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Author Archive for Vic Marks at the Ageas Bowl

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Ireland’s glorious centuries power them past England in third ODI

England 328; Ireland 329-3Stirling and Balbirnie lead Ireland to victory with ball to spareThis was a game to savour – unlike its predecessors. A brilliant run chase, masterminded by Ireland’s captain and vice-captain, Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling,…

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Willey and Billings help England survive Ireland scare in second ODI

Ireland 212-9; England 216-6; England win by four wicketsHosts recover from 137-6 after losing three wickets for six runsJust as the sun started to set and the floodlights were no longer a complete irrelevance the series came alive for a while. England…

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Andy Balbirnie faces tough choices before second ODI against England

Ireland captain must choose Boyd Rankin or Josh LittleEoin Morgan likely to stick with Sam BillingsOur first glimpse of white-ball cricket behind closed doors will last no longer in the memory than the soap opera Eldorado, which was axed as soon as Ala…

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Sam Billings eases England to quickfire victory over Ireland in first ODI

Ireland 172; England 174-4. England win by six wicketsBillings unbeaten on 67 after Ireland earlier recovered from 28-5 Here was a routine ODI victory for England except for the obvious oddities, empty stands which served only to echo the exhortations …

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Jos Buttler’s 50-ball century takes England past Pakistan in second ODI

• England 373-3; Pakistan 361-7• England win by 12 runsNo wonder he is the most Mankad-ed batsman in world cricket. In these conditions Jos Buttler is so lethal that he drives bowlers to distraction and, occasionally, extreme measures. Here he smashed …

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Jason Roy set to return on belter of pitch as England have one eye on World Cup | Vic Marks

Second one-day international against Pakistan likely to see run bounty with home side weighing up South Africa optionsThere was a glimpse of summer in the Hampshire countryside on the eve of England’s second one-day international against Pakistan. The …

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Moeen Ali spins England to 60-run win over India and series victory

• Fourth Test day four: England 246 & 271; India 273 & 184• Moeen Ali takes crucial wickets of Kohli and RahaneThe series is won; the side that has spent much of the summer in a disturbing state of flux, sometimes drifting into ominous turmoil,…

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Jos Buttler defies Indian attack to keep England in topsy-turvy battle

• Fourth Test day three: England 246 & 260-8; India 273• Jos Buttler hits 69 to push England to a 233-run leadSaturday is traditionally moving day but no one moved very quickly on the neat green turf here. This did not diminish the entertainment –t…

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Jos Buttler defies Indian attack to keep England in topsy-turvy battle

• Fourth Test day three: England 246 & 260-8; India 273• Jos Buttler hits 69 to push England to a 233-run leadSaturday is traditionally moving day but no one moved very quickly on the neat green turf here. This did not diminish the entertainment –t…

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Pujara gives India narrow lead after England’s Moeen and Curran star again

• Fourth Test day two: England 246 and 6-0; India 273• Pujara hundred bolsters India after Moeen’s five-wicket haulOnce again the fresh faces led the way in a Test match that is keeping everyone transfixed. It looks like one of those beauties where eve…

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India on top before Sam Curran and Moeen Ali save England from collapse

• Fourth Test, day one: England 246; India 19-0• Curran helps England recover from 86 for sixThe men untainted by the defeat at Trent Bridge kept England in the game at Southampton. Sam Curran irrepressibly led the way as if he did not understand the e…

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Roy and Bairstow steer England to crushing victory over West Indies in fourth ODI

• West Indies 288-6; England 294-1
• England won by nine wickets

Jason Roy, gifted a place back in the ODI side because of the absence of Alex Hales, has seized his chance with rare ruthlessness. At The Oval he struck a fluent 84; here he batted just as well, but for a little longer, finishing with 96, more than enough to ensure another English victory by nine wickets, yet still a source of some frustration.

However things are looking up for Roy. Five days ago after England’s win in Bristol all that he could anticipate was a few more days as a drinks waiter. Meanwhile his new partner, Jonny Bairstow, conjured his second ODI century of the series with barely a false stroke. England have no shortage of batsmen capable of tormenting international bowlers – provided they are propelling a white ball.

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Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales send England cruising past South Africa

• First T20: South Africa 142-3, England 143-1; England win by nine wickets
• England chase down victory target with ease in one-sided match

In the opening game of a three-match Twenty20 series, likely to remain in the memory for at least a week, England thrashed South Africa by nine wickets with 33 balls to spare. England played extremely well, their opponents tepidly (to be polite). It was another disappointingly one-sided contest – we have seen plenty of those in the Champions Trophy – but sadly not much was residing on the outcome of this one.

