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    Pakistan need to axe Azhar as captain for Sarfaraz first and somehow conjure up an improvement in their ODI side. They could bat all night and still not get anywhere near the world record total posted by England.
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    What a day for England. Records broken all over the shop - and Hales says they haven't even reached their peak yet. I think he's absolutely on the money with that assertion, too.

    Hales has been under pressure recently, struggling in red-ball cricket for England and batting like a man with a muddled brain out there in the limited overs format. But he shone on home turf today - and what a knock it was. Fair enough, Pakistan were shoddy in the field and missed chance after chance, but the home side rammed home their advantage in style and, of all the impressive white-ball feats this side has achieved under Morgan/Bayliss/Farbrace, this is the peak.

    Hales managed to put behind a tough couple of weeks for him to break the 23-year-old record of Robin Smith who made an unbeaten 167 against Australia, at Edgbaston, in 1993. My most beloved stat of the day though is this: 13.41 was the run rate during the unbroken 161-run partnership between Buttler and Morgan. Astonishing.

    Buttler was exceptional, too, despite scoring slowly at first. When he only had one run from his first seven balls, I worried. But he recovered in style, and proved to be a dynamic foil for Root, who himself managed to achieve a record for the most consecutive fifties in the ODI format. In truth, England were just amazing today. Alex Hales put his poor summer behind him with a magical innings, Buttler showed how unique he is, Morgan is finally firing at the crease, and Root is this team's next captain. Need I say more?

    Really, to say they're England's best ever ODI side is to damn them with faint praise. They are magnificently talented. To see the strength they boast with the ball now, too, is wonderful. Woakes, Wood and Plunkett are all so devilishly quick, and they have a good foil with Rashid/Moeen to spin the ball. Stokes didn't even get a bat today FFS.

    England have never been through a season unbeaten in limited-overs cricket - but that is surely about to change.
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    A big day in both county cricket and the international scene, where Australia have the chance to seal the white-ball series against Sri Lanka. It has been a torrid time for them since they began the tour, but Australia have flourished despite losing Steven Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and most recently, Shaun Marsh.

    has taken a wicket within his first two overs in each of the three matches, and he's repeated the feat this morning, dismissing debutant 18-year-old Avishka Fernando in the first over. SL are currently 17-1. The most curious thing is that Mathews opted to make three changes, with SL fielding four Pereras: Angelo, Kusal, Thisara and Dilruwan.

    A huge day in the County Championship, too, with top-of-the-table Middlesex travelling to Edgbaston to take on a Warwickshire side fresh from their Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final victory.

    Hampshire welcome Yorkshire, who are second place, desperately needing a win to claw themselves away from bottom-placed Nottinghamshire. Durham and Lancashire welcome Notts and Somerset to Chester-le-Street and Old Trafford respectively, knowing a win for either side should seal their top-flight status.
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    Afghanistan will tour Bangladesh for 3 ODIs before England tour Bangladesh for 3 ODIs and 2 Test matches.
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    I'm really pleased the tour to Bangladesh is going ahead, as I've mentioned previously on this thread. I think it would be a dangerous precedent if England weren't to go - and Bangladesh cricket needs this tour.

    Now Cook has confirmed his space on the tour, I think the vast majority of English cricketers will follow suit.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    A big day in both county cricket and the international scene, A huge day in the County Championship, too, with top-of-the-table Middlesex travelling to Edgbaston to take on a Warwickshire side fresh from their Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final victory.

    Hampshire welcome Yorkshire, who are second place, desperately needing a win to claw themselves away from bottom-placed Nottinghamshire. Durham and Lancashire welcome Notts and Somerset to Chester-le-Street and Old Trafford respectively, knowing a win for either side should seal their top-flight status.
    Looks like an interesting finish to the County Championship, Last round includes Middlesex v Yorkshire. Pity that there are no more games at weekends.
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    Finch inspires Australia against SL, then. They go 3-1 up in the series, and Australia win by six wickets with 114 balls remaining.

    It's been a week of broken records in the white-ball format - and Finch duly chipped in with an impressive knock of 55 off 19 balls, including three sixes.

