I went to a real, live professional cricket match! The opponents are shown above. Houston Hurricanes overcame an almost impossible situation at Moosa Stadium in Pearland, needing 10 with 2 balls to go, to beat Austin Athletics in the Minor League Cricket season opener for both teams. Usman Rafiq, the Houston captain, was bowled a full toss up by his ears by Ali Bangash of Austin, and as the umpire was signalling “no ball,” he smashed it behind his head for a six, which meant Houston now only needed 3 runs to win with a free hit and the final ball remaining. They got two runs on the free hit and a single on the last ball to win by 3 wickets. There was another Austin game later that day, which Austin won, but I was too worn out from the 100°F heat to stay and watch. The final game of the weekend for Minor League Cricket was also pretty special. It featured San Diego Surf Riders and So Cal Lashings in San Diego. Elmore Hutchinson, late of the US national team, blasted 3 consecutive sixes for So Cal to cap a furious chase that had Lashings make up 39 runs over the last three overs. Most games can be watched at: https://www.youtube.com/user/willow
Meanwhile, in the Majors, England is hosting India in a Test match at Trent Bridge. England chose to bat, but didn’t elect to bat well, necessarily. They were bowled out for 183, mostly by the blistering pace of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. England had 4 ducks, and Sam Curran’s cameo of 27 prevented it from being a complete embarrassment. Twitter swirled with blame for The Hundred as a distraction for the red ball side, as Twitter is wont to do. India answered with 278, which didn’t put England fully out of the game by any means. The Old Man, Jimmy Anderson, contributed four wickets and Ollie Robinson, over 11 years Anderson’s junior, did him one better with a 5-fer. KL Rahul posted the high score of the match so far with 84.
The Hundred, despite Twitter, continues on. Trent Rockets top the Men’s table and Southern Brave lead the Women’s, each team with 8 points. Somerset’s Marchant de Lange, playing for Trent, and his Rockets teammate Rashid Khan, as well as Northern Superchargers’ Adil Rashid, lead all Men’s wicket-takers with 8, while Ben Duckett of Welsh Fire has 203 runs to lead all batters. On the Women’s side, Sammy Jo Johnson has 12 wickets for Trent, and Jemimah Rodrigues is quickly becoming breakout star of the tournament with 223 runs for Northern.
The Royal London Cup players have been toiling away in non-crisp-sponsored relative obscurity. Glamorgan and Somerset have 8 points apiece to lead Group 1 and Essex is alone at the top of Group 2, also with 8 points. The quarterfinals start on August 14th.
The Windies and Pakistan were beset by torrential, flooding rains and had three T20Is wiped out. Pakistan won the only game that yielded a result thanks to some stifling bowling by Mohammad Hafeez, who finished with figures of 4-1-6-1 and 19 dots to help stop a Windies chase of 167 short by seven runs. These two teams have their first Test match scheduled for August 12th and the second and final Test starting August 20th.
Bangladesh has beaten Australia three straight in three T20I games in Dhaka, once chasing and twice defending, and none of the games were that close. The Tigers’ bowling attack has been superb in choking off the Australia lineup. Top score for Australia in these games has been 121. There are two dead rubbers left to close out the five-game series.
That’s enough. Tell me how The Hundred is ruining some aspect of your life in the comments!