Little bit of relief – Sam Curran and England bounce back in Antigua

By Sports Desk December 06, 2023

Sam Curran refused to dwell too much on his weekend drubbing and believes he demonstrated his strength of character by helping England level their ODI series against the West Indies.

Curran recorded the most expensive figures by an England bowler in ODIs on Sunday as the Windies drew first blood in the three-match series, finishing with nought for 98 after 9.5 bruising overs.

He returned to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Wednesday and laid the groundwork for England’s six-wicket win, snaring top-order trio Keacy Carty, Brandon King and Shimron Hetmyer.

After a redemptive display as he regained his moniker of “making things happen”, Curran felt there was nothing to be gained from focusing on the negatives as he drew an emphatic line under the experience.

“Any time you bowl in certain scenarios, you know you’re going to have a tough day but I think if you dwell on those things too much, I feel like it would have probably affected me here,” he said.

“The big, big messaging from this group was ‘you’ve got to learn from those situations’ and I feel like I’m a very strong character in that regard. I don’t feel like that’s going to affect me at all.

“Hopefully I just bounce back stronger and learn from those days that are tough. There’s a little bit of relief, I guess, it was a tough day the other day but it was fantastic to get the win here.

“I feel like I haven’t played a huge amount over the last couple of months, like any player it’s a bit of rhythm and confidence and fingers crossed we can keep looking forwards.”

Curran was axed from the side after three anonymous displays at the World Cup, where he averaged 11.66 with the bat and took two wickets and leaked 140 runs in 17.2 overs.

Scrutiny increased on his long-term role in a new-look ODI set-up after being taken down by the Windies but Curran was named Jos Buttler’s vice-captain ahead of this series, emphasising the premium England place on the 25-year-old.

“Jos mentioned before the series if he’d like me to do it, that’s a great honour,” he said. “I do feel like more of a senior player in the side so that was a nice, proud moment.

“I definitely feel like I can play all three formats. People can have their opinions that I might not be able to but I feel like I’m a player who likes to back myself in all those tough moments.

“The message is that it’s a new side at the moment and it’s looking forward for the next couple of years.

“I think the energy around the group has been fantastic as well. It feels like a lot of energy and buzz around the group right now and I feel quite a big part of that, so I feel that’s a good thing.”

Curran’s three for 33 saw the Windies slip to 23 for four and while there were knocks of 68 from Shai Hope and 63 by Sherfane Rutherford, Liam Livingstone snuffed out any chance of a substantial total.

He dismissed Rutherford then Hope en route to figures of three for 39, with Gus Atkinson and Rehan Ahmed chipping in with a couple of wickets apiece as the Windies stumbled to 202 all out in 39.4 overs.

Will Jacks thumped four sixes in his sparkling 73 off 72 deliveries but his dismissal left England on 116 for four and the game on a knife-edge as the out-of-form Jos Buttler strode to the crease.

Without a fifty in his previous 13 ODIs and out for single figures in five of his last eight innings, the batter often touted as England’s greatest in the white-ball formats rediscovered his Midas touch.

He was twice beaten on the outside edge early on by leg-spinner Yannic Cariah but gradually found some fluency, thumping three sixes in his unbeaten 58 from 45 balls, sharing an unbroken 90 with Harry Brook.

It was left to Brook to hit the winning runs, finishing on 43 not out, as England won with 103 balls to spare to set up a series decider in Barbados on Saturday.

“We take a lot of happiness from our team-mates doing well, especially our captain, it’s really exciting,” Curran added. “Jos did what we know Jos can do.”

The Windies are now the side on the ropes ahead of this weekend but captain Hope said: “This is gone, we can’t control a thing that happened in this game or even the first game. We have to look ahead.”

Related items

  • Remaining tickets go on sale with 100 days-to-go until ‘Out of this World’ 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Remaining tickets go on sale with 100 days-to-go until ‘Out of this World’ 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

    The countdown is on to the largest ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, which will be played in the West Indies and USA from 1—29 June, with today, 22 February marking 100 days to the start of the historic event.

