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  • Back at Lords yesterday

    Posted on July 19, 2014 by Selby


    There were a number of signings yesterday at Lords for Cricket Collectables as things started to look a little more promising at the 2nd Test

    India will take comfort from the fact that they have stared down a sinister Lord's greentop and pronounced that they are a long way removed from the submissive outfit that lost 4-0 on their last tour to England. That they scrapped throughout was undeniable, but the dominant innings that finally rewarded a day of hard labours was not as much a stare-down as a display of dancing eyes and neat footwork, an exceptional counter-attacking hundred from Ajinkya Rahane that washed residual ill feeling from an engrossing opening to the second Test.

    Rahane's 103 came to grief 15 minutes before the close, courtesy of a nonchalant left-handed catch in his follow-through by James Anderson, an over in which Rahane had driven him confidently through the covers for his second Test hundred. No matter how fulfilling his career, he will not make too many better.

    It felt like an appropriate end to a classically-paced innings, which was necessarily cautious as India, despite their best efforts, lost seven wickets for 145, but which then spread into a joyous second 50 at a run a ball as England's pace quartet failed to make use of ideal fast-bowling conditions. Stuart Broad's shake of the head and kick at the ball as India's last pair saw out the day was an apt summation of England's mood.

    This was a most uncommon Lord's day. The groundsman, Mick Hunt, unveiled one of the greenest Test pitches the famous old ground had ever witnessed, certainly since the invention of motor mowers, and loud boos broke out when Ravindra Jadeja walked out to the crease, a response to India's insistence that Anderson's alleged altercation with him in the first Test at Trent Bridge should be formally judged by the ICC.

    Variously regarded as sledging devil incarnate or a victim of supreme over-reaction, depending on your point of view, Anderson has trudged wearily across unresponsive England Test pitches for the past year. Now, as he braced himself for an impending ICC investigation which could drag on for the entire summer if the ECB's legal team get their way, he finally had conditions to relish.

    At a time of greatest need, records fell his way. He removed Shikhar Dhawan at third slip with his 11th delivery to outdo Fred Trueman as England's leading wicket-taker in home Tests. In his third over of the afternoon, he summoned away movement to add Virat Kohli, the most prized wicket of all, to a regulation keeper's catch: Ian Botham duly fell as the leading wicket-taker in Lord's Tests. His dismissal of Rahane had no record attached, but in cricketing terms it was the most heartfelt. That he has served England admirably was again beyond question.

    Ben Stokes almost matched him. His natural length is shorter than these conditions demanded, but he strove to adjust, maintained speeds just short of 90mph and bowled some of the best balls of the day. Broad was below par, but the main under performer was Liam Plunkett, who was well down on pace, huffing and puffing in the heat, England's visits to a health farm - mud baths a speciality - not disguising the draining effects of back-to-back Tests.

    To lose both openers by the lunch interval was damage that India would privately have accepted as the ball swung with the enthusiasm of a young puppy. There was not just swing but seam to contend with. But if the pitch was green, India's batsmen were not, more tutored these days perhaps, attitudes hardened by the jowly old sea dog, Duncan Fletcher, and technical advice from Rahul Dravid.

    Ballance had awoken to celebrity headlines of "Boozy Ballance" after a photograph of his wind-down following the Trent Bridge Test had been daubed across the papers. His official ticking off had been a token one, to placate the media. Stationed at third slip, he held his catches rather better than his drink. Dhawan fell to Anderson's lavish movement, playing perfectly respectably at a ball that pitched outside leg stump. M Vijay got a leading edge against Plunkett which would have left Ballance briefly unsighted as he tried to turn the ball into the leg side.

    On an unsatisfying morning, England had cause to regret two missed chances by Matt Prior, who has not been short of cumbersome moments this summer. Vijay escaped before scoring when Prior moved leadenly for a low catch in front of first slip and Kohli should have been taken off the last of the session when Moeen Ali, bowling the traditional spinner's final over before lunch, saw a straightforward catch put down.

