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Recent Match Report – Notts vs Essex Group 1 2021

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Brett Hutton bags five before bad light, rain intervene leaving Essex likely to rely on favours to progress

Nottinghamshire 293 (Clarke 67, Mullaney 55, James 54, Harmer 4-71) and 44 for 2 (Slater 19*) drew with Essex 210 (Westley 71, Hutton 5-65)

Essex’s hopes of defending the LV= Insurance County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy took a massive hit as they drew with Nottinghamshire at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.

Notts fast bowler Brett Hutton, on just his second outing of the season, took 5 for 65, including his 200th first-class wicket to bowl Essex out for 210 – and give Notts an 83-run first-innings lead.

Ben Slater killed off any potential drama by reaching 19 before bad light, and subsequently rain, ended play at 2.20pm, with the match officially abandoned at 3pm.

The stalemate does Essex no help in their attempt to reach Division One- with favours likely needed from elsewhere to stop one of Warwickshire, Durham and Notts from progressing.

The top four in Group 1 are now separated by only nine points, although Essex have played a game more than their rivals.

Hopes for a positive result had all but been kiboshed by a washed-out second day, along with a pitch which had made scoring slow.

Notts needed 10 morning overs to wrap up the Essex first innings, with both sides picking up a bonus point – the former for taking nine wickets and the latter for sliding past 200.

After the second new ball was taken an over into the day, Shane Snater and Simon Harmer’s eighth-wicket partnership reached exactly 50 before both fell in consecutive overs.

First, Snater was adjudged leg-before to Hutton, and then Harmer was pinned in front by Luke Fletcher – the burly seamer’s 38th wicket of an impressive campaign.

The innings concluded as Hutton made Sam Cook’s off stump go kerplunk to complete his five-wicket haul, the 10th of his career.

In reply, the visitors had no need nor intention to take any risks as they reached 44 for 2 before umpires Ian Blackwell and Neil Mallender ended proceedings.

Peter Siddle provided a probing spell with the new ball and was rewarded with the edge to first slip of Ben Compton.

Ben Duckett was bowled around his legs by Snater, having eaten up 50 minutes, with Slater holding things together for an unbeaten 87-ball 19.



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The Hundred 2021 – Sam Billings says Jason Roy and Will Jacks can light up Hundred like Brendon McCullum at the IPL

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Oval Invincibles captain excited by new format and opportunities for young players to learn

Sam Billings has challenged Jason Roy and Will Jacks to emulate Brendon McCullum’s famous 158 not out on the opening night of the IPL when they open the batting for Oval Invincibles together in the first men’s fixture of the Hundred on Thursday night.

McCullum’s innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore set the tone for the tournament’s success as he hit 10 fours and 13 sixes to launch it into mainstream attention back in 2008, and Billings – who will captain the Invincibles against Manchester Originals – said that the occasion would provide Roy and Jacks, their likely opening partnership, with an opportunity to do the same for the Hundred.

“I would definitely like to be the guy but I think we’ve got quite a few guys in the dressing room who will want to be that main man,” Billings said. “We’ve seen what Jason can obviously in the T20Is [against Pakistan]. He’s done it for a long time and he does enjoy being the main guy. As an opening batter, like McCullum, he provides the fireworks.

“Will Jacks has been in the form of his life for Surrey. It could really be that launchpad for him: first men’s game, showcased at The Oval. It’ll be really exciting to see what he can do and catapult himself to another level. That’s what we’ll see throughout the tournament, these young guys, against the best players in the world. Anyone can make a name for themselves, and how good is that?”

Billings’ own preparation for the tournament has hardly been ideal – he was one of the England limited-overs players to test positive for Covid-19 after the third ODI against Sri Lanka, sending the whole squad into self-isolation – but the time he has spent away from the game has given him the opportunity to make some plans for the Invincibles’ campaign.

