Welcome to the 16th edition of Overtime’s Cricket Weekly Column, where we look at the week’s biggest stories and games.
This week it’s the long-awaited return of Cricket Weekly, so let’s take a look back over the past cricketing year since my last column to see what we’ve missed.
So, after six months away due to a combination of work and other stuff, Cricket Weekly is back on Overtime to bring you the latest thoughts on the biggest games or events from the cricket world.
After a long time away, in this week’s column, we look back to see what we have missed.
Welcome Back Pakistan!
One of my favourite stories from the past six months saw cricket return to Pakistan as they hosted Sri Lanka in a three-match one-day series.
Teams had not toured Pakistan since the Lahore incident in 2009 when a terror attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team’s coach and security convoy killed six policemen and two civilians while leaving the reserve umpire and seven Sri Lanka players wounded.
Incredibly after a ten-year wait, fans had to wait a bit longer when the first game of the series was called off due to rain.
But to the delight of many neutrals, Pakistan won the series 2-0, but the series victory was nothing compared to the rejuvenation of cricket in Pakistan.
Australia Crush Sri Lanka
In terms of performances, it wasn’t the greatest of months for Sri Lanka.
After being beaten by Pakistan they travelled to Australia for a three-match T20I series, as both sides looked to experiment to find the perfect formula for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
In the end, Australia completely crushed their counterparts 3-0. Furthermore, there will have been delight for some Aussie fans as David Warner found his form, finishing as highest run-scorer of the series with 217 runs.
For more on that series, you can read my match report on the second T20 here.
India Hammer South Africa
With Steve Smith showing the world his Bradman-like quality in the Ashes, Virat Kohli needed to respond to claims he was no longer the world’s best batsman.
Whilst he did not finish as top run-scorer, Kohli still managed to show the world once more that he will not let his crown slip so easily as his score of 254 not out at Pune helped India to an innings and 137-run victory as India won the series 3-0.
Barbados Tridents Win CPL
In one of the world’s biggest and most extravagant T20 competitions, Barbados Tridents came out on top in the final beating Guyana Amazon Warriors by 27 runs, to know the full details read my match report here.
England Feel the Heat in New Zealand
After a special cricket summer, England had to back up their success as their winter tour of New Zealand and South Africa began.
New Zealand has never been an easy place to tour for England and this was the case again, as their bowlers suffered with claims floating about that Jofra Archer had been over bowled which lead to a suspect elbow injury.
England lost the series 1-0 after throwing away a good position at Mount Maunganui with BJ Watling making a double ton for New Zealand before failing to bowl out the Kiwis in Hamilton.
Anyone for a Super Over?
Super Over’s are not the most liked concept in cricket, especially in New Zealand but they are such a rare occurrence that this shouldn’t matter right?
Well just four months after the Super Over that won England the World Cup, both sides were put through it all over again as it went down to a Super Over to decide the winner of the five-match T20I series.
The series was level at 2-2 going into the final game in Auckland and after both sides had scored 146 in their 20 overs, the game went down to a Super Over.
England comfortably won the Super over as Chris Jordan superbly defended the target of 18 after 20 minutes before he had smashed a quick cameo to help level the scores.
England won the series 3-2, and New Zealand continued to struggle with the concept of the Super Over.
Warner’s Triple Ton
David Warner’s summer had not been great. After being unable to find his way out of Stuart Broad’s pocket it looked like his Test place would be on the ropes.
However, he soon managed to shake off the critics as he put on one of the best innings Australia has ever seen, making 335 not out versus Pakistan in the second Test in Adelaide.
There is certainly no doubt that Warner’s run-scoring abilities in Australia are up there with the best ever, but overseas he made need a little more work in order to BROADen his horizons.
Australia whitewash New Zealand
The Trans-Tasman rivalry is something that is rarely talked about in sport, but it is certainly a big one when it comes to cricket.
This has been especially prominent in the last few years after Australia wiped the floor with the Kiwis in the 2015 World Cup Final, not to mention the “underarm” incident in 1981.
After the Kiwis had beaten England, it looked like it was going to be a competitive series but Australia had other plans as they whitewashed their rivals 3-0 with Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and especially Marnus Labuschagne who averaged 91.5 in the series and made himself the number two ranked batsman in the world, putting in strong showings.
England hammer South Africa in SA
After a torrid time in New Zealand, England needed to bounce back soon with pressure mounting on captain Joe Root.
They got this in the form of a South Africa team that were going through a difficult time of their own, with a mix of trouble from their cricket board and a fairly inexperienced side.
This didn’t stop the Proteas from winning the first Test, beating England by 107 runs to bring about calls for Root to resign.
