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Recent Match Report – Sussex vs Surrey South Group 2020



Surrey 167 for 6 (Jacks 65, Overton 40*, Beer 3-34) beat Sussex 165 for 7 (Wright 45) by four wickets

Surrey won their fifth game on the bounce to confirm their place in the T20 Blast quarter-finals for the first time since 2017, gunning down a 166-run target with five balls to spare as Will Jacks and Jamie Overton‘s batting form continued at The Oval.

Jacks set the tone at the top of the order with a belligerent 65, hitting each of Sussex’s three-pronged spin attack for six down the ground. He was particularly brutal against Delray Rawlins, giving himself room to unfurl rasping cut shots either side of point in the ninth over, and had broken the back of the run chase by the time he was bowled by Will Beer in the 12th.

A tall opening batsman in the Kevin Pietersen mould, Jacks started the Blast slowly but has now scored 198 runs in his last five innings at a strike rate of 160.97; he has dovetailed brilliantly with Hashim Amla at the top of the order, and is beginning to look like the accomplished T20 player that many have been expecting to emerge.

Overton, meanwhile, finished the game with an enterprising cameo of 40 not out off 22 balls, which including a deft paddle sweep off David Wiese to seal the win. He played the senior role in a 47-run partnership with Jamie Smith that ensured a recovery following a mini-wobble in the middle overs, and has now made 95 runs off 50 balls across his last three innings.

Overton left Somerset suddenly after being omitted from their Blast side earlier in the competition, having initially planned to stay at the club until the end of the season. While his Test ambitions and desire to take the new ball in four-day cricket were the main reasons behind his move up the M3, Overton has cited his intentions to bat further up the order in all formats, and has done so impressively since his loan switch.

He had not batted above No. 9 since 2016 in a T20 at Somerset, but has been used at No. 6, No. 5 and No. 7 so far this season for Surrey. He went unused with the ball on Wednesday, with stand-in captain Rory Burns seemingly wary of giving Sussex pace to work with in the first innings, but still managed to display his match-winning ability.

“I’ve always seen myself as an allrounder,” Overton said. “At Somerset, I couldn’t really show that potential. I’ve come here and been able to showcase what I can actually do. Coming into a new team and showing what I can do with the bat has been the main thing.”

Surrey have been buoyed by his arrival – and that of Amla after he missed the start of their season due to travel restrictions – and after going more than a year without a win in all formats, they have suddenly strung together an impressive run.

After being asked to bat first, Sussex rarely looked like getting away from Surrey, until a late flurry of 44 runs in the final three overs took them to a total that appeared competitive on a central strip that meant vast square boundaries.

The returning Phil Salt lasted only four balls on his return from the England ODI bubble, as he was trapped lbw to Jacks’ first delivery, and when pinch-hitter Aaron Thomason chipped a catch to mid-on after being rushed by a Reece Topley bouncer, Sussex had lost two inside the first three overs.

But with a long batting line-up – Ravi Bopara came in at No. 7 – they built steadily through the middle to set things up. Luke Wright, their leading run-scorer in the competition, was the glue to hold the innings together with 45, while Rawlins hit two towering sixes in an otherwise skittish middle-order cameo.

In amongst that was Liam Plunkett’s first bowl in professional cricket since January, and his first on English soil in just short of a year. Perhaps inevitably, it came as England grew increasingly desperate of a middle-overs breakthrough against Australia, and his spell of 1 for 22 included the usual array of back-of-a-length balls, plus a searing yorker to clean up Calum MacLeod.

As is his wont, David Wiese took 15 balls to get set, before skipping down to heave Topley over long-on, but it was Bopara whose innings was particularly crucial. Surrey had decided that hitting a hard length and making batsmen hit to the long square boundaries was the way to go, and Gus Atkinson stuck with the plan: he banged three balls in halfway down in a row to Bopara, who responded by pulling three sixes over midwicket.

With Wiese and George Garton adding boundaries in the last over, Sussex had 165 and the second-highest total at The Oval this year – for 90 minutes or so, at least. In the chase, the absence of Tymal Mills – after injuring his back in the defeat against Essex on Monday – was keenly felt. They remain well-placed to qualify, but Friday’s fixture at home to Middlesex has become something of a must-win.

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RR vs KXIP, IPL 2020



Rajasthan Royals’ Rahul Tewatia turned the chase and how against Kings XI Punjab. From 8 off 19 balls in the 15th over, he eventually finished on a 53 off 31, with as many as seven sixes, to turn the tables for a stunning four-wicket win for the Royals. Here’s what he said after the match to the host broadcaster Star Sports:

How were you feeling at the halfway point in your innings when you couldn’t really get it out of the middle?
I think that was the worst 20 balls that I have ever played. After that – I was hitting the ball very well in the nets so I had belief in myself and kept going.

What about mental strength? You were 8 off 19 and turned it around. How did you stay positive and strong?
I was not hitting the ball well initially. Then I saw in the dugout, everybody was curious because they know that I can hit the ball long. At once, I thought “I have to believe in myself”. It was a matter of just one six, and after that I thought now it’s time to get going. Five [sixes] in the [18th] over felt amazing.

Cottrell was the over for you…
Well, the coach told me to hit sixes off the legspinner (Ravi Bishnoi) but unfortunately I didn’t hit him. So I had to hit the other bowler so that we could win or get closer to the target.

More to follow…

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Recent Match Report – Southern Vipers vs Northern Diamonds Final 2020



Southern Vipers 231 (Adams 80, Windsor 37) beat Northern Diamonds 193 (Kalis 55, Taylor 6-34) by 38 runs

Charlotte Taylor‘s game-changing six-wicket haul ensured the Southern Vipers defended 232 to beat Northern Diamonds by 38 runs and claim the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy title at Edgbaston.

