Category Archive: England National Cricket

England National Cricket Team News

May 27

Eoin Morgan describes England’s win over South Africa as ‘unbelievable’

• ‘Maybe we bluffed them,’ says England captain after two-run victory
• Hosts monitoring fitness of Ben Stokes, who hit a century at the Ageas Bowl

“Unbelievable,” said Eoin Morgan and he does not usually do hyperbole. Teams seldom win when the opposition needs 10 runs from 10 balls with five wickets in hand but that is what his England side managed.

“We decided we needed wickets [before the final over from Mark Wood] and to make them hit the ball in the air,” explained Morgan. “But we didn’t take any wickets and still managed to win. Unbelievable. Wood’s yorkers are usually good at the end but we decided to go with his raw pace. We thought a few bouncers was our best chance of taking those wickets. Maybe we bluffed them.” Morgan’s smile suggested he was not so sure about that.

Related: Mark Wood’s stunning final over secures England ODI win over South Africa

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May 27

Mark Wood’s stunning final over secures England ODI win over South Africa

• England 330-6; South Africa 328-5. England win by two runs
• Wood inflicts damage with the ball, capitalising on Ben Stokes’ 101

A brilliant, modern one-day contest ended with a stunning English victory by two runs. Just seven were required from the last over and David Miller and Chris Morris had already added a quickfire 55. A successful pursuit of 331 was the likely outcome

Mark Wood had the dubious honour and he bowled a final over of rare hostility and composure. He yielded just three runs from his first five balls, most of which were short and fast, and Morris was unable to hit the last one for four.

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May 27

England v South Africa: second ODI – as it happened

6.53pm BST

That was a spectacular heist from England. South Africa were in control almost throughout the run-chase. They needed 10 from 10 balls yet they could only get seven singles. Eoin Morgan controlled the game with persuasive certainty, and Ball and especially Wood produced some hugely effective bowling. The upshot is that England have won the series with a match to spare, against the world’s No1 side. Tremendous stuff, and the manner of this victory bodes well for the Champions Trophy. Thanks for your company, night!

6.50pm BST

Wood has another chat with Morgan, skips in to Morris, who can only slice a single! What a brilliant win for England in a wonderful game!

6.49pm BST

49.5 overs: South Africa 327-5 (need 4 from 1 ball) A dot ball! Morris tries to pull Wood and is beaten for pace. England appeal for caught behind; that’s turned down but they will take the dot ball. South Africa need four off the last ball. They’ve scored only six from the last nine deliveries. Brilliant stuff from England.

6.47pm BST

49.4 overs: South Africa 327-5 (need 4 from 2 balls) Win or lose, this is great captaincy from Morgan. He looks so calm and in control, even though his team clearly aren’t. Wood bowls to Miller, who pulls fiercely but only for a single. Four from two needed!

6.46pm BST

49.3 overs: South Africa 326-5 (need 5 from 3 balls) Morgan is taking his time between deliveries and looks very calm as he moves his field and chats to Wood. Miller is beaten, backing away to a short one. Dot ball.

6.45pm BST

49.2 overs: South Africa 326-5 (need 5 from 4 balls) This would be a handy time for Wood to ram a yorker through Morris. Instead he bowls short and is pulled again for one.

6.44pm BST

49.1 overs: South Africa 325-5 (need 6 from 5 balls) Mark Wood will bowl the last over. Miller pulls the first ball for one.

6.43pm BST

49th over: South Africa 324-5 (target: 331; Miller 69, Morris 34) South Africa are romping to victory now. Miller smokes a length ball from Ball back over his head for six – DON’T BOWL EFFING LENGTH – and hammers a cut for four. Ten from the first two balls of the over leave South Africa needing another ten from the last ten deliveries. They take singles from the first three of those, including a futile, tactical review from England for LBW against Miller. That means they need seven from the last over to win.

6.37pm BST

48th over: South Africa 311-5 (target: 331; Miller 58, Morris 33) Morris is completely beaten for pace and top-edges his pull for four. Wood produces another terrific over, mixing short balls and a wide yorker – but then he bowls a length ball to end the over, and Morris inevitably mauls it over mid-on for six. He is vicious when it comes to punishing good length, and that blow has made South Africa favourites again.

6.30pm BST

47th over: South Africa 298-5 (target: 331; Miller 57, Morris 23) Jake Ball is on, which suggests we won’t see Stokes again. He’s bowled just three overs in the innings, though he is struggling with his knee. Ball’s excellent over goes for nine, including a no-nonsense clump back over the bowler’s head for four by Morris. South Africa need 33 from three overs.

6.25pm BST

46th over: South Africa 289-5 (target: 331; Miller 55, Morris 16) Morris belts Plunkett between mid-off and extra cover for four, an emphatic shot from a poor delivery. He muscles the next ball high over the head of midwicket, where it teases two fielders before landing between them – and then he monsters Plunkett over midwicket for a huge six. Bloody hell, he nailed that. A bad last over for Plunkett – 14 from it – though he has had an excellent day.

6.20pm BST

45th over: South Africa 275-5 (target: 331; Miller 54, Morris 3) Mark Wood returns, and will probably bowl out from this end. It’s a superb over, full of pace and variety, and South Africa can take only four singles.

6.16pm BST

44th over: South Africa 271-5 (target: 331; Miller 52, Morris 1) The new batsman is Chris Morris, who gives it considerable humpty. Consecutive wides from Plunkett leave South Africa needing 60 from the last six overs.

6.12pm BST

I’m not sure whether this is good news for England or not. Behardien mishits Plunkett to mid-off, where Moeen takes a jaunty leaping catch. That was a real struggle for Behardien, 17 from 25 balls with no boundaries.

6.08pm BST

43rd over: South Africa 262-4 (target: 331; Miller 49, Behardien 14) Moeen has switched ends. Morgan really does trust his spinners at key moments; he could easily bowl out with Wood, Plunkett, Stokes and Ball here. It’s a very good over, too, with no boundaries and just six from it.

6.05pm BST

42nd over: South Africa 256-4 (target: 331; Miller 45, Behardien 12) Ball replaces Moeen, not in a nasty way. Miller drags a pull round the corner for four, another clever shot in what is becoming a gem of an innings. South Africa need 75 fae 48 balls.

6.00pm BST

41st over: South Africa 246-4 (target: 331; Miller 39, Behardien 9) Root continues. He is racing through his overs, the old Combined Universities trick from 1989, and it’s working well against Behardien in particular. He has nine from 17; it could be a match-losing innings. Or Miller could play a match-winning one: he reaches a long way to sweep Root hard for four and move to 39 from 27.

Related: Cricket: Rob Smyth: The forgotten story of … the Combined Universities’ 1989 B&H Cup run

5.57pm BST

40th over: South Africa 238-4 (target: 331; Miller 32, Behardien 8) Miller charges Moeen, gets an inside edge and is happy to see it deflect past both the stumps and Jos Buttler. South Africa have no choice to take such risks now – they need 93 from the last 10 overs.

5.54pm BST

39th over: South Africa 231-4 (target: 331; Miller 27, Behardien 5) Miller sweeps Root hard for four, an excellent shot. Behardien is nowhere near as fluent, at least not yet, and England are doing everything they can to keep him on stroke. He has five from 11 balls, Miller 28 from 21.

5.52pm BST

38th over: South Africa 224-4 (target: 331; Miller 23, Behardien 3) Miller is an excellent finisher and the key man for South Africa now, perhaps along with Chris Morris. He shows his class with a stunning six over extra cover off Moeen. What a shot that was! Ten from the over, a good one for South Africa.

5.49pm BST

37th over: South Africa 214-4 (Miller 15, Behardien 1) Joe Root comes on for a bowl. Behardien gets off the mark with a dicey single, one of only three from the over. England will take that all day.

5.47pm BST

36th over: South Africa 211-4 (Miller 13, Behardien 0) That was the last ball over the over. South Africa need 120 from 14 overs.

5.46pm BST

Quinton de Kock falls two short of a hundred! He pushed almost quizzically at a slower delivery from Moeen that turned to take a thin edge before it was smartly caught by Buttler. That’s another extremely timely wicket for England. de Kock played beautifully and deserved a hundred.

5.39pm BST

35th over: South Africa 204-3 (de Kock 97, Miller 6) Miller edges Plunkett fractionally short of Root at slip. Another good over from Plunkett, whose spell has given England a puncher’s chance of winning the match. South Africa need 127 from 90 balls.

5.36pm BST

34th over: South Africa 199-3 (de Kock 96, Miller 3) Moeen returns in place of Jake Ball. De Kock, who was relatively quiet while de Villiers was at the crease, takes charge again with a lofted straight drive for four.

5.32pm BST

33rd over: South Africa 191-3 (de Kock 89, Miller 1) Plunkett is having a fine year in ODI cricket, with 19 wickets at an average of 19. Rory Bremner would surely approve.

5.29pm BST

Brilliant bowling from Liam Plunkett! He rammed in a short ball that followed de Villiers as he tried to limbo dance out of the way, and it kissed the glove on its way through to the keeper Buttler. A huge wicket, splendidly earned by the increasingly impressive Plunkett.

5.25pm BST

32nd over: South Africa 187-2 (de Kock 88, de Villiers 52) A shortish delivery from Ball is flashed majestically over midwicket for four by de Villiers. That’s awesome batting. A single takes him to a marvellously accomplished 48-ball fifty.

5.23pm BST

31st over: South Africa 178-2 (de Kock 86, de Villiers 45) Plunkett on, Wood off. England have not bowled badly today, but this innings has shown the limitations of their attack. They have variety, which hasn’t always been the case with England, but they aren’t top-quality. They may still win this match, mind you; South Africa’s required rate is above eight an over now.

5.18pm BST

30th over: South Africa 174-2 (de Kock 85, de Villiers 42) De Kock misses an almighty yahoo across the line at Ball and is then hit on the glove by a good delivery that follows him. Only two from the over, Ball’s best of the innings. South Africa need 157 from the last 20 overs.

5.15pm BST

29th over: South Africa 172-2 (de Kock 84, de Villiers 41) South Africa are taking very few risks against Wood. They know that if they survive this spell without losing a wicket, they should win the match. Wood’s economy is excellent (7-0-29-0), but that alone won’t win this game.

5.11pm BST

28th over: South Africa 167-2 (de Kock 83, de Villiers 38) Ball replaces Rashid (6-0-41-0) and is flashed through backward point for four by the formidable de Villiers. He has 38 from 35 balls, de Kock 83 from 84. England are in trouble here. South Africa need 164 from 22 overs.

5.06pm BST

27th over: South Africa 160-2 (de Kock 81, de Villiers 33) With the game threatening to slip away, Eoin Morgan turns to Mark Wood. A wicket here would be so timely. He hurries one through de Villiers, who inside-edges an attempted clip for four. That could easily have been out. Another good over from Wood, who has been excellent today.

5.02pm BST

26th over: South Africa 155-2 (de Kock 81, de Villiers 29)

4.59pm BST

25th over: South Africa 147-2 (de Kock 75, de Villiers 27) De Kock swaggers down the track to clip Moeen wide of mid-on for four, a beautiful stroke. He is a serious player, this lad, as England know from the last series between the sides. AB de Villiers then skips back in his crease to flog Moeen over mid-off for four. That unusual and brilliant stroke brings up an extremely good fifty partnership. England need a wicket.

4.55pm BST

24th over: South Africa 136-2 (de Kock 70, de Villiers 21) De Villiers cracks Rashid just short of Morgan at extra cover before chipping delightfully over the same fielder for four. He is playing with ominous purpose.

4.52pm BST

23rd over: South Africa 131-2 (de Kock 70, de Villiers 16) De Kock runs down the track at Moeen, flicking him wide of short fine leg for two. This part have been really busy, with very few dot balls in their burgeoning partnership.

4.49pm BST

22nd over: South Africa 125-2 (de Kock 67, de Villiers 13) Nobody other than Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar have scored more ODI hundreds before their 25th birthday than de Kock, who turns 25 in December. He has 12 and looks good for a 13th here. South Africa are going very well, though a lot depends on this pair and the next man David Miller – after that their batting is dangerous but not especially substantial.

4.47pm BST

21st over: South Africa 119-2 (de Kock 63, de Villiers 12) Moeen, who has had a tremendous series so far, replaces Plunkett. Five runs from a forgettable over.

