne Alexander (21 from 14) at number nine, that propelled us to 125.

Four bowlers each claimed one wicket but our opponents were able to find the boundary regularly enough. We did at least take the game a little deeper in the innings but once again succumbed to a six wicket defeat.

We then moved onto our first official match against Glamorgan. Inserted to bat, our opening duo of Stephen Shah (16) and Aled Edwards (27) laid the foundations with a healthy opening stand of 48. Sadly, in-form Dylan Roberts fell for a golden duck on professional debut whilst wicketkeeper Rhodri Thomas didn’t fare much better, registering the silver version. From 48-0 we slipped to 73-6, in the main because of the opposition’s star spin bowler.

Captain Ioan Powell (23) and Cai Hughes (16) combined for 33 to keep us ticking over and once again Dylan Alexander (14*) helped take us to a respectable 130-9.

We effected a run out early in Glamorgan’s chase before Rhys Evans claimed our first official (Having claimed our premier unofficial) wicket. We put Glamorgan on the back foot at 29-3 and soon had them reeling at 60-6. From 75-7 they recovered to 104 before we claimed the eighth wicket. Despite a dropped catch late in the piece to blemish an excellent fielding performance and a little wobble (Overthrows and a wide) in the final over, we sealed a ground-breaking victory by 12 runs. Leg-spinner Eifion Williams (2-19) and the aforementioned Rhys Evans (2-27) both claimed two wickets but all our bowlers maintained excellent economy rates.

The result was the… result of an excellent team effort as well as astute leadership. It’s provided the team with a huge morale boost ahead of our first full international against England.

Look out for a full match report from the big day!

Disclaimer: I’m playing on Hardest difficulty level. All Wales players, kit and stadium are my own creation.

Cricket 19: Wales – A New Dawn!

Following the latest patch on Cricket 19, it is with regret that I have retired my French team. However, when one door closes another opens… and so, I invite you to join me as I lead a newly independent Welsh cricket team into the competitive world of full international cricket.

Our inaugural fixture will be a one-off T20 International against England at our newly constructed Wales Stadium. Well, actually, there’ll be a practice match or two, a T20 against Glamorgan then our first full international against our neighbourly rivals (Or rival neighbours). There will then follow three ODIs and a solitary Test as we face a baptism of fire against the might of England.

Look out for match reports soon, where new Welsh cricket fans will be introduced to players such as captain Ioan Powell, wicketkeeper Rhodri Thomas and exciting fast bowler Dwayne Alexander.

We’ll keep you updated regarding future fixtures/tours so that you can follow our young and exciting team across the globe.

In anticipation of your support… thank you.

Goodnight Gul!

Pakistan pace bowler Umar Gul has retired from all forms of the game aged 36.

A particularly skilful bowler, Gul’s later years were hampered by injury. The Peshawar born player was a perfectly respectable bowler in all formats but even by Twenty20 standards, an international bowling record of 85 wickets in 60 matches at 16.97 (Econ 7.19) is mightily impressive.

http://m.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/43524.html

We’ll await and see whether Gul remains prominent in the game following his retirement from playing.

Cricket 19: Tour of Ireland Schedule/Squad Announcement

Schedule: One Test, Three ODIs & One T20I (All matches to be played in Malahide).

Test Squad: Maxime Bernard, Enzo Petit, Christophe Martinez, Youssef Rizvi, Louis Petit, Zvonimir Pitko, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Anthony Toure, Louis Martin, Mehdi Qadri, Zidane Thomas, Alexandre Rivière

ODI Squad: Maxime Bernard, Jean-Luc Chevalier, Christophe Martinez, Zvonimir Pitko, Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Hugo Olivier (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Bruno Hernandez, Gilles Smith, Maurice Noe, Incroyable Mpenza

T20I Squad: Hippolyte Gregory, Jean-Luc Chevalier, Zidane Thomas, Matteo Phillipe, Louis Petit, Christophe Martinez, Hugo Olivier (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Gabin Sauvage, Phillipe La Roux, Incroyable Mpenza, Gaspard Harris-Gourcuff, Thibaut Keller

Disclaimer: Big Ant have released a new patch that has fundamentally altered the batting dynamics. It probably isn’t going to be very pretty!

Cricket 19: Ceylon Brew!

