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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Hampshire South Group 2020



Essex 168 for 3 (Westley 51, Lawrence 49*) beat Hampshire 114 for 9 (Nijjar 3-22) by 54 runs

Aron Nijjar celebrated career-best bowling figures as Vitality Blast holders Essex Eagles thrashed Hampshire by 54 runs to keep their faint quarter-final dreams alive.

Left-arm spinner Nijjar ripped through a shaky Hampshire batting line-up with figures of 3 for 22, while Jack Plom celebrated his maiden professional wickets to take 2 for 18.

Tom Westley had earlier clubbed his first half-century of the year, with Dan Lawrence marooned on 49, as Essex reached 168 before Hampshire could only manage 114 for 9 in response.

Needing 169 to win, Hampshire’s batting was a revolving door of wickets. George Munsey attempted three reverse-sweeps off Nijjar, with the third slapped to Sam Cook at third man, who took an outrageous catch high over his head.

Captain James Vince was adjudged to have tickled down leg side to fall for a golden duck, the fourth time he had departed first ball in T20s against Essex, which also handed 21-year-old fast bowler Jack Plom his first wicket on his third appearance in the format.

Sam Northeast and Joe Weatherley attempted to rebuild with a stand of 16, before the former hammered straight to Matt Quinn at mid-on and Ian Holland was bowled by Sam Cook.

Nijjar then dismissed Weatherley and Lewis McManus in three balls – caught and bowled and knocked back by a long hop, respectively – leaving Hampshire on 38 for 6.

James Fuller pulled a rare boundary, one of 14 in the innings, but was caught by Nijjar on the midwicket boundary.

Fast bowler Quinn bowled a maiden at Chris Wood in the 13th over, before Simon Harmer had the top scorer caught at cow corner for 18.

Ryan Stevenson swung away to cow corner but despite Mason Crane and Shaheen Shah Afridi remaining unbeaten, the Eagles recorded back-to-back Blast wins.

Having chosen to bat first, Essex used partnerships to their advantage throughout their innings on a pitch perfect for batting.

Cameron Delport and Westley got them off to a solid start with 57 in the first seven overs, despite Pakistani fast bowler Afridi’s three Powerplay overs going for just 11.

Delport had struck two sixes in his 31 but didn’t quite time a straight slog off Crane as Stevenson pulled off a diving catch at long-off.

Westley had struck Ian Holland for three off-side boundaries before using his feet to club Stevenson over midwicket and Crane through the covers as he reached a 35-ball half-century. It was Essex’s red-ball captain’s maiden fifty of 2020, having only managed 236 runs in his previous 15 innings in all competitions.

He was dropped on 50 by Afridi at deep cover, but fell having added another single, when he nicked Stevenson behind to Lewis McManus – having put on 38 with Lawrence.

Michael Pepper was yorked by Wood, but Lawrence and Ryan ten Doeschate ran hard to add an unbeaten 58 in the death overs.

Lawrence had thrashed an aggressive 81 against Sussex in his previous outing but was more circumspect with just one six and four boundaries in his 49 not out, while ten Doeschate contributed 29 off 20 deliveries. The score was about par, but proven much too much for the sorry hosts – who have lost five matches in a row.

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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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