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Ind vs Eng 2020-21 – 2nd ODI – ‘We don’t really fear too much’

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After stunning partnership, Bairstow says Stokes’ batting complementary to his, meaning “people don’t like to bowl at us”

England stuck to their “no fear” philosophy and came good to level the series in Pune, testament to faith in their methods as well as the strength in depth they possess in the batting department. Even without Joe Root, who has been rested for this series, and the injured Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings, England powered to a target of 337 on the back of Jonny Bairstow‘s hundred and a 52-ball 99 from Ben Stokes.

Despite having collapsed in the face of a smaller target in the first ODI, going from 135 without loss after 14.1 overs to 251 all out, England showed no signs of changing their approach. Another century opening stand was followed by Bairstow and Stokes opening up the throttle during a partnership of 175 in 18.5 overs, as England got home with more than six overs to spare.

“Obviously we were bitterly disappointed in that first game, with the way that we played the chase, but I think it was pretty clear that we were going to go out with the same intent as we always do,” Stokes told the host broadcaster Star Sports. “We’re really happy that we managed to get over the line quite easily, especially when India set a really challenging total. [The pitch] was probably a bit quicker than the first game, but over the years we’ve set big totals, we’ve chased big totals, so we don’t really fear too much, to be honest, and we go out and we always try and play as positively as we can.”

That sentiment was echoed by Bairstow, who followed up 94 from 66 balls in the first match with 124 from 112 to set up a series decider on Sunday, the final encounter of England’s tour of India.

“If you actually break the game down only from a couple of days ago, we were way ahead of the game,” he said. “A couple of bits happened and a couple of wickets fell but we were way ahead of that game and that was something that we went away and spoke about and identified. To win that, chase down 337 with six-seven overs left and six wickets in the shed is something that we were really pleased with.”

England were forced to make two changes to their batting line-up after the first ODI, with captain Morgan ruled out of the series by a hand injury and Billings missing with a bruised collar bone. Dawid Malan, currently the No. 1-ranked T20I batsman, came in for only his second ODI appearance and alongside Liam Livingstone saw England home after a minor wobble in which they lost 3 for 2 in nine balls.

The sight of Livingstone, on debut, striking Bhuvneshwar Kumar for back-to-back sixes having barely taken any time to settle at the crease was again indicative of England’s aggression.

“I think that’s the biggest thing, and we’ve spoken about it for a period of time now, that strength in depth in the squad,” Bairstow said. “You’ve seen it many times, people coming in and performing. And also, Morgs has spoken about backing people that are in place in their positions because if you’re in a side and you’re not sure if you’re playing the next game, it can add some anxieties to it. But with the way that Morgs has gone about it, if you’re playing and you’re in possession he’ll give you a proper crack.

Having scored his 11th ODI hundred, Bairstow is now behind only Root, Morgan and Marcus Trescothick for England. All of Bairstow’s centuries have come since he moved up to open in 2017, during which time he has formed a formidable opening partnership with Roy.

“Well naturally I’d like to have the most ODI hundreds for England. I’m happy. I think that’s the biggest thing since opening the batting. I’ve got 11 [hundreds], I think I’ve opened only 56-57 [56] times so yeah I’m happy with those figures – but they mean nothing if you don’t keep converting them in the future. So, look, I’m happy with how I’m playing cricket at the moment and I’m really enjoying it.”



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The Hundred – Jofra Archer not expected to link up with Southern Brave this week

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Team hopeful of having the pacer for the last four games as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery

Southern Brave are not expecting to have Jofra Archer available for either of their next two men’s Hundred fixtures as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery.

Archer has played twice for Sussex in the last 10 days, first bowling three overs in their Vitality Blast win against Kent and a further six against Oxfordshire in a 50-over warm-up match last Tuesday, but has not linked up with the Southern Brave squad since the start of the Hundred and is not expected to do so this week.

“We’re hearing stuff from the medical teams at the ECB and Sussex,” James Vince, the Brave’s men’s captain, said after Tuesday’s defeat to Welsh Fire. “I think he’s maybe undergoing a jab or something yesterday or today, and then hopefully we might get him for the last four [games] or something.

“It’s one of those where I’m staying out of it and leaving it to the experts in that area. Hopefully we do get him because it would be a big boost for us, but if we don’t, we’ve got guys who are capable here.”



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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Glamorgan Group 1 2021

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Michael Hogan’s four-for not enough as Glamorgan let several winning positions slip

Somerset 180 for 7 (Green 87, Hogan 4-33) beat Glamorgan 179 for 9 by one run

New Somerset List A captain Ben Green produced a match-changing innings to lead his side to a thrilling one-run Royal London Cup win over Glamorgan at Taunton.
The hosts crashed to 26 for 4 after losing the toss in a match eventually reduced to 37 overs per side by rain, Michael Hogan claiming all four of those wickets.
But Green smacked 87 off 72 balls from No. 7, with 11 fours and a six, sharing a stand of 86 with Lewis Goldsworthy, who made 41, as Somerset posted a challenging 180 for 7.
Glamorgan responded with 179 for 9, Billy Root and Tom Cullen both making 37, while young Somerset seamers Kasey Aldridge and Sonny Baker shared five of the wickets.

