The duo put on a match-winning unbeaten stand of 94 off just 32 balls to get Deccan Gladiators’ campaign off to a winning start
“To bat with someone like him just gives you so much confidence and freedom to just go and try and express yourself.”
When the pair came together, the Gladiators had been stuttering, having managed just one six in the first five overs. But Moores and Russell bludgeoned nine of them in the remainder of the innings to catapult the Gladiators to a match-winning total of 146. Both faced just 17 balls each.
Asked what the conversation was like between the two when they were in the middle, Moores, who plays for Nottinghamshire, replied, “Who could hit the biggest six…? Which, obviously, I knew I was gonna lose. We had a bit of fun, it wasn’t too serious at all, which really helped me just relax and be confident. We were just having a smile and enjoying it. And that’s what we talked about, to have fun, to enjoy our cricket. Every game we play we’re really lucky to be doing it.”
Since Russell’s arrival, at No. 5, the pair dictated the pace of the innings, wresting momentum from the Braves, who had started well by removing Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Banton and Anwar Ali in the first 4.4 overs. Russell got off the mark with something of an uncharacteristic stroke: a delicate cut played with soft hands past third man. But he needed no invitation to launch one over midwicket when Dasun Shanaka gave him a delivery right in the slot.
The next over, the legspin of Samiullah Shinwari got the treatment as Russell hammered him for two consecutive sixes. By the end of the seventh, he had walloped to 31 off 11, while Moores was on a run-a-ball five.
Moores was fortunate not to run himself out off the second delivery he faced as Munaf Patel failed to collect the ball at the bowler’s end. He made his luck count, smashing Dhananjaya Lakshan for two huge sixes and bringing up the team hundred with a whack over long-on. Curtis Campher – who took four wickets in four deliveries at this ground for Ireland during the recently concluded T20 World Cup – was also dispatched for 26 as the Gladiators amassed 80 runs between the sixth and ninth overs. Russell was on 42 off 15, while Moores had got himself up to 39 off 13.
“To bat some time with Dre who has done that time and time again… he’s the best at doing that, so to watch him and have the best seat in the house was great,” Moores said. “Someone like him has helped me a lot. I knew him a little bit from playing back home for Notts and he’s someone who has done this time and time again. So he was just giving me tips and bits of advice here and there. To be honest, I was just trying to keep up with him.”
Moores, in fact, went one better, as he hit another six, off Ravi Bopara, in the final over to go past Russell’s unbeaten 43 off 17 and set the highest team score of the season so far. He finished on an unbeaten 47 off 17 and took home the Player-of-the-Match honour.
In the end, despite a valiant effort from the Braves, with Angelo Perera and Bopara both scoring half-centuries, they fell 24 runs short of the target. Their tally of four sixes across their ten overs was dwarfed by the ten that the Gladiators managed, and Moores underscored that six-hitting is even more pivotal in this format of the game.
“We did talk about six-hitting ability,” he said. “Those extra two runs do add up. If you compare the two scores, those extra twos can change a game and be the difference. Having someone like Dre in your team, he’s naturally gonna clear the ropes and all the rest of us need to just do our thing and hit as many as we can.”
BBL11 2021-22 – Bowling attack gives Melbourne Renegades hope of revival
The batting remains questionable and they will be looking for the youngsters to develop
Captain Nic Maddinson
Coach David Saker
Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, Jono Merlo (replacement player), James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, James Seymour (replacement player), Will Sutherland, Nic Maddinson, Reece Topley (Eng), Unmukt Chand (Ind), Mohammad Nabi (Afg), Zahir Khan (Afg)
In Nic Maddinson, Jono Merlo, James Seymour, Reece Topley, Unmukt Chand, Zahir Khan
Out Beau Webster, Peter Hazloglou, Jon Holland, Benny, Howell, Noor Ahmed, Imran Tahir, Imad Wasim
It was another disastrous season for the Renegades finishing last for the second straight year. They won their first match and then lost seven in a row. Their batting was abysmal, bowled out for less than 90 on three occasions and 111 in another match against Adelaide. The bowling was nowhere near as effective as season’s past and they struggled to find a consistent unit as they mixed and matched their overseas players. There was one bright spot as they produced a brilliant chasing win over Melbourne Stars late in the season. Mackenzie Harvey starred smashing 47 not out from 21 balls to give a glimpse into the future.