    The opener hit 16 from the first four balls he faced and eventually passed 50 off just 18 balls. That's even more impressive considering Warner gave SL a maiden for the first over, failing to score a run before Finch reached 35! Remarkable.

    I imagine Mathews retiring hurt will get the headlines, but Pathirana shone with his three wickets. Hastings was, naturally, the pick of the bunch, picking up six scalps. Starc only managed the one!
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    Red sun rising

    After countless false dawns, Bangladesh cricket wakes up to a true beginning

    SIDHARTH MONGA AND MOHAMMAD ISAM | SEPTEMBER 2016

    http://www.thecricketmonthly.com/sto...red-sun-rising

    Great read about Bangladesh and their progress.
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    Has boom boom retired? Haven't seen him mentioned in the t20 squad
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    Lol @ Australia. They are going to conduct a "meaty" review of the SL tour and their Test failure, but they've done that every time they've failed on the subcontinent and nothing has changed.

    Chief executive James Sutherland said: “Are some of the fundamental things that we are doing to prepare our players to perform well and be highly competitive in subcontinental conditions passing the test?”

    They are just glorified home track bullies. The Australian batsmen don't have enough experience against quality spin, enough experience on turning pitches and aren't adaptable enough.

    Too many of the Australian batting line-up don't aim to slow their scoring, and they give their wicket away far too cheaply time and time again. There are systematic problems in Australian cricket right now. The ex-captains are digging Steve Smith out over his decision to go home rather than contest the white-ball series, and Matthew Hayden et al have been critical of the coaching staff and Darren Lehmann for stifling the Australian players' camaraderie.

    Since 1960, Australia have played 24 series in the sub-continent, and lost 13 and drawn three. It's ironic that, in a landscape where Australian batsmen are playing more cricket on the subcontinent than ever (the IPL and the extensive tours), they are still showing these signs of failure.

    Fair play to Warner, by the way, for leading the Australian team so flawlessly during this white-ball series. I don't like him, and likely never will, but he's a fantastic player and clearly a very good leader. I'd actually have him as the Australian white-ball captain (or, at the very least, T20 captain), allowing Smith to focus his time and energy in the Test arena.
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    (Original post by tazza ma razza)
    Has boom boom retired? Haven't seen him mentioned in the t20 squad
    He called it a day from all international cricket after the last World Cup. Says it all that a quick 'Boom Boom' cameo might have been more entertaining than the miserly Pakistan batting performance has been.
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    One small glamour of light in the Pakistani team is Imad, looks more than handy. I think that there's talent in the side but the team isn't functioning as a some of its parts.
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    Well, there we go. 4-0 to England - but at least this fourth ODI at Headingley offered something more of a contest, especially given the gulf in quality during the third instalment of the series at Trent Bridge.

    The fact England made changes - Woakes and Wood rested, with Willey and Jordan coming in - and still got over the line relatively comfortably just underlines the interchangeability and strength in depth the squad currently boast. Jordan was the pick of the bowlers, I felt, offering brilliant death bowling after quite a worrying start with the ball. His four-over spell at the end of the innings led to just 14 runs being conceded, which was just as well, considering Pakistan had hit 16 from one of Willey's overs.

    You know what's going to come from Jordan: yorker, yorker, yorker. But he executes them so well, they are near perfection, and he and Otis Gibson - the England bowling coach - are a match made in heaven. Full credit to the bowlers, too, as Rashid (3-47) and Moeen (2-39) exerted control over Pakistan and never let them threaten. Pakistan's total - especially off the back of a match which saw England post 444 - was always going to be far too low, but I expected England to achieve it altogether more comfortably.

    Azhar’s 80 from 104 balls and Wasim's unbeaten 57 from 41 were the highlights for Pakistan, who will take heart from Irfan's performance at least, after deploying the giant seamer with Mohammad Amir among those making way. Pakistan made a raft of changes - and, for the large part, they didn't make the tiniest bit of difference. But Irfan proved a constant hassle, before he retired with cramp and tried (bravely) to return to the crease, only to bowl the widest wide I've ever seen.

    Irfan will take heart from dismissing both Roy and Hales early, as England were put under the most pressure since that match against SL on the same ground in the previous series, where Plunkett plundered a giant six off the final ball to secure a draw. Roy and Hales are too marvellous white-ball players, but the former has been quiet against Pakistan, and Irfan did well to dismiss them early.

