We’ll start internationally again. England purloined the first of three T20Is from Australia in Southampton by two measly runs. Australia won the toss and elected to bowl, restricting England to a total of 162/7 with Kane Richardson and Glenn Maxwell each getting two wickets. Australia’s openers, David Warner and Aaron Finch, stayed in for a partnership of 98 and the visitors were seemingly in command at the halfway point. Even after the big wicket of Steve Smith was taken with his team at 124 in the 15th over, Australia needed only 39 off 34, a virtual walk in the park. Adil Rashid, sharing spin duties with Moeen Ali, followed up his dismissal of Smith by getting Glenn Maxwell 3 runs later, and then the collapse was on. Jofra Archer bowled Warner at 133, Mark Wood bowled Alex Carey five balls after that, Ashton Agar was out for one on a run out, Marcus Stoinis ate up 18 deliveries for only 23 runs, and Australia somehow required 15 off the last over. Stoinis hit a six off Tom Curran on the second ball of the 20th over, but could not manage any more boundaries and England escaped with an unlikely victory. Game 2 was more straightforward. Australia won the toss again and decided to bat, but England’s attack was even more restrictive this time, holding Australia to 157/7. England’s keeper Jos Buttler took the first delivery and the last delivery in the reply en route to 77 not out. The final ball, by Adam Zampa in the 19th over, landed somewhere in the English Channel as far as I could tell. Australia tries to get something out of the T20Is today, also in Southampton. The series moves to Manchester for three ODIs starting on the 11th.
Across the Atlantic and south to Trinidad, where the CPL has wrapped up the regular season. Always-home side TKR is undefeated, but you can ask Guyana Amazon Warriors how much that helped them last year in the final. Knight Riders will play the always dangerous Jamaica Tallawahs in one semifinal this morning, while Warriors face St. Lucia Zouks this afternoon. The winners advance to a 10 am local time final on Thursday.
Back across and to the north again to the Bob Willis Trophy. Somerset can secure first place overall and a spot in the Lord’s final with a win over Worcestershire. They lead by 141 as I type this with 6 wickets gone in their second innings. A loss would drop them out of the top two, and a draw could go either way depending on extra points awarded and who wins which match. Essex already won their match this weekend and sits at 90 points, and also awaits the other results, which could put them in or out for a trip to Lord’s. Both Derbyshire and Worcestershire could get in with a win and extra points, although Derbyshire is trailing Lancashire by 24 runs as Lancashire starts their second innings.
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy third round ended with Northern Diamonds and Southern Vipers still undefeated at the halfway mark. Jenny Gunn had a 50* for Northern on the road in Leicester against Loughborough Lightning, and Ella McCaughan had a 50 off 81 deliveries for Southern at home in Hove before being retired caught.
That’s quite enough from me again this week. Please add more in the comments.