Sep 23

Australia v Ireland ODI Match, 2016/17

The 2015 One Day International

Last year’s One Day International between Ireland and Australia took place in Belfast and saw the Australians enjoy a convincing victory over the Irish team. The Australian team boasted the impressive combined might of Joe Burns and David Warner, with both being instrumental in the win. Burns and Warner set up a 139-run partnership before heavy rain put a stop to the first innings. Rain interrupted play throughout the day, so both teams will be hoping for better weather during this year’s One Day International. When play resumed, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell claimed two wickets each, helping to cement the Australian team’s victory over their Irish hosts.

This year’s match

Ireland again line up against Australia on 27th September this year, with the match scheduled to take place in South Africa. Ireland are still cricketing minnows, but are continuing their quest to regularly play against some of the world’s top teams. Australia’s feared team are no easy prospect, however, and Ireland are sure to have their work cut out. Usman Khawaja is enjoying a particularly good spell at the moment, and is going to be one to watch. Steve Smith may also prove troublesome for the Irish team.

With one of the stars of last year’s match, Mitchell Starc, due to feature again, Ireland will have to be careful not to give away early wickets, and effectively end the match before it’s properly started. Ireland’s Kevin O’ Brien may end up being an important weapon in the team’s batting lineup.

If the current spate of One Day Internationals has got you itching to have a go at the game yourself, why not take this opportunity to dig out your cricket whites, or treat yourself to some new gear? The autumn sales are in full swing, and it’s a great time of year to hunt for bargains, if you’re thinking about getting back into cricket after an absence or even playing for the first time. From cricket bats to protective equipment like cricket batting pads sale offers can provide big discounts, to help you get kitted out.

Sep 20

Afghanistan in Bangladesh ODI Series, 2016/17

From 25th September to 1st October 2016 at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Afghanistan will be welcomed by Bangladesh. During this event, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

The first bilateral series

Speaking about the series, chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Nasimullah Danish said that this will be the first-ever series played between Afghanistan and Bangladesh. He added that they were looking forward to bringing entertaining cricket to those in Bangladesh who love the sport.

Danish also said that with ICC full members, they have already successfully completed a number of tours and are in close discussions about future plans. He went on to say that when there are ICC full members in a series of matches, it proves that Afghanistan has secured its spot within the cricketing world.

He finished by saying that the series are good for the team because they are able to test themselves in a number of different conditions, and this also aids in team development. In his eyes, Bangladesh is the perfect place to do this. One thing you can be sure of is that both teams will need their cricket wicket keeping gloves!

Previous meetings

Afghanistan and Bangladesh have met each other three times before at the international level. They met once in a Twenty20 International and twice in ODIs. In 2014, they met at the Asia Cup. Afghanistan came out victorious on this occasion, managing to beat Bangladesh by a total of 32 runs.

Later on in the year, the teams met at Mirpur in the ICC World T20, and it was Bangladesh that took the title in this meeting. They won this game by nine wickets, winning the game on home turf.

Their most recent meeting was in Australia during the ICC World Cup 2015. Afghanistan made its World Cup debut at this event, but the team was ultimately defeated by Bangladesh by 105 runs.

The upcoming series will allow Afghanistan to showcase its skills against a nation that is at test-playing level. The chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Shafiq Stanikzai, said that they are thankful to the cricket board for hosting Afghanistan and that they’re committed to taking part in as many international games as they can.

Sep 14

New Zealand in India Test Series, 2016/17

The New Zealand cricket team is set to begin its tour of India later this month, which will continue late into October. With five One Day Internationals and three test matches, the schedule is packed and both teams will have to be on top form throughout.

The three test matches will be played in Kanpur, Kolkata and Holkar, with the teams also visiting Dharamsala, Delhi, Mohali, Ranchi and Nagpur, to play their five one day matches.

Keeping Their Guard Up

Indian batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, has told teammates that they shouldn’t underestimate New Zealand despite their home advantage. In the World Twenty20, the New Zealand spinners put in a great performance and as such, Rahane is playing a cautious game when it comes to the ability of New Zealand’s attack, and the coaching team are working to ensure the team’s guard will be up at all times.