Andy Gorvin needed a six off the last ball of the game from left-arm spinner Goldsworthy to win the game for Glamorgan and came close with a powerful four over the bowler’s head.

Play did not start until 12.10pm, with the game initially reduced to 42 overs per side. Somerset’s innings had only occupied 2.4 of them, with five runs scored, when rain forced the players off.

That was enough time for Hogan to strike twice, Sam Young caught behind off the fourth ball of the innings and Steven Davies brilliantly snapped up by Gorvin at midwicket from the first delivery of the third over.

On the resumption, the veteran pace bowler took his figures to 3 for 3 by bowling George Bartlett between bat and pad and then had James Hildreth caught at first slip.

Somerset were in disarray at 49 for 5 when Eddie Byrom feathered a ball from offspinner Steven Reingold through to wicketkeeper Cullen.

But Green and Goldsworthy calmly steadied the ship and had taken the total to 84 for 5 in the 26th over when heavier rain brought another stoppage at 2.10pm.

Half an hour later, with a further reduction in overs, Green and Goldsworthy batted with far more intent. Green was the main aggressor, with Goldsworthy notching just one boundary in his valuable innings before slogging a catch to cow corner off Callum Taylor.

Green, cut loose in the closing overs with some majestic shots until playing a ball from Lukas Carey onto his stumps in the final over.
Glamorgan’s reply began badly when Hamish Rutherford fell lbw to the final ball of Jack Brooks’ opening over.

Eighteen-year-old Baker then got a ball to lift at Nick Selman’s ribs, forcing the opener to loop up a catch to the diving Byrom, running in from square leg.



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Recent Match Report – West Indies vs Pakistan 1st T20I 2021

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Hasan Ali and debutant Mohammad Wasim impress for Pakistan with the ball

No result West Indies 85 for 5 (Pollard 22*, Hasan 2-11, Qadir 1-6) vs Pakistan

Incessant rain first reduced the first West Indies-Pakistan T20I to a nine-over shootout before eventually washing away the match. Pakistan had chosen to bowl first under cloudy skies with rain also predicted, but the teams raced off to the dressing room just after completing their national anthems. It took almost three hours for the rain to stop and the ground to dry, with the umpires then deciding to curtail the contest.

But of whatever was played, Kieron Pollard and the Pakistan bowlers combined to ensure there was entertaining cricket while it lasted.

Debutant Wasim has instant impact

All it took right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim to land a blow was five balls, although that was not a wicket. In the second over of the West Indies innings, he pitched one short of a length on middle and off, and got it to angle in with the bounce on to Lendl Simmons, who missed his pull. The ball instead hit him on the right side of his neck, immediately inviting the physio on the ground, who decided to take Simmons off with a sling protecting his right arm.

Wasim was taken off after that, but returned to bowl the seventh over. After hurting Simmons, he then had Chris Gayle caught at long-on as the bowler now brought out the slower ball. Gayle, who had come in after Simmons, played away from his body to try and heave that, but only found the fielder in search of rapid runs.

Just wickets and sixes
Amidst a flurry of dot balls – which were 30 in total – and a bunch of extras, which contributed 14, there were five wickets claimed with as many sixes slammed from the third over until the eighth. Hasan Ali got two, while Mohammad Hafeez, Usman Qadir and Wasim all grabbed a wicket each. Nicholas Pooran cracked twin sixes off Hafeez, before Gayle deposited Shadab Khan over his head and Andre Russell dispatched Qadir over extra cover – all this, before Pollard got into Ali with a whip.

Pollard provides late entertainment, but Hasan delivers too
Pollard arrived at the crease with one ball of the sixth over left, but watched from the other end as Gayle fell in the following over with West Indies’ run rate still under nine. With Pollard on strike, Ali was brought back for the eighth after foxing Evin Lewis off his first ball earlier in the innings. This time, Ali was whacked first ball over deep square leg as Pollard swung his bat to a good length ball on middle and leg, and despite not quite finding the middle of the bat, sent the ball sailing over deep square leg.

But that was the only boundary Ali conceded off his two overs, digging the slower balls perfectly on a rain-affected pitch to keep the West Indies batters quiet. Ali then got Shimron Hetmyer three balls later – Mohammad Rizwan completed a good diving catch – with the hosts struggling for momentum amidst the numerous cutters from the visiting bowlers.

Pollard was on 10 off 5 deliveries when only four balls remained in the innings, and the West Indies captain ensured they were well taken care of. A dot ball later, Shaheen Afridi pitched one short on middle and leg as Pollard pulled fiercely to bisect deep square leg and deep midwicket for four. After nabbing two more runs, he ended with a maximum by sending the ball crashing over deep square leg when he made room to a length ball on middle and off, and pulled with disdain. Although he got 12 runs off the last three balls, rain would have the final say with Pakistan not having to chase the total.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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