Apr 202014
LIVE: LV= County Championship

Live coverage of the day’s LV= County Championship games. Seven encounters are set to start today.

By Matthew Sherry and Rob Barnett 

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2.57pm – Will they ever get on at Canterbury? Play’s been delayed again. At Headingley, meanwhile, Alex Lees as moved to his fifty.

2.52pm – The action is back under way in Derby.

2.30pm – Phil Mustard has fallen to Craig Meschede, meaning Paul Collingwood has joined Jennings in the middle.

2.24pm – Many people tipped Keaton Jennings for a breakthrough season and he’s living up to the billing. Having struck a half-century versus Northants last week, he has moved beyond 50 once more today.

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2.09pm – Muhammad Azhar Ullah has a second victim of the day when he traps Andrew Gale in front.

The game between Kent and Leicestershire at Canterbury is set to start at 3pm unless there is further rain.

1.43pm – The first wicket of the afternoon session goes to Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes, who has a scalp in the same over either side of lunch. Having dismissed Andrea Agathangelou before the interval, he now snares Ashwell Prince caught behind for nought.

Rain has delayed the restart at the SWALEC Stadium, but they are going in all the games that had action this morning. We still await the start at Canterbury and the Kia Oval.

1.06pm – It’s lunch at many of our games and here are the scores:

Division One

Durham are 119 for three against Somerset at the Emirates Durham ICG.

Lancashire, having just lost Andrea Agathangelou to Chris Woakes for 48, are 85 for two against Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Yorkshire are 39 for two against Northamptonshire at Headingley.

Division Two

Glamorgan are 47 for six against Gloucestershire at the SWALEC Stadium with three wickets for David Payne.

Hampshire, who have now lost Michael Carberry to Tony Palladino for 45, are 64 for two against Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground.

The toss has been delayed due to light rain in the game between Surrey and Essex at the Kia Oval.

The toss has been delayed due to rain in the game between Kent and Leicestershire at Canterbury.

12.49pm – Andrea Agathangelou is looking in good order for Lancashire as he edges towards a half-century.

12.40pm – Michael Richardson and Jennings have taken Durham beyond 100. They are flying along, unlike Yorkshire – who have seen Kane Williamson trapped lbw by Andrew Hall. Meanwhile, Derbyshire have broken through, Mark Turner ousting skipper Adams.

12.31pm – Payne is on fire! He grabs two wickets in his fifth over, ousting Alex Gidman and Mark Wallace.

12.16pm – Glamorgan are suddenly in real trouble, David Payne getting rid of Jacques Rudolph.

12.02pm – Hampshire are off to a solid start, with Michael Carberry and Jimmy Adams impressing.

11.36am – It’s been a bad couple of minutes for the Roses, Lancashire opener Luis Reece edging Keith Barker behind and Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth falling likewise to Mohammad Azhar Ullah.

11.31am – Champions Durham are motoring along with the bat now as Keaton Jennings and Scott Borthwick click into gear.

11.15am – Durham have also lost an early wicket, Mark Stoneman edging Lewis Gregory behind for a breezy 11. Meanwhile, it’s raining at Headingley… 

11.04am – Glamorgan made the dream start to their campaign when beating Surrey but today has not gone to plan so far. After losing the toss, the home side have lost a wicket first ball with Will Gidman getting rid of Gareth Rees.

10.43am – Lancashire have, as expected, given Jos Buttler a debut, with Glen Chapple returning to lead the side. Kyle Hogg remains sidelined, though. 

10.40am – The coins are in the air but who’s done what?

Division One

Somerset have opted to bowl versus Durham at the Emirates Durham ICG.

Lancashire have decided to bat against Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Yorkshire have chosen to bat against Northamptonshire at Headingley.

Division Two

Gloucestershire have chosen to field against Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.

The toss has been delayed in the game between Derbyshire and Hampshire at the 3aaa County Ground.

The toss has been delayed due to light rain in the game between Surrey and Essex at the Kia Oval.

The toss has been delayed due to rain in the game between Kent and Leicestershire at Canterbury.

10pm – Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the day’s LV= County Championship action. Seven games are getting under way, three in Division One and four in Division Two. For all the information you need to know regarding the top-tier games, click here; for those supporting a Division Two team, this is the place.

