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England v Ireland ODI squad 2020: Winners and losers

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With England having to maintain separate Test and white-ball squads this summer, there were chances for a number of fringe players to win selection to face Ireland later this week. Here we size up the players who caught the selectors’ attention and those still outside looking in.

Winners

Joe Denly
While it’s no surprise Denly has been picked, given he was sent to the ODI bubble last week, his continued selection across formats remains slightly baffling. He is, no doubt, a perfectly useful one-day batsman, as he showed with two fifties in the South Africa series at the start of the year. But at 34, it seems as though he has little chance of making the cut for the 2023 World Cup, and his inclusion blocks opportunities for several talented young batsmen (see below). His white-ball central contract may be a factor, but his legspin can hardly be relevant given there are three frontline spin-bowling options in this squad.

Sam Billings
Billings fluffed his lines when he was handed the vice-captaincy in the T20I series in New Zealand, managing 34 runs in five innings, but taking the rest of the winter off seems to have helped him recover from a “tough year”. He is a talented player no doubt, but an average of 22.58 after 12 ODI innings shows he is yet to prove himself at international level. Bairstow seems the more likely option to take the gloves, and at 29, Billings could do with delivering on his promise sooner rather than later.

Liam Dawson
It can feel like Dawson has been in just about every England white-ball squad over the last five years, but he has somehow only played nine limited-overs internationals to date. He could prove a cunning inclusion on his home ground, with its big square boundaries, and has the chance to prove that at 30 he is an intelligent bowler who can offer the control that younger rivals to the back-up spin role – like Mason Crane and Matt Parkinson – cannot. His 4 for 21 in Friday’s warm-up game sealed his spot in this squad.

Reece Topley
Topley was on the verge of an England recall in 2018 when he felt a problem in his back following a Lions game, which turned out to be yet another stress fracture – his fifth in the space of four years. But 11 Blast games and two Championship matches later, he is back in the fold and in line to play his first international game since 2016. There is plenty to like about him as a bowler, not least his ability to generate good pace from his 6ft 7in frame, and he provides an option both in the Powerplay and at the death.

David Willey
Willey had accepted that his international career was probably over last winter after he was left out of the white-ball tours following the agony of his last-minute World Cup omission. He thinks he is back towards his best after watching old footage to tweak his release point, and says that he has his enjoyment back after taking a break from the game. While the 2023 World Cup in India may not be the ideal set of conditions for his new-ball bowling, his inclusion proves he is still in the frame ahead of back-to-back T20 World Cups.

Losers

Ben Duckett
Duckett fell off the radar somewhat after he was sent home from a Lions tour in 2017-18 for pouring a drink over James Anderson, but was handed a chance to impress despite a mixed 2019 season with Notts. He hit 68 in England’s first intra-squad warm-up, and had spoken about his significant weight loss during lockdown as proof of his new-found professionalism, but has missed out on the final cut with other middle-order options preferred.

Sam Hain
Hain has the highest List A average ever, his 59.78 putting him clear of Michael Bevan and Virat Kohli, and he thought he was close to an international call-up after being taken to Mumbai on a spin camp and then on the Lions tour to Australia this winter. But he still finds himself unable to get a game, with James Vince ahead of him in the pecking order for No. 3 options. It may well be that his strike rate (86.46 in his career) counts against him, with England preferring firepower all the way through their batting order.

Laurie Evans
Evans earned a spot in the training squad on the back of his strong run on the T20 franchise circuit, which was kickstarted by a prolific second season at Sussex in 2018. He went on the Lions tour this winter, hitting 94 in a one-day game, but failed to press on after making a start in all three warm-up games last week. It may well be that aged 32, his best chance has now passed.

Phil Salt
An ultra-attacking opening batsman, Salt whacked a 58-ball hundred in the Lions’ game against Ireland on Sunday as they chased down 297 with 15.2 overs to spare. But England had seemingly already made up their mind that he wasn’t part of their plans for the series. He was unfortunate (and mildly irritated) to miss out on their winter T20I tour after being an unused squad member against Pakistan at the start of last summer, and despite a prolific Big Bash season he finds himself some way back in England’s long queue of top-order options.

Brydon Carse
While an inexperienced white-ball bowler – he has only played seven List A games in his career – Carse has impressed England’s management with his physique and pace over the past 12 months, and looked like a potential option to replace Liam Plunkett as a back-of-a-length, middle-overs specialist following a decent Lions tour. But Tom Curran and Saqib Mahmood have been picked as the right-arm seam options, with Richard Gleeson preferred as a reserve.



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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Surrey South Group 2020

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Essex 262 and 13 for 0 lead Surrey 187 (Jacks 70, Harmer 6-67, Porter 4-53) by 88 runs

Simon Harmer bagged his 18th first-class five-wicket haul for Essex as the hosts helped themselves to a healthy first-innings lead over Surrey in the Bob Willis Trophy. Offspinner Harmer has now taken 229 wickets since joining Essex at the beginning of the 2017 season as he returned figures of 6 for 67.

