Stokes praises Potts' maturity despite England bowler dropping out for second South Africa Test

By Sports Desk August 24, 2022

Ben Stokes has praised Matthew Potts for his maturity after he was dropped for England's second Test against South Africa at Old Trafford.

Potts struggled for rhythm during a heavy opening defeat at Lord's, the first Test loss of the Brendon McCullum era and since Stokes took the captaincy permanently from Joe Root.

That has seen the bowler pay the price, with Ollie Robinson called up in his place, but Stokes nevertheless believes Potts remains a key member of the wider England cohort.

"It's very tough for Matty to miss out, but what he's done in the five games that he's played is he's taken himself from a county cricketer with a lot of promise and really announced himself on the big stage," Stokes told reporters.

"We've got to give him a lot of credit, to handle the decision so professionally at such a young age is a real indication of where we're at at the moment as a team.

"The selection was based around what we thought was the best bowling attack to suit this particular ground and he completely understood that."

Robinson has not played for England since the end of the Ashes tour in January, with a combination of fitness issues keeping him out of the fold.

But an impressive showing for the England Lions earlier this month has seen him recalled, with Stokes hopeful the paceman will complicate matters for South Africa's batters.

"When you look at what Ollie possesses as a bowler, one of his real key assets is how much extra bounce he gets compared to other bowlers in our squad," Stokes said.

"We think here at Old Trafford, with it being a slightly quicker wicket than other grounds we play at, it obviously offers a lot more bounce. We obviously pick the team we think is going to enable us to win the Test."

Having brushed aside New Zealand as part of the 'Bazball' approach, defeat against South Africa brought England back down with a bumpy landing.

"What we have learned from ourselves is that you can't always go out there and perform how you want to perform," Stokes explained.

"The address after the game was, 'look, lads, you have obviously not performed anywhere near the capabilities we want to and we know we can, but it's not something that we are going to take backward steps from'.

"South Africa were better than us in that Test, that's fine, that's sport. Sport is set up for someone to be a winner and someone to be a loser. We are focussing on this game and the next and want to win the series 2-1."

Fortress Old Trafford needed for England

The hosts will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats in men's Tests at home for the first time since August 2008, following their innings and 12-run defeat to the Proteas.

England will take heart from their strong Old Trafford record against the tourists, having lost only one of their nine men's Tests against them at Old Trafford, way back in July 1955.

Elgar eyes milestone

South Africa captain Dean Elgar needs just 89 runs to become the eighth player to hit the 5,000 mark in men's Test cricket for South Africa.

He might just get them too, with his Test batting strike rate in England (51.8) his second-best in any country (60.7 in Pakistan).

Related items

  • Nandu scores 126 on debut to put Harpy Eagles in good position against Pride Nandu scores 126 on debut to put Harpy Eagles in good position against Pride

    Former West Indies Under-19 opener Matthew Nandu struck 126 on debut as the Guyana Harpy Eagles ended day two of their West Indies Championship match against the Barbados Pride at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in a strong position.

    The Harpy Eagles started day two on 205-5 with Nandu (70) and Kevin Sinclair (28) at the crease.

    The pair added 25 runs to the overnight score before Sinclair was dismissed for 43 in the 85th over, bringing Vice-Captain Veerasammy Permaul to the crease to join Nandu.

    The pair continued to fight off the Barbados bowling, reaching 273-6 in the 102nd over when Nandu, who represented the West Indies at the 2022 ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies, brought up his maiden first class 100 off 295 balls.

    The partnership reached 90 when Permaul was dismissed by Keon Harding for 37 off 95 balls in the 112th over with the score on 315.

    Nandu was next to go in the 118th over, eventually falling for a marathon 126 off 335 balls after putting on a further 39 runs with Shamar Joseph.

    Joseph (20) and Nial Smith (9) were the final two to fall as Guyana made an impressive 371 off 121 overs.

    Pacer Jair McAllister took 3-43 off 18.1 overs while spinner Chaim Holder took 3-72 off 36 overs.

    In reply, Barbados openers Zachary McCaskie and Sheyne Moseley put on 69 before McCaskie was dismissed by Kevin Sinclair in the 24th over for 26.

    Jonathan Drakes joined Moseley at the crease but didn’t last long as he became Permaul’s first victim for a duck.

    Moseley brought up his fifty off 86 balls in the 29th over.

    Moseley and Shamarh Brooks put on a 32-run third wicket partnership to bring the score up to 102 before Moseley went off the bowling of Shamar Joseph for 65.

    The Pride ended the day 105-3 with Brooks on 10 and Keon Harding on three. They trail the Harpy Eagles by 266 runs.