    When Root was dismissed off that ugly top edge, I feared the worst, but Bairstow - replacing Buttler on his home ground - proved to be the hometown hero once again, striking 61 from 83, while Ben Stokes made 69, underlining the batting depth. When both of those were dismissed - via a run-out and catch in the deep respectively - England could have de-railed, but Moeen got them over the line and showed how long the England tail is. He hit a mammoth six to seal the victory, too.

    Another pleasing aspect for the home side has to be the improved fielding. I only counted one (very difficult chance) which wasn't taken.

    Now, England can head to Cardiff safe in the knowledge they could secure their first 5-0 series whitewash at home (and a first unbeaten summer in ODI cricket) since white-ball cricket was introduced. Exciting.
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    Reckon we'd have lost that game a year ago, good to see the side is developing. Given the match situation I reckon that was Stokes' best ODI innings, if he can figure out 50 over batting it'll add so much.
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    Nobody hits the ball sweeter in this England side than Stokes - except Buttler, maybe, when he's on song. Stokes will always be a frustrating cricketer I think: capable of the sublime, and the ****. Often within the same innings, and perhaps the same over. It was a real shame his catch in the deep didn't count, owing to the no ball.

    I think the most pleasing aspect of today - after not even getting out onto the crease with the bat the other night, owing to England's brilliance - was Stokes' character. He is aggressive naturally, and obviously England don't want to curb that, but he showed character and tenacity today.
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    Lazy comparison but Stokes has that Flintoff effect where his value isn't really quantifiable. You can see it in the test side already, he can score 50 runs and take 3 wickets in a match but we still look miles better for having him in. Doesn't quite have that as an ODI player yet, but today was a really encouraging step towards getting there.
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    Agree about the Flintoff comparison - it's not lazy at all. Flintoff's figures, looking back, are so underwhelming. Everybody thinks he had much more of an impact than he actually did, largely thanks to that effect he had on all around him. He had a canny knack of bringing the best out of his teammates.

    In other news, Ryan Harris has been appointed the Australian bowling coach for their ODI series with SA - but Starc/Hazlewood are set to be rested.
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    Stokes is good - I still think the best hitter and timer of the ball in odi is moeen - anything wide and his driving is lovely (tho he often edges it behind to slip - live by the sword die by it to lol)

    Also reckon he bats too low, to show his full potential; I reckon he should bat 5 instead of 7, especially in test cricket cos then he plays as a pinch hitter rather than the batsman that he is
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    Smaller boards will 'suffer' in two-tier Test system - Thakur

    BCCI president Anurag Thakur has said he is against the idea of splitting Test cricket into a two-tier structure, ahead of an ICC meeting in Dubai next week to discuss the proposal. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Thakur said the proposal was "fundamentally against the basic purpose and identity of the ICC."

    According to the proposal, which enjoys the support of the cricket boards of Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand, the two-tier system would comprise seven teams in the top tier and five in the bottom. Afghanistan and Ireland, as the leading Associate teams, will join the three regular Test playing nations in the bottom tier.

    "As the governing body of the game, the ICC's job is to popularise the game and increase its global reach," Thakur said. "On the contrary, this system may be good for the top five countries, but apart from that, everyone else will suffer. On the one hand, we say we need to support teams like West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, while on the other, by bringing up something like this, we will cut their legs."

    This is the third time in the past month that Thakur has spoken publicly about the BCCI's reservations on the subject. In early August too, he had reasoned it would hurt the smaller countries, whose interests the BCCI wants to guard. Last week again, he alluded to his opposition to the system on the sidelines of the two T20Is between India and West Indies in Florida.

    Thakur said the one big ramification, if the ICC was to adopt the proposed two-tier system, was that it would directly impact the smaller countries financially.

    "Currently, these teams make good revenue from TV rights when bigger nations like India and other countries go and play against them. Their revenues will nosedive and they will struggle further to support their cricket at the grassroots level."

    Elaborating further on his stance, Thakur said that going by the logic of the two-tier system, marquee series like India v South Africa or England v Australia were top draws.

