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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Essex Final 2020

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Essex 337 for 8 (Cook 172, Westley 51, Gregory 6-72) and 179 for 6 (ten Doeschate 46, Leach 3-38) drew with Somerset 301 (Byrom 117, Overton 66, Cook 5-76) and 272 for 7 (Lammonby 116, Porter 4-73) – Essex won the title on first-innings lead

Essex survived a nervous final afternoon at Lord’s to secure the inaugural and perhaps only Bob Willis Trophy. While the match ended as a draw, the playing regulations stated that, in such circumstances, the winner would be the side with the higher first innings total.

The result mean Essex have won the domestic first-class competition three times in the last four years. Their status as the best red-ball county side in the land is undisputed.

But they had to cling on against a determined Somerset on the final day. On a deteriorating pitch which offered assistance to seamers and spinners alike, Essex slipped to 131 for 5 with a minimum of 27.1 overs remaining before Ryan ten Doeschate and Adam Wheater came together to deny Somerset.

It means Somerset have finished second in the domestic first-class competition in each of the last three years and four times in the last five. In all, they have been runners-up seven times this century and remain one of only three first-class counties not to have won in the modern era. It may console them a little to know that this competition is not considered on a par with winning the Championship and that, even had they won here, it would not have broken their duck. But it will only be a little. The novelty of finishing second has worn pretty thin for Somerset.

It remains to be seen whether the Bob Willis Trophy will ever be contested again. While there are those keen to see it installed as a showpiece event at the end of each season, others are worried whether that will serve to dilute the sense of achievement in winning the County Championship. Is it fair, they ask, to ask a side which has proved itself the best over the course of a season to risk it all on an autumnal encounter where the toss or the conditions might disproportionately define the result?

One solution would be to award the Championship title to the side which finishes top at the end of the league stages and then contest this match as a standalone event between the top two sides. But even that would threaten to dilute the value of the Championship victory.

Whether this match worked as a showpiece event is debatable. There were moments, not least when Alastair Cook or Tom Lammonby were batting, when it really did feel like a celebration of county cricket. In the face of the unique challenges posed by this season, it has been an excellent solution.

It was probably fitting these two sides qualified, too. Both are stuffed with the products of their own academies – nine players in each team could be considered homegrown – with numerous others having moved on (the likes of Ben Foakes, Dom Bess, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler and Jamie Overton) to ply their trade elsewhere. They have consistently pushed for silverware in recent years, supplying players for England in the process. They are, in short, two clubs doing a huge amount right and providing an example to others of what can be achieved on modest budgets.

But the challenges posed by the horribly cold weather, the empty stands – something which may prove an issue at any time in a neutral venue – and the need to separate the sides in a drawn match were substantial. And while it just about worked as a one-off event, it didn’t really leave you wanting more, either. As Tom Abell, the Somerset captain put it: “The County Championship is the best first-class competition in the world.” It probably requires nurturing more than tinkering.

Earlier Craig Overton had helped Somerset thrash another 45 runs in 8.1 overs before the declaration came. The target – 237 in a minimum of 80 overs – probably looked generous. And, for a while on the final day, with Cook batting serenely, it appeared Essex may coast there. But his dismissal saw them abandon plans of completing an outright win and settle instead for survival over the last 40 overs of the match.

Cook looked most underwhelmed by the decision from Russell Warren, the umpire, to adjudge him out caught behind. Replays were inconclusive – it is possible the sound as ball passed bat was caused by the bat clipping the pad – but it is hard to recall another dismissal in Cook’s career when he has stood so long and made his displeasure more obvious.

Either way, the wicket appeared to jolt Essex. By then, they had already lost Nick Browne, edging a delivery from Lewis Gregory, who finished with eight in the match, that demanded a stroke and bounced a little, and Tom Westley, who had been trapped in front by the persevering Overton. Jack Leach, without a first-class wicket since last November, when he dismissed Tim Southee in Mount Maunganui, gained lavish turn and bounce from his first delivery and broke his drought with the wicket of Dan Lawrence, who was defeated by what appeared to be an arm ball.

