The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) once had Twenty20 vision to realise the potential for a new, shorter format to be added to the county structure.

What was set up as a method to attract a younger audience has become a global success worth millions, with T20 competitions springing up around the world - and not just traditional cricket-playing nations, either.

However, the ECB has decided the time is right to embrace change again. In 2020, the English game will see The Hundred come into existence.

Here, we attempt to answer some key questions about the tournament, including the teams involved, the players who are primed to play in it and where the games will take place.


The Hundred - what exactly is it?

A new concept for cricket in England that involves eight teams. A game will have two innings of 100 deliveries each (the clue is in the name).

There will be a change of end after 10 balls, rather than the usual six. Bowlers can send down five or 10 consecutive balls, while they are limited to 20 in the match. As for the powerplay, that will span 25 deliveries and a maximum of two fielders will be allowed outside the inner circle during that period of play.

It's cricket - just not as we know it.


And when will this take place?

From July 17 to August 16. The schedule – which runs during the school holidays in England – will see the teams play each other once, while each side will take on a 'rival' opponent both home and away, taking the total number of group games for each up to eight.

The top three in the table will then progress through to finals day, where second will play third in a semi-final to decide who will face the top seeds for the title.


What about the names and locations of the teams?

Well, the identities will be announced on Thursday at the initial draft. However, we do at least know the locations.

The 18 first-class counties have been grouped together in catchment areas based around international venues, two of which are situated in London. The full list is as follows (in alphabetical order):

- Birmingham (Warwickshire and Worcestershire - to play at Edgbaston)
- Cardiff (Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Somerset - to play at Sophia Gardens)
- Leeds (Yorkshire and Durham - to play at Headingley)
- London (Middlesex, Essex, and Northamptonshire - to play at Lord's)
- London (Surrey and Kent - to plat at The Oval)
- Manchester (Lancashire - to play at Old Trafford)
- Nottingham (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire - to play at Trent Bridge)
- Southampton (Hampshire and Sussex - to play at the Rose Bowl)


Will England players be appearing in it?

Absolutely! That includes their Test players too, albeit only for a limited stretch due to a home series against Pakistan, which starts on July 30.

The 10 individuals who were handed red-ball contracts for the 2019-20 season are not guaranteed to play for their 'home' teams, however.  Each roster will have at least one Test representative, with the chance to choose from the options available from their counties. However, Cardiff and the London franchise based at Lord's have no red-ball options tied to them.

Those with multiple options will have to make a choice on Thursday at the initial draft.

For example, if Leeds opt for all-rounder Ben Stokes (and why wouldn't they?), it means Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root could end up elsewhere, though if they are not chosen by another team, they will automatically be added to their original team's roster.

As well as Test stars, the teams will have the opportunity to announce two 'icon' players from their catchment, which will also be revealed on Thursday.

This is likely to be when some of the England squad who won the Cricket World Cup on home soil earlier this year will find out whether they will be staying close to home. However, there also could be some lesser-known names - at least globally - rewarded for their T20 performances at county level.


How many players on each team, and what about international signings?

There will be 15-man rosters for the teams to work with, which will be filled out during a further player draft on October 20.

Organisers has revealed some of the registered players already, with the list including World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan and England team-mate Moeen Ali.

Australia duo Steve Smith and David Warner will also be involved, along with Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan. Oh, and the evergreen Chris Gayle, of course. It would not be a white-ball event without the 'Universe Boss'...

Do not, however, get excited about the prospect of seeing Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma playing. India's current internationals are not set to be involved.


So how does the second player draft work, then?

A draw will decide the order for what will be a snake draft later in the month, meaning positions will be reversed in alternate rounds. Therefore, if you are up first in round one, you will be last second time around.

Each team must pick two players from seven set salary bands, which range from £30,000 to £125,000. Captains, by the way, get a £10,000 bonus.

Players have chosen their own reserve price, meaning they may pitch themselves out of the draft. Still, the biggest names will expect to earn the big money.

