Yorkshire end winless run while Robin Das inspires Essex

By Sports Desk May 30, 2023

Yorkshire clinched their first win of the season in any format with an eight-run Vitality Blast victory against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

England’s Dawid Malan hit 95 off 56 balls and skipper Shan Masood’s 34 off 23 helped Yorkshire post 182 for seven after electing to bat first, and that proved to be enough.

Notts’ Alex Hales struck a half-century for the second consecutive night and New Zealand international Colin Munro made 46, while David Wiese took two for 32 for the visitors, who chalked up their first T20 win at Trent Bridge since 2015.

Yorkshire, who prop up Division Two in the LV= County Championship after failing to win any of their first five matches, had lost their previous three Blast fixtures. They face Roses rivals Lancashire at Headingley on Thursday.

Robin Das continued his impressive breakthrough week with a maiden Blast half-century as Essex belatedly began their campaign with a three-wicket win over Gloucestershire.

Das, 21, hit a century on his first-class debut against Ireland on Friday before crashing 69 from 33 balls to help Essex towards a daunting 196 target.

That huge Gloucestershire score was in large part down to Ben Charlesworth’s brutal 19-ball 50 – the quickest for the county in T20s.

But Das, together with fellow homegrown player Feroze Khushi’s 34 off 14 balls and Tom Westley’s 31 not out, guided Essex to victory with five balls to spare.

Somerset beat Kent by 13 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method in a rain-affected match at Canterbury.

Three interruptions marred the contest, but Somerset eventually restricted Kent to 112 in pursuit of a revised target of 126 from 15 overs despite 29 from skipper Sam Billings.

Ben Green took three for 19 and Somerset team-mate Lewis Gregory stifled the hosts when they needed 18 off the last over.

Somerset were all out for 154 from 20 overs, with their biggest contribution coming from Tom Lammonby (34), while Kent’s Wes Agar took three for 18.

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  • England offer discarded opener Jason Roy chance to be World Cup injury reserve England offer discarded opener Jason Roy chance to be World Cup injury reserve

    England have offered discarded opener Jason Roy the chance to make himself available as an injury reserve for the World Cup, but accept his selection heartbreak may be too tough to overcome.

    Roy, a crucial part of the trophy-winning 2019 side, was named in a provisional group of 15 for next month’s tournament in India but found himself squeezed out by Harry Brook when the final squad was announced on Sunday.

    The U-turn came after Roy suffered back spasms that ruled him out of the recent New Zealand series, setting in chain a sequence of events that saw understudy Dawid Malan ink his name in at the top of the order and positioned Brook as the most versatile additional batter.

    By axing a player with 116 caps and eight years of experience as a mainstay of the side, England showed a cut-throat approach to defending their 50-over crown and raised uncertainty over Roy’s international future.

    He was offered the chance to join a second-string side for three ODIs against Ireland but turned that down after receiving the crushing news from skipper Jos Buttler over the weekend. National selector Luke Wright made it clear that England still view Roy as an option for the World Cup should one of their top three be ruled out, but that is an olive branch that may not be accepted.

    Roy lost his T20 place before another World Cup last year, cancelled the remainder of his central contract to play Major League Cricket in the United States this summer and may instead find himself weighing up the benefits of retiring from England altogether.

    “As you can imagine, he’s absolutely gutted and I wouldn’t expect anything else. I feel for him, as I feel for anyone you leave out,” said Wright.

    “But we certainly haven’t ruled him out. For Jason now, I’m sure he’s got some thinking to do over the initial disappointment, but we’ve made clear that if there’s an injury at the top of the order, there’s definitely the option for him to come in as the reserve.

    “We’ve made it very clear that we still see him as the man to do that. I don’t think there’s any reason why we wouldn’t. We’ve spoken to him about that and he has time to reflect over the next few days. It is obviously not an easy pill to swallow.”

    England plan to take just one travelling reserve with them on what is a gruelling schedule in India, with Jofra Archer joining the group as part of his continuing rehabilitation from a stress fracture in the right elbow. Others under consideration will be permitted to stay at home until required.

    Wright was sympathetic about Roy’s reluctance to join up with a shadow team to take on the Irish so soon after being ousted, but added that the offer remained open for the second and third games.

    “We’ve given Jason the option of being involved and he still has the option,” said Wright.

    “He wasn’t expecting to be in that Ireland squad and then to get the news that he was missing out on the World Cup all came as a bit of a hammer blow. So we’ve left that with him. The first game at Headingley has come too soon but there is still the option of those last two games. We’ve made it apparent to Jason that we won’t judge him differently for that position as the spare batter at the top of the order whether he plays against Ireland or not. We’ll work on that one over the next few days.”

    One man who will take the field for the first ODI is Joe Root, who requested to play at his home ground despite having the chance to rest up before India. He lacked rhythm against the Black Caps, making just 39 in four innings, and is keen for one last hit on familiar turf before travelling.

    “As much as we thought he probably needed a break, he just wanted another go,” Wright said.

    “It’s great for someone still to have that desire to keep wanting to do more and more. It shows what makes him such a world-class player, that when he doesn’t feel quite right that he still wants to tinker and do more.”

