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ICC T20 World Cup Review

England – How it began

England kicked off their T20 World Cup in great fashion in a bustling Dubai by thrashing the reigning champions West Indies by 6 wickets. England’s bowlers were on fine form, Adil Rashid took four, Moeen Ali taking two, Tymal Mills also taking two and one each for Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan. England were just as clinical with the bat, only losing four wickets. Butler earned England most of their runs with 24 not out, a combined effort saw England over the line with 56-4. England got the job done in only 8.2 overs, England have their eye on the trophy and what a way to get their tournament underway.

Despite missing some keys players such as Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran who are all nursing injuries, England still produced a dominant performance. These players were instrumental during the 2019 ODI World Cup, with Stokes and Archer displaying heroics in the final against New Zealand.

Battering of Bangladesh

With the first game out the way and now a distant memory, England’s next hurdle came in the shape of Bangladesh. Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat first. England’s bowlers were yet again in fine form, with Ali taking two early wickets. Bangladesh star man Shakib Al Hasan was dismissed shortly after by Chris Woakes. Bangladesh only managed to conjure up a total of 124 runs, the feeling after that innings was positive from an England perspective.

Jason Roy opened the batting in characteristically bullish style. He produced 61 runs, hitting five 4’s and three 6’s. Roy’s night came to an end when he was caught by Nasum. Butler was also victim to being caught, finishing his time with the bat on 18 runs. Malan and Bairstow saw out the win in comfortable style. This was Bangladesh’s second loss of the tournament, it doesn’t look likely that they will progress much further in the competition. England, however, have put themselves in prime position going into their third match against Australia. The match with Australia will be a tricky test for England’s cricketers.

Damage Done in Dubai

The stage was set at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The England players knew this was a crucial game and if won they would be a brilliant position. An unchanged England side opted to bowl first. Woakes took a huge first wicket taking David Warner after only two balls with Warner scoring just one run. This pattern continued when a heroic catch from a bang in form Woakes who sent Steve Smith on his way for 1. The rest of England’s bowling was sharp and had a very dangerous feel to it. Australia’s batsman finished their innings on an underwhelming 125.

England’s stand out batsman this game was Jos Buttler, who smashed his was to a very impressive 71 not out. It took England 11.4 overs to score a total of 126. Another opponent dismantled, could England be the team to beat during this T20 World Cup? With Jos Buttler talked about being the best short format batsman in the world, it’s no surprise that the confidence in the camp was continuing to increase.

Buttler’s Batting Brilliance

England’s game against Sri Lanka was going to be far from an easy fixture. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first. England had proved handy with the bad throughout the tournament so far. However, this was not mirrored at the start of the innings with Jason Roy being bowled out after facing only 6 balls. It was England’s other opening batsman, Jos Buttler who was to make the headlines. Buttler spent 104 minutes in bat, in this time he managed to hit a huge score of 101 not out. He managed six 4’s and six 6’s. His aggressive approach was exactly what England needed. He became only the fourth man to to hit a T20 hundred for England, and what a time to do it. England ended their innings with 163-4. It was up to Sri Lanka to chase down that score. England’s bowlers were yet again in fine form, with a mix of aggressive fast bowling and tantalising spin. Sri Lanka could only reach 137 all out, England had proved they were just too powerful for Sri Lanka.

Sharjah Summed Up

Sharjah is where England played their final group match of the tournament. This challenge was in the form of a South Africa side who were also looking to progress to the later stages of the T20 World Cup. England decided to field first. England’s bowlers could not seem to replicate a brilliant bowling performance like the one against Australia. South Africa ended their time with the bat on 189-2, a very respectable score.

England were somewhat inconsistent in their batting and suffered their first defeat in the T20 World Cup. England, South Africa and Australia all finished their group matches on 8 points each. This didn’t however hinder England’s progression to the semi-final as they had a better overall run rate than South Africa. England’s Net run rate was 2.464, Australia’s 1.216 and South Africa’s being 0.739. This meant England and Australia made it to the semi-finals, while South Africa’s tournament came crashing to a halt.

