Cricket 19: GODII Statistical Update

Having reached the halfway point of the round robin stage of the inaugural Global ODI Invitational, here are some statistical highlights from our performances.

Highest Team Total: 510-7 vs. Namibia at Namibia Stadium

Highest Individual Innings: Dawid Malan – 163 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston

Highest Batting Average: Sam Curran – 84.00

Leading Run-scorer: Dawid Malan – 387

Most Catches: Jonny Bairstow – 31

Best Bowling (Innings/Match): Tom Curran, 5-19 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston

Best Bowling Average: Matthew Carter – 6.00

Leading Wicket Taker: Tom Curran – 13

Cricket 19: GODII – Namibian Amphibians Flounder on Dry Land!

After four wins from four we headed south of the equator for the next stop on our global ODI adventure.

Hosts Namibia won the toss, chose to bowl and reduced us to 121-4 and 219-6 only to see Sam Curran (150) and Liam Dawson (125 not out) compile a record-breaking seventh wicket partnership of 284 (The previous record was 177!). The duo’s combo propelled us to a world record ODI score of 510-7!

The competition’s leading run-scorer Dawid Malan (54), Ben Stokes (54), Jonny Bairstow (53) and Moeen Ali (43) all scored quickly but blew golden opportunities to make a big score. Liam Livingstone (3) and skipper Jos Buttler (7) completely missed out whilst Test captain Joe Root was rested from the long voyage to Southern Africa.

Corben Cassim (1-119) set an undesirable new record for worst ODI bowling figures though Jayden-Lee Fitzpatrick (0-116) pushed him hard. Spinner Zaki George finished 0-99 from his ten overs (Would you like a flake on that?) but Magnus Mahomed (3-86) claimed 3 wickets. Rarely, all his dismissals were caught & bowled.

Namibia began their improbable run chase with all eyes on Lennox Larson. Larson had made two tons in the competition before this match and briefly displayed his ability before being clean bowled by Chris Woakes (2-22) for 13. Woakes then accounted for Mario Dollie for a duck. An example of the flow of runs well and truly running dry in the Namib Desert for the man they call Kart Sheep! (Kart Sheep, because of Mario Kart and Dolly the Sheep. Get it? Aargh forget it!)

Philip Yvonne (57) and Jayden-Lee Fitzpatrick (29) lifted the home side from 21-2 to 100-2 with a strong batting display. Stokes (2-26) accounted for Fitzpatrick however and Moeen (2-45) terminated Yvonne’s career best knock.

Stokes added another victim before it became the Tom Curran show for the second match running. The Surrey star ripped through the middle lower order to finish with figures of 4-17. Moeen then claimed the final wicket courtesy of supreme stumper Jonny Bairstow’s fifth catch of the innings. Though the match was played in Cheetah country, all wickets were taken legitimately!

154 all out was the sum total of Namibia’s batting efforts meaning an earth-shattering 356-run margin of victory. Their top order batsmen have talent but with such a weak bowling attack it makes it difficult for the likes of the imaginatively monikered Henrik Larson to prosper. For the record, all our players returned to England safely. We left no skeletons on the coast!

There were some competitive matches elsewhere in the competition with much improved run getting from the emerging nations. With five wins from five, we sit joint top alongside European rivals the Netherlands. They travel to Canada next whilst we host Nepal at Headingley. Will we both still be unbeaten when we meet in round seven, the final ODI before returning to the Test format?

Cricket 19: GODII – Too Strong for Hong Kong… but don’t chance Char!

414-9… which was actually somewhat of an archetypal England collapse having being 226-0 and 276-1. Dawid Malan (163) and Liam Livingstone (121) both hit maiden ODI tons when compiling a monster opening stand of 226. The stand was only ended when Char effected a run out with a direct hit from distance to terminate Livingstone’s knock. Ben Stokes (25) and Moeen Ali (31) both came out with the right attitude but wickets were lost in the quest for quick runs. Stokes, the second wicket to fall, was also the victim of Char’s golden arm. A counter-attacking cameo from Tom Curran (27 not out) lifted us past the big 4 double zero.

Credit to the Hong Kong bowlers who stuck to task and eventually reaped their rewards. Nori (3-92) and Acharya (3-74) went around the park but claimed some big scalps to savour. Poor Ahuja was less fortunate however, finishing with analysis of 10-0-94-0… ouch!

In reply, Hong Kong’s top order all got starts (Karpe 16, Raval 10 and Hayer 17) but lacked intent. Middle order figures Char (34) who required 23 deliveries to get off the mark and Subramaniam (29) kicked on a little but like the top three, took far too long accumulating their runs. Tom Curran (5-19) then entered the fray to take Hong Kong down from 118-4 to 129 all out. The Eastern batsman just couldn’t handle the Surrey man’s full and slow deliveries and were either bowled or nicked behind as Jonny Bairstow feasted yet again. The wicketkeeper bagged four catches as well as a stumping… off Chris Woakes! Liam Dawson claimed 2-23 whilst fellow spinner Moeen Ali (10-2-25-0) cruelly went unrewarded for some high class bowling. The margin of victory… 285 runs!

We sit top of the tree alongside the Netherlands with four wins from four. Next up it’s a trip to Namibia, a team with only one win to their name though batsman Lennox Larson is only four runs behind leading scorer Dawid Malan in the run charts.

What if Archer Doesn’t Hit the Target?

England coach Trevor Bayliss has all but confirmed that Jofra Archer will win his first cap for England in the home ODI series against Pakistan. Presumably Selector Ed Smith is on the same page as Bayliss but what if Archer doesn’t merit selection? What if he’s only taken two One-Day Cup wickets @ 92.50 when the series comes around?

