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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Durham Group 1 2021

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One of the world’s most boring records takes Essex closer to shot at title defence

Essex 182 and 301 (Wheater 81, ten Doeschate 55, Raine 5-64) beat Durham 99 (Cook 4-38, Porter 3-27, Siddle 3-29) and 189 (Lees 48, Porter 4-31, Siddle 3-47) by 195 runs

As far as the County Championship is concerned, the relevance of Essex’s 189-win victory over Durham is that, with time running out, it has energised the defence of their title. But the ramifications go far wider, especially for cricket statisticians, who can be guaranteed to be in a stage of high excitement after the contest set a new record for the number of lbws in a first-class match in England.

As many as 19 lbws were awarded by umpires David Millns and James Middlebrook at Chester-le-Street and it should be said in these days of video replays that, for the neutral observer, the overwhelming majority looked bang to rights.

That the England (and Wales) record was beaten on a glorious sun-drenched evening in England’s most northerly first-class cricketing outpost when Jack Burnham, a former England U19 batsman suffering hard times, was struck in front by the former Australian international Peter Siddle. Burnham’s meaningful shrug appeared to be somewhat defeatist after Durham had battled grimly for much of the day against the spectre of near-inevitable defeat.
To discover a first-class match with more lbws it was necessary, according to the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, to turn to Guyana v Jamaica last year, which jointly holds the all-time record along with the West Indies v Pakistan Test in Guyana in 2011, both of them played at Providence Stadium. It is hard to suppress the ignoble thought that Guyana and Chester-le-Street are blood brothers, being the Test venues that many in authority would prefer to ignore.
Ultimately this contest had to settle, globally, for joint second spot, alongside two India first-class matches – Patiala’s match against Delhi in 1953-54 and a more recent clash between Uttar Pradesh and Railways in Lucknow four years ago.



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Pak vs WI 2021 – Covid-19 eats up one T20I of the West Indies-Pakistan series

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Postponement of second WI vs Aus ODI has domino effect on Pakistan series

Complications due to Covid-19 has cut an entire T20I out of Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies. Set to begin a day later than originally scheduled (July 28), also due to the pandemic, the series will now feature only four T20Is, instead of the previously planned five.

This is the result of one of the non-playing staff in the West Indies set-up testing positive for the virus two days ago. It forced one of their ODIs against Australia to be postponed and that in turn has had a domino effect on the Pakistan series, prompting the PCB and the CWI to strike off one of the T20Is that was part of the original tour calendar.

Ricky Skerritt, the Cricket West Indies president, said: “Together with the PCB, CWI have examined various scenarios, and we jointly agreed that the best solution in the present circumstances is to cancel the first T20I and play a four-match T20I series starting on Wednesday and keep the rest of the tour schedule unchanged.”

Both Pakistan and West Indies, who are the defending champions, are on the final legs of their preparation for the T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE from October 17.



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Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh, 3rd T20I

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Two nights after failing to close out a chase, the teenager delivers under pressure

Shamim Hossain, in his second T20I, is under pressure. Three fruitless slogs in the 18th over later, Bangladesh need 25 off 15 balls. The game has wildly swung both ways until this point. Dion Myers had conceded just three off his first three balls; Sikandar Raza’s move to bowl him seemed a gamble that could pay off.

Shamim is possibly thinking of his dismissal in the second T20I after he gave Bangladesh hope through his 13-ball 29. Here he was again, in a situation that was even more tricky. There was a series to be won. He simply had to strike.

And strike he did. He thumped Myers for three fours: a forehand smash through covers, a reverse bunt past a diving short third man and a fierce pull over midwicket. Then, he kept his head through Blessing Muzarabani’s penultimate over to all but seal the contest. He then finished the game off by hitting the winning runs. He remained unbeaten on 31 off just 15 balls, hitting six fours, five of which came in the last three overs.

“I was hungry to finish the game after being unable to do so in the previous game,” Shamim said. “I was looking for that opportunity. I am feeling really well having done that. I am happy that we won the T20I series, which happened to be my first international series. When Soumya (Sarkar) bhai and (Mahmudullah) Riyad bhai were batting together, things were in our favour. While sitting in the dressing room, I told myself that we must win this game.”

The match had already started to turn in Bangladesh’s favour during the third-wicket stand between Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar, but it needed a final push from the Mahmudullah-Hossain partnership, after Afif Hossain’s dismissal.

“Riyad bhai told me that we can get ten an over if we can hit a six or a four every over,” he said. “It will get us close to their target. I maintained my process during this situation.”

Soumya Sarkar, whose 68 set up Bangladesh’s push towards the big chase, was impressed with Shamim’s desire. “He played an important innings,” the senior batter said. “He was very positive. I really liked how hungry he was to win the game. This was only his second international match, but finished the game very well.”

Shamim made a mark during Bangladesh’s victorious Under-19 World Cup campaign last year. The senior team’s selectors and team management had a better look during this season’s Dhaka Premier League T20s. But despite doing well at these levels, Shamim said that his short crash course of international cricket during these T20Is told him what is needed at this level.