T20 warm-up match: Dambulla

Dambulla 91 (Sutton 38*, Patel 25, Goswami 10/Qadri 6-19, L.Petit 1-2, Georges 1-23)

France 92-4 (Thomas 33, L.Petit 20*, Gregory 12/Goswami 3-27, Soni 1-34)

Won by 6 wickets

1st T20I: Dambulla

France 112 (Bernard 28, L.Petit 20, Chevalier 15/Lakmal 2-21, Vandersay 2-31/Malinga 1-13)

Sri Lanka 114-1 (K Perera 64*, Thirimanne 25*, K Mendis 24/L. Petit 1-25, Le Tallec 0-7, La Roux 0-26)

Lost by 9 wickets

2nd T20I: Kandy

France 165 (L.Petit 52, Martinez 34, Georges 18*/de Silva 4-16, Pradeep 4-44, Lakmal 1-7)

Sri Lanka 167-1 (K. Perera 76*, Thirimanne 49*, K Mendis 37/Qadri 1-39, Chevalier 0-7, Le Tallec 0-16)

Lost by 9 wickets

3rd T20I: Kandy

Sri Lanka 179-7 (K. Mendis 86, K. Perera 41, de Silva 19/Martinez 3-15, Pitko 1-23, Dubois 1-24)

France 171-8 (Le Tallec 47, Gregory 31, Chevalier 30/de Silva 3-26, Pradeep 2-36, Malinga 1-31)

Lost by 8 runs

Lost the series 3-0

List A warm-up match: Colombo

France 196 (Thomas 47, Bernard 46, Besson 24/Puri 3-71, Hardy 3-65, Anne 2-34)

Colombo 199-8 (Puri 94*, Sampson 34, Anne 17/La Roux 3-32, Dubois 2-22, Thomas 1-25)

Lost by 2 wickets

1st ODI: Colombo

France 215 (Martinez 69, Bernard 29, Olivier 27/de Silva 2-1, Malinga 2-48, T. Perera 1-31)

Sri Lanka 216-8 (K.Perera 81, Karunaratne 34, Thirimanne 27, Martinez 3-35, La Roux 2-31, Le Tallec 1-32)

Lost by 2 wickets

2nd ODI: Galle

Sri Lanka 273-8 (Thirimanne 120*, Karunaratne 38, K. Perera 38/Hernandez 3-41, Thomas 1-44, Chevalier 1-50)

France 275-6 (Pitko 82*, L.Petit 39*, Olivier 34/Vandersay 2-30, Udana 2-59, Malinga 1-44)

Won by 4 wickets

3rd ODI: Galle

France 283 (Pitko 88, Martinez 40, Chevalier 31/Udana 4-60, de Silva 3-9, Malinga 2-46)

Sri Lanka 237-7 (Udana 63*, Pradeep 57*, Matthews 33/L.Petit 3-38, Gregory 1-19, Le Tallec 1-22)

Won by 46 runs

Won the series 2-1

First Class warm-up match: Colombo

France 421-9 declared (E.Petit 133, Chevalier 102, Toure 62/Puri 6-92, Anne 2-98, Jayaraman 1-101)

Colombo 263 (Thirimanne 86, de Silva 71, Chaudhari 34/Qadri 3-48, Toure 2-44, Keller 1-36)

France 158 (Keller 57, Rizvi 32, Sauvage 16/Chada 5-26, Anne 3-97, Farman 2-29)

Colombo 318-4 (Sarma 177*, Jayaraman 104, Thirimanne 17/Rizvi 1-11, Martin 1-33, Sauvage 1-53)

Lost by 6 wickets

1st Test: Colombo

Sri Lanka 259 (Siriwardene 122, Fernando 37, Lakmal 36/Qadri 3-32, L. Petit 3-49, Le Tallec 1-37)

France 257 (Pitko 52, E.Petit 37, L. Petit 29/Vandersay 5-62, Lakmal 3-53, Pradeep 1-67)

Sri Lanka 267 (Fernando 143, Matthews 43, K.Mendis 18/L.Petit 3-23, Qadri 3-65, Toure 2-66)

France 271-8 (E.Petit 115*, Rizvi 49, Martinez 24/de Silva 3-29, Lakmal 2-53, Vandersay 2-76)

Won by 2 wickets

2nd Test: Kandy

France 254 (L.Petit 57, Chevalier 38, Toure 29*/Lakmal 4-32, de Silva 2-28, J Mendis 1-44)

Sri Lanka 405 (K.Mendis 169, Siriwardene 72*, J Mendis 65/Le Tallec 2-27, Martinez 2-33, Qadri 2-63)

France 254 (Rizvi 75, Leroy 41*, Le Tallec 31/J.Mendis 3-28, Vandersay 3-61, Pradeep 3-61)

Sri Lanka 104-2 (Fernando 43*, K.Mendis 34, J.Mendis 20*/Qadri 1-19, Martin 1-23, Le Tallec 0-3)