But Paul Walter was stubborn and ten Doeschate was solid. And while the former was eventually removed by Leach, courtesy of one that turned from round the wicket, Wheater joined ten Doeschate in a sixth-wicket stand that contributed only 48 runs but denied Somerset for 27 overs. By the time ten Doeschate fell, top-edging a sweep, there were only moments remaining. The draw and the trophy were secured. “I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be out there in that situation,” Westley, the Essex captain in his first year in the role, said afterwards.

“I’m incredibly proud of all the boys and management,” Westley added. “This [tournament] may never happen again, so to win it is amazing. We may be the only club to ever win the Bob Willis Trophy. It’s a continuation of success we’ve had in red-ball cricket over the last few years. It’s right up there with winning the County Championship last year.”

Abell was more subdued. “Disappointment is the overwhelming emotion,” he said. “We were second to Essex last year and we were desperate not to be again. Coming so close a number of times, we feel it is within touching distance. This adds fuel to the fire. But the fire is already burning pretty deep within everyone.”

Westley was quick to praise the club’s culture, academy and willingness to “give our own a go”, but it was noticeable that he also picked out the imports for their influence. Simon Harmer was described as a “match-winner”, coach Anthony McGrath was praised for him ability to “galvanise this side like I’ve never seen at Essex in previous years” and ten Doeschate, the previous captain, credited for instilling belief and transforming the club from “a fairly mediocre Division Two team” to one which believed it could be the best in the country. The message? Providing opportunities for homegrown players is crucial, but let’s not forget the positive influence of Kolpaks, overseas and the like.

There’s a bigger picture here. To have completed this competition in these circumstances, to have provided opportunities for young players, to have kept the game relevant and to have provided some online entertainment for spectators at a time when it was sorely needed, has been something of a triumph. And a triumph that not all other sports have managed to achieve. The game still faces some substantial challenges – many of the players on show here may well be on furlough again by the end of the week – but this competition has provided a reminder of the better times that lie ahead. Maybe we’ll come to look back on it as county cricket’s Dunkirk moment.



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KKR vs RCB live streaming where to watch KKR vs RCB IPL 2020 7.30pm Oct 21

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The Kolkata Knight Riders seem to have unearthed hidden talent in Lockie Ferguson in their previous game. But that has left them in a dilemma about the combination of their four foreign players: the captain Eoin Morgan is a certainty, but they can accommodate only two out of Pat Cummins, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. The Knight Riders’ last three wins were all eked out by negligible margins, and they wouldn’t mind that again today as long as they get the crucial two points.

Sitting third in the points table are the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who had thumped their today’s opponents by 82 runs when they last met. AB de Villiers fired them to a comfortable chase of 178 in their previous game, but they need their top order – including captain Virat Kohli – to score more quickly. A win today can push them up to second and level on points with the Delhi Capitals. Can they deliver another solid punch to edge closer to a playoffs spot?

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore is available to view in India on Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Airtel TV.

When does the KKR vs RCB live streaming start?
The KKR vs RCB live streaming will start at 7:00 PM India Time October 21, 2020.

Where is the KKR vs RCB match being played?
The KKR vs RCB match will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

On which TV channels will KKR vs RCB live coverage be available?
In India, Star Sports 1 and 1HD, Star Sports Select 1 and 1HD and SS1 Hindi and 1 Hindi HD will telecast the match live.

Where can one find KKR vs RCB live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: KKR vs RCB live score

What are the likely playing XIs for today’s KKR vs RCB game?

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Andre Russell/ Sunil Narine, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Pat Cummins, 8 Lockie Ferguson, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Shivam Mavi

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Devdutt Padikkal, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 Shivam Dube/ Gurkeerat Mann, 6 Chris Morris, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Navdeep Saini/ Mohammad Siraj, 10 Shahbaz Ahmed, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Who are the captains for today’s KKR vs RCB game?
The captains for today’s game will be Eoin Morgan (KKR) and Virat Kohli (RCB).

Who are the umpires for KKR vs RCB game?
The on-field umpires for today’s game will be Sundaram Ravi and Virender Sharma. The third umpire will be Chris Gaffaney.

Who will be the match referee for KKR vs RCB game?
The match referee for today’s game will be Shakti Singh.

All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.



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Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2020, Fantasy Pick, team predictions

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Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dubai

Pro Tip: Expect both captains, Steven Smith and David Warner, to come good, given they are long due and have shown improved form of late.

