Archive for June, 2012
Alex Hales revealed his disappointment after missing out on becoming the first England batsman to record an international Twenty20 century.
The Nottinghamshire opener scored 99 on his home ground as England beat the West Indies by seven wickets at Trent Bridge. He was denied a well-deserved ton when he was castled by Ravi Rampaul in the penultimate over.
“I am not going to lie – I’m devastated to miss out on a hundred,” Hales said.
“I am also disappointed not to see the team over the line, though I am happy the guys managed to do so at the end.”
The hosts were set a challenging 173 to win after losing a grip on the game in the latter stages of the Windies innings, with some punters betting on sports suggesting that sloppiness may cost them.
The tourists were 109-4 at the end of the 16th over but an explosive 54 from Dwayne Bravo and a quickfire 23 from Keiron Pollard helped them to a competitive total.
Hales and Ravi Bopara responded in positive fashion following the early loss of Craig Kieswetter, taking England to within four runs of victory with an excellent 159-run partnership.
Hales fell one short of his maiden T20 century, while Bopara also went for 59 in the final over. Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler took England home.
Hales is not taking his place in the England side for granted, despite his match-winning innings.
“I am not resting on my laurels – I still have to put in the performances for Notts, and hope that I get a chance for England,” he added.
“I had to come out and do as well here as I have done for Notts. I back myself and hope it pays off. Today it did.”
England are building towards the defence of their World T20 title in Sri Lanka in September and will be pleased with their encouraging results and scores in the shortest form of the game.
Graeme Smith will be fit and ready to lead South Africa in next month’s three-Test series against England after fully recovering from his ankle problem.
The batsman had been a doubt for the series in England, which will hand South Africa the chance to climb above the hosts and claim the number one spot in the Test rankings.
Smith seems to find his best form when playing in England, averaging 72 with the bat, and his availability for the Proteas will boost their chances of establishing themselves as the world’s best Test side.
It means head coach Gary Kirsten can keep the same squad from the successful series against New Zealand in March.
Those that watch live cricket online will tell you that he 31-year old has been a major part of the side for over a decade now, and that he still looks capable of scoring runs on the Test stage.
Smith has been joined in the team by a number of exciting young stars, with many believing the South African side could inflict England’s first home series defeat since 2009 – when Smith’s team last toured England.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hudson confirmed the news that Smith would be fit and ready, admitting the squad would head to England confident of achieving their targets and defying cricket bets.
“Graeme has been outstanding both as our leading runs scorer and as captain during our last two Test tours of England and I have every confidence he will continue that form,” said Hudson.
“We are now building up excellent depth in both the batting and bowling departments. Consistency has also been one of the key pillars of our selection policy and this is also contributing to our success on the field.”
There have been questions raised over Alastair Cook’s ability to play in the shorter forms of the game, but the Essex star is starting to show why he is a threat in whatever cricket he plays. The player is always a favourite with fans making a bet with www.betvictor.com.
It has been well established that, at Test level, Cook is one of the most promising talents in the game. He looks set to take over the captain’s role from Andrew Strauss, when the current skipper decides it is time to step down from leading a side he has guided to number one in the Test rankings.
However, there have been murmurs from some quarters suggesting that the left–handed opener cannot adapt his game to the quicker scoring one-day game but, surely, his last outing at the crease proved his doubters wrong?
Cook notched up an impressive 112, as he created the foundations for a decent England batting display, which helped record an eight-wicket victory over the West Indies at the Oval, and wrapped up the ODI series in the process.
In what is a big summer of one-day cricket for England, with Australia set to come over to the UK for a five-match series, it is vital that Cook and the other big hitters are starting to come into form at the right time.
Having looked settled in the role as opener for the one-day side, Cook was pleased with his performance against the Windies at The Oval and he expects more to come, this summer.
He said: “We’ve talked about it a lot, and the lads at the top of the order are delivering. It was nice for me to score some runs. I haven’t been hitting the ball as well as I’d like, this summer, so to get a hundred in a match-winning performance is very pleasing.”
