England lose deciding T20 game in series against India by seven wickets

8 Jul

England came up short in their Bristol decider as Rohit Sharma’s world record-equalling third Twenty20 international century eased India to a series-sealing seven-wicket victory.

Jason Roy (67) threatened to put England’s stamp on this sun-drenched Vitality IT20 occasion as a vivid green pitch belied its bizarre appearance to serve up another run-fest.

The tourists won the series 2-1

But the hosts failed to capitalise on the start provided by Roy and Jos Buttler’s opening stand of 94, as Hardik Pandya took a career-best four wickets for 38 runs and then Rohit (100 not out) and Virat Kohli did the rest to pass a target of 198 for nine.

The tourists therefore wrapped up the first series of their long tour with eight balls to spare as Rohit hit 11 fours and five sixes to become only the second batsman, following New Zealand’s
Colin Munro, to bag a third hundred in this format.

Roy and Buttler got England off to a wonderful start after Kohli put them in.

Buttler had the majority of the early strike and duly made the pace before his partner raced past him with a rush of fours and mostly sixes.

Jason Roy and fellow opening batsman Jos Buttler put on an opening stand of 94

Roy just missed the national record for fastest 50 in this format, taking 23 to the 22 Buttler needed against Australia at Edgbaston last month, and his eventual seven sixes equalled the highest aggregate in an innings by an Englishman.

There were also four fours from 31 deliveries before he was the second out, caught-behind trying to manufacture a cut off debutant Deepak Chahar.

The opening partnership ended in the eighth over, after England had racked up their second-highest powerplay total of 73 – with Roy dropped on the long-on boundary on 38 off Pandya by Yuzvendra Chahal.

That first over from Pandya cost him 22 as his tactic of going mostly short to Roy proved unwise.

England, however, were to fall short of what their openers had indicated might be possible.

Twice, two new batsmen had to rebuild – and although Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan, then Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes, were partially successful, neither partnership quite recovered the early momentum.

It was Pandya who saw to that, with a little help from MS Dhoni.

Four of the veteran wicketkeeper’s new world-record five catches in a Twenty20 international innings came off Pandya.

Like Roy, Hales edged a cut, but Morgan’s dismissal was more memorable as Dhoni held a mistimed skier in the popping crease – knocking over the stumps in the process.

Bairstow and Stokes kept 200 on the agenda. But they too both fell to Pandya in the same over – the first two of five wickets to fall in a manic last 15 balls of a home innings which did not quite fulfil its promise.

Sharma was in fine form in his side’s seven-wicket victory

India’s chase was soon minus Shikhar Dhawan, very well held by Jake Ball at short fine-leg off David Willey.

Chris Jordan took an even better catch – arguably among the best of all-time, sprinting back many yards from mid-on and completing a diving take near the boundary off Ball – to see off KL Rahul and make it 62 for two.

Rohit, however, was already well on his way – and joining forces with Kohli was of course no detriment in a stand of 89 which put India within near touching distance.

Jordan held a fierce return catch from Kohli to keep the outcome in fleeting doubt, but Rohit was not about to fall at the final hurdle – and Pandya was no slouch either as Ball and Willey in particular took their punishment.

England defeat New Zealand but bow out of Twenty20 Tri-Series

18 Feb
England defeat New Zealand but bow out of Twenty20 Tri-Series
England won by two runs at Seddon Park

England bowed out of the Twenty20 Tri-Series on a winning note, edging New Zealand in Hamilton but falling well short of the margin required to reach the final in Auckland.

The tourists ended a four-game losing streak with a two-run victory at Seddon Park but it was a hollow triumph, passing without celebration as the hosts’ superior net run-rate carried them into next week’s showpiece against Australia.

There were encouraging performances from fit-again captain Eoin Morgan, whose unbeaten 80 guided England to 194 for seven and another nerveless final over from the steely Tom Curran, but the series has exposed clear cracks in the team’s short-form side.

