Cricket Australia are investigating the Sydney Sixers after they included Hayley Silver-Holmes in their playing XI to face the Melbourne Renegades in North Sydney Oval on Saturday without the pace bowler being part of their 15-member squad.
Silver-Holmes had been recovering from a foot injury over the previous two weeks and had been replaced in the squad by Alisha Bates. Having recovered to play Saturday’s match against the Renegades, she was listed in the starting XI, but her return to the squad had not yet been approved by the tournament’s technical committee.
The “administrative error”, which the Sixers alerted officials to themselves, was only spotted shortly before she was due to take the field for the second innings and she was withdrawn with Maddy Darke acting as a substitute fielder. Silver-Holmes had not batted during the Sixers’ innings, so she had not taken any active part in the game.
“The rebel WBBL is aware of an administrative error pertaining to player selection in the Sydney Sixers-Melbourne Renegades match on Saturday,” a Cricket Australia statement said.
“The Sixers self-reported an issue relating to Hayley Silver-Holmes’ paperwork shortly after the Sixers-Renegades game had commenced. Silver-Holmes did not bat nor take the field for the Renegades’ run-chase. The rebel WBBL will provide an update on the matter in due course.”
It meant the Sixers were a bowler short as they failed to defend 166 and although captain Ellyse Perry was still able to call on seven others, they were not able to stop Lizelle Lee and Courtney Webb steering a fine chase.
The defeat left the Sixers with only a slim chance of making the semi-finals with one match left on Sunday and needing the Sydney Thunder or the Perth Scorchers to lose, then having to beat the table-topping Melbourne Stars by a big margin to improve their net run-rate.
SA vs Eng, 2nd T20I
Tom Curran‘s bowling figures – 1 for 55 in four overs – in Friday night’s game against South Africa were the sixth-most expensive in England’s T20I history. But at least none of the five men above him in that list had to walk off alongside their grinning brother after he had taken three cheap wickets.
“Tom’s very competitive and is a relaxed guy, so he’ll move on pretty quickly,” Sam said after England’s five-wicket win. “T20 is a very strange game. You can bowl well and still get hit for a lot of runs, and you can bowl badly and get loads of wickets.”
But in truth, Sam bowled well, and Tom bowled poorly. While Sam managed to disguise his variations, change his lengths and nail a hard length, Tom was taken to pieces in his second over by Faf du Plessis and ended up leaking 24 runs as he strayed into the slot.
The upshot is that if England decide to inject Mark Wood‘s pace in Sunday’s game at Paarl, it is likely to be Tom rather than Sam that makes way. If that seems unsurprising, it is evidence of the effect that the IPL has had on Sam’s reputation as a T20 player: Friday night was only his sixth T20I appearance and his first in over a year.
It is quite a reversal. While Sam’s first exposure to professional cricket was in Surrey’s T20 Blast side, he has generally been considered to be the slightly better red-ball cricketer, while Tom was ahead of him in the white-ball pecking order. Now, Tom has not played a first-class game since April 2019, and is arguably a less attractive proposition in limited-overs cricket, too.
That is not to say that he has undergone any major decline. Eoin Morgan, England’s white-ball captain, evidently has faith in him, deciding to give him two powerplay overs and continuing to back him at the death even after du Plessis’ onslaught.
It is worth noting, too, that he spent much of the IPL sitting on the Rajasthan Royals bench, so was not match-fresh in the way most of his team-mates were. He will return to the Big Bash League with Sydney Sixers after this tour, for whom he has played some of his best cricket, and is likely to remain very much in the England reckoning.
In contrast, Sam – in recognition of his lengthy stints in the biosecure bubbles this summer – will return home after the T20I leg of this tour is complete. That speaks volumes of the strides he has made and his importance to the England set-up across formats. He received glowing reviews during his time at the IPL with the Chennai Super Kings – captain MS Dhoni labelled him “a complete cricketer” – and said that he had taken his game to “a different standard” at the tournament.
While his bowling caught the eye in Friday’s series opener, Sam’s three-ball innings with the bat was just as entertaining. After being hit on the grille by a Lungi Ngidi bouncer, the first ball he faced, he lined up Kagiso Rabada to smite his second for six over long-on – evidence, perhaps, of his mischievous streak.
That Sam has caught up with Tom so quickly should not come as a surprise: tennis fans, for example, will note the relative successes of the Williams and Murray siblings (in both families, the younger sibling is the superstar). There is a sociological explanation for ‘the sibling effect’, in which younger siblings enjoy more success than their older siblings, rooted in their early exposure to regular sport, the need to keep up, and psychological rivalry. As Tim Wigmore and Mark Williams write in their book The Best: How Elite Athletes are Made: “If you have a younger sibling, they are probably better at sport than you are.”
That seems to fit in the example of the Currans: Sam’s emergence as a T20 allrounder puts his brother’s England place in jeopardy. When Jofra Archer has been unavailable through injury or rest, Morgan has backed Tom Curran and Chris Jordan as their death-overs specialists, but Archer’s presence in this series means both seamers need to prove their versatility.
