Apr 212014
Ireland lifts Leicestershire with maiden fifty

Leicestershire 333 for 9 (Boyce 68, Ireland 52, Stevens 3-46) v Kent

Matthew Boyce gets forward to drive, Lancashire v Leicestershire, County Championship, Division Two, Old Trafford, 4th day, September 14, 2013

Matthew Boyce gave Leicestershire a solid base which the lower order managed to build on (file photo) © Getty Images

Anthony Ireland, who had a batting average of 6.19 coming into this match, hit the first half-century of his career as Leicestershire finished on a very competitive 333 for 9 against Kent.

Kent looked in control of the contest when they had the visitors 198 for 7 thanks in part to some excellent bowling from Darren Stevens, who ended the day on 3 for 46. However, an 85-run partnership between Ireland and Jigar Naik, who finished on 41 not out, pulled Leicestershire back into the match.

Kent won the toss and decided to field on the first day but there was no action as the rain saw play abandoned. Leicestershire began their innings positively as opener Matthew Boyce led the way with 68 alongside Greg Smith and then Ned Eckersley.

However, Eckersley’s dismissal off the bowling of Mitchell Claydon sparked a flurry of wickets. Leicestershire lost 4 for 45, with two of them – Angus Robson and Ben Raine – falling to spinner Adam Riley, who ended the day with figures of 3 for 52 having replaced James Tredwell.

Niall O’Brien made a useful 32 before being caught lbw by Doug Bollinger but the Australia conceded nearly five runs an over. Rob Taylor steadied the ship for Leicestershire with a useful 20 before Naik’s 41, which included five fours, began the visitors’ revival.

Ireland then took centre stage on his way to a half-century before eventually being caught by Ben Harmison off Riley. Kent’s frustrations continued until the end as Charlie Shreck put on another 18 before the umpires called stumps after 96 overs.

This was Leicestershire’s first Championship match of the season after their opening game against Derbyshire was postponed following following the car accident which injured Tom Poynton and claimed the life of his father.

Apr 112014
Associate Cricket: Associates to Play Tests Soon

The Associate sides have received a boost in the arm for their cricketing future as the ICC Board has approved an ICC Test Challenge that will mean the best Associate side will get to play some amount of Test cricket every four years.

The approval by the board means that the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will face the bottom-ranked Test side for the inaugural ICC Test Challenge sometime in 2018. The two sides will play four five-day Tests on a home-and-away basis with the Associate side getting two Home Tests. However, the ICC has clarified that these matches are not meant to be a relegation or promotion event and the Associate side will not be given permanent Test status for an extended period. The initiative is meant to give Test exposure to the Associates as well as to give a context to the Intercontinental Cup.

The ICC Intercontinental Cup is the premier first-class tournament played by the Associate sides and is played over a two-year period. The next Intercontinental Cup will run from 2015 to 2017. It is the winner of this tournament which will face the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, for the inaugural ICC Test Challenge.

ICC Chief Executive elucidated the significance of the Test Challenge by saying, “The ICC Test Challenge now opens the door for Associate Members to play Test cricket and in doing so gives even greater context to the ICC Intercontinental Cup which will now be a pathway to Test cricket.” The ICC also clarified that even if the Full-member side was defeated in the contest, it will not lose its Test status or its voting rights. The ICC Test Challenge will now be passed through following at the ICC’s annual conference.

Going by form and historical performances, the favourites for hoisting the Associate flag at Tests are Ireland, having won four out of the six tournaments held so far. However, the Irish side have received tough competition from Afghanistan in their recent campaigns. Afghanistan won the title in their maiden attempt in 2010 and finished runners-up last year. But regardless of which side wins the title in 2017, it is certain that all Associate sides and their fans world-over are more than happy with the development.

Associate sides have welcomed this move unanimously. Ireland Cricket’s Chief Executive Warren Deutrom expressed pleasure at the initiative and remarked, “The first thing to say is that we’re pleased, and that’s speaking on behalf of the Associates as a whole and Ireland in particular. For us it was never so much about the threat of relegation, it was having that opportunity to be able to get up into Test cricket. Now we have that, and after winning four of the last five Intercontinental Cups, obviously our goal is now to do that again and get into the play-off.”

Other Associate nations like Scotland, Afghanistan, and the Netherlands also welcomed the move. The initiative will give chance to some of the most talented cricketers from outside the Test world to showcase their talents at the highest level, even if for a short period of time.

