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Royal London One Day Cup Semi-Final

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:04:00 Europe/London

James Vince’s Hampshire side are through to the Royal London One Day Cup Final thanks to his chanceless 171 against Yorkshire.

Vince’s innings featured twenty boundaries and four 6’s on his way to back-to-back hundreds in the Royal London One Day Cup, in an innings that encapsulated all the talent Vince possesses, frequently striking boundaries with ease and rarely looking troubled by Yorkshire’s bowlers.

Vince entered the fray perhaps slightly earlier than he would have liked, coming to the crease in just the sixth over. However, if the Hampshire supporters were concerned, Vince very quickly put them at ease hitting an early boundary that indicated he was still very much in the form of his life.

JamesVince

His 8th List A hundred was reached in just 83 balls, and he passed the 150 mark 29 balls later, before eventually falling for 171 to the bowling of Adam Lyth in the 46th over with the score 313/6. Some lower order boundaries from Lewis McManus ensured Hampshire got to 348/9 from their 50 overs, with Matt Fisher picking up 1/70 from his 10 overs.

In truth, Yorkshire’s reply stuttered too much early in their innings to mount a serious challenge, losing their first three wickets for just 47 runs. Adam Lyth was the first man gone for 11 in just the fourth over and he was joined shortly afterwards by two of his colleagues. Only one Yorkshire batsman passed 30 as they stumbled to 241 all out with over 6 overs to spare.

Hampshire will be joined by Kent in the final on 30 June 2018 at Lord’s thanks to Heino Kuhn’s fourth One Day Cup hundred of the campaign saw them home against Worcestershire.

Worcester won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision which at 48/4 they may have been ruing. The rebuild began with a partnership of 140, but two quick wickets saw them slip to 199/6. A terrific fightback saw them make a further partnership of 107 for the seventh wicket to finish 306/6 from their 50 overs.

Kent’s innings got off to a similarly sluggish start, as they lost Daniel Bell-Drummond in the first over, their captain in the third and Sean Dickson in the eighth to leave them 31/3. Kuhn, however, finally received some support from his colleagues as Kent began to rebuild and chip away at the total.

Some further lower order support allowed the chase to remain on track, before Kuhn fell just three runs short of the target with 3 balls remaining in the innings. He needn’t have feared however, as Harry Podmore immediately dispatched the next ball for 4 to see Kent home.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Golden 8 Ball 2018 Festival Of Pool

Monday, 18 June 2018 16:10:58 Europe/London

Over the weekend, the Golden 8 Ball Tournament drew to a close in Blackpool, which was the largest event to date, featuring 256 teams over two weekends of events.

Powerglide is a proud sponsor of the tournament, the first of which was held in 2011. Despite the inaugural event containing just 28 teams, the years since have seen the tournament grow exponentially, doubling in size in 2012 and before the first ball was potted this year, it had grown almost tenfold in just 7 years.

Golden8BallTournament

The first weekend of action saw the Amateur Series take place in Blackpool. The aim of the Amateur Series is to extend its appeal to the less skilful players and actively reduce the number of strong teams entering.

The weekend featured Round Robin stages, with each player playing each opponent once in a match. The format is more conducive of a 3-player event, and reduces timing pressure in the arena, allowing novice players longer at the table. The Amateur series also featured an ‘Open Doubles Trophy‘ and an ‘Open Singles Trophy‘, which was open to all registered players that attended the Amateur weekend.

For the first time, this year the Junior Singles event took place during the Amateur Series weekend and the tournament organisers also trialled a small but successful Special Needs event, truly making the Golden 8 Ball Festival of Pool, accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or skill level. In total, a prize pot of £10,000 was up for grabs to the winners of the various competitions.

PowerglideLiveStream

The Pro-Am Series took place the following weekend, and featured an £18,500 prize fund across 7 competitions, including the Gold, Silver and Bronze Trophy, the Wooden Spoon, Men’s and Ladies Singles and Mixed Doubles. 

Amateur Series Results:

Gold Trophy – You Miss We Dish

Silver Trophy – The Derby Bhoys

Bronze Trophy – Portland Squares

Wooden Spoon Trophy – Baize Of Glory

Special Needs Gold Trophy – Reverse Orios

 

Pro-Am Series Results:

Gold Trophy – DesiDaredevils

Silver Trophy – Last Of The Big Drinkers

Bronze Trophy – Ballbags

Men’s Singles – Anthony Blurton

Mixed Doubles – Dean Shields & Nat Madden

Wooden Spoon Trophy – Show Shot 1

Comments | Posted in Powerglide Pool By Jack Dinning

GM's County Round-Up 6

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 14:13:37 Europe/London

Another Test Match series has been and gone and once again England finish with as many questions as they do answers.

There are still a some places up for grab, particularly in the batting line-up, which has again thrown the door wide open for someone to stake a claim in the County Championship before the next Test series against India starts in August.

Despite another change at the top of the order, England’s merry-go-round of opening batsman could well continue this summer. If a change were to happen, scoring 151 against a full-strength Hampshire side which featured 3 International bowlers, including Kyle Abbott, will have done Rory Burns no harm at all.