Feb 152014
India tighten their grip on second test with NZ

New Zealand are staring down the barrel of a sizeable first innings deficit at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.


India already lead the second test by 109 runs and look set to extend that before stumps. The Black Caps have toiled fairly hard, but the once-lively pitch is now an easy-paced, placid one on which India’s batsmen seem more likely to have to get themselves out rather than be
got out.

Ajinkya Rahane will come out for the final two hours on 64, with captain MS Doni (38 not out) alongside him and their team 301 for six.

Virat Kohli’s was the only wicket to fall in the second session, with the star batsman kicking himself all the way back to the pavilion.

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum had packed the offside field, including having two men stationed at short cover. Neil Wagner was bowling full and wide of the offstump, with the obvious intent of trying the batsmen’s patience.

It shouldn’t have been too much for a player of Kohli’s quality, but it proved to be, as he drove loosely on the up and into the waiting hands of Hamish Rutherford in the finer of the two short covers.

The dismissal was almost greeted with surprise. Kohli and Rahane were ticking things over very easily and the shot was unnecessary.

With him gone for 38, out strode Dhoni. Whether going hard at the bowling, or almost disdainfully watching the ball go past, the Indian captain looked in total control.

All the same, it was a curious innings that he was putting together.
All attack at times, then exaggerated defence at others, it was difficult to tell what Dhoni was up to. He was never troubled but, but it was still hard to see why one ball would be whistled towards the fence and then an identical one defended.

The bottom line, though, was that he was building his team a very healthy advantage. As was Rahane.

The little right-hander didn’t hit the ball with the same ferocious power as his skipper, but his little nudges and drives were effective all the same.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Jan 262014
Australia vs England (5th ODI) LIVE: Cook OUT. Game back in balance!

Fresh from his match-winning all round heroics in the last match, Ben Stokes yet again provided the English attack the edge, as he snaffled three wickets to crunch through the hosts’ batting order as Australia Day turned into a bit of fumble

Match Report – Australia vs England, 5th ODI , January 25 from Adelaide

Australia had lost only their first match in the lengthy summer as England finally logged one in their book. On a typical batting strip of Adelaide, Australia had no hesitation batting first as Clarke hope the pitch will play true.

England began in anti-climactic fashion as Finch flashed at one to the slips but was reprieved by Cook, and then again by Bopara in the covers. The Barmy Army had that look of dread they have worn all summer. But Stuart Broad got one to nip back, putting a bit of relief back in the visitors. Watson was reprieved by the reviews, but edged next ball to Broad as well. When Shaun Marsh, who looked in fine fettle while driving through off, patted one straight to midwicket, the Australia innings was beginning to wobble a bit. Glenn Maxwell, at the recieving end of some harsh words from coach Lehmann due to his daft dismissal during the chase in 4th ODI, came out looking like a man with something to prove. He looked suitably cautious but the pressure of dot balls told, and Ben Stokes yet again provided with that important middle order break-through. At 112/5 the Australian Day was beginning to look a bit pear shaped for Aussies.

George Bailey was still there though, scoring like an opportunist, while Wade gave him able support. Together they added a half-century partnership, while Bailey brought up his own half century as well. Just as he looked to up the ante, his attempted lofted drive against Stokes was miscued straight down the long-on fielder’s throat. When Broad joined in the fun, bowling Wade around his legs, Australia were looking fairly underwhelming at 176/7 on a pretty good batting strip. Briefly, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Faulkner tried to shore it up, but Chris Jordan’s double strike in the last over ensured they wrapped up for an under par 217. England would believe they can finish on a winning note.

England began with typical discipline. Cook and Bell remained cautious through the opening exchanges on a two-paced pitch before Bell started opening up with the signature drives. Just as he had stroked his way to 14 with three hits to the fence Coulter-Nile nipped him in the bud. Stokes couldn’t repeat his heroics from couple of nights back. Suddenly it was advantage Australia with England wobbling at 29/2. However Cook remained firm, and got able support from Root as they both dragged England back to 99/2. Just as it looked England were beginning to pull away Cook tried to chip Coulter-Nile and mistimed a dolly to short cover. With the match in balance, out came England’s most decorated finisher Eoin Morgan and immediately flayed Doherty through extra cover for a boundary. 