Image: The Independent

Mar 252014
Australia Survive Scare To Beat South Africa
Alyssa Healy bats for Australia

Australia beat South Africa to get off the mark in the tournament

© 2014 © IDI/Getty Images

Australia Women 116-4 (Perry 41no) beat
South Africa Women 115-9 by six wickets
ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Group A, Sylhet

Group A Table (updated following this game)

New Zealand 2 2 0 +1.225 4
South Africa 2 1 1 +0.872 2
Australia 2 1 1 -0.054 2
Ireland 1 0 1 -2.1 0
Pakistan 1 0 1 -2.2 0

Reigning champions Australia survived a huge scare to beat South Africa and claim their first victory of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Sylhet.

After South Africa had smashed 19 from the final over of their innings to reach a score of 115 for nine, Australia were struggling when they were reduced to 34 for three and 56 for four in reply.

However, Ellyse Perry led them home with eight balls to spare by hitting an unbeaten 41 in 29 balls, leaving both teams with the same record of having won and lost a game apiece so far in the tournament.

South Africa made the worst possible start to the game when Lizelle Lee was caught by Jess Cameron off Rene Farrell from the very first ball.

Dane van Niekerk (12), Trisha Chetty (30), Mignon du Preez (14) and Marizanne Kapp (20) then helped them recover although Australia kept the run scoring in check with regular wickets.

Farrell would finish with two for 19, Erin Osborne two for 20 and Julie Hunter two for 13 while Jess Jonassen took one for 30.

However, there was a sting in the tail from South Africa as Suné Luus hit 19 not out in seven balls with three fours and a six, and 19 runs coming from the final over hauled South Africa past the 100-run mark and up to a score which they almost defended.

Shabnim Ismail also hit 13 in 10 balls as South Africa finished their innings strongly.

Like South Africa, one of Australia’s openers – Alyssa Healy – also fell to a golden duck when she was run out by Sunette Loubser.

Ismail then bowled Meg Lanning for six , Loubser struck to bowl Delissa Kimmince for 17 and when Alex Blackwell was run out by Kapp for 24, Australia were under pressure and needing more than a run per ball to get home.

Fortunately for them, Perry held her nerve, hitting six fours during her innings and putting on an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 60 with Cameron, who was unbeaten on 27 in 24 deliveries.

Both Australia and South Africa now trail New Zealand, who have made the perfect start to Group A with two wins out of two.

Australia play Ireland on Thursday (27th March) and South Africa are in action again when they meet Ireland two days afterwards.

© Cricket World 2014

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Mar 232014
White Ferns upset Australia at World T20

Published: 8:59AM Monday March 24, 2014 Source: ONE News

The White Ferns have taken a massive step towards reaching the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 after beating Australia by seven runs in their opening match at Sylhet Divisional Stadium in Bangladesh.

New Zealand beat the defending champions after posting 128 for eight In the first innings, with Katie Perkins top-scoring with 31.

They then took wickets at key moments, overcoming 41 from Alyssa Healy and bowling out Australia with three balls left in the innings. The White Ferns now need to win at least two of their three remaining pool matches against Ireland, Pakistan and South Africa to progress to the semi-finals.

Having been asked to bat first the White Ferns were put under pressure early, with captain Suzie Bates dismissed for just five. Cameos from Frances Mackay (25) and Sara McGlashan (15) settled things down nicely, before Perkins came in and anchored the innings through to the 17th over.

The finishing touches were added by Nicola Browne, who crunched a crucial 29 from 19 balls to elevate the White Ferns past the 120 mark. Her Player of the Match effort was highlighted by three fours and a six and gave her side a competitive total to defend.

Momentum swung throughout Australia’s response, but it was the loss of regular wickets which would be their downfall.

The White Ferns were buoyed by the early dismissal of the dangerous Meg Lanning for two, but a run-a-ball 41 from Healy kept Australia on track early.

Following Healy’s dismissal in the 11th over, Alex Blackwell (31) took the reins for her side, seeing them through to 105 for six at the start of the 17th over. Her dismissal two balls later, via a run-out from Katey Martin, was the turning point though, with the White Ferns restricting the tail and claiming the victory three balls into the final over.

It was a joint effort with the ball for the White Ferns, with Holly Huddleston finishing with two for 23, while the other five bowlers all took a wicket apiece.

The White Ferns play their next match against Ireland tomorrow night from 10.30pm (NZ time).

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