RoryBurns

Having won the toss and electing to have a bat, the Surrey captain may have been ruing his decision when he lost his opening partner and his number three in the first over. Burns, however, quickly settled in and began to repair the early damage by putting on 133 for the fourth wicket before he too was dismissed for a fantastic 151 from just 204 balls, in doing so becoming the first man to reach 500 Championship runs this season, to leave his side 282/4. Ollie Pope was the new man in and he continued his fine efforts this season until he was the penultimate man out for 41, helping Surrey to reach 368 all out.

If Burns made batting look easy, James Vince’s side made it seem near impossible, as only one Hampshire batsman passed 20 on their way to being bowled out for 135 inside 50 overs.

That left Burns with the option to enforce the follow-on, which he duly did. And, once again his bowlers did not let him down, with Hampshire only mustering an additional 40 runs from their first innings total, to lose the match within three days by an innings and 58 runs.

In Manchester, Lancashire took on defending champions Essex in a game where Jordan Clark’s 79 was the highest score in the match.

Lancashire were asked to bat and found themselves 59/5 before Clark began to steady the ship for the home side, striking 10 boundaries along the way as he dragged his side towards respectability before he was bowled with the score 193/7. Some lower order resistance allowed Lancashire to reach 301 all out, despite Sam Cook taking 3/65.

Essex’s reply started much better than Lancashire’s, with Tom Westley making 41 runs, 32 of which came in boundaries, and Ryan ten Doeschate adding 43 before he was run out by Dane Vilas. Once again, lower order runs proved crucial as Essex managed to give themselves a lead of one run.

Lancashire started their second innings hoping to press home an advantage big enough to upset Essex. What they got instead was a barrage of probing bowling which proved effective enough to leave the hosts 41/7 in just the 18th over. Their bowlers managed to save complete embarrassment by clawing their way to 105 all out.

Essex had a nervy start to their chase losing four quick wickets to leave them 41/4 but only lost one more, that of ten Doeschate for 19, to win the match by 5 wickets inside 30 overs.

Elsewhere, Somerset hosted high-flying Nottinghamshire in a match which featured the return of Dom Bess, fresh from his debut Test Match series against Pakistan.

Having elected to bat first, Somerset made a steady start before a flurry of wickets, including George Bartlett for 29, saw them slip to 176/4 before some strong middle and lower order performances got them to 392 all out, of which Bess made 34.

Notts’ reply got off to a dreadful start with the scoreboard at one point reading 28/5 with only Ross Taylor providing any resistance to the Somerset onslaught. Taylor was the last man out as his side were skittled for 134, of which the New Zealand batsman made 74.

Predictably, Somerset enforced the follow-on with hopes of wrapping the match up inside three days. What they found instead was a host of rejuvenated Nottingham batsman, epitomised by the first wicket partnership eclipsing their entire first innings total.

DuanneOlivier

Taylor this time was unable to match his first innings efforts, but he was backed up by Samit Patel who notched up the 55th half century of his career, helping his side surpass the deficit to eventually take a lead of 247.

Without their star bowler Jake Ball, who was unavailable due to his inclusion in England’s ODI squad, Notts’ attack lacked the star quality that had seen them rise to the top of Division 1. Their spinners were called upon early on a turning pitch, but despite often beating the bat, they were unable to break the back of Somerset who in the end only lost 4 wickets, including that of George Bartlett who did make 43. The result meant that Somerset leapfrogged Notts in the standings and now currently sit atop of Division 1.

In Division 2, Cameron Steele’s Durham side pulled off their second remarkable win of the season, by defeating Derbyshire despite being bowled out for 96 in the first innings.

Duanne Olivier was the pick of Derby’s bowlers, taking 5/20 from 16 overs in the first innings, ably backed up by Hardus Viljoen who picked up 3/30 as they bowled Durham out shortly after lunch on day 1. Derbyshire finished the day with a lead of 79, but a terrific fightback from the hosts bowlers meant they had also lost 8 wickets. They lost the final two wickets in the morning session of day 2 but did head into the second innings with a lead of 109.

Olivier and Viljoen picked up where they left off, picking up an early wicket each but Durham erased Derby’s lead for the loss of just three wickets, laying the foundations for an improbable chance of victory.  However, a flurry of wickets left them with a lead of 50 for the loss of seven wickets at the start of day 3. Lower order partnerships of 104 & 99 meant that they were eventually dismissed for 376, a lead of 267, despite Olivier picking up 5/105, finishing with match figures of 10/125.

Ben Slater got the Derby chase off to a good start but he was essentially left to himself and by the time he was dismissed for 68, he was the 8th wicket to fall and his side had only made 133 runs. The bowlers attempted a fightback, but the damage had already been done as Durham picked up Derby’s final wicket to leave 172 all out, a victory margin for Durham of 95 runs.

Jonathan Trott continued his fine form in the One Day Cup to help Warwickshire secure victory over Glamorgan at Edgbaston, securing their spot at the top of the table.

Having been asked to bowl first, the hosts decided to give Glamorgan a trial by spin, one in which the visitors were unable to answer as they were bowled out for 220 on the first day.