    It was a scorching day, with more to come on the morrow. Alastair Cook won the toss, gulped and chose to bowl. It was the right call, however frustrated he would have been at the close. The day suited English traditions: swing for those who knew how to use it and a pitch with enough seam and carry to create interest, the sort of pitch that has kept Test cricket in the hearts and minds of the English public. That should never be betrayed.

    It was six overs before Anderson conceded a run, but when his last ball was nonchalantly flicked to the long leg boundary by Cheteshwar Pujara, it was the first sign that India had the capacity to survive. Pujara stuck it out gamely, three hours in making 28, finally studding off side and leg side in turn with two stylish boundaries, only for Stokes to shake his middle stump with one which came back up the slope. He was one of four India wickets to go between lunch and tea, comfortably England's most impressive session as they finally hit greentop lengths.

    Jadeja made 3. With the crowd yearning for Anderson to return to the attack - he had bowled 12 overs but a quick foray would have done no harm - instead Cook chose decorum, continued with the spin of Moeen, and Jadeja thrust his front pad at the ball in old-fashioned manner to fall lbw.

    There was a milestone, too, not just for Anderson, but for Broad, who made MS Dhoni his 250th Test wicket. Dhoni's innings was India's most unconvincing, a few exploratory strolls down the wicket and, with only 1 to his name, a furtive edge to the keeper. It begged the question whether he can bat at No. 6 in such exacting conditions.

    There were some good opportunities for Cricket Memorabilia enthusiasts especially signed cricket bats, and tour paraphernalia. back again this morning expecting another good day

    After tea, England were seen off by Rahane. He played the ball late, coped with the seam and bounce like he will tell you a Mumbai batsman should, and then let his instincts flourish. Plunkett's resorting to a short, round-the-wicket attack - an understandable if somewhat two-dimensional tactic on featherbeds - looked a desperate ploy. That was England's low spot of the day.

    England, at one stage, would never have envisaged taking the second new ball. But they grabbed it with apprehension at 223 for 7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar's solid support in an eighth-wicket stand of 90 in 24 overs ended when his stumps were spread-eagled in Broad's first over, but by the time Rahane fell to Anderson, 20 balls from the close, India felt the more contented of the sides. England will hope to see the pitch become more straw-coloured under a hot sun and for the seam and swing they have pined for to disappear conveniently for a day or two.








    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Cricket Memorabilia from the England v India Test series Trent Bridge

    Posted on July 11, 2014 by Selby

    India were in danger of surrendering the advantage they had built so carefully over four sessions as they lost four wickets for four runs immediately after lunch on the second day. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar andMohammed Shami restored it with a 111-run last-wicket stand that punctured the fuel reserves of a frustrated England attack and extended India's total to 457.

    Shami then dismissed Alastair Cook in the fourth over of England's reply, bowling the England captain round his legs as he walked too far across his stumps.

    Over the remainder of the final session, India's seam bowlers searched for the right length to discomfit the notoriously front-foot-shy Sam Robson and Gary Ballance. They generally found themselves a touch shorter, but Ishant Sharma landed one in the perfect spot two overs from stumps only for the outside-edge from Ballance to drop a foot short of second slip. Ravindra Jadeja, who bowled two overs, showed he could be key later in the Test after he got one ball to explode out of rough at Ballance. England have three left-handers in their top six.

    When India lost their ninth wicket, their survivors from the 2011 tour would have seen flashbacks of their collapse from 267 for 4 to 288 all out at the same venue. India had gone on to lose that Test match by 319 runs.

    This England side, though, is different. Since the time Tino Best clobbered 95 against them two years ago, they have been hurt by numerous tail-end partnerships.

    Bhuvneshwar farmed the strike in the first part of the partnership, but soon became confident of Shami's ability. England stuck gamely to a couple of self-consciously out-of-the-box plans: Liam Plunkett banging it in from around the wicket and James Anderson bowling full and straight with three close men from mid-on to midwicket. Neither plan perturbed the batsmen unduly.

    The pair found the boundaries with a mixture of heaves and some surprisingly cultured shots, including an inside-out lofted drive by Bhuvneshwar off Moeen Ali and a clip off the pads from Shami off Anderson.

