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Recent Match Report – Kent vs Sussex Group 3 2021

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Fast bowler confirms bid for full fitness is back on track after fiery opening gambit at Hove

Sussex 51 for 2 trail Kent 145 (Leaning 63; Robinson 3-29, Garton 3-65, Archer 2-29) by 94 runs

When Jofra Archer last played a first-class match at Hove he was not a World Cup winner nor had he played in an Ashes series. The game took place in September 2018 and was memorable for the final first-class centuries of both Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell. Trott’s hundred satisfied the technicians; Bell’s pleased the aesthetes and brings them comfort still. Archer had played 10 IPL games for Rajasthan Royals and was plainly England’s next big thing. But his four late wickets against Warwickshire hardly disturbed the universe and certainly nobody gave a monkey’s what he did with his fish tank apart, one assumes, from the fish. The age of aquaria had not yet dawned.

That era is upon us now, though, and so Archer is perhaps fortunate that he is based in Brighton, where other-worldliness is an asset and where shredding your finger cleaning up after your piscine pets is something that could happen to anyone. Even more than Britain’s metropolises this city is a shrine to the outré and the baroque. Archer is thus an extraordinary cricketer in a city filled with extraordinary people and maybe he enjoys the camouflage, even if such concealment is not always available. The news that he had recovered sufficiently from a right-elbow injury to be named in Sussex’s squad for this game against Kent brought extra photographers and journalists to the County Ground and in the first half an hour of the day we could all see why.

In Archer’s third over Daniel Bell-Drummond was beaten for pace and bounce; the catch went very fast to second slip where George Garton made it look laughably easy. Next over, though, Archer over-pitched and Zak Crawley helped himself to four runs past wide mid-on. We settled down for a duel between a couple of England’s Test cricketers, only for it to end two balls later when Crawley could do nothing with sharp lift and movement off a length except nick the ball to Ben Brown.

“Usually I bowl to Zak n the [England] nets and I have done that quite a bit,” observed Archer when our day’s cricket was done. “Obviously, you’re never out in the nets so it was good to get him out here, with umpires.”



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Recent Match Report – Rockets vs Spirit 10th Match 2021

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Hard-hitting 76 from 42 balls posts highest total of women’s competition so far

Trent Rockets 151 for 4 (Priest 76) beat London Spirit 133 for 7 (Higham 2-12) by 18 runs

Trent Rockets put runs on the board and got themselves points on the table with an emphatic win over London Spirit at Lord’s. Set up by a belligerent innings from opener Rachel Priest, who scored 64 of her 76 runs in boundaries, Rockets became the first team in the women’s competition to pass 150 – a demanding target that Spirit did not have the requisite firepower to chase down.
On a hybrid surface that had only been used once, after the men’s London derby fixture was washed out at the weekend, Priest did the lion’s share of the scoring as Rockets added a century stand for the first wicket before eventually departing for 76 from 42; at which point Nat Sciver put a further dent in the home side’s spirits by crashing 32 from 16. Freya Davies was the only bowler to go at less than a run a ball, with Spirit’s efforts hampered by a request from CWI that Deandra Dottin not bowl.

In their reply, the returning Tammy Beaumont, who missed Spirit’s opening two fixtures after attending her brother’s wedding, struck her second and third balls for four before falling to Kathryn Bryce as they slipped to 25 for 2 inside the Powerplay. Dottin hammered Katherine Brunt for an imposing six over long-on as she and Heather Knight guided them to 70 for 2 at halfway – but sharp work from Priest and Sarah Glenn saw Dottin run-out backing up for 29 off 19 and the rest of innings fell away.

Priest repays faith
New Zealand veteran Priest had made a grand total of eight runs off ten balls (with two scoring shots) across Rockets’ first two matches in the tournament, defeats to Southern Brave and Northern Superchargers. But on a belting surface at Lord’s, Priest brought the benefit of five Women’s T20 World Cups and three 50-over World Cups to bear to post a formidable 151 for 4.

Priest and Sammy-Jo Johnson made a steady start, taking the score to 26 for 0 at the end of the Powerplay. But the introduction of Chloe Tryon’s left-arm spin for the next set – possibly a match-ups decision with two right-handers on strike – helped grease the wheels. Tryon’s first ball was a high full toss that was dumped for four (as well as being called a no-ball), and although the free hit went begging, the next ball became the first of Priest’s four leg-side mows for six; then another four disappeared through point.

Confident in her ability to pummel boundaries, Priest was happy to soak up a few dots – she faced 13 in the course of her innings – and pounce when offered up a morsel. She should have been caught by Beaumont at deep midwicket on 40, but the ball instead ended up trickling to the rope, and she then tucked into Charlie Dean’s offspin with a thump down the ground followed by another heave to leg, raising a 29-ball fifty. At that point Spirit took their strategic timeout, Priest had 71 from 36 with 40 balls still remaining in the innings, and was on track for the first hundred in the new format – only for Beaumont to atone with an excellent running catch off the 67th.