Australia 217/9 (Bailey 56, Stokes 3/40, Broad 3/29) vs England  107/3( Cook 39, Coulter-Nile 2/18)

Player(s) of the Day: TBD

Disappointment(s)  of the Day: TBD

Image credit: Herald Sun

Dec 282013
LIVE: Australia v England, 4th Test, Day 4

By Matthew Sherry

Australia looked set to take a 4-0 lead in the Ashes as Chris Rogers hit his second Test hundred at the MCG.

Having resumed on 30 without loss chasing 231, the hosts were aided by some disappointing England fielding as two early chances went down.

However, a moment of cheer came for the tourists when David Warner feathered the impressive Ben Stokes behind for 25.

Rogers, though, found a willing ally in the typically positive Shane Watson as Australia moved to 189 for one.

Match Scorecard / Live ball-by-ball commentary

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The Ashes on Sky Sports / TV highlights on Pick TV 

Afternoon Session 

3am – WICKET! Rogers c Bairstow b Panesar 116; Australia 200/2 – Rogers’ fine innings comes to an end as he feathers an attempted cut off Monty Panesar behind.

2.45am – FIFTY! Watson (70b 6×4 0x6) – Shane Watson reaches a notable landmark by cutting Tim Bresnan for four.

2.42am – CENTURY! Rogers (135b 11×4 0x6) – What a moment! Rogers reaches his first Test hundred on home soil with a driven four off James Anderson.

2.25am – Glorious from Chris Rogers, who – having enjoyed that reprieve – plays a late-cut to the boundary off Stuart Broad.

Morning Session 

1.33am – LUNCH! Australia 143/1; Rogers 81, Watson 36 – Australia end the session in complete command. They look set to move 4-0 ahead in the series.

1.22am – Misfields are hurting England amid Australia scoring freely. The hosts have racked up over 100 runs in this session for the loss of just one wicket.

1.06am – Monty Panesar is brought into the attack and begins with a solid over that brings Australia just two runs.

12.52am – Boundaries are flowing for Australia as both Rogers and Shane Watson attack to good effect.

12.29am – FIFTY! Rogers (74b 6×4 0x6) – An inside-edged four that only just misses the stumps precedes a two, which brings up Rogers’ fluent half-century.

12.09am – WICKET! Warner c Bairstow b Stokes 25; Australia 64/1 – No mistake this time! Warner goes for an expansive cut but feathers through to Bairstow as Stokes grabs a deserved wicket. 

10.56am – MISSED CHANCE! – Another opportunity goes begging as Cook shells a regulation chance to dismiss Warner off Ben Stokes.

10.45am – MISSED CHANCE! – Nightmare for England as Chris Rogers edges Broad between the wicketkeeper and first slip for four. Alastair Cook spilled a one-handed diving attempt, but Jonny Bairstow should really have dived to collect a fairly easy chance. To make matters worse, the batsman follows up with an upper-cut four.

10.38am – David Warner is off and running, crunching Stuart Broad through the off side for four after James Anderson had begun the day with a maiden.

Pre-Play News 

11.15am – Hello and welcome to day four of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne. Australia require a further 201 for victory having reached 30 without loss last evening, while England need 10 wickets.

Dec 272013
LIVE: Australia v England, 4th Test, Day 3

By Matthew Sherry

Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry strengthened England’s position in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

With Australia resuming nine down and 91 behind, hopes were high that the tourists could quickly claim a final scalp.

But Brad Haddin, who struck 65, and Nathan Lyon put on a frustrating 40-run stand before James Anderson had the former caught on the pull to end with figures of 4-67.

Australia were subsequently dismissed for 204, surrendering a 91-run deficit which Alastair Cook helped extend by striking 51.

He was trapped lbw by Mitchell Johnson, yet England were in a positive position on 79 for one, 130 ahead, after 26 overs.

Match Scorecard / Live ball-by-ball commentary

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The Ashes on Sky Sports / TV highlights on Pick TV 

Afternoon Session

England 2nd Innings 

3.12am – WICKET! Root run out Johnson 15; England 86/3 – You cannot keep Johnson out of the game. Root sets off for a quick single and, despite a dive, is well short Mitch delivers a direct hit.

