On Top of the World!

How great is it to see Reece Topley playing regularly and amongst the wickets?

Topley has eleven wickets at 12.64 in this year’s T20 Blast for Sussex including figures of 4-33 taken in his comeback match against former employers Hampshire. The Suffolk born left-armer has ten ODI and six T20I caps to his name but it would be foolish to be thinking about England consideration so soon after returning to first team action. It’ll be great if the twenty-five-year-old can go onto play List A and First Class cricket but if not then he could still make a healthy buck specialising in the shortest format.

It’s also encouraging to see another left-arm quick bowler in the form of Topley’s teammate Tymal Mills playing regularly and being amongst the wickets too. Mills may only have seven wickets but an average of 17.14 is healthy and most notably, his economy rate is just 6.32. This compares favourably against a career economy rate of 7.82.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/english-twenty20/averages

Looking through the averages another left-armer caught my eye. Nottinghamshire’s Harry Gurney has already committed to a white-ball world having made an impression at both the Big Bash and IPL. Soon he’ll be turning out in the Euro T20 Slam. In this year’s Blast he’s picked up 13 wickets at 15.85 including a career best 5-30 against Derbyshire. He’s leaking runs at an eye-watering 9.36 per over though so will want to temper that.

It’s not impossible that the above players could yet turn out for England again. David Willey has never dominated for England as would’ve been hoped and hasn’t (To be fair often hasn’t been able to) make his batting provide him with an edge. To say that he’s been ordinary in this year’s Blast would be an understatement as he comes to terms with his World Cup omission.

Duckett’s Despair!

Hello loyal followers.

Please find my latest audio cast regarding one of England’s forgotten men and a little about the upcoming ODI against Scotland right here…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/521637.html

Hong Kong Sixes 2017: England Squad?

IMG_3722

The Hong Kong Sixes tournament is back on the cricket calendar after a five-year absence. The pint-sized cricket competition will make a welcome return this October.

http://www.hkcricket.org/en/hk-sixes/hong-kong-sixes-2017

Historically the various cricketing nations around the globe have treated the tournament with a variety of seriousness and not so seriousness, with some teams sending amateurs or ex-pros. England normally send a reasonable bunch of fringe limited overs players.

Silly Point has composed an England squad and put forward one or two other possible candidates as well. Remember that every player bar the wicketkeeper must bowl.

My squad is as follows:

Tim Bresnan, Yorkshire (Captain)

He bats, he bowls, he captains, he’s my selection to lead the side. I find it difficult to comprehend that Bresnan’s England career is over. He required surgery and is no longer the spring chicken that rocked up for Yorkshire’s first XI aged 15 but in limited overs cricket at least, he could surely still have a role to play for the national side. He’s led Yorkshire this year following injury to Gary Ballance and the other squad members would learn from his international experience and professionalism.

Ben Duckett, Northamptonshire (Wicketkeeper)

Duckett just pips Joe Clarke for the ‘keeping gloves. It would be a good way to reintegrate Duckett into England colours following a difficult winter. After a slow start to the domestic season he has started to make significant contributions with the bat as well as keeping wicket on occasions. Sam Billings, more of a genuine gloveman option in T20I/ODI cricket could also come into consideration.

Lewis Gregory, Somerset

Gregory made the England squad a few years back for a one-off ODI against Ireland. Unfortunately for the Somerset man, he was the one squad member to miss out on the final XI leaving him cap-less. A series of injuries have meant that he remains so but when fit Gregory possesses the all-round strengths that make him an extremely tempting selection in this format.

Ryan Higgins, Middlesex

Higgins has contributed some brutal batting displays for Middlesex in limited overs cricket this term and has also dislodged Ollie Rayner from the County Championship side. The Zimbabwe born former England Under-19s player is one of a handful of capable all-round players that make my squad.

Benny Howell, Gloucestershire

A shrewd performer for Gloucestershire, particularly in the shorter forms of the game. French born Howell has cropped up in both the BPL and PSL. His experience and all-round capabilities would make him a valuable asset to the the squad.

Liam Livingstone, Lancashire

LL’s introduction to international cricket was slightly underwhelming but he’s an almost irresistible selection for this tournament. His destructive batting, much improved bowling and reliable fielding win him a place in my squad. Like Bresnan, Livingstone has gained captaincy experience this season and is capable of coming back stronger following his tough international baptism.