Lost by 8 wickets

3rd Test: Dambulla

France 464 (E.Petit 179, L.Petit 106, Rizvi 35/Lakmal 3-84, Pradeep 3-123, Vandersay 3-145)

Sri Lanka 391 (de Silva 116, J.Mendis 92, Fernando 88/Martinez 2-32, Qadri 2-91, Martin 2-122)

France 538 (Martinez 182* Rizvi 94, Le Tallec 69/Vandersay 6-187, de Silva 2-66, Lakmal 1-71)

Sri Lanka 597 (Fernando 174, de Silva 143, Mathews 95/L.Petit 3-110, Qadri 3-129, Pitko 1-59)

Won by 14 runs

Won the series 2-1

Disclaimer: I’m currently playing some A Team games. This will provide experience to some of the extended squad members and allow them to push for full international honours. An announcement regarding future fixtures and squads will be announced shortly. I hope to find the time to get back to writing full reports on at least some matches as I’d like to think that’d be a bit more appealable to followers than just perusing short scorecards!

Malan Can!

Dawid Malan and Lewis Gregory are two players that I’m pleased to see have made England’s squad for the T20Is against Pakistan.

Both seem to have been given some tough love by captain Eoin Morgan and are by no means guaranteed to feature in what, despite a number of absences, is a strong squad. Malan was criticised for not running off the last ball of the innings and possibly protecting his average in New Zealand whilst Gregory was provided little responsibility and didn’t even bowl in a couple of his previous appearances. If I was Malan, I’d be watching the last delivery of all England’s white ball innings and bringing to attention any lack of a scrambled run or run out. The former Middlesex man only has himself to blame for his Test demise but has been unfortunate with injuries when it’s come to ODIs. As good a start as he made in the shortest format, failure in this series could be terminal for Yorkshire’s new recruit.

It’s a shame that Liam Livingstone only makes the reserves but competition for places is intense. At least the Lancashire man, who offers something with bat, ball and in the field, is on the selectors radar. James Vince is omitted, whilst the ship that never sailed has probably done just that but left late bloomer Laurie Evans behind.

Please see the link below for details of the full squad…

https://www.ecb.co.uk/england/men/news/1755234/national-selectors-name-squad-for-vitality-it20s-against-pakistan

From the 55… Not Forgotten!

It was pleasing to see batsmen Dawid Malan and Ben Duckett in the runs in the County Championship yesterday, particularly Malan as he’s now playing for Yorkshire! The 32-year-old finished the day undefeated on 145 against an admittedly low-calibre Derbyshire bowling unit.

Duckett, another fringe England left-hander, made 116 against a slightly more formidable Lancashire attack.

Both were in the 55 but have a lot to do to gain further England recognition. Injuries have hampered former Middlesex man Malan’s chances, both last year on ODI debut and missing this summer’s 50-over games. His Test career is probably over and despite a stellar start, he’s by no means guaranteed to add to his T20I caps.

Duckett has far more time on his side but needs to relentlessly churn out big scores like he did a few years ago. He should be knocking the door down in all formats but at least the seeds of recovery have been planted. Despite the odd misdemeanour, he remains highly thought of enough to have made the 55.

Only time will tell if either Malan (An Ashes centurion/T20I batting average: 52.11!) or Duckett (ODI batting average: 41.00) will score another international run. As the divide between formats continues to grow, that might just aid their chances.

Cricket 19: Sri Lanka Tour Itinery/Squad Announcements

Please find below the details of what promises to be our most demanding tour to date. Fixtures have been confirmed with the Sri Lankan board and squads finalised following the completion of two practice matches.

T20I squad: Jean-Luc Chevalier (VC), Hippolyte Gregory, Zidane Thomas, Matteo Phillipe, Louis Petit, Christophe Martinez, Maxime Bernard (W), Xavier Le Tallec (C), Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Mehdi Qadri, Zvonimir Pitko, Leo Baptiste, Hugo Olivier (W), Anthony Toure, Antoine Dubois

T20 warm-up match: Dambulla

1st T20I: Dambulla

2nd T20I: Kandy

3rd T20I: Kandy

ODI squad: Jean-Luc Chevalier (VC), Hippolyte Gregory, Christophe Martinez, Maxime Bernard (W), Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Hugo Olivier (W), Xavier Le Tallec (C), Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Mehdi Qadri, Matteo Phillipe, Zvonimir Pitko, Raphael Besson, Anthony Toure, Antoine Dubois, Bruno Hernandez

One-Day warm-up match: Colombo

1st ODI: Colombo

2nd ODI: Galle

3rd ODI: Galle

Test squad: Jean-Luc Chevalier (VC), Enzo Petit, Christophe Martinez, Yussuf Rizvi, Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Marwan Leroy (W), Xavier Le Tallec (C), Anthony Toure, Louis Martin, Mehdi Qadri, Zvonimir Pitko, Gabin Sauvage, Maxime Bernard (W), Antoine Dubois, Bruno Hernandez, Thibaut Keller

First Class warm-up match: Colombo

1st Test: Colombo

2nd Test: Kandy

3rd Test: Dambulla

Close of Play for Meschede!

