Stokes praises 'rare' Brook as Elgar warns Test cricket is the 'big league'

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Ben Stokes believes England have added a rare talent to their side for the Test series decider with South Africa, with Harry Brook set to come into the team.

Brook is poised to make his Test debut at The Oval as England aim to seal their second series win under Stokes' captaincy, having claimed a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand earlier in the year.

The right-hander will replace Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow, who was ruled out because of a freak injury suffered on the golf course that will also keep him out of the T20 World Cup.

Brook has thrived in all formats of the game for his county and has seven centuries and 17 half-centuries to his name in first-class cricket.

He also scored 140 in a match against the touring South African party for the England Lions last month, and Stokes was effusive in his praise of Brook ahead of his bow in the longest format.

"There's just things that stand out about certain players, like the time they have at the crease, the shots they play," Stokes said.

"There's just something that stands out that puts them above other people you see playing. He's shown this summer when he's been playing for Yorkshire and the Superchargers [in the Hundred] the skill he has.

"The way he operates, the way he wants to go out and dominate is very rare. He's a huge talent and he has to go out there and show everybody what he can do."

South Africa captain Dean Elgar, however, gives little weight to Brook's innings in the tour match, making it clear that the Test arena and the decider of a series that has seen each side win a match by an innings represents an entirely different proposition.

"You can bat like that in a four-day game or a County Championship game but this is Test cricket," Elgar said. "There are a lot of things that put a stop to you as a player, whether it’s the crowd, the cameras, whatever the case is.

"Brooky, I've played quite a few games against him, being around the county circuit. He's a good player, no doubt.

"He got a few runs against us but, again, this is Test cricket and we've got our fast bowlers now who didn't bowl against him in Kent, so I'm not reading too much into that. This is Test cricket, it will humble you as a player and a person. Hopefully he doesn't do what he did against us in Canterbury.

"I can't blow too much smoke for the opposition, I'm not there to do that. But I just know the environment and this is the big league now."

England seeking four in a row

The omens for a South Africa away win are not good.

England have a chance to register their fourth consecutive multigame bilateral men's Test series win against South Africa, it will be the third time in the history of this fixture that the hosts have won as many consecutive multigame bilateral men's Test series against the Proteas; South Africa last won such a series in July 2012.

Additionally, South Africa have just one win from their 15 matches against England at The Oval.

Leach eyes century

Jack Leach could well be England's match-winner if they are bowling last, and he will have extra motivation to run through the South Africa line-up.

The spinner needs five more for 100 wickets in men's Tests for England. He would become the 49th player to achieve this feat for his country; Leach has taken five or more wickets in a match nine times in his Test career.

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.