Mahmood Marches On!

At the commencement of the One-Day Cup, I posted about how pleased I was to see Lancashire quick bowler Saqib Mahmood in action…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/04/17/mahmood-to-deliver/

The twenty-two-year-old has gone on to claim a tournament topping (At the time of writing) 13 wickets at 19.46 apiece in the competition thus far…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/english-one-day/averages

This includes a career best performance of 6-37 against Northamptonshire…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO45013

Hopefully Mahmood can continue his encouraging white-ball form as well transferring it to red-ball cricket. If he can fill the void when James Anderson is on England duty then the Lancashire faithful will be extremely grateful.

As well as Mahmood, it’s also been great to see the likes of Middlesex’s Tom Helm and Sussex’s George Garton as well as many other young bowlers getting game time and producing encouraging wicket-taking performances.

Mahmood, Helm and Garton have all represented England Lions and much has been expected of them. Technically Helm and Garton were even Ashes tourists, albeit briefly.

Messrs Anderson and Broad won’t be around for ever but England’s pace bowling cupboard is far from bare.

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Magic Numbers!

Some selected numbers from today’s One-Day Cup matches:

Warwickshire 270 / Yorkshire 270… a tie!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44973

Lancashire 417 / Nottinghamshire 406… a heck of an effort in an almighty chase!

There are some pretty mind blowing stats (Moores and Fletcher with the bat/Chappell with the ball) from within the stat below…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8335/scorecard/1167059/nottinghamshire-vs-lancashire-north-group-one-day-cup-2019

Somerset 358 / Kent 94… a 264-run margin of victory!

Craig Overton: 66 not out from 36 / 5-18… nice!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8335/scorecard/1167060/somerset-vs-kent-south-group-one-day-cup-2019

Another ton (111 & 127) for Varun Chopra and 6-62 from Nathan Sowter…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44985

Cameron Bancroft following 151 not out with 118 not out

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44975

No wonder I couldn’t find him among the averages!

Lythless!

Adam Lyth will always hold a place in my heart, if not for the highest but for the best ever innings that I’ve played on a computer game…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2017/03/09/a-lyth-less-ordinary/

His 120 in a ODI against the mighty Nepal on Don Bradman Cricket 17 may have been in a losing cause but was a mighty fine knock.

Unfortunately, having spent a Telegraph Fantasy Cricket captaincy transfer on him, I would’ve welcomed better than a duck (-20).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44959

He better take some catches and wickets is all that I can say!

Mahmood to Deliver!

I’m absolutely delighted to see Lancashire quick bowler Saqib Mahmood take to the field in the opening round of the One-Day Cup today.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44961

Mahmood performed well in the North v South matches (Remember them?) but then spent the entirety of last season battling injury niggles. Extremely frustratingly, he was then unable to assume his England Lions place for the tour of India. This was apparently due to visa issues on the part of his Pakistan heritage.

Finally, he’s back on the field playing first team cricket. Hopefully he can snap up some wickets and make a significant impression during the competition.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC – Early Season Update

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After two rounds of the County Championship and before we hit the One-Day Cup trail, I thought that I’d provide an update of how I’m getting along.

The main graphic at the top of this post details my current positions in the table and I’m optimistic that I can build on a respectable if not sensational start. Having said that, my top ranked team is placed in an encouraging 524th position.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 20.05.04

Based on where one of my team’s were sitting at one stage, there are at least 7,500 entrants in the game. For the record, the 100th placed team has 2,410 points. 1st place has 3,096 though I’m only around 500 points off being placed in the top ten! As you can see, there’s only about 400 points separating my top two teams but nearly 3,000 positions between them.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 20.03.39

Remember that some teams didn’t play in the first round of matches so have only played once not twice. This was critical to my team selection thus far. I’ve managed to ensure that I’ve had at least ten if not all eleven players playing and have only made one (Out of 30) of my transfers in any of my teams. That could change though as I potentially tinker a little for the One-Day Cup. The fact that the cup is played in a block means that I accept making a couple of transfers to commit to the One-Day competition.

