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Friday, October 23, 2020

England’s three-day practice match ends in draw

Despite a 17-ball 33 from Ben Stokes, Stokes XI could not reach the target of 255 set for them in the fourth innings, finishing the match on 157/4.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 4, 2020 12:16:31 am
James Anderson in action on day 1. (Source: ECB official)

Cricket will not be the same when England and West Indies resume live-action next week. For fans, a glimpse into the future was in store during England’s three-day intra-squad practice match between Team Buttler and Team Stokes at the Ageas Bowl, which ended in a draw on Friday.

Despite a 17-ball 33 from Ben Stokes, Stokes XI could not reach the target of 255 set for them in the fourth innings, finishing the match on 157/4.

Ollie Pope (25 and 55*) and Dan Lawrence (58 and 6*) were two batsmen who through their showings laid claim to a place in the England order for the 1st Test vs West Indies.

Among the bowlers, James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Craig Overton took two wickets each in the first innings, while spinners — Jack Leach, Dom Bess and Moeen Ali — dominated the second.

Sanitisers, distancing and elbow bumps

Following new ICC guidelines, new celebrations involved the elbow dab, using the hand-sanitisers multiple times during the course of the day.

Most importantly, saliva was not used by any of the bowlers to shine the cricket ball to minimize the threat of cricketers getting infected.

England Cricket on its official Twitter handle shared a video of seamer James Anderson, who bowled 18 overs for Team Stokes, following the rules despite wicket-keeper Ben Foakes raising his hands for a customary high-five out of habit.

Interestingly, even the substitute player who was carrying drinks onto the field was wearing gloves.

Meanwhile, on day one of the practice game, Team Buttler finished on 287/5 after uncapped Gloucestershire opener James Bracey scored 85 along with key contributions from Joe Denly and Dan Lawrence.

Anderson picked up two wickets in his 18-over spell.

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