Severe Sciver
With Johnson playing an anchoring role, Rockets looked to their captain for an injection of rocket fuel during the closing stages of the innings. Sciver duly obliged, ticking along to 8 off 7 before dismantling Danielle Gibson during the 17th set of the innings. The first of three consecutive boundaries had an element of fortune about it, as she managed to clear Alice Monaghan at long-on, despite the ball landing a few yards inside the rope. But there was a touch of naked brutality about the back-to-back sixes that followed: a clean punch over mid-off that just kept going and going, and then an almighty crack that sailed beyond long-on, measured at 82 metres.

It wasn’t to cost them in the end, but the Rockets innings ended up having a slightly lopsided look to it. With Johnson batting through until the last 15 balls for 25 off 34, and Sciver holing out in the final set, there was a sense that they could have racked up an even bigger score. Between them, Priest and Sciver managed 108 from 58, while Johnson, Katherine Brunt and Heather Graham made 34 off 43 (and yes, that does add up to 101 balls bowled – because Priest’s tally includes a no-ball that was hit for four).

Spirit fade out
The partnership between Dottin and Knight kept Spirit in with a chance, adding 45 from 28 balls to leave them needing a steep – but not unconquerable – 80 from 50. Both players benefited from dropped catches, as Rockets began sloppily but it was a piece of fielding that helped break the stand – Priest was alert to possibility when Knight came down the pitch and padded into the off side, wicketkeeper racing up and relaying to Glenn, who removed the bails with Dottin well short of regaining her ground.

From that point, it was largely a case of the visiting side keeping their composure. Lucy Higham was given her first bowl of the tournament and struck straight away, as Depti Sharma shovelled a full toss to short fine leg – Bryce holding on above her head. Another fine catch, Emily Windsor running in from deep backward square, saw off the dangerous Tryon, and when Knight chipped to mid-off with 52 needed from 25, the contest was all but done, despite some lusty lower-order biffing from Dean and Gibson and narrowed the eventual margin of victory.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick



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Durham bubble breach – Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella likely to face long suspensions

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Five-member panel recommends Gunathilaka and Mendis be suspended for two years; Dickwella for 18 months

The three Sri Lanka players whose night out in Durham broke bio-bubble protocols could be in for long suspensions if the recommendations of the committee that investigated the incident are followed. The five-member committee, led by a former Supreme Court judge, has recommended that Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis be suspended from international cricket for two years, while Niroshan Dickwella be suspended for 18 months.

Sri Lanka Cricket’s executive committee is due to meet on Friday to discuss the inquiry committee’s report, after which the players’ punishments will be finalised. It seems likely that suspensions will be handed out to all three. According to two board officials, though, it is not yet certain whether the board will be as harsh as the inquirers have suggested.

“It’s a very eminent committee that has made these recommendations – a committee that has a former Supreme Court judge – so we will have to take it very seriously,” SLC secretary Mohan de Silva told ESPNcricinfo. “But we will be taking the matter up for discussion at the executive committee meeting on Friday.”

De Silva did not rule out the possibility the board will consult further with the players involved, or team management, before the final decision on punishments is reached.



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Recent Match Report – India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I 2021

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For Sri Lanka, Pathum Nissanka has replaced Isuru Udana in the XI

India chose to bat vs Sri Lanka

Right-arm seamer Sandeep Warrier, who came on tour as a net bowler, makes his T20I debut for India because of an injury to Navdeep Saini. This means they are even more depleted than they were on Wednesday, but have at least won the toss. Shikhar Dhawan chose to bat first, stating at the toss that he is confident his bowlers can defend whatever his batters manage. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said he is happy to bowl first, having been successful doing so in the second match.
Sri Lanka have had to make a change due to injury. Seam-bowler Isuru Udana has gone out of the XI, and top-order batter Pathum Nissanka replaces him. On Wednesday, Sri Lanka had been awash with bowling options, with eight players coming to the bowling crease. Strengthening their batting is perhaps a valid strategic move even without the injury to Udana. Nissanka has played three T20s so far, with a high score of 24, and a strike rate of 116.

That India are forced to pick from their net bowlers is because nine of their players have been put in isolation, after Krunal Pandya tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, and eight of his close contacts have had to go into isolation. India played all 11 available players from the original 20-man squad, on Wednesday, but with Saini having seemingly hurt his shoulder attempting a catch, they have had to dip into their net-bowling reserves. Warrier has 53 domestic T20 wickets, with an economy rate of 7.29.

The series is tied 1-1 at present. There is a chance rain could interrupt play, but there should be enough cricket to constitute a match.

Sri Lanka: 1 Avishka Fernando, 2 Minod Bhanuka (wk), 3 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Pathum Nissanka, 6 Ramesh Mendis, 7 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Chamika Karunaratne, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Akila Dananjaya

India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Devdutt Padikkal, 4 Sanju Samson (wk), 5 Nitish Rana, 6 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 7 Sandeep Warrier, 8 Chetan Sakariya, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Rahul Chahar

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf



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