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Garton stars in T10 League; Archer faces New Zealand; Bopara on fire with Durban Heat

It was another busy week in the T10 League for the Sharks involved, with George Garton, Phil Salt, Laurie Evans and Chris Jordan helping Lahore Qalandars reach the qualifiers before finishing fourth.

The Qalandars began the week with a 24-run loss to Deccan Gladiators, who ended the tournament as beaten finalists, but the Sussex contingent still impressed in the narrow defeat with Garton taking 2-21 and CJ taking 1-19.

Salt also held on to two catches at long-on, before finishing not out on 24 off just 14 balls, but the Qalandars fell short of their 129-run target.

In their second match of the week, the Qalandars returned to winning ways with a 32-run victory over Karnataka Tuskers, as Garton and Jordan again impressed the ball.

After Salt scored 11 off seven deliveries and Evans hit 17 off nine, the Qalandars set their opponents 131 to win – a target which inside ten overs always looked difficult.

Wickets at regular intervals meant the Tuskers never really got going, with Garton dismissing Ross Whiteley and Ryan ten Doeschate in quick succession.

With the gloves, Salt also performed well and stumped opposition skipper Hashim Amla for just two, before Jordan then had Nathan Rimmington caught at third-man to finish with fiqures of 1-22.

Garton and Jordan also combined brilliantly to run-out Ahmed Raza as the Qalandars comfortably secured their second win of the tournament.

The Qalandars made it back-to-back wins with a thrilling three-wicket triumph against Delhi Bulls, with Garton smashing Ravi Rampaul for six off the penultimate ball of the match.

It was a fabulous all-round performance from the fast-bowler, who had taken outstanding figures of 2-9 off his two overs in the first innings before seeing his team home with an unbeaten 10 off three balls.

Salt, who began the Qalandars chase alongside fellow opener Dawid Malan, scored five, while Evans, batting at three, was bowled by Zaheer khan after a quickfire eleven.

The victory over the Bulls meant the Qalandars qualified for the qualifier (play-off) stages of the tournament, where they faced Maratha Arabians.

After the Arabians won the toss and elected to bat first, Salt and Garton combined to have Adam Lyth brilliantly caught at long-on for 28, and the Qalandars were set 120 to win.

The Sharks batsmen performed excellently, with Salt smashing 26 off 10 deliveries, and Evans finishing unbeaten on 35 off just 17 balls, but the Qalandars ultimately fell seven runs short of their target.

With a place in the T10 final still up for grabs, the Qalandars faced Deccan Gladiators in the second qualifier, but they fell just short again, ending 12 runs shy of their target of 116.

The Gladiators struggled at the start of their innings, after opting to bat first, with Garton holding on to two catches on the boundary as both opposition openers were dismissed.

Salt also took two grabs, both at long on, before he finished unbeaten on 27 off just 15 balls. Evans also scored 13 off six deliveries, but the Sharks duo ran out of partners as the Qalandars had to settle for a place in 3rd place play-off.

That match was another thriller, but the Qalandars were again on the end of a narrow defeat as Bangla Tigers snuck home to win by three wickets, with just two balls remaining.

The Qalandars were asked to bat first, and Salt was his side’s top scorer with an impressive 30 off 15 balls. Peter Trego and Malan also impressed, and the Qalandars set their opponents 110 balls.

The Gladiators secured third place late in the final over, before Garton was then named Bowler of the Tournament thanks to his 13 wickets – the most taken by anyone in this year’s competition.

Sussex Sharks skipper Luke Wright also enjoyed a prolific T10 League, despite his Team Abu Dhabi side narrowly missing out on a place in the qualifiers.

At the beginning of the week, Wright finished unbeaten on 40 off just 25 balls, after hitting two fours and two sixes – but the huge target of 139 set by eventual winners, the Maratha Arabians, proved to much.

David Wiese’s Bangla Tigers then got the better of Team Abu Dhabi in their second match of the week.

The Tigers were asked to bat first, and impressive knocks at the top of the innings from Andre Fletcher and Rilee Rossouw saw Abu Dhabi need 130 to win.

After a rapid 20 off just eight balls, Wright was eventually dismissed by his Sussex teammate, as Wiese finished his two overs with figures of 1-26 and the Tigers won by 27 runs.

Rain curtailed Team Abu Dhabi’s match against Deccan Gladiators, after Wright hit 23 off 16 balls, but in their final match of the tournament, Wright was again impressive with the bat as his side ended with a win.

After Abu Dhabi skipper Moeen Ali won the toss against Karnataka Tuskers, Wright opened the batting alongside Avishka Fernando and smashed 57 off just 30 balls.

He hit four fours and four sixes to finish unbeaten, and help his side finish their ten overs on 128-2 – a target that proved to be more enough, with the Tuskers ending 34-runs short of their target.

After dismissing his Sharks skipper, Wiese again impressed in his second match of the week, taking excellent figures of 3-14 from his two overs against Northern Warriors.

With the bat, Wiese also scored nine runs off five balls, as the Tigers sealed a six-run victory.

Over in South Africa, the Mzansi Super League was disrupted due to rain and Ravi Bopara’s Durban Heat had to settle for a point against Tshwane Spartans, but they managed a full match on Saturday night against Nelson Mandela Giants.

Bopara’s Heat opted to bat first, but the likes of Alex Hales, Wihan Lubbe and Dane Vilas all struggled at the top of the order.

It wasn’t until David Miller and Bopara came to the crease that the Heat began to build an imposing total, with Ravi top-scoring for his team.

Hit 57 off just 43 balls included four fours and one six, and helped the Heat recover to finish on 160-5, but the Giants, who are group leaders, won by five wickets with just a single ball remaining.

In England’s first Test match of the winter, Jofra Archer couldn’t prevent his side from suffering a heavy innings defeat against New Zealand.

England batted first, and half centuries for Rory Burns, Joe Denly and Ben Stokes saw the tourists eventually dismissed for 353, but what was deemed an encouraging first innings score was soon quashed.

A fantastic knock from BJ Watling saw the New Zealand wicket-keeper score 205, before his time at the crease was finally ended by Archer, who got his solitary wicket of the match when Watling was caught behind by Jos Buttler.

The hosts declared on 615-9, and in their second innings, England slumped to 197 all-out to suffer defeat by an innings and 65 runs.

Across the Tasman Sea, Travis Head and Australia fared better than Archer’s England, as they beat Pakistan by an innings and five runs at The Gabba.

Head, who is our overseas player for the duration of the 2020 season, scored 24 off 29 balls as the hosts were dismissed for 580 in their first innings.

Despite a quality ton from Babar Azam, Pakistan never looked like recovering as Australia began their summer with a comprehensive win.

Staying in Australia, the Women’s Big Bash approached the conclusion of its group-stage, with Danni Wyatt’s Melbourne Renegades still hoping to reach the semi-final stages.

The Renegades began the week with a narrow defeat to Brisbane Heat, despite Wyatt’s impressive 40 off just 18 balls.

The Heat were put into bat first, and Wyatt bowled three overs for 29 runs as her side were set 154 to win.

Wyatt’s 40 included six fours and one six, and she was the top-scoring Renegade, but the Heat held on to clinch a thrilling win.

Three days later, the Renegades lost the Melbourne derby as the Stars won by seven wickets with four balls remaining.

Wyatt opened the batting, but could only score nine, before her three overs went for 15 runs. A fantastic knock from Stars batter Lizelle Lee proved to be the difference, with her 62 off 46 balls all but securing her side victory.

With two group-matches remaining, the Renegades sit in fifth – two points behind Sydney Sixers, who occupy the final semi-final spot but have just one game remaining.