4.44pm BST

20th over: South Africa 114-2 (de Kock 61, de Villiers 9) De Villiers makes room to steer Rashid for four. South Africa have played him well so far, taking him for seven an over without recourse to the long handle. I would actually make Rashid England’s Test spinner ahead of Moeen. That’s not going to happen, however, and with no subcontinent trips coming up he knows this format is his best chance of glory with England.

4.40pm BST

19th over: South Africa 107-2 (de Kock 59, de Villiers 4) De Kock pushes Plunkett down the ground for four; then he’s beaten by a good off-cutter. South Africa really need a partnership from these two.

“Could we please have a shout-out for my step-grandad Norman who’s at the game today?” says Louis Osman. “He’s 92 and his last live international match was Bradman’s last Test in 1948!”

4.36pm BST

18th over: South Africa 100-2 (de Kock 53, de Villiers 3) A quiet over from Rashid, with South Africa content to milk him for five singles. They need 231 from 32 overs.

4.33pm BST

17th over: South Africa 95-2 (de Kock 50, de Villiers 1) The new batsman is AB de Villiers. While we’re on the subject of good writing (the earlier Cricket Monthly tweet, not the previous, admittedly exhilarating sentence), this is a terrific piece from Pranay Sanklecha – and an extremely worth cause, too. Meanwhile, de Kock brings up an excellent, run-a-ball fifty.

4.27pm BST

This is a really good wicket for England. du Plessis tries to steer Plunkett to third man and gets the thinnest edge through to Buttler.

4.26pm BST

16th over: South Africa 93-1 (de Kock 49, du Plessis 16) Rashid comes into the attack, a big moment in any match. His performance often influences the result: when England win an ODI he averages 26, when they lose he averages 52. His third ball is too short and cuffed over midwicket for four by du Plessis.

4.24pm BST

15th over: South Africa 84-1 (de Kock 47, du Plessis 9) A misfield from Hales at deep backward square leg gives de Kock a boundary off Plunkett. The required rate is above seven now; or rather it was, until de Kock timed another boundary through midwicket. He is some player. It’s not only Frank TJ Mackie’s disciples who respect de Kock. Sorry.

“That England kit is truly ugly,” writes

Jess Cartn-
Dave Adams. “If you’re designing a new kit, how do you get to dark blue with a few pink bits and think to yourself, ‘Yep. Nailed it’? Worst England ODI kit ever. Still, at least the players wearing it are half decent.”

4.20pm BST

14th over: South Africa 76-1 (de Kock 39, du Plessis 9) De Kock crunches Stokes through midwicket for four, a very classy stroke that was edibly placed. Stokes continues to limp through his overs.

Delicious placement,” says Gary Naylor. Meanwhile, this is a lovely read, including a cracking piece from our old friend Lord Selvey.

‘If you give me out lbw, I’ll wrap this bloody bat around your head.’

4.15pm BST

13th over: South Africa 69-1 (de Kock 34, du Plessis 9) Plunkett surprises du Plessis with a good bouncer that beats his hook stroke. Du Plessis surprises nobody by timing Plunkett through mid-on, a lovely stroke that brings the first boundary in five overs.

“Not wishing to kick a man when he is down (as I prefer to do that when he is not looking),” says Ian Copestake, “but Ball seems to have confirmed the suspicions of those who wonder why he is in contention.”

4.11pm BST

12th over: South Africa 62-1 (de Kock 33, du Plessis 3) Stokes pins du Plessis in a place where no man should ever be pinned, box or no box. As ever he is making things happen, even though he is clearly not fully fit. England have put the brakes on here, with 12 runs and a wicket from the last four overs.

Liam Plunkett looks like a Dalston barman.

4.07pm BST

11th over; South Africa 60-1 (de Kock 32, du Plessis 2) Liam Plunkett replaces Mark Wood, who bowled a terrific spell of 5-0-19-0. A quiet over, four singles from it.

“How can the placement of a ball on the cricket field be ‘literally delicious’?” says David Beckett. “Asking for a friend.”

4.04pm BST

10th over; South Africa 56-1 (de Kock 30, du Plessis 0) Stokes is still struggling with that knee, and the physio came on after the wicket. It does seem like a weird, unnecessary risk that England are taking so close to the Champions Trophy.

“Are Jake Ball’s figures the result of some poor bowling or is that he is up against two quality batsmen and is getting a bit of tap?” asks Lee Smith. “Does he need some of Mark Wood’s wild horses?”

4.01pm BST

Ben Stokes, who was dropped first and second ball when he batted, now drops de Kock off his first ball. De Kock hammered a tennis shot back towards Stokes, who stuck out his right hand in his follow through but could not hold on to a very difficult chance. did well to get a hand on it, in truth.

No matter, because Stokes strikes later in the over! Amla chases a wide one and blasts it low towards extra cover, where Morgan takes an excellent low catch.

3.56pm BST

9th over: South Africa 53-0 (de Kock 28, Amla 23) Wood zips another one through de Kock’s vigorous pull stroke. This has been an excellent spell from Wood, and the next ball rams into de Kock’s stomach as he again goes for the pull. Terrific over, that.

3.52pm BST

8th over: South Africa 50-0 (de Kock 27, Amla 22) Amla plays a beautiful stroke, working Ball through midwicket for four. The placement was literally delicious. He survives a run-out referral next ball, with Hales hitting direct from mid-off. Amla judged the run well and was home. A smooth pull for four by de Kock and a suicidal single – Amla would have been miles out had Morgan hit from cover instead of throwing miles wide of the stumps – makes it ten from the over. Ball’s figures are not the kind to boast about: 4-0-32-0.

3.48pm BST

7th over: South Africa 40-0 (de Kock 22, Amla 17) Wood is bowling nicely here. De Kock shows respect for Wood’s pace by aborting a hook stroke. Wood is the wildcard of this attack – both wild and a bit of a card, as students of imaginary horses will know. Five from the over. Both teams will be happy enough with their start, though England would not look a wicket maiden in the mouth.

3.45pm BST

6th over: South Africa 35-0 (de Kock 20, Amla 14) De Kock accepts a bit of width from Ball, muscling a cut stroke for four more. Ball replies with a good bouncer that hurries on to take the top edge of de Kock’s attempted pull stroke before flying over the keeper for another boundary. Both these openers know how to get big hundreds, and will be aiming to bat through for 170-odd not out. They really are a brilliant opening pair; indeed they are about to become the most productive opening partnership in South Africa’s history.

3.40pm BST

5th over: South Africa 24-0 (de Kock 12, Amla 12) A beautiful bouncer from Wood follows Amla and smashes into the grille as he tries to jerk his head out of the way like Robin Smith. He will need treatment, though he seems fine. Such aggressive bowling is good to see, and later in the over he beats de Kock outside off stump. As ODI scores get higher, so wickets become ever more important. Nip it in the bud, like Tony Soprano did with Feech. I suspect that, in the next few years, we will see more close catchers at key points in the innings.

3.35pm BST

4th over: South Africa 22-0 (de Kock 11, Amla 11) Amla keeps up the boundary-an-over pattern, drilling Ball down the ground in the languid style.

“Who’s winning?” asks Gary Naylor. “Given their selection, I suspect the South Africans would have settled for chasing 331 – and I suspect England are pleased with their effort too. I have AB’s boys slight favourites at the moment – especially if the sun stays out.”

3.31pm BST

3rd over: South Africa 16-0 (de Kock 10, Amla 6) Wood is bowling very straight to Amla, having dismissed him LBW on Wednesday. Amla takes a risky single to cover, with Morgan’s throw just missing the stumps. I think Amla would have been home anyway. The next ball is full, wide and driven sweetly to the cover boundary by de Kock. A good start for South Africa, with a boundary in each over.

3.28pm BST

2nd over: South Africa 11-0 (de Kock 6, Amla 5) Jake Ball, in for the injured Woakes, will share the new ball. It’s a glorious afternoon in Hampshire, perfect for batting. Ball is cut for four by de Kock – in the air but safe – and responds with a cracking lifter that beats de Kock’s flash outside off stump. Six from the over.

3.25pm BST

1st over: South Africa 5-0 (de Kock 1, Amla 4) South Africa have probably the best top four in world cricket – de Kock, Amla, du Plessis and de Villiers. The sooner England have them three down, the better. Amla tickles his first ball, from Wood, to fine leg for four. He has, in his usual quiet way, been one of the greatest ODI openers of all time.

3.15pm BST

It took Ben Stokes a long time to work out how to bat in ODI cricket, but he’s sure done so now. When he returned to the side after injury last summer, he averaged 21 after five years in and out of the side. Since then he has an average of 57 and a strike rate of 109. Any player in history would be happy with those numbers.

3.11pm BST

Hello folks. England scored 330 in a one-day international today. Nobody will be holding page 47, never mind the front page; it’s just a normal day at the office for this formidable batting side. South Africa’s strength is also their batting, and they will have legitimate hopes of chasing 331 this afternoon. If they don’t, England will have won the series with a match to spare.

2.58pm BST

A big score for an unbeaten Buttler, a century for an apparently injury-free Stokes: short of some more runs for Roy, England couldn’t have asked for much more. South Africa on the other hand could: their fielding was often slapdash, their catching clumsy, and they end up chasing a target just nine short of the one they missed by a distance at Headingley. Rob Smyth will be with you shortly for the tourists’ response.

2.52pm BST

Now this is impressive:

Eng ODI totals in 2017
Ave total: 301
Ave total : 327 (batg1st)#EngvSA

2.51pm BST

The first ball is straight into the Moeen’s hitting zone, and he barely has to move his feet before heaving it over extra cover. The next is swished over midwicket, bouncing once before reaching the rope. A slower ball though befuddles the batsman, who only gets a single. This brings Buttler onto strike, and he gets a massive top-edge to his attempted pull, De Kock sprinting back but not reaching it before it landed. So Buttler ends the innings on 65* and Moeen will face the final delivery, which he heaves it wildly into the sky, whence it drops into De Kock’s gloves for a last-ball WICKET! Ali c De Kock b Phehlukwayo 33

2.46pm BST

49th over: England 318-5 (Buttler 62, Moeen 24) Rabada’s final over brings perhaps the most eyecatching display of poor fielding from South Africa today, one of many. Moeen top-edges the ball towards Amla at fine leg, and he watches it, takes a few steps back, brings up his hands, and then falls over for no apparent reason, the ball bouncing off a hand, into the ground and over t he rope. Rabada has been the best bowler by a distance here, going for 50 runs despite misfields and somesuch. Moeen is on strike for the final over, which will be bowled by Phehlukwayo.

2.41pm BST

48th over: England 306-5 (Buttler 59, Moeen 16) Morris’s final over sees Buttler reach his half-century with a ramp, Rabada doing very well to stop it reaching the rope. Various cricket writers get quite excited by this development. Then England reach their collective triple-century, Buttler fetching a ball that was bouncing past his right shoulder and convincing it to go through midwicket instead, which really he had no right to do. There are decent patches of blue poking through the grey clouds now, and many spectators have donned sunglasses: it looks like the umpires will be leaving their supplementary second coats in the dressing rooms after lunch.

Of all the exciting talents in this England ODI side Jos Buttler is easily the most extraordinary….back in the runs ahead of Champs Trophy

Statement of intent here from Buttler. He is back and another vital cog clicks into place for England ahead of C Trophy

2.34pm BST

47th over: England 292-5 (Buttler 49, Moeen 13) So Buttler hit one boundary off his first 38 deliveries, and then four from his next five. Phehlukwayo and Pretorius – who only bowled two deliveries at Buttler today – look like South Africa’s middle-overs weak links. Rabada, though, is doing the hard work for them: that’s a fine over, and England add but three to their total.

2.29pm BST

46th over: England 289-5 (Buttler 48, Moeen 12) Phehlukwayo’s first ball is wide, a bit short, and thwumped over a leaping, grasping but distant fielder at point by Moeen. His third is short, straight and slow, and Buttler nails it through midwicket, and the next is wumped off his ankles. All reach the rope, and the best is still to come: Buttler’s reverse-swipe-cum-switch-hit scoop off the fifth, also for four. A wide later, Buttler hooks the final ball for another four, making that a 22-run over. Ouch.

