By Riley Taylor (@rileyttaylor21)
Welcome to the 19th edition of Overtime’s Cricket Weekly Column, where we look at the week’s biggest stories and games.
This week there’s a few bits to attend to including some actual cricket results, well sort of.
So sit back, grab a glass of weak squash, pad up and enjoy!
The #QuarantineCup Begins
Last week I mentioned that The Cricketer magazine were running a competition which pitted professional cricketers representing their current counties battling it out against each other on videogame Cricket 19.
I also mentioned last week that they were going to be T20 games however it turns out they will be Cricket 19’s own format called P5 which is five-overs aside, five wickets aside and each bowler can only bowl one over.
Well, the first week of fixtures has been wrapped up so I’d thought I’d take you through what happened in what is quite a revolutionary moment for cricket.
Mills Breezes Past Qayyum: Sussex v Kent
Sussex: 69/4 (Bopara 36 not out, Evans 13, Bell-Drummond 1-13, Podmore 1-15)
Kent: 22 (Crawley 7, Blake 7, Briggs 1-0, Rashid 1-2)
Sussex win by 47 runs
The first game of the tournament saw Sussex’s Tymal Mills take on Kent’s Imran Qayyum.
Qayyum started the game well as Kent picked up the early wickets of Sussex openers Luke Wright (5) and Phil Salt (2).
However, this brought Ravi Bopara and Laurie Evans together and the pair put on a clinic of the Kent attack, Bopara leading the charge.
Evans made just 13 off an incredible five balls before he was bowled by Qayyum, who was being controlled by Qayyum, pretty surreal.
Stiaan van Zyl joined Bopara and it was the latter in control as he smashed everything coming his way out the ground.
Van Zyl fell for five after a well-judged catch by Qayyum off Daniel Bell-Drummond but Bopara kept going as he finished 36 not out off just 11 balls.
He was boy supported by a late promotion in order for Tymal Mills as the captain pushed himself from 11 to five to help push the total further.
Kent’s chase didn’t start off well, or middle well, or end well.
Rashid Khan ripped through the top order with Bell-Drummond dismissed for a duck in the opening over before Mills dismissed Sam Billings for a golden duck.
Jofra Archer was then in the wickets column as he trapped Qayyum lbw for a duck before Zak Crawley was run-out for seven by Rashid.
The final wicket fell on the first ball of the fourth over with Danny Briggs dismissing Alex Blake for seven to seal a massive win for Sussex.
CWMOTM: Ravi Bopara – superb hitting, with over 50% of Sussex’s runs coming through him.
Vasconcelos Has A Mare: Hampshire v Northants
Northants: 34 (Vasconcelos 13, Wakely 6, Crane 2-6, Abbott 1-0)
Hampshire: 35/3 (Rossouw 17, McManus 10 not out, Sanderson 2-4, White 1-18)
Hampshire won by two wickets
The second game of the week saw Northants’ Ricardo Vasconcelos take on Hampshire’s Mason Crane.
Vasconcelos admitted before the game that he hadn’t had much practice at it and that was clear as before the game he forgot to select Northants three overseas signings, Kieron Pollard, Faheem Ashraf and Paul Stirling all of which would of been deadly for the shortest format on the game.
Northants started off well with the bat as the self-controlled Vasconcelos struck a couple of early boundaries before fellow opener Richard Levi fell to the spin of Nathan Lyon.
Vasconcelos continued to plunder on before he fell for 13, castled by Kyle Abbott.
Josh Cobb and Alex Wakely put on 10 before Cobb was caught by Northeast off Shaheen Afridi.
Crane wrapped up the Northants innings’ with himself, removing Wakely for six caught in the deep by Abbott before removing Rob Keogh first ball, caught by Afridi.
Hampshire’s innings didn’t get the best of starts as they lost openers James Vince (7) and Aneurin Donald (0) with the score on 7.
However, a quickfire 17 from five balls from Rilee Rossouw brought them back in the game before Lewis McManus struck a four and a huge six to take home the win for the hosts.
MOTM: Rilee Rossouw – after Northants looked to be back in the game, a quickfire 17 put Hampshire on the front foot for their innings.
Harmer Hattrick Routs Out Mousley: Warwickshire v Essex
Warwickshire: 13 (Sibley 8, Banks 3, Harmer 3-0, Zampa 1-6)
Essex: 16/2 (Westley 14 not out, ten Doeschate 0 not out, Oliver Hannon-Dalby 2-0, Patel 0-6)
Essex won by three wickets
The third game of the week saw Warwickshire’s Dan Mousley take on Essex’s Jamie Porter.
Warwickshire were immediately on the back foot early on as T20 superstar Ed Pollock was run out for two off just the second ball of the innings.
Dom Sibley deposited Adam Zampa for six off the first ball of the second over but that was all Warwickshire were going to be cheering about for the rest of the game as Sibley departed two balls later, caught in the deep by Tom Westley.
The third over was the deadly hat-trick over from Simon Harmer, who started it by casting Liam Banks for two.
