South Australia 8 for 352 (Cooper 99, Weatherald 60, Nielsen 53, Paris 3-70, Moody 3-70) lead Western Australia
Tom Cooper fell agonisingly short of his second Sheffield Shield century of the season, but his 99 helped South Australia to a strong position on day one against Western Australia at Adelaide Oval.
Cooper was bowled for 99 by a cracking inswinger from Joel Paris with the second new ball. But his third half-century of the season, combined with his mammoth 271 not out against Victoria, took him past 600 runs for the competition and to the top of the run-scorers’ list. He struck 12 boundaries and played fluently to combine for an 80-run stand with Harry Nielsen, who made 53.
WA made early inroads removing Henry Hunt and Callum Ferguson as the ball nipped and swung in the first hour. Weatherald and Travis Head counter-attacked with a brisk 86-run stand that featured 17 boundaries in just 20 overs, before Paris made the breakthrough forcing a mistake from Head to give wicketkeeper Josh Inglis his third catch.
Weatherald fell to a stunning catch from Marsh at second slip after chasing a wide awayswinger from David Moody, and when Will Bosisto was also caught by Marsh off Moody, the Redbacks were 5 for 143.
But Cooper and Nielsen steadied the ship. The latter looked very comfortable having replaced Alex Carey who is away on international duty, but after reaching his half-century, he fell in the same manner as Weatherald with Marsh taking his third sharp chance.
Cooper looked set for a century but Paris swerved an inswinger back through the gate. South Australia’s tail wagged, though, with Chadd Sayers and Daniel Worrall both making valuable contributions. Sayers made 38 not out and combined with Cooper in a 48-run partnership before adding an unbeaten 38 with Worrall against the second new ball to frustrate the visitors and take the total beyond 350.
Recent Match Report – Australia A vs England Lions Only unofficial Test 2020
Australia A 5 for 103 (C Overton 2-24) trail England Lions 428 (Lawrence 125, Sibley 116, Bracey 65, Steketee 4-75) by 325 runs
The touring England Lions put on another strong showing at the MCG, extending their first innings to 428 through James Bracey‘s half-century and then making good use of the pink ball under lights to remove a Test-strength Australia A top five cheaply.
The Lions new-ball pair of Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton picked up two wickets apiece, with Usman Khawaja the only player to offering sustained resistance with 30 off 79 balls at opener. His partner, Marcus Harris, failed to push his case for a Test recall by edging to fourth slip for just 6, while Kurtis Patterson, who made a hundred in his second Test last year, also fell in the cordon for 11.
“We’re really pleased with our day’s work, pushing on past 400 runs and making great inroads with the ball to put us in a strong position going into the second half of the match,” Lions captain, Keaton Jennings, said.
“James Bracey batted really well with the lower order to help us to a good first innings total and to pass 400 for the second time in two matches. Then our seamers were excellent against a high-quality and experienced Australian top-five. The match is set up for a good final couple of days and we’ll be looking to continue our strong start with early wickets tomorrow.”
Robinson made the breakthrough for the Lions, and Overton then trapped Nic Maddinson lbw in the next over. Brydon Carse, on at first change, chipped out Patterson, and there was a brace of catches for Bracey behind the stumps as Khawaja and Moises Henriques departed before stumps.
Having seen the Lions move to a commanding 3 for 274 on the back of Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence hundreds, Australia A had begun the second day well. Mark Steketee struck in his first over, having Lawrence caught behind without addition to the score, and Sibley only managed another eight runs before falling in similar fashion.
Tom Abell became Steketee’s third wicket, leaving the Lions on 6 for 305, but a solid stand of 64 between Bracey and Dom Bess steadied the innings, before the last-wicket pair of Carse and Robinson took the score past 400.
Australia rue ‘missed opportunity’ as South Africa prove killer instincts at death
While South Africans celebrate their double success in T20 cricket on a super Sunday in which both the men’s and women’s teams won crucial matches, Australia are not making any attempt to hide their disappointment that victory could have been theirs.
Their men’s team lost a T20 for the first time since November 2018, ending a nine-match unbeaten run and thus squandered the chance to seal the series against South Africa in a tense tussle.
Chasing 159, Australia were fell 12 runs short, after putting themselves in a position from which assistant coach Andrew McDonald felt they could have won.
“We got the game into a situation, where even though [Tabraiz Shamsi] bowled four overs for 17, we could have won it,” he said. “The players will feel it is a missed opportunity to win a series away from home which is always a huge accomplishment.”