With Wood – or Reece Topley, the tall left-armer who last played a T20I in the 2016 T20 World Cup – in contention as England look for extra pace with the new ball, there may well be room for only one Curran in this side. Sam’s advantage with the bat and his new-found ability to bowl in all three phases of an innings means that Tom finds himself looking over his shoulder.
Bangabandhu T20 Cup – Mustafizur Rahman runs through Khulna to make it two in two for Chattogram
Gazi Group Chattogram (Liton 53*, Soumya 26) beat Gemcon Khulna 86 (Kayes 21, Mustafizur 4-5, Nahidul 2-15) by nine wickets
Gazi Group Chattogram bowled out a side for a double-digit total for the second game in a row in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, trouncing Gemcon Khulna by nine wickets and reaching their 87-run target in just 13.4 overs. The win took Chattogram to the top of the points table, equal with Rajshahi who have also won two out of two.
Mustafizur Rahman finished with incredible figures of 4 for 5 from 3.5 overs as Khulna’s lower order collapsed; their last five wickets falling for 13 runs in 29 balls. The left-arm quick snuffed out any chance of a late resistance after deceiving Shamim Hossain with a slower ball, and getting Ariful Haque caught at deep square-leg.
Chattogram’s performance was very similar to how they had brushed aside Beximco Dhaka in their previous game, beating them with 55 balls to spare.
The groundwork was laid by offspinner Nahidul Islam who dismissed Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah in the fifth over; Shakib mistimed one to mid-on while Mahmudullah was given out lbw. For the third game in a row, Khulna’s two most experienced batsmen fell cheaply, while Jahurul Islam and Imrul Kayes also failed to make a decent contribution.
Mustafizur finished off the innings with his four-wicket haul, while Nahidul and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam took two wickets each.
As they had done against Dhaka on Thursday, Chattogram openers Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das blazed to a half-century stand, but this time at a slightly slower pace.
Soumya fell in the 11th over, having made 26 off 29 balls, with four boundaries, and Liton saw the chase through, finishing unbeaten on 53 off 46 balls with nine fours.
Fortune Barishal 136 for 5 (Tamim 77*, Emon 23, Mukidul 2-27) beat Minister Rajshahi 132 for 9 (Mahedi 34, Mahmud 31, Rabbi 4-21) by five wickets
Tamim Iqbal got Fortune Barishal their first win, and handed Minister Rajshahi their first defeat, with an unbeaten 77, his first half-century of the tournament. Barishal’s five-wicket win was a bounce back from their final-over blowout against Gemcon Khulna last week.
Tamim added 61 for the second wicket with Parvez Hossain Emon and another 46 with Towhid Hridoy for the third wicket. He struck ten fours and two sixes in his 61-ball knock as he ensured Barishal won with an over to spare.
Earlier, Rajshahi squandered a steady start by their openers, Anisul Islam Emon and captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, after they slipped from 61 for 2 to 63 for 5 in the space of eight deliveries. Mohammad Ashraful was run out before Emon and Nurul Hasan holed out in the deep square-leg boundary. They were brought back into the game with a 65-run stand between Mahedi Hasan and Fazle Mahmud. Mahedi struck three sixes in his 23-ball 34, and looked in great nick; Mahmud supported him with 31.
Kamrul Islam Rabbi took four wickets while Mehidy Hasan Miraz took 2 for 18.
Nicholas Pooran named in West Indies A red-ball squad to face New Zealand A in December
Nicholas Pooran has been given the opportunity to stake his claim for future involvement in West Indies’ Test squads, after his inclusion in a 14-man ‘A’ squad to play a pair of first-class matches in New Zealand next month.
Pooran, 25, has asserted his position as one of the most exciting young limited-overs batsmen in the world in the last two years, making a flying start to his ODI career and continuing to impress on the global T20 circuit.
That form has led several prominent voices within West Indies cricket – most notably Michael Holding, the commentator and former fast bowler – to suggest he should be considered for Test selection, despite his first-class experience extending to three games for Trinidad and Tobago back in 2014.
But Pooran will have the chance to face the red ball for the first time since then in December, after being named in the West Indies A squad to play two fixtures against New Zealand A. The squad comprises eight members of the team currently playing a T20I series in the country, and six reserves from the Test party. There are two four-day matches scheduled, due to start on December 3 in Mount Maunganui and December 11 in Nelson.
“This series will give our players an opportunity to play first-class cricket against foreign opposition as well as experience different conditions here in New Zealand,” Roger Harper, Cricket West Indies’ lead selector, said. “It will also help to keep them in the frame should the need for replacements for the Test team arise, as we will have players who have been playing red-ball cricket and in form to consider.”
While it is highly unlikely that Pooran will play any part in the Test series against New Zealand even if he scores heavily – the A-team fixtures run in parallel to the Tests – he could feasibly be considered for the planned series in Bangladesh in January, where his ability against spin could come to the fore.
Pooran is due to link up with the Melbourne Stars for six matches in the BBL season following those fixtures, with the New Zealand-Australia travel corridor meaning that he will not have to quarantine on arrival in Australia.
West Indies A squad vs New Zealand A: Fabian Allen, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh
Fixtures: December 3-6, Mount Maunganui, December 11-14, Nelson
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