    "And Bangladesh v England or Sri Lanka v Australia won't have that much support from the viewer. Just imagine if people are not watching a top team against a lower-ranked team, will they watch two lower-ranked teams playing against each other? This will further escalate the problem of viewers losing interest. At least today, when a so-called weaker nation is playing against a top-ranked team, exceptional performances are noticed, improvements are sought and benchmarks are set."

    But going by rankings alone, Thakur pointed out, would be turning a blind eye to reality. As an example, he provided Sri Lanka's whitewash of Australia at home in the three-match Test series. "In a game of cricket, no nation should be taken lightly. The recently-concluded Australia versus Sri Lanka series is evidence of that. Sri Lanka, who are in danger of falling under the tier two category, annihilated Australia 3-0. How would that have happened had there been no series between them? So, it can't be said that only top nations will produce top cricket."

    It is understood that apart from the support of some leading boards, the move to implement a two-tier system is being backed by one of the ICC's main commercial partners. Concerned about the fall in TV ratings in bilateral Test series, the system has been designed to enable more frequent "marquee clashes" that can generate more eyeballs, and, as a direct result, attract greater value from broadcasters. Thakur was unconvinced that a formula such as this could work in the long run.

    "Commercial partners have a key role to play in the growth of the game," Thakur said. "Their concerns should be addressed and we should give them a fair hearing. But, at the same time, we have to see that the administration of the game cannot be seen from the standpoint of the balance sheet only. There needs to be a balance and we need to look at the overall health and growth of the game.

    "Dipping TV viewership of Test series is a cause of concern, but two big nations playing against each other all the time won't guarantee you viewership. The recently-concluded India versus South Africa series was a battle between two top nations, but the TV ratings didn't reflect the stature of the teams. The reasons for decline in viewer interest in Tests are far more complicated than what they appear. Changing the format of the FTP will be like applying band-aid to an issue that needs proper scanning and research. On one hand, we say we want to develop the game in new areas, and on the other, we are making top countries wealthier and the lower-rung countries weaker.

    "We oppose the system despite knowing that it will result in a financial windfall for the BCCI if implemented. But, as one of the key stakeholders of the game, we can't be shortsighted and we need to take everyone along."

    According to Thakur, the proposal should have been discussed by a "limited" set of people instead of being deliberated at the board level. "This proposal should have been discussed by a limited number of people before being brought to the ICC table, and, frankly, should have been rejected at the proposal stage itself. Our focus is to hand-hold and strengthen global cricket. As a leader, BCCI is clear in its goal to expand the game, make it popular in new areas and strengthen existing members as well.

    "This kind of two tier system works very well to support domestic cricket or where you have a larger pool of teams and the staging state associations are supported by their parent body and are not under pressure to generate their own revenues, or in leagues where things are considered strictly from a commercial perspective. As the global guardian of the game, we should have a larger perspective and bigger objectives."

    Thakur's comments can be expected to resonate positively with the boards that will be directly impacted if such a system is implemented. Sri Lanka Cricket, for instance, already made its opposition to the split format clear in July, as have the Bangladesh Cricket Board. The West Indies and Zimbabwe boards, already battling financial troubles, are also unlikely to back any move that will dent their bottom line further.
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/co...y/1053957.html

    Surprised but very pleased with that stance from BCCI. Maybe my usual hatred towards them needs to be toned down a notch
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    Says a lot when England managing to crawl over the 300-mark is met with disappointment from a crowd.

    I thought it was a good toss to lose today, and it makes sense to rest Rashid and Ali, because they've been so prevalent in England's white-ball line-ups for the last year. Pakistan are making a decent fist of avoiding a whitewash, though. A score of 300 is manageable, but Pakistan will have to deliver their highest score of the series thus far (after the 270+ they managed the other day) to take home a victory.

    Pakistan's bowlers were much better, with Jason Roy and Ben Stokes both unable to convert hundreds. England were well set, and I thought they'd achieve 350-ish at one stage. But they fell from 219-4 and just managed to get over the 300 mark, with Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali very impressive, sharing seven wickets.

    There was some turn for the spinners - and hopefully Liam Dawson can capitalise.
 
 
 
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