A team can pick three overseas recruits and, just prior to the tournament, will complete their 15-man line-ups by adding a wildcard - most likely an individual who impressed in the domestic T20 Blast earlier in the same season.

Barbados Tridents kept their hopes of a top-two 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) finish alive with a seven-wicket victory over their rivals and defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

Having restricted TKR to just 134/8, the Tridents got home on the back of Johnson Charles’ 47-ball 55 to leapfrog their opponents and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero CPL table.

The Knight Riders, without a win in their last five after starting the season with four straight victories, now need to beat the runaway leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final match of the league phase at Providence Stadium on Friday night to edge back above the Tridents and reclaim second place.

While both teams are safely through to the playoffs, second place is still a big prize. It brings a place in Qualifier 1 against the Warriors and two shots at a place in next weekend’s final. The team that misses out faces going straight to the Eliminator against the Patriots and no second chances.

Alex Hales showed some glimpses of his best form in a 54-run opening partnership with Charles, hitting six crisp fours and making 33 to get the Tridents well ahead of the required rate early. While the run-rate slowed after the Tridents had raced to 31/0 after the first three overs and though the chase going right into the final over might not have been exactly the plan, JP Duminy and Ashley Nurse held their nerve to collect the seven runs they needed from Kieron Pollard’s closing over without much alarm.

With wickets in hand, the Tridents always seemed to be in control of a relatively small chase. Although Hales chipped Mark Deyal to cover and Shakib Al Hasan was caught behind, the required rate was always in hand. By the time Chris Jordan yorked Charles for 55, the target was just 25 from 25 balls. Nurse and Duminy used 23 of those balls but got the job done.

The Tridents’ star bowlers Shakib Al Hasan, Harry Gurney and Hayden Walsh Jr were all once again impressive as the Knight Riders were restricted on a sluggish pitch.

Shakib bowled the opening over and ensured the Knight Riders’ experiment of sending in Jimmy Neesham as a pinch-hitting opener would not pay off. He made just a single before skying a slog-sweep to be caught and bowled.

Walsh Jr struck twice in quick succession to bag the key wickets of Colin Munro and Darren Bravo before Shakib returned to clean up Lendl Simmons, the mainstay of the TKR innings and the one TKR batsman to really come to grips with the pitch. He made 60 from 45 with three fours and four sixes with none of his team-mates able to pass 23.

Then it was over to Gurney, whose subtle changes of pace and control of line made him close to unhittable. He didn’t concede a single boundary in his four overs despite bowling both in the powerplay and then at the death. The Knight Riders scrambled just 14 runs from his four overs and lost Kieron Pollard to a slower ball and Denesh Ramdin lbw in the process.

Walsh Jr added a direct hit run out to his night’s work as Javon Searles fell for a duck, while Raymon Reifer got in the wickets column thanks to one of the stranger catches of the season as Duminy misjudged a Deyal hoik as it swirled high in the air and fumbled the catch only for Jonathan Carter to grab the rebound.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is delighted to announce that FedEx Express is the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of its cricket tournament. During the three-year relationship, FedEx Express will be working with CPL to ensure the movement of the tournament equipment around the Caribbean as it takes stop in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Barbados.

In addition to the transportation services that FedEx Express provides to CPL, the company is adding to the fan experience, for those watching on TV, the “FedEx Fastest Deliveries.” A speed gun is added to the coverage this year, so viewers are able to see which of the world-class quick bowlers, who are part of the tournament, is top of the table in terms of pace.

Jamie Stewart, CPL’s Commercial Director, said: “Putting on the CPL’s tournament each year is an extremely challenging logistical exercise, involving continuous movement of players, officials, television equipment, event materials and many other items essential to the event. With nine event legs in six countries across five and a half weeks, the successful staging of the tournament requires enormous logistics planning.”

“Having FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, support CPL is a tremendous boost for the tournament, and we look forward to drawing on their vast expertise to advise and support the event, as we strive to be as efficient as it can be. Having another truly global and category leading brand assisting is the best possible sign that the tournament is growing both in stature and success, and we look forward to a long and successful association,” added Jamie Stewart.