England showed heart to hang on for the win after New Zealand passed 175 – the mark which ensured their passage to the final – particularly after being subjected to a brutal early rampage from Colin Munro (57 from 21 balls), but it was not enough to gatecrash a Trans-Tasman clash.

Both of England’s openers fell early and identically. Alex Hales mis-read a Tim Southee slower ball and chipped to mid-off and, moments later, Jason Roy was suckered in similarly by Trent Boult.

A modest powerplay score of 41 for two reflected their shaky start but Dawid Malan and Morgan counter-attacked in style.

Kane Williamson’s one-over experiment with his own off-spin saw both batsmen plant him down the ground for six and an emboldened Malan went on to clear the ropes three more times in the space of six deliveries.

After two swipes over wide long-on he danced down the track to Ish Sodhi and launched him into the grass bank beyond long-off.

Mitchell Santner was next to go the distance as Morgan took 21 off his second over, leaving the world’s number one T20 bowler unused for the remainder of the innings.

Morgan was caught on 36 off a Sodhi no-ball, completing a single to give Malan the benefit of the free-hit. He duly launched a looping delivery for six more, bringing up his fourth half-century in five attempts at this level.

When he departed for 53 it started a rut of 17 singles in 23 balls as well as the wicket of Jos Buttler.

Morgan rose to the challenge, ripping into Boult to kick off a flurry of scoring which brought 61 from the last four overs.

There was a possibility New Zealand might find themselves caught between two stools, with half an eye on the winning mark and half on the 175 that would see them to Auckland.

Any such hope was blown out of the water in a few lusty swings of Munro’s bat. David Willey’s second ball flew high over long leg. So too his sixth.

Curran arrived at the City End and suffered a similar fate, ball three swatted on to the roof of a hospitality tent and number four deposited in a pitch-side television gantry.

Munro needed just 18 balls to pass 50, leaving partner Martin Guptill a virtual spectator.

The game appeared over, but England’s spinners – Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson – pulled things back from the brink.

Where New Zealand’s first six overs brought 77 without loss, their next six came in at an anaemic 26 for two.

Munro’s assault ended when he miscued Rashid’s googly to Willey in the deep and Dawson took Williamson’s middle stump after ramping up the scoring pressure.

The slow left-armer had given just nine runs from three overs but shipped 18 from his final visit, Mark Chapman firing two sixes into the on-side.

The slow bowlers’ success saw Malan handed his first T20 overs at international level, a mixed bag which included a dropped catch, three sixes and a peach to dismiss Guptill.

England’s hopes of making the final ended undramatically, Chapman tapping Chris Jordan for a single at the start of the 18th over to ensure the run-rate.

Curran was left defending 12 from the 20th over and four from the last ball and delivered in muted circumstances.

ECB confirm venues for 2023 Ashes and new Twenty20 franchise competition

14 Feb
ECB confirm venues for 2023 Ashes and new Twenty20 franchise competition
Old Trafford will hosts an Ashes Test in 2023

Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl has once again been overlooked as a host venue for an Ashes Test as Edgbaston, Headingley, The Oval, Lord’s and Old Trafford were chosen as the sites for the 2023 series.

The ground near to Southampton has only previously staged two Tests – against Sri Lanka in 2011 and India in 2014 – and missed out on selection for the 2019 series between England and Australia.

Hampshire were widely expected to be named as one of the five hosts to welcome Australia in five years’ time but join Glamorgan’s SWALEC Stadium and Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge as the conspicuous absentees.

However, all eight venues have been named as hosts for the England and Wales Cricket Board’s city-based Twenty20 franchise competition which is set to begin in 2020.

The ECB’s decision means the five Ashes venues for 2023 will be the same ones that are used in 2019.

Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge will host Test matches in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2024 but will not stage an Ashes Test in either of the next two series.

The Nottingham ground will, however, take over from Lord’s as the venue for the domestic One-Day Cup final from 2020, the ECB has confirmed.

Gloucestershire, Durham, Glamorgan and Hampshire will all host England one-day internationals at their grounds throughout the five-year period, with the latter two also set to stage T20 internationals.