2.24pm BST

45th over: England 267-5 (Buttler 32, Moeen 8) An over of nearlies and not-quites, but five from it. “Simon, You have to go carefully when discussing pies, because, like bread products, taste is so local,” notes John Starbuck. “I recall being very surprised at the quality of pies in Merseyside and South Lancashire (including white puddings), which i thought greatly inferior to those of the East Midlands. I got another shock on moving to Yorkshire and discovered the pork pies made locally, and sold by Morrisons, were labelled Vale of Mowbray. Talk about attempting to pass off! There actually is a place called Mowbray near Bradford, but the pies are rubbish compared to Pork Farms pies and the genuinely Melton Mowbray stuff. This is because the local water used to build the pastry differs so much across the country. The same applies to beer and cheese.” That is veering dangerously close to genuine pastry-connoisseurship.

2.20pm BST

44th over: England 261-5 (Buttler 30, Moeen 4) A fine diving stop from Morris turns a Buttler boundary into a two, and then a reverse sweep gets another fielder flinging himself about. Midway through the over Moeen gets his first taste of action, and he slaps his first ball through the covers for four. “We are getting dangerously near one of the most divisive of topics; whether those awful stews with a pastry top you get in pubs are counted as pies,” writes Dave Brown. “According to psychopaths they are.”

2.15pm BST

Another heave from Stokes, but this time he gets nowhere near enough on it, and Miller at long off takes a straightforward catch, some way from the rope.

2.14pm BST

43rd over: England 251-4 (Stokes 101, Buttler 24) Morris returns, and Stokes welcomes him in brutal style, boshing the first delivery back over his head for six. A dot later he sends the ball to midwicket for a couple, thus completing his century, off 77 deliveries. He’s ridden his luck, edged a few, been dropped a couple of times (and that was just from the first couple of balls he faced), but it’s not so bad for a man with one leg.

@Simon_Burnton Pastry Roof headlined the first Glastonbury didn’t they?

2.08pm BST

42nd over: England 241-4 (Stokes 92, Buttler 23) Stokes is turning up the power now, absolutely smashing the ball over the covers for four. And that’s Pretorius’s 10th over completed, with no maidens, one wicket (and a run out) and 61 runs, which isn’t as bad as it threatened to be from a South African perspective.

2.06pm BST

41st over: England 231-4 (Stokes 85, Buttler 20) Buttler, after scooping the first ball of the over away for four, hits the second straight to De Villiers at cover, who dives, rises and flings at the bowler’s end, hitting the running Buttler in the calf. While he hops about in agony Phehlukwayo bowls again, Stokes slams through midwicket and the fielder at the rope lets it slip through his hands. “I’m not convinced that is a pizza pie; that looks like a quiche to me,” insists Tom Van der Gucht. “Surely a pie, technically speaking, needs a pastry roof? Otherwise it’s slipping into vol-au-vent territory? Not that I have any problems with quiches or val-au-vents – nor sausage rolls and pasties for that matter, as my my waistline silhouette would suggest.” A pie cannot be confused with a vol-au-vent unless it’s been miniaturised, surely?

2.00pm BST

40th over: England 219-4 (Stokes 79, Buttler 14) Pretorius returns, and Stokes leans back and improvises a reverse-thingamy. The ball loops into the air, but just over backward point and away for four. The next he chips towards mid off, again in the air, and he gets away with that one too. Into the final 10 overs, then.

1.55pm BST

39th over: England 210-4 (Stokes 71, Buttler 13) Phehlukwayo bowls and the batsmen take turns mistiming significant swings, and in the end score a couple of singles. Stokes decides it’s his bat’s fault, and calls for a bat doctor to bring out some tape.

1.51pm BST

38th over: England 208-4 (Stokes 70, Buttler 12) Maharaj bowls and England reach 200 with a couple of singles. They keep on going, scoring a three more singles and then a four off the last, bludgeoned down the ground by Stokes.

1.48pm BST

37th over: England 199-4 (Stokes 64, Buttler 9) Just the two singles from the over. If Root was unlucky to get out, Buttler’s just made the fluke score 1-1.

I think the umpire gets “credit” for that review, as his decision was not overturned, but it was certainly an umpiring error @Simon_Burnton

1.46pm BST

It takes an absolute age to get ball tracker going, conjuring images of someone in the basement yanking on a pull cord and the motor refusing to start. Eventually it gets going, and we find out that the ball would have hit leg stump pretty emphatically, but not quite emphatically enough to overturn the on-field decision!

1.44pm BST

South Africa think so, but the umpire did not. Up we go to the TV umpire…

1.41pm BST

36th over: England 197-4 (Stokes 63, Buttler 8) After a Buttler single, Stokes hits successive indentikit boundaries to cow corner, down on one knee and giving it the big heave. Then South Africa switch their fielders around and he has to stop.

1.38pm BST

35th over: England 185-4 (Stokes 53, Buttler 6) Three singles, a two and a wide, and a lot more grouching about the ball, during Rabada’s latest over. Meanwhile, I’ve now looked at a lot of Instagram pictures of pizzas and this is the only one that also looked like a pie:

Homemade pizza pie #Paposlife#homemade #mywifreisscoollikethat#pizzapie#chicagostyle#yummy#pizza

1.33pm BST

34th over: England 179-4 (Stokes 52, Buttler 2) Since he scored three successive half-centuries last year, Buttler’s ODI efforts have brought 25, 31, 10, 11, 14, 0, 7 and 7. If there’s one man England will want to have fun in these last two Champions Trophy warm-ups, it is surely him. Before the over there’s a lengthy delay while the umpires examine the ball and have a chat with AB de Villiers, who doesn’t seem to be liking what he’s hearing, but they eventually play on with the same nugget.

“Further to Tom’s pie confusion, I’ve always wondered why in Somewhere over the Rainbow, listeners are encouraged to ‘weigh a pie’,” muses Andrew Benton. “No details of the type of pie, nor the purpose of this process are given in the lyrics, though it must be related somehow to the blue skies that apparently exist beyond the rainbow. Perhaps pies are easier to weigh on sunny days?”

1.26pm BST

33rd over: England 175-4 (Stokes 50, Buttler 0) After a lengthy drinks break play resumes, Rabada bowls, Stokes edges and the ball flies over Amla at slip and away for four. The next is emphatically middled, boshed back down the ground for four more. A single then takes him to his half-century, and Morgan onto strike.

GOT HIM! @KagisoRabada25 strikes! Morgan misses out on his 50, he’s caught behind on 45. ENG 175/4 (32.5 ovs) #ProteaFire #ENGvSA

1.25pm BST

England lose their captain, who top-edges the ball low into the keeper’s gloves!

1.16pm BST

32nd over: England 166-3 (Morgan 45, Stokes 41) Maharaj is back, and runs trickle in ones and twos. “I bet you can get a pizza pie in Wigan,” says Phil Sawyer. “Any town that invents the pie barm knows a thing or two about pastry products.” That raises the irresistible possibility of a pizza pie sandwich (OBOer drools onto keyboard).

Related: What is a pie barm? In Wigan, it’s a way of life | David Barnett

1.11pm BST

31st over: England 160-3 (Morgan 40, Stokes 40) Rabada’s back. South Africa would have seen the morning rain, the lingering thick cloud and the breeze and been dreaming of wild swing, but they have hardly made the ball deviate at all. Rabada at least gives batsmen some fairly extreme pace to think about. Point of information from Iain Noble: “Americans, especially New Yorkers, commonly refer to a whole pizza, thick, thin or otherwise, as a ‘pie’ to distinguish it from a ‘slice’.”

1.05pm BST

30th over: England 154-3 (Morgan 38, Stokes 37) There have been a lot of not-quite-off-the-middle ball-on-bat noises today, but the way Stokes hits Morris’s first delivery absolutely makes it absolutely sing. Sadly it sings its way straight to a fielder, and he gets but a single. The next ball he faces however gets the full treatment, Stokes swinging straight through it and sending it screaming high into the stands.

1.01pm BST

29th over: England 145-3 (Morgan 37, Stokes 30) Another Morgan four, this one worked fine off his hip.

12.59pm BST

28th over: England 137-3 (Morgan 31, Stokes 29) Morris tries a slower ball, but Morgan spots it, waits and sends it away for four. “I’ve never been too sure of the lyrics of That’s Amore,” writes Tom. “Is it ‘big pizza pie’ or ‘big piece of pie’? I’ve bever had a pizza pie, although it sounds like the sort of thing Shane Warne used to enjoy in the days before Liz Hurley got him counting the calories.” I don’t think a pizza pie refers to an actual pizza in a pastry crust, but to an American-style thick and doughy-style creation. However, I think a pastry pizza pie would go down pretty well it certain parts of the country. After all, you can get occasionally find them battered and fried, which must rank roughly similarly on both nutritional and absolute-gastronomic-crime scales.

12.53pm BST

27th over: England 132-3 (Morgan 26, Stokes 29) There’s a short delay before Phehlukwayo bowls, because one of the umpires is a bit chilly and wants another coat. The batsmen are gradually warming up too: Stokes heaves the ball over midwicket and it lands a couple of feet over the rope for six!

12.49pm BST

26th over: England 124-3 (Morgan 25, Stokes 22) Chris Morris is back, and Morgan licks his lips and swings his bat at a wide one which he misses by some distance. Perhaps frustration at missing out there contributed to the batsmen taking a much-too-sharp single off the next delivery, from which Morgan would have been run out by a distance had Miller hit the stumps from not too far away.

12.43pm BST

25th over: England 120-3 (Morgan 23, Stokes 21) The gloves are off! I mean, De Kock’s glove is literally off, because he’s just been hit in the hand by a Morgan edge and it’s a bit sore. It counts as another drop, but there was no way he was catching that, given how close he is to the batsman and how fast the ball was travelling. “Don’t know about the title,” writes Damian Clarke, “but a line in That’s Amore goes ‘Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay/Like a gay tarantella’. Which on initial reading got me thinking about the sexuality of big hairy spiders.”

12.40pm BST

24th over: England 117-3 (Morgan 22, Stokes 19) An over bookended by boundaries from Stokes. The first is pretty smart, sent high and straight, the second is a pretty severe mishit. Still, they all count.

12.38pm BST

23rd over: England 109-3 (Morgan 22, Stokes 11) Phehlukwayo’s first delivery is send thundering wide of mid-off by Morgan for four, but after that it’s just a couple of singles. England are still pootering rather than full-throttle motoring, but are not far off where they were at this stage in the first ODI (13 runs short, to be precise).

12.34pm BST

22nd over: England 103-3 (Morgan 17, Stokes 10) Pretorius bowls his seventh over, and Morgan has a go at taking out another team-mate, hitting another straight drive that would probably have hit the stumps had the bowler just poked it rather than trying to stop it. It looked like Stokes had learned from Root’s misfortune, though, as he was still very much in home base. De Kock is standing up to the stumps both to Pretorius and Phehlukwayo.

Old fashioned jackrussellesque aggressive wicket-keeping from Quinton de Kock pinning England back in both senses @Simon_Burnton

12.29pm BST

21st over: England 101-3 (Morgan 16, Stokes 9) Andile Phehlukwayo bowls his first over, and it brings five dots and a leg bye.

12.26pm BST

20th over: England 100-3 (Morgan 16, Stokes 9) England reach triple figures in slightly uncertain style, Stokes having a heave at a ball that misses his bat and hits his front pad and his back pad on its way through. Pretorius appeals loudly, but the umpire has heard two sounds and assumes there was therefore some bat involved. England’s resulting run is therefore not a leg bye, but the bat wasn’t involved in any way. Still, ball tracking shows it would have missed the stumps anyway, so no harm.

12.23pm BST

19th over: England 98-3 (Morgan 15, Stokes 8) “It seems Pretorius can take wickets after all,” deduces John Starbuck. “Doesn’t matter how, so long as they go. Incidentally, the Dean Martin song That’s amore has lots of applications: pointing out a firth on the Scottish east coast; sighting a mighty specimen of an eel at the fishmonger; commenting on Bobby Zamora’s efforts at goal-scoring etc. OBO readers can probably think of more.” So you know what John wants from you, and that’s some more, eh?

12.20pm BST

18th over: England 93-3 (Morgan 11, Stokes 7) A relatively drama-free over from Pretorius, with a hint of a half-appeal for lbw against Stokes, which isn’t very confident and results in nothing but a couple of leg byes.

12.17pm BST

17th over: England 88-3 (Morgan 9, Stokes 6) Another drop! Maharaj bowls, Stokes edges it and the ball flies just high of the static hands of Amla at slip! And then he’s dropped again! Another edge, this one popping out of De Kock’s gloves! And then he edges another! This time it goes wide of both keeper and slip and brings a couple of runs. That’s fine bowling, and Stokes is pretty lucky to still be in the middle.

