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Recent Match Report – West Aust vs Victoria 21st Match 2020/21

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Whiteman hits 104 as Western Australia set Victoria 454 for an improbable win

Victoria 207 and 1 for 43 need another 411 runs against Western Australia 9 for 391 dec and 5 for 269 dec dec

Pacer Matthew Kelly‘s strikes and opener Sam Whiteman‘s century helped Western Australia consolidate their position against Victoria on the third day of their Sheffield Shield clash in Perth. Western Australia are nine wickets away from victory, while Victoria, lost Travis Dean in their steep chase of 454 to Kelly to finish the day at 43 for 1.

It had started with Victoria at 7 for 186 in their first innings but Kelly and Cameron Gannon wrapped up the tail to bowl them out for 207. Scott Boland couldn’t add to his overnight score of 20, before Will Sutherland followed him back. Both batsmen fell to Kelly who claimed 4 for 43 in the first innings while Lance Morris picked up 3 for 41.

After Western Australia secured a 184-run first-innings lead, their their openers Whiteman and Cameron Bancroft, who hit 113 in the first innings, built on it with a partnership of 164, which came at nearly four runs an over. Whiteman was the first to reach his half-century when he hit Jon Holland for a four in the 26th over. Bancroft wasn’t to be left behind, as he attacked Holland in his next over to raise the hundred partnership.

Bancroft continued to find the boundary regularly off Holland before Whiteman also cut loose to hit successive fours off Mitchell Perry in the 41st over. However, Boland finally separated the duo in the next over when he bowled Bancroft for 68. Whiteman, though, got to his hundred before Sutherland dismissed him for 104. Cameron Green started slowly – he was on 3 from 10 balls at one point – but he raced away to finish at 35 off 37 balls.

All those contributions set up the match for Western Australia, who declared their second innings at 269, finishing with a lead of 453. Victoria were given another jolt when Kelly removed Dean in the fourth over to push his match tally up to five.



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The Hundred offers something for bowlers and will keep captains alert | Cricket

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Explainer: How to read the Hundred scorecard


Not sure if that was the intention, but the Hundred’s new playing conditions have a utility beyond the laughs. With the exception of a two-run penalty for a no-ball – which has been a feature of English domestic cricket – they are almost all geared to help the bowlers, the marginalised of the two participants in games of cricket. They will also make the fielding captain’s role more instrumental.

The advantage is admittedly not massive, and the batters will eventually catch up as they keep getting stronger and better, but anything is welcome in a format that keeps shrinking further and further for a bowler.

Shorter Powerplay
This should offset the no-ball penalty. Fifty-three no-balls were bowled in 60 matches in last year’s IPL. So let’s assume there is one no-ball bowled every match. Adding that extra run is not that big a punishment, but a shorter Powerplay is a huge incentive. The Powerplay in the Hundred is only 25% of the innings as against 30% in old-school T20 cricket. That’s one over fewer in a normal T20.

Tens = good for captains and bowlers
Imagine MS Dhoni being allowed to bowl Deepak Chahar’s quota out in the Powerplay (no disrespect to Chahar’s emergence as a decent death bowler too). Or if for a certain match, Rohit Sharma could keep all of Jasprit Bumrah’s deliveries for the death. They could if they were captaining in the Hundred.

The scope this gives bowlers and captains is immense. Imagine Dhoni walks in, and you have the option of bowling 10% of the innings from Sunil Narine without a break then and there. Dhoni strikes at slightly over 50 against Narine. And you don’t get away by playing a dot at the fifth ball; you are on strike for the start of the next five. The bowler, on the other hand, doesn’t have to nominate a “ten” at the start. So if a match-up gets away from him on the fifth ball, he can stop at five.

Analysis will come in as the database continues to build, but it breaks the templates that T20 cricket has fallen into and that can’t be bad.

Shorter “overs”
Fives, as the umpire calls in the Hundred. Batters say they try to hit the first ball of a new over big to put the bowler under the pressure, but you also hear so often how a bowler has failed to get out of an over. The longer an over is, the more a batter gets a chance to line the bowler up. Perhaps in Test cricket you want it to be longer to set a batter up, but mostly in T20s, you are trying to get out of it without significant damage. The fewer the balls to constitute a mandatory set, the easier for a defensive bowler to get out of it without late damage.