Round up from Group 2 

Group 2 also provided a similar amount of drama, with some outstanding cricket being played. Pakistan strolled to being crowned group winners, they remained unbeaten in their group winning all five of their games. New Zealand were hot on the tails of the Pakistan team, they won 4 out of 5 of their matches, only losing to a persistent Pakistan side by 5 wickets. The team that surprised many were India. India didn’t manage to make it out the group and only mustered up 3 wins from their 5 games. With India being a nation who are cricket mad, this must have come as a huge disappointment to many Indian fans, including Virat Kohli, who took his final bow as T20 Indian camptain. One team from each group disappointed with no wins across all their games and those two teams were Bangladesh and Scotland.

All Set for the Semis

The First semi-final commences on the 10th of November where England take on New Zealand. This will be a re-match of the 2019 Cricket ODI World Cup Final. New Zealand will be looking to avenge the loss they were handed by England in a stunning final in England. It promises to a heavily contested match as both teams finished on 8 points in the group stage. England have been tipped to edge it against New Zealand, I’m sure cricket fans across England will be watching with everything crossed.

Pakistan face Australia in the second semi-final on Thursday the 11th of November. A ruthless Pakistan side are the only team who have gone unbeaten throughout the tournament so far and they will of course look to keep that 100% winning record intact against Australia. The favourites going into this semi-final are Pakistan, can Australia cause an upset and make it to the final? England won a tight T20 series 2-1 against Pakistan in the summer, so Eoin Morgan and the team will be confident in facing them in the final., even without Jason Roy and Tymal Mills due to injury.

Tale of the Two Semis

New Zealand looked to take revenge of England in the first Semi-final of the T20 World Cup. New Zealand took to the field first and hoped their bowlers could get in some early wickets. England’s batting performance got off to a modest start. The two openers Butler and Bairstow earned England a combined total of 42 runs off 41 balls. The stand out batsman during England’s innings was Ali who produced a great total of 51, which kept England hopes alive. New Zealand had 166 to chase. They managed to chase England’s 166 with an over to spare. Impressive performances from Mitchell, Conway and Neesham helped New Zealand edge it over England. It was not to be for England but they can hold their heads high after a tournament with some great performances.

The second Semi-Final saw Australia and Pakistan battle it out for a place in the lucrative T20 World Cup Final. Australia won the toss and like many teams over the tournament, decided to field first. Pakistan have showed throughout the World Cup they can be very useful with the bat and this pattern continued. Rizwan hit 67 after being caught out by Smith, Babar also fell victim in Australian hands as he was caught by Warner. It was Pakistan’s opening three who really made up most of the runs, Their closing three only managed a total of 2 runs between them. As well as New Zealand, Australia finished the game off in 19 overs. Notable performances from Stonis and Wade who remained not out, saw Australia to the win with 177-5. It was to be a final between the two teams in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Final

The Dubai International Cricket Stadium hosted the Final and what a venue it is. New Zealand were put into bat first, Guptill got things underway with a trio of fours in quick succession. Things were going well for New Zealand, Williamson was mounting a promising attack for them up until a rampant Williamson dismissed him. Williamson took a further two wickets in a short space of time, this was to be the downfall for New Zealand. Australia needed to score 174 runs to win the T20 World Cup. It was their time to bat and openers Warner and Finch confidently made their way out to the pitch. Finch didn’t last long as he was caught by boult for 5, Warner however hit a very respectable 53. Marsh earned Australia the majority of their runs, hitting a huge 77, Maxwell contributed 28 runs which saw Australia win their first T20 World Cup. Australia had powered to an 8 wicket thrashing of New Zealand. And just like that the curtain is closed on the T20 World Cup, what a tournament it has been from Dubai.

The Summer of 2022 brings lot’s of great international cricket. For a chance to watch England in style this summer, please enquire at the links below.

2022 England v India ODI Series

2022 England v India T20 Series

2022 England v New Zealand Test Series

2022 England v South Africa – ODI Series

2022 England v South Africa – Test Series

2022 England v South Africa – T20 Series

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The Autumn Internationals are back!