Rahane’s focus is entirely on this upcoming series, as he doesn’t believe in looking too far ahead and getting distracted by future targets. The team has been working hard on their strategy and are sensibly not revealing any information about their preparations prior to the matches.

Anil Kumble, the Indian coach, has been highly praised for retaining his passion for cricket eight years after retiring from the international game. It is said that he has a real eye for detail, which could prove crucial in the upcoming series.

Top Ranked Test Team

Rohit Sharma has spoken about the desire to be the highest ranked test team and believes that if they follow through on their established process they will be able to achieve that goal. They have a long season ahead of them, but each member of the team is feeling positive and looking forward to the challenge.

If you’re feeling inspired to get out and enjoy a game of cricket yourself, alongside keeping up with the latest results from India and New Zealand, you can find cricket balls online, available in many varieties, from practice balls to help improve your technique to top quality balls used by the professionals!

Sep 07

Bath Rugby Stalwarts Watson and Joseph Commit To Club

Fans looking to buy rugby shirts with these club stalwarts’ names on them will get another few seasons worth of wear from them, after the two backs committed their futures to the West Country club.

Versatile Players

Utility back, Watson, just 22 years old, has scored 12 tries for his club from 67 appearances in the blue, black and white hoops, and 24 caps for England. Joseph has similar statistics, with 16 tries from 58 appearances for Bath and 25 caps for his country.

The versatile pair have been playing together for some years now, having plied their trade at London Irish together before they travelled down the M4 to join Bath in 2013. Both are very talented players, and with both still very young, the best years of their career should be ahead of them. They are now, Bath Rugby fans will hope, committed to the Blue, Black and Whites.

Big Things Required

As a club with such an impressive history, Bath Rugby will be looking for big things from the pair when they are not on international duty. Things have not gone according to plan for the club recently, and despite being former winners of the European Cup, Bath failed to qualify last season for the European Champions Cup.

Both players are undoubtedly high calibre, and knowing that they will be available for the Bath Rugby coaching team to include on the team sheet come the start of the new season should give the club a boost. The experience both Joseph and Watson have gained at international level has had a positive impact on their individual games, as well as a beneficial effect on their squad. Those closely involved with the club have spoken about the professionalism they take with them on international duty which is also evident back at the club, both on and off the field.

The fans will be expecting big things from the team this season, following a lot of change during the summer off-season, including a new coaching team. It is a partisan crowd at the Recreation Ground in Bath, but they can get impatient and they will be expecting greater success from their team this year.

Aug 31

Australia in Sri Lanka ODI Series, 2016

In July, Australia began their two-month tour of Sri Lanka where they are taking part in two T20 Internationals, five ODIs and three Test Matches. This is the first time in five years that the Australians have played in a test series in Sri Lanka.

Finished First Place

In February, the Australian team, led by Steve Smith, went ahead of India to clinch the top spot in the ICC Test Championship table. Sri Lanka found themselves dropping to seventh place following a disappointing season, with the retirement of some of their finest batsmen, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara.

Only Usman Khawaja, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon played in Australia’s last Test cricket matches in Sri Lanka, where they beat the Black Caps. The side toured the island in August 2011, when Michael Clarke captained the team for the first time in a full series. They emerged victorious with a 1-0 win in the three-match series.

To date, Australia’s record of matches in Sri Lanka is one loss, six draws and six wins out of 13 tests; 3 no results, 13 losses and nine wins out of 25 ODIs; two losses in two T20 Internationals. Australia’s success over the years has inspired many would-be cricketers, as they buy cricket shoes online in the hope that they’ll follow in their footsteps.

Australia Faces Tough Opposition

Even though Sri Lanka have had a poor season, Joe Burns, Australia’s opening batsman, was under no illusion that they could present a number of challenges to the side when playing in their own conditions.

Speaking about the test series, Burns commented that when you’re playing world-class spinners in their own country, it can be a totally different proposition to when you’re playing them on home soil. He is prepared for different game plans, aware that countries have, in the past, set new fields that their opponents haven’t been prepared for. Trying to get the teams out in different ways, they’ll use different tactics that weren’t part of their previous games.