Harmer was the County Championship’s leading wicket-taker with 83 scalps last year and looks likely to replicate that record in the Bob Willis Trophy – with no rival taking more than his 12 poles so far in the competition.

The South African shared the wickets with trusty partner Jamie Porter, who claimed 4 for 53, as Surrey were bowled out for 187, in response to Essex’s 262 – a deficit of 75, which rose to 88 in a wicketless four-over twilight burst.

After Essex had lost their last three first-innings wickets inside seven overs, Porter blasted a hole at the top of the Surrey batting order with two wickets in two balls. The seamer forced Ryan Patel to hand Harmer a regulation catch at second slip with his sixth delivery, before Scott Borthwick tucked off his hip to Feroze Khushi at midwicket.

Will Jacks saw off the hat-trick as he dug out a yorker as he began to work his way towards a well-made 70. At the other end, Mark Stoneman struggled to get out of neutral gear as he scored five singles in 65 balls before edging Harmer to Alastair Cook, before Jamie Smith had the top of his off peg knocked back by Porter.

Jacks was dropped on 26, 31 and 46 – twice by Varun Chopra at short leg and once by Aaron Beard at deep fine leg – but moved to his seventh first-class fifty in 81 balls. The 21-year-old made batting look uncomplicated, on a sun-kissed pitch best suited to patience, with 12 boundaries struck all around the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.

He had been joined by Laurie Evans – who was playing his first innings in a decade for Surrey – for a valuable 80-run stand for the fifth wicket. Evans, on loan from Sussex due to Surrey’s 14-man absentee list, had played four first-class matches during his first stint at the county between 2005 and 2010 before joining Warwickshire.

He was the aggressor, particularly against Harmer, whom he struck for three perfectly nailed sweeps and a six over long-on.

Both fell either side of tea to spark a second collapse of the innings – Surrey losing three wickets for three runs as Harmer took control. Jacks pushed Harmer to midwicket before Porter bowled Evans.

Since Harmer arrived at Chelmsford on a Kolpak deal, he and Porter have shared 428 first-class wickets and two County Championship titles together.

Chopra made amends for his early spills when he clung onto a stunner under the lid to dismiss Gus Atkinson, and then held onto a loopier catch off Rikki Clarke’s bat-pad. Harmer’s five-for was confirmed when Adam Finch clipped around the corner to Tom Westley.

Essex were frustrated for 10 overs by the last-wicket pair of James Taylor and Amar Virdi, before the former picked out Nick Browne at cow corner. Browne immediately turned around to stick his pads on for four overs with Cook – the pair getting through Clarke and Virdi’s overs unscathed.

Earlier, Essex had only added nine runs to their overnight score of 253. Clarke was the chief tail destroyer as he returned figures of 3 for 26 – only going for one boundary in his 21 overs.

Handed the new ball at the start of the day, Clarke taught a young Surrey bowling attack how to rip through a tail. The fresh leather caused extra bounce off a length, which caught Beard out as he edged behind in the third over of the day, before a fuller delivery pinned Sam Cook lbw.

Clarke’s lesson was heeded by debutant Atkinson who wrapped up the innings when Harmer top-edged a pull shot to Patel at cover.



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Recent Match Report – Sussex vs Kent South Group 2020

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Kent 338 for 1 (Cox 167*, Leaning 110*) lead Sussex 332 (Brown 98) by 6 runs

Teenager Jordan Cox and winter recruit Jack Leaning notched their first centuries for the county as Kent took control of their Bob Willis Trophy south group game. Sussex endured an 85-over day in the Canterbury dirt as Kent’s second-wicket pair piled on a record unbroken stand worth 231, beating the club’s previous best against Sussex of 229 set by Kentish legends Arthur Fagg and Leslie Ames at Hastings in 1948.

By stumps and the midpoint of the match Cox had reached a career-best 167 not out while Leaning finished unbeaten on 110 as Kent closed on 338 for 1 for a narrow six-run lead.

Cox, a 19-year-old right-hander who only opened in this match in the absence of Kent’s England duo Joe Denly and Zak Crawley, cruised through the so-called nervous 90s within six deliveries to post his maiden century from 150 balls with 16 fours and a brace of sixes. A Kent Academy product playing only his second first-class innings on the ground, Cox moved to three figures with a huge six over long-on against the bowling of Jack Carson.

The England Under-19 batsman started the Kent response to the Sussex all out total of 332 by featuring in a first-wicket stand worth 107 with Daniel Bell-Drummond. Bell-Drummond fell soon after lunch for 43 when Mitch Claydon, the former Kent seamer, got one to hold its line against the Canterbury slope and graze the shoulder of the bat. Harry Finch completed the dismissal with a sharp low catch at second slip.

