The Telegraph: Northeast century continues domination over former parish

Sam Northeast’s match-winning century started and ended to mild, but universal, applause. The least you might expect on reaching three figures but, for the former Kent captain (105 not out from 95 balls), not necessarily a given; in last year’s final at Lord’s Northeast walked out to a sea of boos from the Kent travelling support.

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The Telegraph: Cricket calendar changed again as World Cup preparations begin early with Royal London One-Day Cup

Hampshire lost on Duckworth-Lewis, Glamorgan were washed out and Gareth Batty scrambled some lower order runs to see his team to victory. This is not a premonition of what awaits us on Wednesday, when the Royal London One-Day Cup gets underway, but the last time white-ball cricket featured so early in an English summer. A summer, as it happens, in which early-season domestic cricket was there to “fill the void” as the country awaited an Ashes bout which ended in perhaps the most glorious denouement to befall English cricket. The precedent bodes well.

Continue reading The Telegraph: Cricket calendar changed again as World Cup preparations begin early with Royal London One-Day Cup

The Telegraph: Lancashire’s Haseeb Hameed ends wait for first-class century in style against Middlesex

Lancashire (267-4) lead Middlesex (265) by 2 runs

If Keaton Jennings was the question at the start of play, Haseeb Hameed, by its close, was the answer. Once a vulnerable target for the shorter ball, now it was his forte, as the Lancashire opener reached his century with a neatly pulled six off the back foot.

Continue reading The Telegraph: Lancashire’s Haseeb Hameed ends wait for first-class century in style against Middlesex

BBC World Service: Stumped – Are West Indies back for good?

BBC World Service: Stumped – The Toughest Job in World Cricket?
BBC World Service
9 February 2019

West Indies are back – but for how long? Does the trouncing of England truly herald a second coming for the former giants of the game?

Plus former Australia opener Chris Rogers weighs up the strengths and weaknesses of England and Australia six months before the Ashes.

And the great Antarctic cricket bat mystery.

The Guardian: T20 Blast Final – Ben Cox wallops Worcestershire past Sussex to T20 Blast glory

Rapids chase down Sharks’ 157 with nine balls to spare
Cox smashes winning runs and finishes 46 not out

Given the day out had begun almost eight hours previously, it was a show of restraint that we were a full 15 minutes into the final before we saw the first conga line. A similarly disciplined Worcestershire bowling performance meant the Finals Day debutants were crowned champions of the Vitality Blast, chasing down Sussex’s 157 with nine balls to spare.

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The Guardian: T20 Blast Final – Gathering of the unfashionable proving more popular than ever

Edgbaston will be full for a Finals Day that promises to show some of the game’s less heralded sides at their Twenty20 best

Surrey have already been crowned county champions, England have wrapped up a Test series victory over India and the football season is back in full flow. Now, three weeks after the Vitality Blast’s quarter-finals, Somerset, the Worcestershire Rapids, Lancashire Lightning and the Sussex Sharks descend on Birmingham on Saturday for Finals Day.

Continue reading The Guardian: T20 Blast Final – Gathering of the unfashionable proving more popular than ever

The Guardian: Royal London final – Forty years of hurt, and Kent will still be dreaming

Hampshire 330-7; Kent 269. Hampshire win by 61 runs
Sam Billings scores 75 off 60 but four run-outs cost Kent

Forty years of hurt, and Kent will still be dreaming. While England’s footballers look to rectify 52 years without a trophy, Kent’s last one-day triumph was in 1978 and the wait continues. A Rilee Rossouw century, four run-outs and an unbeaten 75 by their former captain Sam Northeast denied Kent a title once more, with Hampshire ultimately easing to a 61-run victory.

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The Guardian: Hampshire stars face Kent’s home-grown underdogs in Royal London final

First Lord’s final between the sides since 1992
James Vince and Heino Kuhn have been prolific run-scorers

The human interest stories for Saturday’s Royal London One-Day Cup final are varied and many. Kent’s 42-year-old Darren Stevens will be negotiating the Lord’s slope in what is his 21st year of first-class cricket. The former Kent captain Sam Northeast, a Hampshire winter signing, will be going up against his restless successor Sam Billings, who, in a quiet season, has a point to prove.

Continue reading The Guardian: Hampshire stars face Kent’s home-grown underdogs in Royal London final