New Zealand rules the Test cricket world! They beat India, a nation containing approximately 1.495 billion more people, at the Hampshire Bowl (special naming rights! Why? No one knows!) in Southampton, UK by 8 wickets this Wednesday. There wasn’t supposed be any play on Wednesday, but thanks to an agreed upon reserve day, the teams played the fourth day of actual overs (rain washed out two whole days). India held a 32-run lead at that point and were batting the third innings down two wickets. New Zealand’s fearsome foursome (in order of fear) of Neil Wagner, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, and Tim Southee got the big wickets of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara before lunch and took the final six wickets with India at 138 ahead to make the fourth innings target 139 with 58 overs left in the game. After the openers fell, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor safely guided their side to the win with plenty of time to spare. New Zealand got the trophy (a mace, seen above, or as Izzy Westbury of the BBC put it, “a giant toothpick”) and bragging rights until they have another one of these, whenever the ICC decides that is.
In other news, West Indies were pummeled in two Tests by South Africa, by an innings and 63 runs and 158 runs respectively. They play five T20Is starting tomorrow. The Windies ought to fare a bit better, but a lot of their guys are in the UAE and playing for the county teams.
The PSL finally finished up yesterday in the aforementioned UAE, with Multan Sultans easily topping Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs. Sohaib Maqsood took home Player of the Match and Series. His 65 not out led all scorers.
The Vitality Blast is playing the 8th or 9th round depending on the team. Derbyshire beat Birmingham in Edgbaston and their fans decided to invade the pitch, for no reason anyone could elucidate. With Finals Day scheduled at Edgbaston later this year, it would not be out of the realm of the possible for the ECB to keep fans out because the venue cannot demonstrate proper security. It’s probably more likely they would move it somewhere that could demonstrate security, because money, of course. Yorkshire and Gloucestershire are the respective group leaders at the roughly halfway point.
England’s women’s team drew with India’s women’s team in the first women’s Test match between these teams since 2014. India did fantastic work in the third innings of the four-day Test to force the draw, with Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia combining on a 104 run partnership to stymie England’s hopes of a win after they had enforced the follow-on. 17-year-old phenom Shafali Verma of India won Player of the Match with two 50s in her Test debut, 96 and 63. She may be the women’s Don Bradman if women get to play Tests with any kind of frequency.
The England Women’s Regional T20 has been renamed (what? that was such a great name!) the Charlotte Edwards Cup (Ok, that is much better) and it gets underway tomorrow with four fixtures.
England clobbered Sri Lanka in back-to-back T20Is at Cardiff. They have another T20I at the Whatever Bowl in Southampton and three ODIs at Chester-le-Street, the Kia Oval, and Bristol to conclude the series.
That’s enough, and I know there is a lot more. Please tell me about it!