    During the ballot period, over 3 million ticket applications from over 161 countries were received for the pinnacle global event for T20 cricket. Ticket allocations are currently unavailable to nine T20 World Cup matches scheduled in the USA, with the India v Pakistan fixture on 9 June in New York oversubscribed more than 200 times.

    Both semi-finals in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana along with the final in Barbados were oversubscribed in the ballot, as were two Super Eight matches in Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Tickets to all other fixtures in the West Indies are available, with fans encouraged to purchase their tickets now to be a part of the biggest T20 World Cup ever.

    The 100 days-to-go milestone also marked the launch of the official campaign film ‘Out of this World’, which features T20 superstars Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Marcus Stoinis, Shaheen Afridi, Shubman Gill and Ali Khan. The full campaign, which blasts off globally today, will utilize a variety of platforms to engage audiences on a global scale and will give the world a visual taste of what they can look forward to in the West Indies and USA come June.

    A series of fan engagement events will also blast off at all nine host locations across the West Indies and USA, including a larger-than-life cricket ball taking over Times Square in New York City, Bayside Marketplace in Miami, Klyde Warren Park, Dallas and all Caribbean host locations.

    ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “With just 100 days to go until the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 there is huge anticipation from fans to witness what will be the largest ICC event ever played, with 20 international teams playing across nine host cities. A large proportion of the more than 3 million applications for tickets across the event were from our host countries, so we are confident that this event will not only entertain fans around the world but leave a lasting legacy that will help us continue to grow the sport across the Americas.

    “Celebrating the launch of our official campaign film that captures the energy of T20 cricket and features some of the game’s biggest stars is another important milestone, as excitement builds across the global cricket community for what will be a historic event.”

    Cricket West Indies Chief Executive Johnny Grave said: “With just 100 days to go until the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the global excitement is accelerating at pace and all signs indicate that this World Cup is poised to make history on multiple fronts. With a significant number of games already oversubscribed, it is evident that the global appeal of T20 cricket is growing exponentially. Fans wanting to experience a T20 World Cup with Caribbean flair should seize the opportunity to get their tickets as soon as possible and join the celebration on the grandest stage of cricket – the West Indies and USA.”

    T20 World Cup USA, Inc. Chief Executive Brett Jones said: “Today is an extraordinary day for global cricket and that’s especially true in the U.S. While those of us involved in the sport know cricket’s popularity in our market, there is no data point like ticket sales to showcase the level of enthusiasm that’s out there and we’re thrilled with the support we’re seeing. The 2024 T20 World Cup is going to fundamentally change the game of cricket in the U.S. and it’s our job to capitalise on this moment.”

     

  • Gregor Townsend says Calcutta Cup success is Scotland’s sole focus Gregor Townsend says Calcutta Cup success is Scotland’s sole focus

    Gregor Townsend says Scotland’s sole focus is on winning their “biggest game of the season” against England this weekend and maintaining their recent dominance of the Calcutta Cup.

    The Scots go into Saturday’s showdown with their bitter rivals knowing they will almost certainly require a victory to stay in contention for the Guinness Six Nations title after their controversial defeat by France last time out.

    Townsend is adamant that any lingering injustice from ‘trygate’ a fortnight ago has been parked and that any talk of contending for the title can remain firmly on the backburner until after their high-stakes encounter with Steve Borthwick’s side.

    “When you’re coming in off the back of a defeat, you have to bounce back with a victory,” said Townsend, when asked on Thursday how the France defeat has left his side’s title prospects.

    “You’re not really thinking about the championship. We’ll see where we are on Saturday.

    “The full focus is on this game because it’s our most important game of the season.

    “It’s the most important game for our supporters and we also play for a trophy, in amongst the Triple Crown and other trophies.

    “But this is one that we’re focused on more than the others. That probably shouldn’t be the case, but it is.

    “It’s history. It’s emotion. We’ve seen the impact this game has on Scottish supporters when we do manage to get a victory in this fixture. That’ll drive us on Saturday.”