His next two deliveries saw him bowl Tim Ambrose and Adam Hose to complete a hat-trick and to bowl Warwickshire out for an embarrassing 13.
Essex’s chase was a simple one with Tom Westley striking two four’s in the opening over.
There were a few blips early on for Essex to deal with Cameron Delport stumped first ball by Pollock off Oliver Hannon-Dalby before Dan Lawrence was dismissed second ball for a duck, caught in the deep by Rob Yates.
However, Westley finished the game off with a six off Jeetan Patel as Essex won their opening game.
CWMOTM; Simon Harmer – changed the game with his hattrick and was arguably the winning factor for Porter.
Azad Cruises Past Dunkley: Surrey v Leicestershire
Surrey: 20 (Smith 11, Clark 3 not out, Ackermann 1-0, Parkinson 1-3)
Leicestershire 21/1 (Cosgrove 11, Lilley 8 not out, Stoneman 1-9, McKerr 0-12)
Leicestershire won by four wickets
The fourth opening fixture saw Leicestershire’s Hassan Azad take on Surrey’s Sophia Dunkley.
It didn’t start off well for Dunkley with Mark Stoneman run out by Harry Dearden for one off the just the second ball of the innings before Ben Foakes fell for a two-ball duck, caught in the deep by Dearden off Callum Parkinson.
The following over saw the third wicket fall with Will Jacks caught off Dieter Klein by Ben Mike for one leaving the score at 4/3.
Jamie Smith was able to provide some fireworks for Dunkley by smashing 11 from four deliveries before he was caught by Kelin off Mike leaving the score at 15/4.
The final wicket fell when Rory Burns was caught by Colin Ackermann, off his own bowling to leave Leicestershire and Azad with a target of 21 to chase.
Azad started in superb fashion as openers Mark Cosgrove and Janneman Malan took 12 from the opening over.
In a surprise twist, Dunkley turned to Stoneman who immediately paid dividends as he dismissed Cosgrove for 11, caught behind by Foakes.
However, Aaron Lilley smashed the next ball for six before picking up a couple of runs to seal the game for Azad.
CWMOTM: Callum Parkinson – a superb opening over which set the tone for the Leicestershire bowling
Hankins Takes Simple Win Versus Moores: Nottinghamshire v Gloucestershire
Nottinghamshire: 28 (Patel 8, Moores 7, J.Taylor 2-7, Qais 1-2)
Gloucestershire: 31/2 (Hammond 11 not out, Higgins 8 not out, Fletcher 1-8, Gurney 1-10)
Gloucestershire won by three wickets
The fifth opening game of the round saw Tom Moores of Nottinghamshire take on Gloucestershire’s George Hankins.
Moores got off to a dreadful start and was on the verge of the joint lowest total in the competition as Notts collapsed to 13/4.
However, some late hitting from Alex Hales and Samit Patel dragged Notts to 28 as the latter fell off the last ball of the proceedings.
Hankins got off to a shaky start as he lost himself and Cheteshwar Pujara early on but recovered nicely via Miles Hammond and Ryan Higgins to seal a comfortable victory in the end.
That’s the first round of fixtures done, stay tuned next week for round two of the #QuarantineCup!
IPL Suspended until ‘Further Notice’
IPL 2020 has been suspended indefinitely but already offers have started to come in for hosting it outside India https://t.co/hxUNkU0c6e
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) April 17, 2020
The world’s biggest franchise competition announced this week that it was to be suspended until ‘further notice’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
No date has been confirmed for when it will resume but it’s safe to assume that it won’t be anytime soon.
It is real shame because no matter what people say it is the most exciting non-International comp in the world and for it not to be on is a real disappointment but completely understandable.
Most importantly it will be a massive blow for those set for a big paycheck including England players Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler. Chris Jordan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Jason Roy, Tom Banton, Tom Curran and Harry Gurney.
The biggest loser will be Pat Cummins who loses out on a $3.17 million Aussie dollars paycheck.
NEWS: The contracts of the Club’s 2020 overseas signings have been mutually terminated, and we can confirm the current squad will take a 20% salary reduction for the month of May.
— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) April 17, 2020
Counties Cut Overseas Players as Pandemic Hits Hard
The Ipl was one of many affected competitions around the cricketing world that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and one that has been hit hard is the County Championship.
With money not being brought in with no cricket being played, it has meant counties have had to cancel contracts for overseas players to avoid going under.
Lancashire have cancelled the contracts of their three overseas, BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner meanwhile Derbyshire have parted ways with Ben McDermott and Sean Abbott.
Hampshire have also cancelled the contract of Nathan Lyon meanwhile Matt Henry has left Kent.
There will no doubt be plenty more to come as the ECB struggle to absolve the amount of money they have wasted in The Hundred.
Well, that’s it for Cricket Weekly for this week, stay tuned for next week where I’ll be reviewing the first round of the Quarantine Cup.
For more cricket content check out last week’s Cricket Weekly where I go over the Wisden Cricket Awards!