Embuldeniya Ambush!

Some encouraging signs for Sri Lanka in the form of debutant Lasith Embuldeniya. Having claimed Dale Steyn as his maiden Test victim, Embuldeniya followed his first innings figures of 1-51 by claiming 5-66 in South Africa’s second innings of the first Test in Durban. Messrs Elgar, Bavuma and de Kock were among the slow-left-armer’s victims.

Sri Lanka aren’t quite the competitive side they once were, so bright spots like the contributions of Embuldeniya are most welcome.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18645/scorecard/1144164/south-africa-vs-sri-lanka-1st-test-sl-in-sa-2018-19

Another newcomer, Oshada Fernando, is currently 28 not out having made 19 in the first innings batting first drop. Sri Lanka could really do with finding some quality batsmen to fill the void left by the retirements of legends Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardene.

Malan’s the Man!

Not content with notching up Test hundreds in computer games, Dawid Malan’s only gone and got one in real life!

Although fellow England newbie Mark Stoneman hasn’t registered a century yet and is developing a penchant for contributing both classy and at the same time gritty fifty-somethings, I sincerely hope that England stick with these guys post Ashes and don’t just move onto their next new toy like they did after Michael Carberry. These thirty-somethings have developed their game on the county circuit and having been presented with the obvious fact that Test cricket is a step up, they’re raising their game and learning to adapt. Come home series against subcontinental sides, you’d like to think that ‘Rocky’ and ‘AC’ will now feel at home in the England shirt and can prosper. As for James Vince…

It’s not just against India or Pakistan at home that you’d like to think Stoneman and Malan could deliver. Having displayed their skills and character in ‘The Land of Oz‘, they’ve shown they might posses the required nous to adapt against all sides, home and away. Of course touring places like Bangladesh is like playing on another planet.

Mike Hussey didn’t arrive on the Test scene until he was aged thirty, Andy Flower blossomed around thirty-two and the likes of Kumar Sangakarra and Misbah-ul-Haq peaked much later. Here’s hoping and believing that Stoneman and Malan follow suit and inspire those players who aren’t bred through the normal modern development channels. As for James Vince…

On a serious note, hopefully Vince can be inspired by the the efforts of Stoneman and Malan. If the Hampshire man can adapt where necessary but trust his own game where appropriate, he could register the sort of scores that win matches and earn long careers.

Extras

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Extras is back and we’ve got an eastern theme this time at the crease.

Bye: The Hong Kong T20 Blitz is a tournament that is attracting big names such as Michael Clarke, Shahid Afridi and Kumar Sangakarra to the orient and can surely serve as an inspiration to countries such as USA. Following last year’s inaugural event, two new franchises have been added making a grand total of six teams participating in the tournament in the orient in 2017.

http://www.hkcricket.org/en

Leg Bye: The Hong Kong Sixes are also due to make a long awaited return to the cricketing calendar in 2017. England have actually won the most tournaments, joint topping the list alongside Pakistan with five victories.

http://www.scmp.com/sport/hong-kong/article/2005194/howzat-hong-kong-cricket-sixes-will-return-2017-part-grand

No Ball: I’m currently in the midst of leading an England side in a Test match against Hong Kong on Don Bradman Cricket 17 but you’ll have to wait until the completion of what should (Could?) be an epic match for a detailed report. Let’s just say that we’ll need to bat better in our second innings than we did in our first!

Wide: Err, anything else I can think of about Hong Kong… Dermot Reeve!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/19364.html