Of course batters will adjust and start treating the fifth ball as they do the sixth in other T20s, but it will take some time. Can’t be a bad thing.

Last ball of the penultimate over is not a free hit
A team is seven or eight down. A tailender is batting with a specialist batter. Seven balls to go, the tailender on strike, and you often hear commentators say this is basically a free hit. If you connect, great; if you don’t, at least the specialist batter is on strike for the last over.

Not in the Hundred. The end changes only every two sets of fives. So at the end of the 19th five, the tailender will have to actually take a single to turn the strike over. Or keep facing.

New batter always on strike
Oh, so what if they sky one up and cross? Nope. Unlike in all other cricket, if a batter is out caught, it doesn’t matter if the batters in the middle crossed over. The new batter will be on strike. It might not sound as much to you, but ask a bowler who has forced or coaxed a batter to hit to his deep fielder but doesn’t get the luxury of bowling a new batter next ball because they crossed while the ball was in the air.

One dampener
For wides, the umpires have been instructed to “apply a very strict and consistent interpretation of this Law”. The umpires hopefully will continue to use their discretion to allow wide yorkers, especially to batters who move around in the crease. Also it does defeat the purpose a little bit: the more the number of wides, the longer the match goes on.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo


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Steven Smith ‘building up nicely’ in cautious rehab from elbow injury | Cricket

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Paine open to Smith missing T20 World Cup for Ashes


Steven Smith is making encouraging progress in his recovery from the elbow injury which ruled him out of the current Australia tours with the beginning of the domestic season a potential comeback target.

Smith was sidelined in the latter part of last season when the elbow problem flared up following the India series before returning briefly for New South Wales ahead of the IPL. While playing for Delhi Capitals he felt further pain and he was unavailable for the West Indies and Bangladesh trips.

He told cricket.com.au earlier this month that the Ashes series was his priority and he would be willing to forego the T20 World Cup if it ensured he would be fit for that.

A cautious approach has been taken with his rehab but he is currently increasing the amount of batting he can do as part of New South Wales’ pre-season.

“He’s been building it up nicely,” Phil Jaques, the New South Wales head coach, told ESPNcricinfo. “He’s been very conscientious about his rehab and in terms of how long he bats it for, he’s building up his time which is great and his elbow is responding really well to it.

“We’ve taken a really slow approach with him to make sure we don’t have too many setbacks by pushing too hard but we are stepping things up gradually. He’s definitely moving in the right direction, he’s not going backwards. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go once the season kicks off.

“I don’t think he really got rid of it last time so it came back…hopefully if he gets the tolerance through the tendon that he needs to then he should be able to manage it.”

How much cricket Smith plays for New South Wales this season depends on a lot of factors. There is potentially a small window for those selected for the T20 World Cup to play a few Marsh Cup matches in mid-September, but if Smith is part of that trip he won’t have any first-class cricket ahead of the Test season starting due to the quarantine period on return. There is also the resumption of the IPL to consider.

However, if he doesn’t make the World Cup there are up to five Sheffield Shield games available before the Afghanistan Test at the end of November.

The Sheffield Shield is set to start on September 28 with a schedule mapped out which is hoped will give players time to rest and prepare between matches which should be particularly advantageous for the quick bowlers.




Steven Smith plays through the off side © Getty Images and Cricket Australia


“Last season, and there was no other way around it, there was certainly a big load for the quicks to turnaround really quickly,” Jaques said. “It allows us as coaching staff to prepare the players the best they can for each fixture which is what the Australian domestic summer has always built itself on, to be able to train and prepare for each game individually.”

Quite how the season eventually plays out remains uncertain amid Covid-19 and while there is confidence that hubs can be avoided Jaques believes players will again do what is needed despite the toll it can take. “As professionals we adapt where we need to and if that’s called upon again I think we’ll do it but if there’s ways around it we’ll look to explore that as well,” he said.