Burns also went on to say there were preconceptions about what the conditions in Sri Lanka would be like, and even though he hadn’t been there before, he’s open-minded and will be looking to improve his game.

Aug 24

How to Buy the Right Hockey Shoes Online

Even though many of the artificial surfaces you’ll play on will have shock pads built into them, the constant strain you put your body under will take its toll. That’s why getting shoes with the right shock absorption is essential. Because you’ll constantly be stopping and starting and moving from side to side in a game of hockey, you’ll also need shoes that help provide stability throughout your matches and training.

Ultimately, the shoes you select will affect your game and your health. Choose correctly and you’ll find yourself comfortable, stable and less prone to injuries. Here are just some of the things you should be considering when buying hockey shoes online.

Your Foot Type

The best way to find out what your foot type is is to look at your current shoes to see where they’re wearing. If the wear is on the inside of the shoe, then it’s likely that you have a low arch, which is incredibly common. You should, therefore, be wearing a shoe that has a straight shape and has motion control. This will help to stop your feet from rolling too far.

If you have wear to the outside of your shoe, this means you have a high arch, which is the second most common type of foot shape. You’ll require shoes with a curved shape to support this arch, as well as ones that offer additional cushioning.

Only 10% of people (approximately) have a normal arch to their foot, and these will find that the shoe has worn evenly on both sides. If this is the case, a semi-curved shoe will be required and one that offers additional stability.

The Right Grip

You’ll also need to find a shoe that offers the right amount of grip. If it has too much, you won’t be able to move as easily, as you’ll stick to the surface. But if there isn’t enough, you may find yourself slipping over, particularly when you change direction suddenly.

For grass, opt for shoes with blades or rubber moulded studs; and for synthetic surfaces, choose a multiple-studded rubber sole that’s firm.

Aug 17

Pakistan in England ODI Series, 2016

We’re still in the midst of the test series, and England have built a substantial lead over Pakistan, pulling ahead 2-1 from the first three of four bouts. With an overall lead of 396 runs, England are going into the ODIs with a well-earned amount of confidence, and a victory in the fourth and final test could put them at the top of the Test rankings. England are definitely on form, with legend in the making Joe Root picking up his sixth Test ‘man of the match’ award in the second test against Pakistan. Pakistan have no doubt been studying, though, and they know what to expect now. With each match played, things get a little harder. Yasir Shah caused a sufficient amount of trouble in the first test. It seems the England team have adapted to the troublesome leg spinner, but we’re sure he has a few more tricks or spins up his sleeve.

Tests vs ODIs

Test cricket is essentially a completely different game from the ODI, and it’s uncertain who the faster pace will favour; both teams have had a chance to feel each other out a fair bit, and it will be extremely interesting watching them collide after a brief respite. If England can keep up their current form, it’s sure to be something of a spectacle, but we’re sure Pakistan will make a few plays of there own. There’s always something appealing about underdog victories. England’s own win in the third test was all the more impressive due to the fact that they were trailing by 103 after the first innings. It’s only the sixth time in history they’ve picked up victory after a deficit of 100 or more.

Ups and Downs 

The calibre of play at the moment is a beauty to behold, and the ups and downs have been a joy to watch. There’s never been a better time to take up a bat, so grab your cricket helmets online, pick up your wickets and get excited. We still have one more match to go in the test series starting Thursday before we dive head first into the ODIs on the 24th of August at The Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Aug 10

British Women’s Rugby Sevens Finish With Their Heads Held High

Inaugural Medals

Rio 2016 was the first time that women’s rugby 7s has been included as an Olympic sport. The Great Britain team has created its own little slice of Olympic history, regardless of the result, and has built on what was already a very close-knit squad. Many of the squad’s members have been playing and training together for two years now as the Rugby Football Union made the faster 7s version its priority over the 15-player game.

Price Paid For Poor Discipline

It might have been a very different story had New Zealand not been able to capitalise on some poor discipline from the GB team in the semis. At one point, the team was reduced to just five players, and a class act like the Black Ferns would not let that sort of opportunity pass, taking the match 25-7.