German international Craig Meschede has been forced to retire due to injury.

The South African born Glamorgan and former Somerset all-rounder is suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome.

Meschede made two First Class tons and claimed one five-wicket haul. His best List A bowling figures were an incredible 4-5 but he’ll be disappointed that his top score was only 45. His best figures in T20s were 3-9 and with the bat he scored over a thousand runs at a strike-rate of 134.08. It was in the latter format (T20I) that he earned international recognition with Germany, his father’s homeland.

He duly impressed with a top score of 67 and averaged 44.75 striking at a mighty 155.65! Throw in six wickets at just 19.16 apiece and the German selectors will be gutted that the 28-year-old won’t be donning the German kit again.

http://m.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/362565.html

Meschede advises that he’s “… lost about 80% strength in my upper arm” and that he requires “… (a) procedure to improve my everyday life.”

I sincerely hope that the procedure goes to plan and that Meschede is able to find fulfilment away from playing cricket.

Cricket 19: Afghan Duty!

Test Squad: Enzo Petit, Jean-Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain), Christophe Martinez, Zvonimir Pitko, Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Paco Georges, Anthony Toure, Mehdi Qadri, Timothee Clement, Maxime Bernard (Wicketkeeper), Aymerric Gautier, Louis Martin, Thibaut Keller

Only Test: Abu Dhabi

France 220 (Thomas 59, E Petit 35, Leroy 26/Ahmad 3-37, Khan 3-22, Ahmadzai 2-43)

Afghanistan 183 (Ahmad 45, Zazai 42/Qadri 5-23, Toure 3-36)

France 221 (Martinez 74, E.Petit 42, Georges 39/Khan 4-53, Nabi 3-32, Ahmad 2-51)

Afghanistan 259-4 (Shah 77, Afghan 42*, Ihsanullah 42/Chevalier 1-8, L.Petit 1-34, Qadri 1-77)

Lost by 6 wickets

ODI Squad: Hippolyte Gregory, Jean-Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain), Christophe Martinez, Matteo Phillipe, Maxime Bernard, Zidane Thomas, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Louis Petit, Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Zvonimir Pitko, Aymerric Gautier, Anthony Toure, Mehdi Qadri

1st ODI: Abu Dhabi

France 113 (Bernard 33, Chevalier 14, L.Petit 11/Khan 5-12, Zadran 3-34)

Afghanistan 116-0 (Naib 64*/Shah 51*/L.Petit 0-13, Le Tallec 0-13)

Lost by 10 wickets*

*Please note that the players refunded our fans the cost of their tickets.

2nd ODI: Dubai

France 369-9 (Georges 76*, Bernard 47, L.Petit 45/Shirzad 2-62, Zadran 2-85)

Afghanistan 242-8 (Khan 82*, Shah 40, Shirzad 33*/ Georges 3-53, Qadri 2-41)

Won by 127 runs

3rd ODI: Dubai

France 149 (Bernard 26, Leroy 22, L.Petit 19/Nabi 3-25, Khan 2-34, Zadran 2-39)

Afghanistan 150-4 (Alikhil 62*, Shah 39, Nabi 21*/Le Tallec 1-23, La Roux 1-29)

Lost by 6 wickets

Lost the series 2-1

T20I Squad: Hippolyte Gregory, Jean Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain), Zidane Thomas, Matteo Phillipe, Maxime Bernard, Christophe Martinez, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Louis Petit, Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Zvonimir Pitko, Maurice Noe, Anthony Toure, Mehdi Qadri

Only T20I: Dubai

France 245-9 (L.Petit 65, Phillipe 54, Gregory 38, Martinez 26/ul-Haq 3-30, Ur Rahman 3-53, Khan 3-61)

Afghanistan 178-6 (Zazai 55, Zadran 54*, Afghan 38/Thomas 1-22, La Roux 1-24, Martinez 1-26)

Won by 67 runs

Disclaimer: Please note that to reduce the risk of infection no warm-up matches were played.