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Recent Match Report – Surrey vs Gloucs Group 2 2021

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Gloucestershire loanee stranded on 86 as Surrey claim final five wickets

Surrey 473 (Amla 173, Clarke 65, Patel 62, Overton 50*) beat Gloucestershire 158 (Hammond 77, Moriarty 6-60) and 268 (Tattersall 86*, Virdi 4-96) by an innings and 47 runs

This is the time of year when Surrey’s County Championship season is meant to fall away: international call-ups, injuries and workload management meant they made as many as six changes this week, with four players coming in to make their first appearances of the summer. Instead, they became the first team in Group Two to beat Gloucestershire, applying the finishing touches to the rout by taking five wickets and leaving time to get home for Sunday lunch.

They were held up by a determined innings from Jonny Tattersall, Gloucestershire’s on-loan wicketkeeper who was stranded 14 runs short of a first Championship hundred, but ended up completing a win inside the first session to move into third place in the group. They are three points behind Somerset and six behind Gloucestershire, though have only two fixtures remaining compared to the top two’s three.
“One thing we’re quite lucky with at Surrey is that we’ve got quite a big squad,” Amar Virdi, who took seven wickets in the match, said. “There’s a lot of good players and we’ve got a very strong work ethic, whether boys are playing every week or for the twos.”

Rory Burns, Ollie Pope and Kemar Roach were all lost to international duty, with Ben Foakes ruled out with a torn hamstring and Jordan Clark and Reece Topley both rested. “You do miss some of the big players, but we have a lot of good ones behind them,” Virdi said. “We’re not solely reliant on guys that are playing international cricket; we’ve got a strong core of county players as well.”

Virdi was the beneficiary of two bizarre shots from Gloucestershire’s lower order on the final morning: Matt Taylor skipped down the pitch to pick out long-on, and David Payne chipped a catch to mid-on with a mistimed hack. Even the busiest Sunday-evening traffic on the M4 back to Bristol would struggle to explain their shot selection while trying to save the game.

The first wicket to fall had been that of Miles Hammond, who looked aghast when he was given out caught behind while sweeping Dan Moriarty. It seemed that the ball had flicked his pad on the way through to Jamie Smith, but umpire Billy Taylor gave him out; Hammond glared at him like a parent who was “not angry, just disappointed” before ruefully trudging off. There were no such frustrations when Ian Gould gave Tom Smith out lbw to a Jamie Overton nip-backer that smashed him on the pad in the following over.

It was to Gloucestershire’s credit that they decided to have a dart after losing their ninth wicket, with Daniel Worrall and Tattersall adding 56 in 7.2 overs and dragging them towards parity. Tattersall swept and slog-swept well, while Worrall’s bat resembled a pitching wedge as he chipped over mid-on and mid-off; regrettably, it retained its shape when he prodded forward to defend a straight one from Dan Moriarty, which zipped between his pad and the shaft of the club to knock back his off stump.

Tattersall was left stranded on 86 not out, his second-highest Championship score (his first-class hundred was against Leeds-Bradford MCCU in early 2019). Having been dropped by Yorkshire five games into the season after managing an aggregate of just 101 runs, Tattersall was signed on a one-match loan to cover for James Bracey’s absence ahead of his Test debut next week.

Tattersall has had an unusual career to date: he was released by Yorkshire in 2015, but successful trials in 2016 and 2017 led to a one-year deal for the 2018 season. With Jonny Bairstow regularly absent on England duty and Andrew Hodd, the club’s first-choice keeper, coming towards the end of his career, Tattersall saw an opportunity and took it, training over the winter to become an option behind the stumps.

After two-and-a-half seasons with the gloves, he was left out of the side for the 19-year-old Harry Duke, and his next step is uncertain: Glenn Phillips, the New Zealand batter who is in Bristol ahead of the T20 Blast, is expected to keep in Gloucestershire’s fixture at Grace Road next week following the departure of Kraigg Brathwaite for West Indies’ series against South Africa, while Bairstow’s return from the IPL will put Tattersall’s place in Yorkshire’s T20 side in doubt.

Either way, a resolute innings from No. 7 was a reminder that he is a handy player: he started by defending doggedly on the third evening, and grew more expansive on Sunday as it became increasingly clear that the game was up. “We showed a bit of fight today and the guys who batted out there did a really good job,” Chris Dent, Gloucestershire’s captain, said. “Surrey played the better cricket over the four days but we are still top of the group and there is a lot for us to play for.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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Recent Match Report – Gladiators vs United 18th Match 2020/21-2021

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United bowlers played their part too; Javed and Wasim combined their eight overs for 30 runs while Hasan took two wickets

Islamabad United 137 for no loss (Munro 90*, Khawaja 40*) beat Quetta Gladiators 133 all out (Weatherald 43, Wasim 2-12) by ten wickets

A spellbinding, soul-destroying, record-breaking opening partnership between Usman Khawaja and Colin Munro saw Islamabad United thrash Quetta Gladiators by 10 wickets, polishing off the target of 134 with an eye-watering 10 overs to spare. It included the highest Powerplay total in PSL history as Islamabad ran up 97 in the first six, with Munro bringing up his half-century in 20 balls; He would go on to finish unbeaten on 90 having faced just 36 deliveries.