12.13pm BST

16th over: England 82-3 (Morgan 9, Stokes 0) Root was looking in fabulous shape and all set for some proper fun, but alas ‘twas not to be. Ben Stokes comes in and, about 30 seconds later, starts waving at the England balcony. Happily it’s not his knee that’s troubling him, it’s his gloves. He needs a new one already. What could possibly have gone wrong with his first pair so quickly?

Pretorious’ delivery to dismiss Hales was his second slowest of the day (119.77kph) but bounced more than any other (103cm). #EngvSA

12.09pm BST

Morgan drives straight, Pretorius gets the finest fingertip on the ball and it clatters into the stumps at the bowler’s end with Root out of his crease and thus done for! That is just rum bad luck and should be excluded from his averages for the sake of fairness.

12.05pm BST

15th over: England 78-2 (Root 38, Morgan 6) In which Root paddles Maharaj’s first delivery gently over his shoulder for a single, with the fielder at backward square leg not far away from getting round to catch it. Some more singles follow. “In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking,” notes Phil Sawyer. “Now, apparently, shoehorning references to old crooners into the OBO is acceptable. Anything goes, I guess. Incidentally 33-1 after nine overs? It’s just like watching, erm, England. Old England, obviously. Not All New All Different Exciting Brand Of Cricket England. I’m feeling all nostalgic.”

12.03pm BST

14th over: England 74-2 (Root 36, Morgan 4) Morgan takes a couple of deliveries to size up the sitguation, and then goes down on one knee to send the ball skimming through the covers for four, a lovely shot.

11.59am BST

Hales doesn’t make much use of his second chance, swiftly top-edging the ball into the keeper’s gloves.

11.58am BST

13th over: England 69-1 (Hales 24, Root 35) Dropped! That is totally bizarre! Hales hits high but not quite hard enough, and it drops towards Rabada at long on. He raises his hands to collect the ball and … it flies right between them! And over the rope for six! That’s just bizarre catchmanship.

11.55am BST

12th over: England 58-1 (Hales 18, Root 30) De Kock comes up to the stumps, and Hales immediately pops the ball over his head and gets four for his pains. Another follows a couple of balls later, through midwicket this time. Pretorius is like a walking run-buffet here.

11.51am BST

11th over: England 47-1 (Hales 16, Root 21) And another change, Keshav Maharaj slowing things down a bit. Englad take a few singles, hindered mainly because their batsmen are still salivating wildly and licking their lips at the thought of some more Pretorius bowling to tuck into.

SA look a bit short of bowling options. Pretorius might have to bowl 10 overs and he doesn’t look good enough for that @Simon_Burnton

11.48am BST

10th over: England 43-1 (Hales 14, Root 19) A bowling change, with Dwaine Pretorius having a go, but the way Root reacts is as if they have just had “HIT ME” stitched into the ball. He goes after the bowler’s second delivery, dancing down the pitch and driving straight and low for four, and then smashes through midwicket for four more.

England have decided that Dwaine Pretorious can’t bowl – I suspect that they’re right.

11.43am BST

9th over: England 33-1 (Hales 13, Root 10) Root goes after a fast, wide delivery and misses it completely, earning a chorus of “oooh”s from the assembled masses. Rabada’s last delivery is short but this one Root does pick out – but then so is the fielder at deep midwicket, unfortunately.

11.38am BST

8th over: England 33-1 (Hales 13, Root 10) No fireworks as of yet but there have been a couple of sparklers, in the shape of Rabada’s wicket-smacking yorker and Hales’s brawny heave. But England look ready now to light the touchpaper, Hales bashing towards point only for a diving fielder to stop well, and Root hooking a gentle delivery from Morris fine for four.

11.33am BST

7th over: England 25-1 (Hales 12, Root 3) Good pace variation from Rabada, most of whose deliveries are in the high 80something mph, but who then sends one down at 75mph, which Hales anticipates, waits for and tickles away for a couple.

11.30am BST

6th over: England 20-1 (Hales 9, Root 1) It may have taken 18 deliveries for England to score a single, but South Africa then bowled 19 deliveries before they scored anything else. That includes a couple of bonus deliveries, because the last couple of overs have both featured an overenthusiastic bumper, both signalled wide. Then from the last ball of Morris’s over Hales takes a big step to his left and heaves the ball over the covers from chest high for four.

11.23am BST

5th over: England 13-1 (Hales 4, Root 0) The speed gun tells us that the wicket-taking delivery was going at 93mph, which goes some way to excusing Roy’s complete failure to make contact on his attempted leg-side flick. Three of Roy’s last four ODI innings have ended for less than 10 runs now, which was true of one of the previous 15.

BOWLED HIM! What a beauty of a delivery by @KagisoRabada25 to get rid of Roy for 8. ENG 12/1 (4.1 ovs). #ProteaFire #ENGvSA

11.19am BST

That’s really fast and full from Rabada, and Roy falls in single figures again!

11.17am BST

4th over: England 12-0 (Roy 8, Hales 4) Roy tries to work the ball to mid on but fluffs the shot and edges, the ball flying at lovely catching height just wide of backward point. Another one-run over.

11.13am BST

3rd over: England 11-0 (Roy 7, Hales 4) Rabada bounces one towards Roy’s head at 93mph, his fastest delivery of the day so far, and the batsman has a swing at it, edges it into his arm, and thence into the ground. Roy seems unbothered, but I’m scared for him. “AB knows South Africa doesn’t chase good, he just wants to prove a point, instead of putting the team first,” writes Werner Venter. “SA much better without him!” They have, however, won seven of their last nine games when batting second, against Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand (some of those games without AB, but still). Just a single off the over.

England’s first single from their 18th delivery @Simon_Burnton

11.07am BST

2nd over: England 10-0 (Roy 6, Hales 4) Chris Morris bowls, and Hales almost exactly replicates Roy’s lovely first-over boundary through midwicket, with identiacl aresults.

11.04am BST

1st over: England 6-0 (Roy 6, Hales 0) After a few dots Roy works the ball square off his hip and gets a couple and, emboldened, works the next through midwicket for four. No immediate movement but the last bounces sharply over Roy’s right shoulder and is left well alone.

10.59am BST

Kagiso Rabada has the ball. This is happening.

10.58am BST

Jerusalem is being sung, and the players are coming out, to what sounds on TV like wildly enthusiastic applause.

10.55am BST

And there’s also this:

England have only won one of their last six ODIs at the Ageas (v Pak last year). Will have worse of conditions after losing toss #EngvSA

10.54am BST

This isn’t promising. Or it is promising, I suppose, depending.

Since the 2015 World Cup South Africa have won six of their seven matches when they have chosen to field first. #EngvSA

10.50am BST

“Hope the weather is fine with you all,” writes Chris Drew. It’s certainly fine with me, thanks, despite some overnight rain. Anyway, continue. “It’s lovely here in Normandy. And you know that when the world seems to shine, like you’ve had too much wine, that’s amore! And don’t we all love cricket?” Hmmm, I’m not sure how the Dean Martinesque crooning came into it, but in the circumstances I’m willing to overlook it.

10.39am BST

So South Africa bring in Dwayne Pretorius, Farhaan Berhardien and Keshav Maharaj, the latter making his ODI debut.

10.37am BST

Here’s South Arica’s team sheet, courtesy of the TMS Twitter people.

Three changes for South Africa. #ENGvSA #bbccricket

10.34am BST

AB is “expecting a big improvement from all of us today”. Eoin Morgan says he too would have bowled first, but isn’t really bothered. Chris Woakes is out with a minor injury, and Jake Ball comes in.

We have lost the toss and will bat first.

Here is our team for today’s match #ENGvSA

10.32am BST

“The ball should be swinging a bit,” says AB. “Let’s hope we get a few wickets early on.”

10.31am BST

Live TV coverage has just started, and it’s cloudy and a bit breezy. A toss worth winning, then.

Cloudy at the Rose Bowl and not as warm as it might be. It should swing plenty. 50-5 at Midday is not out of the question @Simon_Burnton

10.13am BST

Hello world!

Welcome to The Further Adventures of Englishmen and South Africans Attempting to Hit Themselves Into Form by Next Week Sometime. The first attempt did the trick for some of them, and was for the most part rather stirring, though it fizzled out a bit towards the end. Surely the very worst case scenario when it comes to today’s action is that it will be broadly similar. We should be getting a 7/10 for sporting fun at the very minimum, which is not something that can be said with any great confidence of, say, the Cup final (just as well as cricket-watchers are likely to miss some or all of it).

2.27pm BST

Simon will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s our news-story-slash-preview with some glad tidings concerning Ben Stokes’ left knee:

Ben Stokes will be fit to play against South Africa in the second ODI in Southampton on Saturday. It is an indication of Stokes’ status that a gaggle of newshounds kept a constant eye on him throughout a long training session, in which he did little bowling. At one point Stokes was batting right-handed and missing the ball on purpose in order to give Jos Buttler some wicketkeeping practice and we were all dutifully transfixed.

Stokes is a totemic figure and England want him involved whenever possible. On Thursday night he had a scan which did not reveal any serious damage. On Friday morning with his knee carefully bandaged he spent a long time batting. Then we were informed he was fit, able to bowl and playing. So England have resisted the temptation to wrap him in cotton wool even though the Champions Trophy is just around the corner. The medics must be confident that he is fine and there is no doubt Stokes is eager for the fray.

Related: Ben Stokes fit to play for England in second ODI against South Africa

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May 26

Ben Stokes fit to play for England in second ODI against South Africa

• All-rounder passed fit after England training session
• Ben Stokes had restricted role in Headingley win over South Africa

Ben Stokes will be fit to play against South Africa in the second ODI in Southampton on Saturday. It is an indication of Stokes’ status that a gaggle of newshounds kept a constant eye on him throughout a long training session, in which he did little bowling. At one point Stokes was batting right-handed and missing the ball on purpose in order to give Jos Buttler some wicketkeeping practice and we were all dutifully transfixed.

Stokes is a totemic figure and England want him involved whenever possible. On Thursday night he had a scan which did not reveal any serious damage. On Friday morning with his knee carefully bandaged he spent a long time batting. Then we were informed he was fit, able to bowl and playing. So England have resisted the temptation to wrap him in cotton wool even though the Champions Trophy is just around the corner. The medics must be confident that he is fine and there is no doubt Stokes is eager for the fray.

Related: FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

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May 25

Ben Stokes set for scan after injury scare against South Africa

• All-rounder injured left knee in victory against South Africa
• India captain Virat Kohli identifies England as Champions Trophy threat

Ben Stokes has given England an injury scare with less than a week to go until the Champions Trophy, and is due to have a scan on his left knee on Thursday night.

The all-rounder was injured during Wednesday’s ODI win over South Africa and though he returned to the field, he did not bowl again and appeared uncomfortable at the conclusion.

Related: Doug Bracewell blames killing of pet cockatoo by dogs for drink-driving

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May 24

Eoin Morgan century sets up winning start for England against South Africa

First ODI: England 339-6; South Africa 267. England win by 72 runs
• South Africa undone by soft dismissals after Morgan and Moeen sparkle

If this is a taste of things to come over the next month we are in for a treat. A sunlit Leeds evening, which rendered the floodlights redundant until 8.30pm, was decorated by a one-day international that had most of the components of a cracker although a late flurry of wickets denied us the luxury of one vital ingredient, a thrilling finish.

In the end England, having chalked up 339 for six, won by 72 runs, a surprisingly comfortable margin given the firepower in the South Africa side. The pursuit of 340 was always going to be tricky for the visitors but it was only out of the question in the final half hour.

Related: England v South Africa: first ODI – as it happened

Related: Steve Smith allays fears of Ashes boycott but backs union against board

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May 24

State-school cricketers can rise to the top | Letters

To make it into the England team one doesn’t have to go to private school or come from South Africa, write Mike Stein and Steve Smart

Matthew Engel’s insightful historical analysis of cricket in post-apartheid South Africa rightly highlights that social class, not race, “is the main determinant of opportunity” and that South Africa “hardly provides fewer chances than exist in England” (35 years since the rebel tour. What has changed?, 20 May).

However, in identifying the main routes into the English team, including private education and family connections, he fails to recognise the positive contribution of league cricket. For example, virtually every Yorkshire player, including those who have made the Test side, from Len Hutton to Adil Rashid, has appeared for a league team. And league cricket has also been at the vanguard of women’s and disability cricket.