SeanDickson

However, Warwickshire’s hopes of only batting once in the match quickly dissipated when they found themselves 18/2 which brought Trott to the crease inside 10 overs. He quickly began to repair the early damage, reaching 57 before running himself out which sparked a collapse akin to Glamorgan’s as the home side slipped from 99/3 to 250 all out.

In the second time of asking, Glamorgan righted many of their wrongs from the first innings, this time making 323 as they dared to dream about a first victory at Edgbaston since 1988.

Unlike in the first innings, Warwickshire began serenely, reaching 119/2 when Trott once again joined the party, notching up his second 50 of the match before falling for 67. Trott had no need to worry though as his teammates picked up where he left off and, despite Andrew Salter taking a career-best 4/80, saw them home with about an hour to spare.

And finally, Gloucester hosted Kent in a high-scoring match which featured the visitor’s first Championship hundred of the season. That honour fell to opening batsman Sean Dickson who, along with opening partner Daniel Bell-Drummond, put on 124 for the first wicket before Bell-Drummond fell for 49. Dickson continued, however, and made a well-earned 117 before he fell with his side 216/2. Kent would put on another 370 runs to finish 582/9 declared.

Dickson’s side pressed home their advantage by rolling Gloucester out for just 240, allowing Kent to immediately enforce the follow-on in hopes of an early finish. Their hopes were not answered, however, as they instead received a procession of rearguard action from Gloucester batsmen as they looked to deny Kent a 4th successive victory. Despite being 219/6 at tea on the last day, the hosts thwarted Kent’s barrage to lose only one more wicket, finishing 322/7 to earn a hard-fought draw.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Meet The Team - James Jones

Friday, 8 June 2018 08:54:37 Europe/London

Gunn and Moore (GM) has a proud and storied history of innovation and tradition. For over 130 years, GM has been at the forefront of cricket, representing some of the finest players the game has ever seen.

Mike Brearley

These days, the helmet has increasingly become as important to a player as the bat. At all levels of the game, most wouldn’t even contemplate batting without one, and for colts around the country it’s mandatory to wear one.

Over the years, many of GM’s record breaking and trendsetting batters often played without a helmet at all. It is only on the last couple of decades that head protection has become the norm in player’s inventories. Some cricket fans have fond memories of the prototypical helmet used by some batters in World Series Cricket in the 1970s, which was essentially a motor bike helmet with the visor removed. From there, the relmet revolution began and a number of players began implementing the use of one into their game, often designing their own.

A number of high profile incidences in recent years has brought safety in cricket to the forefront of the mind for everyone involved in the game. Players are now more confident than ever in taking on the short ball, which is leading to an alarming amount of players being struck on both the helmet and the grille. The increased emphasis on safety means that brands are investing more than ever to ensuring these products are state-of-the art.

You don’t have to look too far back for infamous instances of players being struck in the grille; Ricky Ponting in the 2005 Ashes, Stuart Broad against India in 2014 and Craig Kieswetter being forced to retire after being struck live long in the memory.

All this brings us back to GM. Earlier this year GM recruited Dr James Jones from Progressive Sports Technologies, a consultancy company specialising in sports product research and development, where he was a Senior Researcher.

But to understand why bringing James in was so important to us, you’ll need to know more about him.

Ricky Ponting

He graduated from Cardiff University in 2009 with a Masters of Engineering (Medical Engineering), before moving to Loughborough University, studying at the University’s Sports Technology Institute where he earned his PhD in Robotic Footstrike Emulation.

After completing his PhD in 2013, he conducted some consultancy work in conjunction with Loughborough University and the International Cricket Council (ICC), to investigate potential new and innovative test methods for the testing of helmets in cricket, particularly concentrating on projectile testing.

Initially, it was an investigation into the helmets available on the market at the time, looking specifically at the gap between the peak and the grille itself; with the aim of assessing how the helmets performed when impacted with a cricket ball. In short, the conclusion was not particularly well.

A main finding of this investigation was that the ball could and would easily penetrate the gap and often the grille would have the potential to collapse onto the face. The aforementioned examples of Ponting and Broad perfectly illustrate that point.

Stuart Broad

As a result of the findings, the ICC backed an investigation in conjunction with all of the major cricket brands, with the hope of further developing and enhancing the internationally recognised British Standard (BS) testing of protective headwear in cricket.

To achieve this, James was able to utilise top of the range test equipment; a compressed air cannon capable of firing a cricket ball at realistic speeds (i.e. up to 90mph/140kmph) which allowed significant developments to be made to the standard. Interestingly, the only measure of testing in the previous version was the ‘drop test’.

In essence, the drop test is when a helmet is dropped onto a metal anvil in the shape of a cricket ball. The helmet is dropped from such a height that creates an impact force comparable to a fast bowler’s delivery – assessing for the impact attenuation results of the helmet shell. However, the problem with doing this test alone is that it only tested shell of the helmet, which is very important, but unfortunately not the only place that cricketers get struck.

