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Match Preview – Sunrisers vs Capitals, IPL 2021, 20th Match

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David Warner’s side will be eager to string some wins together after their hat-trick of losses to begin the tournament

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This will be Chepauk’s final game in IPL 2021, and setting a competitive target here remains a challenge. The average first-innings score is 154 in the nine games here this edition, and 163 overall in the tournament’s history; in the previous three matches here, none of the teams batting first have reached 140, the chasing sides acing the contests.

After rounding off their Mumbai leg with two wins in three outings on the relatively quicker surfaces of the Wankhede, the Delhi Capitals were tested by the pronounced grip and turn offered by the sluggish Chepauk turf. But they one-upped defending champions Mumbai Indians on Tuesday on the back of Amit Mishra’s match-winning four-for and a steady hand from batters Shikhar Dhawan and Shimron Hetymer, whose cautious approach to the small chase was a reflection of better reading of conditions on the night.



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Recent Match Report – Surrey vs Somerset Group 2 2021

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Surrey 191 for 4 Burns 55) vs Somerset

On the sort of surface which might convince an opening batsman they should give it all up and become a plumber, Rory Burns made his fifth half-century in seven innings and fourth in succession. Nobody in the land has reached 50 more often this season.

But these are uncertain times for Burns. He lost his England place in India and is far from certain to win it back in the New Zealand series. With Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley seemingly assured of their places in the top three, Burns’ involvement may depend on where England decide to play James Bracey, who they appear to see as a utility player capable of fulfilling a role in the top and middle-order. In that light, Dan Lawrence’s eye-catching century for Essex might not be great news for Burns.

But, at his best, Burns’ batting has a phlegmatic quality that rises above such concerns. His maiden Test century, made against Australia in Birmingham, was in many ways a masterclass of mental strength overcoming every challenge. He was dropped often and beaten frequently but not for a moment did he lose his composure.

It was similar here. With damp conditions denying any chance of play before 2pm on the second day, this pitch had been under cover for a long time before Somerset’s bowlers took first use of it. Inevitably, the ball nipped around and edges were beaten.

But apart from one occasion, when Burns followed one he could have left, he refused to be drawn into pushing at the ball and was able to put any play-and-miss behind him. Eventually, as the ball softened and the bowlers tired, more poor balls were his reward. He failed to fully capitalise on his start but in terms of the basics of opening the batting, he looked in fine order.



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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Derbyshire Group 1 2021

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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

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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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