Normal service was resumed once Claydon and George Garton rested, however, as Cox combined with Leaning, the ex-Yorkshire batsman and one of four Kent players making their home debuts, to deepen Sussex’s woes.

Leaning reached his half-century from 88 balls and with eight fours while at the other end, Cox continued to show excellent judgement of length. Fleet of foot, he skipped down the pitch to drive anything flighted, or rocked back deep into his crease to cut or reverse sweep once the Sussex attack attempted to adjust their lengths.

With his score on 134, Cox took a painful blow in the chest after ducking into a Stuart Meaker bumper but batted on after treatment from Kent physiotherapist Dan George. It proved Cox’s sole misjudgement of the day.

Kent reached 200 for their first batting bonus point when, in the 50th over, a Delray Rawlins long-hop allowed Leaning room to cut to the ropes at backward point. The 300 followed in the 74th over when Cox clipped leg side against Garton to reach his own 150 from 221 deliveries.

Leaning, who joined from Yorkshire during the close season, notched his first ton in Kent colours and his fifth in first-class cricket from 162 balls after cutting his 16th four of the day through backward point off a rare loose delivery from Garton.

At the start of day two Kent used up 27 deliveries to winkle out the 10th Sussex batsman. Visiting skipper Ben Brown was the man to go after 283 minutes at the crease and when only two shy of his 19th first-class century. Cutting at one too close to the body from Harry Podmore, Brown chopped the ball onto off stump. Podmore finished with 4 for 85 and rookie offspinner Marcus O’Riordan took career-best figures of 3 for 50.



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Recent Match Report – Gloucestershire vs Warwickshire Central Group 2020

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Warwickshire 230 for 8 (Lamb 65) lead Gloucestershire 210 (Hannon-Dalby 6-33) by 20 runs

Matt Lamb top-scored with 65 as Warwickshire were made to battle hard for a first-innings lead on the second day of the Bob Willis Trophy match with Gloucestershire at the Bristol County Ground.

Going in with his side 55 for 3 in reply to 210, Lamb faced 193 balls and hit 12 fours to help the visitors to 230 for 8 at the close of a day of attritional cricket on a slow pitch that made anything but slow scoring difficult.

The start of play had seen Oliver Hannon-Dalby complete career-best figures of 6 for 33 from 23.3 overs by taking the two remaining Gloucestershire wickets after they resumed their first innings on 191 for 8.

Tom Smith ensured the home side of a batting point with 24 not out, but Josh Shaw and Matt Taylor fell to the tall seamer, again bowling accurately from the Ashley Down Road End. It was Hannon-Dalby’s first six-wicket haul in a first class innings.

Warwickshire’s reply began poorly when Rob Yates appeared to edge a low catch to wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick in the opening over from Ryan Higgins, but in fact was adjudged leg-before for a duck.

It was 15 for 2 when Sam Hain, on 8, fell lbw playing across a straight ball from Taylor and, with the skies overcast in contrast to the first day, Gloucestershire’s seamers scented a big opportunity.

They struck again in the final over before lunch when Ian Bell edged George Scott to George Hankins at second slip and fell for 13 to make the score 55 for 3 at the interval.

It was Scott’s first wicket for Gloucestershire on his debut following a move from Middlesex last autumn and a major blow to the visitors’ hopes.

Warwickshire skipper Will Rhodes looked solid in progressing to 41 in the afternoon session as the sun began to shine, but he was undone when opposite number Chris Dent introduced Ben Charlesworth to the attack.

The 19-year-old, who bats left-handed, but bowls right-arm seam, yorked Rhodes with his fourth ball to end an innings that had spanned 107 deliveries and featured six fours.

Patience was required with bat and ball. Lamb employed sensible shot selection to be unbeaten on 43 at tea, which was taken at 133 for 4, with Michael Burgess on 14. Gloucestershire needed an early breakthrough in the final session. Instead, a flurry of boundaries from the fourth-wicket pair advanced the Warwickshire total as they looked to adopt a more positive approach.

They had added 69 in 20 overs when Burgess, who was just starting to blossom, was bowled off an inside edge by Scott (two for 34), who impressed from the Pavilion End.

A further 28 runs had been added when Lamb edged Higgins (2 for 47) to first slip where Dent took a good low catch. By then Warwickshire were only 20 runs behind.

Tim Bresnan was looking to follow up a century on debut for the visitors and the experienced former Yorkshire all-rounder looked more comfortable than most on the testing pitch.

There was just enough swing to encourage the Gloucestershire bowlers as their opponents secured a batting point and closed in on their total.

Bresnan was unbeaten on 34 at stumps, having faced 75 balls and hit 4 fours. But Taylor (3 for 48) struck twice in the penultimate over of the day, clean bowling Alex Thomson, playing no shot, for 15 and Henry Brookes for a duck as Gloucestershire ended on a high.



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