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May 24

Steve Smith allays fears of Ashes boycott but backs union against board

• Australia captain says: ‘we certainly want to be playing in the Ashes’
• Australian Cricketers Association negotiations currently deadlocked

The Australia captain Steve Smith has stressed he and his teammates are “sticking really strongly together” in the dispute between their board, Cricket Australia, and their union, the Australian Cricketers Association.

After a training session at Lord’s, where his team are preparing for their first Champions Trophy warm-up game against Sri Lanka at the Oval this Friday, Smith spoke publicly for the first time to say that the Australia players are “backing what the ACA is doing back home”. But he downplayed David Warner’s suggestion that there could be a strike unless CA agree to meet some of the ACA’s demands.

Related: Picket fences or picket lines: is an Ashes strike really likely to happen? | Sam Perry

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May 24

England beat South Africa by 72 runs in first ODI – as it happened

England win the first ODI by 72 runs after Morgan’s 107 and Woakes’ four wickets prove too much for the Proteas

9.58pm BST

Related: Eoin Morgan century sets up winning start for England against South Africa

9.53pm BST

We’re back again on Saturday. Join us then as England and South Africa ring the changes ahead of the Champs Trophy. Bye!

9.44pm BST

“If he scored no runs and took no wickets, I’d still pick him again. I have that much faith in him!” A strong statement from Eoin Morgan on Moeen Ali, who many felt should have missed out for Jonny Bairstow. Ali’s 77 from 51 balls gave Morgan support and allowed England to kick on to that 30 or 40 more that de Villiers thought was crucial. The two for 50 sealed the man-of-the-match cheque.

England’s 72 run win is their second biggest win in terms of runs v SA & SA’s second biggest run defeat since the 2015 World Cup. #EngvSA

9.41pm BST

“I was very excited at that time,” says AB de Villiers when South Africa had dismissed Joe Buttler. This was at the beginning of the 25th over, with England 198-5, having been 101-1. “I think they got about 30 or 40 too many.”

9.35pm BST

MOM Speculation time. Probably Eoin Morgan? It’s already 9:30pm so it’ll be one less interview to do. Shame he isn’t South Africa skipper, too. Moeen Ali (77* & 2-50) and Chris Woakes the rivals

Woakes 8-0-38-4

Took 3-20 off his 20 back-of-a-length deliveries
0-8 from 18 good-length balls#ENGvSA

9.29pm BST

WICKET! Rabada c Buttler b Woakes (South Africa 267 all out)

Wider, quicker and Rabada chases a delivery that he toes through to Buttler. Good catch, stretching to his left. Woakes has four and England have first blood!

9.27pm BST

“A good old-fashioned hack” says Bumble. That’s exactly what it was. Parnell pulls high and too straight allowing Mark Wood at mid off to get under it.

9.22pm BST

44th over: South Africa 266-8 (Parnell 19, Rabada 18) Oooo Rabada starts with a swipe through midwicket for four. Then finishes with a six over long off! What a strike.

9.19pm BST

43rd over: South Africa 253-8 (Parnell 18, Rabada 6) Plunkett’s back on to bowl his remaining two overs. He’s been the best on show, in my opinion. Found movement off the pitch when others couldn’t. Just as I finish typing that, Parnell plants his front foot and biffs over mid off (up in the circle), for four.

9.14pm BST

42nd over: South Africa 245-8 (Parnell 11, Rabada 5) Ali darts, Parnell reverse sweeps. Four to the score. Singles see out the over, including a lovely looking chip, right over Moeen Ali.

9.11pm BST

41st over: South Africa 236-8 (Parnell 4, Rabada 3) Joe Root comes into the attack to some underwhelming cheers. Think the Western Terrace are on the comedown. They may have perked up had Parnell hit his drive a bit harder and found Plunkett on the full, but it wasn’t to be. Neat over to start from Rooteh.

9.08pm BST

40th over: South Africa 232-8 (Parnell 2, Rabada 1) Ermmm.. Ben Stokes has dropped a catch. An easy one, too. Moeen Ali pitches one above the eyeline of Parnell who clears the front leg and hammers down the ground. Stokes is there, rushing, but is done by the flight and ends up chesting it down. Lovely touch for a big-ish man.

9.06pm BST

39th over: South Africa 230-8 (Parnell 1) Phehlukwayo survives an LBW appeal – umpire and the subsequent video assistance has it pitching outside leg – before sweeping Rashid hard for four. Tries to repeat the trick again and, you know what happens next… Rashid finishes with 2-69 from his 10.

9.05pm BST

Bowled around his legs, off his pads. Been that sort of day for South Africa…

9.00pm BST

38th over: South Africa 225-7 (Phehlukwayo 0, Parnell 1)As soon as de Villiers strikes that, he knows he’s not got long left. Nor have South Africa.

8.58pm BST

As I was saying… bit of flight from Moeen and, well, I suppose de Villiers has to try and go for it himself. Not a clean contact and Plunkett steadies himself at square leg to take a regulation catch.

8.56pm BST

37th over: South Africa 224-6 (de Villiers 45, Parnell 0) OK, so de Villiers has flicked a switch and I think we might be approaching that point in time when he just decides he’s going to win this. All hands, no feet, and Woakes is pumped to wide mid on for four. The bowler corrects his line but de Villiers skips down and gives it a slap shot through extra cover!

8.53pm BST

36th over: South Africa 216-6 (de Villiers 37, Parnell 0) Shambolic shots at one end and a confused AB de Villiers at the other. Wayne Parnell, who impressed with bat and ball for Kent earlier this season, is in for his audition of AB’s Next Top Partner.

8.50pm BST

Typically, Moeen Ali gets Chris Morris out on the reverse sweep, as he has done many times in the past*.

*There’s no real evidence for this, but it is scientific fact.

8.48pm BST

35th over: South Africa 212-5 (de Villiers 37, Morris 1) Not a bad comeback over from Woakes. Ideal, really – grubbiest ball of the lot picks up a scalp. Chris Morris joins AB de Villiers, needing to start strongly like a car full of chips.

8.42pm BST

Haha again! A loosener from Woakes is heaved to square leg and, once again, straight to the only fielder in the deep.

8.40pm BST

34th over: South Africa 208-4 (de Villiers 34, Miller 11) Bit of bite for Moeen means Miller can’t, or won’t, skip down to him. Two from the over.

“Gosh, it’s a small world. My knee has been playing up today too,” writes Damian Clarke. “Although it has been my right knee, so maybe the world is not quite that small.” I went for a run today so both of my knees ache. Does this count as an epidemic?

8.37pm BST

33rd over: South Africa 206-4 (de Villiers 33, Miller 10) And just like that, AB de Villiers is into the thirties. I didn’t notice and I’ve been glued. Flight outside off and de Villiers can get power Rashid, classily, through extra cover for four. Millers signs off the over with a six down the ground which has a spectator hurling himself into the black tarpaulin for the catch. Shelled, in emphatic fashion…

8.33pm BST

32nd over: South Africa 192-4 (de Villiers 27, Miller 2) Cheeky little reverse, dab-sweep from AB gets him three (Rashid hurls himself into the sponge to save the extra one). Like Rash, Moeen decides to finish with a long hop. However, AB doesn’t make JP’s mistake and finds four into midwicket. The asking rate is over eight, but de Villiers and go big and David Millers is, well….

David Miller in with SA 182/4. In a matter of minutes, you will hear him described thus: “Such a good, clean striker of a cricket ball.”

8.29pm BST

31st over: South Africa 182-4 (de Villiers 19) “I too have had a sore left knee all day,” writes Phil Sawyer,” empathising with Stokes’ plight. “Sadly, England don’t miss my batting and bowling skills half as much. And yes, I’m using the word ‘skills’ there in its very loosest possible sense.” Rashid’s “skills” did for Duminy. There’s always a time and a place for “skills”.

8.27pm BST

Oh, JP. Rashid drags one short – really short – and Duminy’s eyes light up. Head to the skies, he slaps firmly across the line… and finds the only man out on the leg side!

8.24pm BST

30th over: South Africa 176-3 (de Villiers 17, Duminy 11) Five from the over mean it’s a fairly comfortable T20 chase of 164. Even with the absence of Stokes, England do of course have five who can bowl their straight 10. Joe Root might be able to burgle a couple of over, too.

8.20pm BST

29th over: South Africa 171-3 (de Villiers 14, Duminy 9) Rashid returns and it’s loose. Wide and down the legside to start. AB could let it go but he decides to put a bit on it for four in front of fine leg. Duminy then reads the googly, smoking it over cover. 10 off the over.

8.18pm BST

28th over: South Africa 161-3 (de Villiers 9, Duminy 4) Really seeing the value of Plunkett, here. Nowt in the pitch, but a combination of cross seam deliveries and Nordic shoulders is extracting a little extra from the ether. Duminy defends onto his foot and nearly pops a catch in the air. That kind of stuff

8.13pm BST

27th over: South Africa 159-3 (de Villiers 9, Duminy 2) Another expensive over from Mark Wood, albeit through searching for something extra rather than, say, being a bit rubbish. An attempted yorker is bunted down the ground by AB de Villiers. The Wood shuffle – running in straight then jumping wide of the crease – is picked off for four through wide midwicket.

8.09pm BST

26th over: South Africa 151-3 (de Villiers 1, Duminy 2) Weird one, that. The shot, that is. Plunkett’s work has probably deserved one in the wicket column. Have a look yourselves:

WICKET! @Liam628 gets Du Plessis caught behind for 67!

SA 149-2 #ENGvSA


8.06pm BST

Two in two overs! Faf tries to work the ball on the leg side when Plunkett’s putting it outside off with a bit of shape away from the right-hander. A slight leading edge through to Buttler and that’s two new batsmen at the crease…

8.04pm BST

25th over: South Africa 145-2 (du Plessis 64, de Villiers 0) Good news: Amla’s out. Bad news: AB’s in.

8.01pm BST

From nowhere! Mark Wood with the breakthrough: full and a bit of movement off the surface traps Amla in front. The umpire originally says not out but Morgan reviews and the digital stumps are disturbed.

7.57pm BST

24th over: South Africa 143-1 (Amla 72, du Plessis 63) Five runs off the over from Moeen Ali – just about his economy rate for the last couple of years – but it’s looking quite easy for South Africa. They’re able to play him off the pitch and trust the bounce enough to play square.

7.53pm BST

23rd over: South Africa 128-1 (Amla 68, du Plessis 62) A graphic comes up showing that Faf du Plessis is averaging over 80 in ODIs this year, just as England fans start to fret. Morgan turns to Mark Wood for a bit of incision, but Faf’s fours through square leg and a skipped slash through third man bring up the hundred partnership from 98 deliveries with Amla. Not great when you’ve just lost a bowler and one of your openers goes for 12…

7.50pm BST

Latest news on Ben Stokes

ECB confirm Stokes off the field with a sore left knee

7.49pm BST

22nd over: South Africa 126-1 (Amla 67, du Plessis 51) Moeen Ali takes over from the departed Stokes. Bit of loop, mixed in with a few flatter deliveries keeps both Amla and Faf watchful. Still, a single brings up Faf’s 27th ODI fifty.

7.46pm BST

21st over: South Africa 122-1 (Amla 65, Faf 49) That’s eight overs to find for Morgan. Luckily for him, Rashid is looking like he could give him a neat 10. However, without having to risk much, Faf and Hash get seven from this over.

7.43pm BST

20th over: South Africa 115-1 (Amla 60, du Plessis 47) Hmmmm… Stokes continues and it’s not great. The over itself is fine, apart from a short ball that Faf dispenses to deep midwicket for four. The pace is a good few MPH short and, at the end of the over, Stokes trudges off the field. Jonny Bairstow on as a sub.

7.38pm BST

19th over: South Africa 106-1 (Amla 57, du Plessis 41) Stokes is out on the boundary chatting to the England team doctor, stretching out his left leg. He’s popped a couple of pills so should be fine. Or distracted. An edge from du Plessis to Rashid falls just short of Joe Root at first slip.

7.32pm BST

18th over: South Africa 102-1 (Amla 55, du Plessis 39) Ah, here we are. The Million Dollar man Ben Stokes. Looks like a regulation field for him as he ushers third man back. That man is immediately in the game as a skewed edge – deliberate, to be fair – takes us to drinks.

PS: Ben Stokes is grimacing a bit here. Will keep a keen eye on any physio intervention in this mini interval.

