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VVS Laxman: Empty stands in IPL 2020 won’t affect the quality of cricket

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VVS Laxman: Empty stands in IPL 2020 won't affect the

VVS Laxman, the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting mentor, feels that empty stands won’t affect the quality of cricket in the 2020 IPL but he is a little wary of the nature of pitches in the UAE.

The Sunrisers, along with the Delhi Capitals, are the last of the eight IPL sides to reach the UAE. Both sides took the same chartered flight and landed in the UAE on Sunday. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament will be played behind closed doors in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

“I can assure all the fans of the game that they will really enjoy the competition even though there won’t be any crowd or any spectators on the ground,” Laxman said in a video released by the franchise on Sunday. “Don’t ever think that the energy or the quality of cricket will come down.

“Probably the wickets may be on the slower side but we have to just wait and see because we may just be surprised with the efforts put in by the ground staff. The outfield will be fantastic but the wickets are something that I hope will be well taken care of by the ground staff.”

In the 2020 IPL auction, the Sunrisers had focused on young Indian middle-order batsmen. They picked Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh and B Sandeep among others. Laxman said that it was a conscious effort on part of the management.

“In the auction, it was a very intentional effort to have the youngsters. While they are youngsters, they are all the most prolific performers in domestic cricket. When you see the composition of our team, we had a lot of experienced players from both overseas and India. But when we look at the domestic players, we [were] required to strengthen our batting, especially our middle-order batting. So we went with the performer in the last couple of seasons.”

Ahead of the auction, the Sunrisers had made changes to their coaching personnel too. Trevor Bayliss replaced Tom Moody as the head coach, while Brad Haddin came in for Simon Helmot as the assistant coach. Haddin and Bayliss have worked together before, winning the 2012 Champions League T20 for Sydney Sixers as captain and coach, respectively. Bayliss had also coached the Kolkata Knight Riders from 2012 to 2015, a period during which they won two IPL titles. Laxman is upbeat about the prospect of working with both of them.

“Trevor is one of the most successful coaches in world cricket; England won the World Cup for the first time under his coaching,” Laxman said. “He is someone who I have always admired and all the interactions I have had with him have been excellent – I learnt something with every interaction. He is a cool, calm person and an amazing human being. At the same time, he has the temperament of handling the best of teams and the best of players.

“I played against Brad Haddin a lot when I was playing for India and he is someone who is a hardcore competitor. He will definitely give 100% or probably more than 100% as the assistant coach. I am looking forward to working with both Trevor and Brad.”

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Recent Match Report – Kent vs Glamorgan Group 3 2021

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Matt Quinn claimed the third Glamorgan wicket to fall but only 6.2 overs were possible

Glamorgan 64 for 3 trail Kent 307 by 243 runs

Glamorgan moved to 64 for 3 against Kent on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, trailing by 243 at stumps after just 6.2 overs were possible due to a waterlogged outfield and then bad light.

Matt Quinn took the only wicket to fall, removing Joe Cooke for 10, leaving him with figures of 2 for 10. Billy Root and Kiran Carlson were the not out batsmen, on 26 and nought respectively.

Play was delayed until 5.19 pm after heavy overnight rain left several areas of the outfield unplayable, with umpire James Middlebrook’s shoes making an audible squelch as he strolled towards the pavilion to deliver the bad news following one of six pitch inspections.

When the action did finally get underway, with around 50 diehard fans still in the ground, Glamorgan resumed on 55 for 2 in reply to Kent’s 307 all out. Just five runs had been added when Quinn knocked back Cooke’s off stump in the 25th over, the batsman failing add to his overnight score.

Root initially looked more comfortable, driving Stevens for four through long-off but then surviving an appeal for caught behind off next delivery.

With the light deteriorating the players went off after just 24 minutes and with increasingly heavy rain falling, play was abandoned for the day. A bleak forecast for Sunday means the Group C game is almost certain to end in a draw.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1263852.html?ex_cid=OTC-RSS

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Recent Match Report – Lancashire vs Northants Group 3 2021

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Recent Match Report - Lancashire vs Northants Group 3 2021
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Only 11 overs possible at wet Wantage Road, with Keaton Jennings the batter to fall

Lancashire 75 for 1 vs Northamptonshire

Gareth Berg made the only breakthrough for Northamptonshire as just 11 overs were possible on another rain-affected day of this LV= County Championship tie with Lancashire at Wantage Road.

The evergreen seamer found plenty of bounce and movement and claimed his 20th wicket of the season when he enticed Keaton Jennings to drive loosely at a ball outside off stump and edge through to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, who took a comfortable catch.

With Jennings departing for 27, Alex Davies was joined by Luke Wells and the pair faced a testing spell from Berg and Ben Sanderson, fresh from their 19-wicket demolition of Sussex two weeks ago. They maintained pressure, beating the bat regularly and making it difficult to score.

Davies did manage to break the shackles briefly by cutting a rare wide one from Sanderson for four and later driving him through midwicket for another boundary. By the time play was called off Lancashire had advanced to 75 for 1 after 28.1 overs.

The start of play was delayed until 2.30pm due to a wet outfield after the whole of the second day was lost to heavy rain. Jennings and Davies were resuming on 59 without loss, their fourth 50 opening stand of the season.

After further interruptions due to showers, the umpires called stumps shortly after 4pm following further rain and hail which turned the outfield white as the players left the field.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1263849.html?ex_cid=OTC-RSS

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WATCH: Chris Cooke comically bumps into stumps during a County Championship match against Kent

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In the ongoing Group 3 match between Kent and Glamorgan of County Championship 2021 at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, a funny incident involving Glamorgan wicketkeeper captain Chris Cooke captured everyone’s attention.

It all happened in the 28th over of Kent’s first innings bowled by Australian pacer Michael Neser. The fast-bowler bowled a short of a good length delivery around the middle and leg stump which was tapped by Sam Billings down to fine leg for a single.

The fielder collected the ball and threw it towards the strikers’ end. Cooke, who was standing behind the wickets, quickly came near the stumps to collect the red leather. The throw was a bit off target and while catching the ball, the wicketkeeper ended up crashing over the stumps before falling onto the ground. As soon as Cooke fell, his teammates couldn’t control their emotions and burst out in laughter.

Here is the video:

Darren Stevens rescues Kent with a sensational ton

After winning the toss, Glamorgan asked Kent to bat first and bundled them out for 307 runs. 45-year-old Darren Stevens was the main highlight in Kent’s innings. The senior lad went on to score 190 from 145 deliveries rescuing his team, which was struggling for 128/8 at one stage.

Stevens formed a 166-run partnership for the 9th wicket with tailender Miguel Cummins, who contributed with just 1 run. It became the highest first-class partnerships in which one player scored more than 90% of the runs.

Stevens smashed 15 fours and as many sixes to score 150 runs by just boundaries out of his total 190 runs knock.

In reply, Glamorgan have made 55/2 in 19.4 overs before the wet outfield stopped play. Stevens, who shined with the bat, proved his mettle in the bowling as well. The all-rounder dismissed Australian batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne for just 11 runs.

WATCH: Chris Cooke comically bumps into stumps during a County Championship match against Kent

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