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Recent Match Report – Barbados Tridents vs Guyana Amazon Warriors, Caribbean Premier League, Final

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Barbados Tridents 171 for 6 (Carter 50*, Charles 39, Tahir 1-24) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 144 for 9 (King 43, Reifer 4-24, Nurse 2-17, Gurney 2-24) by 27 runs

When the New England Patriots defeated the New York Giants 38-35 to end the 2007 NFL regular season, they became the first American Football team to go undefeated since the league expanded to a 16-game format. But the game exposed vulnerabilities that gave the Giants a blueprint to beat the Patriots in their rematch in Super Bowl XLII 17-14.

Last Sunday, Guyana Amazon Warriors defeated Barbados Tridents to take their CPL record unbeaten streak to 11 matches by posting 218 for 3 behind Brandon King’s record century. What was lost in the shuffle of that match was that the Tridents actually made a serious fist of the chase, ending on 188 with Jonathan Carter top-scoring to make 49 off 26, as some vulnerabilities started to appear.

Bucking the T20 trend of teams opting to chase, Tridents’ success through much of CPL 2019 has been in defending totals. Given a chance to bat first in the CPL Final at Brian Lara Academy, Carter produced a stirring roundhouse kidney punch that stopped Amazon Warriors dead in their tracks. Unable to dance around the ring, Amazon Warriors’ chase was floored by a collective effort from Jason Holder’s bowling unit, as the Tridents produced a stunning upset to claim their second CPL title, and first since 2014, by knocking off the Warriors to thwart their undefeated title bid and a fifth CPL final loss.

Running amok

Having to go without their second-leading scorer JP Duminy, who sat out with a hamstring injury picked up in Thursday’s win over Trinbago Knight Riders, Tridents got off to a solid start in the first ten overs to reach 76 for 3. But after Shai Hope fell in the 12th over, the chase went haywire with Shakib Al Hasan involved in a pair of runouts.

The first came four balls after Hope’s wicket as Holder flicked to deep midwicket. Shakib hared down three strides ahead of Holder for the first run and was already a quarter of the way back for a second before Holder had turned at the non-striker’s end. Keemo Paul had covered the ground well to field and relay to Nicholas Pooran over the striker’s stumps as Holder came back reluctantly in response to Shakib and wound up being out by a foot.

Shakib created an identical situation with Carter two overs later after the latter drove out to extra cover. Once again, Shakib was three steps ahead and started coming back for a second run, but Carter was slow getting out of the crease after striking the ball and wasn’t interested in the second, but made his decision too late for Shakib. This time Paul’s throw dragged Pooran well away from the stumps but Shakib had given up and the keeper’s throw from five yards away was true, leaving the score 109 for 6 with 31 balls left.

Upset the Apple Cart(er)

Against the Knight Riders on Thursday, Ashley Nurse and Raymon Reifer plundered 43 off the last two overs to salvage a floundering innings and get up past 160 on a traditionally low-scoring ground. On this occasion, it was Nurse and Carter who resurrected the Tridents in the waning overs.

Carter took the lead with a trio of fabulous straight drives for six before and another over midwicket. The bulk of that came in the 19th over off Paul, who leaked 17 in the frame as momentum swung sharply toward Tridents. Nurse then took his swipes at Romario Shepherd in the 20th with a six and four to start the final over before Carter struck a two to bring up a 26-ball half-century as Tridents ended with 63 off the last 31 balls to post a total that looked like it was well above par based on past evidence.

USA 3, rest of CPL 2

Coming into the final, Shoaib Malik had only been dismissed four times in 11 innings. Two of those came at the hands of Knight Riders fast bowler Ali Khan and Tridents legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr., the only two Americans playing in the tournament. Walsh Jr. added Shoaib for a second time on Saturday night to cap his season with a tournament-best 22 wickets in just nine matches.