The objective was to implement the compressed air cannon into the new form of testing. The Facial Contact Projectile Test, assesses the risk of a cricket ball delivered by a bowler, causing injury by either contacting the face or causing the faceguard to contact the face after impact. This is now part of the standardised testing for all helmets, and all helmet brands have to go through stringent accreditation and BS testing before they are sold. All the major helmets will now pass that test before they are available on the market.

KieswetterJames then took all the cricket consultancy with him when he moved to Progressive Sports Technologies later that year, and over the 4 years he was there, he worked with all of the cricket brands helping to develop and design their cricket helmets in line with the new standard. They were able to utilise the available testing methodologies, to see how the products fared against the BS test. There, they ensured that helmets were up to task before the accreditation process.

Having joined GM in February 2018, James has stated that one of his key missions is to improve the design, comfort and safety of future helmets, which will be coming to a cricket shop near you soon. His plan, he says, is “to make our helmet the best available helmet on the market. I want it pass the British Standard, be the most comfortable, offer the best vision and look the best”.

Over the coming months, we will be teasing out more information about the new helmets, including images and videos of the testing that James created. To stay up to date, make sure you are following us on all social media platforms:

Twitter- @GMCricket

Instagram- @gmcricket

Facebook – @GMcricket

Youtube – Gunn & Moore Cricket

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Royal London One Day Cup Round-Up 3

Wednesday, 6 June 2018 11:18:18 Europe/London

They say form is temporary but class is permanent, and nobody embodied that more this week than former England star and Warwickshire stalwart Jonathan Trott who notched up back-to-back centuries against Durham and Leicestershire.

The first game saw Durham bat first and rack up 299/8 from their 50 overs, featuring a fantastic 111 including 12 boundaries from Michael Richardson, just his second century in List A cricket and his highest ever score in the format.

MichaelRichardson

Trott opened the batting for The Bears, and despite losing his opening partner in the second over and his number three partner shortly after, began to stabilise the innings with Ian Bell reaching his 50 from 68 balls and soon after brought up the 100-partnership with his England teammate.

Trott knocked the ball around to keep the scoreboard ticking over, hitting boundaries consistently to ensure his side were always ahead of the run rate. He brought up his 22nd List A hundred up with a single down the ground, only to be dismissed without adding to his tally, falling to a catch from Richardson.

Despite losing his wicket, his efforts with the bat made sure that Warwickshire didn’t lose the game and even with his side giving away a couple of late wickets, the result was never in doubt as they strolled home with 5 wickets and 7 balls remaining.

Trott’s next match once again saw his side needing to chase, this time against a more modest total of 207 in their match against Leicestershire.

Having won the toss, Leicestershire made poor use of an excellent batting track and despite being 135/3 half way through the innings, collapsed to 207 all out in just the 44thover.

 In reply, Trott was completely untroubled throughout, putting on 52 for the first wicket before he lost his opening partner. It would be the only wicket to fall as Trott trotted his way to 102* from 121 balls, reaching his 23rd List A hundred.

JonathanTrott

Asked to bat first, Slater along with his opening partner put on 182 for the first wicket, before Slater was bowled for a well-compiled 94 from 117 balls and Derbyshire made 265/2 from their 50 overs.For Derbyshire, Ben Slater continued his fantastic one day form against Northants, following on from his 109* against Yorkshire in the previous round.

The Northants chase was in early trouble when Wayne Madsen picked up a wicket to leave the home side 5/1 before Ben Duckett replied with his first 50 of the season, eventually making 57 from 74 balls before he too fell with the score 118/4. Derbyshire’s overseas bowler Duanne Olivier raced through the lower middle order, picking up 3/31 from 7 overs as they dismissed Northants for 214, 51 runs short of their target.

In Derby’s next match, they faced a Lancashire side hoping to re-boot their one-day campaign. Winning the toss and electing to field first, Derby’s bowlers put plenty of pressure on Lancashire’s opening batsmen, restricting the typically fluent Alex Davies to making just 39 from 58 balls. Dane Vilas attempted to accelerate the scoring before falling for 32 from 27 balls, opening the door for all-rounder Jordan Clark to enter the fray to make his first 50 of the One-Day campaign before falling to Olivier, helping Lancashire reach 290/8 from their 50 overs. Olivier finished figures of 2/36 from 9 overs whilst Hardus Viljoen picked up 2/55 from his 10 overs.

Derbyshire’s opening batsmen were unable to recreate the partnership they put on against Northants, but they did still make three figures before Ben Slater fell for 46. However, a middle order collapse saw them fall from 100/1 to 170/6 and appeared to be heading for a bit of a thrashing before Viljoen decided to take matters into his own hands, whacking two boundaries and four 6’s on his way to 50*, ably supported by Olivier who also finished not out on 23. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done and Derby finished 25 runs short of their target.

HardusViljoen

In a high-scoring affair, Gloucester travelled to high-flyers Kent hoping to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. Having chosen to bat first, Gloucester got off to a terrific start with their opening batsmen putting on 132 for the first wicket before a slight wobble allowed Ian Cockbain plenty of time to make his first 50 of the year in an innings that included five boundaries and three 6’s before he was run out for 68. Gloucester made an imposing 322/8 from their allotted overs.