3.05am – WICKET! Carberry lbw Siddle 12; England 86/2 – Australia have a second as Siddle, bowling around the wicket, traps Carberry lbw.

3.03am – Root picks up his first boundary, guiding Peter Siddle through third man.

2.37am – REVIEW! – Johnson thought he had two in three balls after umpire Aleem Dar raised the finger for a Joe Root caught-behind. However, technology showed no edge so the batsman remains.

2.34am – WICKET! Cook lbw Johnson 51; England 65/1 – The captain’s excellent innings comes to an end as he plays all around a straight one from Johnson, opting not to review.

2.23am – FIFTY! Cook (60b 7×4 0x6) – Well, Alastair Cook has picked up where he left off – driving Shane Watson for two boundaries through point in an over to move to 50.

2.18am – Mitchell Johnson is on for a burst after lunch. This will be a key period for England to get through.

Morning Session

1.31am – LUNCH! England 54/0; Cook 41, Carberry 5 – England reach the interval unscathed, although Carberry can count himself lucky after an edge off Watson fell just short of slip. The tourists, though, are in a strong position.

1.17am – Carberry gets his first boundary, powerfully cutting Shane Watson through point for four.

1.05am – Amid his partner’s flurry of runs, Carberry has one off 31 deliveries. He will be targeting a big score following a series of unfulfilled starts in this series thus far.

12.52am – Cook continues to prosper via a positive approach as he late-cuts and drives Nathan Lyon to the fence.

12.37am – Cook is looking in particularly good touch early on, driving Harris down the ground for four.

12.26am – Positive start from Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry as seven runs come from the first over, bowled by Ryan Harris.

Australia 1st Innings 

12.13am – WICKET! Haddin c Bairstow b Anderson 65; Australia 204 all out – England secure a 51-run lead as Haddin top-edges an attempted pull and Jonny Bairstow claims a simple catch.

12.08am – They have enjoyed some good fortune but Haddin and Lyon continue to prosper. It’s all very frustrating.

11.50am – FIFTY! Haddin (59b 6×4 1×6) – Haddin reaches yet another half-century via a single to mid-on.

11.44am – Frustration for England and Anderson as Nathan Lyon edges through the slips and to the boundary.

11.33am – Stuart Broad and James Anderson have been given the first crack. They start with an impressive over apiece, the latter featuring an edged Brad Haddin four that fell just short of first slip.

Pre-Play News

11.26am – Brad Haddin, who’s having a fine series and will resume on 43, holds the key for Australia. The hosts are 164 for nine, still 91 behind.

11.15am – Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne. The aim for England on day three is simple: grab an early wicket and then get runs, runs and more runs.

Dec 272013
South Africa vs India 2013 2nd Test (Day 2) LIVE: Steyn roars back with six-for!

After an entire morning when rain and covers played hide-n-seek, finally the play started with a three hour delay on a murky, gloomy Durban day.

Match Report – South Africa vs India, 2nd Test, Day 2 , December 27 from Kingsmead, Durban

South African bowlers were ‘surprised’ by the brown strip of Durban, which could have come straight from subcontinent, gift-wrapped as a Boxing day present for the visitors. They did have a surprise gift of their own, Morne Morkel, who had made a remarkable recovery aided by oxygen chambers. Morkel, as it turned out, was the most threatening of the hosts. But an increasingly grumpy and lacklustre Steyn hurt their balance, as did yet another spinner who couldn’t quite play the warranted ‘holding role’ against, arguably the best players of spin.

Having lost nearly thirty overs last evening due to fading light, this morning was further bad news for those hoping to catch a glimpse of Kallis on his farewell test. Persistent drizzle played spoilsport all morning, and every time the groundsmen took away the covers seeing the rain relent, it almost mischievously opened the tap again. After three hours (and a complete washout of first session) the game resumed. The bowlers hoped to get a little more purchase from a damp pitch and heavy atmosphere, but quickly saw their hopes evaporate as both overnight batsmen hit a four each and moved along. But then, something stirred in Dale Steyn. Seventy overs (yes, you read that right!) of wicketless toil later suddenly South Africa’s spearhead clicked the higher gear which makes him the best paceman of this era. Pacing up at 140-145ks, and reversing the old ball, he first had Pujara edge behind. Vijay, nearing on a coveted century tried to play him out patiently, even copping some on his body. A fierce bouncer put paid to those hopes, his fend edging behind to DeVilliers. Then there was a first ball beauty to Rohit Sharma, uprooting his stump. Suddenly, from 198/1 India wobbled to 199/4. The hattrick ball was on Kohli’s pads, who whipped it to midwicket fence, but the morning had turned on its head.