Indeed, only three times in top-flight franchise T20 cricket has a higher powerplay total been achieved as the Gladiators were left helpless in the face of a genuinely stunning onslaught. It leaves the Gladiators on the brink of crashing out of the tournament.

Aside from the first over of the game, where Hasan Ali sloppily conceded 15, United were on top from start to finish. Akif Javed and Mohammad Wasim kept things tight and made regular inroads, while Mohammad Musa weathered a couple of huge sixes from Andre Russell to come back and dismiss the Gladiators’ star man the same over. More worryingly, though, he struck Russell on the head a couple of balls earlier, leading to a lengthy concussion test. Russell would not return to the field all match, and footage later showed him being stretchered to hospital.
On the field, though, the Gladiators continued to lose regular wickets, never quite threatening to pull away from United’s bowlers. Jake Weatherald provided the most substantial contribution with a steady 43, but when his side needed someone else to kick on, there was no one to be found. Azam Khan struggled for fluency in a stuttering innings, while captain Sarfaraz Ahmed fell early. With the side being bowled out for 133, they needed a big contribution with the ball, but Khawaja and Munro soon put any such notions to beat.

The record-breaking stand

Keen viewers of the PSL may be aware United like to take full advantage of the powerplay with quality overseas batters, but this might be the finest exponent of the art in the history of this league. Munro got things going off Naseem Shah’s first over using a combination of pure timing and artistic placement, fulfilling the role his former Kiwi teammate Luke Ronchi used to execute with such perfection for this side. After Naseem – Russell’s concussion substitute – was plundered for 19 in the first over, the floodgates were opened, and Khawaja got into the act soon enough.

Mystifyingly, the Gladiators continued to go with pace on the ball, and that played right into the hands of a sweet timer like Khawaja. Fellow Australian Jack Wildermuth went for three caressed fours off the inning’s third over, before Mohammad Hasnain was picked up and put away over fine leg, all using the tearaway fast bowler’s own pace. The 50 was up, and the game was quickly over as a contest, with the records beginning to tumble.

No 100-plus partnership in all of PSL history has ever seen a higher run rate than Khawaja and Munro’s 13.70, and it wasn’t even mindless slogging. Repeatedly, the two used field placement, perfect timing, and sharp footwork to remain one step ahead of the hapless Gladiators, and when Munro reverse-swept Mohammad Nawaz for six over third man in the tenth over, putting Sarfaraz’s side out of their misery seemed like an act of mercy.

The perfect replacement

Faheem Ashraf’s absence for three games seemed like a pivotal blow for United, but Javed and Wasim filled those boots masterfully at the top of the innings. After a loose opening over from Hasan threatened to allow the Gladiators to get off to a flyer, Javed consolidated with a tidy six balls from his end. He tagged Wasim in then, who left veteran South African Faf du Plessis at first flustered, and then embarrassed, working him over with a nastily rearing bouncer before cleaning up the middle stump with one that kept low.

It put the Gladiators on the back foot completely, and in the five powerplay overs the pair bowled, the batters managed a mere 21 runs. They weren’t done, though, Akif returning to prise out Weatherald, outthinking the Australian with a leg-stump full toss after all three stumps were exposed for a ramp shot. Wasim, meanwhile, had Nawaz walking back thanks to a near-perfect middle and leg stump yorker that knocked back his stump. Their combined figures of 8-0-30-3 went a long way towards illustrating the story of Islamabad’s dominance in that first innings.

Where they stand

United move into second place with eight points, while the Gladiators are cut further adrift at the bottom, with just one win in six.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000



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Live Report – England vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day

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All the updates, news and stats from day four of the second Test at Edgbaston



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T20 World Cup 2021 – Hardik Pandya preparing himself to ‘bowl in all games at World Cup’

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“I have to make sure I am fit to be able to bowl and if I bowl, that brings balance to the Indian side”

Hardik Pandya is upbeat about returning to full swing with the ball for the T20 World Cup in October and wants to make sure “I bowl in all the games.” Battling with a lower-back issue since the 2019 Asia Cup, Pandya has not been bowling regularly for a while now.

“I started bowling in the IPL and my focus is on the World Cup,” Pandya told TOI Sportscast. “I want to make sure that I will be able to bowl in all the games at the [T20] World Cup. I am just trying to be smart and make sure that I don’t miss that. On the bowling front, what matters is how fit I am. Even after my surgery, I didn’t drop my pace. I was not able to drop my control. My bowling is related to my fitness. The fitter I get, the better it comes out. As a fast-bowling allrounder, I tend to get injuries. It is bound to happen and I am okay with it.”

With a shoulder niggle as well during this year’s IPL, Pandya didn’t bowl at all in the seven matches he played for the Mumbai Indians. However, he bowled a nine-over burst in the third and final ODI against England in March. In the five T20Is, he bowled a total of 17 overs with an economy rate of under seven runs per over. Even during the last IPL, he played solely as a specialist batter.



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