A Lyth Less Ordinary!

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After serially struggling to cobble together 200 runs in an innings, we made over 300 against Nepal… and still lost!

Nepal were tracking at a run a ball from the get go. El capitan Joe Root spilled a simple chance early doors and twelve overthrows (An improvement on the 16 conceded in our last match) would ultimately prove costly. Jamie Overton’s ten overs were also costly… 1-81!

All-rounder Sam Curran, recalled at the expense of batsman Tom Fell, claimed figures of 3-53 from his ten overs, providing two dismissals to stumper Gareth Roderick. The ever impressive Matt Coles finished with outstanding analysis of 2-34 from his full allocation and Liam Livingstone claimed three catches to add to the four he held against Afghanistan.

In pursuit of 313 for victory, a little over a run a ball, openers Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan put on 85 for the first wicket before Malan was clean bowled for 38 in exactly the same manner as in the last match, i.e.: stepping outside off and trying to flick to leg. Malan is good for a thirty or forty but will he ever go big?

Brett D’Oliveira used up 37 deliveries in making 25 and skipper Root wasted six costly balls in making… 0!

Liam Livingstone made a busy 15 and Sam Curran a brisk 33. Lyth was run out early in the second powerplay for an excellently paced 120. He got bogged down in the eighties but fought back however his run out may well have been crucial. Spinner Liam Dawson followed another wicketless outing: 5-0-29-0 with 9 runs before being run out. In the circumstances, both Lyth and Dawson’s run outs were as acceptable as getting run out comes but if Lyth in particular could have avoided being so… ?

Matt Coles was harshly dismissed LBW for 6 to follow his debatable stumping against Pakistan. Jamie Overton made 5, one beautiful sweep included and Tom Curran would finish 1 not out. Wicketkeeper Roderick swept well but missed out on ones and twos when attempting to hit boundaries. 17 were needed from the final over for us to secure an epic chase. A dot ball was followed by Curran getting off the mark with a single. Roderick then hit a four to bring the equation down to 12 from 3. Nepal then bowled a wide but to the next ball Roderick was unable to clear the field and was caught at mid off. Agonisingly, despite a vastly improved performance and having totalled in excess of 300 with the bat, we fell just eleven runs short of victory with two balls to spare. Overthrows, Matt Coles LBW decision, Adam Lyth’s run out, they’re all moments in the game that we can look back on and consider costly.

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As a team, we neither celebrate nor are we content with defeat but we do recognise improvement. The team can hold their heads high after this effort but it’s imperative that we maintain this standard as we move forward.

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Debacles, Despairs and Disasters, the Travails of a DBC17 Addictee!

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan. It doesn’t really matter who we play, we’re destined for defeat!

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I’ve almost blotted out the ODI against Pakistan from my memory. Cancer survivor Tom Fell was amongst the debutants and in a sign of things to come, I think made somewhere between 10 and 20. Tom Curran was the standout performer with figures of 3-43 or something of that ilk.

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Matt Coles also debuted and having accumulated 9 runs was the victim of the most appalling stumping decision ever. Let’s just watch about a thousand replays over the course of FIVE minutes that all confirm he’s not out then watch the big screen flash up with the word ‘OUT’!

Coles would go on to claim figures of 4-42 from 10 overs in the humbling 59-run defeat at the hands of Afghanistan. Those figures could have been even more impressive if it were not for our generous concession of overthrows.

Jamie Overton debuted against Afganistan and claimed his first ODI wicket in his very first over. He bowled a superb opening spell though the Afghans hounded him come the second powerplay later in the innings. Unfortunately, after having the visitors in trouble at 186-7, our composite fifth bowler of Adam Lyth, Brett D’Oliveira and Dawid Malan couldn’t stem the lower order flow of runs as Afghanistan recovered to post a competitive 282-7 from their 50 overs.

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Debutants Lyth (10) and D’Oliveira (17) set the tone for the innings in that they made starts but got out. After captain Joe Root (6) fell cheaply, Tom Fell also fell after a busy 17. Liam Livingstone lasted all of one delivery but Dawid Malan looked to be heading towards a hard fought but determined maiden international half-century before missing a straight one having reached a career best 46. Malan (35) had also top scored against Pakistan but that inability to convert a solid platform into a score of substance runs deep into the grain of our team.