After Raymon Reifer had set back Amazon Warriors in the Powerplay with the wickets of Chandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer, Shoaib came to the middle but was not his usual fluent self. After reaching 4 off 10 balls, he got a half-tracker from Walsh Jr. that should have gone for six but failed to get the elevation, a microcosm of his lack of rhythm on the night as he picked out Reifer at deep midwicket. It put Walsh Jr. on the path to ensure an American would raise the CPL trophy for the second year in a row after Khan with Knight Riders in 2018.

King Dethroned

The Warriors were still in with a chance of overhauling the target as long as the tournament’s leading scorer was at the crease. Brandon King was looking sharp but struggled for support at the other end, causing him to lose patience. On the last ball of the 11th over, King charged impetuously at Nurse and turned a full ball into a yorker, playing over the top as it slid past leg stump for a simple stumping by Hope.

Another half-tracker claimed another big scalp for the second time in the chase as Pooran toe-slapped a long hop from Nurse to Alex Hales at long-on. Harry Gurney and Reifer then continued to whittle through the middle order until 41 were required off 12 balls. Paul holed out to long-on off Gurney in the 19th and with 33 needed off the last over, Reifer mathematically clinched it by having Chris Green slashing an edge behind, giving him the best bowling figures ever in a CPL Final.

With their backs against the wall playing a de-facto elimination match in the penultimate game of the regular season against St. Lucia Zouks, Tridents stormed back to life and by the end, snuffing out Amazon Warriors’ fairy-tale season with a Cinderella finish of their own.



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Stuart Broad relishes return to bowling

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Stuart Broad has described thoroughly enjoying his return to bowling for the first time in more than two months, despite pulling up weary afterwards.

England seamer Broad was one of 18 bowlers to return to individual training programmes at venues around the country last Thursday and Friday amid a slight easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. He also said he saw no problem playing in a match where his father, Chris Broad, was referee, as might be the case this summer with limits on travel and social contact set to remain in place even if the international season goes ahead.

Broad trained at Trent Bridge under the guidance of Nottinghamshire physio James Pipe and adhering to strict infection control protocols. Broad had to record his temperature before heading to the ground, where he had his own parking space and toilet and bowled with a new set of Dukes balls, which he will keep and continue to use throughout the individual training period.

“I was only bowling at an empty net, and yet, when I left Trent Bridge on both Thursday and Friday there was a real ‘wow’ feeling,” Broad wrote in his column for The Mail On Sunday. “It felt really good to be back out in the middle again.

“It was the first time I’d bowled properly since we returned from the tour of Sri Lanka 10 weeks ago. To be fair, although I’ve only bowled 12 overs so far, the action feels pretty solid.”

ALSO READ: Prospect of Chris Broad officiating over son Stuart raises concerns

Broad also described undergoing aerobic training excercises in the form of shuttle runs, known at Nottinghamshire as stag runs and borrowed from the Brisbane Broncos rugby league team in Australia.

“I have done quite a bit of long distance running at a slower pace during these last couple of months but the good thing about the stag run is that it is done at about run-up pace,” Broad explained. “It incorporates turning too, which gets the body into similar scenarios that you would encounter on the field – like changing direction to chase the ball.

“Although I felt great, on the second morning I woke up at half past six to discover muscles I’d forgotten existed. That’s what bowling does to you. Even bending down to touch my toes caused me to grimace a little. I could feel my sides too. I wouldn’t call it pain. I was just very aware that my body had been doing something different again.”

England are expected to name an international training group of up to 45 players, including red- and white-ball squads, this week in hopes of playing a condensed interntional schedule behind closed doors at venues deemed ‘bio-secure’, possibly starting with the first of three Tests against West Indies on July 8.

Plans to play in bio-secure environments with players, officials and staff required to isolate before, during and after series, have also raised the prospect of Chris Broad, the only English representative on the ICC’s elite panel of seven match referees, officiating in England’s home Test series.

While no one is questioning Broad Snr’s impartiality as an official, the scenario is understood to have raised some eyebrows in the Caribbean. But Broad Jnr rejected any suggestion that it could pose problems.

“Sure, if he was an umpire I could understand that because he could have a subconscious influence on decisions that are made on the field,” Broad said. “No offence to him here but he sits in an office and if I, or anyone else, breaks the code of conduct he simply looks up the regulations in a handbook and determines the appropriate sanction from the relevant section.