He caught up with Tom Moody, the Invincibles’ head coach and Sri Lanka’s director of cricket, during the international series at the start of the month, and the pair have been in regular contact for a number of weeks to discuss tactics and selection – as well as finding a last-minute replacement for Sandeep Lamichhane, in the form of Tabraiz Shamsi.

“Over the next couple of days it’ll be interesting to get the thoughts of the other guys and how the team view the new format,” he said. “We’re the first men’s game to give it a go and the teams that will progress are the ones that will learn quickly. It’s still cricket, isn’t it? The fundamentals of the game don’t change.

“It’s incredibly exciting because we’ve had to wait for so long, really. We were talking in the changing room just now and saying it’s a really cool new environment. It’s a franchise competition essentially, where you have a real mix of people you don’t normally play with and normally play against. Guys like Sunil Narine. Colin Ingram… it’s been brilliant.



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The Hundred 2021 – Kate Cross on The Hundred opener, ‘The cricket is the cricket, it will take care of itself’

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At the record company meeting, On their hands a dead star, And oh, the plans they weave, And oh, the sickening greed

Unlike in The Smiths’ song, there is evidence to suggest that our star – T20 cricket in England – is not in fact dead. But, some three years in the making – longer if you count the time it spent percolating as a concept before being refined, wrapped and released into the world – then a false start due to Covid, followed by a period of “Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!” and the Hundred is here.

The women will take the stage first, Oval Invincibles hosting Manchester Originals as the first-ever match of a new tournament which may or may not achieve its aim of attracting a new audience to cricket. Whether the hundred-ball concept is different enough from the T20 format played around the globe and over which nations battle for World Cup honours remains to be seen.

For Kate Cross, Manchester Originals’ captain, the least we can all do is give it a go. It’s still cricket after all.

“I’m looking forward to actually playing some cricket and stopping talking about cricket,” Cross told ESPNcricinfo. “We played two warm-up games last Friday and, to be honest, the cricket is the cricket. We’ve said as a team that that will pretty much take care of itself.”

Yes there are five-ball overs and a change of ends after every 10 deliveries. Yes, there will be a DRS for the first time at domestic level. And yes, each of the eight teams has their own DJ act and social-media influencer. But is it different enough?

“When I was a kid, the women’s professional scene wasn’t really a thing so it was never an ambition to get in front of a packed crowd at The Oval and make history,” the 29-year-old Cross said.

“We’re very lucky, we’re a generation of cricketers that are getting to do things for the first time.

“We spoke in the team meeting the other day around how, in 2003 when T20 was first introduced to the world, everyone said it was never going to catch on, it was too short a format. You look at T20 now, it’s your big money-maker, it’s played all round the world.

“The Hundred might revolutionise cricket. It might not. But it’s exciting that we’re going to get to go out there and give it a go for the first time.”

For the women’s game in particular, the Hundred fills a void. Whether it’s a void of the ECB’s own creation in killing off the Kia Super League or not, the Hundred has attracted some star players from India, South Africa and West Indies.

There would have been more star power had Covid-enforced travel restrictions and quarantine requirements not been, in many of the top Australians’ view, too insurmountable, even with a £10,000 bonus offered for their trouble.

When Cross suggested to the Daily Telegraph that the money could be used to top up the incomes of women who were having to choose between their ‘other’ jobs and playing in the Hundred which, due to Covid-prevention protocols did not enable them to enter their non-cricket work environment, it caused more talk – about gender equality.



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Eng vs Ind, 2021 – Avesh Khan all but out of England tour

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Bowler has suffered a fractured left thumb in the Indians’ warm-up match against County Select XI

Avesh Khan‘s tour of England is likely to have come to an end as ESPNcricinfo has learned that the Madhya Pradesh fast bowler has suffered a fracture in his left thumb, which he hurt on the first day of the warm-up match between the Indians and the County Select XI at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday. It is understood that Khan will undergo a couple of scans and tests this week, after which he will return to India to recover in time for the IPL where he represents the Delhi Capitals. Khan was a key part of the Capitals in the first half of IPL 2021, picking up 14 wickets, the joint second-highest in the competition so far.



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