“FedEx Express is proud of its association with many internationally-renowned sporting leagues and we are excited to serve as the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of The Hero Caribbean Premier League,” said Rakesh Shalia, vice president of marketing and communications of FedEx Express. “This is a great way for us to reinforce our commitment to markets across the Caribbean.”

Former West Indies opener Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons as well as current coach Floyd Reifer have been short-listed for the job as head coach of the West Indies Senior Cricket team.

Rohit Sharma justified his promotion to opening batsman with a classy century as India dominated a shortened day one of the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

Captain Virat Kohli said this week the decision to bump Rohit – who has been in and out of India's team in the five-day format – up the order had been discussed "for a long time".

It was a move that paid immediate dividends as Rohit, six years on from a debut Test century, scored a classy unbeaten 115 off 174 balls, his knock including 12 fours and five sixes.

Mayank Agarwal (84 not out) was just 16 runs shy of a maiden Test hundred before rain brought an early end to proceedings just after 15:30pm local time.

Rohit and Agarwal put on India's 13th 200-run stand and South Africa's attack lacked the cutting edge to trouble India's openers, save for a tricky opening half-hour, and the hosts will resume day two on 202-0.

South Africa's three-pronged spin attack of Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy toiled against the brilliance of Rohit, who was unbeaten on 52 by the time India were 91-0 at lunch.

Comfortable on the back foot and not afraid to play down the track, Rohit saw out a difficult opening spell to bed himself in, with Agarwal also making South Africa's bowlers pay whenever they over-pitched.

There was little respite in the afternoon session, Rohit accelerating with back-to-back sixes off Piedt in the 50th over and even his most ardent critics were celebrating when he raised his bat to salute a century shortly after.

An early tea for rain brought some relief for South Africa and the adverse weather meant no more play was possible on a day where India dominated.

Guyana Amazon Warriors extended their perfect 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign to eight wins from eight matches with a 19-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval despite Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo briefly threatening to pull off an outrageous heist.

The Knight Riders appeared dead and buried at 91/4 with just six overs remaining and still needing 95 more to overhaul the Warriors 185/6. But Pollard and Bravo went on a ferocious six-hitting spree that almost dragged the unlikeliest of wins out of the fire for TKR.

They came up short, though, with Keemo Paul’s 19th over in which only singles came from the last five balls easing the Warriors’ fraying nerves before Tahir bowled Pollard for a sensational 71 from 38 balls with three balls to go and 21 still needed to at last finish the contest. The final winning margin of 19 runs also highlighted the significance of Romario Shepherd’s late cameo with the bat in the Warriors’ innings – he smashed 32* from 13, with two sixes and a four to finish it off as 25 came from Chris Jordan’s closing over.

Yet another win for the Warriors means they have now guaranteed themselves top spot in the regular season with two games to spare, while the Knight Riders still have work to do to secure their own place in the top two and the safety net of a place in Qualifier 1. One win from their two remaining games will do it.

Having muscled their way to 185/6 despite a troubling mid-innings wobble, the Warriors then strangled the Knight Riders top order through their battery of spinners.

Chris Green once again led the way, bowling his four overs off the reel at the top of the innings, removing the dangerous Colin Munro and Lendl Simmons, and returning figures of 2/18.

Imran Tahir did for Mark Deyal and Shoaib Malik had Denesh Ramdin caught in the deep off a slog-sweep to leave TKR reeling at 53/4.

Not even Pollard could rescue the Knight Riders from there, although he gave it a real crack. He shared a swashbuckling 125-run stand with Bravo, who himself cleared the ropes six times in a 46-ball 58 not out, but the required rate continued to climb throughout the partnership. Even when 57 runs were plundered in four overs from the 15th to the 18th.

Paul’s nerveless 19th over was ultimately key, and across the 40 overs the Warriors were deserving winners.

A 98-run second-wicket stand between Chrandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer then Shepherd’s late fireworks lifted the Warriors to their commanding total.