    By the end of the session, England, forced into a mandatory half-hour extension, may have wished they had taken one wicket less than they had. Even when they did finally find the edge - as Hot Spot showed when Plunkett slanted one past Shami in the penultimate over of the session - only Alastair Cook appeared to hear the noise and the half-hearted appeals from the bowler and the keeper made no effect on the umpire.

    Soon after tea, Bhuvneshwar reached his fifty, his first in Test cricket with an elegant drive to deep cover. Shami reached his maiden first-class fifty the next ball, clouting a full, wide ball back over Anderson's head for six. The partnership also breached the 100 mark with that shot.

    With the third new ball around the corner, Cook brought on Moeen Ali for his 18th over. Bhuvneshwar nudged him to the brink of a bowling century with a drive back over his head for four, but fell trying to go even bigger the next ball, holing out to mid-on. The last-wicket pair had batted a minute over two-and-a-half hours.

    Having patted their new-ball pair on their backs for their batting, India would have kicked themselves for surrendering so much initiative in so little time, right after lunch. They would have particularly rued the needlessly loose shots that led to the dismissals of Jadeja and Stuart Binny, their two allrounders. In between, MS Dhoni was run out by a direct hit from Anderson at mid-off.

    At 346 for 9, England would not have believed how easy it had been, having toiled so hard with so little reward in the morning session. They could have earned a crack at the lower order much earlier though, had Matt Prior clung on to a chance that Dhoni offered 13 balls into the day. By the time Anderson broke through, sending back M Vijay, India's score had swelled from 263 at the time of the dropped catch to 304. By lunch, Dhoni had moved into the 80s, and had extended India's score by a further 38 runs in the company of Jadeja.

    Dhoni began looking a lot more secure after early nervousness and adopeted an idiosyncratic shuffle across his crease to counter the low bounce and the lbw threat.

    At the other end, Vijay moved to 146 with a number of good-looking drives through the off side before Anderson dismissed him with a ball that nipped back from outside off to strike him on the back thigh. Bruce Oxenford took his time before raising his finger, but it was one of those lbws that just look out. On this pitch, barely anything from that length was bouncing over the stumps anyway. Hawk-Eye suggested it was going over, but Hawk-Eye's square-on view also suggested, erroneously, that the ball had struck Vijay in front of the crease.

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • A little history and Pre war stats for the Shield

    Posted on July 1, 2014 by Selby

    In 1891-92 the Earl of Sheffield was in Australia as the promoter of the English team led by W. G. Grace. The tour included three Tests played in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. At the conclusion of the tour, Sheffield donated £150 to the New South Wales Cricket Association to fund a trophy for an annual tournament of inter-colonial cricket in Australia. The new tournament commenced in 1892-93 featuring the three colonies of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. They were already regularly playing ad-hoc matches which were very popular, although they discussed divvying up Sheffield's donation before opting to organise a competition, and that delay meant that there was no trophy to present to the first winners, Victoria.

    Although only three states participated, others were very much part of the cricketing calendar. Tasmania played their first first-class game (against Victoria) in 1850-51, while Queensland and Western Australia appeared in 1892-93. There were regular inter-state games. Nevertheless, Queensland were not admitted to the Shield until 1926-27, Western Australia immediately after WW2 while Tasmania had to wait until 1977-78 and even then they were playing half the number of games as the other sides for the first five seasons.

    In all that time, the competition remained largely unchanged, with home and away games and the winners being whoever topped the table at the end of it all. The only interruptions came for the two World Wars, and even then cricket continued into the first years of both.

    The major revamp came in 1981-82 when, faced by falling crowds and the emergence of one-day cricket, the ACB introduced a five-day final, played between the two sides at the top of the table, to decide who were the champions.

    Western Australia remarkably won the title in their first season, although Queensland had a much longer wait, not winning the Shield until 1994-95 - someone had years before written on the back of it "Qld Never In History" - and that opened the floodgates as they went on to capture four more titles in the next seven seasons. Tasmania chalked up their first win in 2006-07.

