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Recent Match Report – Worcs vs Derbyshire Group 1 2021

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Young batter reaches career-best score but falls short of maiden hundred

Worcestershire 330 for 7 (Haynes 97, D’Oliveira 71) vs Derbyshire

Worcestershire batter Jack Haynes hit his career-best score but fell just short of his maiden first-class hundred for the second time this month on day one of the LV= Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at New Road.

Haynes had struck 87 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston before being run out and today batted in impressive fashion to move within three runs of reaching three figures.

But on 97 the England Under-19 player, dropped by keeper Brooke Guest off Dustin Melton on 10, was caught on the boundary off spinner Matt Critchley to deny him the century.


Brett D’Oliveira
also produced an excellent knock of 71 as Worcestershire recovered from 62 for 3 to reach 330 for 7 by the close on an excellent cricket wicket which gave some encouragement to bowlers but also allowed batters to play their shots.

Worcestershire gave a first outing of the season to ex-Derbyshire player Ross Whiteley while Derbyshire handed a debut to Australian international batter Ben McDermott.

Worcestershire captain Joe Leach opted to bat on winning the toss but Daryl Mitchell was lbw to the first delivery of the game from Sam Conners.

Tom Fell and Jake Libby had to contend with a fine opening spell from Conners and both were dropped at first slip by Leus du Plooy when on 12 and 4 respectively.

Fell failed to profit from his let-off and had not added to his score when he was caught behind off Conners.

Haynes and Libby scored freely in adding 41. But then Haynes drove Melton into the covers and there was a mix-up with Libby who was run out for 26 at the non-striker’s end by Matt Critchley’s direct hit.

Haynes and Whiteley steadied the innings with a patient stand of 53 until the latter on 22 was caught at second slip by Wayne Madsen off Melton.

Haynes completed a 104-ball half century with six boundaries and then pulled Critchley for six.

A delicate cut for four by D’Oliveira off Critchley secured a first batting point in the 61st over and he swept the same bowler for a single to reach a 91-ball half century.

But Haynes missed out on three figures when he pulled a shortish delivery from Critchley and the ball was plucked out of the air by Melton at deep square leg.

He faced 187 balls and hit one six and nine fours and his stand with D’Oliveira was worth 114 in 33 overs.

D’Oliveira was caught at mid-on off Fynn Hudson-Prentice following a mistimed pull.

Ben Cox (49) and Ed Barnard (48 not out) scored freely against the second new ball in adding 88 before the former was caught behind in the final over from Ben Aitchison.



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Rizwan climbs to career-best seventh on T20I rankings after bumper series against England

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Shakib Al Hasan’s five-for against Zimbabwe, meanwhile, moved him to eighth in the ODI bowling rankings



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Recent Match Report – Lancashire vs Cumberland Warmup 2021

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Away from the impending thrills of the Hundred, Cumbria’s homespun youngsters take on Lancs

Lancashire 383 for 7 (Jennings 103, Wells 86, Vilas 82, Jones 56*) beat Cumbria 174 (Boyce 107, Wells 3-16) by 209 runs

And so we have returned to Sedbergh. For a few days this week at least, one of cricket’s caravans will rest in the shadow of the Howgill Fells. At distant stadia gaudier pantechnicons will roll up, filled with noise and novelties, but it was easy to forget such things on a summer morning in England’s North Country, when the heat lay like a cloak on one of England’s finest grounds.

Today Cumbria hosted Lancashire in what was classed as a warm-up game for the Royal London Cup, which begins here on Friday when Sussex are the visitors. And the irony of ‘warm-up’ games was plain on a day when drinks breaks were frequent, ambitious shorts revealed unfortunate legs and spectators hid like bitterns in the shadiest spots. Yet none of the folk who ringed the ground this morning or sat under the trees on the Loftus Hill side thought they were missing out on anything except sun cream.

The last time Lancashire visited this ground, a World Cup was being played and we were looking forward to an Australian summer. As though to mark that moment, James Anderson bowled Cameron Bancroft for 77 in the first innings before injuring his calf in the second and leaving the Durham captain to secure the draw with 92 not out. This occasion was different, more parochial in the very best sense. Most of Cumbria’s players represent clubs within the county boundaries and on Saturday they will compete against each other in league matches. Today, though, the rivalries between Cockermouth and Carlisle, Workington and Furness were forgotten and eleven cricketers came together in a side only three of whose members play for clubs outside the county boundary.

That is a matter of compulsion as well as desire. The regulations governing the national counties stipulate that eight of their players must be home-based and have an aggregate age of 200. For these purposes “home-based” can mean birth or the club a player represents or even his progression through a county’s school development programme. But however one cuts it, the onus on a county to develop local talent is clear. Fortunately, as Cumbria’s chairman Neil Atkinson explained, this is a policy the county had been pursuing for a couple of years before official injunctions were issued. With a little luck, therefore, the talent stream that has already produced Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone will soon be offering more riches to the 18 fully professional counties.

