Cricket Captain 2021: Over and Out!

With the days of Root, Stokes and Buttler behind us, we hosted Bangladesh starting with a two-match Test series. Captain Liam Livingstone was at the IPL so the recalled Ollie Pope stepped into the role for the first time.

Zak Crawley (149) and Pope (100) set us on course for an innings victory in the first Test. Saqib Mahmood picked up 3-8 in the visitors first innings whilst both Ollie Taylor and Martin Andersson claimed three wickets in each innings. Bangladesh pushed us much harder in the second match. They made 370 (Taylor 4-67) and we replied with 389 (Pope 126, Peters 95). Mason Crane (4-34) helped dismiss the tourists for 252 in their second effort. Chasing series victory, we slumped to 38-3 but once again Crawley (82) and stand-in skipper Pope (73) led the way. Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (47*) guided us to a nail biting two-wicket win and series whitewash. That resulted in us reaching the Test Championship final against New Zealand…

Despite a top score of only 58 from captain Ollie Pope, we hauled ourselves to 383 all out. A last wicket stand of 82 between Mason Crane (49) and Saqib Mahmood (52*) was pivotal. We achieved a 73-run first innings lead with Mahmood (4-55) and Crane (3-61) putting in all-round performances. Then it went wrong. From 90-3 we capitulated to 181 all out (Pope 58, Crawley 41). New Zealand then rampaged to 255-3 from 51.4 overs to turn the Test Championship final in its head and leave us forlorn. The decision to thrust pace bowler Brydon Carse into the final for his into debut probably wasn’t a smart one. Out of form batsmen failed to step up though and the absence of players such as Livingstone and Sam Curran was also a blow but a consistent decision given their lack of red-ball cricket. This is an appropriate time to review my position!

Published by Planet Paul

I'm just an ordinary guy sharing my thoughts on various sports, entertainment and one or two other things!

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