Ross Whiteley, Worcestershire

Whiteley hit the headlines this term when he struck six sixes in an over against Yorkshire in a T20 match (I was there, remember?). Yes it was an extremely short boundary and yes it was a third choice spinner but rather audaciously, Whiteley sits in the top ten of the sixes per (T20) match ratio, modestly and unobtrusively placed alongside the likes of Brendon McCullum, David Warner and Chris Gayle. He would probably be the weakest bowling option in the team but has clocked up 29 First Class victims.

Some other players that could come into consideration:

Adam Lyth

Riki Wessels (Wicketkeeper)

Brett D’Oliveira

Liam Dawson

Paul Coughlin

Craig Overton

Tymal Mills

Extras

img_2143

Bye: We provided Hong Kong cricket with a little promotion in a previous addition of Extras…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/extras-3/

… and now England speed merchant Tymal Mills is heading east to blitz any batsmen that come before him.

http://www.hkcricket.org/en/media/news/kowloon-cantons-add-speed-machine-tymal-mills-to-blitz-squad

Leg Bye: We provided Pakistan cricket with a little promotion (Because it needs it, it’s not like cricket is already big in Pakistan!) in a previous addition of Extras…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/super-duper-stan/

… and now England ‘speed merchant’ Steven Finn is heading east to blitz any batsmen that come before him.

https://psl-t20.com/steven-finn-replaces-russell-islamabad-united-squad/

No Ball: Liam Livingstone for England anybody?

img_2741

… or at least in your Telegraph fantasy team. Watch out for my article in April on who, why and how to pick a successful team!

P.S. Despite LLs 50, we lost the T20I against Zimbabwe in Boston, USA by nine wickets with none of our bowlers able to strike. Our solitary wicket was a run out.

Wide: Duckett delivers!

img_2744

It’s back to back wins for England’s Test side after victory in Sharjah. With Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings rested, Ben Duckett made the most (Well, made something) of the opportunity to bat in his recognised position by scoring exactly 50. Duckett put on 47 for the first wicket with debutant Daniel Bell-Drummond, who made 8. Jake Ball recorded match figures of 12-62 as UAE were bowled out for just 61 in their first innings and courtesy of some generous bowling changes, a more respectable 163 in their second. Adil Rashid batted as well as anybody for England in recent times when making 59 batting at six in England’s second innings. Rashid shared a last wicket stand of 48 with a determined Jack Leach before Ball led England to a 175-run victory.

International Duck Watch! An England 8-8 Special!!!!!!!!

img_1813

Basically half the England team!

England’s best with bat ‘n’ ball collapsed from 119-2 to 127 all out to lose the T20I series against India by 2 goals to 1. That’s a collapse of 8-8 and is bloody brilliant even by England’s standards!

There were gloriously gleaming goldens for Roy and Plunkett and stunningly shining silvers for each of Buttler, Jordan and Mills.

I’m just going to publish this now and if Sri Lanka have any duckees in their chase against South Africa we’ll honour them later. England deserve to stand alone, for a time at least.

20:05pm: For the record… Lakshan Sandakan, fourth ball to Imran Tahir.

Super Duper Stan!

img_1415

The 2nd edition of the Pakistan Super League commences on 5th February…

http://www.psl-t20.com

Silly Point takes a look at the English brigade that will be turning out for the five franchises:

Islamabad United

Sam Billings

Ben Duckett

Billings will look to further enhance his reputation on the franchise stage and help cement his England place. Duckett will aim to put his spin pains behind him after a difficult winter in India.

Peshawar Zalmi

Chris Jordan

Eoin Morgan

Samit Patel

A resurgent Chris Jordan joins England skipper Eoin Morgan at Peshawar Zalmi. Samit Patel will fly in as cover for Bangladesh bat Tamim Iqbal (International commitments) come the latter stages of the tournament.

Lahore Qalanders

Jason Roy

England’s Mr Consistency at the top of their limited overs teams will be the sole Anglo representative in Lahore.

Karachi Kings

Ravi Bopara

The forgotten man of English cricket, Bopara is vastly experienced on the franchise circuit and will surely be a useful member of the Karachi Kings party.

Quetta Gladiators

Tymal Mills

Kevin Pietersen

David Willey

Luke Wright

T20 franchise brothers Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright will turn out for the Quetta Gladiators for a second year, after recently representing their loyal Big Bash side, Melbourne Stars. Left-arm duo Tymal Mills and David Willey will help form a strong English quota in Quetta.