    By the 1990s the competition was losing large sums of money and in 1999 the ACB announced that it had found a sponsor for the tournament which involved ditching the traditional name. Fundamentalists were outraged, but the competition was relaunched as the Pura Cup, a new trophy was struck and the old shield was put on permanent display at the ACB's offices. To the certain frustration of the new sponsors, the event was still widely referred to as "the Shield" by the public, so much so that in 2008-09 the competition name reverted to the Sheffield Shield.

    Tony Selby

    1892-93 Victoria
    1893-94 South Australia
    1894-95 Victoria
    1895-96 New South Wales
    1896-97 New South Wales
    1897-98 Victoria
    1898-99 Victoria
    1899-00 New South Wales
    1900-01 Victoria
    1901-02 New South Wales
    1902-03 New South Wales
    1903-04 New South Wales
    1904-05 New South Wales
    1905-06 New South Wales
    1906-07 New South Wales
    1907-08 Victoria
    1908-09 New South Wales
    1909-10 South Australia
    1910-11 New South Wales
    1911-12 New South Wales
    1912-13 South Australia
    1913-14 New South Wales
    1914-15 South Australia
    1915-19 No competition
    1919-20 New South Wales
    1920-21 New South Wales
    1921-22 Victoria
    1922-23 New South Wales
    1923-24 Victoria
    1924-25 Victoria
    1925-26 New South Wales
    1926-27 South Australia
    1927-28 Victoria
    1928-29 New South Wales
    1929-30 Victoria
    1930-31 Victoria
    1931-32 New South Wales
    1932-33 New South Wales
    1933-34 Victoria
    1934-35 Victoria
    1935-36 South Australia
    1936-37 Victoria
    1937-38 New South Wales
    1938-39 South Australia
    1939-40 New South Wales
    1940-45 No competition
    1945-46 Victoria
    1946-47 Western Australia
    1948-49 New South Wales
























































































































































































































































































































































































































    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Srinivasan nominated for top position

    Posted on June 26, 2014 by Selby

    Narayanaswami Srinivasan was today named the Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) at the Annual Conference in Melbourne on Thursday.

    Srinivasan was nominated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the top position and will assume charge following the conclusion of the ICC Annual Conference week.

    The approval of constitutional changes, which flowed from an ICC Board resolution taken in Singapore on February 8 and finalised on April 10, also means that a new Executive Committee was formed, which will report to the ICC Board.

    The initial Chair of the Executive Committee will be Cricket Australia’s Chairman, Wally Edwards, while the Chair of the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) will continue to be England and Wales Cricket Board’s Chairman, Giles Clarke.

    “It is an honour to be confirmed as the Chairman of the International Cricket Council,” Srinivasan said,

    “I will leave no stone unturned in trying to strengthen the pillars and foundations of our sport, both on and off the field. I want to ensure that cricket retains and grows its popularity, and that the ICC plays a leading role in this global growth.

    “I want to see more strong teams in international cricket.

    "For this to be achieved, we all need to work hard to develop local talent in our countries. Naturally, there will be more support to those who first show they can help themselves.

    "The ICC is a Members’ organisation and the pathway is now there for any Member to play Test cricket or in the major ICC events if it performs well enough over a sustained period of time.”

    The Annual Conference also saw Bangladeshi Mustafa Kamal become the 11th President of the ICC.

    “This is a memorable and historic day for Bangladesh cricket," Kamal said. "On this day 14 years ago, Bangladesh became the 10th Test playing country.

    "Today, a Bangladeshi becomes the 11th President of the International Cricket Council. Thank you for bestowing this honour on Bangladesh and me.

    “In Mr Srinivasan and David Richardson, I have absolute trust and confidence that we have a combination that will not only strengthen our sport, but will also take this great organisation to a new level.”

    From 2016, the ICC Board, which will continue to be the primary decision-making body, will elect the ICC Chairman for a two-year term.

    The ICC Board confirmed that the USA Cricket Association (USACA) is the ICC’s recognised member in the USA.  The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and ICC management will, however, continue to work with USACA and other interested stakeholders to assist in overcoming some challenges currently facing the governance and development of the game in the USA.

    The ICC Board also approved the Development Committee’s recommendation that Oman Cricket (OC) becomes the 38th Associate Member of the ICC. However, Affiliate Membership of Brunei was suspended, while Tonga was removed as an Affiliate Member. The ICC now has 105 members.

