The Global Test Tournament

Who will win the Europa League?


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    10

Wavelberry

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If this is England Ed Smith will make sure Jos starts and Joe Denly plays. Maybe we can try and get Keats opening again too.

Also, if I see that bastard Alex Hales anywhere near the country let alone ODI squad I will level Nottingham.
 

Short Leg Cricket

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If this is England Ed Smith will make sure Jos starts and Joe Denly plays. Maybe we can try and get Keats opening again too.

Also, if I see that bastard Alex Hales anywhere near the country let alone ODI squad I will level Nottingham.

Well well well..... we will see!
 

Short Leg Cricket

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6TH APRIL 2020

Intra Squad Match Lineups

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Key Players for the match:

Team Root:
- Zak Crawley will be joined at the top of the order by Jonny Bairstow, who looks to reignite his Test career without the gloves.
- Spinners Matt Parkinson and Amar Virdi will have a chance to state their case for the NO.1 spinner berth with Jack Leach and Mark Wood rotated out.
- Ben Foakes will be hoping to continue his run scoring form from the first match whilst Dan Lawrence is given another chance to showcase his talent with bat and ball.

Team Stokes:
- Dawid Malan will hope his groin strain doesn't come back to bite him on his quest for Test success.
- James Bracey will bat at 6 in his first outing in England colours.
- Craig Overton and Jamie Porter will replace rotated out players Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad and they need to show improved performances with the red orb.
 

Short Leg Cricket

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8TH APRIL 2020

GREAT GREGORY STRIKES AGAIN AS TEAM ROOT

Team Root wrapped up the 4 day Test match against counterparts Team Stokes with a comfortable 6 wicket win at Lords. Somerset all rounder Lewis Gregory once again shone on the England stage after taking 5 wickets across the match and 13 for the two intrasquad matches. Joe Root also capped off a fantastic week with another half-century but it wasn't all doom and gloom for Team Stokes as youngster James Bracey showed his promise batting at 6 with two steadfast and defiant fifties. The margin of victory for Root would be very satisfying however what would be more pleasing would be the contributions made by all 28 players used across the two four day encounters, which highlighted the strength in the squad and the depth that he has to his disposal if he should require them in the long Test summer and winter ahead. Next up for England is a 4 day Test match away in Zimbabwe next week, with the England B side playing a Zimbabwean B side at Headingley. Who will make the squad for each match after these impressive encounters?!

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Short Leg Cricket

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Team Root vs Team Stokes 2nd Match Lowdown

- Jonny Bairstow won the battle of the openers with a first-innings 73 off 94 but he wasn't alone as Dom Sibley (61) and Zak Crawley (34 + 32) notched pleasing scores
- Keaton Jennings did not help his case with a first ball duck and 15 adding to the misery of bowling 12 wicketless overs for 62!
- Despite his Game one 83, Joe Denly hinted that he might be on the decline with successive 2 ball ducks. Dan Lawrence (29 + 59 plus a wicket) highlighted he would be more than capable to fill in if the situation arose
- Skipper Joe Root continued his imperious form (83 and 34) and can only improve by converting his half-centuries to centuries whilst opposing skipper Ben Stokes endured a difficult game with ball and bat. Dawid Malan shrugged off his groin injury with an attacking innings of 89 reminiscent of the WACA hundred in 2017.
- Surrey boys Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes proved a fearsome partnership, Pope plundering 42 and Foakes crafting another 73 in the first innings before guiding the match home in the second innings. Foakes also produced some wicketkeeping magic behind the stumps. Jos Buttler played two confidence-building innings in the thirties but will be sweating over his place.
- Gloucestershire wicket keeper batsman James Bracey was a shining light for Team Stokes compiling two mature and defiant innings of 77* and 50, an outsider perhaps...
- Lewis Gregory shone again albeit not to the extent of the first game with 5 expensive wickets whereas Chris Woakes (2 wickets) and Craig Overton and Jamie Porter (4 wickets) proved more economical.
- Olly Stone demonstrated his new ball and raw pace ability through 3 early wickets removing Jennings and Denly in four balls to rock the Team Stokes side.
- The spinner conundrum continues however Dom Bess looks most likely to retain his spot (South Africa performances the main factor) despite not taking many wickets because of his lack of overs. Amar Virdi bagged 5, Matt Parkinson 2 and Moeen Ali with 1 proved that there is some promise should first choice Bess not perform.
- More questions than answers for sure, but the depth, talent and skill is all there and all 28 players played with pride and passion for the England Lion. Many showed their promise, some showed their class and some questioned how they made the squad.
 