Kallis came on in two short bursts from both ends, as did Peterson. Philander took the new ball ahead of Morkel and kept the lid on scoring as well. But it was Steyn, who was clearly leading the pack. Ajinkya Rahane was sconed twice in successive overs, once on the helmet and once on the shoulder, the ball not quite rising as high as expected and skidding on from short of good length. To his credit, when the length was even shorter, Rahane controlled his pull to pinch a four, before repeating the dose against an overpitched one. Kohli, at the other end was playing like a pleasing little innings, resisting but never stagnant and assured in his driving. Together, they put on another important fifty run stand after the strikes. Yet again, just as the partnership was blossoming and the pitch easing out under the baking sun, Kohli fended a short one drifting down the leg-side and DeVilliers pulled off a brilliant grab. India went to tea without further damage.

The post tea session kept up with the see-sawing fortunes of the game, with quick runs flowing for India. Rahane started it first, driving Peterson for four off the first ball of his over twice, before upper-cutting Morkel for another. Dhoni then cut Morkel twice through the vacant gully region for boundaries before he too punished Peterson for another four. Suddenly, a quick fifty run partnership off merely twelve overs had swung the balance again. Out came that man Steyn again (who else?), forcing Dhoni to edge behind as he chased one nipping away from off-stump, while his opposite number Smith safely pouched the nick. Jadeja fell in the next over to Duminy after a totally unconvincing stay and the hosts had clawed back yet again, to have their noses in front. His fifth came shortly afterwards, courtesy a moment of terrific athleticism from DeVilliers, who pouched a Zaheer top edge flying over him at high speed. A gorgeous cover driven boundary later Ishant became Steyn’s sixth victim, who ended his seventy over drought for wickets in spectacular fashion. India wound up for an under-par 334.

South Africa then came out and with a mix of good shots and fortituous edges raced paced thirty in a merely five overs. The introduction of Ishant Sharma slowed down things a touch.

India 334 (Vijay 97, Pujara 64, Steyn 6/100) vs South Africa 37/0 

Player(s) of the Day: Dale Steyn

Disappointment(s)  of the Day: TBD

Image credit: Guardian

Dec 262013
Australia fight hard with bat after Johnson stars again

Sky Sport

Mitchell Johnson has continued his solid form with the ball, taking a total of 28 wickets in this Ashes series.

Chris Rogers recovered from a nasty blow to the head to score a dogged half century as Australia reached 96-3 at tea on the second day of the fourth test against England.


Jimmy Anderson (2-32 ) dismissed Michael Clarke in the only wicket of the middle session after Australia lost opener David Warner and Shane Watson before lunch in pursuit of England’s first-innings 255.

Stuart Broad smacked a short ball into the visor of Rogers’ helmet shortly after lunch, drawing blood near his temple. But after receiving attention on the pitch, the left-hander continued his innings untroubled and was unbeaten on 50 at the break with Steve Smith on 14.

Earlier, Mitchell Johnson (5-63) claimed England wickets to bring up another five-wicket haul. 

He took 3-4 from four overs on to finish with 5-63 in England’s first innings of 255.

The left-arm quick lifted his tally for the series to 28 victims at 14.96.

Johnson struck twice in the second over of the day, removing Tim Bresnan caught at short leg and Pietersen bowled.

It was an awful shot from Pietersen, who had stood firm so brilliantly in the face of his critics on Thursday in four hours of determined batting against tight bowling.

While Pietersen deserves praise for becoming England’s fourth-leading runscorer, moving nine runs past Geoff Boycott’s 8114, his shot selection has once again become a hot topic.

Stuart Broad was lbw to Johnson and Nathan Lyon bowled rival spinner Monty Panesar.

“It’s going all right. I am enjoying it,” Johnson told the Nine Network.

Johnson said the Aussies had bowled well as a group. Pace partner Ryan Harris took 2-47 off 24 overs in a tremendous performance that featured four missed catches


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