Musings from Beyond the Boundary – 11 August

Musings from beyond the boundary – cricketing thoughts through the eyes of Trevor Auger, an Auckland Cricket Society and Supporters Club Member.

Another week, another collection of T20 matches, this time on both sides of the Atlantic. And once again, a number of the New Zealanders in action have attracted attention with their efforts.

In the Kia Super League, Suzie Bates’ Southern Vipers started the week taking on the Loughborough Lightning and for the Vipers Sara McGlashan took only 28 balls to compile her 55, which included three sixes. For the Lightning, Sophie Devine snapped up another couple of wickets, and had the satisfaction of bowling her Wellington Blaze and White Ferns team-mate Amelia Kerr first ball.

For the Western Storm, Rachel Priest continued her destructive partnership at the top of the order with Smriti Mandhana, contributing 37 to their 101 run opening partnership against the Yorkshire Diamonds.

Late in the week Mandhana, the Indian opener, added another 49 and she has now scored 387 runs in the competition, 137 more than the next best, England captain Heather Knight. Two Kiwis, Amy Satterthwaite and Sophie Devine, occupy 3rd and 4th spots, but neither has quite cracked a 200-run aggregate as yet. Devine is also the tournament’s equal top wicket-taker, with 11 victims, underlining the importance of her all-round role in the Loughborough line-up.

Bates has had a relatively quiet start to the competition but she came good later in the week against the Yorkshire Diamonds. After scoring 27 at the top of the order, she helped dismiss the Diamonds 16 runs short of their target, claiming 4/26, and grabbing a run out for good measure. Amelia Kerr helped things along too, with 2/22.

Turning to the Vitality Blast the Kiwi contingent in the Birmingham Bears have had a good couple of games. In the victory against Northamptonshire, Grant Elliott took 3/34 and Jeetan Patel 2/17, while Colin de Grandhomme chimed in with a run out.

Then against Nottinghamshire Patel had 2/28 and Elliott 1/26 before de Grandhomme’s unbeaten 28-ball 49 saw the Bears to victory – there were five sixes in that effort.

Tom Bruce has struggled to get going for Sussex, but there were signs of better things with his 21 against Somerset, while Kieran Noema-Barnett had a good match for Gloucestershire against Middlesex, scoring 31 and then stepping up with 3 wickets for 18.

For Essex, former Auckland Ace Matt Quinn has had another couple of outings, finishing with an expensive 3/61 against Glamorgan. What the bowling figures don’t show is that he dismissed both Glamorgan openers with the total just 8, before suffering in a lower order revival late in the innings.

Continuing their excellent summers as the pick of the New Zealand batsmen in the league were Tom Latham and Corey Anderson. Latham was Player of the Match in scoring 52 from 48 balls against Leicestershire and he followed that with 33 off just 23 balls against Northamptonshire.

Anderson scored 25 off 17 against Hampshire and wrapped up the week with a 31-ball 51 against Surrey.

Latham sits in third spot amongst the competition’s run-scorers with Anderson in tenth place, averaging 45.6 with a top score of only 59. His consistency has been of inestimable value to the team from Taunton.

With the ball Grant Elliott and Ish Sodhi are equal 5th amongst the wicket-takers with 17 apiece, and hard on their heels is Auckland’s Lockie Ferguson with 15 dismissals.

Lots more of the Aces line-up have been in action as the CPL has got under way in the Caribbean. Most of the Kiwi contingent have had a quiet start, but Colin Munro has made an early impact returning to the Trinbago Knight Riders.

In the competition’s opening match, his 68 was instrumental in setting up his side’s 100-run victory against the St Lucia Stars, in spite of a useful 2/30 from Mitch McClenaghan. Then against the Jamaica Tallawahs he added another 61 off 42 balls. He was followed in the order by Brendon McCullum who found form with 56 off 27 deliveries as the Knight Riders compiled an imposing 223/6.

However, after the Tallawahs had slipped to 41/5 in the seventh over (Glenn Phillips and Ross Taylor contributing just 6 and 1 respectively), Andre Russell played a remarkable innings from number seven,  thumping an unbeaten 121 off just 49 balls to see his side home. His innings included the small matter of thirteen sixes, and the Tallawahs won with three balls to spare. Aces Coach Mark O’Donnell is with the Tallawahs and would have been delighted with their start to the 2018 tournament

In the only other game played so far, Shimron Hetmyer’s 79 proved decisive for the Guyana Amazon Warriors over the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, in spite of Chris Gayle’s rambunctious 86 for the losers. This wasn’t such a good match for the New Zealanders involved, with Luke Ronchi falling second ball for 0 at the top of the Warriors’ innings, while Anton Devcich scored nine and struggled with a damp ball in his solitary expensive over.