    The ICC Board also noted the Associate and Affiliate Members’ decision, which re-elected Imran Khawaja and Neil Speight for another two years as their representatives on the ICC Board, while Keith Oliver was replaced by Francois Erasmus.

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Interesting developments today at Leicester

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Selby

    Leicester, June 25: With an aim to bury the ghosts of a disastrous tour of 2011, a new-look Indian cricket team would be eyeing a positive start to their two-and-a-half-month long tour of England when they take on Leicestershire in a three-day practice game, starting here tomorrow. The visitors, led by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, reached London last weekend ahead of what will be a gruelling tour, including five back-to-back Tests, five ODIs and one T20 International. India failed to register a single win in their last tour having lost the Test series 0-4, the five-match ODI series 0-3 and also the lone T20 International. Team India begin England tour tomorrow amid FIFA World Cup fever MS Dhoni V Kohli Mahendra Dhoni Profile Gallery All India Players Recent Matches Played Kings XI Punjab won by 24 runs Chennai Super Kings won by 7 wickets Chennai Super Kings won by 8 wickets India suffered the humiliation last time in 2011 despite being equipped with seasoned campaigners like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and, of course, skipper Dhoni himself. But with all of them missing this time, the onus will be on youngsters like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara to hold fort. Team India sneaked into the country almost unnoticed with most people either mesmerized by the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil despite England's poor showing there, or pre-occupied with their cricket team's first-ever home series loss to Sri Lanka. England's series loss to Sri Lanka bodes well for Dhoni and his young squad and the hosts will be low on confidence going into the series. While the usual noise accompanying an Indian team is missing, this team will not be devoid of eyeballs once they take the field against Leicestershire tomorrow. The bigger comparison to the previous tour though lies in this well-planned run-in to the first Test at Nottingham on July 9. Not only do they practice here, but the Indians will also play Derbyshire in another three-day practice match (July 1-3) before finally heading to Trent Bridge. That means India will spend a fortnight in England before they turn their attention to the first Test. Additionally, a majority players of this squad have been give time off after IPL 7 and they will be well rested after a long season that included tours to South Africa and New Zealand. The common thread between those two tours was India's inability to win a single Test match as also the fact that they were very short trips, allowing very few opportunities to change combinations. With two practice matches to start off a five-Test tour, the Indian team management will have six days of cricket as evidence when picking their eleven form first Test in Nottingham. India did not have this luxury against either the Proteas or the Kiwis. And the Dhoni-led side need to grab this chance with both hands primarily because this squad is severely lacking in experience of playing in English conditions. With Zaheer Khan missing out on selection, Dhoni, Gambhir and Ishant Sharma are the only ones in the 18-member squad to have experienced Test cricket in this country. There is a big question-mark regarding the composition of the bowling attack. With six medium pacers (plus Stuart Binny) and two spinners in the mix, it will be interesting to see which players get time in the middle in this first tour game. The playing eleven for the tour game will reveal key pointers to the bowling composition the Indian think-tank might be contemplating for the first Test. At the same time, the Indian batsmen need to make full use of the practice match and get quickly accustomed to the conditions that are totally different to the flat-tracks back home. The line-up that takes strike against Leicestershire will also provide a look at where Gambhir fits into the scheme of things. The left-hander returns to the national side after spending nearly one and half years in the domestic wilderness, even as Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay continue to be the first-choice opening combination in the longer format of the game. It should be noted here that Binny also doubles up as the only back-up batsman available to the side, and going ahead, one of the three openers might have to adjust lower down the order should the need arise. But it remains to be seen whether Dhoni pre-empt that situation and give an outing to all three batsmen. Meanwhile, for Leicestershire, it will be a break from the hammering they are currently receiving in the County Championship, placed last in the division-two points' table. At best, this is a chance for them to attract fans during the three days, as the T20 tour game versus India in 2011 at the same ground proved to be quite popular. Squads India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Pankaj Singh, Varun Aaron, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Leicestershire: Ramnaresh Sarwan (captain), Matthew Boyce, Nathan Buck, Josh Cobb, Ned Eckersley, Ollie Freckingham, Anthony Ireland, Jigar Naik, Niall O'Brien (WK), Angus Robson, Charlie Shreck, Greg Smith, Scott Styris, James Sykes, Rob Taylor, Shiv Thakor, Michael Thornely, Tom Wells, Robbie Williams, Alex Wyatt.
    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Exciting but predictable finish at Headingley