After the early loss of Brandon King, falling straight after taking Khary Pierre for 10 runs in two balls to start the third over, Hemraj took stock and then took charge.

Only 35/1 was on the board after the powerplay but the boundaries started to flow – for Hemraj in particular, who smashed four Hero Maximums and reached a 34-ball half-century with back-to-back fours off Jordan.

When Hemraj was caught behind off a wide Javon Searles yorker for 66, Hetmyer exploded into life in thrilling yet sadly for the Warriors all too brief fashion.

Searles’ next over started with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran and ended with that of Hetmyer slicing to Pierre at deep point. In between came 17 runs as Hetmyer flayed two fours and a gorgeous six carved high and handsome over backward point.

The failed attempt to repeat the dose saw Hetmyer depart the scene furious with himself and two short of a half-century.

The Warriors innings threatened to subside at that point in the face of some fine bowling from Ali Khan (1/23) in particular.

From 111/1 and 136/3, the Warriors found themselves 143/6 when Malik and Sherfane Rutherford fell to catches in the deep having added just a single between them.

But Shepherd ensured the Warriors would get up past not just 160 but also 180. He flayed a couple of early boundaries through the offside, but it was the two Hero Maximums and one-bounce four with which he finished the innings – 25 in all coming from Jordan’s closing over – that would ultimately take the Warriors out of Pollard and the Knight Riders’ reach.

Babar Azam and Usman Shinwari starred as Pakistan eventually saw off a Sri Lanka fightback to secure a 67-run victory in the second ODI in Karachi.

After rain wiped out the series opener last Friday, conditions were far more conducive for play on Monday, with Pakistan posting 305-7 thanks mainly to a century from the brilliant Babar.

Sri Lanka quickly slipped to 28-5 in reply as Shinwari (5-51) struck three times, only for a record stand between Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka to keep the tourists' hopes alive.

However, having added 177 - the highest sixth-wicket stand for Sri Lanka in one-day cricket - both well-set batsmen were dismissed with the score on 205 following a second delay due to floodlight issues at the National Stadium.

Jayasuriya fell four short of a first ODI ton when he edged through to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed off the bowling of left-arm paceman Shinwari, who went on to complete a second five-wicket haul in the format.

Shanaka, meanwhile, holed out in the deep on 68 when trying to deposit a short ball from Shadab Khan (2-76) two balls later, with the tourists losing their last five wickets for 33 runs to be bowled out for 238 in 46.5 overs.

While made to wait a little longer than expected after the early clatter of wickets, Pakistan were able to celebrate a first one-day win at the venue for more than a decade.

Unlike their opponents, their top order had prospered. Fakhar Zaman made 54 from 65 balls, including sharing in a first-wicket stand worth 73 with Imam-ul-Haq (31), before Babar and Haris Sohail (40) put on 111 for the third wicket.

Having reached his 11th ODI hundred from just 97 deliveries, Babar eventually fell for 115 having hit eight fours and four sixes, the right-hander miscuing a shot to square leg.

Iftikhar Ahmed – playing in his first one-dayer since November 2015 – added a quickfire unbeaten 32 from 20 balls to help push the final total beyond 300, a score that was beyond Sri Lanka despite the best efforts of Jayasuriya and Shanaka.

The two teams complete the 50-over series at the same venue on Wednesday before shifting to Lahore for three Twenty20 games.

Three wickets in an over from Hayden Walsh Jr and a superb spell from Harry Gurney turned the Barbados Tridents’ whole season around as they defended 141 for 6 to defeat St Lucia Zouks and grab the final 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in a winner-takes-all clash at the Kensington Oval.

The Tridents looked to be heading out of the competition when the Zouks had got the target down to 31 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, but Gurney then dismissed Hardus Viljoen before Walsh Jr’s three-wicket burst in the next over made it four wickets in eight balls and turned the match on its head.

Their total looked slightly short at the halfway stage, but with the pressure of a win-or-bust situation, and a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, it always promised to be a nervous run-chase for the Zouks.

