Musings from Beyond the Boundary | 5 August

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Musings from Beyond the Boundary | 5 August

Praneel HiraFeatured, International Cricket

Ish Sodhi may have missed the cut for the Black Caps’ tour of Sri Lanka, but he has made up for it with an excellent few days in the Global T20 Canada tournament, being played in Brampton, on the outskirts of Toronto.

Turning out for the Brampton Wolves he started with a match-winning 5 for 8 off 4 overs against the Montreal Tigers. Montreal, featuring Anton Devcich, was all out for 101, a total Brampton passed in just 6.4 overs.

Next up, Sodhi took 3/32 against the Vancouver Knights, for whom Jimmy Neesham scored 33 from 18 balls. Then he bowled a 4-over spell against Winnipeg Hawks which included a maiden, finishing with 2/16. He rounded off a good fortnight with 1/33 against the Toronto Nationals, in spite of Brendon McCullum’s 22-ball 36 and Mitch McClenaghan’s late unbeaten 19 off 13 balls.

Sodhi has been far and away the most consistent of the New Zealanders in the tournament. Devcich started with an unbeaten 40 for Montreal against the Winnipeg Hawks, and Neesham has strung together some twenties and thirties, but hasn’t seen much success with the ball. The same can be said for McClenaghan and for Otago’s South African born all-rounder Michael Rippon.

Playing for the Vancouver Knights, Rippon went for 52 runs in his spell against Winnipeg, with Chris Lynn and J P Duminy in commanding form in a 143-run third wicket partnership which occupied only 9 overs and two balls.

Scott Kuggeleijn has put in an appearance alongside Devcich in the Montreal Tigers line-up. While he didn’t take a wicket, he and Guyana-born Canadian representative Dillon Heyliger added 19 in 5 balls to take their team to a four-wicket victory over Neesham’s Edmonton Royals with two deliveries to spare.

Captaining the Brampton side has been Colin Munro who made a welcome return to form against Winnipeg with an unbeaten 31-ball 53 which included 4 sixes and 3 fours. He followed that up with 28 off 16 against Toronto.

In England, his Aces team-mate Martin Guptill also cast off the World Cup disappointments with a Man of the Match performance for Worcestershire in the Vitality Blast T20 competition.

He shared a 148-run opening partnership with Riki Wessels, son of the former Australian and South African batsman, and went on to an unbeaten 86 from 49 balls. The innings included 10 sixes and 3 fours and it took the Rapids to a nine-wicket victory over Durham.

Otherwise it has been a quiet fortnight for the few other New Zealanders in the county tournament. Derbyshire’s Logan van Beek and Essex’s Matt Quinn have spent time on the sideline, although Quinn had a three over spell of 0/29 as his team went down to Hampshire.

Playing for Kent, Adam Milne dismissed World Cup winner Tom Curran in finishing with 1/8 from two overs against Surrey in a game reduced to seven overs per side.

His team then went down to Sussex, in a match which featured a number of former Aces. Kent batted first and made 154/8 with Daniel Bell-Drummond scoring 50 and Tymal Mills capturing 3/23. Sussex successfully chased that down, losing only one wicket in the process – another former Ace, Luke Wright, who fell to Milne for 24.

Australia comfortably retained the Women’s Ashes but they did lose the final T20 of the tour. Remarkably, when 20-year old English slow left-armer Sophie Ecclestone trapped Meg Lanning lbw for 2 it was the first time an English bowler had dismissed the Australian in a T20 International since August 2015. She had been run out, after a match-winning 50, in the World T20 semi-final against England in 2016, but it had been three years and eleven months between drinks for the English bowlers.

There were several high profile retirements in the wake of the World Cup, but one which perhaps received less attention than others was that of Ian Gould, who umpired his last international fixture, 13 years after his first and almost 11 years since his elevation to the ICC Elite panel and Test match status.

This was Gould’s fourth World Cup as an umpire, but he also played for England in the 1983 edition, clocking up several of his 18 ODI appearances. His debut had come earlier that year at Brisbane against New Zealand, in that season’s World Series Cup tournament.

In that match he opened the batting with Chris Tavare, and showing how times have changed, Gould took 26 balls over his 15 and his partner used up 60 balls in putting together 24. Fortunately David Gower was at the other end, on the way to the memorable 158 which handed England a comfortable victory.

Gould was one of the most popular umpires on the international circuit, an interesting and friendly personality for whom a smile and a chuckle were never far away. He also has many friends in Auckland, regularly playing club cricket here in the late 1970s and early 1980s and enjoying his return visits when umpiring duties brought him to this part of the world.

In 1979-80 he played three Shell Trophy matches for Auckland and top-scored with 54 in his debut innings against Wellington, before being bowled by Jeremy Coney. Amongst his team-mates that day was Phil Horne, father of current Aces wicketkeeper-batsman Ben.