England had a terrible collapse in their third t20 to hand new Zealand the game by 14 runs. They were well placed in there run chase at 138-2 off 14,5 overs. Only needing 43 off of 31 balls, with Vince and Morgan at the crease. However, from there we collapsed losing 5-10 in 18 balls. It was disappointing because up until then there were a lot of positives. A classy Malan 50 an explosive 18 from Banton showing all his potential. A guess Vince getting 49 was a positive however he will be very disappointed to get out on 48. Again he hasn’t seen his team home. It was a good debut from young legspinner Matt Parkinson taking 1-14 of two overs. Don’t know why he didn’t bowl more. The currans also impressed again Sam with 1 and tom with 2 for 29 off of there 4 overs. I expect the same team in the next game. I hope Parkinson gets to bowl his 4 overs in the next one and that Banton shows his undoubted potential. If this team clicks it could be very good.
Yesterday New Zealand levelled the 5 match series at 1-1. It was a sloppy performance from England with lots of dropped catches. That was the difference between the teams at the end of the day. However there have been lots of positives for England in these first two t20’s. Sam Curran, he has opened the bowling in the first two games and has done it very well. He has found a nack of taking wickets and going at under 6’s. His figures in the last game were 4-22 of 4 overs. Hopefully he keeps this up. Another positive was James Vince’s performance in the first game. His first t20 fifty and it was a truly classy knock. However he would have been disappointed not to see England home. On 53 hitting a long hop down the sweepers throat. Furthermore in the last game Jordan and Gregory were superb with the ball. Jordan claiming figures of 3-23 off of 4. Truly brilliant especially as he bowled in the power play and at the death. Now Lewis Gregory made an instant impact bowling De Grandhomme with his first ball. 2-10 of two overs. Should have bowled more. For Pat Brown it was a difficult day his two overs going for 32 runs. For the next game I believe Banton will come in for Malan and Parkinson for Rashid. These two could have a real impact.
Yesterday was a very historic day. New Zealand didn’t win reach the World Cup final. They have won the last two world cups. But they were stopped by a spirited England team. A comfortable in the end victory 19-7. Maro Itoje stood out with a powerful performance from the young 24. He showed a calm head on young shoulders. England were the better team from the first minute to the last. There response to the haka showed calmness. The simple grin of Owen Farrel has gone viral. They showed no fear and were ready to give the game of there lives. No fear unlike years before. With Manu tuilangi’s second minute try it was the earliest World Cup try. It was a statement of intent. If England can go on to beat South Africa in the final it will add real interest to the game of rugby. Even now more people are taking about the game of rugby. I don’t want to jinx it. But could it be coming home?
Yesterday Leicester equalled the 24 year record for the highest win in the premier league. They beat a 10 men Southampton 9 goals to nil. This moves the Leicester team to second in the league. They leapfrogged Manchester City and are only five points behind leaders Liverpool. Vardy scored a hat-trick and with his first goal for the club he went on to score 3. In the 131 year history of the premier league this is the biggest win from an away side. This I believe is a signal of Leicester’s intent. They have a better team then when they won the title. This by no means does it mean they will win the title. However they can compete for the top 4. Chelsea,Arsenal, Man united and Tottenham are the weakest they have been for a long while. Maybe just maybe Leicester could stay in the top 4.
India have wrapped up a 3-0 white wash of South Africa. They won all games relatively comfortably. They would bat first score 500 plus and put South Africa on the back foot. Inevitably India’s attack of 3 quality seamers and two superb spinners would bowl out South Africa. It has been a disappointing tour for South Africa unfortunately after a dismal World Cup performance. India have now extended there lead at the top of the test championship claiming a maximum 240 points. They sit 1st in the table ahead of New Zealand and Sri Lanka by 160 points. If India continue to keep winning like this then it is unlikely that anyone will catch them at the top of the standings. However they deserve it as they have played some wonderful cricket with both bat and ball. Who will be the team to stop them?
- Welsh Fire the first two names who stand out is Starc and Smith. They are backed up by some savvy picks like Banton, Ingram, Plunkett and Duckett. They look a little weak in the bowling department. With only Starc and Plunkett people I could rely on. Rampual looked expensive for 75,000. Furthermore I don’t know how much you can trust young spinner quais Ahmed and Simon Harmer. Harmer had an exceptional finals day but in a year and a bits time it might be all very different.
- Oval Invincible’s they look to have a reasonably balanced team. With a destructive opening partnership of Narine and Roy. With Evans.Billings, Rossouw, and Will jacks they have some solid players. Also Fabian Allen there overseas will fit in well. There bowling is good with Tom and Sam (when available) Curran. Lamichane, Viljoen, Sowter and Reece topley.
- Manchester Originals they look a little weak. With out Butler they would be left with out the type of pedigree other teams have. However a county top 6 of Ed Pollock, Phil Salt, Eddie Byrom, Tom Abell, Dane Vilas and Wayne Madsen would be good to see. They are all quality players who have performed really well for there county however I don’t know how they will deal with the better bowlers. There bowling looks ok with Saquib Mahmood , Tahir, Christian and Santner.
- London Spirit An interesting draft selection with there England pick being Rory Burns. They have firepower in Morgan, Maxwell and Nabi. However there bowling of Wood, Crane, Abbott, Van der mer and Nabi looks weak. There batting will have to carry them and if Denly is with England then it could not be the best tournament for them.
- Birmingham Phoenix a weak draft with only firepower coming from livingstone, Ali and Williamson. There batting looks reasonable however they will have to rely on those 3 players for big scores. There bowling looks alright with Shaheen Afridi and Pat Brown leading the attack.
- Trent rockets, a very good draft with Rashid Khan, Darcy Short and Alex Hales. They have Root however he will be with England most of the time. Harry Gurney will be very good at the death on his home ground. Furthermore, they have good local players like Mullaney, Carter and Moores. Coulter – Nile and Gregory top of there bowling. However, those two are also very big hitters.
- Southern brave, immediately I see match winners. Archer, Russel, warner and Shadab Khan. With the ball in the powerplay when they have Archer available a pace attack of Russel, Mills and Archer will be dangerous. Backed um by Liam Dawson, Chris Jordan and Shadab Khan they look dangerous. Their batting looks average with Warner, Vince, Alex Davies, Pope, Rawlins and Russel.
- Northern Superchargers a good draft. With Finch, Lynn, Lyth, Willey, cadmore and Stokes when not with England. That is an explosive batting line up. There bowling however looks weak with no quality pace options. Wiley hasn’t been impressive with the ball for a while and after that they don’t have any quality pace option. However there spinners in Mujeeb and Rashid are very good. So if they are going to go far there batters and spinners will have to carry there team.