2021 Autumn Internationals

A New Era Emerging

Saturday November 6th is when the gates of Twickenham will open for England’s opening Autumn International against Tonga. The Autumn Nations Cup covered the difficult 2020, pandemic struck season but we are back to the original format that we all know and love. The last meeting between England and Tonga was in a pool match in the 2019 World Cup, ending up in a mauling of Tonga, as England overcame them with a 35-3 win. The two sides have only met 3 times with England maintaining a 100% record against Tonga.

With the Autumn internationals at Twickenham approaching, there will be many rugby fans who feel a new era of players need to be introduced. With Australia and South Africa proving significantly difficult challenges, it will be an ideal scenario to test some of the emerging England players.

One of the players who has been knocking on the door for England, is Harlequins Number 8 Alex Dombrandt. Dombrandt forced his way into England’s training squad for the 2019 World Cup but narrowly missed out on a spot in the final squad. Eddie Jones believes we haven’t seen the best of Alex yet. He stated, there is no limit on where he can go as a player because he’s got some special skills. (https://www.planetrugby.com/no-limit-to-number-eight-alex-dombrandt-potential-says-england-head-coach-eddie-jones-ahead-of-international-rugby-test-against-canada/)

 

2019 Rugby World Cup Reminder

The 2019 Rugby World Cup final was a game that many Rugby fans across the globe were anticipating. England’s last hurdle to becoming World Champions was to overcome the challenge of the Springboks. With an encouraging triumph over the All blacks in the semi-final, England went into the final with the belief they could get past a tricky South Africa side and lift the World Cup trophy come the end of a gruelling 80 minutes.

Owen Farrell led out a particularly relaxed England side under the lights at a full Nissan stadium in Yokohama, Japan. National anthems sung, nicety’s out the way, it was time for these two teams to go to war. South Africa got proceedings under way with a huge kick from Handre Pollard. It took South Africa 10 minutes to get their first points on the board. A sloppy penalty given away by England allowed South Africa a kick at goal, which a sharp shooting Pollard took professionally. After England taking a battering in the first 20 minutes, nerves were settled as Farrell converted a much-needed penalty. After a back and forth of penalty conversions, something had to give. The score was 12-6 in the favor of the Springboks going into half time.

Eddie Jones needed to rally his England troops and give them the belief and desire that they could overcome the well-organized South African’s. As the clock hit 60 minutes South Africa led 18-12, then came the decisive moment. A string of clever passes led to pacey winger Makazole Mapimpi breaking the England line and scoring the first try of the final. It was always going to be an uphill battle for England from here. To pour salt into England wound’s, South Africa yet again broke past a helpless England line to glide over the try line making it 32-12. South Africa had made it their third Rugby World Cup win. England will look to avenge their loss to South Africa on 20th November as they take them on in their last Autumn International of 2021.

The question since then is how will England bounce back from this and who do we look to now?

 

Six Nations Reminder

Since 1882 the Six nations as we know it today originally started out as ‘The home nations’. France joined England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in 1910 to make it the 5 nations, with Italy completing the 6 nations in 200.

The Six Nations is a staple in the sporting calendar and continues to produce excitement, unpredictability and quality Rugby, year after year. England’s Six Nations campaign kicks off at Murrayfield where they face an ever-improving Scotland side. It’s not till February 26th that England play their first match at Twickenham. The roar around an expected sell-out crowd at the home of Rugby will hopefully give England that extra push to get over the line against current holders Wales.

Last year’s Six Nations was nothing short of disappointing from an England perspective. After 2020’s first placed finish, England plummeted to finishing 5th in 2021. England started their campaign by losing narrowly to an ever-improving Scotland side at Twickenham. Win’s came against Italy and France, with loses to the other two nations.

The expectation going into the 2022 Six Nations is much greater, with new talent emerging, dead wood offloaded and a confident Eddie Jones, who knows the heights England can reach.

Never miss a moment at Twickenham this Autumn. Availability for hospitality at Twickenham is always limited, but please enquire below for the possibility of attending the much-anticipated England fixtures.

