Thursday, 21 May 2009

Eye on The Ashes: Phil Hughes

Middlesex have signed Phil Hughes for the start of the County Championship season, it is a move that has caused much controversy as many in the game believe that this move is llowing him to get used to English conditions before the vital Ashes series starts.

Phil Hughes on settling in in England:

He was born on the 3oth Novemebr 1988 in Macksville, New South Wales. He is a left handed opening batsmen and an extremely bright prospect. In his youth he palyed for Macksvilee Cricket Club and the Western Suburbs District Cricket Club. He impressed so much in his youth he palyed A grad cricket at the age of 12.

After score many runs for the New South Wales youth sides Hughes was given a contract at New South Wales for the 2007-08 season.

On his debut against Tasmania Hughes scored 51 and took two catches. In his debut season he scored 559 runs at an average of 62.11.

Hughes made his Australia debut in 2009 following Matthew Haydens retirement. In his first test match innings he was out for a duck. However, he did get a half century in the second innings.

He recorded his maiden test match hundred in the his second test. In his second test he scored a century in both innings.

Since his move to Middlesex Hughes has already recorded 4 centuries for the county this summer.

Phil Hughes will prove to be a vital player for Australia and England will have to do all they can to remove him early as when he gets his eye in he scores quick runs.

For Phil Hughes' full career stats click here

First ODI is abandoned

The first ODI between England and the West Indies at Headingley had been abandoned due to rain.

The wash out occured despite an expensive new drainage system being installed at Headingley.

Eoin Morgan had been set to make his debut for England.

The remaining to games in the series are at Bristol on the 24th and at Edgbaston on the 26th.

ODI series against West Indies to begin

The ODI series against the West Indies is due to begin today with the first game due to be played at Headingley.

Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the series through injury, so Eoin Morgan takes his palce and could be set to make his debut.

Full England squad for three match series: Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Ian Bell, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann.

Full West Indies squad for three match series: Chris Gayle (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk & vc), Lionel Baker, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Keiron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Dale Richards, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor

England will be hoping to keep their momentum going after a good start to the Ashes summer.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Player Profile: James Anderson

James Anderson put in a man of the match performance taking 9-125 against the West Indies this week and is slowly but surely becoming a vital component of this England side.

James Anderson was born in Burnley on 30th July 1982. He attended St. Theodore's RC High School and played club cricket for Burnley Cricket Club.

Anderson made his first class debut for Lancashire in 2002 . In 2002 he played 13 matches and took 50 wickets at an average of 22.28

When he was first selected for an England ODI squad he had only played 5 first class matches. He took 1 for 46 against Australia on debut.

However it was the 2003 World Cup when he really arrived on the international stage.

His performance against Pakistan in a subsequent ODI tournament was exremely impresive when he took a hat-trick. He was the first England bowler to ever get an ODI hat-trick.

Video footage of his hat-trick:

He made his test debut in 2003 against Zimbabwe at Lords. He went on to get a 5 for on debut, becoming only the 17 th Englishmen to achieve such a feat on debut.

He made such a good impression at a young age. However, his international career did take a decline due to the emrgence of the likes of Steve Harmison and Simon Jones. He missed out n the sucessful Ashes series of 2005.

Anderson in test match action against Sachin Tendulkar:

He remerged in 2006 and impressed against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. But it was under Peter Moores he really found his feet in test match cricket, since then he has not looked back and will be a key player for England in this summers Ashes series.

Anderosn has also gone a record 48 test match innings without getting a duck.

For James Anderon's full career stats click here

England seal 2-0 series win

Following th day two wash out England sealed victory on the fifth day to complete the perfect warm up for the Ashes.
Alistair cook resumed on 126 on day three and eventually fell for 160, in the process recording his maiden test 150. The England total was boosted by a quick fire 49 from Pietersen and Prior (63) and Collingwood (60) also gave good support. England were eventually declared on 569 for 6.

In reply the West Indies managed just 316 with Sarwan top scoring with 100. They were forced to follow on. Anderson (5-87) and Broad (3-62) were the pick of the bowlers.

Second time around the West Indies were wven worse and found themselves all out for a measley 176, with Anderson adding another 4 wickets to his growing collection. Tim Bresnan weighed in with 3 wickets, his first in test match cricket. England won by an innings and 83 runs.

For a full match score card click here

James Anderson was named man of the match as he produced an exceptional spell of swing bowling on a flta track. He recorde match figures of 9-125. He is rapidly becoming a key cog in this developing England side.