7.30pm BST

7.28pm BST

17th over: South Africa 97-1 (Amla 53, du Plessis 36) Ooooo a whiff for England as Rashid gets Faf du Plessis to offer a leading edge… but through cover for four! Ah well…

7.25pm BST

16th over: South Africa 89-1 (Amla 52, du Plessis 31) Too straight from Plunkett and Amla steps across to tickle one down to fine leg for four to take him to his half-century. 49 deliveries for it, eight fours in there.

7.21pm BST

15th over: South Africa 82-1 (Amla 47, du Plessis 29) Four from the over, all in singles, as the run rate sticks about five and the required rate nips above seven…

7.18pm BST

14th over: South Africa (Amla 45, du Plessis 27) While Faf’s not picking Rashid, Amla seems to be having trouble picking up length from Plunkett. Extra height a factor? Mars’ two moons out of sync?

7.15pm BST

13th over: South Africa 74-1 (Amla 44, du Plessis 25) Excellent from Rashid as he does a number on du Plessis with the last five. Atherton reckons Faf is not picking him, retracting cut shots and not leaving the crease with any real purpose.

7.12pm BST

12th over: South Africa 73-1 (Amla 43, du Plessis 25) Proper Buddy Movie bowling partnership with Rashid and Plunkett. Twins is the one that springs to mind. Plunkett’s hitting the bat hard but looks to be waiting for one of these two to try and take him on.

7.08pm BST

11th over: South Africa 69-1 (Amla 41, du Plessis 23) Proper leggie’s over that, as Adil Rashid comes on immediately after Power Play. Starts beating the outside edge, drops one short that Amla punishes through square leg, then does him with the googly for an inside edge away to the fine leg fence. Ten off the over and yet the England fielders and fans “ oooo” then applaud as Rash finishes up. Imagine not loving leg spin?

7.06pm BST

WICKET! @chriswoakes gets de Kock, good catch @josbuttler

SA 33-1 #ENGvSA

More live clips:

7.04pm BST

10th over: South Africa 59-1 (Amla 32, du Plessis 22) Good one to follow from Plunkett. Sends a couple down at around 85mph, hitting the splice and stunning Faf’s palms. Just three from it.

7.02pm BST

9th over: South Africa 56-1 (Amla 30, du Plessis 21) Eeesh. Think I made a bit much of Woakes’ frugality. Mother Cricket’s given a bit back. Three wide deliveries are sent to midwicket, cover and point. Woakes scorned, Faf motoring…

6.59pm BST

8th over: South Africa 42-1 (Amla 30, du Plessis 7) Change in the bowling: North East quick for North East quick as Wood makes way for Liam Plunkett. Immediately, Faf whips him behind square but good work from Moeen saves two. He’s got a lot on his plate at the moment, does Mo. Can’t rest on his laurels after a handy 77* and the 10 overs he’s about to send down…

@MichaelVaughan Yes you did. Which is why you deleted your tweet !

6.52pm BST

7th over: South Africa 38-1 (Amla 29, du Plessis 4) A wicket to start and then a first boundary off his bowling to end Woakes’ fourth over. Ah well. Faf du Plessis, number three, hairless, finds a gap through cover point to get off the mark with a four.

6.50pm BST

Well he went for it, did de Kock. Woakes, though, wasn’t moving from his length. High and away to fine leg the ball goes… watch and taken well but Jos Buttler with the mitts.

6.47pm BST

6th over: South Africa 33-0 (Amla 28, De Kock 5) Amla doesn’t mind a bit of pace on the ball, it seems. Wood goes through midwicket twice and finishes in the covers (steady).

6.43pm BST

5th over: South Africa 21-0 (Amla 16, De Kock 5) Woakes yet to concede a boundary, or a two as it happens. Just managing to sustain a length that’s not conducive to driving. Get the feeling that soon de Kock is going to go: “hello, my name’s Quinton de Kock, and this is a ping over square leg for six”.

6.37pm BST

4th over: South Africa 18-0 (Amla 14, De Kock 4) Oh Mark. Full on the pads so Amla cocks the wrists and pulls the trigger through midwicket. Bread and butter. Wood moves to the posh side and Amla does the same through cover.

6.34pm BST

3rd over: South Africa 9-0 (Amla 5, De Kock 4) Quality operator is Chris Woakes, with the 1980s New York journalist hairdo to boot. Fair play to Mr and Mrs Woakes for rearing such an upstanding bloke. If I ever have kids, I might send them off to the Woakeses.

6.31pm BST

2nd over: South Africa 7-0 (Amla 4, De Kock 3) No boundary just yet, but a three and two get the Proteas into a groove. Mark Wood’s pace allows de Kock to punt in front of square for that three.

Bit of a half-volley, but Adrian Shankar’s Wikipedia is great, not least for the bits that are true:

6.25pm BST

1st over: South Africa 1-0 (Amla 1, De Kock 0) Just one from the over but only thanks to an outstanding bit of cricket from Eoin Morgan. Chris Woakes, opening up, puts one in Quinton de Kock’s half, which is enough for him to punch on the up through cover. But Morgan puts in the Superman dive and grabs the ball cleanly in his left hand. So continues a grand 2017…

England’s last 10 totals batting first in ODIs: 339, 328, 328, 296, 321, 350, 309, 302, 444, 324.

Average: 334#Transformation #ENGvRSA

6.18pm BST

Evening all. What a delight/surprise that was. Didn’t think England would get anywhere near this score at 198-5 but Eoin Morgan continued to defy those who reckon he’s passed it (that was his third hundred of 2017, as it happens). Let’s see if the bowling’s up to scratch. It’s been the weakest suit in this “revolutionary” white ball period.

“I wanted to draw your attention to this gem on Faf Du Plessis’s Wikipedia entry,” writes George Potter on email. This is very much up my street.

5.50pm BST

50th over: England 339-6 (Ali 77, Woakes 6) The last over, bowled by Morris, goes for 13 – with Moeen swiping the last ball of the innings into the crowd! He has played a sensational innings of 77 not out from 51 balls, with five sixes. He made 65 from his last 31 deliveries, and as a result South Africa have a tricky target of 340 to chase. Vish will be talk you through their labours. Thanks for your company, bye!

5.44pm BST

49th over: England 326-6 (Ali 68, Woakes 2) With so little time left in the innings, I’d have been tempted to promote the fast-scoring Rashid or Plunkett above Woakes. No matter. Woakes gets Moeen back on strike and he pulls Rabada round the corner for four more. This is now his highest score batting down the order in ODIs; his centuries came while opening.

5.40pm BST

48th over: England 319-6 (Ali 63, Woakes 0) Moeen edges a big yahoo for four off Morris, to spoil an otherwise superb over for South Africa. Moeen has made 51 from his last 25 balls.

5.39pm BST

Morgan’s tremendous innings ends with a mishit to Duminy at mid-off. He played beautifully, setting the tone for the series and the Champions Trophy with a punishing 107 from 93 balls.

5.36pm BST

47th over: England 311-5 (Morgan 106, Ali 57) Eoin Morgan reaches a marvellous century in style, hooking Rabada for his fifth six. He’s faced just 90 deliveries. He is in some form at the moment. That’s his third ODI hundred in 2017; he made only four in six years before that. He doesn’t always get the respect or love he deserves in this country, but he’ll bloody well get it in my house! We affectionately call him the pyjama trailblazer.

5.29pm BST

46th over: England 298-5 (Morgan 95, Ali 56) Morgan makes it four sixes in seven balls for England, hoicking Phehlukwayo over square leg. A single bring up the hundred partnership, a beautifully judged effort from 73 balls.

5.25pm BST

45th over: England 287-5 (Morgan 87, Ali 53) Moeen hits Tahir for three sixes in an over! That is tremendous batting, which takes him to a 35-ball fifty. The first two were straight sixes and the third was lifted high over midwicket. Twenty-two runs from the over!

“You can’t put vinyl on shuffle?” sniffs Phil Sawyer. “Tell my turntable from the early 90s that. The needle used to jump around like a House of Pain tribute act. I had to weigh it down with pennies blu-tacked on just to try to get through one side of an album in the manner the musicians intended.”

5.21pm BST

44th over: England 265-5 (Morgan 86, Ali 32) Phehlukwayo bowls a splendid eighth over, just four singles from it. South Africa have had a degree of control throughout this innings.

“‘The role of No7 batsman in this format is both difficult and vital’,” says Peter Hillmore, quoting me, myself and I. “Why?”

5.17pm BST

43rd over: England 261-5 (Morgan 82, Ali 30) Moeen drives Tahir to mid-off, where de Villiers lets the ball go through his legs for four. That’s the only boundary from the over, which yields seven.

“Any great sledges from the 90s?” says Andrew Benton. “I found some undated ones here – The 25 Best Ashes Sledges. Teams should employ professional sledge-writers; wonder if there’s a chance of that.”

5.14pm BST

42nd over: England 254-5 (Morgan 81, Ali 22) Five from Phehlukwayo’s over; nothing to see here. England will still have hopes of 325, especially with the power they have down the order.

“Hugh Maguire (over 35) points the finger at streaming for the decline of the carefully crafted album,” says Martin Bramhill. “Whilst I would agree with him that this pernicious playlisting nonsense the kids like is one of the heralds of the End Times, I would argue that the decline of the album started with the compact disc. The issue is not about its physical deficiencies compared to vinyl (which are legion), but rather the existence of 80 mins or so of space that bands then felt compelled to fill. Previously a single album would contain around 44-45 minutes of music at the most and therefore a more ruthless approach to editing was required. At 80 minutes, the album could now contain a whole load of stuff that previously would have been relegated to b-sides or the vault. Albums became too long with too much filler, so the listener was almost forced to skip tracks to avoid boredom. Streaming and playlisting is the inevitable consequence of this change to listening habits.”

5.09pm BST

41st over: England 249-5 (Morgan 80, Ali 22) Parnell goes around the wicket to Moeen, who has so far had very little room to free his arms. So Moeen improvises, running down the wicket to pick Parnell up for a big six over midwicket. Later in the over he walks across his stumps to flash a pull behind square for four more. Splendid stuff from Moeen.

5.03pm BST

40th over: England 237-5 (Morgan 79, Ali 12) Phehlukwayo returns to the attack. South Africa get their field wrong, with not enough men inside the circle, so that’s a no-ball and a free hit. Morgan makes the most of it, belabouring a slower ball over midwicket for six. Eleven from the over.

4.59pm BST

39th over: England 226-5 (Morgan 72, Ali 10) Moeen can’t quite get going at the moment. He steals a very risky single to Duminy and is short of his crease when the throw whistles wide of the stumps. The role of No7 batsman in this format is both difficult and vital. Ideally Moeen would open but his temperament, flexibility and strokeplay make him a decent option. Sam Billings is probably best suited to the role but England need the sixth bowler.

“35th-over score???” says John Starbuck. “286 for 5? I know Homer nods sometimes, along with OBO writers under pressure, but that really does look like a wish.”

4.54pm BST

38th over: England 222-5 (Morgan 70, Ali 8) Morgan uses those rubber wrists to clatter a short ball from Duminy behind square on the off side for four. Beautiful shot. He is chasing his third century in the last eight ODI; before that he had scored two in around 60 games. There are worse times to hit form.

4.51pm BST

37th over: England 213-5 (Morgan 62, Ali 7) Morgan is surprised by an excellent short ball from Morris that takes the glove and flies through the vacant slip area for a single.

4.46pm BST

36th over: England 206-5 (Morgan 60, Ali 5) Duminy (4-0-19-0) replaces Tahir. His second ball is wide of leg stump and swept fine for four by Morgan, who has played extremely well for his 60 not out from 58 balls. England might need him to double that if they are to win this game, however.

4.43pm BST

35th over: England 202-5 (Morgan 55, Ali 4) That was almost another wicket for Morris. Moeen waved a short ball just wide of the man flying to his left at backward point and away for four.

“Things to be nostalgic about: the album,” says Hugh Maguire. “No, not albums named “the best ‘whatever’ album in the world, ever” but albums. Streaming music has led to the decline of a carefully crafted album as a musical journey and made way for the playlist. This is a travesty and an example of the trend of democratisation proving that just because you can give people a choice it doesn’t mean you should.”

4.39pm BST

This is a huge wicket for South Africa. Buttler pings the new bowler Morris round the corner and straight to leg gully, where Miller takes another very smart catch. That, as Mike Atherton says on Sky, is terrific cricket from South Africa – they had a number of close fielders for Buttler in an attempt to get him out before he got them. They succeeded.

