Can there be too much cricket? No, of course not, but we are getting close.
Test matches are always great, but the first one between England and New Zealand at Lord’s was only moderately great. There were a lot of big names missing, especially from England, and the whole thing had an air of practice match for New Zealand, who are getting ready to play for the World Test Championship against India starting in one week. It didn’t help that rained wiped out all of Day 3. The match ended in a draw, with England roundly criticized for treating Day 5 like a nets session instead of going for the reasonable target the Kiwis had set of 273 when they declared on Day 4. They are giving it another go at Edgbaston this week. England won the toss, batted, and put up 303 all out. So far, no rain.
The County Championship arrived at the Vitality Blast break with Warwickshire, my Somerset, and Lancashire leading the groups, and Yorkshire, Essex and Nottinghamshire the next three in points. This past week, Somerset decided to go for an insurmountable lead on Day 3 and into Day 4, and then didn’t have enough firepower to bowl out Hampshire, or even come close, settling for a draw.
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy is three rounds in, and Southern Vipers made news by actually losing a game, to Central Sparks. Emily Arlott’s 5-fer held Vipers to 104 all out and a crushing defeat, and it also earned her a cap in the upcoming Test match against India starting on June 16th. Sparks are now the only undefeated team, with Sunrisers yet to dent the win column.
West Indies and South Africa started a series yesterday with a Test match and – uh-oh. West Indies went all out for 97 thanks to a blistering Proteas attack from Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje. The Windies have fought back with three wickets from Test debutant Jayden Seales. It might end up being a good (and of course great) one after all.
The Pakistan Super League is back, baby! In the UAE, of course, where all wayward T20 leagues go. Lahore Qalanadars increased their lead in the table that they established…when did this league start again? Who knows…by beating Peshawar Zalmi in a game that Rashid Khan took over, as he is wont to do. He cameod for a quick 8 in the first innings and then took a 5-fer in the second innings to crush the Zalmi reply only 10 runs short. That guy can play cricket.
The Vitality Blast got off to a rollicking start with good crowds at most of the venues and plenty of “Sweet Caroline” wafting in the night sky. There were four matches each on Wednesday and Thursday, with Lancashire winning twice to take the early points lead. Worcestershire and Notts tied their match, which was the only Sky cricket match that day. I would think Sky would want a super over for their troubles. There are 8 matches today and two more over the weekend.
Shakib Al Hasan is looking at yet another lengthy ban after lashing out at an umpire at a Dhaka Premier League game last night. The video of this is really something.
The above photo is courtesy of Women’s CricZone. It shows Margaret Ngoche and Sharon Juma of Kenya strutting off the pitch together after finishing off Nigeria in an 8-wicket win at the Kwibuka Women’s T20 Tournament in Rwanda. You really need to see the complete GIF of this: https://twitter.com/WomensCricZone/status/1402242162692034563
There’s so much more! Get it started in the comments.