For day three highlights clcik here

For day four highlights click here

Key perfromers in series:


Bopara: Runs: 251 Average: 125.50

Cook: Runs: 209 Average: 104.50

Collingwood: Runs: 68 Average: 68

Broad: Runs: 66 Average: 66

Prior: Runs: 105 Average: 52.50


Swann: Wickets: 7 Average: 17

Anderson: Wickets: 11 Average: 17.72

Onions: Wickets: 10 Average: 20

Broad: Wickets: 8 Average: 25.37

Bresnan: Wickets: 3 Average: 32.33

Saturday, 16 May 2009

England Ashes winner doubts England's chances

Matthew Hoggrad believes England will struglle to regain The Ashes this summer.

He believes that it will be a close series but Austrailia will pip just pip the series. He was also critical of the decision to host the first Ashes match in Cardiff and is extremely sceptical of regaining his England place.

For the full interview click here

Essex boys to the business

Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara both scored centuries as England domintae the first day of the second test against the West Indies.

The built to the test saw a war of words between captains Stauss and Gayle. The latter stating he would mind if test cricket died out and that Staruss was concerned of the emrgence of the t20 game as his style of play wasnt suited to it.

At the toss the tension between the two was clear. Staruss won the toss and chose to bat.

He and Cook got England off to a decent start before Strauss lost out in his personal duel with Gayle as he gloved the a ball from theWest Indies captain and Ramdin took the catch. This braught Bopara to the crease, and the rest was history.

Bopara and Cook went on to both record centuries. Cook's was a gritt determined one and whereas Bopara's was free flowing and easy on the eye. Bopara becomes only the third Englishman ever to score three consecutive hundreds in three consecutive innings.

Ahead of the Ashes he is doing evrything he can to cement himself in that troublesom number three role.

Unfortunately Bopara fell for 108 late in the day. Night watchmen Anderson survived and Cook managed to bat out the entire day finishing on 126 not out from 262 balls. Anderson managed to continue his record run of 48 consecutive test match innings without a duck.

For highlights of day one click here
Unfortunately day two was a complete wash out due to hevay rain. The forecast is much better for day three, though the odd shower is expected. Cook will aiming for his first test match double hundred.

For a full scorecard click here

Monday, 11 May 2009

England recall Bell and Sidebottom

England have recalled Ian Bell and Ryan Sidebottom for the squad for the second test against the West Indies.

Bell is recalled following an impressive start to the season which has included 2 centuries. Sidebottom is recalled following his return to fitness.

Monty Panesar misses out.

England will hope to win the series 2-0 as a confidence building warm up for the Ashes.

Full sqaud for second test against the West Indies: AJ Strauss (captain), AN Cook, RS Bopara, KP Pietersen, PD Collingwood, IR Bell, MJ Prior (wicketkeeper), SCJ Broad, TT Bresnan, GP Swann, JM Anderson, G Onions, RJ Sidebottom.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Player Profile: Graham Onions

Graham Onions made his test match debut this week and impressed with match figures of 7-102.

Onions was born on September 9th 1982 and is a right arm medium fast bowler. He made his first class debut for Durham in 2004.

He has taken 176 first class wickets at an average of 31.64.

Onions received his first international call up in 2006 ODI series against Pakistan following an injury to Darren Gough. However, he did not play in the series.

He went on to play for the England Lions and the England A team under coach Peter Moores. He finally made his full debut this week and impressed many his performance and attitude.

Here is his reaction to his dream debut:

Onions will be hoping to maintain his good form in the second test against the West Indies on his home ground at the Riverside.

For Graham Onion's full career stats click here

England seal victory inside 3 days

On the third day of the first test England seal an emphatic 10 wicket victory over the West Indies.

The West Indies resumed on 39-2 and soon found themselves in trouble at 79-5. There was then a show of some resisitance from Nash (81) and Randin (61) but it was short lived and they were all out for 256. Swann and Broad were the pick of the bowlers both taking three wicktes each.

England needed just 32 for victory and notched them up in just 6.1 overs.

This is the perfect start to the Ashes summer and they will hope to maintain this form at The Riverside, Durham in the second test.

For full score cards click here

For Andrew Strauss' reaction click here

For West Indies captain Chris Gayle's reaction click here

Friday, 8 May 2009

Player Profile: Ravi Bopara

Ravi Bopara has been picked by Andrey Strauss and Andy Flower to bat at number 3 ahead of Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Owais Shah. He has so far proved to the cricketing world this is the right decision following his century against the West Indies this week.

Ravi Bopara was born on May 4th 1985. He is primarily a btasmen but also bowls useful medium pace.