“I have figured out how tough international cricket is, playing here,” he said. “I have so far played Under-19 cricket and the Dhaka Premier League, but this is different. One gets fewer bad balls. One has to hit the good balls for boundaries, but at the same time, keep sticking to your process. One has to play with more responsibility at this level.”

An altogether different challenge awaits Shamim when Bangladesh take on Australia in the five T20Is from August 3 in Dhaka. The hunger can easily be replaced by a sense of accomplishment, and that’s one very critical area that Shamim needs to guard himself against.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Recent Match Report – Phoenix vs Originals 6th Match 2021

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Spinner sets tone with 3 for 14 as hosts fall well short despite Harmanpreet Kaur’s 49 off 47

Birmingham Phoenix 113 for 9 (A Jones 31, Lamb 3-16) beat Manchester Originals 93 for 8 (Kaur 49*, Gordon 4-14) by 20 runs

Birmingham Phoenix claimed their first win of the tournament after prevailing over the Manchester Originals in a spin-dominated contest at Emirates Old Trafford. Phoenix only managed to score at slightly above a run a ball through their innings, but a total of 113 proved more than enough as the home side were throttled in the chase despite Harmanpreet Kaur‘s unbeaten 49 off 47.
At halfway, the Originals were happy with their work, with Emma Lamb and Sophie Ecclestone sharing five of the nine wickets to fall. Amy Jones top-scored for Phoenix with 31 from 17 but her dismissal by Ecclestone from the 68th ball left the visitors 79 for 7 and in danger of being bowled out inside their 100. It took a scrappy stand of 28 off 25 between Gwen Davies and Issy Wong to lift the innings into three figures.
But Phoenix defended the wide open spaces of Old Trafford tenaciously. Kirstie Gordon struck twice with her left-arm spin in the powerplay, on the way to 3 for 14 from 20, and the rest of the attack played their part in limiting the Originals to just four boundaries through the course of their innings. Kaur struck two of them but struggled to break free, seemingly affected by a back problem and unable to lift either her own tempo or her team from defeat.

Legspinner Abtaha Maqsood picked up the wickets of Mignon du Preez and Ellie Threlkeld for figures of 2 for 14 and although Kaur batted through to the end, the Originals lost for the second match running as well as becoming the first side in the competition not to reach 100 in a completed Hundred innings.

A spin of the coin
Both sides had an inkling about what to expect from this surface at Old Trafford, given it was the same 22 yards that had been used for the men’s T20I last week – a game which saw 26 overs of spin sent down. Amy Jones won the toss and opted to take first use, going against the trend in the tournament so far, in which only twice from nine men’s and women’s fixtures had the captain chosen to bat. Kate Cross, recognising that chasing could be a struggle, said she would have done the same.

Following the strategy used by Lancashire in the men’s Blast, the Originals packed their side with spin options and they were quickly to the fore. Alex Hartley opened the bowling, Ecclestone was straight into the attack from the other end and Lamb struck with her first ball coming on after the powerplay. Between them, they delivered 60 balls at a cost of 48 runs and collected five wickets. So far so good.

But even in a small chase, the sluggish nature of the pitch meant Phoenix were always tugging at the Originals’ heels. Katie Gordon, the slow left-armer capped by Scotland and England, became the second bowler in the Hundred (after Lamb earlier in the day) to bowl ten consecutive deliveries spanning a change of ends. She removed Lamb lbw with her fourth ball and then had Lizelle Lee with her seventh, a full toss that was spooned to square leg. After 15 balls, Gordon had 2 for 5 and the Originals were already looking nervy.

Top-order troubles
Having lost their opening fixture at home to London Spirit, when they slipped to 37 for 3 from 36 balls, Phoenix kept the same XI but made several changes to the batting order. Erin Burns moved up from No. 6 to play as a pinch-hitting opener, with fellow Australian Katie Mack dropped down; Eve Jones, who top-scored with 47 while anchoring the innings at No. 3 against Spirit, was shuffled to No. 6; while Emily Arlott and Amy Jones both went up a place.

The result was an even worse start, worn track notwithstanding. Despite Burns fulfilling her brief during a frenetic innings of 17 off 16, India opener Shafali Verma failed to get going for the second match running, and with the glovework of Threlkeld accounting for Arlott and Mack, Phoenix were behind the eight ball again, this time 35 for 4 from 37.

Davies goes into reverse
The start of Phoenix’s fightback came with the bat. Eve Jones could not get to grips with the surface and was bowled attempting to reverse-sweep Lamb, but Amy Jones finally got her side above a run a ball when helping to take Lauren Jackson’s third set of five for 20 – including the only six of the day over deep backward square leg.

Jones’ departure left Phoenix in a spot of bother with almost a third of the balls still to be bowled, but Davies provided the lower-order impetus during an innings in which she repeatedly jumped around and attempted a variety of reverse-sweeps, pulls and paddles. Her first ball was cut for four to deep point, and she swept Hartley in orthodox fashion for as well as reversing Kaur over point for boundaries. An injury sustained while taking a single during the 19th set left her needing a runner, and Mack was then caught short at the non-striker’s off the 94th ball – but even as Davies hobbled off, she had given her team a fighting chance.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick



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