Yesterday saw two remarkable games of cricket, each featuring a notable performance for a member of a badly beaten team.
INTERNATIONAL: SURYAKUMAR YADAV
In the final match of the T20I series England batted first against India. With Dawid Malan leading the way (77 off 39), England posted a massive total. For a time it looked like India might chase them down, and had Suryakumar Yadav had proper support they probably would have done. As it was, the only person to stay with him for any length of time, Shreyas Iyer, did not score quick enough on his own account. Yadav scored 117 off 55 balls, and India went down by 17 runs. Although I understand why Reece Topley got Player of the Match for his three crucial wickets I personally would have given it to Yadav.
DOMESTIC: GEORGE SCRIMSHAW
In the evening the last of the four Vitality Blast quarter finals took place. Somerset were at home to Derbyshire. Somerset were scoring at ten an over at the end of the 11th over, but then went on a spectacular charge which saw the last nine overs yield over 150 runs. This meant a final total of 265-5, an all time tournament record, for Somerset. Leg spinner Matthew McKiernan earned a place in the record books for the wrong reason – his 4-0-82-0 was the most expensive four overs in T20 history. Yet in amongst the dung heap that was the Derbyshire bowling figures one jewel shone out: George Scrimshaw 4-0-16-2. Given that his team mates collectively had 3-249 from 16 overs, for an ER of 15.56 per over his performance prevented a Somerset tally of over 300. The runs his bowling saved unsurprisingly counted for little in the end – a dispirited Derbyshire sank to 74 all out and defeat by 191 runs, yet another record.
SOME NEWS FROM ABROAD
Sri Lanka is a country in turmoil at the moment. Their male cricketers gave them something to enjoy though – around noon UK time they completed a victory over Australia by an innings and 39 runs. Australia managed 364 batting first, Sri Lanka took 190 run lead, piling up 554 with Dinesh Chandimal scoring an unbeaten double hundred. Australia then mustered a meagre 151 all out in their second innings. Chandimal’s innings notwithstanding, the star of this victory was debutant Prabath Jayasuriya, a left arm orthodox spinner who had taken 6-118 in the first dig when conditions were all in the batters favour. Second time around on a surface now offering assistance to spinners he claimed 6-59. Only three players have ever had better match figures on debut than his – Narendra Hirwani took 16-136 for India v West Indies, Bob Massie took 16-137 for Australia v England, and Fred ‘Nutty’ Martin took 12-102 for England against Australia in 1890. None of those three went on to have long or illustrious careers, but Jayasuriya can look at two who took 11 on debut: Clarrie Grimmett went on to claim 216 test wickets, an all comers record at the time, and Alec Bedser took 236 in his career. At 30 years of age Jayasuriya is three years older than Bedser was and three years younger than Grimmett was when he made his debut.
My usual sign off…