He made his debut for Essex in May 2002 and since then has become an instrumental part of the Essex team.

In 2005 he scored 880 first class runs and following this was picked in 2006 for the England Lions team going on tour to the West Indies and played in other matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

It was the 2nd of January 2007 when he first played international cricket. He was called up to the ODI team to replace an injured Kevin Pietersen. He did enough to cement a place in the ODI team for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
His World Cup performances impressed many and was named man of the match in the Super Eight clash against Sri Lanka.

He went on to make his test match debut for England against Sri Lanka, in doing so he became only the second sikh to ever playe for England. However, he had a disspointing tour managing just 42 runs in five innings.

Following this poor performance he was dropped from the test team, but still remained in the ODI team.

He was next given a test chance following several injurise to key players on England's tour to West Indies. He played in the 4th test a scored a miaden test match hundred, scoring 104.

This performance helped him secure the problem no.3 spot in the Test match team for this Ashes summer. An opportunity given to him haead of Vaughan, Shah and Bell. He took the opprtunity with open arms and never looked backed scoring 143.

He and the whole of England will eb hoping he maintains this sort of form for the entire summer.

For Ravi Bopara's full career stats click here

England dominate first two days

England dominated the first two days of the first test against the West Indies thanks to a century from Ravi Bopara and a 5-for from Graham Onions on debut.

The test started badly for Andrew Strauss as he lsot the toss and England were put in and shortly later he departed for just 16. Bopara and Cook then added a 50 partnership for the second wicket.

Cook was dismissed for 35 asnd this braught Kevin Pieteresen to the crease. After his trbulent winter off the pitch he began the English summer badly on it, as he was dismess for a first ball duck.

With Pietersen gone the stage was Bopara's and he confidently got his second test ton. Though he did have a couple of let offs along the way.

Bopara went about rebuilding the innings by and was supported well by Prior (42), Broad (38) and Swann (63 n.o.). Eventually he fell for 143 from 285 balls, an inning which included 17 boundaires. This knock showed why Flower and Strauss had picked him ahead of Vaughan, Bell and Strauss to bat at no.3. e will be hopin to maintain this form ahead of the Ashes.

Day one highlights:

The West Indies innings began steadily. But when Stuart Broad removed Gayle the innings collapsed. Broad when on to remove Sarwan for 13 and Swann claimed the wickets of Chanderpaul, Nash and Smith.

It was the debutant Onions that then stole the show as he blew the West Indies tail away with figures of 5-38. This despite his frist two overs in test match cricket going for 19.

To listen to his view on his performance click here

The West Indies were all out for 152 and were forced to follow on. James Anderson then took two wickets late and the end of the second day leaving the West Indies on 39-2.

Day two highlights:

Going in to the third day an England win looks on the cards. This is the perfect start to the Summer following a dismal winter for tge England side.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Flower and Strauss look for fresh start

When England announced their squad for the two test series against the West Indies last week it had a fresh new look. Uncapped seam duo Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions and Ravi Bopara was picked to bat at number 3.

Yorkshire player Bresnan is 24 and has already played 5 ODI's and 1 T20 international for England. In his first class career he has played 76 matches and taken 195 wickets at an average of 32.10. Bresnan has also got 3 first class centuries and 10 fifties to his name. With Andrew Flintoff ruled out of the series against the West Indies Bresnan wil be expected to contribute with both bat and ball.

Onions is 26 and has already made a bright start for Durham this season. In his Durham career he has played 58 matches taking 169 wickets at an average of 32.35. Onions has been picked ahead of county team mate Steve Harmison. He will be hoping to make an impression at the start of this Ashes summer.

To see how Onions took the news of his call up and how he is settling in click here

Ravi Bopara has been given the troulesome number three role which Owais Shah, Ian Bell and Michael Vaughan have all tried to fill. This does come as a slight shock as previously in test match cricket Bopara has averaged just 24.33. However he did record a maiden test hundred during the winter and having just tuned 24 time is on his side.

This is Bopara unfortunately being bowled by the last ball of the innings when only 3runs were needed for visotry in the 2008 World Cup Super 8 match against Sri Lanka:

This selecton shake up is a refreshing approach from England's new captain and team director. Instead of making experienced, risk free selections as they have done in the past this is a positive approach and will put pressure on the current playes to perform or otherwise risk the possibility of being replaced by fresh blood.

Matt Prior retains the gloves and with Flintoff out is likely to bat at 6. Whether his promotion up the order is successful could make or break his test match career.

The two test match series starts on Wednesday, this is the full squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, James Anderson, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar.


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