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in this second T20 between England and Australia. The Aussies should be commended for an excellent comedy performance in the previous match, a classic of the genre as they somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. No doubt Justin Langer had plenty of views to share. I wonder if the expression “elite ordinariness” was used? I certainly hope so. 

Today, the action comes to us from the The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, where the weather is mild and sunny. No rain is forecast, so that will hopefully all be okay. We will have the team news and the toss as soon as possible. While I am naturally very keen that you stay here on this blog to follow it (!) I will also point out that the match is being shown live on the BBC, as was last weekend’s game. What did you think of the coverage?

Chris Jordan attributed England’s thrilling comeback in the last match to the experience the squad has collectively picked up by playing T20 cricket around the world.

Jordan said: “It’s the benefits of playing a lot of franchise cricket, because you get to play with and against a lot of the best players in the world, and if you do come up with plans that end up working in those tournaments, it’s something you can bring in to international cricket.

“I think last night was more about us assessing the conditions at the time, and utilising the conditions we had. In the last over we didn’t actually bowl one yorker, because we started to bang the pitch hard, nice and straight. That’s what got us back into the game.”

Here is a piece from Scyld Berry about the joy of being back at a real live actual cricket match.

Crowd returns to the Oval and greets Surrey victory with sweet, forgotten sound of live applause

A round of applause by live spectators followed the PA’s announcement of “the Surrey side led by Gareth Batty!” A total of 2,300 tickets had been allotted to Surrey members, and even though rain delayed the start by an hour and later reduced the game from 17 to 11 overs per side, Surrey’s cricketers were greeted by people clapping, which must have come as music after the soundless summer behind closed doors.

Shouts of “Ooooh!” accompanied the very first ball of this historic fixture. Surrey’s wicketkeeper Ben Foakes leaped to catch the ball down legside, and dropped it, which is almost an historic event. It turned out to have brushed a thigh pad, not the bat, but even a leg-bye can be dramatic if a live crowd is watching.

Another little piece of news is that Ian Ronald Bell is this afternoon playing his last game of first class cricket 





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