Short Leg Cricket

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GREGORY GUNNING FOR ENGLAND
Nasser Hussain says Lewis Gregory has caused some selection headaches for the England selectors and "is an outside chance for a Test debut".​

Sky Sports pundit Nasser Hussain believes Lewis Gregory, who took 13 wickets across the two recent intrasquad matches, is an outside chance to make his Test debut across the longest summer in international history. Gregory has also scored some useful lower-order contributions for Team Root and Hussain believes that he has put his name in the hat for further honours.

"Gregory is a fascinating cricketer. When he first made his mark in Lions matches and England U19, he was predominately a batting allrounder, who could bowl some handy overs to complement his six-hitting. His development and progress over recent years with the ball but also in white-ball cricket, has been remarkable and fantastic to see from the outside. He has really developed his bowling in the franchise leagues around the world, with his slower ball variation fooling lots of batsmen whilst he hits a really long ball and his strike rate for Somerset and his contribution with the bat in the T20 Blast has been massive.

The Somerset all-rounder has an impressive bowling record in red ball cricket with his best season coming last year after taking 51 wickets at an exceptional average of 15, only Matt Milnes, Harry Podmore and Kyle Abbott took more wickets in the County Championship last year as seamers.

"His red ball record with the ball is top-notch. He's not going to be steaming in bowling rockets but he offers you a different focal point in the attack. He offers you metronomic line and length, challenging and probing both edges of a similar ilk to Ben Stokes. What you have to put into perspective is that he isn't an automatic choice nor is he particularly someone England anticipated would be challenging for a starting position at the start of the summer, such is the strength in the squad. He is an effective 75 - 80mph bowler in English conditions with the Dukes ball as he can swing the ball both ways but it remains to be seen whether he can thrive in quicker wickets of Australia or flat decks in New Zealand. I think that is where his improving ability with the ball thanks to some franchise cricket and his red ball record could give him an advantage over some of the other bowlers as he could potentially use more of his skills on tougher wickets.

Hussain has doubts though on where he would fit in a full-strength England squad and where he is in the pecking order with the likes of Olly Stone and Somerset teammate Craig Overton already having made their debut alongside established all rounders Chris Woakes and Sam Curran.

"The problem is where does he fit in. His record is undeniable but you've got Woakes who is an exceptional bowler in English conditions and an ever improving asset overseas whilst also a capable batsman and a top guy and team player, as well as Sam Curran who provides a brilliant left-arm option and some swashbuckling runs. Both of there Test careers albeit Woakes has played more, have been excellent and sometimes they aren't going to be making the starting XI if Archer and Wood are fully fit. So, its a balancing act. You could argue that with Ollie Pope at 6, England will be looking at him as the future and to move him up to 3 as his career progresses as a replacement for Joe Denly so you could then add an extra all rounder who could fit in ahead or behind the wicketkeeper whether that would be Buttler or Ben Foakes.