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England Cricket’s IT20 Series vs South Africa Highlights

England Cricket

England IT20 Series vs South Africa Highlights

England Cricket Introduction

England’s long-awaited tour of South Africa kicked off on Friday 27th November where they would be competing in 3 IT20s in Newlands Cape Town (2 matches) and the lesser-known area of Paarl (1 match). In the run up to the series England had 2 inter squad fixtures as a warm up. Inter squad matches would allow them to maintain the strict Covid-19 bubble which would be required to complete the three-match series. Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan were the captains of the two England cricket teams which would provide the players with an opportunity to rid themselves of any rust and offer the fringe players a chance to stake their claim to be included in the upcoming series. We have all of England’s 2021 summer fixtures available to purchase hospitality packages for. England play Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India between June and September.

Morgan has publicly stated “England will be picking their strongest XI in every IT20 between now and next years ICC IT20 World Cup in India”. This will give the team the best opportunity to gel and know their roles inside out for the tournament. Opportunities will be few and far between for anybody not in the immediate plans of the selectors therefore, it will be imperative that those with question marks next to their names use any and every chance to make their mark.

It was England’s Test captain Joe Root who made the biggest impression throughout the warmup matches with scores of 77 and 63. Root was an integral part of the team which made it to the last IT20 World Cup Final in India but has since lost out to the more dynamic players in the squad. A likeness can be drawn here with Australia who are the World’s highest ranked IT20 team and under Justin Langer they have consistently picked Steve Smith at 3 or 4. There is certainly a place for a player of the ilk of Smith and Root in todays T20 format but the key question for Root at least, is will there be room for him in this England cricket batting line up?

 

1st IT20 Newlands

South Africa’s Batting Highlights

England won the toss and elected to bowl at Newlands Cricket Ground. The early loss of Temba Bavuma brought the two senior players in the South Africa squad together and they both set about building a significant partnership. Captain Quinton de Kock and Faf Du Plessis took the attack to the England bowlers. De Kock in his typical style made the game look effortless, striking a 90mph ball from Jofra Archer 20 rows into the stand for a huge maximum. By the end of the first Powerplay de Kock and du Plessis had reached 50-1.

In one Powerplay over du Plessis took England’s fast bowler Tom Curran for 24, his most expensive over in IT20 cricket. The partnership was finally broken with 83 runs on the board when de Kock fell to Eoin Morgan, caught at extra cover off the bowling of Chris Jordan. England cricket were desperate for the breakthrough and the prized wicket of captain de Kock.

It was just what the England cricket team needed to slow the South African run rate. With his new partner Rassie van der Dussen, du Plessis brought up his 50 in 33 balls with the scoreboard reading 94-2 but fell shortly after. With both the senior set players out, responsibility fell to van der Dussen who has shown a lot of quality in his relatively short international career in both the short and long forms of the game. A strong set of shoulders and long leavers allowed him to clear the boundary with ease and he did so on 3 separate occasions on his way to scoring 37. England’s bowlers fought back well at the death as they so often do with Tom Curran, Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan providing good variation. South Africa finished with an above average total of 179-6 for teams batting first at Newlands.

England Cricket Innings highlights

England in reply lost their openers Jason Roy and Jos Buttler early. Roy fell to the left arm spin of George Linde, a ploy often used against Roy before he has settled into his innings. The ball was short and wide and should have been put away, but he only succeeded in edging the ball behind into the waiting gloves of South Africa’s Wicket Keeper, Quinton de Kock.

Roy’s opening partner Buttler was dismissed after a flurry of boundaries from himself and Dawid Malan. Caught at cover, off a back of a length delivery where he was unable to get any power and elevation into the shot to take it beyond the fielder. South Africa were all smiles after removing two of the most destructive English batters in quick succession with the score on 27. Next to fall was Dawid Malan with the score on 34-3 England found themselves in real trouble.

New batters, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow had a huge responsibility to get England within touching distance of the South African total if they were to have any chance of winning this game. Fortunately, England under the guidance of Bairstow and Stokes were quickly back on track, bringing up the teams hundred in the 12th over. So, from 34-3 England were now 115-3 with 7 overs remaining. Arguably, after being under the cosh for the opening 5 overs were now in the ascendancy.