Towards the end of last season’s Sheffield Shield the decision was taken to revamp the New South Wales batting line-up after they had been bundled out for 32 by Tasmania. Lachlan Hearne, Matthew Gilkes and Baxter Holt were given a chance while faith was shown in Jason Sangha, who responded with a century against Queensland, and Jack Edwards who made a match-winning hundred in the Marsh Cup final.

“The ceiling is massive with those guys, they are super talented,” Jaques said. “They just need some experience and game time which they got some of last year. We are expecting them to go to another level this year and I’m sure that will come with experience. I was really happy with how they went, to be able to play a final will only put them in good stead. They are definitely the future and think we have a really good mix in the group.”

New South Wales will make a decision on their captaincy positions in the upcoming weeks. Last season Pat Cummins was given the role in the Marsh Cup while Peter Nevill led the Sheffield Shield side until he was absent at the end of the season for the birth of his child. Kurtis Patterson stood in for both formats.

“Whatever role Peter plays within our team he’s a leader, he’s a top guy, he’s someone the players look up to,” Jaques said. “Whoever is actually captaining they’ll be helped out by a lot of leaders.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo


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Recent Match Report – Originals vs Invincibles 1st Match 2021

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Kate Cross stars with three wickets for Originals, but victory is sealed with two balls to spare

Oval Invincibles 139 for 5 (van Niekerk 56*, Kapp 38, Cross 3-28) beat Manchester Originals 135 for 6 (Lee 42, Farrant 3-25) by five wickets

A fluent, unbeaten half-century from captain Dane van Niekerk saw Oval Invincibles recover from 12 for 3 to chase down 136 with two balls to spare on the opening night of the Hundred as English cricket ushered in its new 100-ball competition.
The standalone women’s match launched the competition in front of a 7,395 crowd in at The Oval, with Kate Cross, Manchester Originals’ captain, admitting “we don’t know what a good score is so we thought we’d go out and give it a go” as she opted to bat first.
The Originals’ total of 135 for 6 was held together by Lizelle Lee’s anchoring innings of 42 off 39 balls, with middle-order cameos from Harmanpreet Kaur and captain Cross injecting some life into the innings and dragging them up towards a defendable score.
Cross struck three times in her first seven balls in the run chase, as the Invincibles slipped to 12 for 3 and then 36 for 4 as their hopes quickly faded. But van Niekerk added 73 with Marizanne Kapp to keep them in the game, profiting from two dropped catches and cashing in when the Originals’ spinners dropped short.
Kapp fell for 38 to a sharp leg-side stumping by Ellie Threlkeld – though subsequent replays suggested she had taken the ball in front of the stumps – with 27 needed from 17 balls, but Villiers’ straight six off Sophie Ecclestone kept the rate in check, and van Niekerk flashed an edge for four past Threlkeld with the scores tied to seal the win.

Opening salvo

Kapp took the new ball for the Invincibles and emulated Sussex’s James Kirtley by starting a new format of the game with a wide, spraying one down the leg side to her compatriot Lee. But after an ignominious start, Kapp found both rhythm and nip, seaming the ball to beat Lee’s outside edge twice in her first set of five balls.

That was enough for van Niekerk to decide to leave her on for a second set of five balls, and the move was vindicated almost immediately, as the in-form Emma Lamb nicked her second ball through to Sarah Bryce. Umpire Tim Robinson was the only person in the ground to miss the noise as the ball passed the bat, and his not-out decision was quickly overturned via the DRS.

But with the powerplay shortened to 25 balls, the Originals decided to keep attacking. Lee dispatched Tash Farrant for consecutive boundaries to get herself up and running, before crunching Shabnim Ismail for four through point, while Georgie Boyce lashes consecutive fours off Kapp as the Invincibles conceded 31 runs in the final 15 balls of fielding restrictions.

Kaur, blimey

The Invincibles opted to use their spinners – van Niekerk and Mady Villiers – in initial 10-ball bursts from each end, and after Villiers had Boyce caught at extra cover, van Niekerk opted to keep her on for a second consecutive set of 10 balls from the Pavilion End. It proved to be a mistake: having conceded 13 from her first 15, Villiers was taken for four fours in five balls as Kaur evoked the spirit of Derby 2017 and found full flow.



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