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Max Waller commits to Somerset T20 plans for two more years

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Max Waller has signed a new two-year T20 deal with Somerset that will keep him at Taunton until at least the end of the 2022 season.

Waller, 32, made his debut for Somerset in 2009, having attended Millfield School, and has gone on to become a key cog in the county’s T20 team, with 132 wickets in 133 matches at 23.80, and an economy rate of 7.28.

His haul is the most by any legspinner in the T20 Blast, and he needs just six more wickets to overtake Alfonso Thomas and become Somerset’s leading T20 wicket-taker. In this year’s competition, he took eight wickets at an economy rate of 6.23.

“I’m delighted to have extended my contract at Somerset for another two years,” Waller said. “Having represented the club since I was 10 years old, the County obviously has a very special place in my heart.

“I look forward to helping the team win silverware in T20 cricket over the next few years as we look to keep improving in the shortest format of the game.

“It is always fantastic to play in front of our Members and passionate supporters, so hopefully we will be able to do that again next summer. Thanks as always for all of the support and I can’t wait to get back out there for the 2021 season and beyond.”

Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “It’s fantastic news that we have extended one of the shortest formats leading domestic players for the next two seasons. This extension creates a great opportunity for us to continue to work with Max and grow his contributions to the T20 side.

“He has been such a valuable member of our Vitality Blast team over the years and we certainly all know what he brings to the team on the field. He is not only capable of squeezing opposition batsman through pressure created with the ball, dynamic fielding and competitive drive, but also his significant contributions off the field reflecting the Club values add so much additional benefit.”



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Dasun Shanaka, spinners star as Dambulla Viiking topple Colombo Kings

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Undana, Russell three-wicket hauls in vain for Angelo Mathews’ side



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Stuart Broad nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020

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Stuart Broad is in the running for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, after claiming his 500th Test wicket during an eye-catching series of displays in England’s Test series against West Indies and Pakistan this summer.

Broad, 34, was announced as a nominee on BBC Radio One Breakfast by the DJ and cricket fan, Greg James, and Joe “The Body” Wicks, and took to social media shortly afterwards to express his delight at “such a huge honour”.

In the course of England’s bio-secure summer, Broad reaffirmed his status as England’s attack leader, alongside his long-term new-ball partner James Anderson, with 29 wickets at 13.41, including a ten-wicket haul in the decisive third-Test victory over West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford.

However, he had started the summer out of favour despite an impressive showing in England’s winter series win in South Africa, and caused a stir midway through the first Test at the Ageas Bowl, when he took to Sky Sports to express his “frustration and anger” at being omitted from the line-up.

But he soon backed up his words with deeds, marking his comeback with six vital wickets to help square the series in the second Test, then bettered that with his Player-of-the-Match display one game later – a match that also featured his 500th wicket, that of Kraigg Brathwaite on the final morning of the game, and a remarkable 33-ball fifty from No.10, the third-fastest by an England player.

By the end of the summer Broad was seventh on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers, with 514 at 27.65 in 143 Tests.

Although Broad is an outsider for the SPOTY crown, which was claimed by his team-mate Ben Stokes last December following his stellar displays in both England’s World Cup victory and the subsequent Ashes, it is the third year running that a cricketer has been nominated, following Anderson’s nomination in 2018.

The first sportsman to be announced for this year’s award was the Formula 1 racing driver, Lewis Hamilton, who claimed a record-equalling seventh world title earlier this year.





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New Zealand vs West Indies

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Head coach Phil Simmons has described the World Test Championship (WTC) as “extremely significant” for West Indies in the lead-up to the first game against New Zealand at Seddon Park. West Indies are currently third from bottom on the WTC standings with a solitary win from five matches. In their most recent Test series in England, they lost 2-1 after winning the series-opener in Southampton.

“It’s extremely significant,” Simmons said of the WTC. “I think it’s a format that we haven’t done well for in a long time and we’re trying to get ourselves back into the higher ends of the table where Test cricket is concerned and because of that initially we want to do that in the Test Championship but at the same time we want to be winners in Test cricket itself. So, it’s important for us.”

Simmons reckoned that the 2-0 loss in the T20I series, which ended on Monday, would not impact the team’s preparations and performances in the upcoming Test series. Members of the Test squad have already had two workouts against New Zealand A in Queenstown last month.

ALSO READ: Darren Bravo hopes overseas comforts spark return to Test form

While Darren Bravo made a century in the first tour game, it was Kraigg Brathwaite who led the visitors’ batting in the second with a career-best 246, spending over nine hours in the middle. Bravo fell nine short of another hundred in the second fixture. West Indies Test captain Jason Holder also came out of quarantine, scoring 24 and picking up 1 for 45.

“The T20s and Tests are different,” Simmons said. “The Test team has done well in Queenstown and have enjoyed a tough four-day game and they are now coming into the Test series with some confidence especially the batsmen who haven’t had that for a while. So, I think the Test team is in a good place. Disappointed with the T20s, but moving onto the Test series now.

“I think it was a good thing we had to do 14 days in which we practiced and then we had a three-day and four-day game. Some of the young players who haven’t been here have gotten a little bit accustomed to Test-cricket conditions here which, I think, is going to be similar from where we were to here. I think they will offer a lot of mental strength having gone through the period that we went through there. We are going to push hard for them to put up the score they put up in the last four-day game.”

So what are West Indies looking to take out of the Test series against New Zealand, who are formidable in their home conditions?

“Your aim is always to do well,” Simmons said. Your aim is always to win cricket matches and I think that’s our aim in both the A team and CWI XI games and Test matches. Our aim is to play cricket so that we can win each game.”



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