The fourth England v India Test was all India after Day 1. India’s bowlers kept England from running away with the match by holding England to 290 in the 2nd innings. and then Rohit Sharma did what he does so well, batting for more than 80 overs and recording yet another Test century. Rohit’s 127 led all scorers in the match. Some excellent partnerships in the middle and late part of the innings by Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant boosted India to an ultimately unbeatable 466 in the 3rd innings. England started the final chase well, but quickly succumbed to Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and the other India bowlers, losing by 157 runs. The 5th Test, due to start today at Old Trafford, was canceled due to COVID concerns inside the India team, although there is talk about a rescheduling. At the moment, India leads the series 2-1. Whether or not the match was officially abandoned, forfeited, or postponed is a matter for the ICC to decide. The IPL looms large, scheduled to resume on September 19th and end on October 15th. It seems unlikely a rescheduled match will finish before the 19th or be contested while the IPL is in session, meaning it would have to take place in mid-Autumn or later in England or some other place.
I’m using my right as a ‘Murican to highlight the spectacular knock by Jaskaran Malhotra (pictured) against Papua New Guinea in a warmup ODI in Muscat in advance of the Cricket World Cup League 2 games also being contested in Oman. Malhotra finished with 173*, including the extremely rare feat of six consecutive sixes in an over. It happened in the final over of the innings, propelling the USA to a score of 271/9. The US won the match by 134 runs. Sure, Papua New Guinea is not a world power, but any time a player can have a perfect over in a sanctioned game, it’s a momentous achievement. Malhotra becomes the 9th cricketer to do it. Congrats to Jaskaran, and go get ’em vs. Oman and Nepal!
Trinbago Knight Riders and St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots share the top spot in the CPL at 5-3. St. Lucia Kings have been all over the place and sit tied for third at 4-4. They lost a game to Patriots after opening with 224/2, then beat Patriots by chasing down 118. They followed that with a 17-run loss to Guyana, failing to chase 151, and then beat Jamaica by successfully eclipsing Tallawahs’ opening 211. All of these games were on the same ground in Basseterre. You never know what you’re gonna get with Kings, Forrest Gump never said.
South East Stars won the Charlotte Edwards Cup with an emphatic victory over Northern Diamonds. They achieved the win with 12 balls remaining after Diamonds had opened with 138/4. 17-year-old Alice Capsey won Player of the Match for her 40 in 26 balls. Diamonds had advanced earlier in the day by beating Vipers, the team who had dominated the early going but couldn’t keep the momentum after the mid-season break for The Hundred.
The England women won the deciding game of a 3-match T20 series with the New Zealand White Ferns on a penultimate-ball four by Sophia Dunkley off Amy Satterthwhaite. Heather Knight’s 42 off 36 balls earned her Player of the Match. The teams start a 5 ODI series in Bristol on September 16th.
The Blackcaps, meanwhile, concluded their tour of Bangladesh. The Tigers took 3 of the first 4 from the visitors in T20s, clinching the series Wednesday with a slowly-paced last-over win when they were only requiring 93 runs. Nasum Ahmed was Player of the Series, taking 8 wickets across the 5 games. New Zealand fought back today in a dead rubber, winning by 27 runs to finish the tour at 2-3.
Sri Lanka has been hosting South Africa since September 2nd. The Lions won 2 out of 3 ODIs, bowling out the Proteas for a meager 125 in the deciding game to defend 203. South Africa won the first of 3 T20Is by 28 runs this morning despite Dinesh Chandimal’s 66*. The final two games of the tour take place Sunday and Tuesday in Colombo.
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy is back. South East Stars, Northern Diamonds, Central Sparks, and Southern Vipers all won today. Vipers now lead by 1 point over Diamonds with the next round on Sunday and the final round on September 18th. The playoffs begin on the 22nd and the trophy is awarded on the 25th.
The County Championship Division 1 top spot was regained by Nottinghamshire after they soundly defeated Yorkshire by 102 runs. Notts has a 10.5 point lead over Hampshire and Yorkshire, with Notts and Hampshire playing each other starting Sunday at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton to more than likely decide the title. Yorkshire would sneak in for a spot in the Bob Wills Trophy game at Lord’s with a better point total over Warwickshire than whatever Hampshire gets against Notts, and could win the County Championship if Hampshire and Yorkshire both win but Yorkshire gets more points than Hampshire. I’m not even going to speculate about draws.
Minor League Cricket has every playoff spot up for grabs with two weekends left in the season. In the Atlantic Conference Eastern Division, five teams are still in the hunt, with New Jersey Stallions currently in first place. The Atlantic Conference Southern Division has Atlanta Fire in the lead and Morrisville Cardinals and Orlando Galaxy chasing. Over in the Pacific Conference Central Division, Austin Athletics are alright, alright, alright with first place, but only lead by two points over their neighbors, Houston Hurricanes. Michigan Cricket Stars are still alive for the 2nd playoff spot. Golden State Grizzlies have only lost one game and lead the Pacific Conference Western Division over Silicon Valley Strikers and East Bay Blazers. The first-place team in each division hosts a best-of-three series against the other division’s 2nd place finisher in their conference. The winners of those series head to Morrisville, NC to play knockout semifinals on October 2nd. The finalists meet in Morrisville on Sunday, October 3rd.
That seemed like the most I’ve ever written. Your turn.