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Selby


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Uncertainty looms over the planned tours by Ireland and Sri Lankan cricket teams

    Posted on June 12, 2014 by Selby

    Karachi: Uncertainty looms over the planned tours by Ireland and Sri Lankan cricket teams to Pakistan this year following the terrorist attacks at the Karachi airport here."We were going to sign an agreement with the Ireland cricket body on the sidelines of the ICC executive board meeting in Melbourne this month. They had agreed to come and play three one-day internationals in Lahore in September," a senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board told PTI.

    "We had also got positive vibes from Sri Lankan cricket authorities about the invitation we sent them last month to come and play a short one-day series anytime this year."

    "But now, after this attack, it would be fair to say these projects appear very dim," the official added.

    He said the idea to invite Ireland came about as the board was keen to have some sort of international cricket in Pakistan.

    "The English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke had played a part in helping us in this project and convincing Ireland it was safe to play in Pakistan and we would provide them top security," he said.

    "But now it appears everything has gone down the drain," he said.

    No Test team has played in Pakistan since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in which six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed and some of the visiting players also wounded leading to abandonment of the tour.

    PCB chairman Najam Sethi had in recent press interactions hinted at giving some good news to Pakistani cricket fans and supporters and insisted the board was making serious efforts to get international cricket back to Pakistan.

    Another official said the Sri Lankans had also reacted positively to the invitation sent to them.

    "Now we have to start afresh and this incident also means that now when we go to the ICC meeting to sign bilateral agreements with different boards for the next five to eight years it will be hard convincing them to keep the option of playing in Pakistan open," the official said.

    He said Pakistan had negotiated well with some boards who had agreed to play bilateral series as part of the new FTP calender.

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • As Jos Buttler going to be in the news especially at Edgbaston a quick profile update

    Posted on June 2, 2014 by Selby

    Full name Joseph Charles Buttler
    Born 8 September 1990 (age 23)
    Taunton, Somerset, England
    Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
    Batting style Right-handed
    Role Batsman, Wicket-keeper
    International information
    National side
    ODI debut (cap 226) 21 February 2012 v Pakistan
    Last ODI 31 May 2014 v Sri Lanka
    ODI shirt no. 63
    T20I debut (cap 54) 31 August 2011 v India
    Last T20I 20 May 2014 v Sri Lanka
    T20I shirt no. 63
    Domestic team information
    Years Team
    2009–2013 Somerset (squad no. 15)
    2013–2014 Melbourne Renegades
    2014–present Lancashire (squad no. 6)
    Career statistics
    Competition ODI T20I FC LA
    Matches 32 36 51 93
    Runs scored 732 506 2,283 2,730
    Batting average 33.27 22.00 32.61 49.63
    100s/50s 1/4 0/2 3/12 3/19
    Top score 121 67 144 121
    Balls bowled 12
    Wickets 0
    Bowling average
    5 wickets in innings
    10 wickets in match n/a n/a n/a
    Best bowling
    Catches/stumpings 48/4 10/1 91/2 92/9
    Source: CricketArchive, 31 May 2014

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Jos Buttler produced arguably England's greatest one-day innings

    Posted on June 2, 2014 by Selby

    Jos Buttler produced arguably England's greatest one-day innings - his first ODI hundred, the fastest for the country and the fastest at Lord's - but Sri Lanka clung on to level the series in a contest that became gripping during the latter stages of the chase.

    Buttler's 61-ball century, eclipsing the 69-ball record of Kevin Pietersen at East London, brought England's requirement down to 12 off the final over but Lasith Malinga held his nerve as Chris Jordan holed out and Buttler was run out for 121 off 74 with two balls of the innings remaining.