4.36pm BST

34th over: England 198-4 (Morgan 55, Buttler 7) Morgan mistimes a pull off Tahir that teases long-on before landing short of him. <Kidsthesedays> Buttler gets off the mark with a reverse sweep </kidsthesedays> and then clips a full toss lazily for four.

“In response to your comment (30th over) about England goal keeper kits from 1996, can I just add, as the proud owner for 20+ years of one of those Sondico technicolour houndstooth/vaguely Aztec print goalie tops, there’s nothing wrong with them,” says John Foster. “I’m a pretty big deal in the children’s birthday party entertainment business.”

4.34pm BST

33rd over: England 190-4 (Morgan 53, Buttler 0) Stokes really nailed that shot so it was a good catch from Miller. South Africa have timed their wickets extremely well today. “Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “You want some 90s nostalgia? Well I would, but I’m afraid I’m too sexy for all that nonsense. No way I’m reminiscing.”

4.31pm BST

Stokes sweet-spots a pull off Rabada towards deep midwicket, where Miller takes a sharp catch. A sharp catch at deep midwicket; that’s how much cricket has changed.

4.22pm BST

32nd over: England 186-3 (Morgan 53, Stokes 24) South Africa’s over-rate is lamentable; they need to bowl 18 overs in 70 minutes to finish on time. The spin of Tahir will help, and he scoots through another over at a personal cost of four scoring points.

4.18pm BST

31st over: England 182-3 (Morgan 51, Stokes 22) Rabada comes back into the attack. He has a bit of history with Stokes, and now they have a bit more: a sweet golf shot over long-on for six. England are back on course for a big score.

4.15pm BST

30th over: England 174-3 (Morgan 50, Stokes 15) Morgan plays another classy lofted cover-drive for four, this time off Tahir, and this time prompting a blast of Guru Josh over the tannoy. Guru Josh at the cricket! He forces Tahir to the cover boundary again off the last ball, bringing up an excellent half-century from 44 balls.

“Lee Smith (over 23) can hate on that England goalkeeping kit all he likes – I was the very proud owner of one of those shirts during Euro 96,” says Will Horwood. “If I were seeking mitigation, I’d say that I was 11 at the time, but that kit is so brilliant that I don’t think any mitigation is necessary.”

4.10pm BST

29th over: England 162-3 (Morgan 40, Stokes 13) Morgan is leading from the front foot. He gives Duminy the charge and swings him handsomely over extra cover for four. He has 40 from 40 balls; Stokes has 13 from 20.

“It’s been a curiously long month of May without a Test or other international cricket to get one’s teeth into,” says David Williams. “If we’re doing 90s nostalgia, and things we want to bring back, musically there’d only be one choice for me: Jeff Buckley. Feeling a little listless and morose last night after the news, I sought some music from simpler times… and ended up putting ‘Grace’ on for the first time in an absolute age; an album of still astonishing ethereal brilliance by someone who left us far too young. Who knows what he may have gone on to achieve?”

4.07pm BST

28th over: England 154-3 (Morgan 34, Stokes 11) Tahir returns to the attack. He has seven overs remaining, and for the time being England are content to milk him for singles. Tahir and Duminy have combined figures of 7-0-26-0, with no boundaries conceded.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest on a possible Ashes boycott from our old friend Andy Bull.

Related: Steve Smith allays fears of Ashes boycott but backs union against board

4.04pm BST

27th over: England 150-3 (Morgan 32, Stokes 9) Stokes is getting frustrated with Duminy’s slippery offspin, on which he can’t quite get a (long) handle. Four from Duminy’s third over; he still hasn’t conceded a boundary.

“90s nostalgia?” sniffs Phil Sawyer. “I miss Skee-Lo, it being acceptable to wear tops so baggy no-one could tell what frame you were underneath, and not groaning out loud when I get up off the couch. Actually, stuff the 90s revival. This decade has supposedly seen an 80s revival, but I have yet to see the return of Bitza Pizza.”

4.01pm BST

25th over: England 146-3 (Morgan 30, Stokes 7) Morgan is quickly onto Phehlukwayo’s short ball, pulling it sweetly round the corner for four, and he follows that by making room to loft a six that lands on the boundary rope. A good over for England, 13 from it.

Brass Eye is definitely something that makes me yearn for the 90s,” says Rob Hill. “The thought of Noel Edmonds talking earnestly to camera about Shatner’s bassoon – the part of the brain stimulated by Cake, itself a ‘made up drug’ – still makes me smile. Lovely.”

3.58pm BST

Phehlukwayo optimistically/ludicrously reviews an unsuccessful LBW appeal against Stokes. The ball clearly pitched outside leg, and replays showed there was an inside edge as well. That’s a bit of a shocker from South Africa, especially as you only have one review in this format.

3.56pm BST

25th over: England 133-3 (Morgan 19, Stokes 5) Stokes is another one who likes to play himself in and trusts himself to make it up later in the innings. I think he identified that as the main reason for his improvement in this format. He has five from 12 balls after another thrifty over from Duminy. England have a bit of work to do to reach a par score, even if nobody really knows what that par score is.

“While deep down the rabbit hole looking for the answer (not to cheat I swear, for own amusement),” begins Matt Davies, “Wikipedia tells me that Matthew Fleming hit his first two balls in first-class cricket for sixes, but this is without citation – can anyone provide?”

3.52pm BST

24th over: England 130-3 (Morgan 18, Stokes 3) South Africa have a good grip on the game just now. England have hit only one four (and two sixes) in the last 12 overs.

3.48pm BST

23rd over: England 126-3 (Morgan 16, Stokes 1) England’s latest challenge is the offspin of JP Duminy. “He’s much more than a part-timer,” says thd commentator Shaun Pollock. We need a name for these bowlers, who are not full-time or part-time. Zero-hours bowlers has a ring to it, eh.

“Will Horwood is alright asking for the return of the 1992 Pakistan kit,” says Lee Smith, “just as long as we keep this firmly locked away.”

3.44pm BST

22nd over: England 122-3 (Morgan 14, Stokes 0) The new batsman is Mr Ben Stokes. Phehlukwayo has two for 12 from three match-changing overs.

3.43pm BST

Morgan charges Phehlukwayo and swings him over wide mid-on for a lovely six. Three balls later Root falls, swatting a short ball to midwicket. The bouncer was too high for him to control the stroke and it looped high to Amla. That’s a tame end to an innings of diminishing returns from Root: he got off to a flying start but struggled thereafter and made 37 from 51 balls.

3.39pm BST

21st over: England 115-2 (Root 37, Morgan 8) England have been denied the oxygen of boundaries and so has the OBO, hence the relatively short entries. This thing of ours is nothing without boundaries. Four singles from Parnell’s over.

“The Day Today and Neil Fairbrother?” says Julian Diamond. “I have been an OBO lurker since 2005 and this is my first contribution ever, though I have still got a draft e-mail to John Ashdown from c2009 which I’m still working on.”

3.35pm BST

20th over: England 111-2 (Root 35, Morgan 6) Morgan works Phehlukwayo through midwicket for three, his first really effective stroke. South Africa have done well to restrict England to just two boundaries in the last eight overs.

3.31pm BST

We have a winner, if that’s the right word. “Isn’t the answer something ridiculous like the English Chris Harris,” says Alex Bramble, “none other than…Matthew Fleming?”

Yep, it is indeed Jazzer Fleming. I still can’t believe England left him out of the 1999 World Cup.

3.30pm BST

19th over: England 107-2 (Root 34, Morgan 3) Morgan edges Parnell in the air but safely wide of slip for a single, one of a handful in the over.

“A lot of my favourite things from the 1990s have been brought back in recent years, including Suede, Lush and Norwich City being in the Premier League,” says Will Horwood. “Would it be too much to ask for Pakistan to revert to their 1992 World Cup kit for the Champions Trophy?”

3.25pm BST

18th over: England 103-2 (Root 32, Morgan 1) “Neighbours on the BBC,” says Thomas Jenkins. “Being on the Beeb somehow legitimized the viewing of such arrant nonsense. Whereas watching it felt like a perverse act the second it went over to Five. Turning off my brain and tuning into Ramsay St – sat agog in front of that perma-sun much as one is warmed by the glow of one’s laptop-screen over the course of an Ashes winter – was my own form of meditation. I’ve become an unstable monster in the years since without it and refuse to countenance the possibility that there may be other reasons closer to home for why that is so. It’s because I don’t know what Toadfish is upto nowadays and I’ll hear no other speculation. Neighbours on the BBC or Frasier. One or the other.”

Possibly the best and certainly the most alarming thing about Neighbours was how often

some people I knew watched it twice, once at school during lunch and again in the evening.

3.22pm BST

Andile Phehlukwayo strikes first ball! Hales tries to cut a loosener outside off stump and somehow edges it through to the keeper. He swishes his bat in frustration. It was a fine innings of 61 from 60 balls but he knows he could have been a century, maybe a big one.

3.20pm BST

17th over: England 101-1 (Hales 61, Root 31) Parnell is back and Hales greets him with an almighty six, smashed on the run over long-on. It’s weird to reflect how much pressure Hales was perceived to be under when he returned to the team a couple of months ago. He is inked in for the Champions Trophy now.

A few more suggestions for our mystery biffer: Ali Brown, Sir Ian Botham, Marcus Trescothick, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Neil Fairbrother, Martin McCague, Chris Lewis, Nick Knight, Darren Gough, Mark Ealham, Freddie Flintoff, Ian Austin and Neighbours on the BBC. It’s none of those.

3.10pm BST

16th over: England 90-1 (Hales 51, Root 30) A single off Morris takes Hales to a typically thumping fifty, from 52 balls and with eight fours. Time for drinks. It’s a reflection of modern batting that South Africa will probably be the happier side, even though England are scoring at almost six an over.

“Long time lurker, first time caller,” says Luke Harris. “Is it Luke Wright or Craig Kieswetter?” Nope, both are in the high 80s.

3.05pm BST

15th over: England 87-1 (Hales 49, Root 29) Root plays the first semi-aggressive stroke against Tahir, timing him through midwicket for two. That’s about all. Tahir has hurried through three overs at a cost of just 11.

“Rob,” says Andrew Benton. “Got to be the impeccable Moeen? Nostalgia’s not what it used to be. The only thing I’d bring back from the ‘90s is the first series of This Life. It’s timeless. Bring back steam trains and pints of warm beer for a thruppeny bit!”

3.02pm BST

14th over: England 82-1 (Hales 47, Root 26) Hales tries to cut a very wide delivery from Morris and toe-ends it for four. Fortune favours the cross-batted clubber.

“Dear Smyth,” says Sam Rhodes. “Is the answer Kevin ‘Genius’ Pietersen? Or am I buying into his (publicist’s) hype?”

2.58pm BST

13th over: England 74-1 (Hales 41, Root 24) Three of the four leading ODI wickettakers since the last World Cup are legspinners: Adil Rashid, the remarkable Rashid Khan and this man Imran Tahir. I suppose taking wickets in the middle overs is more important than ever in this age of unstoppable death-hitting. Nothing much has happened in Tahir’s spell so far, with minimal turn and England dealing exclusively in low-risk singles.

2.55pm BST

FUN quiz

Five England players, who have batted at least 10 times in ODIs, have a strike-rate of over 100. Four of them are in the current squad: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett. Who is the other?

2.54pm BST

12th over: England 69-1 (Hales 39, Root 21) Hales ends a shocking boundary drought of almost three overs, thumping Morris down the ground. He is beaten for pace by a bouncer next ball and top-edgiesa pull for four. He has 39 from 43 balls, Root has 21 from 26. It’s a good contest, this, and both teams will be happy enough with their work so far.

“I’d like to bring back staying up until three in the morning to watch American comedies like Seinfeld and Larry Sanders on BBC2,” says Daniel Seppings. “Kids nowadays etc.”

2.50pm BST

11th over: England 59-1 (Hales 30, Root 20) The Powerplay is over, so Imran Tahir is coming into the attack. He is top of the ODI bowling rankings and a brilliant wickettaker in the middle overs. You’d expect Root especially to go after him, mind you. For now he’s bowling to Hales, who can’t pierce the field from any of the first five deliveries but does get a single from the sixth.

2.47pm BST

10th over: England 58-1 (Hales 29, Root 20) South Africa have slowed England down since Morris came into the attack, and he continues that with a really good maiden to Root.