Shamsi was the most economical bowler in the match, bowling a tight middle-overs spell to keep the required rate rising, but was bowled out by the 14th over of Australia’s innings. Then, they needed 50 runs off the 36 balls to win but Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada denied them.
Ngidi’s third over, which went for 11 runs but included the wicket of Alex Carey, and Rabada’s last two overs, which cost a combined 10 runs and saw Matthew Wade dismissed, did the trick for South Africa and helped restore some of their confidence after they suffered their biggest T20I defeat less than 48 hours before. Ngidi admitted it has been tough for the home attack, especially after they also failed to defend a total against England immediately before this series and coach Mark Boucher said their skills were not up to scratch.
“It’s been a very difficult build-up for us. There’s been a lot of situations where we have been tested at the death,” Ngidi said. “The chats have been to have confidence in the skills that we have. We have done it before so it’s to go out there and have trust in our skills. We saw in our innings, we had gotten off to a flier and they also bowled very well at the death. We saw that if we can hit our straps with our death bowling it’s going to be a tight game and we saw in the end, it was.”
Rabada was significantly improved from his effort at the Wanderers on Friday, where he took 0 for 45 in three overs, and Ngidi recovered from conceding 36 runs in his first three overs, which included 12 in his first three legitimate deliveries, to giving away only five in his final one. The trust he spoke about shone through as he kept himself in the fight until the end.
“You’ve got 24 balls to bowl and the first over doesn’t determine whether you have won or lost the game,” he said. “There were a few unfortunate boundaries that I went for that could have helped if those hadn’t gone but I knew there is still an opportunity to win the game. I just wanted to try and take as many wickets as I could.”
Ngidi probably knows that he can’t claim all the credit for his last wicket, which was the result of superb fielding from former captain Faf du Plessis. Stationed at long-on, du Plessis parried a Mitchell Marsh shot that was destined for six back into the playing area for David Miller to complete the catch in the third instance of a ball being saved from sailing over the boundary in the match. The other two efforts were from Steve Smith, who saved sixes when South Africa were batting and McDonald had nothing but praise for both teams’ showing in the field.
“The game gets better every day and fielding becomes a spectacle. It was fantastic. The cutting of angles and the speed, the athleticism of the modern-day player is outstanding and they never cease to amaze,” McDonald said. “They do practise it and they put themselves in those scenarios in training. It’s no fluke they are able to execute that in my match. These guys have got creative minds and they’ve added in different shots over time and fielding is no different.”
But for Wednesday’s decider, Australia’s focus will shift to their middle order, where they are still experimenting with No. 4 and No. 5 as they prepare for the T20 World Cup. “We’ve locked in Finch and Warner at the top and Steve Smith, I dare say he won’t be moving but we are flexible on No. 4 and 5,” McDonald said.
“Exposure to those situations more often grows experience and with experience comes the ability to execute and today we didn’t quite get that right. We saw at the Wanderers they had some work to do and they were able to do it batting first. Batting second on a tiring wicket is a different situation so they will be no doubt better for that experience.”
For the first time in 46 years, DPL bars overseas players
There won’t be any overseas players in the 2019-20 Dhaka Premier League, the league chairman Kazi Inam Ahmed said on Sunday. This is the first time in 46 years that the most lucrative competition in Bangladesh’s domestic scene will not include any overseas cricketers.
Inam said this decision was taken to give more places to the local players, keeping in mind that the Bangladesh Premier League already allows foreign players to be part of the tournament.
“The main discussion was that the other countries don’t have international players in their domestic competition,” Inam said. “It was originally done so that our players can rub shoulders with the one international player. They are getting that in the BPL so to give the best opportunity to the local players, we are doing it for this year. Of course we can follow different option in the following year.”
Since the 1980s and 1990s, some of the biggest names in world cricket have played in the Dhaka Premier League, including Wasim Akram, Sanath Jayasuriya, Arjuna Ranatunga and Neil Fairbrother. Cricketers like the late Raman Lamba, Ashok Malhotra, Arun Lal and Athula Samarasekara have also been regulars in the league. Off-late, a lot of cricketers from England, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have played in the competition, and very recently a lot of Indian cricketers like Wasim Jaffer, Aakash Chopra, Unmukht Chand and Jalal Saxena have been regular visitors too.
This year’s league is scheduled to begin on March 15, with the open market players transfer to be held from March 3 to 5.
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