Our XI: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Steven Smith, Jos Buttler, Manish Pandey, Rahul Tewatia, Mohammad Nabi, Jofra Archer, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Kartik Tyagi

Substitutes: Jason Holder, Shreyas Gopal, Ben Stokes, Basil Thampi

Player availability: Kane Williamson is likely to miss this game because of an adductor injury. All other players are available for selection.

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

Captain: David Warner

Though Warner hasn’t played a really big innings in the tournament so far, his run tally of 331 runs shows he has been consistent. Also, in three innings against the Royals since 2019, Warner has scored 154 runs at a strike rate of 143.92, including 48 in their previous meeting.

Vice-captain: Steven Smith

Smith has found some form of late, scoring a fifty against the Royal Challengers Bangalore before seeing his team through against the Chennai Super Kings. Though he starts a bit slowly, he is capable of making up for it. Since 2019 in all T20s, Smith has a strike rate of 124.77 in the middle overs, which goes up to 156.19 at the death.

Hot Picks

Jos Buttler: Buttler has now shifted to the middle order for the Royals – thus taking up the job of the finisher – and is fresh off a match-winning 70 not out against the Super Kings. Though his preferred position in the format is at the top, he has a decent record in the middle order too. Buttler has scored 214 runs at an average of 30.57 and a strike rate of 127.38 as a non-opener in the IPL since 2018.

Mohammad Nabi: Nabi bowls four overs every game as well as bats in the top six. His economy rate of 5.10 was the best among all bowlers with ten or more wickets in the recent CPL. In his only game this season – though he had gone wicketless – his economy was just 5.75. That apart, he strikes at 183.92 at the death across all T20s since 2019.

Jonny Bairstow: Since 2019, Bairstow has scored 30-plus on 11 occasions in 19 innings in the IPL. Given Williamson is likely to miss this game, he must take more responsibility and convert his decent starts into a big knock. Two out of his three fifties this season have come at this venue as well.

Differential Picks

Rahul Tewatia: Tewatia has scored 222 runs at a strike rate of 145.09 and an average of 44.40, both of those being the best among all the Royals batsmen who have faced 75 or more balls. With the ball, he has picked up seven wickets at an economy of 7.38 so far in the tournament.

Kartik Tyagi: Young Tyagi shown great promise with his ability and confidence. He has picked up six wickets in as many games at an economy of 8.56. He bowls both in the powerplay and at the death, which makes his economy impressive.

Alternate Scenarios

  • If Jason Holder plays ahead of Nabi, then bring him into your XI.

  • Manish Pandey has scored two half-centuries in his last two innings against the Royals, including one this season. That makes him an alternate vice-captain choice, especially if the Sunrisers bat second. Smith, on the other hand, has only scored 115 runs in seven innings while chasing this season.



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Pakistan tour on pre-season agenda for Warwickshire

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Pakistan’s reputation as open for business looks set to take another step forward with news that at least a couple of England’s first-class counties are considering the country as an option for their pre-season tours.

Days after ESPNcricinfo revealed that England are considering a short tour to the country in January, it has emerged that Warwickshire are considering visiting Lahore as part of their preparations for the 2021 domestic season.

ALSO READ: ECB confirms plans to undertake first tour of Pakistan in more than 15 years

ESPNcricinfo understands the club have held talks with Pakistan CEO, Wasim Khan, with a view to sending the entire first team squad to the country in March. Wasim, a former Warwickshire player, is believed to have guaranteed good quality training facilities and opposition.

If the tour goes ahead, it seems likely the side will be based at Aitchison College. Two senior Warwickshire players, Will Rhodes, the club captain, and Oliver Hannon-Dalby, went on the MCC’s tour to Pakistan in February, which was also based at Aitchison College. Both enjoyed the experience and have given positive reports about the facilities on offer.

A final decision will not be made until the club are satisfied that the tour is safe in terms of both security and Covid-19. Finances could also be an issue, with the club also understood to be considering the La Manga, in Spain, as a pre-season option.

Either way, the fact that Pakistan is being considered for such visits is a sure sign of progress. England have not visited the country since late 2005 due to security concerns.



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