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How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals

By July 16, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    England became the first team to score 500,000 Test runs on the first day of the fourth Test with South Africa, which saw the tourists' strong start curtailed by a final-session fightback from the Proteas.

    Joe Root's men were dealt a blow before winning the toss with the news that paceman Jofra Archer would be unable to play at the Wanderers because of elbow soreness.

    Having seen his side take command of the third Test in Port Elizabeth with a dominant first-innings batting display, Root elected to give his charges the same opportunity, and openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley laid an excellent foundation.

    Crawley was in fluent form as he scored his first half-century for his country but England slumped to 157-4 after the first-wicket stand of 107 was broken. 

    Root (25 not out) and Ollie Pope (22 not out) steadied the ship, the former seeing England to the half-a-million milestone as they reached 192-4 before bad light stopped play.

    After falling six runs short of a fifty at St George's Park, Crawley made no mistake in Johannesburg in a stylish innings that featured 11 boundaries, combining with Sibley for England's first century opening stand since December 2016.

    Crawley's maiden international 50 was brought up in more fortuitous fashion with a thick edge through point but Sibley, having successfully reviewed an lbw decision and been given a reprieve by a no-ball, was not so lucky.

    A centurion in the second match in Cape Town, Sibley was strangled down the leg side on 44 as Beuran Hendricks claimed a wicket on his Test debut.

    Vernon Philander then ensured he will end his final Test with a wicket as Crawley presented a simple catch to Rassie van der Dussen, who made another grab at slip to end a difficult 35-ball spell at the crease for Joe Denly (27).

    South African hopes of an England collapse were given a significant boost when talisman Ben Stokes fell to Anrich Nortje for just two, the all-rounder's attempt at a drive seeing him send another straight to Van der Dussen.

    Stokes was involved in a verbal altercation with a fan as he left the field but, while England will now have to wait to see if he faces any repercussions from that, in terms of the match their position was improved as Root and Pope provided stability.

    They did so in confident fashion. Root surpassed 7,500 Test runs with a pull through midwicket for four and his single through the covers took England to the historic 500,000 mark.

    The fading light saw the fifth-wicket partnership interrupted on 35 and, though England have plenty of batting to come, Root and Pope will know that stretching their stand well into day two will go a long way to sealing a 3-1 series victory.

  • Wes wins battle of Agars as Strikers secure top-three berth Wes wins battle of Agars as Strikers secure top-three berth

    Adelaide Strikers are sure of a place in the top three of the Big Bash League table after Wes Agar led them to a comfortable 16-run victory over Perth Scorchers on Friday.

    Phil Salt's second half-century in his last four games helped the Strikers to 181-5 from their 20 overs, with Jake Weatherald and Travis Head making 35 apiece at Optus Stadium.

    That target proved to be well beyond the hosts despite a magnificent knock from Liam Livingstone (79), Agar taking 3-36.

    Adelaide are second in the table and will not have to contest the eliminator round of the play-offs. The Scorchers are fourth and can secure a place in the playoffs with a win over Sydney Thunder on Sunday.

     

    SALT SHAKES UP SCORCHERS ATTACK

    Opener Salt hit seven boundaries and a pair of maximums in his 31-ball 59, putting on 71 for the opening wicket with Weatherald.

    Alex Carey and Head kept the scoreboard ticking with a stand of 43 off 28 balls and Jono Wells' contribution ensured the Strikers had plenty to defend.

    A dozen of Wells' 23 runs off 16 balls came via him finding the rope, and those boundaries proved valuable as the Scorchers came up short in response.

    LIVINGSTONE GIVES SCORCHERS HOPE

    The Scorchers' top runs scorer in the BBL this season, Livingstone frequently threatened the rafters as he kept the hosts' hopes alive.

    The English opener struck seven sixes in his explosive 54-ball knock and showed the ability to do so in unorthodox fashion, with ramp and hook shots sent sailing for six.

    However, when man of the match Wes Agar ended his remarkable innings the prospect of a Scorchers victory went with him as they went from 115-5 to finishing on 165-7.

    WES WINS BATTLE OF AGARS

    Wes Agar also removed opener Josh Inglis and Scorchers captain Mitchell Marsh as he finished with figures of 3-36, ensuring he got the better of his brother Ashton Agar in the process.

    Older sibling Ashton Agar took 2-29, dismissing openers Weatherald and Salt, and was unbeaten on 10 with the bat.

    He still ended up on the losing side despite his admirable efforts, but was all smiles as he congratulated his younger brother after the match.

  • Recalled Shoaib sees Pakistan to T20 series lead Recalled Shoaib sees Pakistan to T20 series lead

    Shoaib Malik marked his recall with an unbeaten half-century as Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by five wickets in the first match of the Twenty20 International series at Gaddafi Stadium.

    Mohammad Naim top scored with 43 and Tamim Iqbal struck 39 on his comeback outing to become his country's leading T20I run-scorer, but the Tigers could only post 141-5 Lahore after Mahmudullah won the toss in Lahore on Friday.

    Babar Azam fell for a duck in reply, but all-rounder Shoaib ​– back in the side along with fellow veteran Mohammad Hafeez ​– made 58 not out as top-ranked Pakistan got home with three balls to spare.

    Ahsan Ali also made 36 on his Pakistan debut in the first of three T20Is, Shafiul Islam's impressive figures of 2-27 proving to be in vain.

    Tamim and Naim laid the foundations with an opening stand of 71, but Bangladesh failed to build on that after the former was run out going for a second.

    Liton Das was dismissed in the same fashion and Naim was following him from the next ball, caught behind off Shadab Khan, before Afif Hossain became Haris Rauf's first international victim.

    Mahmudullah made an unbeaten 19 and Bangladesh had a spring in their steps when Babar nicked Shafiul behind second ball.

    Hafeez followed for 17 and Pakistan were 81-3 in the 12th over when Ahsan departed, but Shoaib ​– playing his first T20I for 11 months – used his experience to keep them on course for a 1-0 lead.

    Shoaib had his half-century when he was dropped at long-off and the ball crossed the rope, while Soumya Sarkar came back for a second run when he was also put down in the final over as Pakistan claimed a first win in the shortest format since last February.

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