Archer is a good player but whether or not he’s worth all the furore remains to be seen. English cricket has a habit of demanding undamaged goods but should Archer record figures of 10-0-87-0 on international debut and go onto claim only a few wickets at 50 apiece in the series, will it be seen as part of his development or will he be written off as another tried and tested player who didn’t cut it?

http://m.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/669855.html

Mark Wood has cemented his place (Fitness providing) and good for him. As for Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran and even Chris Woakes, their World Cup places suddenly don’t seem so certain. As for David Willey, who couldn’t even get on the pitch in the West Indies ODIs, a strong showing in the shortest format is vital. I was particularly disappointed for Curran. He was a star in the Big Bash but couldn’t impose himself in the ODIs.

When England line-up against West Indies in the World Cup, it’ll be interesting to see which personnel form their pace bowling attack. How has it come to this on the eve of the World Cup? Did England’s attack peak a year or two too early? Will Barbados born Jofra Archer take to the field in English colours against the maroon of West Indies that he wore at youth level?

Unlikely England Comeback?

11 ODI wickets at 39.27 (5.69 rpo)

3 T20I wickets at 18.33 (6.87 rpo)

8 wickets in this season’s Big Bash, his first, at 23.50 (7.23 rpo)

How about an England recall for Nottinghamshire and Melbourne Renegades left-arm pace bowler, Harry Gurney?

Gurney is 32 and his domestic stats are okay if not outstanding. He’s performed reliably for Melbourne Renegades this term and could be an option for the brains trust of Ed Smith and Eoin Morgan in white-ball cricket. David Willey is not always a threat and his batting often not required. Sam Curran doesn’t need overloading at this stage of his career so getting a year or two out of Gurney could be a viable option for England. The experience that he’s gained from playing in the Big Bash could serve him well for a return to the international fold.

Age may count against Gurney but it certainly wouldn’t be the most ridiculous selection. In Twenty20 Internationals, to pair the left-arm variety of Gurney alongside Tom Curran, who starred in the Big Bash, could provide respite for senior England players and result in a glut of wickets for England.

Cricket Captain 2018: Statistical Highlights… and Lowlights!

Five full years into my tenure as Coach/Selector of the England cricket team, here’s a round-up of the highs and lows that we’ve experienced as a collective thus far…

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Yes that does say 43 all out against Pakistan at Edgbaston! That’s an England all-time low and a slap in the face for our decision to bat exclusively (And optimistically) for a draw. The sweet success of 806 against Sri Lanka in Kandy seems a long time ago.

Joe Root’s 292 against India in Nottingham, came after he’d been dismissed for 230 twice during my tenure and in the same innings that James Vince briefly (Very briefly) held the record when making 246.

Leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson’s 7-82 against New Zealand, also at Edgbaston, are the best individual bowling figures in an innings while Stuart Broad’s 11-98 against West Indies in Jamaica in 2019 remain our best match analysis.

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The year before the 43 all out debacle, 436 against the same opponents in Leeds, had been a none too shabby effort in a One-Day International. In truth, our limited overs batting has regressed since then. As in the Tests, it’s former captain Joe Root who leads the way with a rare double ton (214) in the fifty over format, indeed it was in that innings of 436 against Pakistan in front of a packed and vibrant Headingley crowd.

Somerset speedster Jamie Overton claimed astonishing figures of 6-14 against Australia in the infancy of his international career but lost his way a little in ODIs. He is however averaging sub 30 in the Test format and has become a valuable option in the longer format. He’s no slouch with the bat either.

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Errrr, yeah, 41 all out against South Africa in a T20I. Like I said, highs and lows. Never an easy place to bat is Cape Town!

Alex Hales 124 against arch-enemy Australia in Bristol has been the best batting output in the format whilst the often economical Tom Curran’s 5-26 against West Indies in Delhi at the World Cup is our best individual bowling analysis.

It’d be great to post 1000 runs in a Test innings but with the need for declarations this can often only be feasible in a dead rubber. 500 in a ODI and 250 in T20Is would also be welcome. It’d also be great to see an individual batsman reach a triple ton in a Test match but should they approach Sir Len Hutton’s 364 then I might have to declare!

Currancy Converter?

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Brothers Tom and Sam Curran have already represented England, having been integral clogs in the Surrey machine of recent seasons, so imagine the pressure on middle brother Ben to carve out a decent career.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/910695.html

Seemingly more of an out and out batsman than his brothers, Ben has got himself up and running with a couple of T20 outings for Northamptonshire. Maybe the early signs and the fact that he’s not playing alongside his brothers at Surrey means that expectations aren’t quite so high for the left-handed batsman. It’s easy to accuse somebody in Ben’s position of being trapped in the shadows  of his siblings but even if national honours never come his way, Ben Curran can hopefully go onto fulfil a run-laden career on the domestic scene. The cricket landscape nowadays means that there’s more to being a non-international than just playing county cricket in England. It may yet be that Ben prospers and does go onto achieve full international honours but if not then there’s no disgrace in being a competent domestic player.

Brother Sam is likely to be a key component of England’s Test side for the next decade and it’s a real shame that Tom has had injury niggles this year. He’s been unable to follow-up the promising start he made to his international limited overs (ODI/T20I) career. Both Sam and Tom have chutzpah and Tom shouldn’t be written off as a Test player yet either. He’ll be in high demand in T20 franchises around the world however, which may lead to him focusing primarily on the white-ball formats.

Can the Curran’s convert their potential?

English fans will look forward to discovering so in the years to come…