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Another debutante, wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick, got giddy after hitting a boundary and was caught in the deep on 21. Liam Dawson (35 not out) and Matt Coles (29) took advantage of some strange field settings to put on 50 before Coles played an unnecessarily ambitious shot after we’d got the target down to less than a run a ball. To be fair to Afghanistan, the field setting that brought about the downfall of Coles deserves credit. Jamie Overton also took advantage of the Afghan spinners vacant leg-side field but having made 22 was needlessly run out. Tom Curran soon followed and that was that, 221 all out. If our top order batsman could have stayed in then they may have been able to cash in against Afghanistan’s strange fielding tactics late in the innings but in truth it was our poor bowling in the final 10 overs of Afghanistan’s innings and the lack of a genuine fifth bowling option that cost us. 16 overthrows didn’t help the cause either. 267 would have appeared a lot more attainable than 283.

Afghanistan deserved their victory. Three of their batsman passed 50 including the specialist that they had as low down as seven in the order.

Where we go from here I don’t know. Hopefully not Australia or India!

Roy Morgan: Real International Cricket Book Review

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Warning! This article contains spoilers. It’s not so much a book review but a selection of highlights or/and lowlights from Roy Morgan’s exhaustively detailed and passionately presented Real International Cricket. Remember how at school you were told not to use Wikipedia as a source for your homework, well Morgan says ‘Howzat’ to that as he proudly uses Wiki to pool source information for his tables found in the latter pages of this 280-page epic. To be fair, he’s also scoured the archives of the Lagos Daily News, Saint Helena Telegraph and The Philadelphia Inquirer to name just a few!

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Five run outs. Steady on boys, you’ve travelled 345 miles from Toronto to New York for this!

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Poor W.L. Fraser of Scotland. Everybody else made double figures against Ireland but you quacked!

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Two bowlers, five wickets each, both 34 runs. Damn you Bannerman-Hesse for needing that extra delivery!

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Morgan informs us that Danish wicketkeeper Jorgen Holmen popped up once for the national team in 1973. He promptly conceded 13 byes, dropped a catch, made scores of 0 and 0 not out and never played cricket for his country again.

Where are you now Jorgen?

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A good indicator of how cricket has spread around the globe and prospered amongst indigenous or local populations, or not as the case may be, is the French line-up from 1997. Jones, Hewitt and Edwards et al, proper French names!

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6-1 for Maldives’ Neesham Nasir. A bit expensive conceding that run Neesham!

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A 510-run defeat in a 50 over match. New Caledonia’s Boaoutho’s 0-132 from eleven overs was so bad that the umpires even let him bowl an over more than he should have been allowed to!

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The priceless Pritchard Pritchard makes an appearance in 2011 and promptly clobbers 28 not out, including three sixes from just ten deliveries for Samoa.

Another warning! Unless you’re a cricket tragic, this book probably isn’t for you. If however you enjoy reading about obscure corners of the world, sympathising with numerous poor sods that voyaged for weeks to bat at eleven and not bowl or have a good old healthy obsession with the world’s number one bat ‘n’ ball game then this book is well worth a peruse.

Roy Morgan’s Real International Cricket scores an undefeated…

83 not out

Don Bradman Cricket 17: England v Namibia Test Match

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After our battering at the hands of the Scots north of the border, we were grateful to return to home comforts when we entertained Namibia in Arundel. Tom Curran and Jack Leach were dropped from the XI, with Jake Ball recalled to the side and Toby Roland-Jones handed a Test debut.

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Toby Roland-Jones snapped up his first Test victim.

Such was the unrelenting quality performed by the opening bowlers, Roland-Jones had to wait until after lunch for his opportunity but soon claimed his first Test wicket. In truth however, it was his Middlesex colleague Steven Finn (5-34), man of the match against the Scots, who really shone, ably supported by the returning Jake Ball (3-24).