England’s captain Eoin Morgan joined Bairstow not out on 50 off 30 balls at the crease still requiring 40 runs for the win. Stokes fell at long-on off the bowling of the leg spinner Shamsi. Morgan played a little cameo but was unable to see the England cricket team home. That responsibility fell to Sam Curran 7* and Bairstow 86* who finished the match with a huge 6, whacking the ball out of the ground.

First IT20 Conclusion

It is becoming a mark of this IT20 England cricket team that they are still able to back themselves even when they have lost early wickets and find themselves behind the run rate. The quality in this team allows the next player to come in with the belief that if he plays to his full potential, he can win the match for the team. It was Bairstow this time with the breath-taking performance, in an innings of brutal hitting but it could just as easily have been Buttler, Morgan, Stokes, or Roy who on their day are capable of equally astonishing feats. Beware the rest of World Cricket, England are setting their stool out just as they did with their One Day International campaign on route to World Cup ODI success.

 

2nd IT20 in Paarl

2nd IT20 in Paarl Introduction

For the second IT20 the teams headed to Paarl, not so well known internationally but infamous in South Africa for its weather conditions. Temperatures often reach 40 degrees on the playing surface as the ground is situated between two mountain ranges. No wind and soring temperatures make this one of the toughest places to play cricket in South Africa. The Protea’s won the toss and elected to bat first.

South Africa would need to shrug off the disappointment from the first match and set the tone of the match early. An aggressive first five overs would build a platform to kick on from in the back end of the innings setting England cricket a challenging total. It would then be the jobs of the bowlers to restrict England’s batters with tight bowling or more importantly, early wickets.

South Africa’s Innings highlights

As he so often does at the start of an innings, Quinten de Kock gets his team of to a flyer. Supported by his opening partner Temba Bavuma De Kock thrashed 22 off 12 balls. South Africa had 33 on the board in the 4th over before the loss of their first wicket, Bavuma bowled Archer for 13.

After the loss of Bavuma South Africa accelerated their scoring through to 48-1 before Chris Jordan for the second time in the series had De Kock caught, right at a time when his team were desperate for him to kick on and get a big score. In both innings the South African captain had looked in fantastic form, timing shots beautifully off the fast bowlers, but so far, he has been unable to capitalise on either start. Unfortunately, for South Africa they rely so heavily on their young captain for runs, the loss of his wicket brought England right back into the game. Adil Rashid England cricket’s leg spinner kept up the pressure taking the next two wickets quickly, reducing South Africa to 75-4 at the halfway stage. In the last 10 overs the Protea’s doubled their total to end their innings on 146-6.

England Cricket Innings

On the second time of asking Roy and Buttler were able to get England off to a solid start however, not without incident, Kagiso Rabada dropping Buttler on 7. Roy after a couple boundaries was caught at cover trying to repeat the shot from the ball before which found the boundary, however this time, he lost his shape leaving England 25-1. After the early loss England were 41-1 at the end of the Powerade Powerplay and they were looking in a comfortable position but similarly to the South African innings as the ball became soft, runs became difficult to find.

Buttler as the set batsmen looked to add some impetus using his feet against the leg spin of Tabraiz Shamsi but was beaten in the flight and was stumped by De Kock. Another shift in the momentum of the game, this time in the direction of South Africa. Bairstow, was unable to replicate his heroics from the first IT20 and quickly followed Buttler back into the changing room. So often in the shorter forms of the game it’s the wrist spin that makes the breakthrough. Shamsi has a knack of picking up key wickets at key times in the match. Would runs on the board be the key in the later stages of this match?

The answer, a resounding No; thanks to the world No1 IT20 batsman Dawid Malan and England’s captain Eoin Morgan who saw England home. Malan bringing up his 50 with a 6 off just 39 balls. A fantastic knock in the context of the game and on a difficult wicket he was the only batsman that showed the ability to consistently time the ball.

2nd IT20 Conclusion

After an exhilarating opening IT20 at Newlands, Paarl proved to be a far more tactical affair. With the pitch favouring the bowlers the scores were low and it was Dawid Malan at the end who was the point of difference between the two teams. Eoin Morgan after the game was delighted with how his team came through a tight fixture, securing the series with one game to spare. This England team look the real deal with quality throughout earning their unassailable 2-0 lead.