Will players like Harry Brook, Jack Burnham and Matt Milnes play the white-ball games?

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 20.10.28

Milnes has been one of my good left-field picks. I selected him off the back of claiming some wickets in a university warm-up match. He’s only ever played First Class cricket but I fancy that we’ll see a white-ball debut soon.

Wicketkeeper Ricardo Vasconcelos (Selected by 5.5%) who produced a knock of 184 against Glamorgan, Durham’s Gareth Harte (2%) and a sneakily snuck in Marnus Labuschagne (1.5%) who scored a ton and claimed three wickets on debut, are other slightly under the radar players that have contributed well for me. Harte and Labuschagne are both listed as batsmen but have contributed with the ball. That was no fluke but a significant part of why I selected them. It’s my team that has a batting line-up of specialist batsman that has particularly struggled but I’ll maintain the faith for the start of the One-Day Cup at least.

Getting your captain (They score double points) correct is vital.

I’ll stick with Liam Dawson and David Wiese who’ve made vital contributions for me as well as Steven Mullaney who should be effective in fifty-over cricket.

I’ll almost certainly change Toby Roland-Jones though as I think I need captains who are more certain of getting a bat in the One-Day Cup. Based on his performances in the County Championship thus far, Roland-Jones is clearly still re-discovering his groove. He may well stay in one of my team’s but not as captain.

Roland-Jones’ Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan has made vital contributions with both bat and ball for me, as he bids for an England recall and another shot at Ashes glory.

Keaton Jennings is captain of my wife’s team that she selected though I’m providing transfer consultancy during the course of the campaign. Typically at this stage she’s ahead of three of my teams! I anticipate that KJ will bowl a bit in the one-dayers so could rack up some points. I really do think that your captain must be some form of all-rounder. If you’re skipper is purely a batsman and they score 0 (-20=-40) and 4 ala Ben Duckett this week then you’re relying on catches to get said player back in the black. As for Gareth Ice Berg who made a pair against Yorkshire… I’m glad that I didn’t provide him with the captain’s armband!

Should I bring players like Alex Hales, Luke Wright or Ross Taylor, signed by Middlesex exclusively for the One-Day Cup, into my team?

The New Zealander is a specialist batsman so won’t take any bonus wickets. He’s normally a good catcher though, so I’ll see how many people pick him. I don’t want to select him if everybody else does. I want to get points that other participants in the game aren’t getting. Hales, Wright and Taylor are currently selected by next to nobody but that could change over the course of the next couple of days as participants tinker for the One-Day Cup. Of course transferring these players in will cost two out of thirty season transfers because they’ll need transferring out again.

What about this guy?

Come tuesday night, I’ll be scouring the club website’s (All of them!) for squad news.

I’ll provide a further update of my progress after the group stages of the One-Day Cup are complete.

Salt in Pepper’s Wound!

Poor Michael Pepper!

The young Essex stumper will have known that he would be behind Adam Wheater when it came to first XI opportunities this season. Having his appendix removed would’ve meant missing some second XI games but he could live with that. Unfortunately for Pepper, Wheater injured himself on day one of the county campaign and so Pepper could’ve clocked up two months’ worth of first team outings. Instead, Middlesex loanee Robbie White gets some game time and the opportunity to enhance his rather appalling batting statistics.

Salt in the wound as they say!

CricketXI: Roll up, Roll up!

Hi guys (And gals. When I say guys it refers to all genders!).

The County cricket campaign commences this week so what better way to celebrate such beautiful alliteration than by joining my leagues on…

https://cricketxi.com

A Google or Facebook account is all you need to play for free so login, create and join my leagues.

2019 CC Morris Invitational

HRYTLMYR

2019 ODC Morris Invitational

OLMWDIFI

The winner will have the link to their blog posted here at Silly Point which will result in a huge influx of blog traffic for you… ha ha ha! (I’m kidding… probably!)