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Aneurin Donald (16), was unlucky to be given out LBW in the first over of the final session.

After restricting the visitors to just 110 in their first innings, for the second match in a row Kent opener Daniel Bell-Drummond held things together before being run out for 46. Stumper Jonny Bairstow (35) and fellow Yorkie, captain Joe Root (30), both innings consisting of just twenty deliveries, complimented DBD to lift us to a slightly underwhelming 173 all out but a vital lead of 53.

Jake Ball (4-31) led the way as we made early breakthroughs in Namibia’s second innings. Hampshire spinner Mason Crane (2-36) struck in the first over of the day and was a constant threat whilst debutant Toby Roland-Jones (2-45) looked like taking a wicket at any point before eventually doing so, claiming two more victims on Test debut. Namibia recovered well from 67-5 but Keith Barker (11-5-31-0) built pressure with his economical and consistent line before Steven Finn (2-42) removed both the African side’s top scorers, Bagel (69) and wicketkeeper Gardiner (32). After they were gone, Namibia collapsed from 176-6 to 189 all out. The number of maidens that we bowled was a vast improvement on past efforts as was our catching, only letting ourselves down on a couple of occasions late in the piece. Credit must also go to skipper Joe Root, his bowling changes or even non changes and tactics as a whole, were outstanding.

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Sam Northeast (55 not out) recorded a maiden Test fifty and in doing so, led his country to victory.

Ben Duckett (0) and Aneurin Donald (5) were amongst those soon back in the hut as we slipped to 59-4 in pursuit of 127 for victory. Despite strong performances in the field, their Test futures now hang by the finest of threads. The fact that it may be fair to stick with a winning side will possibly, possibly save them. The likes of Liam Livingstone (12th man in this match), Alastair Cook, Nick Compton and Scott Borthwick to name a few, wait in the wings should we opt to make changes. Number three Sam Northeast showed how it should be done, as he put on a fifty partnership with Warwickshire’s Keith Barker (28) to alleviate any fears of an England slip-up. Barker was needlessly run out before Jonny Bairstow (8 not out) clobbered the winning runs. It was Kent batsman Northeast’s composure though, in striking a maiden Test fifty (55 not out) in only his second Test match to lead the side to victory, that can provide an example beacon to others in England’s batting line-up.

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A five-wicket win was a welcome response to the Scottish episode. Though some places in the team are still up for grabs, many players have really placed two hands on their position in our strongest XI.

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Scotch Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot!

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Well, there’s no disgrace in losing to Scotland by 373 runs. Oh no, wait!

I won’t lie. I’m not quite as enthused about writing this article as I normally would be. A 373-run defeat at the hands of the mighty Scots can, I’ve found, have a rather enthusiasm draining effect.

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We dismissed the hosts for 270 then were ourselves dismissed for 259 in reply. Up to this point our efforts were basically a one man show. Steven Finn, playing his first Test match during my reign, recorded fantastic figures of 6-42 before striking an equally fantastic fifty, exactly. Jonny Bairstow also made bang on fifty. We may have reached parity had number eleven Mason Crane not been adjudged caught at short leg when he hit the ball into the ground and it then ricocheted up, hit his bat again and was caught. Despite reviewing, the Hampshire spinner was still given out. From that point on, we simply fell apart. Captain Joe Root dropped a catch in the first over of Scotland’s second innings and eighty overs later, a chance would be put down in Finn’s first over with the second new ball. In between the two drops off the bowling of Finn, eighty overs apart, we must have dropped approximately 13,578,921 chances!

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Scots skipper Kyle Coetzer (145) and Richie Berrington (163) both hit chanceless (Ha!) centuries before we eventually dismissed our Northern neighbours for a whopping 512, just one wicketless delivery shy of the arrival of a second new ball!

Ben Duckett’s (22) attempt at a David Warnesque chase, lasted all of nine deliveries before Kent duo Daniel Bell-Drummond (53) and debutant Sam Northeast (27) appeared to lay the foundations for a record run chase. Not for the first time in the match though, Northeast threw his wicket away and DBD aside, our batting subsided as we collapsed to 150 all out and a mammoth 373-run defeat.