"But with his 13 wickets against his teammates, his stocks will have risen and if England play like they did in South Africa and beat their European League opponents, Gregory could be given a chance in a dead rubber or as an injury replacement. The strength of England is the bowling and the bowling depth and we haven't mentioned Olly Stone who is a quick, young talent who played well in his debut Test match against Ireland and would have featured in the Ashes if not for injury or Ollie Robinson and Jamie Porter whose records are exceptional. Whoever England pick you could almost assume they will bowl the opposition out taking 20 wickets so it will be the batting that will need to be focused on if they are going to make it to the Global Test Tournament.

Gregory will be hoping alongside his England teammates that he will feature in the upcoming Zimbabwe 4 day Test matches, either in Zimbabwe for the first XI or down at Headlingely for the 2nd XI. You can catch all the action on Sky Sports Cricket for the whole of the summer as well as on the news, on demand or on Sky Go.

Catch the lowdown and reaction to the Zimbabwe squad announcements tomorrow on the ECB website and on the Sky Sports website.


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Short Leg Cricket

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12th April 2020
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England Cricket Lineups for Zimbabwe Matches​

England Cricket are delighted to announce the two sets of 11 that will be taking on two Zimbabwean sides in four day matches. The England A Team will be the first choice squad, led by current skipper Joe Root, who are currently in Zimbabwe to take on their A side starting tomorrow. The England B team will be the second choice squad and will be skippered by Chris Woakes as they take on a Zimbabwe B side in another 4 day match this time at Headingley. The players not selected for each side will stay at the Home of Cricket to work on their batting and bowling skills with technical coaching from Sir Geoffrey Boycott (batting) and Steve Harmison (bowling). Assistant coach Chris Silverwood will travel with Paul Collingwood (fielding), Sir Ian Botham (bowling) and Michael Atherton (team analyst) to Headingley to oversee the B side whilst head coach Jamie Hamilton will be joined by Alastair Cook (batting), David Gower (motivation) and new coach member Michael Holding in Zimbabwe. We wish both teams the best of luck and these games will influence selection for the Europa League first match starting at the Kia Oval on the 21st April against Scotland. Team news for that can be expected at the conclusion of the Zimbabwe matches.

England A vs Zimbabwe

Rory Burns
Dom Sibley
Joe Denly
Joe Root (C)
Ben Stokes
Ollie Pope
Jos Buttler (+) (just)
Sam Curran
Dom Bess
Mark Wood
Stuart Broad

England B vs Zimbabwe B

Zak Crawley
James Bracey
Dan Lawrence
Dawid Malan
Jonny Bairstow
Ben Foakes (+)
Lewis Gregory
Chris Woakes (C)
Olly Stone
Ollie Robinson
Jack Leach

*Please note Jofra Archer and James Anderson fans before our twitter goes mental, that they are both currently on the injury table and will not be appearing until at least the midway stage of the Europa League. Many thanks!
 

Short Leg Cricket

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17th APRIL 2020



SCINTILLATING STONE STEERS ENGLAND B TO VICTORY!

Olly Stone underlined his credentials and put his name firmly into the selection hat with a rip roaring 6-45 that blitzed the Zimbabwe B second innings out and guided England B to a well earned 5 wicket win. Despite Stone's excellence, England B, led by Chris Woakes, made the modest chase of 134 very difficult and were reeling at 38-4 before compact innings from Ben Foakes and Lewis Gregory negotiated the side to victory. Gregory also backed up his impressive intrasquad display, becoming the lead wicket taker in the first innings of Zimbabwe's batting with 4-34 whilst Zak Crawley boosted his Europa League selection chances by scoring a fluent 81. Zimbabwe B played admirably throughout with spinner Wellington Masakadza their star, bowling very economically (3-51 and 1-29 from 22 and 19 overs) and batting fantastically in the first innings to be the top scorer (43). In a low scoring spectacle, Stone starred and has done his future chances no harm by bowling with hostile pace, bounce and accuracy in the full length which bamboozled the Zimbabwean batsmen. Should England qualify for the Global Test Tournament, Stone could add to his 1 cap gained from the solitary Ireland test with an appearance perhaps against Zimbabwe too but also against opposition with Stone friendly bowling conditions. The next important date for the England players is tomorrow (18th April) where the squad for the Europa League match against Scotland will be revealed. Zimbabwe B will fly back to Zimbabwe tonight and prepare for their first African League match starting on the 21st April against underdogs Namibia.