“Hi Rob,” says Gareth Radford. “Long time OBOer – you guys helped me get my cricket team together in the heady days of 2005. Just wondering how the Long Blondes are doing these days?”

2.43pm BST

9th over: England 58-1 (Hales 29, Root 20) Doogie Howser MD. That’s what they should bring back from the 1990s. Rabada would probably be happy if they brought back the old no-ball rules, without free hits for front-foot offences, because he has just bowled his third of the innings. He gets away with the free hit again,angling a full toss past Hales’s attempted swipe.

2.37pm BST

8th over: England 53-1 (Hales 26, Root 19) Chris Morris comes on for Wayne Parnell. His third ball is too wide and Hales blasts it square for four. A single brings up a calmly authoritative fifty partnership from just 40 balls.

“Things to bring back from the 90s,” says Stephen Brown. “The use of apostrophes when referring to decades. It’s how I learnt and it’s how it should be; no one in the 90’s would have dropped it.”

2.33pm BST

7th over: England 47-1 (Hales 21, Root 18) Delightful batting from Root, who jumps back to glide Rabada wide of the slips for four. Rabada bowls another front-foot no-ball but this time ensures Root cannot take advantage of the free hit by spearing in a terrific yorker.

“If it’s nostalgia your having then make mine a pint,” says Lee Smith, “and while you’re at it can you bring back computer games, on cassette tape, that took six minutes to load. If you were lucky.”

2.28pm BST

6th over: England 41-1 (Hales 21, Root 13) Hales plays a brilliant stroke, wristily whipping Parnell wide of mid-on for four from well outside off stump. It works so well that he does it again later in the over – not quite as eye-catchingly, but with the same boundarific result. England have scored 35 from the last four overs.

“Am watching on telly in Joburg, trying to get my VPN to cooperate so that I can listen to TMS and am, of course, reading the OBO,” says Eva Maaten. “We’ve been following the Proteas quite closely since we got here last year (we even have season tickets for the Wanderers Stadium) and I’ve become slightly grudgingly quite impressed by them. Should still be England’s day today, I hope!”

2.23pm BST

5th over: England 31-1 (Hales 12, Root 12) Root continues his excellent start, timing Rabada square on the off side for four to move to 11 from five balls. A front-foot no-ball then gets the appropriate punishment when Hales panels the free hit for four.

“Going by the TMS commentary, England’s new batsmen (with the possible exception of Root) seem to have trouble getting their feet moving at the start of their innings,” says John Starbuck. “Surely they’d practice this above all else? You can’t play decent strokes otherwise, unless you’ve got an exceptional eye and aren’t bothered about the niceties.”

2.18pm BST

4th over: England 20-1 (Hales 7, Root 7) Root punches an uppish cover-drive for two more. It wasn’t as well controlled as the first one and had short-extra interested for most of its flight before dropping short.

2.15pm BST

3rd over: England 17-1 (Hales 7, Root 4) Rabada swings a beautiful delivery through Hales’s gate, over middle stump and wide of the diving de Kock for four byes. South Africa have started strongly, aided by a bit of swing in particular. As ever in modern ODI cricket, the task for the team batting first is trying to work out what the hell is a good score. The good thing about England and Hales in particular is that they are happy to take a few balls to get their eye in if necessary, knowing they have the power to make up for lost balls. Root is the exception to that; he generally scores at around a run a ball from the off. Hales, having made three from his first nine deliveries, pings an attempted yorker behind square on the leg side for four.

“I think what we could all do after this week is an old-fashioned OBO riff,” says David Hopkins. “Also, this week more than ever I sort of which we could just back to the 90s. So could I suggest a discussion on 90s things that we should demand to have back? As I kick off I recently thoroughly enjoyed a Natalie Imbruglia concert, which wasn’t entirely populated with blokes of my age making cow eyes at her. Just mostly.”

2.10pm BST

2nd over: England 6-1 (Hales 1, Root 3) That ball to Roy didn’t swing; it just went across with the angle and found the edge of what was a loose stroke. It happens. You can’t ask Roy to live by the sword and expect him never to die by it. Root shows how to play the stroke, pushing his first delivery classily through extra cover for three. He is so good at seizing the initiative from the first ball; perhaps England’s best since Graham Thorpe.

2.07pm BST

The left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell will share the new ball. He hasn’t quite delivered on the thrilling promise he showed over here during the 2009 World Twenty20, but he is still only 27 and has a good record in all formats. And he has the first wicket here! Roy throws his hands into a big drive outside off stump and snicks it straight through to the keeper.

2.04pm BST

1st over: England 3-0 (Roy 1, Hales 1) Kagiso Rabada, the tremendous 21-year-old, will open the bowling. No fast bowler has taken more ODI wickets since the last World Cup, and he wants some more: he has three slips for the first over. He hits a full length straight away and finds an edge of sorts from Hales, but it’s thick enough to scoot well wide of the slips. Roy then gets off the mark in similar style. A good first over from Rabada, more like a Test match than an ODI.

1.57pm BST

There is an impeccably observed minute’s silence for those who died in the Manchester attack.

1.50pm BST

A plug

I am here today, hosting this thing of ours, is because of my occasional OBO colleague Tim de Lisle. His editor’s notes in the January 1999 edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly are the reason I got into journalism. In eight months working with him at in 2001-02, I learned more about writing than in 15 years since. He was born to write a book about how to write – and now he has. If you like words, you should buy it. If you don’t like words, you should buy it.

1.50pm BST

“First big OBO of the summer,” says Lee Smith, “and I think an appropriate moment to remember Dan Lucas, who was always ready to write about cricket and show his disdain for Celine Dion.”

Yes, it still doesn’t seem real. I keep wondering what he thinks of the new Twin Peaks (no spoilers please, I haven’t watched it yet), or Radiohead finally releasing Lift. The Guardian sports desk is a much less vibrant place without him.

1.37pm BST

Some pre-match reading

Related: England’s Morgan relishes South Africa challenge in Champions Trophy buildup | Vic Marks

1.37pm BST

England Roy, Hales, Root, Morgan (capt), Stokes, Buttler (wk), Moeen, Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Wood.

South Africa Amla, de Kock (wk), du Plessis, de Villiers (capt), Duminy, Miller, Morris, Parnell, Phelukwayo, Rabada, Tahir.

1.36pm BST

Eoin Morgan would have done the same but seems happy enough batting first.

9.55am BST

England’s ODI side have been all kinds of fun in the last two years. As anybody familiar with this weird, repressed little country knows, however, eventually the fun has to stop. England have had a free pass, pretty much, since the nadir’s nadir of the 2015 World Cup. Now things get a bit more serious, because for the first time they have to deal with the weight of all those expectations.

We know that England are entertaining and a breath of the fresh stuff. What we don’t quite know is how good they are: whether, in the upcoming Champions Trophy, they are dangerous loose cannons, formidable favourites or something inbetween – and whether they can play with the same batting freedom now that there is such expectation on them to become the first England side to win a global 50-over tournament.

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May 23

England’s Morgan relishes South Africa challenge in Champions Trophy buildup | Vic Marks

The Proteas provide the opposition at Headingley on Wednesday afternoon in the first of three ODIs for England before June’s Champions Trophy campaign

Here at last comes cricket’s chance to dominate the sporting agenda. England and South Africa gathered at Headingley on the eve of the first of three ODIs, which both sides acknowledge are the ideal preparation for next month’s Champions Trophy.

The sun was shining in Leeds, with the promise of another fine day on Wednesday. The “superstars” of the IPL, such as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, were out there strutting their stuff; the pitch looked brown and brimful of runs, and even the old rugby stand seemed in unusually pristine condition in anticipation of an eager audience.

Related: Norman Callaway, the prodigy with a better first-class average than Bradman | The Spin

Related: Sachin Tendulkar: ‘When I was injured I could not sleep at night’

Related: County cricket talking points: Kumar Sangakkara eyes a century of centuries

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May 22

Ben Stokes happy for England to take precedence despite missing IPL finale

The England all-rounder has no issue with being recalled and missing the tournament’s final and remains focused on the ODI series against South Africa

There are 5,000 miles between England and India and for Ben Stokes, just back from the IPL, Leeds seems a world away from Pune. He is here to prepare for England’s ODI against South Africa on Wednesday and, though Yorkshire is one of the few places on earth aside from India where cricket could fairly be described, to borrow Stokes’ phrase, as “a religion”, they are a little more solemn in their observance of it round Headingley way. “It’s completely different to England,” he says. “They go mad for it. They’ll queue up for five hours just to see Dhoni walk out on to the pitch.” It’s a relief, he says, to be able to “walk across the road and get a coffee” without having everyone pester you for “selfie, selfie, selfie”.

Related: Ben Stokes leads England charge of the IPL brigade against South Africa

Related: South Africa look for special Kagiso Rabada to topple England once more

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May 21

South Africa look for special Kagiso Rabada to topple England once more

The 22-year-old pace man has been tipped for greatness and can compensate for the absence of the injured Dale Steyn this summer

English crowds will miss out on the thrill of watching Dale Steyn snake in to bowl this summer but in Kagiso Rabada, Russell Domingo, the South Africa coach, believes his side possess a strike bowler for whom similar modern greatness is possible.

Rabada turns 22 on Thursday and yet his cricketing CV is already one pointing in this direction, having spent the two and a half years since his Proteas debut in late 2014 claiming 150 international wickets across all formats as the fast bowling cognoscenti purr about an easy, athletic action and batsmen trudge off with an accepting nod of the head.

Related: How South African cricket has changed since England’s 1982 rebel tour | Matthew Engel

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May 21

Ben Stokes leads England charge of the IPL brigade against South Africa

Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler impressed in India and must now show against the world’s No1 50-over side they are better cricketers for it

Now for a proper test of England’s status as favourites for the Champions Trophy. The two one-day internationals earlier this month were of modest value against modest Irish opposition. Hence shortcomings, such as David Willey’s inaccuracy with the new ball in those games, were more noteworthy than successes, though there were reminders that Jonny Bairstow is a damn good batsman not to be in the first XI.

But South Africa will offer a much sterner examination of an England squad that has been running, fielding and relaxing in the Spanish sun over the last few days. On Wednesday at Headingley there is the first of three ODIs – the others are at the Ageas Bowl on 27 May and Lord’s on 29 May. Thereafter the pursuit of the Champions Trophy begins in earnest at The Oval on 1 June against Bangladesh.

Related: Ben Stokes fires IPL v England debate with searing all-round T20 form | Andy Bull

Related: How South African cricket has changed since England’s 1982 rebel tour | Matthew Engel

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May 19

Injury worry for England after Jimmy Anderson limps out of Roses match

• Lancashire fast bowler pulls up alarmingly against Yorkshire
• England’s first Test against South Africa is at Lord’s on 6 July

Jimmy Anderson had to leave the field with a suspected groin injury on the first morning of the match between Lancashire and Yorkshire at Old Trafford.

The England seamer pulled up alarmingly in the middle of his sixth over and, after getting to his feet, made his way gingerly out of the action.

Not a great sight to see jimmy Anderson hobling off

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May 19

How South African cricket has changed since England’s 1982 rebel tour | Matthew Engel

South Africa begin their 2017 tour with a warm-up in Hove and of the 15 players in the one-day squad, eight are non-white

In the 1980s, when football was rotting, English cricket developed a penchant for leaping off the sports pages on to page one. Sometimes it would be sex; sometimes drugs; sometimes even cricket (beating Australia 1981; losing to the Netherlands 1989). Mostly, though, it was race.

And nothing created quite as much sensation as the arrival, in March 1982, of a dozen leading English cricketers in the pariah state of South Africa, ready to play a month’s worth of unauthorised matches for sums – in the high five-figures sterling – that were very tempting to the underpaid pros of that era.

Related: Last of the Kolpaks? Why South Africans are in a rush before Brexit bites | Andy Bull

Related: English rebels who ignored apartheid cause still show a lack of shame | Paul Weaver

Related: SAB’s fat cheques brought disgrace upon world cricket in 1982

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May 18

Australia coach Darren Lehmann confident Ashes strike will not go ahead

  • Players and Cricket Australia locked in stalemate over new pay deal
  • Lehmann says issue is a distraction for his side ahead of Champions Trophy

Darren Lehmann is confident Australian cricket’s pay dispute will not lead to a player boycott of the Ashes. The national side’s coach urged both Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association to “get talking” and find a resolution amid a tense stalemate over a new memorandum of understanding.

Related: David Warner’s Ashes power play strikes blow for players left behind | Vic Marks

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