Nevertheless, the Tridents’ hopes were already fading fast when the asking rate for the Zouks dropped below a run a ball within the powerplay despite the loss of openers Andre Fletcher and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Colin Ingram and Colin de Grandhomme kept the hammer down and got the Zouks so far ahead of the rate that even when they fell in successive overs control of the chase was still firmly in the visitors’ hands.

But first Gurney, and then most dramatically Walsh Jr, changed that with dizzying speed. Viljoen had smashed Gurney for six the ball before his dismissal, making the English left-armer’s slower ball bouncer an even bolder choice. But it did the job with Viljoen early on his shot and gloving through to Johnson Charles.

That triggered a startling collapse, with the Zouks losing their last six wickets for six runs in barely three overs to tumble out of the tournament.

Walsh Jr had Chris Barnwell, Daren Sammy and Krishmar Santokie caught on the boundary in his third over, while Gurney returned to finish off a superb spell of bowling in which he used the helpful conditions expertly by having Kesrick Williams caught on the fence from another deceptive slower ball. He finished with 3 for 17 from four high-quality overs.

It was Walsh Jr who had the last word, bagging his fourth wicket of the night and tournament-leading 14th of the 2019 Hero CPL to finish off the game and send the Tridents into the playoffs.

It was a fine effort from the Tridents after the heartbreak of the one-run defeat to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 24 hours earlier that had turned this game into a must-win.

Even on a pitch offering a bit for the bowlers, 141 for 6 still felt short of what the Tridents would have hoped for after getting over the loss of Alex Hales to Santokie’s slower ball for a duck to post 48 for 1 in the powerplay. With Charles looking in imperious form and the classy Shakib Al Hasan another major headache for the Zouks, a total in excess of 160 looked on the cards.

Shakib, though, fell just as he was starting to really get going, drilling a slog-sweep off Fawad Ahmed but picking out Ingram who held a stinging catch at deep midwicket.

Charles fell three short of a half-century having hit four fours and two sixes in a 36-ball stay. No other Trident was able to match his ball-striking.

JP Duminy, a record-breaker earlier in the week, made 13 from 18 here before edging the excellent Santokie behind, while there was to be no repeat of last night’s Raymon Reifer fireworks as he holed out for just 3.

 

 

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

Daren Sammy held his nerve to keep St Lucia Zouks’ 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff hopes very much alive with a four-wicket win over Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday night.

A pair of Hero Maximums in the penultimate over of a nervy, high-stakes run-chase effectively settled the contest, bringing the scores level and allowing Krishmar Santokie to smash the winning runs at the start of the final over.

Victory for the Zouks lifted them back above Barbados Tridents into fourth place while also ending the Tallawahs’ own lingering hopes of a top-four finish. It’s the first time in Hero CPL history the Tallawahs miss out on the playoffs.

The Zouks now head to Barbados on Sunday for a hugely significant clash with the Tridents as the league phase hits the home straight.

Chasing 166 for victory, Rahkeem Cornwall got the Zouks off to the perfect start with a 24-ball half-century with four fours and five sixes.

He showed his intent from the very first over, pulling Zahir Khan for four and then launching a Hero Maximum over long-on.

The real carnage came in the third over of the innings as Jerome Taylor was taken for 25. Cornwall hit back-to-back Hero Maximums to start the over before Andre Fletcher finished it off with 10 runs in two balls.

Fletcher was caught at slip by Chris Gayle off Zahir Khan, but Cornwall raced on to his half-century, his most dramatic contribution a huge Hero Maximum off Ramaal Lewis that bounced twice on the roof before finding its way into the car park.

He was gone two balls later, though – just after reaching his half-century – when another attempt to clear the rope was held just inside it by Chadwick Walton.

When Colin de Grandhomme holed out off Imran Khan to the first ball of the next over for a golden duck, the Zouks were in danger of losing their way.

But with the required rate well in hand, Colin Ingram and Hardus Viljoen had the luxury of taking a few overs just to steady the ship. They did so, Viljoen then getting the chase really back up and running with a pair of huge sixes over long-on off Khan. The final ball of that over was pulled to the square-leg fence and the Zouks were firmly back in control.