Daniel Bell-Drummond helped his side get off the starting blocks very quickly, making 40 from 35 balls, 32 of which came in boundaries, before he fell with the score on 66/1. His teammates picked up where he left off as they raced along, losing only two more wickets and winning with 3.3 overs to spare.

Elsewhere, Hampshire travelled to Swansea to face a struggling Glamorgan side as James Vince & co looked to assert themselves at the top of the South Group table. Glamorgan were asked to bat first and continuously lost wickets after making starts, eventually spluttering to 227 all out, with Brad Taylor picking up 2/51 from his 10 overs.

Hampshire’s innings didn’t get off the start they were looking for as Vince was forced to come to the crease in the third over. Vince made his intentions clear from the off, frequently advancing down the track to Glamorgan’s spinners, making a fluent 41 from 38 balls before he fell with the score 88/3. Hampshire lost another wicket quickly which brought Taylor to the crease. The 21-year-old made his third List A 50, his second of the year, to top score in the innings with an unbeaten 54 to win the game with over 6 overs to spare.

Surrey’s victory against Middlesex has kept their hopes of qualification alive after chasing down a modest total of 234, which featured Will Jacks’ first professiOlliePopeonal wicket.

The Surrey innings didn’t get off to the best of starts, with Jacks departing for 18 before Rory Burns took over to make a cautious 40 from 56 balls. Burns fell with the score 133/4, at which point Ollie Pope came to the crease and ensured Surrey got over the line as he made 57*, with 1.5 overs to spare.

Essex travelled to Eastbourne for their match against Sussex, but not even their bowling all-rounder Ollie Robinson could suppress Essex’s free-flowing run-scoring. Sussex made 281/7 from their overs, but a fine 88 from Tom Westley reminded everyone of his England credentials, before he was run out. The damage was already done, however, as his side chased the target down with 2 overs to spare.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Hoopsfix All Star Classic

Monday, 4 June 2018 14:06:19 Europe/London

This past weekend saw the fourth instalment of the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic return in style after a year-long hiatus in front of a sell-out crowd at the Brixton Recreation Centre.

Molten supply the ball and have been proud sponsors of the event since its inauguration in 2014 which showcases some of the finest young British basketball players over two matches, called the Underclassmen Game and the Class of 2018 Game.

MoltenHoopsfix

Several big names of the sport were in attendance in the 700-strong crowd including Great Britain and England seniors, Commonwealth Games silver medalists, GB's performance director, Basketball England’s pathway manager, BBL players and coaches as well as legends of the game in the UK.

The first game of the day saw Team Black run out 85-71 victors over Team White in the first-ever Underclassmen game. Ade Adebayo took MVP honours, helping lead his side to victory with GB junior internationals Mate Okros and Hosana Kitenge also adding 11 points apiece in the win.

Adebayo commented: “It was a great feeling to win MVP after working so hard - it was a humbling moment. I really enjoyed playing and it was such a fun atmosphere, too, which made it amazing."

Meanwhile in the Class of 2018 game, GB Under-18 Brian Amabilino-Perez took MVP honours in the with 20 points - including 11 in the fourth quarter - along with 10 rebounds to lead Team White to a thrilling 85-88 win over Team Black.

Hoopsfix

Sesan Russell added 19 points in the win for Team White including a pair of clutch free throws down the stretch to leave the opposition needing a three for overtime and Josh Edwards’ effort rimmed out at the buzzer.

The two teams would go into the final quarter level at 62-62 to leave the contest evenly poised with the intensity picking up at both ends. Amabilino-Perez began to make his mark with eight points including a huge throwdown to send the sell-out crowd wild. Micheal Anumba and Edwards, who combined for 39 points, kept their side in contention with the game still tied at 76-76 with 3:46 remaining.

But a dramatic four-point play from Edwards provided a thrilling finish with Team Black down 85-86 with 15.1 seconds left on the clock. Russell held his nerve from the foul line and it would be enough to hold on for the win for Team White.

“I didn’t expect to be MVP, but it was a great feeling,” said Amabilino-Perez – who also featured in the event in 2016. “It was a really great event and it was good to see all of the British basketball talent coming together. “The game was awesome with a really great atmosphere so it was a pleasure to play in.”

Photo Credit: Mansoor Ahmed

Comments | Posted in Basketball Molten By Jack Dinning

England v Pakistan 2nd Test Review

Monday, 4 June 2018 11:26:32 Europe/London

What a difference a week makes. The post mortem from the first Test would lead passive followers of cricket to believe that England would never win a Test Match ever again, with pundits and members of the media seeking star players to be dropped, coaches to be sacked and selectors to be re-selected.

In the end, England were hamstrung by Ben Stokes’ hamstring which denied him any chance of being involved in Headingley. His injury meant that a shake-up to balance the side was needed rather than wanted, forcing the hosts to make two changes in the bowling department to cover for Stokes’ all-round prowess. England did also make an inevitable change at the top of the order, as the merry-go-round of opening batsmen continued.

DomBessTwitter

With Stokes ruled out through injury, that left Dawid Malan and Dom Bess to fly the flag for GM, with the latter continuing his fine form to leave England fans purring at the prospect of just how good the 20-year-old could be with both bat and ball.