“Ben and Liam are obviously two notable players but you’ve also got Jordan and Graham Clark and Liam Trevaskis,” Atkinson pointed out. “So to a certain extent we might be punching above our weight in producing first-class players. And these games are an invaluable opportunity for youngsters who aspire to playing first-class cricket to see the sort of standards involved.”

Viewed in that context, a game that might have seemed little more than a one-sided hammering attains a wider significance. Yet the problem for the national counties is that professional batters play with less fear than they did a decade ago and have added new shots to their repertoire. The put-it-on-a-sixpence line-and-length that might once have been enough to avoid dismemberment now only invites a scoop, a ramp or their reversed first cousins. It’s not that national counties cricketers do not know these strokes; some of them have played first-class cricket. But they rarely see them utilised with such freedom against balls that in almost all other games would require respect.

So much was very clear in the first half of this game as Lancashire galloped to 383 for 7 in their 50 overs. During this session the sometimes narrow line that divides the pro’s from the rest became a gulf, never more so, perhaps, than when Keaton Jennings and Luke Wells were putting on 157 in 22 overs for Lancashire’s second wicket, with Wells smacking four sixes in one over of Matt Siddall’s off spin. The former Sussex batsman was caught at long off for 86 by Matt Sempill off a Nico Watt leggie in the next over but as if exacting retribution Jennings smacked the successful bowler into St Andrew’s churchyard. The opener then reached his hundred off 102 balls with a cover-driven boundary off Matt Lowden but was bowled next ball. The crowd could barely summon the energy to applaud either event and there was no public address to prompt their appreciation.

As seems the norm during such gourmandising, someone has to go without and this afternoon it was Steven Croft, who was caught at the wicket first ball off Sempill. Just as he had done on this ground two years ago when bowled by one that kept low, Croft tossed his bat in the air and it performed a somersault before he caught it again. The fathomless charms of Sedbergh may be lost on him.

For the rest of us, they hit the mark as accurately as ever, and Lancashire’s later batters also savoured this true pitch. Dane Vilas, who has hardly been in his best form, made 82 off 46 balls and Rob Jones helped himself to a half-century before we settled down to consider one of those over-limit matches in which the second half bears limited relation to the first.

No one should blame Lancashire for this. People may blather on about the Royal London Cup being a development competition and for some counties it probably will be. But the resolve of the Old Trafford coaches was made clear when they took seven of Saturday’s T20 side to Sedbergh and their success in dismissing Cumbria for 174 in 43.3 overs was hardly a surprise. One of the newcomers, Jack Blatherwick took the first two wickets in four overs before being forced from the field with a back injury.

Regardless of Blatherwick’s injury, though, Vilas would have thrown the ball around. It was no surprise that eight bowlers were used with both Liam Hurt and Jack Morley getting eight-over spells in advance of the Royal London Cup programme. Luke Wells ended the game when he took his third wicket and Cumbrian supporters had to take what comfort they could from the gritty 35 made by the skipper, Gary Pratt, and the 38 compiled by Michael Slack, who had also picked up a couple of wickets. Pratt’s younger players, on the other hand, have seen what the first-class game is about. It is intriguing to ponder what they now make of it.

Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications



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Sri Lanka vs India 2021

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‘We’re a young team. We haven’t won much recently, and we’re trying to do our best to play together for our country’

After a stretch of losses, Sri Lanka had an ODI victory in their grasp, but let it slip. For a team low on confidence, it had to have been devastating. Batter Charith Asalanka, who had top-scored for Sri Lanka with 65, described what it was like to see the opposition’s eighth-wicket partnership take the game away.

“We’re all emotional – the team and coaches are all emotional,” he said. “We’re a young team. We haven’t won much recently, and we’re trying to do our best to play together for our country. Everyone tried hard and took it to the final over, but unfortunately we couldn’t win.”

This ended up being Sri Lanka’s ninth loss in 10 completed matches in 2021, but at the 40th over Sri Lanka seemed certain to win it. India still needed 67 runs off 60 balls at that stage, with two batters who have not had a lot of time at the crease recently. Sri Lanka had also saved two overs from Wanindu Hasaranga, and three from Dushmantha Chameera – their two best bowlers – for the last 10 overs. And yet were unable to break the stand between Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took India to the target.

“What we talked about in the 40th over was to push the game deep,” Asalanka said. “We wanted to increase their required rate. But they were successful because they didn’t lose any wickets. They had a plan to play Wanindu out defensively and get runs off everyone else, and it worked. If they’d tried to get runs off Wanindu, then maybe they would have lost. I guess the other bowlers have to talk and figure out how to get a wicket in that situation.”

Sri Lanka were also sloppy with their ground fielding, conceding at least five boundaries that could have been stopped by outfielders. Asalanka noted this as an area to work on.

“We did make some mistakes in the field, and we gave away more than 10 runs in the field. We need to fix that. Nos. 8 and 9 also scored runs, so we have to figure out how to stop that as well.”

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



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