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Recent Match Report – Capitals vs Royals 7th Match 2021




Chasing 148, the Royals came back from the brink, having been 104 for 7 at one stage

Rajasthan Royals 150 for 7 (Miller 62, Morris 36*, Avesh 3-32) beat Delhi Capitals 147 for 8 (Pant 51, Unadkat 3-15) by three wickets

Back at the scene of their heartbreak in a massive chase against the Punjab Kings, the Rajasthan Royals managed to make 148 look more difficult than 222 before sealing the chase in a chaotic finish. For a majority of the chase, it looked like the Delhi Capitals would add to the successful low defences of the two nights preceding this, but David Miller and Chris Morris dragged the Royals back after they had been 17 for 3 and 104 for 7.

Not one six was hit in the first 35 overs of the match – it was the first time a 20-overs innings had ended without a six at the Wankhede Stadium – but Miller, Morris and Jaydev Unadkat managed seven sixes between them as the Royals scored 60 in their last 4.4 overs.

Unadkat undercuts the Capitals
Bowling thee overs in the Powerplay for the first time since 2011, Jaydev Unadkat went through the Capitals batting with his changes of pace. Prithvi Shaw got a leading edge to point in the second over, Shikhar Dhawan ramped one to be caught behind acrobatically by Sanju Samson in the fourth, and Ajinkya Rahane chipped one back to Unadkat in the sixth. This was Unadkat’s first IPL three-for in three years.

Mustafizur Rahman made it four wickets with slower balls as Marcus Stoinis was caught off a leading edge in the seventh. Capitals 37 for 4 after seven overs.

Pant goes along the ground
The Capitals scored 72 runs in the 9.3 overs that Pant spent at the wicket; 51 of them came off his bat off just 32 balls – that was a pace good enough to score 190 on a 140 pitch. He did so without hitting, or trying to hit, a six. This included a severe attack against his former team-mate Rahul Tewatia, lacing the cover fence with four various cuts in the 11th over.

A quick run sets the Capitals back
Having brought the Capitals back into the game, Pant looked good for a much bigger knock himself when he called Lalit Yadav through for a quick single while the ball had hardly gone past the bowler Riyan Parag. The Capitals, five down in the 13th over, only managed five boundaries in the last seven overs as Capitals went from 88 for 5 to 147 for 8 in their 20 overs.


Pathan: Miller showed the worth of his experience

Pathan: Miller showed the worth of his experience

Capitals go seam-up
Teams usually see how the opposition has bowled and try to replicate what has worked for them, but the Capitals didn’t quite go looking for the cutters and the slower balls that worked so beautifully for the Royals. However, the seam movement that they managed to extract worked just as well for Chris Woakes and Kagisa Rabada, who had the Royals down at 17 for 3 in no time, including the key wicket of Samson.

Dhawan kept attracting catches: Samson at regulation slip, Shivam Dube at wide slip, and Riyan Parag at cover, making it 42 for 5 in the 10th over.

Miller, Tewatia start the comeback
Miller looked in good touch, probably as good as Pant had earlier in the night. Rahul Tewatia provided him company. For some reason, despite two left-hand batsmen being in the middle, Pant took the stifling R Ashwin off and went to Stoinis, which resulted in a shift in the momentum. Perhaps it was the dew that influenced his decision?

Three fours came in Stoinis’ only over, and two more came in the next, the 14th of the innings, bowled by Tom Curran. Rabada’s pace hurried Tewatia to dismiss him on the pull, but the Royals now had some fluency. Miller converted it into two sixes off Avesh Khan in the next over. He holed out trying to make it a hat-trick, and once again 44 off 25 looked out of sight.

Morris, Unadkat end it
It was fitting that Unadkat got the partnership going, with a pulled six off Woakes. Curran bowled a good 18th over to make it 27 off 12, but the wet ball played havoc with Rabada and Curran in the last two overs. Rabada kept bowling it in the slot, and Morris connected with two of those balls, bringing the equation down to 12 off the last over.