    Having beaten England only three times in 27 attempts between 1990 and 2018, the Scots now find themselves going into this weekend’s fixture on the back of a three-game winning run and having lost only one of their last six meetings with their old foes.

    Townsend, who was accustomed to regular defeats against England in his time as a player, admits his team’s recent burst of Calcutta Cup success has given them increased belief going into Saturday’s match.

    “Yes, for sure,” he said. “The game in 2018 (Scotland’s first win over England in a decade) has certainly given the players confidence when they’ve taken on England in the last few games.

    “But what’s most relevant is the game you’ve just played, the things you have to work on to be a better team, and the threats that England bring.

    “This England team is different to the one we faced 12 months ago but ultimately it’s just about delivering in the 80 minutes on the day.”

    Townsend has made three changes to the side that started the 20-16 defeat by France, with Glasgow wing Kyle Steyn returning after missing Les Bleus game when his wife went into labour and Toulouse full-back Blair Kinghorn back after sitting out the first two matches with a knee injury.

    Kyle Rowe and Harry Paterson, who deputised in the absence of the two experienced backs, drop out of the squad altogether.

    The most notable change is in the back row where Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie, who recently lost the captaincy and then was then left out of the 23 for the France game, returns to the number six jersey in place of Matt Fagerson, who is dropped from the squad.

    “Jamie has really accepted the challenge that was there about a month ago that there’s increased competition in the back-row and for that reason he was no longer going to be captain,” explained Townsend.

    “But since that conversation he’s played two games for Edinburgh and one for Scotland in Cardiff and he’s played well.

    “We believe this game will suit his strengths and his experience he can bring to the team as well will be a boost.”

  • Pollard power and Mir Hamza three-for give Karachi Kings easy win Pollard power and Mir Hamza three-for give Karachi Kings easy win

    Power hitter Kieron Pollard upstaged Babar Azam's landmark outing in Lahore, as Karachi Kings cruised to an emphatic seven-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi on Wednesday.

    Chasing 155, Pollard bludgeoned an unbeaten 49 off 21 balls with four towering sixes and four boundaries to take Kings home in 16.5 overs for their first win in the tournament.

    Babar's landmark 271st T20 in which he became the fastest batter to reach 10,000 runs saw Zalmi getting bowled out for 154 in 19.5 overs after the Kings won the toss and elected to field.

    Babar followed his half-century in the first game against Quetta Gladiators with a knock of 72 off 51 balls, but his effort went in vain for the second successive game.

    Zalmi's innings revolved around Babar's brilliance after it lost three wickets inside the batting powerplay with Shoaib Malik dismissing Saim Ayub off the first ball with a full-pitched delivery that didn't turn much. Hasan Ali, playing against his former franchise, also had a dream start when he knocked back Tom Kohler-Cadmore's off stump off his first ball.

    Babar revived the innings with Rovman Powell (39) in a 68-run stand and Asif Ali scored 23 before Peshawar lost its last six wickets for only 18 runs in the last four overs. Powell top-edged a reverse sweep against left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz a while Asif holed out at long-on.

    Left-arm fast bowler Mir Hamza (3-28), who bowled to hard lengths with the new ball, chipped in with the wickets of Aamer Jamal and then took a fine return catch to dismiss Babar in his last over as the Zalmi innings folded quickly.

    Pollard brought an early finish when he smashed three straight sixes and two fours in a 27-run over against Afghanistan's left-arm wrist spinner Waqar Salamkheil, one of the two changes Zalmi made after losing the first match by 16 runs. Salamkheil conceded 54 off his four overs and got Malik stumped for run-a-ball 29.

    James Vince remained unbeaten on 38 and ended up denying Pollard a chance at a much-deserved half-century when he drove Luke Wood (2-20) for the winning boundary in the 17th over.

    Kings, who lost their first game against Multan Sultans by 55 runs, have two points from two games while Zalmi is still looking for their first win.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.