Both sides were experimental, including interesting debutants with memorable names. Mason Crane of England and Tabraiz Shamsi of South Africa are wrist spinners with the latter propelling the ball with his left arm. One of the unforeseen benefits of T20 cricket has been the increased craving for wrist spinners. Every side should have one.

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Eoin Morgan describes England’s win over South Africa as ‘unbelievable’

• ‘Maybe we bluffed them,’ says England captain after two-run victory
• Hosts monitoring fitness of Ben Stokes, who hit a century at the Ageas Bowl

“Unbelievable,” said Eoin Morgan and he does not usually do hyperbole. Teams seldom win when the opposition needs 10 runs from 10 balls with five wickets in hand but that is what his England side managed.

“We decided we needed wickets [before the final over from Mark Wood] and to make them hit the ball in the air,” explained Morgan. “But we didn’t take any wickets and still managed to win. Unbelievable. Wood’s yorkers are usually good at the end but we decided to go with his raw pace. We thought a few bouncers was our best chance of taking those wickets. Maybe we bluffed them.” Morgan’s smile suggested he was not so sure about that.

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Eoin Morgan describes England’s win over South Africa as ‘unbelievable’

• ‘Maybe we bluffed them,’ says England captain after two-run victory
• Hosts monitoring fitness of Ben Stokes, who hit a century at the Ageas Bowl

“Unbelievable,” said Eoin Morgan and he does not usually do hyperbole. Teams seldom win when the opposition needs 10 runs from 10 balls with five wickets in hand but that is what his England side managed.

“We decided we needed wickets [before the final over from Mark Wood] and to make them hit the ball in the air,” explained Morgan. “But we didn’t take any wickets and still managed to win. Unbelievable. Wood’s yorkers are usually good at the end but we decided to go with his raw pace. We thought a few bouncers was our best chance of taking those wickets. Maybe we bluffed them.” Morgan’s smile suggested he was not so sure about that.

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Mark Wood’s stunning final over secures England ODI win over South Africa

• England 330-6; South Africa 328-5. England win by two runs
• Wood inflicts damage with the ball, capitalising on Ben Stokes’ 101

A brilliant, modern one-day contest ended with a stunning England victory by two runs. Just seven were required from the last over and David Miller and Chris Morris had already added a quickfire 55. A successful pursuit of 331 was the obvious outcome. But it never happened

Mark Wood had the dubious honour and he bowled a final over of rare hostility and composure. He yielded just three runs from his first five balls, most of which were short and fast, and Morris was unable to hit the last one for four. He could manage only a melancholy single.

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Ben Stokes fit to play for England in second ODI against South Africa

• All-rounder passed fit after England training session
• Ben Stokes had restricted role in Headingley win over South Africa

Ben Stokes will be fit to play against South Africa in the second ODI in Southampton on Saturday. It is an indication of Stokes’ status that a gaggle of newshounds kept a constant eye on him throughout a long training session, in which he did little bowling. At one point Stokes was batting right-handed and missing the ball on purpose in order to give Jos Buttler some wicketkeeping practice and we were all dutifully transfixed.

Stokes is a totemic figure and England want him involved whenever possible. On Thursday night he had a scan which did not reveal any serious damage. On Friday morning with his knee carefully bandaged he spent a long time batting. Then we were informed he was fit, able to bowl and playing. So England have resisted the temptation to wrap him in cotton wool even though the Champions Trophy is just around the corner. The medics must be confident that he is fine and there is no doubt Stokes is eager for the fray.

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Jos Buttler starts with a bang as England motor to T20 win over Sri Lanka

• Sri Lanka 140, England 144-2. England win by eight wickets

Normal service was resumed from Jos Buttler in a new role as England chalked up another victory in Sri Lanka’s last match on tour. They needed only 141 for victory but on a surface that did not allow constant, free-flowing strokeplay they needed Buttler, the opening batsman, to be at his most ruthlessly clinical.

Buttler made an unbeaten 73 and England reached their target with 15 balls to spare. His was a calculated innings punctuated with sixes whenever England seemed to be stuttering. He might like to point out that he is ready for any fresh roles on offer. “I jumped at the opportunity,” he said of opening. “I want to bat for as long as I can.”

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Six men went to Moeen Ali but it does not mean England have a new Swann

The spinner was spectacularly successful during the third Test victory against India at the Ageas Bowl to cap a rewarding five days for the juggling England selectors Continue reading…

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England fielders conjure India wickets as Alastair Cooks magic returns

Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan opened the door before captains innovative bowling changes pressed home the advantage Mike Selveys day four report from Southampton Continue reading…