Still it was not exactly plain sailing to the finish line. Ingram was run out by a superb direct hit from Khan at mid-off, before Viljoen top-edged a Dwayne Smith short ball to Shamar Springer at long-leg.

When Chris Barnwell picked out Smith at long-on to give Imran Khan a second wicket, the Tallawahs suddenly sensed a chance with the equation 19 from 12 and Daren Sammy left with only the Zouks bowlers for company.

Two huge sixes later, the matter was all but settled with Santokie gleefully crashing the first ball of the final over to the cover boundary to seal a hugely important win.

Dwayne Smith had earlier returned to form in fine style for the Tallawahs. Having failed to reach double-figures in four previous 2019 Hero CPL innings, Smith looked back to his very best in plundering 58 in 38 balls with six fours and three sixes.

But after he and debutant Liton Das (21 from 21) were dismissed in successive balls by the impressive Kesrick Williams, the Tallawahs innings fell away.

From 138/2 after 16 overs with two set batsmen at the crease, only 27 more were added at a cost of five wickets in the face of some superb Zouks death bowling.

Williams was very much the pick, adding the wicket of Trevon Griffith to finish with fine figures of 3/24 despite Shamar Springer hitting the final ball of his spell for six.

Glenn Phillips and Gayle had got the innings off to a fine start before 2019 Hero CPL leading run-scorer Phillips was bounced out by Viljoen after smacking back-to-back fours.

Gayle was then prepared to play second fiddle to Smith in a partnership of Smith before being caught by a juggling Viljoen at long-off as Sammy’s decision to bring himself into the attack paid dividends.

Smith went through to his half-century in 30 balls but fell just as the Tallawahs were looking to really launch in the final overs. They were never quite able to do so.

Six candidates have been short-listed for the post of head coach of the West Indies Cricket team, Cricket West Indies announced on Friday.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have pushed the second one-dayer back by 24 hours after their series opener was washed out in Karachi on Friday.

Heavy downpours prevented any play in the first ODI to be staged at the National Stadium in over a decade, as sections of the ground were left under water.

With wet weather in the days preceding the fixture too, the two cricket boards have agreed to a change in the schedule.

The second match was due to take place at the same location on Sunday but has now been shifted to Monday instead, allowing extra time to get the ground fit for action.

"This week's unseasonal heavy rains have forced us to review the series schedule," Pakistan Cricket Board director Zakir Khan said in a statement.

"I am thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket, as well as our host broadcasters, for agreeing to amend the match schedule to ensure there are no further abandonments due to rain in what is an important bilateral FTP series for Pakistan."

The final ODI – also to be staged in Karachi – will still be played on October 2, as originally planned.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will then play three Twenty20 games in Lahore.

Barbados Tridents skipper Jason Holder has heaped praises on leg spinner Hayden Walsh Jr whose devastating spell proved crucial in an important win over Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Thursday.

Walsh Jr claimed three wickets in four balls for the first five-wicket haul of the season.  In a match-altering spell, the spinner removed the dangerous Kieron Pollard for 3 before adding the scalp of Jimmy Neesham and Seekkuge Prasanna in consecutive deliveries.  Earlier Walsh also removed Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo, who looked set to give the Knight Riders a boost in their run chase after carving out a patient 28 from 24.

“I’m proud of Hayden.  He’s had a difficult time in West Indies cricket, he’s been in and out of a few franchises and he hasn’t had a chance to really get a good run of games,” Holder said.

“I spoke to him before the tournament and I backed him and gave him all the confidence.  We wanted a local leg spinner and he was one of the guys I was really looking for and we got him.  I’m just happy to see him come in and deliver.  I'm just really proud of him,” Holder added.

 

A truly sensational display of sustained hitting from JP Duminy and a ridiculously good bowling effort from Hayden Walsh Jr allowed Barbados Tridents to finally end their eight-match losing home run in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in fine style with a 63-run defeat of defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

Duminy scored the fastest ever Hero CPL half-century before Walsh Jr took three wickets in four balls on his way to the first five-wicket haul of the season as the Knight Riders came up well short in their pursuit of the Tridents’ 192/5.