    Scores: Guyana Harpy Eagles 371 off 121.1 overs (Matthew Nandu 126, Kevin Sinclair 43, Veerasammy Permaul 37, Jair McAllister 3-43, Chaim Holder 3-72) Barbados Pride 105-3 off 39 overs (Sheyne Moseley 65, Zachary McCaskie 26)

     

  • Late Cornwall wickets put Hurricanes in charge against Scorpions after day two Late Cornwall wickets put Hurricanes in charge against Scorpions after day two

    Two late wickets from Rakheem Cornwall put the Leeward Islands Hurricanes slightly in the driver’s seat in their West Indies Championship fixture against the Jamaica Scorpions after Thursday’s day two at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

    The Hurricanes started the day on 163-6 with Cornwall on 29 and Jeremiah Louis on 17. Cornwall failed to add to his overnight score when he was dismissed by Abhijai Mansingh in the second over of the day.

    Louis then continued on, providing some much-needed stability to the innings, eventually bringing up his fourth first class fifty off 140 balls.

    Forced to bat with the tail, Louis became more aggressive, making his next 28 runs off just 31 balls to finish not out on 78, his highest score in first class cricket.

    Hayden Walsh Jr (13) and Collin Archibald (17) also formed important partnerships with Louis down the stretch as the Hurricanes were eventually bowled out for 260 in 118-3 overs.

    Marquino Mindley, who recently made his Test debut against Australia, led the way with the ball for the Scorpions with 3-29 from 19.3 overs while Mansingh took 3-47 from 20 overs.

    In reply, Scorpions openers Leroy Lugg and Kirk McKenzie saw off the new ball well, reaching 60 in the 14th over before McKenzie became Colin Archibald’s first victim for 18.

    Aggressive from the outset, Lugg brought up his second first class fifty off just 39 balls in the 15th over with a huge six off Rakheem Cornwall.

    One wicket became two very quickly as Archibald removed Jamaica’s number three Romaine Morris for two in the 18th over.

    Jamaica lost their third wicket when Cornwall trapped Aldane Thomas in front for four in the 23rd over, bringing Captain Paul Palmer Jr to the crease.

    At tea, the Scorpions were 97-3 from 23 overs with Lugg on 73 and Palmer Jr yet to score.

    After the resumption, Lugg was able to add only six runs to his total before Hayden Walsh Jr tempted him into a false shot and got his wicket.

    Palmer Jr and new batsman Mansingh then added 72 runs for the fifth wicket before the skipper became Cornwall’s second victim, falling for 47 in the 57th over. Cornwall got his second wicket of the over when he bowled Jamie Merchant for a duck to leave the Scorpions 185-6.

    The Jamaicans added just one more run before stumps, ending the day on 186-6, trailing the Hurricanes by 74 runs. Mansingh ended the day on 34 while Gordon Bryan is yet to get off the mark.

    Scores: Leeward Islands Hurricanes 260 off 118.3 overs (Jeremiah Louis 78*, Jahmar Hamiton 40, Marquino Mindley 3-29, Abhijai Mansingh 3-47) Jamaica Scorpions 186-6 off 60 overs (Leroy Lugg 79, Paul Palmer Jr 47, Abhijai Mansingh 34*, Rakheem Cornwall 3-47, Colin Archibald 2-37).

     

     

     

  • Juventus 1-0 Lazio: Bremer sends embattled Bianconeri to Coppa Italia semi-finals Juventus 1-0 Lazio: Bremer sends embattled Bianconeri to Coppa Italia semi-finals

    Juventus cast aside their recent woes to tee up an enticing Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter on Thursday as Gleison Bremer's first-half header guided them to a 1-0 win against Lazio.

    The Coppa Italia appears to represent Juve's best chance of silverware this season after a 15-point deduction ended their slim Serie A title hopes, and the hosts were good value for their win after dominating for long periods.

    Massimiliano Allegri's men missed two good chances before hitting the front on the stroke of half-time, with Bremer flicking Filip Kostic's inch-perfect delivery home.

    Juve were rarely troubled at the other end as Maurizio Sarri's visitors disappointed in the final third, and they will face their Derby d'Italia rivals across two legs in the last four after this routine win.

    Kostic drew a fingertip save from Luis Maximiano as Juve got on top after a tight opening to the contest, before Adrien Rabiot headed straight at the goalkeeper when left unmarked just before the half-hour mark.

    The Bianconeri made their pressure count one minute before the break as Bremer met Kostic's inswinging cross with a glancing header, which beat Maximiano to nestle in the bottom-left corner.

    Luis Alberto saw a long-range strike deflect narrowly over as Lazio improved following the half-time introduction of Pedro, while Danilo Cataldi worked Mattia Perin with a 25-yard free-kick.

    Juve substitute Moise Kean forced Maximiano into action at his near post following a rapid break with 20 minutes remaining, as the hosts looked to put the game to bed.

    Adam Marusic fizzed a long-range effort wide of the bottom-right corner as Lazio continued to hunt a leveller, but that was as close as they came to breaking down a resolute Juve backline.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.