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-22 at 11.59.13

Hi followers

Above is my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket team for the 2019 campaign. This covers both the County Championship and One-Day Cup. My wife has also selected a team and I’ve selected a team for each of my daughters and a family composite. I’m optimistic that all my teams will be competitive but the above is my first XI.

In my batting unit, I expect Mullaney, Westley and Mitchell to all contribute with the ball as well as with the bat.  Jonny Tattersall is surely a shoe-in as wicketkeeper for Yorkshire so there’s additional points to be had there too. I refer to these players as dual-function cricketers and see these sort of selections are essential for my team. They’re dual-function cricketers who are likely to play in both formats of the game… points, points, points!

Ben Foakes, unfortunately unlikely to be involved with England assumes the gloves and the captaincy. Remember that your captain cores double points!

Ryan Higgins and Ed Barnard have been stand out performers on the domestic circuit in recent seasons and select themselves as my all-rounders. Higgins had previously been listed as a batsman but the correct call has been made to label him as an all-rounder. It’s odd that Tattersall isn’t listed as a wicketkeeper though when there’s really no other option at Yorkshire.

Mohammad Abbas has been phenomenal in the past at Leicestershire and I expect him to prosper again. Steven Finn is one who won’t be fancied by many but at domestic level he should be reliable in both formats. Rated only 1, Stuart Whittingham is a player that I see getting plenty of game time at Gloucestershire following the departure of a couple of senior bowlers. I wouldn’t normally advocate selecting England players but with a lot of one-day matches early in the campaign, Liam Plunkett will be bursting a gut to get on the field at new side Surrey and make sure that he doesn’t slip out of England’s World Cup reckoning. I can then make transfers if necessary.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket isn’t exactly cheap to play and the cash prizes on offer aren’t  life changing. I’ve paid £20.00 for ten credits. I can use these in the T20 competition and the World Cup edition however the World Cup edition is £4 not £2 per credit!

I’ll let you know how it goes and good luck if you’re participating.

CricketXI: IPL 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 08.40.12

Hi followers

Above is my CricketXI fantasy team for this year’s edition of the IPL.

Feel free to join my 2019 IPL Morris Invitational League at…

https://cricketxi.com

If required the join code is OQQZBKBF

Don’t forget that I’ve created two other Leagues, 2019 CC Morris Invitational and 2019 ODC Morris Invitational for the County Championship and One-Day Cup in England. If you win then you might see your name in bright lights on this site. That’s the best prize I can offer, oh and maybe I’ll provide the link to your blog… a free hit if you will!

Many thanks and happy blogging!

CricketXI: CC/ODC 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 17.14.56

Hi followers

CricketXI is back…

https://cricketxi.com

You can login via Facebook or Google and it’s free to play… which Telegraph Fantasy Cricket isn’t. There are two separate competitions for the County Championship and One-Day Cup. Along with having fifteen-man squads and a clear picture of who is playing when, CricketXI does seem easier and better to play than TFC, although there’s no financial prize on offer.

The image at the top of this post is my XI for the County Championship. Cue scepticism about Cook being on the bench but the batsman that I’ve selected are at least occasional bowlers which is why I’ve selected those personnel. Burnham a bowler?!

Below is my XI for the One-Day Cup. No Marsh doesn’t bowl but with the World Cup looming he’ll be determined to perform. Wessels may keep wicket, Jennings will bowl and Borthwick listed as a bowler!

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 17.15.27

I’ve created two leagues and you’re more than welcome to join them so please sign up. The names of the leagues as well as the codes if required are listed below…

2019 CC Morris Invitational

HRYTLMYR

2019 ODC Morris Invitational

OLMWDIFI

The Ashes, The World Cup, Cricket 19 on console, Cricket Captain 2019, Telegraph Fantasy Cricket and CricketXI not to mention if you still actually play the game unlike retirees like me, it’s an epic feast of cricket this summer!