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As both selector and coach of the side, this result leaves me with much to ponder in regards to whether or not I really am the right man to lead this side in the future…

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Extras

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Bye: Now I’ll admit that we weren’t the first website to bring you Napoloen Einstein but Samoa’s Pritchard Pritchard anybody!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/519045.html

Leg Bye: Branching out from cricket, here at Silly Point we’re now providing fashion advice…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/England-Cricket-Champions-Trophy-T-Shirt/dp/B01IIGGMHC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1487507558&sr=8-3&keywords=england+champions+trophy

No Ball: Cricket for Commoners… so people like me then!

http://www.cricketcountry.com/news/birmingham-to-make-cricket-part-of-commonwealth-games-2026-577785

Roll on 2026!

Wide: 63,56,62, 125 in the semi and 101 in the final… told you he was good!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/super50-2017/content/story/1083209.html

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/hope-for-west-indies/

Don Bradman Cricket 17: Double Dutch!

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James Anderson and Stuart Broad walk off after their epic last wicket stand.

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Stuart Broad made 64 from number nine but offered little threat with the ball.

When you’ve posted 324 in your first innings and have the opposition 7-3, you don’t really see a five-wicket defeat coming!

Captain Joe Root led from the front in Amstelveen with a half-century, though come the end of the match we would reflect on the controversial run out of Keaton Jennings as a crucial moment in the match. Looking well set having reached 40, Jennings, the non-striker at the time, was dismissed after being blocked by the bowler when England attempted a sneaky single. The ruthless Dutch showed no mercy and Jennings had to go.

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James Anderson, in making 55 not out and 10 not out, made it through the entire match without being dismissed… but was it his last Test?

Stuart Broad (64) and James Anderson (55 not out) put on 98 for the last wicket to propel us to a respectable 324. With said players rested after their batting exploits, Jake Ball opened the bowling with spinner Adil Rashid and both struck early with three Netherlands batsman back in the hut having each made just one run. With the Dutch deep in trouble at 7-3, we were contemplating whether or not to enforce the follow-on. Stephanus Myburgh (173) and Peter Borren (94) had other ideas however, as they constructed a double century partnership. The latter had a lifeline in the sixties, dropped on the boundary by Sam Curran after captain Joe Root cannily rolled his arm over, the first over of a new session. Jake Ball recorded impressive figures of 6-72 but senior bowlers such as the likes of Anderson and Broad struggled for effectiveness as the hosts accumulated 413.

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After a difficult first half of the match, teenager Sam Curran came to the fore with bat and ball to offer a glimmer of hope for England’s international future.

We then lost too many wickets before eradicating the defecit, Ben Duckett the unfortunate victim of a PS4 button malfunction that resulted in him standing at the crease like a tree, happening to receive a rare straight ball and despite the most optimistic review, being dismissed LBW for what looked like a strongly laid platform of 15 runs, the whole affair pretty much summing up his international career!

It was left to teenager Sam Curran (67) to show his teammates the application required to score runs at Test level, only a belligerent Ben Stokes (46) offered any other resistance as we scraped past 200.

The Dutch were left needing 138 for a shockwave sending victory and soon reached fifty without loss. Sam Curran then came to the party however, dismissing opening bat Michael Swart (19) with the penultimate ball of the third day (Yes that’s right, we actually managed to take a match into a fourth day!). Myburgh then nonchalantly struck the last ball of the day for six but having being bogged down by Adil Rashid the following morning, threw his wicket away to the Yorkshire leggie for just 7. Curran then sent Ben Cooper (1 & 0) back to the pavilion, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow, the very next delivery. The Dutch steadied themselves and despite some much improved bowling from James Anderson who dismissed opener Rahil Ahmed for 53 and the needless run out of Borren for 35, the hosts ran out comfortable winners.

Credit to the Dutch for an excellent victory. Though some may consider it sour grapes, we look back on the controversial and unsporting run out of Jennings with much ire and realise that we have many selection issues to ponder throughout both the batting and bowling elements of our side ahead of our next Test in Scotland.