The time between the semi and the play-off did not seem to help with discipline, with GB picking up another yellow card against Canada in the match to decide which team takes home the final medal.

The girls won’t be advertising rugby boots for sale just yet, but they did come with the goal of taking gold, so they will be hugely disappointed to have come so close to a podium finish and the all-important medal.

Despite having beaten Canada just the day before, Great Britain was not able to rise to the occasion, and the players were just not ruthless enough, letting chance after chance slip away.

Experience to Build On

In the end, they were outpaced by some powerful teams in the final stages, and they now have some good pointers to progress after watching the world-class finalists and top two seeds from Australia and New Zealand.

The level of skill on show in this competition was phenomenal, and the Great Britain team can certainly be proud of how they worked together and showed off their own skills.

Great Britain’s ladies’ team was seeded fourth, and after some very encouraging results in the pool games, that is exactly where they finished. They will now pick themselves up and move on to the next competition after working even harder on making improvements.

Jul 29

Pakistan in England Test Series, 2016

The Pakistan cricket tour of England 2016 is now well under way. With a couple of friendly games under our belts, the highly anticipated test series part of the tour is approaching.

The tour began on 3rd July and will continue until early September. It includes a number of friendly matches against counties such as Sussex, Somerset and Worcester. The four test matches are the first serious games, and they will be followed by a number of ODI games in Ireland and England during August and September.

The Test Matches

The first Investec Test match between England and Pakistan will take place from the 14th to the 18th July at the Oval. Four days later, the second four-day test begins on 22nd July, this time taking place at Old Trafford in Manchester. The third Investec Test will take place at Edgbaston, Birmingham, from the 3rd to the 7th August, and the fourth and final test match of the tour will be played out back at the Oval from the 11th to the 15th August.

The Teams

Key Players for England include Stuart Broad, who will have to play without his long-term partner James Anderson, who has suffered a shoulder injury. In Anderson’s absence, much of the England team is made up of younger, less experienced players.

In addition to worrying about losing his partner, Broad has also expressed concern over the hard and unforgiving surface found at Lords. The Pakistan team is being plagued by similar worries. Only two of their batsmen, Younis Khan and Azhar, have played a test series in England before. In fact, Pakistan hasn’t played any test innings in England since 2010 and has been largely Asia-based since then.

As cricket fever hits the UK this summer while we all take a break from football, grassroots cricket is continuing to gain in popularity. Now that you can buy equipment such as cricket balls online, it’s easier than ever to get a taste of the game yourself.

The first test at the Oval is just days away and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2.

Jul 25

bledisloe cup 2016 Australia v New Zealand, Sydney

Rugby fans worldwide are gearing up for the annual clash between New Zealand and Australia as the two teams battle it out for the Bledisloe cup. Since the 1930s, the two nations have held regular contests, with New Zealand coming out on top in more than seventy five percent of them.

Form

Australia goes into the games on the back of a series defeat against England, which will have certainly inspired many English youngsters to go out and buy a rugby ball in hopes of becoming the next star to represent their country. For Australia, there were plenty of positives in their performances that they can draw confidence from going forward. The Wallabies will need their key players, such as Israel Folau and captain Stephen Moore, to be in top form if they are to overcome the All Blacks.

New Zealand is on an impressive run of form. While confidence is always extremely high in the All Blacks’ camp, it will be soaring following their recent 46-6 demolition of Wales, which came in the third test of their summer tour.

Since Steve Hansen took over as coach of New Zealand six years ago, the All Blacks have suffered only three defeats and two draws, while the other 50 games were victories. The team has constantly improved along the way, so it’s no surprise that they’re being referred to as “the powerhouse of Rugby Union”.

With that in mind, Australia heads into the game as underdogs, although they are used to that status. There will be degree of caution, however, given that the All Blacks’ last defeat came at the hands of Australia. Underdogs they may be, but you can guarantee that nobody in the New Zealand camp is writing them off.

Key Dates

The first of the three tests takes place in Sydney on the 20th of August before the two teams meet again in Wellington on the 27th. After that, there is a considerable wait until the final game, which will take place on the 22nd of October in Auckland.

With New Zealand winning the last 13 matches in a row, their chances look very good.

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