An enthralling game which swung back and forth throughout saw the Diamonds well placed at 74 for 1 in the 15th over of their chase, only to slip to 96 for 6 in the 23rd as brilliant off-spinner Taylor struck the decisive blows.

She had opener Hollie Armitage caught at backward point for 26, Alex MacDonald out hit wicket, Jenny Gunn trapped lbw and Bess Heath caught at deep mid-wicket.

The Diamonds were later bowled out for 193 inside 43 overs, with 26-year-old Taylor also trapping Beth Langston lbw and having Netherlands international Sterre Kalis caught at mid-on for 55 on the way to a fabulous 6 for 34 from her 10 overs – the best return from any bowler in the competition.

Vipers’ captain Georgia Adams continued her stunning form with 80 off 102 balls, including eleven fours, at the top of the order as she underpinned 231 all out and moved to 500 competition runs in the process.

She shared a century opening partnership with Ella McCaughan, who posted 35, having been inserted, only for the Diamonds to drag things back impressively as leg-spinners Katie Levick and Armitage shared five wickets.

After Adams and McCaughan shared 100 inside 24 overs, their side’s fourth century opening stand in seven games, the South Coast side were in a dominant position at 150 for 1 in the 32nd over. Adams was particularly strong square of the wicket, reaching 50 for the fourth time in this competition off 68 balls.

Maia Bouchier, however, looked more fluent at the crease and was punishing through the covers and over the top on the way to 28. Together with Adams – they shared 50 inside eight overs after McCaughan had feathered left-arm spinner Linsey Smith behind – a total nearing 300 was not unrealistic on a pacy and true surface with a fast outfield.

But things changed in a flash. Diamonds captain Lauren Winfield-Hill, back from England’s T20 bubble, brought Armitage into the attack, and she struck first ball with a long hop which Bouchier pulled head high to mid-on, leaving the score at 150 for 2 in the 32nd.

Almost 12 overs later, the Vipers were 191 for 8, with Armitage striking again plus three wickets for Levick, who trapped Charlie Dean and Carla Rudd lbw and removed Adams, caught at deep mid-wicket. Levick’s first two overs had cost her 19 and she finished with 3 for 49 from eight.

Miserly former England seamers Langston and Gunn both contributed significantly in dragging things back and finished with a wicket apiece.

However, there was to be a late twist as the Vipers were boosted by an industrious 37 off 48 balls from Emily Windsor to ensure they went beyond 230.

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RCB vs MI, IPL 2020, Fantasy Pick, team predictions



Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, IPL Match 10, Dubai

Pro Tip:

Trust the big guns to fire but also pick a few in-form youngsters.

Our XI: Quinton De Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli (vc), AB De Villiers, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar

Substitutes: Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Washington Sundar, James Pattinson

NOTE: We may not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Player availability: Chris Morris is yet to recover from his side strain and is expected to miss this game as well.
Captain: Rohit Sharma

Sharma came back to form with a 54-ball 80 against the Knight Riders. When in form, he can take down any bowling attack. When an attack, like Royal Challengers Bangalore’s, is short of confidence, he becomes a bigger threat. He strikes at 156.94 against them since 2017, significantly higher than his strike rate against other teams in this period. He also averages 45.20. Of course, the opposition attack has also changed a bit over the years, but at least over the last couple of seasons, Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been constants.

Vice-captain: Virat Kohli

Kohli doesn’t often struggle for runs early on in an IPL season. He hasn’t started well so far this season, but you’d think the big knock is just around the corner. He slotted himself down to No. 4, mostly to give young Josh Phillipe a free license to attack in a big chase. It’s likely Kohli will slot back in at No. 3 against Mumbai Indians a position that has brought him 456 runs at an average of 35.07 and a SR of 132.17. since IPL 2017.

Hot Picks

Suryakumar Yadav: He’s been a heavy IPL scorer for a couple of seasons; his boundary-hitting ability in the Powerplay being a standout. Since IPL 2018, he has a boundary percentage of 77.43 in this period, which should translate into plenty of points for you. He also does this consistently. Since IPL 2018, he has crossed 30 plus on 15 occasions, including six half-centuries.

Quinton De Kock: His team’s most prolific batsman in IPL 2019, de Kock will be hungry to make a big impact. His strike rate in the first six overs since IPL 2018 is 131.96. Royal Challengers average an economy of 8.36 in this period since 2018.

AB De Villiers: He’s been in good touch, seems to have been striking them cleanly. He scored half-centuries in his last two outings against Mumbai Indians and averages 73 against them since 2018.

Differential Picks

Rahul Chahar: The leg spinner at has picked up three wickets so far at an economy of 7.75. Since IPL 2018,Royal Challengers have lost most wickets against legspin (42). So Chahar could have a big role to play here. Even in their second game, against Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers lost six wickets to legspin – three apiece to Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin.

Kieron Pollard: The surfaces in the UAE, especially in the two bigger grounds at Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, seem to be best suited for bowlers who keep varying their pace. Many may not pick Pollard as he bats lower down, but he could still be a handy prospect because of the overs Sharma can get out of him. This could fetch you extra points.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Teams batting first have won all four games so far in Dubai. Choose your captain from the team batting first.

  • Yuzvendra Chahal is a potential vice-captain option if Royal Challengers defend a score.

  • Since 2017 in all T20s, Bumrah vs Finch – 29 balls, 35 runs and two dismissals. If you feel Finch might get the better of Bumrah this time, replace Hardik with Finch given Hardik is only playing as a batsman currently.

  • If Mumbai are defending a score, you could possibly bring in James Pattinson for Rahul Chahar because of the dew factor.

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