 

3rd IT20 Newlands

3rd IT20 Introduction

The final game of the series was back at Newlands Cricket Ground and for the third time in a row South Africa would bat first. The Protea’s would need it be third time lucky as they look to salvage something from this home series defeat.

South Africa’s Innings

Once again Bavuma and de Kock got off to a good start and raced through to 34 in the 5th over, but once againdDe Kock fell to Jordan for the third time in the series when looking to accelerate his scoring rate. This was the third time in the series that the opening pair had got a partnership going but were unable to build upon it. Chris Jordan on the other hand will be delighted to pick up the prize scalp of de Kock in every innings.

After the loss of de Kock and Bavuma, van der Dussen and du Plessis set about restoring order to the innings. On a good batting wicket at Newlands the scoreboard rattled along, the score reaching a hundred in the 15th over with only the loss of 2 wickets. If van der Dussen or du Plessis were there at the end for South Africa, the team would post a competitive total.

Poor bowling from England allowed South Africa to score freely throughout the next couple of overs, taking their total from 103 to 145 in only 15 balls. Rassie van du Dussen bringing up his 50 in just 23 balls taking Jofra Archer the best bowler in the recent Indian Premier League for 22 in one over including 2 fours and 2 sixes. Rassie van du Dussen brought up the 100-run partnership by lofting Chris Jordan for four over extra cover. du Plessis was not far behind in his rate of scoring bringing up his second 50 of the series of just 36 balls. The two players gave South Africa a real chance with incredible ball striking all-round the wicket. Dussens 74 off 32 balls was mesmerizing.

The average first innings total at Newlands is 163 so a total of 191-3 from South Africa has really put the pressure on this England cricket team.

England Cricket Innings

England would look to get out in front of the run rate early to take as much of the scoreboard pressure off a possible. 192 would be an almighty chase but a solid platform would give them the start they need.

Roy started the inning in his typically frantic fashion with a couple boundaries before being trapped LBW to the big fast bowler Anrich Nortje. It has been an average tour for someone with the talent of Jason Roy and with Joe Root and Tom Banton waiting in the wings he might well rue those missed opportunities to cement his place in the team.

Dawid Malan in at 3 and full of confidence after his match winning 50 at Paarl strolled to the crease to join Buttler who was looking in fantastic nick.

The pair would both bring up their fifties in quick succession Malan first with 50 of 26 balls and Buttler shortly after with 50 off 34.  At 114-1 with still 9 overs to go the writing was on the wall or South Africa. When Buttler, one of England’s most destructive batsmen ever is outscored as the opposition you know you are in big trouble.

England in the end made light work of the chase with Malan finishing 99* and Buttler 67* seeing the team home with 15 balls to spare.

3rd IT20 Conclusion

I want to reiterate, this England team is looking like the real deal. They have variation in their bowling unit with left arm and right arm seam bowlers, they have the raw pace and death bowling of Archer and Jordan and the skill, experience, and guile of Adil Rashid who seems to be getting better and better.

Dawid Malan moves even further ahead as the Worlds best IT20 cricket player and his understanding of how to win games is what England were crying out for in this format. To keep Joe Root, one of England cricket’s all time best out of the game you must be playing out of your skin and right now Malan is doing just that.

 

IT20 Series England cricket vs South Africa conclusion

A fantastic series showing the many talents of this England Cricket team. Malan was player of the series but there were many others who could have received the award. Bairstow for his match winning 80* in the first game and Sam Curran’s consistency with the ball were both contenders but with the form Malan is currently in there could be no other selection.

There will be bigger tests ahead over the next couple of years. In the run up to the IT20 Cricket World Cup England have tours of India and Australia to come. Both teams will need to be at their best as this England cricket team will be full of confidence as their domination of the white ball game continues.

The demand to attend next summer is huge. Do not miss England’s Summer of Cricket with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India all touring in 2021. Secure your official packages today on 0207 048 4875.

 

Sri Lanka will open the Men’s International cricket summer.

 

Pakistan are set to return for a One Day International & T20 series.

 

India will conclude the Men’s international summer with a 5 Test series.