    He had come to the crease to join Ravi Bopara with England listing on 111 for 5 in the 29th over with the innings having included just four boundaries. They proceeded to add 133 in 16.2 overs to bring the equation down to 62 required off the last six when Bopara top edged a sweep off Ajantha Mendis.


    But Buttler responded by taking 20 off the next over - bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara - including two skimming sixes over extra cover. Jordan dug out singles and twos where he could, scampering manically between the wickets, although it was basically down to Buttler who reached his hundred with a brace off Mendis. The force was with England but a single to Buttler off the first ball of the final over ate up a priceless delivery, especially when no runs were scored as Jordan was dismissed next ball at long-on.

    It was a breathless finish to a match that was seemingly dribbing to a rather soporific conclusion. England needed to achieve their highest chase on home soil to seal the series after Sri Lanka posted 300 for 9 but for more than half the chase there was barely a whimper. They lurched to 10 for 2 against a supreme new-ball spell by Malinga and could never find the impetus to mount a challenge. At one point they went 130 deliveries without hitting a boundary before Buttler began his mission with a reverse sweep in the 31st over.


    It was a performance that added fuel to well-worn arguments that England do not possess the required top-order power when a large score - and 300 is no longer the gargantuan total it was - is either there to be chased down or needed to be set. At one point Alastair Cook could be seen with head in hands on the balcony. He perked up during Buttler's onslaught, but his overriding emotion is likely to be one of frustration.


    Sri Lanka would have struggled to accept this match slipping away although some of their bowling and fielding slipped under pressure. But they ultimately claimed victory and for much of the game it was another display of their resilience. Conditions were markedly different from Old Trafford yet it was still another striking turnaround having been bowled out for 67 three days ago led by Kumar Sangakkara's first hundred at Lord's.


    Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan added 172 for the second wicket - Sri Lanka's third best stand for that wicket in ODIs - to form the backbone of the total. Although England fought back in the final 10 overs, a final-ball boundary by Mendis enabled Sri Lanka to cross the psychological 300 marker: England had only ever chased down more than 300 twice in their ODI history.

    Sangakkara's innings will not get him a spot on the honours board - that is reserved for Test hundreds - but it did tick off one of the missing milestones in an illustrious career.


    His previous best at Lord's in any format was 65 and he needed 13 balls to get off the mark but then progressed silkily to his hundred off 95 deliveries. The first of his 14 boundaries, a hook against Chris Jordan, did not come until his 27th ball but it was the three in a row he took off Joe Root that really launched his innings. When he was stumped off James Tredwell in the 43rd over he left to a standing ovation.

    Sangakkara worked hard to find his timing before he clicked into gear with three consecutive boundaries off Root; twice using his feet to loft down the ground and then a peachy cover drive. Beautiful footwork also helped him beat mid-on off Tredwell and he latched on to loose deliveries from Ravi Bopara, who strayed on both sides of the wicket. The 10 overs combined of Bopara and Root cost 76 runs.

    Sangakkara and Dilshan joined forces after Kusal Perera, brought in as Sri Lanka shuffled their order, edged a wild mow to slip. Dilshan scratched around, reaching 13 off 29 deliveries, before scooping James Anderson and following that with another boundary to fine leg.

    Dilshan brought up his half-century the ball after Sangakkara but it always more of a battle for him. His last 21 runs soaked up 37 deliveries and he was also discomforted after a collision with Root in the bowler's follow through.


    He fell in the first over of the batting Powerplay, attempting to scoop a full delivery from Anderson which took leg stump, and England regained a semblance of control. Mahela Jayawardene has been short of runs in this series and it was a scratchy innings from him. The final 10 overs brought 83 runs, fewer than Sri Lanka would have wanted.


    Malinga produced a wicked four-over spell, trapping Cook lbw with one that swung back in and was overturned by the DRS and then finding Ian Bell's edge to slip. He did not concede a run until his 18th delivery and even then it was a squirted edge to third man.


    Root and Gary Ballance tried to rebuild but it was painful progress. After the first 10 overs England were 34 for 2 and there was precious little lifting of the run rate. Ballance struggled against the spin of the recalled Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake before edging a reverse sweep which summed up the innings which used 69 deliveries. Root had only faced one ball fewer when he top edged to fine leg.