In the last game, Morris had had a single refused in the last over when the Royals failed to get 13. If there were memories haunting them from that game, the second ball of the last over exorcised them. The slower bouncer sat up, and Morris smoked it over square leg. A full-toss two balls later took the Royals over the line.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Derbyshire Group 1 2021



Derbyshire 35 for 3 (Harmer 2-12) trail Essex 412 for 3 dec (Lawrence 152*, Westley 106, Browne 59, Cook 58) by 377 runs

A day of sepulchral gloom in Chelmsford, pierced throughout by the ECG floodlights, was lit up by a blazing innings from Dan Lawrence, as Essex attempted to make up for lost time in their match against Derbyshire … and pretty much succeeded. Lawrence’s unbeaten 152 from 133 balls was the batting equivalent of a souped-up Vauxhall Nova revving its way up the main drag, and leaving tyre-marks over a series of beleaguered Derbyshire bowlers.

It was bad light that came to the rescue for the visitors, at the end of an over from legspinner Matt Critchley in which Lawrence slammed the first three balls for six and ended up lying on his front after an unsuccessful attempt to club a fourth down the ground. The ball still went for four and Lawrence acknowledged the applause from his team-mates for reaching 150 from his position in the dirt, even if six sixes was now out of the question. “I thought it was on,” Lawrence said with a grin afterwards.

Derbyshire’s respite was brief, however, as an Essex declaration followed by an improvement in the light allowed the home side the press their advantage – even while restricted to bowling spin from both ends. Simon Harmer removed Luis Reece lbw, not offering a shot, in his fourth over and Lawrence then bagged himself a wicket, too, as Billy Godleman turned the ball to short leg. Derbyshire’s captain briefly stood his ground, which was about as much resistance as his team put up all day.

Essex claimed a third before the close, Harmer having Leus de Plooy taken by Lawrence at gully, as the defending champions began to circle their prey. The threat of more bad weather, following a first-day washout, may still encourage Derbyshire hopes of an escape; those of a more darkly comic persuasion warned that it could all be done and dusted on Saturday.

That Essex were in such a commanding position come the close was largely down to a freewheeling third-wicket partnership of 221 in 36.4 overs between Lawrence and his captain, Tom Westley. Essex have not hit their straps yet in this campaign, as Westley acknowledged, but they have given themselves a chance of dodging the elements to record what would be only a second win in six games.

“It was disappointing not being able to get out there yesterday in a bit of a must-win game for us,” Lawrence said. “So it was very good from our openers to put me and Tommy in a situation to go and express ourselves. We knew we had to get ahead of the game as quickly as possible.”

Having scored three fifties in the opening five rounds of the Championship, with a high score of 90 on a deathly flat surface at Worcester, Lawrence had hinted at good form without making the sort of imposing scores that would guarantee his involvement in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand (selection is due to be announced next week). This was a bristling reminder of his kaleidoscopic talents – albeit against a Derbyshire attack featuring three players making their first appearances of the season – as Lawrence raced to his fastest first-class hundred before coming off in sight of a career best.

“It was quite a big thing for me to get to that landmark, because I’ve scored a few runs already without getting hundreds,” he said. “I’ve scored a few fifties – so it was nice to get there and then just play with some freedom. Every batter would know it’s the best feeling in the world batting after a hundred so it was brilliant to have licence.”

The first of Lawrence’s 16 fours was driven with a high front elbow through mid-off and he was soon signalling his intent to crack on, windmilling a cut against Fynn Hudson-Prentice over cover point and then taking the same bowler for three boundaries in five balls a few overs later. His half-century came from 66 balls, and he immediately went up a gear, nonchalantly mowing Dustin Melton over midwicket for his first six.

Billy Stanlake, who made an eventful Derbyshire debut, was casually flipped into the seats in front of the makeshift press box at deep backward square leg to take Lawrence into the 90s, and he brought up three figures for the first time this summer via a nudge off Critchley, the landmark acknowledged with a curled fist pump before turning to take the applause from his team-mates. Critchley was dealt with more severely as Essex rattled on towards five batting points, one slog-sweep over midwicket reminiscent of Lawrence’s hold-the-pose six on Test debut in Galle earlier this year.

Westley also scored a bristling hundred, his third of the season – in reaching three figures from 109 balls, he did so three deliveries quicker than Lawrence – as the pair built on a century opening stand during the morning session. Derbyshire hit back after lunch through Stanlake, playing his first first-class match since the 2019-20 Sheffield Shield season, but were largely left to wonder at the wisdom of their decision to bowl first, taken 24 hours earlier.