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*You may have noticed these two screenshots have come from Cricket Captain if not, surprise! If you had got this far and thought that the game was Cricket 19, I advise turning on your games console and looking at the menu just to familiarise yourself... I had planned to simulate the games on Cricket 19 however due to time constraints I picked up my IPAD and played/controlled England on both of the matches on the Cricket Captain game which was a fun way of just mixing it up. It will though be the only time anything other than Cricket 19 is used but for a one-off warm-up, why not?!
 

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Short Leg Cricket

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17th APRIL 2020



BESS THE BEST AS ENGLAND THUMP ZIMBABWE

Dom Bess proved the best with the bat as he contributed a major hand in England's 238 run victory against home side Zimbabwe. Bess, who only took 1 wicket across the game albeit economically, lifted England up above 400 in the first innings, partnering Ollie Pope (94) by scoring 43 after JOE DENLY recorded his first Test century against a strong Zimbabwean attack, his 115 highlighting his worth to the side. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 267 in their first innings, aided by a Sean Williams (67) and Sikander Raza (60) century stand, and found themselves 160 runs behind when England returned to bat. Mark Wood led a firing England attack with 4-68 backed up by Broad (2-50), Curran (2-55), Stokes (1-37) and Bess (1-55). Bess earned his MOM performance through his second innings batting where England collapsed to 24-3, 56-5, 75-7 and 81-8 when Sam Curran departed. Bess and Wood combined for a 45 run partnership before Wood was bowled for 20, but it was the partnership with Stuart Broad that sunk Zimbabwean hearts and took the target to an almost unassailable level. From cover drives over extra cover and lap sweeps to the more conventional scoring shots, Bess played freely and fluently to register his second Test half-century and push towards a first ton. Broad contributed too with a swashbuckling yet defiant batting display scoring 39 from 82 including a huge six before he ended the 90 run partnership, chipping back to skipper Williams. England would finish on a paltry 216 but it would be Bess' 80 not out from 119 balls which would earn huge plaudits at the end of the match. Set 467 to win, Zimbabwe never really started and subsided to a Ben Stokes masterclass, all rounder taking 5-22 to propel England to a 238 run win and quickly towards the local bar and then the plane.

Joe Root will be very pleased with both of England's victory and the manner of the A-side, in particular, will be very encouraging when they take on Scotland in four days time. The performance of Joe Denly will reaffirm his belief that the Kent man is still the right guy for the English side despite his age and Zak Crawley among others knocking at the door. His bowling attack bowled superbly from the first to the last ball, the combination of Broad, Wood, Curran, Stokes and Bess all firing in the wicket-taking column whilst being very economical too. The ability to score 400 in the first innings will also be a crumb for comfort for the Yorkshireman as well as the lower order batting talent and the talent at No.6, the young star Ollie Pope! Pope's 94 will be confident boosting for himself and the selectors, who will have a difficult job narrowing down the squad.
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Short Leg Cricket

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Denly’s century has really thrown a spanner in the works! Bess as well batted really nicely, Pope too! Wonder how the selectors are going to narrow the squad down to 12, considering Denly has already packed his bags and driven up to Scotland.
 

Dutch

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Denly’s century has really thrown a spanner in the works! Bess as well batted really nicely, Pope too! Wonder how the selectors are going to narrow the squad down to 12, considering Denly has already packed his bags and driven up to Scotland.
Surprised you went Cricket Captain all of a sudden but good stuff: I do love the charts and stats from the game. Cricket Coach has an almanac feature which is absolutely stunning! Might inspire me to do a Cricket Coach story after my test!
 

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