All roles seemed to be reversed in this match, with Pakistan winning the toss and electing to bat on a green-seamer in Leeds. The visitors were unable to match their efforts from last week, this time all too often being tempted into shots they wouldn’t have dreamt of playing at Lords.

England got off to a flyer, taking a wicket in the second over of the match and another in the tenth to leave Pakistan reeling on 17/2. The re-building began before Malan took a good catch at slip off the back of some probing bowling, which continued soon after when England took another three wickets for the loss of just 1 run with Pakistan struggling on 79/7.

However, some lower order slogging got the visitors to a below-par, but far better than it could have been, 174 all out.

England’s reply got off to a good start with two 50-run partnerships allowing England to be in the enviable position of 104/2 when Bess was sent in with 5 minutes left of Day 1 ahead of his GM and England teammate Malan.

DawidMalan

Bess continued to show the form with the bat that won him many admirers from the first Test at Lords, and despite losing his captain early on the second day, he dug-in, making invaluable 62-run partnership with his GM teammate Malan, which took England past the visitors first innings total, before Malan departed shortly after Tea for 28, receiving a terrific ball to prize him from the crease and back to the pavilion.

Bess continued however, and looked certain to match his efforts at Lords before receiving a ripping leg-break which bounced quickly and glanced off his glove to be taken at slip, falling 1 agonizing run short of his second Test Match 50. England were eventually dismissed for 363, 189 runs ahead of Pakistan.

Similarly to the first innings, Pakistan seemed to show no appetite for patience and struggled to string any rhythm or partnerships together as they consistently lost wickets throughout to be bowled out for 134 before the end of Day 3.

DomBess

Bess had a Test to remember, as he backed up his batting with a stunning one-handed catch at mid-off before being brought on to bowl, breaking the highest partnership of the innings by getting a delivery to skid on to the batsman’s pad, given out LBW claiming his first International wicket.

Bess picked up two more in the innings, finishing with figures of 3/33 from 11 overs, one of which was caught by Malan at point as the batsman attempted an ill-fated slog-sweep.

England took the last wicket inside 50 overs to draw the series 1-1, breaking the hosts run of 8 Tests without a win.

England’s next Test Match isn’t until August, where they face an Indian side featuring a certain Virat Kohli who will be determined to prove his worth in all conditions. Between now and then, they head to Scotland for a one-off ODI, before hosting Australia for 5 ODI’s, starting at The Oval on June 13. 

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Royal London One Day Cup Round-Up 2

Thursday, 31 May 2018 15:55:43 Europe/London

Ben Stokes

The latest round of Royal London One Day Cup fixtures featured thrilling finishes, high scores and May’s inevitable bout of rain.

Three matches were abandoned without a ball being bowled, two of which featured Sussex who travelled to Gloucester on the Sunday and then to Surrey on the Tuesday without playing so much as an over of cricket.

Despite the weather, a number of GM batsman followed on from the terrific form from the previous round of fixtures.

A terrific unbeaten century from Adam Lyth seems the most appropriate place to start as his Yorkshire side headed to Leicester hoping to make up for lost time after their washed-out game the previous week.

In Leicester’s previous game against Nottinghamshire over 700 runs were scored in 100 overs, so when they won the toss, they would have been only too aware that a good start was needed. Unfortunately for them, they got the opposite.

Yorkshire got off to a flyer and had the home side 39/3 inside 10 overs before three middle order 50’s restored some order for the Foxes who eventually finished with a below-par 293/9 from their allotted overs.

AdamLyth

In reply, Yorkshire made light work of the chase. Lyth cruised his way to 132*, his first ton of the season, putting on two 100-run partnerships along the way as Yorkshire chased down their target for the loss of just one wicket and with 3.3 overs to spare.

Yorkshire’s next match against Derbyshire was far from plain-sailing, however. In a heavily reduced match due to the weather, only 24 overs a side were possible.

The White Roses this time won the toss and elected to field, which at 68/1 off 8 overs looked as though it may have been the wrong choice. This time it was Yorkshire’s bowlers that dug them out of trouble, consistently taking wickets and racing through the lower-middle order meaning Derby finished 189/6 from their 24 overs.

The Derby innings did feature some quite remarkable batting from opening batsman Ben Slater, who finished 109* from 82 balls, scoring nearly 58% of his sides runs.

Unfortunately, Slater’s efforts were in vain despite his GM teammates Duanne Olivier picking up 2/23 from his 5 overs and Wayne Madsen starting the innings off with a maiden.

The game could have gone either way when Yorkshire needed 55 from 5 overs, with 4 wickets remaining. Despite picking up 2 more wickets along the way, Derby were thwarted by some lower order slogging and Yorkshire got over the line with 1 ball to spare.

From Derby, we head to Kent as the Spitfires took on James Vince’s Hampshire side.

The home side batted first with Daniel Bell-Drummond top scoring for Kent, making a well-compiled 82 before he was unfortunately run-out chasing his first hundred of the year. In the process Bell-Drummond passed 2,000 runs for the county and made his 20th half-century in List A cricket.Daniel Bell-Drummond

However, his dismissal opened the door for Sean Dickson who made his seventh List A 50, smashing 68* from 53 balls, featuring six boundaries and two 6’s, to get Kent to 296/4 from their 50 overs.