    England put great stock in the ability of their middle order but the asking rate was approaching eight when Eoin Morgan walked in and did not dip. Morgan could not find the boundary in 16 balls and was then stumped. The game appeared up. It wasn't. What followed was epic and will give England much food for thought. For Sri Lanka there was just relief.

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Peter Moores makes an impressive return as England Cricket Coach

    Posted on May 11, 2014 by Selby


    One-day international, Aberdeen:

    England 167-6 (20 overs) beat Scotland 133-9 (20 overs) by 39 runs (D/L method)
    Match scorecard

    England beat Scotland by 39 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-reduced one-day international to give Peter Moores a winning start in his second spell as head coach.

    After showers delayed the start until 16:00 BST, Ian Bell scored 50 to help England reach 167-6 in 20 overs.

    Michael Leask kept Scotland in contention with 42 off 16 balls.

    But his wicket triggered a collapse as the Scots slumped from 95-4 to 133-9, with James Tredwell taking 4-40.

    The unlikely venue of Mannofield Park in Aberdeen provided the backdrop for the start of a new era in English cricket as they look to recover from a chastening winter in which they were whitewashed in the Ashes and crashed out of the World Twenty20 at the Super 10 stage.

    Cricket memorabilia from England v Scotland First class matches is increasing in popularity and we hope to have signed cricket bats and autographed cricket memorabilia from the match

    Moores, who has replaced Andy Flower to reprise a role he held between 2007 and 2009, handed a debut to Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer Harry Gurney.

    Brilliant Bell

    Ian Bell surpassed Alec Stewart to become England's second-highest one-day run-scorer.

    Paul Collingwood is top of the pile with 5,092 runs, followed by Bell on 4,685, Stewart on 4,677 and Kevin Pietersen on 4,422.

    But for much of the day, it looked unlikely that any match would take place as persistent rain swept across the ground.

    However, 17 minutes before the final cut-off time for a match to start, Alastair Cook and Bell walked out to bat after being put in by Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer.

    The veteran duo quickly settled into a steady groove as they put on 87 for the first wicket.

    Bell was more aggressive, bringing up his fifty off 33 balls only to get be bowled by the following delivery when he missed a paddle sweep at Rob Taylor.

    Further rain resulted in the match being reduced from 23 to 20 overs, but England continued to bat with authority in spite of some outstanding Scottish fielding.

    Cook was brilliantly caught on the boundary by a running Calum MacLeod for 44 and Jos Buttler fell to an even better catch by Rob Taylor, who reached above his head to pluck the ball out of the air.

    Eoin Morgan kept England on course for an imposing total with some clean hitting before he was caught behind slashing at a wide ball from Iain Wardlaw.

    England's summer series

    20 May - 3 June: Twenty20 and ODI series against Sri Lanka

    12 June: First of two Tests against Sri Lanka

    9 July: First of five Tests v India

    27 August: First of five ODIs and one T20 against India

    Josh Davey took two wickets in two balls in the final over but Chris Jordan ensured England ended on a high when he thrashed the last ball of the innings down the ground for six.

    James Anderson denied Scotland a fast start when he bowled both openers inside the first three overs.

    Buttler did his chances of replacing Matt Prior as England's Test wicketkeeper no favours when he dropped a regulation chance to remove Coetzer.

    But Scotland's captain did not go on to make the innings his team required as he was bowled around his legs in Tredwell's first over.

    Leask entertained the crowd and kept the contest alive with three huge sixes off Ravi Bopara and Tredwell.

    But just when Cook was beginning to look concerned, Leask picked out Anderson, who took the catch on the long-on boundary at the second attempt.

    From then on, the Scots imploded with four further wickets falling in the next five overs to guarantee England a morale-boosting victory.

    England will next face Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 international on 20 May before five one-day matches and 2 Tests.

    Tony Selby

    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with Ashes Memorabilia, bodyline series, ashes cricket memorabilia, Signed Cricket Bats, cricket autographs, Alastair Cook, joe root

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