  • Jason Roy misses out on World Cup as England replace him with Harry Brook Jason Roy misses out on World Cup as England replace him with Harry Brook

    Jason Roy’s World Cup dreams have been dashed after England ruthlessly dropped the opener from their final squad in favour of Harry Brook.

    Roy was included in a provisional list of 15 last month, with Brook a surprising omission, but the selectors have back-tracked by making a last-minute switch for the tournament in India.

    Heartbreak for Roy, whose pick up and throw led to the run out which sealed the trophy at Lord’s four years ago, spells elation for Brook, who had been coming to terms with being the odd man out.

    It is thought that white-ball coach Matthew Mott made the call to deliver the bad news to Roy, having finalised the squad with captain Jos Buttler, selector Luke Wright and managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key.

    Wright said in a statement: “The strength of the group has meant that we have had to make some tough decisions on world-class players, with Jason Roy missing out and Harry Brook coming into the squad.

    “We have selected a squad we are confident can go to India and win the World Cup. We are blessed with an incredibly strong group of white-ball players which was underlined by the performances in the series win against a very good New Zealand team.”

    Roy has played more ODIs than any other England player since they were crowned world champions in 2019, appearing 32 times, but backs spasms ruled him out of the recent four-match series against New Zealand to raise major doubts over his place.

    It is understood concerns over his fitness formed part of the decision, but his waning form was also a consideration as the selectors looked to find a spot for Brook.

    His output has diminished from a career average of 42.79 at the end of the 2019 final to just 31.78 subsequently. Even so, he may feel he has been harshly treated. In six one-day innings this year he has two centuries – in South Africa and Bangladesh – and his top-order partnership with Jonny Bairstow was, until very recently, seen as a trump card. Now Dawid Malan has made that role his own.

    The situation is reminiscent of the decision made four years earlier, when David Willey was ousted from the preliminary squad in favour of the newly-available Jofra Archer. Willey was devastated to be cut but worked hard to reclaim favour and will be part of the team in India.

    It seems unlikely that Roy will follow suit. He had already lost his T20 place on the eve of the short-form World Cup last year, a blow that was softened with the prospect of featuring in the 50-over defence, and recently suggested that he would consider his international future after the competition.

    It appears unlikely that he would settle for a place on the plane as a travelling reserve, the role that had been earmarked for Brook prior to his promotion.

    England will now travel with eight of the squad that triumphed on home soil last time around, joined by the fresh blood of Brook.

    Brook has played just six ODIs to Roy’s 116 but is viewed as a future all-format star.

    He was unable to make a watertight case for inclusion as he scored 37 in three innings during Roy’s absence against the Black Caps, but his versatility and huge promise ultimately counted in his favour.

  • Scorer who racially abused umpire Majid Haq handed lifetime ban Scorer who racially abused umpire Majid Haq handed lifetime ban

    A club official who racially abused former Scotland international Majid Haq and showed “no remorse” has been handed a lifetime ban from attending cricket matches in the country.

    Ronald McGregor was acting as scorer at Greenock Cricket Club when he called umpire Haq a “cheating P***” and then told him to his face it was a “factual term” when confronted over the abuse.

    Cricket Scotland referred the case to an independent disciplinary process led by a Conduct In Sport Panel, which issued a “lifetime ban from attending any matches under the auspices of Cricket Scotland”.

    McGregor, a well-known former player in Scottish club cricket, is also expected to be sentenced in court next month after previously admitting a charge of acting in a racially aggravated manner which caused or was intended to cause alarm or distress.

    The incident happened during a WDCU Premiership One match between home club Greenock and Stenhousemuir on August 12.

    The panel stated that McGregor did not attend the disciplinary hearing or respond to an invitation to make any representations on his own behalf.

    A statement added: “In determining sanctions, the panel found no mitigatory features in the incident, noted that Mr McGregor refused to engage in the disciplinary process, and in his only email response to Cricket Scotland exhibited no remorse or culpability.”

    Cricket Scotland chief executive Pete Fitzboydon said: “Racism, and those who demonstrate discriminatory behaviour, have no place in our sport.

    “Cricket can be one of the greatest forces for bringing communities together, and the vast majority is played without incident. Unfortunately, a small minority of people continue to demonstrate their racist and bigoted views in our game. Any racist incident is one too many.

    “Cricket Scotland’s focus remains on preventing incidents from occurring by helping the sport to become anti-racist. However, appropriate sanctions for any perpetrators are extremely important.

    “While the Conduct in Sport Panel is rightly independent from Cricket Scotland, this lifetime ban reassures me that they regard racism with the same level of condemnation that the governing body does.”

    Haq welcomed the outcome through a statement from his lawyer, Aamer Anwar.

    Anwar added: “Majid said that whilst McGregor has failed to show any remorse, despite having pled guilty to the criminal charge, he hopes such robust action by Cricket Scotland sends out a strong signal to anyone who wishes to engage in such vile and racist conduct.

    “Majid believes it is time that the clubs took a zero-tolerance approach to racism and any other forms of discrimination by those who wish to keep cricket in the dark ages.

    “Majid is grateful to the panel, and to those who gave statements to the police, but it still saddens him that despite what had happened to him, as a victim it was left to him to call the police.”

    Complaints from Haq helped spark an independent review which last year found hundreds of examples of institutional racism within Cricket Scotland.

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