21-year-old all-rounder Brad Taylor was the pick of the bowlers for Hampshire, taking 2/35 from his 10 overs.

Hampshire’s reply seemed to be under control when Vince departed for a typically-fluent 38, leaving his side well positioned at 107/3 with over 30 overs remaining. Taylor entered the fray and made just his second 50 in the format, reaching 56 from 63 balls before losing his wicket with his side needing just 6 runs from 10 balls to win. However, some heroic bowling from the Spitfires at the death meant that remarkably, Hampshire lost by 1 run.

Hampshire didn’t make the same mistake in their next match against Middlesex, however. In another rain-affected affair, the match was reduced to 45 overs per side with Middlesex winning the toss and choosing to bat.

The home side never really got going and consistently lost wickets at key times. The most substantial partnership of 62 was broken by Vince, who finished with 1/19 from his 5 overs to restrict Middlesex to 199/8.

In truth, the result was never really in doubt after Vince made a well-compiled 56, making up for the early loss of his two opening batsmen. Vince fell with the score on 123/3 but contributions from the rest of the batting line-up, including 11 from Brad Taylor, ensured victory with 7.2 overs to spare.  

For Somerset, Lewis Gregory continues to impress with his all-round capabilities picking up 3 wickets and two 50’s in his last two matches.

Lewis Gregory

The first of which came in a victory against Middlesex, notching 56 from 45 balls to get his side to 283 all out before taking 2/41 to restrict the North London side to 230 all out to round off a comprehensive display.

In the following match, The Somerset captain did much the same. Unfortunately for him, this time his efforts were in vain in a severely weather-affected game against Kent.

Batting first once again, Gregory played a more measured innings, this time making 60 in 61 balls, helping his side reach 221/9 from their 42 allotted overs. Gregory picked up Bell-Drummond for a third ball duck, but Kent quickly regrouped and by the time the heavens opened up, they were 28 runs ahead of the asking rate, winning the match by Duckworth/Lewis method after just 16 overs.

And finally, in the match between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, two GM batsmen made 50’s, and two GM bowlers picked up 4 wickets between them.

The Bears batted first and reached 295/9 from their 50 overs, thanks in part to Adam Hose’s fourth List A 50 and his first for the season. Hose made 51 from 58 balls but did hit two 6’s along the way.

For Notts, Samit Patel picked up the wicket of his GM teammate Jonathan Trott in the third over of the match and another in the 29th to take figures of 2/48 from his 10 overs. His teammate Jake Ball continued his terrific start to the season, picking up 2/66.

In reply, The Outlaws were no match for Warwickshire and were dismissed for just 187 in 38.5 overs, despite Ross Taylor top-scoring with 56.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

England v Pakistan Test Review

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 14:45:16 Europe/London

Sometimes things just don’t go to plan. The plan for England last week was to bat big, bowl well, win handsomely. In the end, none of those came to fruition.

Dom Bess

England fielded three GM players last week; Dom Bess, Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes, fresh from his stint in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals.

Stokes and Malan, however, were both overshadowed by England’s newest Test player, the 20-year-old Bess. 

In his short career, only 16 First Class matches to his name before last week’s Test Match, Bess has already made a name for himself as a prodigious wicket-taker with an outstanding average hovering just above 20.

However, it was with the bat that Bess shined in his first stint at International level. His second-innings 57 was a bright spark in an otherwise dour affair for England.

After winning the toss, England elected to have a bat and found themselves in trouble early, losing 3 of their top-4 batsmen for 14 runs combined before Stokes entered the frame. The all-rounder looked in good order before he fell with 38 runs to his name, and with the tail not wagging. England were all out for just 184.

Ben Stokes

Pakistan batted with the patience and fortitude that England lacked to take a lead of 179 after their first innings. Stokes (3/71) was certainly the pick of the bowlers, forcing false shots from a number of batsmen in a terrific spell that actually meant he was awarded the second new ball ahead of Jimmy Anderson.

Bess toiled away but the odds were always against him on a green-seamer in May, particularly against a Pakistan side that are very capable against spin. His 17 overs went wicketless, but his flight and energy through the ball earned him a number of fans in the commentary box and stands alike.

Unfortunately for England, their second innings began only marginally better than their first. Reeling at 6/110, Bess came to the crease facing the immense challenge of not only making Pakistan bat again but to ensure England took a lead substantial enough to give them a chance of bowling Pakistan out.

For a while, the dream was on. Bess was in full flow and his list of admirers grew by the over. His main job might be to take wickets but he showed a terrific appetite to starve the opposition of his own and by the end of day 3, he was 55* and England had a lead of 56.

Malan

Alas, very quickly the dream was over. 6 runs, 4.1 overs and 4 wickets later, England were back in the field attempting the near-impossible task of defending 63; which took Pakistan just 12.4 overs for the loss of one wicket to chase down and claim a famous victory.