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Former West Indies batsman Sir Viv Richards has claimed England have found a winning mentality that will create a “legacy” in cricket, following their recent dogged 2-0 series win over the Caribbean side.
England were dominant yet lethargic in the first and second Tests this May, but did enough to keep the West Indies – who are currently seventh in the ICC Test Rankings – at bay.
The series will be remembered by the Betfair cricket community for an uncharacteristic nine-wicket scalp in the second Test at Nottingham, where Andrew Straus hit at stunning 141 and James Anderson took four second-innings wickets.
Yet Richards was more impressed with England’s batting order that clawed their way back from the West Indies’ first-innings total of 370.
That innings proved England’s ability to scrape their way back into a game, as opposed to just emphatically winning it. This, according to Richards, is what Straus’ side needs to maintain if they are to hold “legendary” status in decades to come.
But can England upkeep their recent run of form?
Leaving aside a ridiculous Test series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the team have been in good form this past 12 months, beating India last summer and Sri Lanka on the sub-continent.
With three Tests against South Africa penned in for July and August, England Cricket betting tips suggest that the team must be on their A-game to maintain their place as the best side in the world.
England will probably need to scrape a draw or two against an in-form South Africa, who will be looking to use their 1-0 Test victory over New Zealand as a springboard towards taking top spot in the world rankings.
A mean South African attack will serve as a mark to judging just how stable the English batting order is, and Straus will have to rely on his bowlers again to see him through this summer unscathed.
As the cricket bets ahead of England’s test series against the West Indies continue to roll in, Andy Flower has thrown his support behind Ian Bell.
The batsman prepares to open the batting for England in their one-day series against the Carribean side.
The Warwickshire right-hander has replaced the recently-retired Kevin Pietersen in the 50-over side, with the West Indies series the first chance for Bell to re-establish himself as an integral part of the one-day side.
Bell is the only change to the side that clinched a 4-0 series victory against Pakistan in February, stepping up following Pietersen’s somewhat surprising decision to retire from one-day cricket.
Bell’s style is very different to that of Pietersen, however, and it remains to be seen whether or not England will be able to cope without the raw power at the top of the order.
Flower, meanwhile, has insisted Bell doesn’t need to adapt his game to be more like Pietersen at the top of the order, making it clear the batsman brings enough to the side to warrant his inclusion.
“It is safe to assume he (Bell) will open,” Flower said.
“We don’t want him to do a similar job to Pietersen, we want him to be Ian Bell and play great international cricket.”
“He’s a very experienced cricketer, even though he’s only 29 or 30. He’s got a lot of international experience and he’s in great form, very confident at the moment.”
The 30-year old has struggled to consistently score runs on the one-day stage, and those who regularly tune in to watch live cricket online will know that this series against the West Indies could well be one of his last chances to cement his place in the team.
Cricket Australia has announced that Mike Hussey will not be available for Australia’s forthcoming one-day series against England, much to the disappointment of fans who like to bet on Australian cricket.
The 37-year-old, who has made over 180 ODI appearances, is a crucial member of his country’s limited-overs squad.
But following the premature birth of his fourth child, Hussey has decided not to travel to England in order to spend more time with his family.
The batsman issued his own statement, saying: “Due to our baby being born three months early, it is important for the family for me to be here at this time.
“It is always difficult to miss any tour for Australia and I thank CA for their understanding of our family’s situation.”
Cricket Australia have offered their support to Hussey and have announced that Peter Forrest will replace him in the touring squad.
Queensland batsman Forrest has only played 11 one-day internationals to date, but already has a century to his name following a knock of 104 against Sri Lanka in Hobart.
Hussey, though, will be a big miss for Michael Clarke’s men, with three centuries and over 5000 one-day runs to his name.
But Mr Cricket, as he is affectionately known, has never scored a ODI ton against England, with four half-centuries – including a knock of 79 at Lord’s in his last appearance on British soil in July 2010.
Forrest has not faced England before but cricket bets insiders will tell you that he has played in the country, having featured for Lancashire League side Nelson in 2010.