“There is no emotion in a match referee’s job. And there is likely to be no contact between us … there’s no haggling over the punishment. It’s not as if I can go into a room and barter to only pay 12 per cent of a 15 per cent match fee fine.

“From experience, and I’ve played 138 Tests, you only see a match ref if you’re in trouble. Often they are sat in a different building. You only tend to meet at breakfast in the hotel or on the outfield before the start of play. From a selfish point of view, I’d love the chance to be able to have a coffee and catch-up with dad in a bio-secure environment.”



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Shakib Al Hasan seeks clarity on ICC’s resumption rules

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Even though the ICC has set guidelines for cricket in the pandemic period, Shakib Al Hasan, one of the game’s most experienced exponents, is hesitant about how cricket will be played in this new era. The game’s governing body released a string of protocols designed to minimize the risk of contracting Covid-19 as countries like England and Sri Lanka have already planned return to training.

Shakib put forward additional questions, ranging from the social and technical requirements which are part and parcel of the game. “Now we are hearing that it [Covid-19 virus] might spread around 12 feet, not just three or six. So does it mean the two batsmen can’t meet at the end of the over?” Shakib told the Dhaka-based Prothom Alo. “They will stand at their ends? Won’t there be any crowd in the stadium? Will the wicketkeeper stand afar? What would happen to close-in fielders? These things require discussions.”

Shakib however said that the ICC are unlikely to let cricket resume without assessing the situation properly. “I don’t think they [ICC] will take a chance before they are very sure. Whatever it is, life comes first. I am sure they will think of safety first,” he said.

Shakib, who is currently serving a one-year ban, said that he is spending his time counting days to his return, too.

“I am counting days in two ways. One, when will corona be over, and the other, when will my suspension end. I am going through a tough time. Although there’s no cricket going on anywhere, I know that if it starts tomorrow, I won’t be able to play cricket.

“When you are restricted about something, whether others talk about it or not, you know yourself about what you are going through,” he said.



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Covid-19: Kyle Coetzer fears cricket will ‘start to be forgotten’ in Scotland

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Kyle Coetzer has expressed concern that with no cricket in Scotland until at least August, the sport could well “start to be forgotten in some ways”, and cricketers who are not getting a chance to do what they do best might just move away from the game.

“Any sport that isn’t getting any headlines will slowly but surely start to be forgotten in some ways,” the Scotland captain told the BBC. “People who are playing at the grassroots may well just decide ‘well, we are not playing this year’ and some might just decide ‘well, actually I am not going to bother coming back’. You just hope that isn’t the case.”

Scotland last played competitive cricket in December 2019, when they were in the UAE to take part in a chunk of World Cup League 2 fixtures. The next round of matches in the competition – slotted for early April in Lauderhill, Florida – was cancelled along with all other major cricket following the Covid-19 outbreak. As things stand, their limited-overs matches against New Zealand and Australia in Edinburgh in June are likely to be scrapped as well, even though Scotland has expressed a willingness to host the games behind closed doors if needed.

ALSO READ: Downtime Diaries with Kyle Coetzer

“These opportunities don’t come round every year and playing those games gives the whole cricketing public in Scotland real hope,” Coetzer said. “I don’t think cricket in Scotland will fall behind – I think everyone is pretty much in the same place give or take a bit of finance. We will be as eager as any other team to keep pushing forward.”

The good thing from Scotland’s point of view is that they have already made the cut for the group stage of the T20 World Cup, scheduled for October-November in Australia. The tournament hasn’t been cancelled yet, but there is a great sense of uncertainty around it, and even if it does take place, there is a good chance of the matches being played to empty stands.

Despite the possibility of the tournament moving to a later date, 36-year-old Coetzer has big plans when it comes to Scotland cricket. “We have Full-Member status on the horizon, which is something that is massively on my agenda. And I would love to play in a couple more World Cups.

“I keep proving myself wrong by doing things that I didn’t think I was capable of and that is a very special thing. I can see myself managing another few years yet anyway.”



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