However, England bounced back in style despite injuries to bowlers Jofra Archer and James Anderson as they won the remaining three Tests, with players such as Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley and Dom Bess making a huge case to be regulars in the Test side for years to come.
England Women defeat Pakistan
It wasn’t just the men’s side that were doing well, the World Champions of the women’s game still seemed to be in top form in the one-day game.
England comfortably pushed aside their opponents winning the series 2-0 with impressive series for 20-year old Sarah Glenn who finished as top wicket-taker in the series.
Cummins fetches top dollar
With the build-up to the biggest T20 tournament in the world (The IPL) getting underway in December, it could only mean that the IPL auction was just a week away.
The IPL works in much of the same way as the NFL where teams take it in turns to draft players into the teams.
However, in the IPL players put themselves up for trade and sent their lowest bid which means that if team will not take them for that much, they go unsold.
Teams then bid on the players and whoever bids the highest gets the player.
Pat Cummins had been a hot property in recent months after excelling in the World Cup, The Ashes and series versus Pakistan and New Zealand.
He was eventually sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for a record fee of 15.50 Crore which is about £1,600,000, not bad for a day’s work.
Ireland draw series v West Indies
Ireland have always had a tendency of being the underdogs in a lot of cricket World Cups they have been in, but they have also got the tendency to upset the applecart once or twice.
This was the case in this T20 series versus the West Indies after they had previously been battered 3-0 in the one-day series a couple of weeks earlier.
They defeated the Windies by four runs in the opening game before suddenly having the chance at winning the series after rain had washed out the second game.
However, West Indies prevailed by nine wickets in Saint Kitts to draw the series, but it was still another remarkable achievement in Irish cricketing history.
India and Super Overs destroy New Zealand
New Zealand had been having a torrid time in T20I cricket in recent months but that was nothing compared to what happened to them in January.
They took on India in a five-match T20 series, but with the series being hosted in New Zealand it should have been a close series.
India won the first two games before incredibly the next two games in the series were decided by Super Overs, both of which New Zealand lost.
India proceeded to win the last game of the series at Mount Maunganui to whitewash New Zealand in their own backyard.
Sydney Sixers win Big Bash League
Known to many cricket fans as the second biggest T20 tournament in the world (behind the IPL), the Big Bash League had entertained yet again, with some of Australia’s biggest stars (mainly Steve Smith) being available for the tournament.
It was the Sydney Sixers that came out on top as they defeated favourites Melbourne Stars by 19 runs in the final.
World Champs Draw Series
Following on from an emotional summer of cricket for England fans it was time to start a new chapter of England’s one-day cricket journey.
After a successful Test series, England were massive favourites to overhaul what was a struggling South Africa side.
However, the series started in the opposite manner as the World Champions were defeated in the first ODI by seven wickets before the second ODI was rained off meaning England had to clutch up to draw the series.
Luckily for them, they managed to as they defeated South Africa by two wickets in Johannesburg.
A World Cup on the Horizon
With the T20 World Cup seven months away T20I cricket was now taking centre stage for many countries as they looked to prepare.
England were in action versus South Africa with the chance for a host of new players to star for the big call in November.
The series itself was thrilling, as the Proteas won the first game by just one run before England won the second game by just two runs.
England won the third T20I by five wickets thanks to an Eoin Morgan special to heap more misery on what had been a horrible summer for South Africa.
However, it was set to get even worse, when Australia toured for a three-match T20 series, again with the hosts losing 2-1 overall, not a great summer for South Africa.
Aussies World Champs Again
The Women’s World Cup ended in March in one of the biggest finals in its history, with 86,174 people turning up to the MCG to watch Australia retain their title versus India.
The competition was full of controversy from Katherine’s Brunt non-mankad to England being knocked out by rain meaning they lost out on their spot in the final.
Coronavirus Ruins Everything
By the Carex of margins. pic.twitter.com/XKYCT8kSl3
— daniel norcross (@norcrosscricket) March 16, 2020
Well just as fans were getting excited for the start of the county season, The IPL, The Hundred and the International Summer we’ve been hit with a global pandemic, typical.
In all seriousness, of course, it’s a massive disappointment but it’s the right decision and much like most other sports, it is the correct decision.
Hopefully, it can all be over before then but for now, we wait.
Well that’s your lot for this week, an overview of the last six months up to now and with all cricket cancelled for some time there’s not going to be much more to catch up on.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Cricket Weekly where I’ll be reviewing the first episode of new Amazon cricket documentary The Test which documents the rise and fall of the Australia cricket team.
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