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How is a drawn Sheffield Shield final decided?

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Home advantage does not carry quite the same weight as it used to do

The final act of the Australian season starts on Thursday with the Sheffield Shield final between Queensland and New South Wales at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

New South Wales are aiming to defend the title awarded to them last season when the tournament was curtailed by the onset of the pandemic while Queensland last won the Shield in 2017-18.

Queensland finished top of the table after the final-round draw against New South Wales in Wollongong, but that does not carry the significant advantage it used to do when, in the event of a drawn final, the leaders would be awarded the title.

Now if there is a draw the title would be decided by the same bonus points system that is in place during the regular season. It was brought in as a trial in the 2018-19 season (although wasn’t needed as Victoria won the final outright) and after last season’s final was cancelled it will be used again should the situation arise.

This is how the bonus points system works: the batting side earns 0.01 points for every run scored above 200 in the first 100 overs of the first innings and the bowling side earns 0.1 points for every wicket taken in the same period.

So, if we use the previous match between these two sides last week as an example it would work out like this: New South Wales were 4 for 310 after 100 overs so that earns them 1.1 batting points and Queensland get 0.4 bowling points. Queensland were then 4 for 293 after 100 overs earning them 0.93 batting points and New South Wales 0.4 bowling points.

In total that would be 1.5 bonus points for New South Wales and 1.33 for Queensland.

“It means the game is in play the whole time,” Mitchell Starc said. “We’ve seen in years gone by the home team don’t have to win so they can play the way they want and not have to worry about pushing for victory. To have the bonus points system there is a big carrot for us, we’ll be in the game for the five days.”

The one caveat with the bonus points is that they only become the decider if a minimum 270 overs have been bowled in the match. If weather means that mark hasn’t been reached then the tiebreaker reverts to who led the table. Also, if the bonus points are tied in a drawn game the top team is declared the winner.

The final is played over five days so there is extra time to get an outright result. The forecast also looks good for the duration of the game with just a few showers predicted for Saturday at the moment. The last Shield match in Brisbane, which was set to take place at Ian Healy Oval, was abandoned without a ball bowled largely due to a saturated outfield following heavy rain. The match before, at Allan Border Field, had just 76 overs across the first two days.

The other factor with the final taking place much later than usual is the length of daylight hours (Allan Border field doesn’t have floodlights). Play will begin at 9.30am to try and ensure the 96 overs per day can be completed.



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Recent Match Report – Durham vs Worcs Group 1 2021

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Seamer overtakes Onions as Worcestershire are overwhelmed on final day

Durham 246 (Lees 99, Tongue 5-39) and 389 for 5 dec (Young 103, Burnham 102*) beat Worcestershire 213 (Fell 44, Leach 42*, Rushworth 5-56) and 164 (Mitchell 62, Rushworth 4-52) by 258 runs

Chris Rushworth orchestrated a brilliant 258-run win for Durham in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash against Worcestershire, on the day he became the county’s all-time leading first-class wicket taker.

Rushworth claimed his 528th first-class wicket for the club by removing Jack Haynes, breaking his tie with Graham Onions that he matched in the first innings. The 34-year-old notched figures of 4 for 52, while Mark Wood and Brydon Carse were equally impressive with three and two wickets apiece, to dismiss the visitors for 164.

The emphatic victory moves Durham into second place in Group One in the County Championship, three points behind Essex. Worcestershire lost their first game of the season, but they remain in fourth place despite their crushing defeat.

Rain prevented play in the first hour of the day, but Daryl Mitchell quickly found his rhythm to pass fifty for the third time this season. Rushworth almost secured his record-breaking scalp when Jake Libby clipped a stroke towards mid-wicket. Jack Burnham attempted to corral the ball, but he could not hang on with a diving effort.



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England vs New Zealand 2021

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England fast bowler may face surgery as ECB plan next steps of recovery

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of England’s two-Test series against New Zealand, starting at Lord’s on June 2, and may face surgery on his troublesome right elbow after failing to come through this week’s return to first-class action.

Archer, who was withdrawn from this year’s IPL prior to its postponement earlier this month, had undergone a series of cortisone injections to enable him to get through the T20I leg of England’s white-ball tour of India in March.



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Recent Match Report – Kent vs Sussex Group 3 2021

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A whole lot of not a lot at Hove, but it’s an improvement on this time last year

Sussex 256 (van Zyl 52; Quinn 4-54, Gilchrist 3-51, Stevens 3-64) drew with Kent 145 (Leaning 63, Robinson 3-29, Garton 3-65) and 387 for 4 dec (Leaning 127*, Robinson 85, Crawley 85)

A match that had once seemed likely to end in a Sussex victory with Jofra Archer displaying his fitness for Test cricket ended in the most sclerotic of draws with Archer not even on the field. The first of these outcomes had always seemed likely once Kent had survived a short session on Saturday, and the second was probable once the England bowler’s sore elbow had prevented him bowling that same evening.

Despite their lowly positions in Group C these sides never appeared to contemplate the possibility of setting up a game and the 43 overs we saw this afternoon might not be numbered among the most gripping of the season. Other correspondents could even judge them balls-achingly tedious.

But Jack Leaning will take a different view. The former Yorkshire batsman notched only his second first-class century since 2017 and will approach Thursday’s game against Glamorgan in a more confident mood. Likewise, from their different perspectives, Tom Clark, who took his maiden first-class wicket, and Tawanda Muyeye, who batted half an hour for 12 not out on his debut. A drop of red ink is as comforting as a duvet to a young professional making his way. Every solid defensive shot is a moment.

And if these slightly aimless sessions were still a disappointment we could scourge no one but ourselves. On Friday, when a 104-over day had heaved itself beyond seven o’clock, we little thought how fortunate we were to see any cricket at all, let alone to be doing so when millions could not.

Zak Crawley was batting on that second evening, so such ingratitude required public abasement. But our penance, such as it might have been, was useless. The following evening, when only 24 overs were possible, Crawley was dismissed by the excellent Jack Carson and even that moment was given the elbow by Archer’s inaction, forced or otherwise.

Thus to Sunday with the Channel turquoise in its shallows but gravely blue farther out to sea. A pleasant dawn was replaced by an unlucky bag of showers, some of them slight, others heavy with Anabaptist doom. While David Millns and Graham Lloyd made one of their inspections the clouds to the west were grey as an undertaker’s work-suit; to the east they were blue as one of Bryan Ferry’s more exotic two-piece numbers. Birds gathered ravenously on the white pyramidal roofs of the hospitality suites. By the way, the gulls in Hove have clearly been watching Alfred Hitchcock movies; I’ve seen smaller turkeys. The white thugs waited for scraps; we waited for cricket.



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