Essex had reached 132 for 0 at lunch, going at more than four runs an over despite a green tinge to the surface and a damp air to proceedings after persistent rain ruined any chance of play on Thursday. The scoring rate was aided by Stanlake’s trouble with front-foot no-balls during his opening spell, as Alastair Cook and Nick Browne took advantage of some insipid bowling to set a belligerent tempo in Essex’s attempts to overcome not only an opponent low on confidence but a poor forecast for the weekend.

The sight of Stanlake taking the new ball promised intrigue. The 6ft 7in Australian, capped in both limited-overs formats, had only played eight first-class fixtures across five years but came to Derbyshire professing an eagerness to work on his red-ball game. An initial four overs brought six no-balls and almost as many aborted attempts at running in, prompting the fear that Stanlake’s enthusiasm might be short-lived.

However, he discovered a much better rhythm from the River End when returning shortly before lunch, beating Cook with successive deliveries – one of which was too hot for Harvey Hosein to hold on to behind the stumps. He was rewarded for his perseverance after the interval, when Browne drove footlessly to be caught at slip (thus reducing his first-class average against Derbyshire to a mere 213.25). Cook then spooned a drive into the covers: Big Billy had landed Essex’s big fish, but there was the small matter of Lawrence and Westley to come.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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ENG Women vs IND Women 2021 Rajeshwari Gayakwad recovering from Covid-19 left out of India squads for England tour




ESPNcricinfo understands Gayakwad tested positive last month and is currently recovering in Bengaluru

Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad has been left out the India Women’s squads for the tour of England because of an injury she is understood to have been carrying during the home series against South Africa earlier this year and also because she is currently recovering from Covid-19.

ESPNcricinfo understands Gayakwad, who played just two matches for the Railways in the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy 2020-21 after the South Africa series, tested positive for Covid-19 last month and is currently recovering in Bengaluru. In the domestic tournament, she had walked off the field in the semi-final against Bengal without finishing her quota of overs. She did not play the final against Jharkhand on April 4.

No official announcement was made during or after the South Africa series about Gayakwad carrying the injury. The squad announcement for the England tour did not contain any information concerning Gayakwad’s exclusion either.

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Recent Match Report – Middlesex vs Hampshire Group 2 2021



Hampshire 131 for 7 (Vince 62, Bamber 3-41, Murtagh 2-16) trail Middlesex 172 (Gubbins 51, Abbott 6-44) by 41 runs

With three wickets on the first evening, Kyle Abbott felt he’d found his rhythm for the first time this season. By halfway through the second day, he’d slayed his gig at Lord’s with a haul of six to bowl Middlesex out for just 172.

But then the Middlesex bowlers got in on the act and ripped that to shreds as Hampshire, who slumped to 9 for 3 at one stage, closed at 131 for 7 in reply on a day when 13 wickets fell in total.

James Vince‘s fighting half-century, which included a partnership worth 54 with Keith Barker, kept Hampshire in the contest, just.

At the close, Barker, who scored an unbeaten 52 in a losing cause against Somerset last week, was not out on 23 with Abbott yet to score after Ethan Bamber and Tim Murtagh had claimed five wickets between them to dig Middlesex out of a hole.

Bamber had impact from the outset, bowling Ian Holland for a duck with a gem that angled in slightly and crashed into off-stump.

He then had Joe Weatherley out edging to Martin Andersson at third slip and, next ball, Murtagh dismissed Tom Alsop lbw to put Hampshire in terrible trouble inside seven overs.

It looked like it would come down to the experienced duo of Sam Northeast and Vince, their captain, to steady the visitors but when James Harris trapped Northeast clearly lbw, they were seriously struggling.

Vince and Liam Dawson returned from tea with their side 47 for 4 but they were unable to form the big partnership that was so desperately needed, with Dawson caught by a leaping first slip Robbie White as Murtagh claimed his second wicket.

With Lewis McManus going cheaply and unarguably lbw to Bamber, Vince continued to build a tenacious innings with Barker in support. But then 19-year-old Blake Cullen tempted Vince into a missed drive and pegged back his off-stump with a fuller ball that nipped back a little to end his knock on 62.

“It was a hard day for batting, it felt really tough out there,” Vince said. “It got a little bit easier as the ball got softer but there was always something happening. The ball is taking some divots out where there is still grass on the pitch.

“I think I used every part of the bat out there with some of them even coming off the back. I rode my luck a bit and tried to strike a balance between trying to hang in there until the ball got a bit softer but trying to score runs as well.”

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