This was England’s first loss in a Test Match that started and ended in May since 1921 and not since 1995 against the West Indies have England have lost the first Test of the summer.

Redemption in cricket is never far away though, and England go to Leeds this Friday with the opportunity to make amends and head into the rest of the summer with some momentum behind them.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Royal London One Day Cup Round-Up

Friday, 25 May 2018 11:45:27 Europe/London

Ben Stokes

Runs have been the flavour of the month so far in May with the start of the Royal London One Day Cup signalling the beginning of white ball cricket in England.

Tom Westley typified that notion by notching up his first ton of the season, scoring 134 in 119 balls as Essex swept Middlesex aside in the opening set of fixtures. Westley’s 18 boundaries included a six before he was out to fellow GM player Ravi Patel just 5 runs short of the 250 target.

Less than a week later, Westley was in the runs again against Hampshire, this time making 66 at just better than a run-a-ball, setting a good foundation for his teammates to build on.

Their 304 run target wasn’t nearly enough in the end however as James Vince’s Hampshire side chasing the total down with over two overs to spare and losing only four wickets. Vince helped himself to a 66 in 53 balls, putting on a 126 run partnership in the process.

The highest score for GM so far has come from Lancashire’s keeper-batsman Alex Davies. Davies’ 147, his first one day hundred, against Durham is also Lancashire’s second-highest individual score in list A cricket as his side thrashed Durham by 192 runs at Old Trafford.

Tom Westley

Davies and his opening partner racked up 175 runs before a procession of low scores meant that Davies was in danger of being left stranded until Jordan Clark came to the crease, finishing 48* helping the team get to 314/7.

Davies’ run of form didn’t stop there. He backed up his maiden hundred with fluent 59 in Lancashire’s match against Northants, but his efforts were surpassed by his teammate Dane Vilas who finished 83*, helping the Red Roses post 279/8.

Unfortunately for the Lancashire lads, it wasn’t enough to secure victory as Northants picked away at the total, getting over the finish line with 2 wickets and a ball to spare.

In Leicester, Samit Patel once again showed his batting pedigree, smashing 100 in just 62 balls, 60 of which came in boundaries, steering Nottinghamshire to a record score at Grace Road of 409.

The England international, who before the match signed a new contract keeping him at Trent Bridge until the end of 2020, hit 14 fours and two sixes as Nottinghamshire went on to register their fourth highest List A score, beating the home side by 93 runs.

Elsewhere, Surrey batsman Will Jacks scored his first professional hundred in just the third match of his career, as the 19-year-old’s team took on Gloucestershire at the Oval. Surrey won the toss and elected to bowl first, doing well to restrict Gloucester to 282/6 from their 50 overs.

Jacks was the star of the show when Surrey came out to bat, racing to 121 off 100 balls including 4 sixes to set up the victory with 26 balls remaining.

The England Under-19 batsman was aggressive throughout his innings, clubbing a brace of sixes against Gloucester’s spinners. He then moved to three figures with his third maximum, to reach his century in just 86-balls.

Will Jacks

Kent’s opening batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond continues to impress as he was last man out, compiling a well-constructed 90, out of his teams total of 189. No other member of his team was able to pass double figures and Sussex cruised to victory, losing just three wickets in the process.

Derbyshire stalwart Wayne Madsen is certainly making the most of his terrific form this season, passing 50 twice in three matches, the first of which coming in a high-scoring affair against Warwickshire.

Batting first, Derby’s opening batsman Ben Slater raced to 69, including 10 boundaries, putting on 129 for the first wicket. When Slater fell, Madsen kept the free-scoring going, thrashing 58 from 44 balls, hitting more 6’s than 4’s along the way as his side made 357/8, despite Jonathan Trott taking 4/65.

Trott’s side were unable to chase it down however, only managing to reach 300 all out in 45.3 overs.

The following match saw Madsen once again solidify Derbyshire’s top order in a tough chase against Worcester, who amassed 323 from their 50 overs, with Tom Fell making 56.

Derby’s reply stuttered before Madsen came to the crease, reaching 87 from 70 balls. Despite his heroics, it wasn’t enough to get Derby over that line as they eventually fell 50 runs short of the target.

SamitPatel

Speaking of Worcester, in their following match against Yorkshire they continued their terrific white ball form. Once again batting first, their overseas batsman Travis Head made a cautious 77 from 94 balls, ensuring his side compiled a terrific score of 350/6.

Yorkshire’s reply started very well but they quickly lost their middle order, only to be dug out by their all-rounders. Unfortunately for them, their middle order blip took too much momentum out of the innings and they fell 5 runs short, despite having a wicket in hand.

That meant that Yorkshire lost two games in a row as in the previous match against Warwickshire, they were unable to defend 247, thanks largely to the foundation laid by Trott, who reached his 67th List A 50.

And finally, we head back to Old Trafford where Nottingham’s overseas batsman Ross Taylor made 58 against a full-strength Lancashire attack.

Notts made 318 in their innings and the GM bowling cartel of Patel, Jake Ball, Luke Fletcher and Harry Gurney chipped away, ensuring Lancs fell 9 runs short of their target.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning
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