Renegades have been severely impacted by both Australia selection and injury. Nic Maddinson‘s selection in the Australia A side to face England Lions means the new Renegades captain won’t get a chance to lead his new club until their fourth game at the earliest. Marcus Harris is set to miss most of the season due to Test duty. Aaron Finch is in doubt for the early games due to his ongoing knee issue while Shaun Marsh is set to miss at least half the tournament due to a calf tear. England does have tour of West Indies in the new year and Afghanistan is scheduled to visit Bangladesh but it is unknown if the likes of Reece Topley, Mohammad Nabi or Zahir Khan will need to leave the BBL early.
Reece Topley is an important recruit for Renegades and has a chance to make a serious statement to England selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Fellow Englishman Harry Gurney was a key part of Renegades’ run to the title three years ago and Topley has a similar opportunity to cause havoc on the inconsistent home surface of Marvel Stadium.
Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)
Renegades were the worst bowling unit in the previous BBL edition. Their bowling economy rate of 8.61 was the highest among all teams and their death bowling economy was 11.24. If Renegades want to play finals, this is an area they need to focus on. Their attack certainly looks stronger this season
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo
Chris Gayle farewell on the cards with Jamaica set to host West Indies-Ireland series
The series will comprise three ODIs and a one-off T20I, all at Sabina Park
While Gayle will not be part of the ODI squad, with the series counting towards 2023 World Cup qualification through the Super League, the one-off fixture at Sabina Park could be used as his farewell game. ESPNcricinfo understands that a decision has yet to be made on Gayle’s inclusion but that the issue will be up for discussion at the next meeting of CWI’s board of directors later this month.
“It’s whether collectively we all feel that it’s appropriate for him to have one last game at home to say farewell in a one-off game,” Johnny Grave, CWI’s chief executive, told the Mason and Guest radio show in Barbados last month. “That Ireland series would represent that opportunity.
“It would certainly be appropriate, as far as I can see it, to treat our players and give them the opportunity to bow out – especially players like Chris who have had unbelievable careers and won trophies for the West Indies.”
“We are pleased to be returning to the Caribbean where we have so many great memories,” Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director, said. “The World Cup Super League is a crucial set of fixtures for Ireland as we attempt to qualify for the next Cricket World Cup, and – if the series in 2020 is anything to go by – we look forward to a highly competitive series in January.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
Bangladesh tour of NZ BCB approves Shakib Al Hasan’s request to skip New Zealand tour
Nazmul Hassan says BCB has no problem with players wanting a break, but says it should happen via official channels
“We have accepted his request,” Hassan said. “We have been saying this for a long time that we have no objection if a player wants to take a break or rest, but it has to be informed officially. The thing is, we want to be informed about such a decision in advance as it is difficult for us if it is informed suddenly. From January, if anyone wants a break, he has to inform us in advance so that we can prepare alternatives.”
This is the third time in 2021 that Shakib has skipped a tour for Bangladesh. He opted out of the white-ball tour of New Zealand in March due to paternity leave before missing the two Tests against Sri Lanka in April to play in the IPL.
Hassan felt Shakib should have asked for the leave officially, rather than informing them verbally.
“This [the confusion] is not embarrassing, to be honest. We simply didn’t know about it, officially,” Hassan said. “The thing is, these things have always happened unofficially. Now, to avoid confusion, we are emphasising that these matters should be official.”
Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand includes two Tests, part of the World Test Championship, beginning on New Year’s Day. The team will leave on December 9 to complete quarantine and then play practice matches.
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