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03/11/19 – International Cricket: Weekly recap – New Zealand draw level in the 5-match T20 series with England


1st T20, England tour of New Zealand at Christchurch, Nov 1, 2019

New Zealand – 153/5 from 20.0 overs / England 154/3 from 18.3 overs – England won by 7 wickets (with 9 balls remaining)

England commenced their tour of New Zealand with a win in the first of the five T20 matches at Christchurch on Friday. The English bowlers were able to keep a leash on the hard-hitting Kiwi batsmen with Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Abdul Rashid giving away less than 8 runs per over on an average and taking wickets in the process. Jordan was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2-28 from his quota of 4 overs while Curran was the most economical at 0-25. Key New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill was out cheaply for 2 while upper order big-hitting batsmen Colin Munro (21), Tim Seifert (32) and Colin De Grandhomme (19) failed to give the innings momentum as it tottered at 93-4 from 13.1 overs at one stage. Some big bashing from Ross Taylor (44 from 35 balls) and Daryl Mitchell (30 not out from 17 deliveries) took the home side’s total to a somewhat respectable 153 from their 20 overs.

The visiting English got off sedately and at 68 for 2 with half of the 20 overs gone, they seemed to be struggling a bit especially against spinner Mitchell Santner who scalped both openers Jonny Bairstow (36) and David Malan (11). But James Vince and skipper Eoin Morgan counter-attacked and by the time Vince went with the score reading 122 for 3 from 15.3 overs, England were pretty much on track. Vince’s attacking innings of 59 came off just 38 balls and had 7 fours and 2 sixes in it. Eoin Morgan took his team over the line with a breezy 34 not out from 21 balls. The visitors made the chase look easy, winning with an over-and-a-half to spare. Of the Kiwi bowlers, slow left-arm spin bowler Santner was the lone performer, finishing with very impressive figures of 3-23 from his 4 overs.

2nd T20I, England tour of New Zealand at Wellington, Nov 3 

New Zealand – 176/8 from 20.0 overs / England 155/10 from 19.5 overs – New Zealand won by 21 runs

Mitchell Santner was once again New Zealand’s best bowler, but this time he was on the winning side. The slow left-armer’s 3-25 helped the home team bundle out England for 155 which fell short by 21 runs of New Zealand’s 176 for 8 from 20 overs. Martin Guptill made amends for the meagre 2 runs he managed in the previous fixture by rattling off a belligerent 41 from 28 balls. Although the New Zealand wickets were falling at regular intervals there were aggressive cameos from their middle and lower batters that pushed the total to a challenging 176. Colin de Grandhomme’s savage 28 came off just 12 balls and had three mighty sixes in it. Jimmy Neesham who came in late with the score reading 123-5 from 13.5 overs was equally harsh on the English bowling, top-scoring with a murderous 42 not out from 22 deliveries (2 fours and 4 sixes). For England, Sam Curran with 2-22 and Chris Jordan 3-23 were outstanding while the other bowlers were severely mauled.

England’s chase for the target of 177 started badly with Jonny Bairstow getting dismissed for a duck to fast-bowler Tim Southee and James Vince following with just 1 to his name, scalped by speedster Lockie Ferguson. With the scoreboard reading 2 down for 3, Eoin Morgan counter-attacked the Kiwi bowling and along with opener Dawid Malan threatened to take the game away from the hosts. The Kiwis were a relieved lot when the England skipper left with the score at 40. Morgan had alone got 32 of those 40 runs, hammering three fours and three sixes in the process. England looked shakier when Malan was dismissed for 39 with the score reading 93 with 6 wickets down. Jordan came in where his skipper had left off and almost put England on course for another win before he was dismissed with the score at 134-7. The English all-rounder pounded the Kiwi attack for an aggressive 36 from just 19 balls but with his dismissal the visitor’s innings simply crumbled, losing their last four wickets for only 21 runs. Apart from Santner, Southee with 2-25, Ferguson 2-34 and right-arm leg break bowler Ishq Sodhi 2-37 impressed for the New Zealanders.

Aussies pulverize Lankans 3-0 in the T20 series

1st T20, Sri Lanka tour of Australia at Adelaide, Oct 27, 2019

Sri Lankan captain put Australia to bat on perfectly good batting pitch and paid the price. Aaron Finch and David Warner went on a rampage, piling on 122 for the first wicket from just 12.5 overs before the former went for 56 scored off only 36 balls. Warner went ahead to plunder a blistering century, announcing his return to form after a disastrous tour of England. The 33-year old left-handed opener took just 56 balls to reach his 100 not out, an innings that was peppered with 10 fours and 4 sixes. Glenn Maxwell who came in after the fall of Finch continued the mayhem with a belligerent 62 from a mere 28 balls that included 7 hits to the fence and 3 over it. CAK Rajitha who was among the most parsimonious bowlers in the Sri Lankans’ recent win in Pakistan was belted for 75 runs from his stipulated 4 overs. Even the limited-over legend Lasith Malinga was expensive by his own high standards, giving away 37 from his 4 overs.

Chasing Australia’s mammoth score of 233 for 2, the visitors simply capitulated as one batsman followed the other back to the pavilion. The islanders managed to scour up a meagre 99 runs and lose 9 wickets in the process. Aussie bowlers Mitchel Starc, Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa had a field day with figures of 2-18, 2-27 and 3-14 respectively.  

2nd T20I, Sri Lanka tour of Australia at Brisbane, Oct 30, 2019

Sri Lanka – 117/10 from 20.0 overs / Australia 118/1 from 13.0 overs – Australia won by 9 wickets (with 42 balls remaining)

The 2nd T20 at Brisbane happened to be a reverse of the 1st one at Adelaide. This time it was the Lankans who went into bat and couldn’t last the full quota of 20 overs as they folded up for 117 in the penultimate over. There was a moment when there seemed to be a semblance of a fight-back in the innings with the score at 53/2 when Avishka Fernando was at the crease, but once he went for 27 (top-scorer of the innings) there was no end to the stream of dismissals as the island nation managed to end up with a very unchallenging 117.

With such a paltry target to chase, it was child’s play for the Kangaroos, although for a brief moment it looked like the visitors would be in the game with the early dismissal of Aaron Finch, caught behind off Malinga for a duck in only the third ball of the innings. But that was ephemeral, as Warner (63 not out) and Steven Smith (53 not out) made hay of the Lankan attack and reached the target with seven overs to spare.

3rd T20, Sri Lanka tour of Australia at Melbourne, Nov 1 2019

Sri Lanka – 142/6 from 20.0 overs / Australia 145/3 from 17.4 overs – Australia won by 7 wickets (with 14 balls remaining)

The only thing to say in Sri Lanka’s favour is that the islanders posted their highest total of the three-match series when they managed to muster 142 from the stipulated quota of 20 overs. Kusal Perera provided some consolation to the visitors with their lone fifty of the series. The No.3’s attacking 57 was the sole reason why the Lankans got to where they were. There were minor contributions from Avishka Fernando (20) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (17 not out), but the total of 142 was just not enough to daunt the rampaging Aussies. 

David Warner followed up his 100 & 63 not out in the 1st and 2nd T20s with a somewhat sedate 57 not out from 50 deliveries. His opening stand with Aaron Finch (37) of 69 from just 8.5 overs created the required platform for an easy win which they did with two-and-a-half overs to spare. Key Sri Lankan strike bowlers Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pardeep got their first wickets of the series with figures of 1-22 and 1-20. 

David Warner was the easy choice for the Man of the Series award being the player behind all of Australia’s three wins.

Australia next get ready to host Pakistan for another 3-match T20 series commencing November 3rd.

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