The Tridents had been given a solid platform by openers Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter, both men passing 50 in a first-wicket stand worth 110.

But they took almost 14 overs getting those runs and, when both openers and then Alex Hales all fell in quick succession, the Tridents innings appeared to be falling away.

Duminy had other ideas, blasting his way to 65 from just 20 balls – his 50 coming up in a Hero CPL record of just 15 – to propel his team to a winning total

Perhaps the most astonishing element of Duminy’s innings is that he had only 3 to his name after the first five balls he faced.

From that moment he faced 15 further deliveries. The 15th dismissed him. The second was bunted down the ground for a scampered two. The final balls of the 18th and 19th overs were deliberately knocked away for singles to retain the strike. The other 11 were sent to or over the boundary. There weren’t many mishits in there. Short balls, full balls, slower balls. All got the same treatment. The seven sixes all cleared the boundary with something to spare.

Ali Khan’s third over went for 24 – his three-over spell cost him 51 in all; James Neesham’s only over cost 25. In all, 76 came from the last five overs of the innings as the innings was brought dramatically back to life after the disappointment of the three quick wickets.

Carter’s half-century, his first in the Hero CPL, will certainly not live as long in the memory as Duminy’s but having been promoted up the order he did the job asked of him in providing a base from which his team-mates could launch with his 46-ball 51.

Charles was more fluent in his 58 from 39, striking the ball crisply and collecting eight fours.

But ultimately this was an innings about one man, even if he was only actually batting for around a quarter of it.

And he wasn’t finished. The Knight Riders had made a lightning start to their chase of 193 for victory despite losing openers Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine to Harry Gurney and Jason Holder respectively.

Colin Munro had flown to 23 from 12 when a rare miscue sent the ball high into the sky but over the backpedaling Holder at mid-off.

While everyone else watched to see whether Holder could get back for a catch, Duminy screeched fully 40 yards around the boundary edge before diving and coming up with the ball to complete a stunning catch.

Walsh Jr then started his own contribution to the Tridents’ success as he bowled Denesh Ramdin for 11 from 14 balls.

Pollard, Neesham and Seekkuge all fell in his second over to leave the Knight Riders reeling at 83/7 and out of the contest, while Walsh Jr had the amazing figures of 2-0-4-4.

Darren Bravo took a four and a six off the leg-spinner to slightly dent those figures, but Walsh Jr was not to be denied for long. He teased Bravo into a miscue outside off stump to secure his fifth wicket and spark wild celebrations around the Kensington Oval.

For all Walsh Jr’s brilliance, it was still fitting that the final word should go to Duminy and sure enough he finished off a remarkable night’s work by dismissing Khary Pierre and Ali Khan to wrap up a thumping win that lifts the Tridents above St Lucia Zouks into the final playoff spot.

The Knight Riders remain second despite having now gone three matches without a victory after winning their first four.

Essex secured a domestic double as they followed up their T20 Blast triumph by clinching the County Championship title with a draw against Somerset at Taunton.

Somerset – having taken nine wickets in 20 overs – elected to forfeit their second innings in the rain-affected title decider, leaving Essex 63 runs to win the match from the last hour and seven minutes of play.

England spinner Jack Leach applied pressure from the off as Somerset aimed to win the title in the most dramatic fashion by taking 10 quick wickets, but Alastair Cook and Nick Browne held firm to nudge Essex to 38-0.

On his final appearance of a 27-year career, former England batsman Marcus Trescothick came on as a substitute fielder for Somerset, and his introduction sparked a wicket – Browne edging Dom Bess to second slip.

There was to be no miracle, though, with Somerset captain Tom Abell electing to concede the draw with five minutes remaining and Essex - who only needed to avoid defeat - 18 runs short of their victory target.

Trescothick was given a guard of honour by Essex's triumphant squad as he left the field, leaving the visitors to celebrate their second County Championship title in the space of three seasons.

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